Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/69

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53
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

Ishíthá,[1] the son of Adami, described as a religious legislator, as the founder of astrology and of astrolatria, is undeniably Seth. "We know that among all the apocryphal legends of the antediluvian patriarchs, that of Seth is the most ancient, and appears already in Josephus.[2] Ishíthá, according to “The Agriculture,” had followers called Ishíthians; an organised sect are descended from him, having a sort of high-priest; and numerous writings were circulated under his name. These Ishíthians are very probably the sect of the Sethians, which played an important part in the first centuries of our era.[3] All the fables which the Mussulmans connect with Seth, in looking upon him as the prophet of an age of mankind which they call the age of Seth, come doubtless from the same source. Ibn-Abi-

  1. to Adami and Adam (pp. 44, 46, note; 49, 50, note; 190). See Banqueri, i. p. 9.

  2. Page 27.
  3. Antiquitates, I. ii. 3.
  4. The theology of the Sethians appears to have been of true Babylonian doctrine, which they sought to blend with Biblical teaching. (See Hippolyti Refutationes Hæresium, edit. Duncker et Schneidewin, p. 198 ff.)