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By Whom followed-it was the faith of two distinct peoples — the sumero-akkadians, and the asse-babylonians. In what country it had its beginnings is unknown — it comes before us, even at the earliest period, as a faith already well developed, and from that fact, as well as from the names of the numerous deities, it is clear that it began with the former race — the Sumero Akkadians-who spoke a non-semitic language largely affected by phonetic decay, and in which the grammatical forms had in certain cases become confused to such an extent that those who study it ask themselves whether the people who spoke it were able to understand each other without recourse to devices such as the 'tones' to which the Chinese resort. With few exceptions, the names of the gods which the Inscriptions'reveal to us are all derived from this non-semitic language, which furnishes us with satisfactory etymologies for such names as Merodach, N ergal, Sin, and the divinities mentioned in Berosus and Damascius (see pp. 32, 41, as well as those of hundreds of deities revealed to us by the tablets and slabs Of Babylonia and Assyria.