Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/132

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116
SHEMITIC CIVILIZATION.

lects of the Caucasus, the Greek and Latin languages, with their derivatives, the Slavonic, German, and Celtic, form one vast family entirely distinct from the Shemitic group, under the name of Indo-Germanic, or Indo-European.

The line of demarcation, revealed by the comparative study of languages, was soon strengthened by the study of literatures, institutions, manners, and religions. If we know how to assume the right point of view in such a careful comparison, it is seen that the ancient literatures of India, Greece, Persia, and the German or Teutonic nations, are of a common stock, and exhibit deeply rooted similarity of mind. The literature of the Hebrews and that of the Arabs, have much in common; while on the contrary they have as little as possible with those which I have just named. We should search in vain for an epic or a tragedy among the Shemitic nations; as vainly should we search among the Indo-European nations for anything analogous to the Kasida of