“Primitive Constellations”

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REFERRING to your reviewer's hostile notice of my work, “Primitive Constellations,” I have seldom realised the strength of my general position until I have seen some attack on it. Against my main contention, i.e. the identity of various Greek and Babylonian constellations, he has nothing to say, except that I start with my “theory ready made.” Really, he does me much honour. Am I the inventor of the “theory” that, e.g., the signs of the Zodiac were derived from Babylonia? But, leaving nine-tenths of the book with merely a little abuse, he has much to say on the transliteration of Babylonian words, and expresses great scorn because, following Prof. Sayce, I deliberately write sa, and not sha, and so on. He says I “really ought to know there is no h in Assyrian.” Indeed. I am at present away from books, but happen to have Sayce's “Assyrian Grammar” at hand. At p. 46 I read, “” Again, I am perfectly aware of the force of “the determinative particle ki,” and, in a book for general readers, have naturally chosen to write “Barsipki,” not “Barsipki,” “Suanaki,” “Tintirki,” &c. If the critic had endeavoured to refute my general proposition, or had carefully examined my treatment of any particular constellation figure, e.g. the Arrow, how much more useful it would have been. But a policy of pin-pricks does not venture on this.

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BROWN, R. “Primitive Constellations”. Nature 60, 31 (1899) doi:10.1038/060031a0

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