Edinburgh Review,  1 (1802–03), 412–21.

Art.XIII. [Review of Oupnek'hat, by Abraham H Anquetil-Duperron]

[Alexander Hamilton] *



Publications reviewed:

Duperron 1801–02


Ancient Authorities, Superstition, Religion, Reason

    Observes that, 'of the false religions which have successively obtained in the world, the absurd dogmata have frequently furnished a striking contrast with the state of science amongst their followers. [...] the massive structures of ancient Egypt attest considerable progress in mechanics; but the wars of Typhon and Osiris, and the obscene rites of their local deities, are an insult to reason, and to nature. Would we profit by Grecian science, it is to Aristotle, and not Hesiod, we must have recourse; yet the old bard was probably the faithful historian of opinions which prevailed more or less generally, till Europe was enlightened by the divine rays of a religion revealed from above. The Coran [sic] relates that Mohammed was transported into the moon; but the Khalifs who succeeded him and implicitly believed in the pretend miracle, employed mathematicians to measure a degree of the circle. From these observations, our reader will possibly infer, that if Indian literature be capable of affording curious or instructive information, it is probably not from the sacred Vedas that the stream will flow' (413–14). Goes on to criticise Abraham H Anquetil-Duperron's ability to translate the text of the Vedas from either the original Sanscrit or the later Persian translations into Latin; inserts both the original and the translated version of the preface of the Persian translation of the Vedas.

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