On the Method of Zadig
by Thomas Henry Huxley
This is Essay #1 from "Science and Hebrew Tradition"
RETROSPECTIVE PROPHECY AS A FUNCTION OF SCIENCE
"Une marque plus sure que toutes celles de Zadig."<1>--Cuvier.
It is an usual and a commendable practice to preface the
discussion of the views of a philosophic thinker by some account
of the man and of the circumstances which shaped his life and
coloured his way of looking at things; but, though Zadig is
cited in one of the most important chapters of Cuvier's greatest
work, little is known about him, and that little might perhaps
be better authenticated than it is.
It is said that he lived at Babylon in the time of King Moabdar;
but the name of Moabdar does not appear in the list of
Babylonian sovereigns brought to light by the patience and