Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/61

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45
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

for Dr. Chwolson might reply that the term مجوس (magi) may have replaced a more ancient title, in this version of Ibn Wahshíya. Nevertheless it must be confessed that, in general, Magi-ism, or the Magian faith, as it is found in Kúthámí, bears a much stronger resemblance to apocryphal Parsee-ism, altered by the Hostanes and the Astrampsyches, than the old Zoroasterism of the Zend writings. Besides, there is a word, given as the title of an agricultural work composed by one of the most ancient sages of Babylon, of which it seems to me that its Pehlevian origin cannot be mistaken; it is the word شياشق. It is well known that all Persian words ending in h are terminated in Pehlevian by k.[1] It is also certain that the word سياسة, “rules, directions,” is not Arabic.[2] It appears, then, very probable

  1. See “Hist. gen. des Langues Semitic,” l. iii., chap. 4, sec. 1.
  2. Sacy Chrest. Arab. t. ii. p. 160 ff., 184 ff. It is very remarkable that the word yasa, from which the Arabic philologists derive it, and which they consider Tartar, an error, I believe, as the word سياسة is found in Arabian authors much anterior to the Tartar influence, had also the form yasak.