Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/84

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
68
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

he quotes a certain Bábekái as an ancient Babylonian sage. The science of “The Book of Poisons” is imbued with charlatanism; sorcery abounds in its pages;—we feel that these are the fruits of an art in its decay, which, no longer sustained by the traditions of true science, degenerates into superstition. Verbiage, trivial personalities, so unlike the style of ancient writers, are here even more rife than in the work of Kúthámí.

We have, then, a work, anterior to “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture,” which throughout presents evident marks of modern origin. But another Nabathæan work, also translated by Ibn Wahshíya, gives rise to yet more important deductions. This work is entitled كتاب تنكلوشا البابلي القوقاني “The Book of Tenkelúshá, the Babylonian, the Kukanian.” It is a genethlialogical

doubtless no other origin. In a word, from such scanty evidence of the Oriental traditions, as well as the absolute silence of the Greek historians, one is justified in coming to the conclusion that the opinion which would assign a remote antiquity to Kazvin only rests on doubtful documents or on merely gratuitous conjectures.