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Baruch, the Testaments of the twelve patriarchs, and the life of Adam and Eve. Ecclesiasticus continues to give rise to much critical and exegetical literature. We quote the following among those which have appeared on this subject : König has endeavoured to show the originality of the Hebrew text, lately discovered, of the wisdom of Jesus, son of Sirach ;* Nöldeke (Zeitschrift für die alttest. Wissenschaft, vol. i., 1900) has introduced some remarks on the Hebrew of Ben Sira. Finally, in the Revue biblique internationale (a Dominican Catholic publication)† Touzard has commenced an investigation on the new Hebrew fragments of Ecclesiasticus.
Professor Basset, in his interesting Ethiopian Apocrypha series (No. X.), has published “ La Sagesse de Sibylle."| The Ghéez version of this work, unpublished, and translated for the first time, is of rather recent date, and is derived from a lost Arabic translation ; at the British Museum and elsewhere there are several manuscripts of this text. The original of this Apocrypha appears to be Syriac. From this Syriac original, from which a lost Armenian translation was made, are derived the Arabic versions (two in number), Ethiopian and Carchonian Arabic in Syriac characters) which are in our possession. The contents of this apocrypha would indicate its date to be towards the middle of the thirteenth century (12471250). Basset prefaces the Ethiopian translation with a very instructive and clear introduction, and ends with a translation of the two Arabic versions (of the Bibliothèque nationale) of the Sibylle of Tibur (according to the edition of Sackur), and some chapters on the end of the world from the “ Perle des merveilles," by Ibn el Ouardi.
By putting the texts together, one can thus compare the Christian and Mussulman apocryphal traditions, and explain the influence which the former exercised over the latter. Professor Basset is to be congratulated on his successful efforts.
The publication (text and translation) of the Talmud of Babylon by L. Goldschmidt continues ; the second part of the treatise “ Erubin ” has appeared. One cannot give too much encouragement for the completion of this important series.
In terminating the Hebrew part of this report we must point out a new book by N. Slouchz: “Emile Zola, sa vie, son oeuvre,” written in Hebrew." Zola, by the prominent part he played in the Dreyfus affair, could not but stir up enthusiasın and sympathy amongst the Israelites. The work, which Slouchz dedicates to him, is a fresh proof of it. It is divided into three parts : the man, the author, his works. After having related the life of Zola, the author describes the writer from a literary, philosophical, and psychological point of view. There is an interesting chapter where the author establishes a parallel, which is not without grandeur or truth, between Zola and the prophets.
* “Die Originalität des Hebr. Sirach textes." Freiburg.i.-B., Mohr, 1899.
& The two different versions of the Arabic translation from which the Ghéez text is derived. || Berlin, Calvary, 1899.
1 xbor bapax. Warschau, verlag Tuschijah, 1899.
The book finishes with a short analysis of every book published by the celebrated novelist. Slouchz writes Hebrew admirably. From a perusal of his writings, we are surprised at the facility and elegance in which the ancient Biblical language appears; he is a master of this forcible language, of which the Old Testament presents so many admirable pages.
ISLAMISM AND ARABIC LITERATURE. A new translation of the “Thousand and One Nights” has begun to appear in French, three volumes of which I have before me.* This translation, which will consist of a considerable number of volumes, is due to an enthusiastic admirer of the famous collection of Arab stories, Dr. Mardrus. The work is well got up, but the author claims perfect literality, more so than even Burton, and has fallen, in this respect, into exaggeration. It is, in fact, a useless literality, and rather ridiculous to translate, as, for instance, “The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night,” or “she threw her soul into the water.” One knows that the Arab employs certain words (soul, etc.) with the pronominal suffix in place of the personal pronoun (“she threw herself into the water ”). Also : “He drank at the eye of a running stream "; the word eye in Arabic means also source, etc. The author also pays particular attention to detail in his translation of delicate passages in the Arabic text; literality is here transformed into an analysis of the original, which savours somewhat of the indecent expressions of the text. He should have been satisfied with being exact without running the risk of being accused of obscenity.
Apropos of the “Thousand and One Nights," we may mention an interesting work on folklore by Chauvin, entitled "Mahmud," or the Legend of the Barber Assassin.t In this work there is a very true observation : “ An event which has happened everywhere (like the story of Mahmud) has probably happened nowhere, and one finds in it inventions of the nature of the ritual of manslaughter or the poisoning of wells, which had the result of stirring up an ignorant and cruel people against certain persecuted races, such as the Christians or the Jews.”
In the Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (vol. i., 1900) may be noticed a very short article by Goldziher on (Deut. xxii. 11; Lev. xix. 19)—that is to say, on the mixture of tissues (wool and flax) in one and the same dress. It is proved that the Arabian authors had a knowledge of magical practices obtained by an identical mixture of similar products (wool and cotton), the one of animal and the other of vegetable origin.
We have reserved our conclusion for the mention of an important work on "L'Islam dans L'Afrique occidentale," by A. Le Chatelier, to which we desire to draw our readers' particular attention. This remarkabie work of Le Chatelier, the materials of which were gathered on the spot by the author in the course of his travels in Senegal, Gambia, Sudan, etc., is divided into three parts. The first part treats of the countries (land and soil), the inhabitants (the different races and their history), their creeds
Paris, éditions de la Revue Blanche, 1899-1900. + Wallonia, Liége (January 13, 1900).
# Paris, Steinheil, 1899.
(the coming of Islam, and its conquests before the modern period), of Western Africa (Songhai, Berbers, Arabs, Sudanese races, Jews). The author has devoted special attention to the Mandés, and, above all, to the Peuls. Several well-got-up maps of the Mandé and Peul countries, and the propagation of Islam by migrations, help us to follow the text more easily and to discriminate amongst the mass of matter quoted. The second part relates to the revival and the propagation of Islam in the same countries in modern times. We there read the very captivating history of El Hadj Omar, the surprising epopee of Samory, not to speak of other less illustrious chiefs whose power was considerable.
In conclusion, the author tells us of the actual state of Islam (the repartition of Mussulmans, local characters of religious influences, rites and doctrines, the future of Sudanese Islam). Several maps serve to enrich and explain the two latter parts, which end with a lengthy bibliography and an analytical index.
Le Chatelier's work is the history of the conquests of Islam in Western Africa. It is enriched with documents, and is written with the greatest impartiality. The author points out the colossal power of Islam ; he endeavours to discover its causes and its raison d'être. He does not conceal the drawbacks of Christian missionary work, and enters into the numerous considerations and conclusions from the French political standpoint, which we cannot discuss here. He believes in the future of Sudanese Islam, and explains what steps should be taken to limit its propagation. The author is quite right in laying stress on the great force given to Islam by its language-the Arabic-and on the commercial power it possesses. To sum up, Le Chatelier's work is to be warmly recommended to those who study Islam in its actual advance. It is a book full of facts, and written in good faith. One cannot say this of all publications which appear on Islam.
In conclusion we announce a very interesting article by Doutté on the Marabouts ("Notes sur l'Islam maghribin ") which appeared in the Revue de l'histoire des religions (November December, 1899).
CLARENDON PRESS, OXFORD.
SACRED BOOKS OF THE BUDDHISTS.
EDITED BY F. MAX MÜLLER.
VOL. II.: DIALOGUES OF THE BUDDHA, TRANSLATED FROM THE
PALI BY T. W. Rhys Davids.
By John BEAMES, B.S.C. (RETD.).
This is a further instalment of translations of the vast collection of Buddhist religious works, an immense undertaking which nothing but extreme zeal and interest in the subject could induce any European scholar to undertake. Thirteen Suttantas are here translated, the endless repetitions which render Buddhist literature so repulsive and wearisome being omitted, and each text being provided with a learned introduction and copious notes. In a preface are contained valuable notes on the probable age of the dialogues. While in a field hitherto, in comparison of its vastness, so little worked, much must still remain undecided, the learned translator, however, has given all the evidence available for establishing what he modestly calls a "working hypothesis," which further researches may either confirm or modify. The Digha and Majjhima Nikayas, as these dialogues are called in Pali, are proved to be older than Milinda, which was written in Northern India about the time of the Christian era. They are older than the Kathá Vatthu, written at Patna in the middle of the third century B.C. They are older than inscriptions of the same century. They are older than Asoka. There is even fairly good reason for assuming that they are as old as the fifth or sixth century B.C., which brings them up to the period immediately following the death of the Buddha.
As usual in Indian teaching in schools of every kind, the instruction imparted by the Buddha took the form of sútras, or aphorisms, short sentences intended to serve as a memoria technica, while their full meaning was to be developed either by oral instruction or by written commentaries. It is necessary to bear this in mind in order to understand, not only the form and arrangement, but also the subjects of these discourses. They range over a wide area, including moral teaching, the ascetic life, caste, the claims and position of Brahmans, and many other points of minor interest. As in other Buddhist texts, there are many curious and interesting allusions which throw light on the habits and customs of the people of India in those distant times, though from the nature of the subjects treated there is perhaps less information of this kind than is found in the Játakas. The notes throughout are a mine of information, and the whole work is well worthy of the reputation of the learned translator and editor.
For facility of reference we publish with some of our quarterly reviews of one or more of “The Sacred Books of the East” Series, a complete list of them, brought up to date, which we hope our readers and Oriental scholars generally will consider to be a useful addition, The Series now stands as follows (1st April, 1900): THE SACRED Τ SACRED BOOKS
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W. WEST. Part III.
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cloth. tka, and Baudhâyana. Translated by Georg BüHLER. Vol. XXV. Manu. Translated by GEORG Part I. Second Edition. Ios. 6d.
BÜHLER. Vol. III. The Sacred Books of China. The
Vol. XXVI. The Satapatha-Brâhmana. TransTexts of Confucianism. Translated by JAMES LEGGE. Part I.
lated by Julius EGGELING. Part II. Books III. and IV.
12s. 6. Vol. IV. The Zend-Avesta. Part I. The Vendidad. Translated by JAMES DARMESTETER. Second
Vols. XXVII. and XXVIII. The Sacred Books edition.
of China. The Texts of Confucianism. Translated by 145.
JAMES LEGGE. Parts III. and IV. 255. Vol. V. The Pahlavi Texts. Translated by E.
Vols. XXIX. and XXX. W. WEST. Part I.
The Grihya-Sôtras, 12s, 6d.
Rules of Vedic Domestic Ceremonies. Translated by Vols. VI. and IX. The Qur'an. Translated by HERMANN OLDENBERG. E. H. PALMER. 215.
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* Published at the Clarendon Press, Oxford.