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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Nabatheans

A people of ancient Chaldea in what is now modern Iraq. The Sabians (see SABAEANS), who form part of the Nabatheans, had a book called Nabathean Agriculture. Of this book, Helena P. BLAVATSKY wrote that “the doctrines enunciated in it, . . . if read esoterically, almost all of them identical with the Secret Teachings” (SD II:453). It was translated from the Arabic by D. Chwolsohn in 1856. It was originally written in Chaldean, and its first Arabic translation is said by Chwolsohn to have been as early as the 13th century BCE, but by others as late as 3rd century CE. Chwolsohn regarded it as “a complete initiation into the mysteries of the pre-Adamite nations, on the authority of undeniably authentic documents” (quoted in SD II:452).

Blavatsky states that the book contains the “tenets of the Secret Doctrine under the exoteric Chaldean form of national symbols, for the purpose of ‘cloaking’ the tenets, just as the Books of Hermes and the Purānas are Egyptian and Hindu attempts at the same” (ibid., 455).

V.H.C.

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