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Evil Spirits as a Cause of Sickness in Babylonia1

Nature volume 71, pages 249250 (12 January 1905) | Download Citation



IN a former number of NATURE (vol. lxix., p. 26) the attention of our readers was directed to the appearance of the first volume of a work which Mr. Campbell Thompson, of the British Museum, was devoting to the consideration of the important function which devils; and evil spirits were believed to play in the production of disease by the early inhabitants of Babylonia. It was impossible at that time to state the final conclusions at which Mr. Thompson had arrived, for the publication of his work was not completed; but now that we have the second volume in our hands our readers are in a position to judge for themselves of the character and importance of the results, which have now been clothed in the dress of a modern language for the first time. The sources of such results, we need hardly say, are the terra-cotta tablets of the royal library at Nineveh, now preserved in the British Museum, and after a careful examination of Mr. Thompson's volumes we are able to say that the translator has done his best to reproduce the meaning of the documents which he places before us without unnecessary comments or theories.

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