Skip to main content

Full text of "Proceedings of the American Oriental Society. New Haven, October 17th and 18th, 1860"

See other formats


STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 



PROCEEDINGS 

OF TUB 

AMERICAN ORIENTAL SOCIETY. 



New Haven, October 17th and 18th, I860. 



The Semi-annual Meeting for 1860 of the American Oriental Society 
was held in New Haven, at the residence of Mr. E. E. Salisbury, com- 
mencing on Wednesday, October 17th, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. 
The President being absent, the chair was occupied by Pres't T. I>. 
Woolsey, the only Vice-President present. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and accepted. Dr. Cogswell 
of New York, and Mr. Gilman and Prof. Whitney of New Haven were 
appointed a Committee of Arrangements for the present meeting. 

The Librarian made a brief verbal report respecting the accessions to 
the Library during the past six months (of which he laid a detailed list 
upon the table), and respecting its present condition. He invited the 
members from abroad to visit and examine the Library and Cabinet at their 
place of deposit in Yale College Library, during their stay in the city. 

The Board of Directors recommended to the Society, for election as- 
Corresponding Members, the following gentlemen, accompanying the 
recommendation with a statement of their claims to membership : 
Dr. Adalbert Kuhn, of Berlin. 
Dr. Andrew T. Pratt, Missionary at Aleppoi 

they were thereupon balloted for, and declared duly elected. 

Other gentlemen were, upon the recommendation of the Directors-, 
elected Corporate Members ; the names of such of whom as shall have 
signified their acceptance of membership will be reported at the next 
meeting of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary presented the correspondence of the half- 
year, reading first the more than usually numerous regrets and excuses for 
non-attendance which had been received from members compelled by 
other engagements to be absent from the meeting. Among the letters of 
a more general interest were the following: 

1. From Rev. C. D. Seropyan, dated Paris, March 2nd, 1860, accom- 
panying the donation of two works on topics in the history of Armenia, 
by G. V. Shahnazarian, and also enclosing a manuscript of the same 
author, entitled "Programme of a Collection of Armenian Authors, pub- 
lished under the title 'Armenian Historical Gallery'," of the main- part of 
which a translation (the original is in French) is offered below. 

After a few introductory remarks, Mr. Shahnazarian goes on to say : 

■' After such repeated destructions of our literary monuments— monuments derived 
in great part from the archives and the schools of Edessa, of Nineveh, of Tarsus, of 
Antioch, of Alexandria, of Gome, of Athens, of Byzantium, capitals visited and 
explored, one after another, by most of the Armenian authors — we still possess a 
considerable number of precious works which time has respected. 



ii American Oriental Society : 

" During the three centuries that the Armenians have possessed the art of printing, 
scarcely fourteen or fifteen historical works* have been published : viz. Agathange- 
lus, 1 secretary of King Tiridates, Zcnobius, 5 Faustus of Byzantium, Eoriun, Elisha/ 
Lazarus of Phorbis, 4 Moses of Khorene, 5 John Mamikonian, 6 Sebeos, historian of 
Heraclius, John the patriarch,? Mesrob the priest, 8 Aristakes of Lastivert, 9 archiman- 
drite, prince Hethum Rubenian,' Arakel of Tauris," archimandrite, Thomas Ardz- 
runi,i 2 and perhaps a few others ; while the greater number still remain in manu- 
script, and the learned world is constantly in danger of losing a part of them by 
some unforeseen accident, as has happened so many times. To bring to light, and 
to preserve henceforward, the historical works of my country, I have devoted myself 
during the past fifteen years to searching for manuscript copies of them, especially 
in the rich library of the patriarchal convent of Edchmiadzin, and in those of the 
convents of Siunik, of Mgr. Carapet, Armenian archbishop of Tiflis, of the National 
Museum of Constantinople, of that of Jerusalem, in private collections, and, finally, 
in the Imperial Library of Paris. After having surmounted difficulties of every 
kind, and expended much labor and no small sums of money, I have succeeded in 
forming a considerable collection of these manuscripts, and have undertaken the 
publication of an Armenian Historical Gallery, to be composed of fourteen authors of 
high interest. They are as follows : 

" 1. Leontius, 13 archimandrite, a writer of the 8th century. He treats of the inva- 
sions of Armenia, Georgia, and Caucasian Albania by the Arabs, and of the conquests 
made by them. I have been able to discover only a single manuscript of his work — 
but a very correct one — coming from the convent of St. John Baptist, in the pashalik 
of Museh, and now forming part of the library of the late Mgr. Carapet. On the 
basis of this unique copy I have published the text, with a French translation. 

"2. Stephen Aasoghik," archimandrite, who lived in the 10th century. He com- 
posed, in three books, a very learned abridgment of universal history, at the request 
of the patriarch Sarkis I. He begins with the creation, and ends' with the year 
1004. I have published the work from three manuscripts, of which one was copied 
by myself at Siunik, the second belongs to the Carapet library, and the third to 
P. Alichan, Director of the Armenian college Samuel Moorat at Paris. 

"3. Sembath the constable, prince of Coricos, 15 an author of the 18th century. 
He composed a book of annals, starting from the year 952. It treats of the principal 
events in Armenia, of the Lower Empire, and of the Crusades, and is brought down 
to 1277. I have published an edition of it, founded on three manuscripts .... 

"4. Vahram Rabuni, 16 vardapet, secretary of the Armenian king Leon III, in the 
13th century. It relates in verse the history of the Rubenians of Lesser Armenia, 
where the Armenian family of Rubenians, allied later to the French house of Lusig- 
nan, reigned for three hundred years. I have published it from two manuscripts. . . 
There was published in 1831 an English translation of the work, by K. F.Neumann. 
" 5. Stephen Orbelian," metropolitan of Siunik, also of the 13th century. He has 
left a complete history of the province of Lissak, and of the different families who 
have possessed it ; among others, of the Orbelian princes, from whom he is himself 
descended. This chapter was translated by Saint-Martin, and published in 1819, as 
part of the work entitled Memoires Historiques et Geographiques sur 1' Armenia. 
Stephen Orbelian gives precious details respecting the invasions of the Mongols ; he 
copies a great number of inscriptions extant at his period, and presents the nomencla- 
ture of all the convents, villages, cities, and cantons of that province. The whole work 
includes seventy-five chapters. I have published it from three manuscripts. . . . 

"The learned Saint- Martin, lacking a profound knowledge of the Armenian lan- 
guage, and also led astray by an incomplete and faulty manuscript, has fallen into 
serious errors, which I have pointed out in my edition, and in my explanatory notes. 
" These five works, compared, corrected, explained by means of considerable notes, 
enriched with biographies of their authors, and with an introduction to each vol- 

* We add, in connection with the author* and works mentioned in thia Programme, references to 

Mr. Dwight's Catalogue of Works in the Armenian Language, published in Vol. iii of the Society's 

Journal. Comm. of Pnm.. 

1 See Journ., iii. 246. i Ibid., p. 247. 3 Ibid., p. 250. 4 Ibid. , p. 247. 

5 Ibid., p. 248. 6 Ibid., p. 252. 7 Ibid., p. 256. 8 Ibid., p. 259. 

9 Ibid., p. 260. 10 Ibid., p. 273. 11 Ibid., p. 277. 12 Ibid., p. 257. 

13 Ibid., p. 258. 14 Ibid., p. 259. 15 Ibid., p. 276. 16 Ibid., p. 272. 
17 Ibid., p. 271. 



Proceedings at New Haven, Oct., 1860. iii 

ume, have left the press during the years 1868 and 1869, published almost entirely 
at my expense. They are to be purchased of the editor, at Paris (No. 86, Rue de 
I'Ouest), at 9 francs a volume. 

" 6. Moses of Albania, 18 or of Calancaituatz, has just been put to press. This au- 
thor composed his historical work, in three books, in the first half of the 7th century. 
It is of great importance, as being the only one which brings to our knowledge the 
history of Albania, of the Huns, of the Khozars, and of other neighboring races. 
His story, which breaks off in the middle of the 7th century, has been continued to 
the 10th by an anonymous author. I possess four copies of it. . . . 

"7. The Universal History of Michael, patriarch of the Syrians, of the 12th cen- 
tury. This extremely interesting work was translated from the Syriac into the Ar- 
menian, shortly after the death of its author. I do not know whether the Syriac 
original is in existence ; but the Armenian version, made by Chot, and revised by 
the learned Vardan Vardapet, and bearing the marks of the decadence of the Ar- 
menian language, leaves nothing to be desired, as concerns its fidelity. My edition 
of this work will be founded on three manuscripts, the first of which, being complete 
and correct, belongs to the Armenian Museum of Constantinople, and has been kindly 
lent me for collation ; the second I myself copied at Edchmiadzin ; the third, which 
is incomplete and incorrect, belongs to the Imperial Library of Paris. It is from 
this latter copy that the learned M. Dulaurier has given an extract in French. 

" 8. The Chronology of Samuel, 1 ' priest of the cathedral of Ani, capital of Arme- 
nia under the Bagratides; a work of no great extent, but of extreme accuracy, and 
composed by order of the patriarch Gregory IV, in the 12th century. The method 
of Samuel of Ani reminds one of that of Eusebius of Cesarea. An anonymous 
author has continued it down to the 13th century. The edition of Samuel of Ani 
will be based upon four copies. . . . 

"9. Mekhithar, 20 a monk of Airivank, a writer of the 13th century, and of im- 
mense learning. By means of concentric circles, he has traced a view of the astro- 
nomy of his period, and has drawn out, in parallel columns, lists of all sovereigns, 
pontiffs, patriarchs, and Armenian and foreign authors, adding sundry essays on the 
creation of the world and on the celestial spheres. I possess of this work at pres- 
ent but a single copy, made by myself. ... 

"10. Matthew of Edessa, 21 an author of the 12th century. He throws a vivid 
light upon the history of the races of Western Asia in the Middle Ages, and espe- 
cially upon the Crusades. The priest Gregory is his continuer. I possess of his 
work but a single incorrect copy. The copies belonging to the Imperial Library of 
Paris and to that of the convent of the Mekhitharists at Venice are unfortunately 
in the 6ame condition, and of no more value than my own. M. Dulaurier has this 
year published Matthew of Edessa in a French translation. 

"11. Cy riacus of Gandzak.M vardapet, a writer of the 1 3th century. He has com- 
posed a History of Armenia, covering a period of near a thousand years. As con- 
temporary, prisoner, and interpreter of the Tatars, he furnishes precious details re- 
specting that people. I have two copies of this history : the first is the more cor- 
rect, but not complete : it was given me by the Armenian Museum of Constantino- 
ple. My second copy is complete, but not very correct: I expect a third, from the 
library of the Armenian convent of Jerusalem, which will soon be sent me. 

"12. Vardan Vardapet of Baretzerberd, 23 of the 13th century, a fellow-disciple of 
Cyriacus of Gandzak, profoundly learned, and especially distinguished as a linguist. 
He lias left us a complete history of Armenia from the time of Haik down to his 
own period. I have but a single copy of it, but expect another from Constantinople. 

" 13. Malachi the monk," likewise of the 13th century. His work is entirely devo- 
ted to an account of the invasions of the Mongols, who bore rule in Armenia for 
nearly two centuries. A single copy of it is at my disposal. 

" 14. Thomas of Medzob,^ vardapet, of the 18th century. He has composed, as 
an eye-witness, a brief history of Tamerlane, and of the principal events of his time. 
The copy which I have in my hands is very correct ; the Imperial Library of Paris 
also possesses an excellent copy, made at the convent of the Mekhitharists at Ven- 
ice upon the collation of four manuscripts. M. Neve has published at Paris, in the 
year 1855, a study upon Thomas of Medzob and his history." 



18 Ibid., p. 25 >. 19 Ibid., p. 266. 20 Ibid., p. 271. 21 Ibid . a 264 

22 Ibid., p. 267. 23 Ibid., p. 272. 21 Ibid., p. 271. 25 Ibid., p. 27s! 



iy American Oriental Society : 

2. From Rev. J. Austin Merrick, dated Paris, Ky., Sept. 17th, 1860. 
After expressing his regret at being unable to attend the Society's meet- 
ing, Mr. Merrick says : 

" .... Tou have doubtless seen newspaper notices of the alleged discovery, in 
excavating a mound in Newark, Ohio, of a peculiarly shaped stone, described as a 
truncated pyramid, four or five inches long, and marked on its four sides in low re- 
lief with Hebrew characters. It claims to be an Oriental symbol, of unknown an- 
tiquity and of a masonic origin, and for these reasons has attracted some attention 
from Oriental scholars and antiquarians in different sections of the country. 

" It is almost needless for me to state that, having been asked my opinion by inter- 
ested parties, it was unhesitatingly given adversely to the genuineness of the monu- 
ment as an ancient symbol, or as a work of any character anterior to our own day. 
Indeed, you will see, by the photographed and traced copies of it herewith forwarded 
to your address, that it carries its condemnation on its face, as a bungling imitation 
of the printed Chaldee letters in oar later editions of the Hebrew Bible. ..." 

The copies sent by Mr. Merrick were passed around among the mem- 
bers present, and no person was found disposed to differ from the opinion 
expressed by that gentleman, while some surprise was manifested that so 
transparent a fraud, or piece of pleasantry, should have made so much 
stir, and deceived so many people. 

Communications were now called for. 

1. On the Vocabulary of the Modern Greek Language, by Mr. F. P. 
Brewer, of New Haven. 

After premising that a considerable portion of the words in Modern Greek are 
the same, or nearly the same, with those of the ancient language, Mr. Brewer con- 
sidered first the changes of form which they had in many cases undergone, attribu- 
ting them in part to the degradation of the people, and in part to the phonetical 
corruptions to which every language is subject. Some words were claimed to pre- 
serve ante-classical elements, and many new forms to exhibit the carrying out of 
principles developed in the language during its classical period. The formation of 
new words as substitutes for old ones was illustrated by numerous examples, classi- 
fied under several heads. It was shown to be called for in many cases by ambigu- 
ities arising from a new pronunciation or from other causes. Some new meanings are 
the result of metonymy ; others are euphemistic. A few contain references to local 
customs. The Hellenistic phase of the modern language was pointed out as of con- 
spicuous importance, and was traced to its natural cause, in the currency given by 
the New Testament to the colloquial dialect of the Grecian Jews. In conclusion, 
Mr. Brewer offered some reflections on the attempts now making to resuscitate the 
ancient Greek as the cultivated and literary language of the modern kingdom, and 
considered briefly the probable issue of die attempt and the future history of the 
language. 

Remarks and comments followed the reading of Mr. Brewer's paper, 
turning especially upon the last point discussed by him, respecting which 
some diversity of opinion was manifested. 

2. On the Oriental Works in the Astor Library, by Dr. J. G. Cogswell, 
of New York. 

Dr. Cogswell laid before the meeting, and read in part, a list of the latest addi- 
tions to the Oriental department of the Astor Library. He spoke of the warm in- 
terest taken by himself in the progress of Oriental study, and of his desire to con- 
tribute what he could to its advancement, by providing for special students the 
means of pursuing their researches to the best advantage ; which desire, he said, had 
led him to give the department a special share of attention in making purchases of 
books. He cordially invited the members of the Society to examine and make use 
of the collection, and also to suggest the names of works with which they would 
desire to see it farther enriched. 



Proceedings at New Raven, Oct., 1860. v 

3. On the Kings of Mandala, as commemorated in a Sanskrit Inscrip- 
tion of the 17th Century, by Fitz-Edward Hall, D.C.L. 

4. Two Inscriptions pertaining to the Paramkra Rulers of Malava ; the 
Sanskrit, with Translations and Remarks. By the same. 

These two papers form the first two articles in the seventh volume of the Socie- 
ty's Journal, now in process of publication. In the absence of their author, who has 
recently returned to his post as Inspector of Schools for the Saugor and Nerbudda 
Territory in India, they were laid before the Society by the Corresponding Secre- 
tary. The latter gave some account of Mr. Hall's labors in Sanskrit epigraphy. 
He described the two classes of inscriptions to which those treated in the papers 
under notice belong — the one commemorative of the erection and endowment of sa- 
cred edifices and their appendages, the other recording formal grants of lands and 
villages to Brahmans — and read enough of their translations to illustrate the gen- 
eral character of such monuments, as well as the special features of the specimens 
of them here presented. He pointed out some of the valuable results derived from 
the inscriptions, or from Mr. Hall's remarks and notes called out by them ; espe- 
cially the correction of Lassen's error respecting the period of Udayaditya of Malava. 

5. On the Greek Augment, and on Processes of Growth in Language, 
by Mr. Jacob Wilson, of Canajoharie, N. Y. 

Mr. Wilson considered the origin and character of the augment of the Greek verb, 
which he regarded as identical with the reduplication. He compared it also with 
certain prefixes in other languages, of which he discussed the significance and mode 
of development. 

6. On Tamil Metre and Music, by Rev. Edward Webb, Missionary at 
Dindigal, Southern India. 

Mr. Webb gave a summary account of the method of construction of Tamil 
verse, defining and naming first the two kinds of syllables, then the feet, and then 
the stanzas into which these are combined. He described the attempts of the 
Christian missionaries in Southern India to introduce our own metres and hymn- 
tunes as part of the worship of the congregations of native converts, and the com- 
plete failure which had attended them ; it had been found impossible to make the 
natives recognize any measure in the verse, or learn to sing the music. In view of 
this, an effort had been made to obtain Christian songs written by the converts, in 
their own metres, and adapted to their own melodies, and with the most satisfac- 
tory results. A large number of Christian lyrics had been collected, well suited to 
be introduced into Christian worship, and calculated to help the cause of Christian- 
ity. Translations of a number of these were read by Mr. Webb, and were listened 
to with much interest and admiration. He also read specimens of the original 
hymns, in illustration of their peculiar rhythmical character, which would be styled 
in the West highly artificial, being marked with profuse and elaborate rhyme, allite- 
ration, and assonance. He described the musical modes of the Hindus, accepted 
throughout all India under the same Sanskrit appellations, briefly indicating their 
relation to the European scale, and referring to the special adaptedness to the expres- 
sion of different emotions, and to employment at different seasons and different 
parts of the day, claimed for them by the natives : finally, as a practical illustration, 
he sang several of them to the hymns which he had before read. 

7. On a Revolution in the Ancient Religion of Greece, by Prof. J. C. 
Moffat, of Princeton. 

Prof. Moffat alluded to the fact that Greek literature bears deep marks of an 
ancient religious revolution. Viewing the Greeks as belonging to two great divis- 
ions, the northern, and the southern with eastern connections, or the Hellenes and 
the Pelasgi or Ionians, he held that the revolution occurred in the religion of the 
former, at the meeting of the two races, and in and about Thessaly. The religion 
overthrown was a nature-worship ; that set up in its stead was more akin with the 
earlier civilization of the region, and presented gods having an independent ex- 
istence. The head of the new religion was without a proper name in Greek, Ztis 



vi American Oriental Society : 

designating him simply as ' god,' and Zsi>s Ttafrip as the * father god.' The religion 
came from the Pelasgi, who learned their divine names from the East, especially 
from Egypt. The Pelasgic Dodona was the earliest Hellenic seat of the Jupiter 
worship. Prof. Moffat then proceeded to establish, by comparison of traditions 
and observances, his belief that the Jupiter of Dodona was identical with the Amun 
of Ammonium and of Thebes, before the latter absorbed the attributes of the ram- 
headed god Num : and that the worship of Amun came from Ethiopia, and in its 
original purity was a true worship of the unseen god, as separate from his works — 
the name Amun signifying ' unseen ' or ' concealed.' Accepted by the Pelasgi, who 
worshipped the god without a name, that religion was afterwards communicated by 
them to the ruder tribes migrating in upon them from the north. The writer then 
attempted to approximate to the date at which this change in the religion of the 
Hellenic people took place, and concluded that it was not long before the Trojan war. 
In criticism of Prof. Moffat's views, Prof. Hadley, of New Haven, remarked that 
the word Zei>s was proved .by the analogy of the kindred languages, especially of 
the Sanskrit, to mean originally the ' sky,' and to be accordingly the name of a 
divinity belonging to a nature-religion, while the attributes assigned to the god also 
strongly favored the same conclusion. 

At this stage of proceedings, the Society adjourned until the next day. 



On assembling again on Thursday morning, at half past eight o'clock, 
at the same place, the Society continued to listen to communications. 

8. On the Phonetic Processes exemplified in the English Language, 
by Prof. J. W. Gibbs, of Yale College. 

In this paper the author pointed out the principal processes of euphonic change 
developed in the history of the forms of speech of the Indo-European family, and 
more especially of the Teutonic branch of that family, as they present themselves 
in the words and forms of the English language, for the purpose of showing the 
importance of recognizing them in English grammar. 

9. On a Recent Memoir by Professor Chwolson of St. Petersburgh, 
entitled " Remains of Ancient Babylonian Literature in Arabic Transla- 
tions," by Prof. James Hadley, of Yale College. 

This memoir of Prof. Chwolson is printed in a separate form from the Memoires 
des Savants Etrangers, St. Petersburgh, 1859. It is in German, and fills nearly 200 
quarto pages. Its author is a pupil of Movers, the great explorer of Phoenician 
antiquities, and in many points resembles his lamented master. He published in 
] 866 a work of remarkable originality and learning on the " Sabians and Sabianism." 
Since then he has been much engaged in studying the productions which form the 
subject of this memoir. They are a series of Arabic texts, not yet published, which 
purport to be translations, made about 900 A.D., from originals composed in a lan- 
guage called " Nabathrean." They were described in part by Quatremere in his 
Memoire sur les Nabateens, Journal Asiatique, t. xv, 1 835 ; but no one before Chwol- 
son has given them a thorough study. He proposes to edit them, and states that 
they will make four quarto volumes of 600 pages each. His object in this memoir 
— of which the leading points were given by Prof., Hadley — is to furnish a general 
account of the books, their contents and character, to discuss their authorship, with 
the times and places of their origin, and to indicate his reasons for referring them in 
part to a very high antiquity : for he regards the most important one as older by 
seven centuries than Nebuchadnezzar. He begins by showing that there is no im- 
possibility in supposing that the Chaldseans should have reached an advanced point 
in literature and science at such an early period, so long before the beginning of Greek 
culture. He then enumerates the Arabic texts, and speaks of Ibn-Wahshiyyah, the 
professed translator. He was a native of southern Chaldsea, and therefore a Naba- 
thsean; for this term, as used by the Arabs, referred in a stricter sense to the Chal- 
dseans, while in a wider sense it included the Aramseans and Canaanites, and in fact 
all Semitic- speaking races, except perhaps the Arabs. The mass of his countrymen 
were still heathen, and spoke, though in a corrupt form, the old Babylonian language. 



Proceedings at New Haven, Oct., 1860. vii 

Ibn-Wahshiyyah was a man of much travel, and much knowledge of physical sci- 
ence, which procured for him in later times the reputation of a conjuror. Though a 
Mohammedan, he hated the Arabs, and resented their contempt for his countrymen. 
It was to overcome this contempt that he undertook to render into Arabic a number 
of works from the surviving remains of Nabathaean (or ancient Babylonian) litera- 
ture. The originals he procured with difficulty, their heathen custodians being afraid 
to trust them in Moslem hands. The works placed at his disposal included books 
on religion, natural history, medicine, astrology, and perhaps astronomy and history : 
of these he translated only a part, and of his translations only a part have come 
down to us. Chwolson finds reason to regard him as a competent and faithful 
translator. Among his extant versions, the longest, and in all respects the most 
important, is that which the Arabs call the " Book of Nabathiean Agriculture." It 
is almost encyclopaedical in extent and variety, treating of all matters connected 
with the cultivation and productions of the soil, and touching incidentally on many 
things, historical, philosophical, social, and religious, which have little relation to 
agriculture. Its professed author is Qut'ami, who describes himself as a Chaldamn, 
resident in Babylon, but owning large estates in the country. He is a man of phi- 
losophic culture, and of true scientific spirit, a liberal inquirer, and opposed at heart 
to the prevailing polytheism of his countrymen. He makes quotations, almost 
without number, from a host of preceding authors. Some ten or twelve of these 
are specially described by Chwolson, with loose estimates of the intervals of time 
between them, the earliest, Dewanai, being placed more than 1000 years before 
Qut'ami. The most prominent are YanbAshad, a sage and saint, of monotheistic 
tendencies, who lived perhaps 400 years before Qut'ami, and Dhagrit', who may 
have lived 200 years earlier. Among the rest, we find the names of Adami, Ishit'a, 
Anuhd, Ibrahim, which remind us of the patriarchs Adam, Seth, Noah, Abraham, 
though Chwolson regards them as wholly distinct. The last two are spoken of as 
Canaanites, and Qut'ami repeatedly alludes to a Canaanitish dynasty as having long 
before conquered Babylonia under a chief named Nemroda (apparently the Nimrod 
of Genesis), and as being still dominant in that country. This dynasty Chwolson 
identifies with the so-called Arabic kings of Berosus : their rule in Babylonia, which 
commenced about the middle of the 1 6th century, he conceives to have been estab- 
lished by some of the Hyksos then driven out of Egypt; and as their line ended 
soon after the beginning of the 1 Sth century, he concludes that Qut'ami must have 
written before 1 300 B. 0. A number of objections to this prodigious antiquity (part 
of them already suggested by E wald) are considered and answered, the most serious 
being those arising from the way in which the Greeks (or Ionians) are often referred 
to by Qut'ami and his predecessors. 

Beside the Book of Nabathsean Agriculture, we find in the Arabic versions of 
Ibn-Wahshiyyah — 1. A book on Poisons, which is mainly the work of Yarbuqa, a 
writer older even than Qut'ami — 2. A book of Astrology, or horoscopic signs, by a 
writer named Tenkelusha, who seems to have lived not very long before the final 
destruction of Babylon in the second century after Christ — 3. Some fragments of 
another work entitled " Mysteries of the Sun and Moon." 

Prof. Hadley confined himself, for the most part, to representing the statements 
and arguments of the memoir under review, though not without indicating various 
difficulties and improbabilities which appear to beset them. In conclusion, he gave 
the resume in which Chwolson sketches, with lofty eloquence and glowing enthusi- 
asm, the results to be gained for the history of human culture from these newly 
recognized remains of ancient Babylonian literature. 

10. On the Late Dealings between China and the Western Powers, by 
Dr. S. Wells Williams, of Canton. 

Dr. Williams, who, as interpreter to the American embassies, had borne a share 
personally in all the recent negotiations with China, gave the Society a sketch 
of the transactions between China and the English, French, Russians, and Ameri- 
cans, which had led to the formation of the treaties of Tientsin, and likewise 
of the later proceedings of the English and French in the Pei-ho, which resulted in 
the disastrous repulse of the allied fleets from before the forts at the mouth of the 
river. Of the expedition of the American embassy from Peh-tang to Pekin imme- 
diately after, for the purpose of exchanging ratifications of the American treaty, as 



viii American Oriental Society : 

also of the negotiations at Pekin respecting an audience with the emperor, which 
resulted in failure, from the steady refusal of the embassador to pay him the homage 
of kneeling. Dr. Williams gave a somewhat detailed account, partly oral, and partly 
from a report of the journey already published by him in the Journal of the North- 
China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (Shanghai, 1859). He explicitly denied 
the stories which had been extensively circulated — partly in anticipation of the facta 
— of the treatment of the embassy with indignity or want of ceremonious attention 
on the part of the Chinese, and maintained that the latter had acted throughout in 
good faith, and with candor and liberality ; that they were sincerely desirous that 
the ratification and the presentation to the emperor should take place, and had 
withdrawn vastly more than ever before of their assumption of superiority and 
claim to homage, but were unable to prevail upon themselves to give up the point 
of kneeling. He saw no reason to doubt that preparation had been made at Pekin 
for the reception of all the embassies, and that they were to have been conducted 
thither from Peh-tang. The different course taken by the English and Americans in 
this business had finally convinced the Chinese of what they had never before fully 
believed, namely the entire independence of the two governments. 

Dr. Williams farther favored the Society with a brief exposition of the present 
condition of China, and his views as to the probable resnlt of the pending troubles, 
internal and external, of the empire ; speaking upon the latter point, however, only 
diffidently and without certainty. He described the rebellion as rather a devasta- 
ting foray and military occupation of certain provinces than a division of the empire : 
the rebels organized nothing, and, as soon as they quitted a province, it reverted to 
its ancient condition under imperial authority. Of the mongrel Christianity pro- 
fessed by them he spoke doubtfully, but thought that their iconoclasm and indepen- 
dence of traditional authority might be agencies for good among the Chinese people. 

11. On Muller's History of Vedic Literature, by Prof. W.D. Whitney, 
of Yale College. 

This paper was an analysis and criticism of Prof. Max Mailer's late volume, en- 
titled " A History of Ancient Sanskrit literature, so far as it illustrates the Primi- 
tive Religion of the Brahman3 " (London, 1859). The writer began with a Bketch 
of Prof. Muller's literary life and labors, and an exposition of his superior claims to 
the succession of Wilson's chair at Oxford, for which he is now competing. He then 
proceeded to set forth the general character and objects of the work, and to com- 
ment upon some of its statements and deductions. He presented its four-fold divis- 
ion of the Vedic period — into the sub-periods of the Sfltras, of the Brabmanas, of 
the collection of the hymns, and of their composition— rehearsing the grounds upon 
which this was founded : but he was not disposed to accept its chronological deter- 
mination of the time of the periods— by which the earliest was made to include from 
1200-1000 B.C. — as of any authority or positive value. In connection herewith, 
he spoke of the extreme difficulty attending the settlement of dates in Hindu his- 
tory, and of the successive overthrows experienced by conclusions once thought to 
be firmly established : the work in hand affording such an instance, in the disproof 
of the currently accepted date of Buddha's death, 543 B. O., and of the reliability of 
Buddhist chronology prior to 250 B. C. The claim of Miiller that the Vedic litera- 
ture was produced without and prior to all knowledge of the art of writing was 
next discussed : Prof. Whitney gave the reasons which led him to question this con- 
clusion, and to believe rather that the art was disowned and ignored in the litera- 
ture which must have been constructed partly by its aid, and exoterically in the 
Brahman schools, in order to maintain the Brahman monopoly of the sacred knowl- 
edge and of its propagation by tradition and oral instruction. He farther expressed 
his dissent from Muller's opinion that traces of a primitive monotheism are discov- 
erable in the Vedas, and finally criticised certain views respecting the early history 
and migrations of nations, brought forward in the introductory portions of the work, 
as having a form and significance which were rhetorical rather than scientific. 

No farther communications being offered, the Directors announced that 
the next meeting would be held in Boston, on Wednesday the 22nd of 
May, 1861, and that they had appointed Dr. Beck, Mr. Abbot, and Prof. 
Whitney a Committee of Arrangements for it; and the Society adjourned.