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&c. &c. &c., 









In preparing for the press, after an interval of seven years, a 
second edition of this work, the author has found it unnecessary 
to make, excepting in two chapters, any important or extensive 
alterations. The exceptions are the chapters on the History 
and Chronology of Chaldsea and Assyria. So much fresh light 
has been thrown on these two subjects by additional discoveries, 
made partly by Sir Henry Eawlinson, partly by his assistant, 
Mr. George Smith, through the laborious study of fragmentary 
inscriptions now in the British Museum, that many pages of 
the two chapters in question required to be written afresh, and 
the Chronological Schemes required, in the one case a com- 
plete, and in the other a partial, revision. In making this 
revision, both of the Chronology and the History, the author 
has received the most valuable assistance, both from the pub- 
lished papers and from the private communications of Mr. 
Smith — an assistance for which he desires to make in this place 
the warmest and most hearty acknowledgment. He is also 
beholden to a recent Eastern traveller, Mr. A. D. Berrington, 
for some valuable notes on the physical geography and pro- 
ductions of Mesopotamia^ which have been embodied in the 
accounts given of those subjects. A few corrections have like- 
wise been made of errors pointed out by anonymous critics. 
Substantially, however, the work continues such as it was on 
its first appearance, the author having found that time only 
deepened his conviction of the reality of cuneiform decipher- 
ment, and of the authenticity of the history obtained by means 
of it. 

Oxfirrd, November, 1870. 


Tu nmarj of Aotiquity requires from time to time to be 
i^ n iitt ea. Hklorical knowledge continually extends, in part 
froiii the adranoe of critieiil science, which teaches us little by 
Ijtila the trae raloe of ancient autliors, but also, and more 

\ from the new disooTcries whicli the enterprise of 
and the patient toil of students are continually 
bringing to light, whereby the stock of our information as to 
the copdittoo of the incieDt world receives constant augmen- 

The axtremest scepticism cannot deny that recent 
in Metopotamia and the adjacent coontries have 
reoofered a teriet of *' monuments '* belonging to very early 
tioMi, capable of throwing oonoderable light on the Antiquities 
of the natiooa which prodooed them. The author of these 

beliefea, that, together with these remains, the Un- 
of the ancient natiom have been to a Urge extent 
looonved, and thai a raft maM of written hitttorii^al matter 
of a Tery high raloe It thereby added to the materials at tJie 
Historian's disposal This 1% elenrly, not the place inhere so 
dIActdt and oomplkated a subject can be properly aigned. 
The attthor Is hiawoif oootont with the jodgment of *" ex|N*rts,** 
and boUovos il wonld be as dillicttlt to impote a ftihrinite<l 
loijpt^ nnrrnfMSinrTiiTn irf Ptmn sht! PnrftwsnrlTnT Mulli i 
of OflEird* as to palm off a 60IHI00S lor a real animal form on 
Vwirmntf Owoo of London. The best lingubits in Europe hoTO 
acoBpted the dooiphovmoni of the eanoKbrm iniwriptioos as o 
Ihhif oeUMdly aoooMpiyMd. UoUl sons good lingnkt, ItoTing 


carefully examined into the matter, declares himself of a con- 
trary opinion, the author cannot think that any serious doubt 
rests on the subject.* 

The present volumes aim at accomplishing for the Five 
Nations of which they treat what Movers and Kenrick have 
accomplished for Phoenicia, or (still more exactly) what Wilkin- 
son has accomplished for Ancient Egypt. Assuming the inter- 
pretation of the historical inscriptions as, in general, sufficiently 
ascertained, and the various ancient remains as assigned on 
sufficient grounds to certain peoples and epochs, they seek to 
unite with our previous knowledge of the five nations, whether 
derived from Biblical or classical sources, the new information 
obtained from modern discovery. They address themselves in 
a great measure to the eye ; and it is hoped that even those 
who doubt the certainty of the linguistic discoveries in which 
the author believes, will admit the advantage of illustrating the 
life of the ancient peoples by representations of their produc- 
tions. Unfortunately, the materials of this kind which recent 
explorations have brought to light are very unequally spread 
among the several nations of which it is proposed to treat, and, 
even where they are most copious, fall short of the abundance 
of Egypt. Still, in every case there is some illustration pos- 
sible ; and in one — Assyria — both the *' Arts " and the " Manners " 
of the people admit of being illustrated very largely from the 
remains still extant.t 

The Author is bound to express his obligations to the follow- 
ing writers, from whose published works he has drawn freely : — 
MM. Botta and Flandin, Mr. Layard, Mr. James Fergusson, 

* Some writers allow that the Persian cuneiform inscriptions have been success- 
fully deciphered and interpreted, but appear to doubt the interpretation of the 
Assyrian records. (See Edinburgh Review for July, 1862, Art. III., p. 108.) Are 
they aware that the Persian inscriptions are accompanied in almost every instance 
by an Assyrian transcript, and that Assyrian interpretation thus follows upon 
Persian, without involving any additional " guess-work " ? 

t See Chapters VI. and VII. of the Second Monarchy. 


Mr. Loftus, Mr. CuUimore, and Mr. Birch. He is j^^lad to take 
this occasion of acknowledging liiniself also greatly beholden to 
the constant help of his brother, Sir Henry Rawlinson, and 
to the liberality of Mr. Vanx, of the British Museum. The 
latter gentleman kindly placed at his disposal, for the purposes 
of the present work, the entire series of unpublished drawings 
made by the artists who accompanied Mr. Loftus in the last 
Mesopotamian Expedition, besides securing him undisturbed 
access to the Museum sculptures, thus enabling him to enrich 
the present volume with a large number of most interesting 
niustrations never previously given to the public. In the sub- 
joined list these illustrations are carefully distinguished from 
such as, in one shape or another, have appeared previously. 

Oxford, iSeptentber, 1862. 





General View of the Country 1 


Climate and Productions 28 

The People .. 43 

Language and Writing 61 

Arts and Sciences 70 

Manners and Customs .. 105 

Religion 110 


History and Chronology 149 

fir VOL. I. 


A S S Y K 1 A. 

thmcmtman or tub Coojctbt 180 

CHArrrn it 

CtuiATB AXD pMHocnom 210 

ciiArxiat ill. 

T«B rnrut 286 

( !l M'lii; IV. 

Ttt CATfTAI. 248 

L^mokam avd Wtrraio .. 'J(>2 


AmrmrrwrtvuM a«i> nmn Am ?77 

UAvmm AW Cmnm t(w: 



1. Plan of Mugheir Ruins (after Ta^/ tor) 17 

2. Ruins of Warka (Erech) (after Zo/ius) 19 

3. Akkerkuf (after Zer Porier) 22 

4. Hammam (after Loftus) 23 

5. Tel-Ede (ditto) 23 

6. Valms (after Oppert) 34 

7. Chaldaean reeds, from an Assyrian sculpture (after Layard) 37 

8. Wild sow and pigs, from Koyunjik (Zat/art?) 40 

9. Ethiopians (after Prichard) . . 53 

10. Cuneifoi'm Inscriptions (dirau-n by the Author from bricks in the British 

Museum) . . . . 63, 64 

11. Chaldajan tablet (after Zayarcf) , 68 

12. Signet-cylinder (after Zier Porter) 69 

13. Bowariyeh (after Zo/i«s) 74 

14. Mugheir Temple (ditto) 76 

15. Ground-plan of ditto (ditto) 78 

16. Mugheir Temple, restored (6^ Me J.Mif/iOr) 79 

17. Terra cotta cone, actual size (after Loftus) 82 

18. Plan and wall of building patterned with cones (after Zo/^Ms) 83 

19. Ground-plan of chambers excavated at Abu-Shahrein (after Ta^/Zor) .. .. 84 

20. Brick vault at Mugheir (ditto) 86 

21. Chaldaean dish-cover tombs (ditto) 88 

22. Chaldgean jar-coffin (ditto) 89 

23. Section of drain (ditto) 90 

24. Chalda^an vases of the first period (drawn by the Author from vases in the 

British Museum) 91 

25. Chaldsean vases, drinking-vessels, and amphora of the second period (ditto) 91 

26. Chaldasan lamps of the second period (ditto) 92 

27. Seal-cylinder on ;metal axis (drawn and partly restored by the Author) . . 93 

28. Signet-cylinder of King Urukh (after Ker Porter) 94 

29. Flint knives (draiin by the Author from the originals in the British 

Museum) 95 

30. Stone hammer, hatchet, adze, and nail (chiefly after Taylor) 96 

31. Cbaldaean bronze spear and arrow heads (drawn by the Author from the 

originals in the British Museum) 96 

32. Bronze implements (ditto) 97 

33. Flint implement (after Tay/or) 97 

34. Ear-rings (drawn by the Author from the originals in the British Museum) 98 

35. Leaden pipe and jar (ditto) 98 

36. Bronze bangles (ditto) 99 

Xil LttPr **V ff f IHTRATIONH. 

T*b«r8|Mi«i 108 

if OnUoMi Ihm Ite eTlI»l«M UA«r CmBUf^n &ad ^t' A) .. 106 

jaiM (■«« (MhMvv) •• 132 

4a f /■! ill <f Uw Mw Ihi (^IMo) 135 

4L i j w t i h <rUw 8iM<M (4ttto) 138 

48. MjmUU <#tln 8wi nrfilf (dm»). . 139 

481 nMl^«v«f4(«ll*) 130 

44. nc«Minfte,llMPIiMM(£«y«r^ .. 1S8 

46. Hte^ mUm, tlM Mtt-Bdl (ditto) . 138 
48. rklii7«iMt(«IUrCyttMr«) 138 

47. M.1I««4mIi (4itto) 135 

U. %mpjr» iMi, Uw IU»«Lk»<X4iyMtQ 137 

48. Sa CliylM^««riabtar(dUr CWMMrv«a4£«y(iriO 139,140 

81. V^te (^^M« If M* J^Aor fttm a dstM la t^ Bffiticli M UMttin) .. .. 141 

•r Kvrri-fdra, Ki^ of Babylon (<irami 6y Oe il«Mor firam an im- 

to tfca f HHMriw of Sir a BawUMoa) 170 

11 TIm nabow. ftwi Mar Arbam looktes mtU (afUr loyonf) 1^7 

81b Eodkab (ditto) 199 

88. LakaaflbalMaijab (ditto) 190 

88. Oil I ml li««, umr Samj (UUr Chetney) 197 

8f. Rm of Cba jnim al NImnMl (Cblab) (mhutd 6y <A# AutAor fnm C^fitoia 

JmrnTttrnmy) iOO 

88. Qrait Boaad of NImnid or Odah (aftor /^ya^O .08 

88. HMl-«wipa,Ea]ni^ (ditto) .. .. il6 

8Ql AiiyrkB Uoi^ tnm Mlanid (ditto) JlO 

8L Ibas, or vild foal, ftaai Ninmd (ditto ) >%\ 

81Wiya«(alUrr«r/Wiir) .^ 

1 Utfui, hnm yiaMf«d(afUr Lafo^ 388 

84. WiU aas ft«« Eayv^ (tnm am aafrabllsbtd dntHttg bj ifr. AMfcArr 

to tba Bffitbdi MaaMai) .. .. i88 

88. Qaarfia, tftm Vi»nid (alUr Upard^ i84 
81 81^ airf biad, Ama Ko]n^|lk {tnm aa aap«Miib«l dnwiaj; 

^lalitir to tba Britirii Hmmum) i84 

m.faimr4fm,hmnK0fjmj(aki9ikmU9tni) J88 

$kmmt^mtlim,1twmmmrwiiiM») .. ii8 

88. Bafa,fr««nMtaabad(allar Adia) .. .. i98 

l8lCbMtor«iyaa,ft««VI»r«d(all«rX«y>r«n iff 

Tl. Taltoia, ftaai Xiarad (ditto) JM 

t8L Tiiteia Ibaltac «• ««!««. Kajn^JIk (ditio> .'18 

raLa4HA,frHaa€7lbidv(allarOyMK>' ) lU 

74. QMHA, Aan KtoMd (aAar £«f«^ .. i88 

78. riHtfMfH. 1V«B KbMMbai (allar Jkllo) JM 

7C UabMraUfdb»K]M«abad(4illa) -m 

77. Amftkm 0Md« Mi 8ib y I. Uffwmj/lk (alUr X^for^l) it8 

78. lUrtfiMi ar taw b—H •••^ ^— ^►'-'-^ ^^'"-^ J80 

7t. Mi ■|HiwiMtbM»(dma) jao 

ML L«dto« a cmmI, Kofitoitt ^^•" 181 

81. IIm4 W aa Amf t t m kmt^ .'31 

81 AMfttM bofHb AmB M|»*«>' v< .MV 



83. Mule ridden by two women, Koyunjik (after Xa?/ar(i) 233 

84. Loaded mule, Koyunjik (ditto) 233 

85. Cart drawn by mules, Koyunjik (ditto) 234 

86. Dog modelled in clay, from the palace of Asshur-bani-pal, Koyunjik (drawn 

by the Author from the original in the British Museum) 234 

87. Dog in relief, on a clay tablet (after Layard) • • 235 

88. Assyrian duck, Nimrud (ditto) 235 

89. Assyrians, Nimrud (ditto) 238 

90. Mesopotamian captives, fi'om an Egyptian monument ( Wilkinson) .. .. 238 

91. Limbs of Assyrians, from the Sculptures (after Layard) 240 

92. Capture of a city, Nimrud (ditto) 242 

93. Captives of Sargon, Khorsabad (after Botta) 243 

94. Captive women in a cart, Nimrud {Layard) 243 

95. Ruins of Niniveh (reduced by the Author from Captain Jones's survey) . . 253 

96. Khosr-Su and mound of Nebbi-Yunus (after Zayarc?) 255 

97. Gate in the north wall, Nineveh (ditto) 258 

98. Outer defences of Nineveh, in their present condition (ditto) 260 

99. Assyrian cylinder (after Birch) 263 

100. Assyrian seals (after Layard) 264 

101. Assyrian clay tablets (ditto) 265 

102. Black Obelisk, from Nimrud (after Birch) 266 

103. Terrace- wall at Khorsabad (after ^o^^a) 278 

104. Pavement-slab, from the Northern Palace, Koyunjik (Fergusson) .. .. 279 

105. Mound of Khorsabad (ditto) 280 

106. Plan of the Palace of Sargon, Khorsabad (ditto) 281 

107. Hall of Esar-haddon's Palace, Nimrud (ditto) 283 

108. Plan of the Palace of Sargon, Khorsabad (ditto) 287 

109. Remains of Propylaeum, or outer gateway, Khorsabad (Zayar(/) ,. .. 288 

110. King and attendants, Khorsabad (after J5o^^a) 290 

111. Plan of palace gateway (ditto) 291 

112. King punishing prisoners, Khorsabad (ditto) 292 

113. North-West Court of Sargon's Palace at Khorsabad, restored (after Fer- 

(jusson) 293 

114. Sargon in his wai'-chariot, Khorsabad (after jSo^^a) 294 

115. Cornice of temple, Khorsabad (i^er^Mssow) 296 

116. kxuxQUidiU louvre (?iiiQX Botta) 304 

117. Armenian buildings, from Koyunjik (Zayarc?) 305 

118. Interior of an Assyrian palace, restored (ditto) 306 

119. Assyrian castle on Nimrud obelisk (drawn by the Author from the original 

in the British Museum) 308 

120. Assyrian altar, from a bas-relief, Khorsabad (after Botta) 308 

121. Assyrian temple, Khorsabad (ditto) 309 

122. Assyrian temple, from Lord Aberdeen's black stone (after Fergusson) . . 309 

123. Assyrian temple, Nimrud (drawn by the Author from the original in the 

British Museum) 310 

124. Assyrian temple, North Palace, Koyunjik (ditto) 310 

125. Circular pillar-base, Koyunjik (after Xa^arc?) 311 

126. Basement portion of an Assyrian temple. North Palace, Koyunjik (drawn 

% Me ^uMor from the original in the British Museum) 312 


lt7. rmtk a tk» CkMhOnK TtmI (frvm u oHchuU tkttrh imd* br the 


ISA. Jmmm9imWm9U.Upm^{UUrU9mnit 14 

im TWwir rf<iiu» t m mn i (ly i4» JtAw) .. ^U 

lJtt,TMW«rOfMlT«iiplt«lXlwW(alW/«y«ni) 15 

ISL ■■■■■■l^iifli liwif, IO»nrf,»ortii>Dd wtt rtd«a (ditto) l*. 

Ul. OMni-plMi •# KlatW Tmtw (41tU) ih 

tflL OtiMi|liii oT liylM, Niamd (ilitto) 19 

Ulw faliwM U wwllir taMpIt, NtaBnid (aui..^ il 

uai Jbi^iiM viiii«t» KopdOik (ditto) 

uc Viiii«» MAT Ai«fr» (ditto) 

Ur. AMjrrteft kttttlMMStol nil (ditto) j; 
WL Mwry Md Mctte of pUlibrm wall, KhorMbMl (aftor Bott-^ 

IML Miiiir; of towHrall. Kliorwfcad (ditto) 

14a MMwry of ttrtr <r mati, KhmmhmA (ditto) 

14L AfdMd 4i«l% X««tll-W«t Pkboe, Nimrud (aftor Xoyanl) . . 

145. AfdMd drite. 8o«tJi.EMt PhUea, Nimma (ditto) 
141. Fab* vdi (Qrwk) 

144. AMjf^ pittorM, Xlmnid (la^onO i 

146. Mtto (ditto) 

14C Bm« a»i Mpitd* of pUlsn (oMrjIy <tf^«r«i &^ fA«' ^tu/Aor rrom iw*-r«ii«r» 

to tko MtM If Mtvai) SSS»S84 

147. OvwMtttal doomj, Nortli PyM, Kojoilik (frwa am — iwMfaind 

dwwtoc H^ J'^^- B tm U i ^ to tlw BHtidi M— ■) SSS 

14iL Waur tiMMfirt of iloM fM* WMte^ EoywiJIk (oiUr iMford) .. .. 33S 

l4tL Awyrtw 11»o ftMi Mifc HnjfcH (ditto) S99 

l*LOtofitotHllMoftkigodHote(altorJMfa) 41 
IJC Ckf italwtto of Um rUb-Ood ditmm ly lA* JoUor iioai ikm origtool ia 

llM BfilMl Mmmm) u% 

1«. Ctoy trt^iMo ftoi PiirMfcad (alUr Jb«u) .. 343 

IM. i k« li—l. ft— MtowU (dWr Ugm^ .. 344 

IMw iMfitoa «iiii« o wild tall, Xtouvd (ditto) .. S4< 

IM. IhwfcbMirf ifwo Md iyktoi, Xlimid (ditto) . 349 
IftT. UMlk ^a vid toOl, Xtotfvd (ditto) .347 

IML Kmi kfliiii • Hi«> Xtownd (ditto) . . 347 

tiaT^Miftwnarad(dKto) . 34« 

liQiTWM6MKorii^<Mt^> . 340 

ItL OPMi Md U«««. lUomi^ .. 350 

11 111 Awyrtoa o>otw Koy^i* j lu j . 35I 

144. Am fh m ft fd Aof^ Kof^ «ilto) .. 359 

ICk Vto* iMl^ o« • if. ttmm Um X«««Ii riilMi. , in»ttm fry (A* 

iM4f frwn o U > i^lkf to IW 9m%hk Uwmmm < 353 

lit. Utoi^ ft«to IW Xot«4 r^lM*. iUr«^^ (ditto) 334 

lt7. Umkmitm. wmmmKtmmtkm Utik fldM. Kf H|ik (A«ai •• m- 

riwtoj ^Mr,M» iiil< to iW HrtUiii Ummmm) .. 3&6 

•f«tog. Aoto %k» Umik ryMo. KojrwiJU (ditt. . . SM 
t#l» W«m4oI «lld wo, ^ -^ »^' ^t.«i^ ftoM tlM K.fiii l^doc., Koywigik 

(ditto) . . 355 



170. Wounded lion, about to fall, from the North Palace, Koyunjik (from an 

unpublished drawing by Mr. Boutcher, in the British Museum) . . . . 357 

171. Wounded lion biting a chariot-wheel, from the North Palace, Koyunjik 

(ditto) 358 

172. King shooting a lion on the spring, from the North Palace, Koyunjik (ditto) 359 

173. Lion-hunt in a river, from the North Palace, Koyunjik (ditto) 361 

174. Bronze lion, from Nimrud (after ia^ardf) 365 

175. Fragments of bronze ornaments of the throne, from Nimrud (ditto) .. .. 365 

176. Bi'onze casting, from the throne, Nimrud (ditto) 366 

177. Feet of tripods in bronze and iron (ditto) 367 

178. Bronze bull's head from the throne (ditto) 367 

179. Bronze head, part of throne, showing bitumen inside (ditto) 367 

180. End of a sword-sheath, from the N. W. Palace, Nimrud (ditto) 368 

181. Stool or chair, Khorsabad (after J5o^ia) 368 

182. Engraved scarab in centre of cup, from the N. W. Palace, Nimrud (^Layard) 368 

183. Egyptian head-dresses on bronze dishes, from Nimrud (ditto) 369 

184. Ear-rings from Nimrud and Khorsabad (ditto) 371 

185. Bronze cubes inlaid with gold, original size (ditto) 372 

186. Egyptian scarab (from Wilkinson) 372 

187. Fragment of ivory panel, from Nimrud (after Za^arJ) 373 

188. Fragment of a Hon in ivory, Nimrud (ditto) 373 

189. Figures and cartouche with hieroglyphics, on an ivory panel, from the N. W. 

Palace, Nimrud (ditto) 374 

190. Fragment of a stag in ivory, Nimrud (ditto) 375 

191. Royal attendant, Nimrud (ditto) 376 

192. Arcade work, on enamelled brick, Nimrud (ditto) 377 

193. Human figure, on enamelled brick, from Nimrud (ditto) 379 

194. Ram's head, on enamelled brick, from Nimrud (ditto) 379 

195. King and attendants, on enamelled brick, from Nimrud (ditto) 380 

196. Impression of ancient Assyrian cylinder, in serpentine (ditto) 382 

197. Assyrian seals (ditto) 383 

198. Assyrian cylinder, with the Fish-God (ditto) . . . . 383 

199. Royal cylinder of Sennacherib (ditto) 383 

200. Assyrian vases, amphorae, &c. (after Birch) 386 

201. Funereal urn, from Khorsabad (after 5o^^a) 386 

202. Nestorian and Arab workmen, with jar discovered at Nimrud {Layard) . . 387 

203. Lustral ewer, from a bas-relief, Khorsabad (after ^oi^a) 387 

204. Wine vase, from a bas-relief, Khorsabad (ditto) 388 

205. Assyrian clay-lamps (after Layard and Birch) 388 

206. Amphora, with twisted arms, Nimrud (i?iVcA) 389 

207. Assyrian glass bottles and bowl (after Za^arc?) 389 

208. Glass vase, bearing the name of Sargon, from Nimrud (ditto) 390 

209. Fragments of hollow tubes, in glass, from Koyunjik (ditto) 391 

210. Ordinary Assyrian tables, from the bas-reliefs (6(/ Me ^M^Ao/-) 392 

211. 212. Assyrian tables, from bas-reliefs, Koyunjik (ditto) 392 

213. Table, ornamented with rams' heads, Koyunjik (after Layard) 392 

214. Ornamented table, Khorsabad (ditto) 393 

215. Three-legged table, Koyunjik (ditto) 393 

216. Sennacherib on his throne, Koyunjik (ditto) 393 


IIT. Atm ifcair m iknm, lUmwahmA (ftA«r /Mm :m 

fllH A»friM WMMMtai (Ml, KlMff«kU (41lt«) m 

tl*. AMfrtM fMik ftM • Im-mIK IU]r«^ (% fA« inCAor) 19% 

tWc AmfHM IhalilMk IU7«%Mk («tt«) (V5 

ttt. 8uiiiliibriM(i4va'^ ^^ 

Ml •• a i«]r«l rvbe, himrnd (dittu) . \W 
m. AM^rlMt M*vte( • liwta Iim<hI Ml, parllj rMlMwl fr* 

M K«)r«^ (4ilto) 402 

tM. UhMiivr MipUH hi 4ni»iag • mIiiimI Ml, Koyu^jlk (dliu»).. UK\ 
ttl. AIImIumM W ivf* !• fWii*, M wlOcli tlM Ml WM pknd ht %nm»fMU 

K«n>^(^t^) ^^ 

tan Nft af A M-f«tWC atMwUif a f^Uy Md • warrior catltef a Miktt IVmb 

«lM r«p (4ill«) 404 

Hi. Amjtiuk var^hariol, Kojra^lk (frm Um oriffiaal la th« Brilteh Mwnun) 407 

IIOL Gkar«<4*wbMl oTilM aaHy pariad, Nlannid (ditto) 407 

tIL GUrtal-wlMal al Um wMik piriai Kajrv^ik (ditto) 407 

ttl OMial-«MlarilMlalMlpariad,Ka]r«^k (ditto) . 406 

ta. OraMMftlad mU af «lMtfial.paK Klmmd aftd Kapu^ (dltta) uvt 

ttii iBiaTH^wttliaraaa^ar, KKortMiWli.ftor Ailitt) 4lo 

taSw lBi«#H^«llka«nrtdy«k«, ) .Aar /^ 410 

tM,imk9tft^mi\k9kk9nim«i^^ K >•- -U4 (aAar A»t«a) .. 411 

0f. AiayHa* c^wWl aaaUlali^ l^r war . A»r ikialcArr) 4 M 

ttlL Aa^ffia* wm r a M ia t af tW aarly !»•(.<-.. ^...^ tha arifiaal la the 

BfitehMwMNB) 4U 

Mt. AaajrrteB var-dMuial aTlW iMar fad^-' K -'>^'Mtta).. .. 41S 

Ma A«Triaa rkariot oTtka traaaHtna fti i\ar Aa«M 414 

f4l. Aw^Haa c4an^ af iIm aarly yartail, .Htmrvn vinm iIm arifia*i la the 

BHlUillaMMi) 416 

•4a. ClM4al4Maaa ptalaaM ky atatlOH. K«r«<0^ (<lMla) 416 

§41. WmA wi a alMMM-kataa^ alw«li« aallar wHIi WUa altaclMl Kvpnjlik 

(alW JUIaAtr) 417 

•44. iWaMa Wl, Nlanal {timm Um adflaal te IW Britlak Ma^rt. 416 

m^ ana aC lUrtat ii«ri, hmm l^ Cc«lrl«r«. Ktanrtid aal Kayu^jik (ditto) 41» 

•ML tMvtlt»ypi aT Aaiyf«att aMMaars ftam tka SMplarM (ditto) .. - - 49i> 

aTlyli^ Wma* IfOK Kayvi^ (dltta) 42i) 

aniMUMaaraaffgaii,KlMnaUd(aAar Aitfia) 4i> 

at aT a kawaiaaa, KliamWi (dHU) 4:ti 

•Ml Cb?al>7 M l li n a aT tK* tti» «/ ^ aaAi HK Kaya^|lk (allar X^yi^O .. 4^6 
•M. Nana arakot mi t» ^r^d. KaywiOUt (ftaM tka acifteal to IW 

feHllBk llMawM) 4t7 

ili. Oiliiliy ta»aal •rii» iu«4 faatad. XtaMvd (dHta) 4aa 

•ML Onaaa akkU aTtW An« faHad, Hlmtmk (allar tiifa'^' • 4aa 
•Ml fWl lyunaia af iW ital pacM. wMli vlaftar fiilaM, Ni»r«d (<Va« Um 

la IM iMUili Mmmm) ^ 4a* 

tKMi iiK. •wt yartdl Htanid(dm>) 4M 

••& faal ava4af« af lla DiMaM •aaiaawnl. Hhm vf Sarca^ KKorMUd (aA»r 


257. Kuul' 'in^lHir (iT t lio iiitcnnrdiiifi! i<([tii|)iii(Mit, vvilli utt.cuiliiiit., tiiiic (irSiii'^mti, 

K\\ovHnlun\ (iillur liotlii) 1:11 

'jr^S, Foot (U'(;li(!f of till) Jioiivy (Kiuiinnuiit, witli iittcndniit, liiim of Siii'|,;dii, 

JiliorHiilmd (ditto) 4;VJ 

250. Koot N|i«)Hriiiiiii (if tlio titiiu of Sur^on, Khoi'Htibnd (ditto) 433 

260. Sbiold uiid ^j'oiivo of u N|i(!iiniitiu, Klioi'Hiibiid (ditto) 4.')4' 

261. Spoiuvwitli, vvoiKlit lit tlio lowor oud, KliorHiiliiid (ditto) 4M4 

262. Slinj;, Koyuiijii< (from till) orij^iiiul ill tlio UritiHli MiiHtiimi) '\'\t> 

26M. Koot un;ii(U' of tlio luiiivy t!(|iii|)tn<!iit, vvitli iittoiidaut, tiimt of Scniiiii'JKn'ili, 

Koyiiiijik (ditto) ■1:15 

264. Ko()t iif(;lit'nii of tim Mocoiid (iImmh, tiiini of SiiimiirlMiril), luiyiinjilt (ditto) .. 4;jtl 

265. BultH uud buiid-droHH <if a foot urclMU' of tiio third claMH, tinio of Hon- 

luu'huvlh, K(tynu')\k (ni'UiV Ihutchcr) 4.'{6 

'2iii). Modo of (•nrryiIl^J tli<! (niiviir, time of Sonnachorib, Koyuujilt (from tim 

oriKiiml In th() Jiritlnh MuN(Him) 4.'J7 

267. FootiircherHof tii() ('(luipmont, timoof SonmirhiM'lli, KoyunJIk (ditto) 4.'J7 

268. Foot Hpi'armim of tlio timo of Sonuacliorll), Koyunjik (aftor Lui/drd).. .. 4.*JH 

269. Wic.icoi- HhioldH, timo of Sonuachorib, Koyuujilc (from the orlgimiJH in tlio 

HritiMli MuH(Mim) l.'H) 

270. MotaUhiidd of tlio livtoHt porlod, Koyiinjilc (ditto) IKi 

271. Mllu^jor, timo of AMHliur-lmul-iwil, Koyunjik (iiftisr //(m^;/uf/') 4lo 

272. Pointed li(jlm()t, with curtain of HciiloH, Nimrud (iiftor //a//(</v/) ,. .. ,. 'Ill 

273. Iron Indmot, from Koyunjik, now In tlio HrltUh MuHoum (/i// tktt AiUhor).. 'Ill 

274. AHriyriim crontod liidmc.tH, from tlio baH-ruliiifN, KhorHabad and Koyunjik 

(from tlio orifriniils iu tho liritlHli MuH(ium) 442 

275. HcaloJ'lKyptian (iiftor ^7/• a H^«M'w.srm) 443 

276. Arnin^omout of hualoH in AHHyrian Hcaio-armour of tlio hucoikI poriod, 

KhorHabad (aftiir //(>//!</) 443 

277. Hioovc of a coat (»f mail — Hcahi-armoiir of tlio lirHt poriod, Nimrud (from 

the ori|{inal in tho liritlHli Miisoiim) 444 

278. AMHyriiin //(//v/k/, or liu^o wicker MhioIdH (ditto) 445 

270. Soldior undorminill^; a wall, Mlu'ltorod by ///'/v7»on, Koyunjik (ditto) .. .. 446 

280. Hound Hhioidrt or tar^rcM, patterncid, KhorMahad (aftor /A;//a) 447 

281. Convex HhioIdH with tooth, Nimrud (from the orij^iiiulrt in tlio Jii-itiHh 

MuHeum) 447 

282. K^yptian oonvox shlold, worn on back (aftor <Sf<r <7. Wi/Amson) 44H 

283. ANHyriiin ditto, Koyunjik (from iho orij^inal in tlii! IlritlMli MuHoiim) ,. 448 

284. A«Nyriun c(»nvox Hhbdd, roHcmldiiiK the (Jreidc, Koyunjik (ditto) .. .. 448 

285. Quiver, with arrowH and javidin, Nimrud (ditto) 449 

286. Ornamented end of bow, KhorHabad (after //o//(«) 449 

287. StrlnginK tbo bow, Koyunjik (from tlio orl({laal lu tho Brltinh MuHoiim) ,. 450 

288. ANHyrlau curved bow (ditt(») 450 

289. AHHyrian auijular Ijow, KhorHabad (aftor //o^/(0 450 

200. Mode of carrying; tliu bow in a bow-ciiHo, Koyunjik (from tho orlf^inal In 

tho Uritlnb MuHeum) 451 

291. Peculiar modo of carryiuK the (juiver, Koyunjik (ditto) 451 

292. Quivor, with rich ornamciitafi(»n, Nimrud (after //m/u/'flf) 452 

203. Quivorn of tho ordinary character, Koyunjik (from the oriyinalH in tho 

Brltbh MuHoum) ; 452 

VOL. I. , b 


nLi^^ "•) *» 

IM^ !». oHgUuds la Um BritUi 

MMrwnj ..458 

W%. BwM» f wir hmiU, SimrwA awl KaywQik (aitt> . 4M 
m. nit «!■■ hmi, Himni jitUo) .454 

(aUto) .... 455 
Um Uv, Kagrw^ik (•n*r ti^iciu-r) .. .455 

a0aO«aff4«at«V]raaaf«ktf,Ka]r«^(aitto) .. 45« 

iOL BnaM ifMrliMl, Hkmnd (tram Um arigiaid ia Um Brttuii Mtueum; .. 4M 

sot. 8f«r4aais (ftwB Um tfcolpcam) 457 

■n* "Vr -iir " ilT "T ~ " " . " — r^ (^ - ^jT"^ •. 457 

W9k, ft i l lii awapj, laya^ (altar Bv i dok m ) 458 

af kafw sward, Kiauiiil (from tb« ori^nal ia th« 

MMoai) t'>8 

aOT. A^jvlMic«nr«d«waiil,Klwnabail(«fter Bo/M) .8 

SOU BM4«ri«jral Met, EWwlMd (ditto) >9 

sot. MaaM, ft«« Um SealpUia* .... . >9 

310. AMjritai UttU itai, Kojra^Jik (from the ohguials ia the lintub Mvwom) 459 

aiL ScylMw faatU»«sa (aftar rcrifr) 4.'.9 

SIS. OrMMiMad liMitlM oTdacfm, Nlmnai (afUr La^ard) 

SM> SfcMlln ifd^Bwa, Kharad (dlMa) .. 

a rivar, Kayiu^ (aftar lajprtf) 

SIT. Sayal taal* Kajraaltk (Yn>m ihr nrttriuAl in tiie Britiali XfuMruni) 

SIC (k4kmrf imi, Kajrat 

Stt. lalMiarariat,ka}ui.^.. 4^:u> i;>.> 

SM. Kkff valkisK la a iMniaiBaw aoaatrjr, dMriol Mloviag, mppartcd bj 

MM, Kafvi^ (ft«i aavMbk la Um Brftkh Mai>a», altar ao«ldW-> 4": 
SSL fartliid piaai. Wli^>if la ai mmy af Um Jmythum, Nimrad (aiv 

Sifc (kimiy aTatiUa, K<yw^|tt (altar itwfcUr) 

KWrMbttl aad Kajrw^ (rarUjr «. 

Hharad (•ft»f la y a i '^ i7a 

OMrW« Ml atelH tiM vail, Kaf«^ (ditto) ;73 

teUMdMlraeUM«fdtl«. Ku- r.-.t-wl (..a,r /. f: .74 

KafVl^ (alUr iUyanl) 475 

awf7te(afiHlAMaalaMfla,KlMnakad(altar JbMi) .. .. 476 

ar Uw gfaO, n i iMhri (ditto) 476 

r« arttJb ■ H iadiat, iiiraH^ a |rt lair, Ka^ai^ (fimt Um 

teUMBrtlMiMaa»Ma) 477 

UU twwd— i iiMftiilli^ a ftUntt, Kaya^|ik (ditto) .. .. 478 
SSI r<Mli aiHivii^ arllk dyidia% Kajra^ («A«r /4|^v^ .. ..480 

SSS. (\u mU9 ar aalar gawMt af Um tti^ (Aidly altar Jbtin) .. 485 

8M. Kifl(iaM*iaWs KW»ated (altar iMia) 488 

SSk TWw id ik» UUr «a4 «iHt»r |>rH«lt« Kojrttajik sad Ntmrnd ( / f 

SIC ruM •««« i*y iw k«' 



337. Eoyal sandals, times of Sargon and Asshur-izir-pal (from the originals in 
the British Museum) 488 

338. Royal shoe, time of Sennacherib, Koyunjik (ditto) 488 

339. Royal necklace, Nimrud (ditto) 489 

340. Royal collar, Nimrud (ditto) 489 

341. Royal armlets, Khorsabad (after 5o##a) 490 

342. Royal bracelets, Khorsabad and Koyunjik (after Botta and Boutcher) .. 490 

343. Royal ear-rings, Nimrud (from the originals in the British Museum) .. 491 

344. Early king in his war-costume, Nimrud (ditto) 491 

345. King, queen, and attendants, Koyunjik (ditto) 493 

346. Enlarged figui-e of the queen, Koyunjik (ditto) 494 

347. Royal parasols, Nimrud and Koyunjik (ditto) 495 

348. Heads of eunuchs, Nimrud (ditto) 497 

349. The chief eunuch, Nimrud (ditto) . . 498 

350. Head-dress of the vizier, Khorsabad (after Botta) 499 

351. Costumes of the vizier, times of Sennacherib and Asshur-izir-pal, Nimrud 

and Koyunjik (from the originals in the British Museum) 500 

352. Tribute-bearers presented by the chief eunuch, Nimrud obelisk (ditto) . . 502 

353. Fans or fly-flappers, Nimrud and Koyunjik (ditto) 503 

354. King killing a lion, Nimrud (after Laijard) 506 

355. King, with attendants, spearing a lion, Koyunjik (after Boutcher) .. .. 506 

356. King, with attendant, stabbing a lion, Koyunjik (ditto) 507 

357. Lion let out of trap, Koyunjik (ditto) 509 

358. Hound held in leash, Koyunjik (from the original in the British Museum) 510 

359. Wounded lioness, Koyunjik (ditto) 512 

360. Fight of lion and bull, Nimrud (after Zayart?) 512 

361. King hunting the wild bull, Nimrud (ditto) 513 

362. King pouring libation over four dead lions, Koyunjik (from the original in 

the British Museum) 515 

363. Hound chasing a wild ass colt, Koyunjik (after i?0Mfc7ter) 516 

364. Dead wild ass, Koyunjik (ditto) 516 

365. Hounds pulling down a wild ass, Koyunjik (ditto) 517 

366. Wild ass taken with a rope, Koyunjik (from the original in the British 

Museum) 517 

367. Hound chasing a doe, Koyunjik (after J5o?(icA^r) 518 

368. Hunted stag taking the water, Koyunjik (ditto) 519 

369. Net spread to take deer, Koyunjik (from the original in the British 

Museum) 520 

370. Portion of net, showing the arrangement of the meshes and the pegs, 

Koyunjik (ditto) 520 

371. Hunted ibex, flying at full speed, Koyunjik (after i?ou^c/i(?r) 521 

372. Ibex transfixed with arrow— falling (ditto) 521 

373. Sportsman carrying a gazelle, Khorsabad (from the original in the British 

Museum) 522 

374. Spo;-tsman shooting, Khorsabad (after Botta) 523 

1375. Greyhound and hare, Nimrud (from a bronze bowl in the British Museum) 523 

376. Nets, pegs, and balls of string, Koyunjik (after i?OMicA(?r) .. 524 

377. Man fishing, Nimrud (after iat/arJ) 525 



^i w. itimm •»«..(, .«.i<^ »» vkus kojm^Jik (ftvoi Um origisd ia the Brf tbh 

M^m^m) ., ., .. ., 527 

an. B«irKffab^KbMW(ftMiaWM«lH»«llaUMBritkhlliiMaiD) .. 528 
a«l. Aff*^ ImfHvk Ugf «9d lwrp«r, Kimrad (from the origind* ia the 

Brith» H»W) ')29 

an. Ut«r AMjltea harp aad harptrs Kojraajik (ditto) :i<> 

asa. Triaanlar Ijiv, Kojrv^iih (ditto) >l 

mL Ljiv wUh um •trii«t, Khonalwd (aA«r /Ufa) 

aaa. Ljtm vith Sv* aad. MVfa itHagi, Koja^jUc (truu tDc unguals m th« 

IMtiih MaMom) 5113 

aat. (hiHaror ta»bowa» K«7«i^k (ditto) :.:H 

a07. I>r«r «• tW dflnhU^iM. Kojraajik (ditto) 34 

aMw Tf Uaria< flajar aad otjMr aaaiifliaAft, Kojuojik (dittu) . . '>35 

aat. Baaacb pbjriaf oa the cyiabaU, Koynnjik (aAer BoHtcker) .>36 
aaOL Aajriaa lirf^nfa^ or dnnns, Koynnjilc (from the originaU ia tli^ Bhti*ii 

Mamam) 5S7 

atL Mwrfnita pbjiaf the daldmer, Koyonjilc (ditto) yss 

ail. Bomaa trumpet (Colaom of Trsjan) :>38 

aaa. laqrriu ditto, Koja^ilc (after Aayari) .^30 

aNb Poiiiaa of aa AMjriaa trampet (from the ori^Dal in the British Mnseam) 539 

atSw CiipliTw iiUjriaf oa Ifrw, Kojnmjiic (ditto) .40 

aai Lji« ea a Hehrtw eoia (ditto) .... >41 

aar. B^ ortveaty-^U mmUltm, Koya^jik (ditto) . >vi 

aaa^ Thao-lnepen, Kojra^ (allar AmtaWr) \s 

ata. laqrriaa amK Kiavad (from the ariglaal in the Bnti»h M .40 

40a Cmmm oar, tiaM ofaMMMsherih, Koya^jik (ditto) .. . . .47 

dOL aianiac «», tlaie t4 Arnhnr-iiir-pal, Klmnid (ditto) . 47 

dot. Kmljr iMf beat, Xlmnid (ditto) 49 

40aL UUr laac boat, Khofaahad (aftar JfoMa) . 49 

dM. PUaUM Mraaw, Kagra^ (aft«r /«yar«/; 

dOiw Ow k^ ia plaM hj |Hfs Kejra^ (fram the ariglMl la the Bnt. 

401 dart of the dMfkl aheat Kiairad, ihavlaf the ooam of the aaci. 

aMil aad eaadait (allar the earraj of Chr|iiam iipNM) .^^ 

407. AmfHM drilHdMifh (Aam Lord Aherdeaa** hiaefc ataaa, after nrym^tm) 567 

dOa. Mede r a Taikieh ploagh (after Sir C. /VOb^ ^ .%«7 

400. Madera Arah ploagh (after C M^hmJkr) .Ki7 

410. Praam lalal belt or girdle, Kojai^ik (frout ine ongtoai in mc iutiuii 

Ummm) 669 

411. OtwmwHal ctam^halt, Khowahad (after jt^c > .%69 
411 Armle(aarA«)rfiaafraadee^lChoiiabad(i .70 
411 H m d i r mam oT varlaaa aAdak, Kajra^lUi (nram the wn^taalt ia tiic 

BrilMi MvaMa) 571 

411 C^arioaa made ararfai«ii« the hair, Kojrai. '.71 

411 remale aMlad (fbm aa Ivarj la the BHti^i .79 
411 remalm gathattaf grapm (ftam lome h :. ih« Uitt. 

417, Xeahlaai aflbl cUm baade (ft«m the ariglaal ta ii«. UiiU»i» MuMum) .. UU 

(ditto) ., .. 57& 



419. Combs in iron and lapis lazuli (from the originals in the British Museum) 575 

420. Assyrian joints of meat (from the Sculptures) 577 

421. Killing the sheep, Koyunjik (after ^OM^cAer) 577 

422. Cooking meat in cauldron, Koyunjik (after Xa^/arc?) 578 

423. Frying, Ximrud (from the original in the British Museum) 578 

424. Assyrian fruits (from the Monuments) 579 

425. Drinking scene, Khorsabad (after Bottd) , 580 

426. Ornamental wine-cup, Khorsabad (ditto) 580 

427. Attendant bringing flowers to a banquet, Koyunjik (after Layard') . . . 581 

428. Socket of hinge, Nimrud (ditto) 582 

429. Assyrians seated on stools, Koyunjik (from the original in the British 

Museum) 583 

430. Making the bed, Koyunjik (after Boutcher) 583 

431. Domestic utensils (from the Sculptures) 584 

432. Dish handles, Nimrud (after Layard) 584 

433. Bronze ladle, Nimrud (in the British Museum) 585 

434. Hanging garden, Koyunjik (after Layard) 585 

435. Assyrians drawing a hand-cart, Koyunjik (ditto) . . 586 

436. Assyrian implements (from the Monuments) 587 

437. Assyrian close carriage or litter, Koyunjik (from an obelisk in the British 

Museum, after ^owM^r) 588 

438. Groom feeding horses, Koyunjik (after Z/ayarrf) 589 

439. Groom currycombing a horse, Nimrud (from the original in the British 

Museum) 589 






" Behold the land of the Chaldseans." — Isaiah xxiii. 13. 

The broad belt of desert which traverses the eastern hemi- 
sphere, in a general direction from west to east (or, speaking 
more exactly, of W.S.W. to JST.E.E.), reaching from the Atlantic 
on the one hand nearly to the Yellow Sea on the other, is 
interrupted about its centre by a strip of rich vegetation, which 
at once breaks the continuity of the arid region, and serves also 
to mark the point where the desert changes its character from 
that of a plain at a low level to that of an elevated plateau or 
table-land. West of the favoured district, the Arabian and 
African wastes are seas of sand, seldom raised much above, 
often sinking below, the level of the ocean ; while east of the 
same, in Persia, Kerman, Seistan, Chinese Tartary, and Mon- 
golia, the desert consists of a series of plateaus, having from 
3000 to nearly 10,000 feet of elevation. The green and fertile 
region, which is thus interposed between the " highland " and 
the " lowland " deserts,^ participates, curiously enough, in both 
characters. Where the belt of sand is intersected by the valley 
of the Nile, no marked change of elevation occurs ; and the 
continuous low desert is merely interrupted by a few miles of 
green and cultivable surface, the whole of which is just as 
smooth and as flat as the waste on either side of it. But it is 

^ Humboldt, Aspects of Nature, vol. i. pp. 77, 78, E. T. 
VOL. I. B 


othflrwiia •! Uie man mt^n intemiption. There the rerdant 
and prodncUfo eoontry divides iUelf into two tracts, runniog 
paimllel to each other, of which the western presents features 
not unlike those that chanwterise the Nile valley, but on a 
iar larger scale ; while the eastern is a lofty mountain-region, 
mmsMtiitfl for the most part of fiye or six parallel ranges, and 
mooBtiiig b manj places far above the level of perpetual snow. 
It is with the western or plain tract that we are here 
emicenied. Between the outer limits of the Syro-Arabian 
dese rt and the foot of the great mountain-range of Kurdistan 
and Lnristan intenrenes a territory long famous in the world*8 
histoiy, and the chief site of three out of the ^ye empires of 
whose history, geography, and antiquities it is proposed to treat 
in the present volumes. Known to the Jews as Aram-Naharaim, 
or "Syria of the two rivers;" to the Greeks and Romans as 
Mesopotamia, or ''the between-river country;** to the Arabs 
as Al-Jexireh, or "the island,** this dixt riot has always' taken 
its name from the streams, which constitute its most striking 
ieatorsp and to which, in fact» it owes its existence. If it were 
not lor the two great rivem— the Tigris and Euphrates — with 
their tributaries, the more northern part of the 3Iesopotamian 
lowland would in no resptnt differ from tlie Syro-Ambian desert 
oo which, it adjoins, and which in latitude, elevation, and 
g e n s ia l geological character, it exactly resembles. Towards 
the sooth, the importance of the riven is still greater ; for of 
Lower Mesopotamia it may be said, with more trutli than 
of^ypt,* that it is ''an acquired hmd," tlie actual "gift** of 
the two streams whioh wash it on eitht^* side ; being, as it is, 
eatireljr a leoent formaUoo— « depottt whidi the streams have 

• ■««tt»lill0«rAlMir.lW«riliii I tlM Fn^mmtm S^hHnnm Orwctnm. 

kM«niMa»«riatNflMi( | ««L Mr. pf^ SSS, SS4.) 

y W — M w pi l M n Sy H to |»riM|» | •H««dMM,aft. Sir 0«i4Mr Wll. 
IT, M,,^.. I ktaMiakMfVitilMl BmwIoIw to mto- 

»^^j^jf,r%kh \ I"*" ■>i«»«fttlf u« 

•r C^rfOit BtWSto* -twi uA^IXl u "?* i>«lu ua gi. .ijr 

m^^mnm^wfwmm ^^^ ^^^^ iW Wt»l of U«; MedilM^ 

(Sm Ow %uthat» Jitrviklmtt 

(•i9«l Elm) «ir sHw strtlMiL ijkm i 

Chap. I. 


made in the shallow waters of a gulf into which they have 
flowed for many ages.'* 

The division, which has here forced itself upon our notice, 
between the Upper and the Lower Mesopotamian country, is 
one very necessary to engage our attention in connexion with 
the ancient Chaldaja. There is no reason to think that the 
term Chaldaea had at any time the extensive signification of 
Mesopotamia, much less that it applied to the entire flat 
country between the desert and the mountains. Chaldaea was 
not the whole, but a part, of the great Mesopotamian plain ; 
which was ample enough to contain within it three or four 
considerable monarchies. According to the combined testimony 
of geographers and historians,^ Chaldaea lay towards the south, 
for it bordered upon the Persian Gulf; and towards the west, 
for it adjoined Arabia. If we are called upon to fix more 
accurately its boundaries, which, like those of most countries 
without strong natural frontiers, suffered many fluctuations, we 
are perhaps entitled to say that the Persian Gulf on the south, 
the Tigris on the east, the Arabian desert on the west, and the 
limit between Upper and Lower Mesopotamia on the north, 
formed the natural bounds, which were never greatly exceeded 
and never much infringed upon. These boundaries are for the 
most part tolerably clear, though the northern only is invariable. 
Natural causes, hereafter to be mentioned more particularly,*' 
are perpetually varying the course of the Tigris, the shore of 
the Persian Gul^ and the line of demarcation between the 
sands of Arabia and the verdure of the Euphrates valley. But 
nature has set a permanent mark, half way down the Meso- 
potamian lowland, by a diflerence of geological structure, which 
is very conspicuous. Near Hit on the Euphrates, and a little 
below Samarah on the Tigris,''' the traveller who descends the 

* Loftus's Chaldoea and Susiana, p. 

* See Strabo, xvi. 1, § 6; Pliny, 
H. N. vi. 28; Ptolemy, v. 20; Beros, 
ap, Syncell. pp. 28, 29. 

^ See below, pp. 13, 14, &c. 

-^ Ross came to the end of the al- 
luvium and the commencement of the 
secondary formations in lat, 34°, long. 

44°. (Journal of Geographical Society, 
vol. ix. p. 446.) Similarly Captain 
Lynch found the bed of the Tigris 
change from pebbles to mere alluvium 
near Khan Tholiyeh, a little above its 
confluence with the Adhem. (lb. p. 472.) 
For the point where the Euphrates 
enters on the alluvium, see Fraser's 
Assyria and Mesopotamia^ p. 27. 

B 2 


•treaaiib bids adien to a aomewhat wariDg aud slightly elevated 
plain of secondary formation, and enters on the dead flat and 
low le?el of the mere alla?iafn. The line thos formed is 
marked and inTariable ; it constitutes the only natural division 
between the upper and lower portions of the valley ; and both 
piobabflity and history point to it as the actual boundary 
between Chaldaea and her northern neighbour. 

The extent of ancient Chaldsa is, even after we have fixed 
its bonndariea, a question of some difficulty. From the edge of 
tlie alluviom a little below Hit, to the present coast of the 
Peraian Gulf at the mouth of the Shat-el-Arab, is a distance of 
above 430 miles ; while from the western shore of the Bahr-i- 
Nedjif to the Tigris at Serut is a direct distance of 185 miles. 
The present area of the alluvium west of the Tigris and the 
Shatrel-Arab may be estimated at about 30.000 square miles. 
But the extent of ancient ChaldsDa can scarcely have been so 
great It is certain that the alluvium at the head of the 
Panian Golf now grows with extraordinary rapidity, and not 
tmpiebable that the growth may in ancient times have been 
eren more rapid than it is at present Accurate observations 
have shown tliat the present rate of increase amounts to as 
flineh as a mile each seventy year%* while it is the opinion of 
thoM beet qualified to judge that the amrage progress during 
the htstorie period has been as much as a mile in every thirty 
yean !* Traces of poit-tertiarj depoaita have been fonnd as £ar 
op the ooontry m Tel Ede and Hammam,** or more than 
200 miles from the emboochore of tlie Shat-el-Arab ; and there 
is ample leeicm fbr beUering that at the time when the first 
rhaldgen mooaiehy was es t a bl is b ed, the Persian Gulf readied 
inland* 120 or 180 miles Airtber than at present We most 


MtuHtuitea It «M SO m\\m tnm tbt 
•-- . kU o«ra Oaj ISO m\\m\ 

( vL S7.) Thy wottM fflv* 

km \a9 nr«« ^i^riiod • Ittit of iaoiWM 
■■tMllaf A mVkt la mftm y«Mi» umI 
ftir lU mmmi a rala of aboai a aiUo a 
•>r Ibr iIm wboU ptriod, a ralo of 
in 9} jTMia. 
UiAji a auk rnitt ll. m Jo^trwtloflMtdtmmiimi 

INMIIMIUIJM llMaf Jaliall>< i»vL ^ I4S. 

ll to ■mlmii m4 

bv niMV. inliu ■■»■ iLil 

€hap. I. 



deduct therefore from the estimate of extent grounded upon the 
existing state of things, a tract of land 130 miles long and 
some 60 or 70 broad, which has been gained from the sea in 
the course of about forty centuries. This deduction will reduce 
Chaldaea to a kingdom of somewhat narrow limits ; for it will 
contain no more than about 23,000 square miles. This, it is 
true, exceeds the area of all ancient Greece, including Thessaly, 
Acarnania, and the islands ; ^ it nearly equals that of the Low 
Countries, to which Chaldaea presents some analogy ; it is 
almost exactly that of the modern kingdom of Denmark ; but 
it is less than Scotland, or Ireland, or Portugal, or Bavaria ; it 
is more than doubled by England, more than quadrupled by 
Prussia, and more than octupled by Spain, France, and Euro- 
pean Turkey. Certainly, therefore, it was not in consequence 
of its size that Chaldaea became so important a country in the 
early ages, but rather in consequence of certain advantages of 
soil, climate, and position, which will be considered in the next 

It has been already noticed that in the ancient Chaldaea, the 
chief — almost the sole — geographical features, were the rivers.^ 
Nothing is more remarkable even now than the featureless 
character of the region, although in the course of ages it has 
received from man some interruptions of the original uniformity. 
On all sides a dead level extends itself, broken only by single 
solitary mounds, the remains of ancient temples or cities, by 
long lines of slightly elevated embankment marking the course 
of canals, ancient or recent, and towards the south by a few 
sand-hills. The only further variety is that of colour; for 
while the banks of the streams, the marsh-grounds, and the 
country for a short distance on each side of the canals in actual 
operation, present to the eye a pleasing, and in some cases a 
luxuriant verdure ; the rest, except in early spring, is parched 
and arid, having little to distinguish it from the most desolate 
districts of Arabia. Anciently, except for this difference, the 

' See Clinton's Fasti Hellenici, vol. ii. 
p. 473, where the whole area of Euro- 
pean Greece, including Thessaly, Acar- 

nania, .aEtoIia, Euboea, and the other 
littoral islands, is shown to be 22,231 
miles. * See above, p. 2. 


tract mmt htre poveMed all the wearisome uniformity of 
tba ttofipd regioii ; the level horizon must have shown itself on 
•n ndes imbrokeii bj a tbgle irregularity ; all places must 
have appeared alike, and the traveller can scarcely haye per- 
ceived hit p rog r e a, or have known whither or how to direct his 
•tepiL The nren alone, witli their broad sweeps and bold 
readies, their periodical changes of swell and fall, their strength, 
motioBy and life-giving power, can have been objects of thought 
and intereft to the first inhabitants ; and it is still to these that 
the modem must torn who wishes to represent, to himself or 
othen^ the genend aspect and chief geographical divisions of 

The Tigris and Euphrates rise from opposite sides of the 
nme mountain-chaio. Thb is the ancient range of Niphates 
(a prolongation of Taoms), the loftiest of the many parallel 
ridges which intervene between the Euxiue and the Meeopota- 
mian plain, and the only one which transcends in many places 
tli<' limits of perpetual snow. Hence its ancient appellation, 
and hence its power to sustain unfailingly the two magnificent 
•treams which flow from it The line of tlie Niphates is from 
etit to vest, with a very slight deflection to the south of west ; 
and the ftreams thrown off from its opposite flanks, run at first 
in vaileyt parallel to tlie chain itself, but in opposite directions, 
the Eophratei flowing westwanl from its sooroe near Ararat to 
Malatiyeh, while the Tigria from Diarbekr *goee eaatwaid to 
Assyria."* The riven thus appear as if neyer about to meet; 
iHjt at ^lalatiyeh the course of the Eupliratet is changed. 
Sweeping suddenly to the south-east, this stream passes within 
a few mfles of the source of the Tigris below Lake Qdljik, and 
fotcea a way through tlie mountains towards the south, pursuing 
a tortuous coutm, but still neoming as if it intended ultimately 
to minglo its waters with those of the Mediterranean.^ It is 
not till about lialin, in lat d(f, that this intention appears to 
be floally luUMfiUMfl, and the coovoifonoe of the two itreami 
begiai^ The Bopbiatos at flnl flows nearly due east, but soon 


Chap. I. 


takes a course which is, with few and unimportant deflections, 
about south-east, as far as Suk-es-Sheioukh, after which it runs 
a little north of east to Kurnah. The Tigris from Til to Mosul 
pursues also a south-easterly course, and draws but a very little 
nearer to the Euphrates. From Mosul, however, to Samarah, 
its course is only a point east of south ; and though, after that, 
for some miles it flows off to the east, yet resuming, a little 
below the thirty-fourth parallel, its southerly direction, it is 
brought about Baghdad within twenty miles of the sister stream. 
From this point there is again a divergence. The course of the 
Euphrates, which from Hit to the mounds of Mohammed (long. 
44°), had been E.S.E., becomes much more southerly, while that 
of the Tigxis — which, as we have seen, was for a while due south 
— becomes once more only slightly south of east,^ till near Serut, 
where the distance between the rivers has increased from twenty 
to a hundred miles. After passing respectively Serut and El 
Khitr, the two streams converge rapidly. The flow of the 
Euphrates is at first E.S.E., and then a little north of east to 
Kurnah, while that of the Tigris is S.S.E. to the same point. 
The lines of the streams in this last portion of their course, 
together with that which may be drawn across from stream to 
stream, form nearly an equilateral triangle, the distances being 
respectively 104, 110, and 115 miles.^ 8o rapid is the final 
convergence of the two great rivers. 

The Tigris and Euphrates are both streams of the first order. 
The estimated length of the former, including main windings, 
is 1146 miles; that of the latter is 1780 miles."^ Like most 
rivers that have their sources in high mountain regions, they 
are strong from the first, and, receiving in their early course a 
vast number of important tributaries, become broad and deep 
streams before they issue upon the plains. The Euphrates is 
navigable from Sumeisat (the ancient Samosata), 1200 miles 

* In one part of its course, viz. from 
Kut-el-Amarah at the mouth of the 
Shat-el-Hie to llussun Khan's fort, 50 
miles lower down the stream, the 
direction of the Tigris is even north 
of east. 

* From El Khitr to Serut the direct 
distance is 104 miles, from Serut to 
Kurnah 110, and from Kurnah to El 
Khitr 115. 

7 Chesney, Euphrates Expedition, vol. i. 
pp. 38 and 40. 

8 THE FIBBT MOVAlu nv. Cbat.L 

•bore iit 6mbaiicliiire ; and even ISO tmlos higher up. is a river 
• of impottDg ippearmnce," 120 yarda wide and very deep." The 
Tigrii if often 250 yards wide at Diarbekr,* which is not a 
hundred miles from its source, and is narigable in the flood 
time from the bridge of Diarbekr to Mosul,*® from which place 
it is descended at all seasons to Baghdad, and thence to the 
sea.* Its STerage width below Mosul is 200 yards, with a depth 
which allows the ascent of light steamers, unless when there is 
an artificial obstmotioiL' Abore Mosul the width rarely exceeds 
150 yardi» and the depth is not more in places than three or 
four feet. The Euphrates is 250 yards wide at Balbi, and 
averages 350 yards from its junction with the Ehabour to Hit ; 
its depth is commonly from fifteen to twenty feet.' Small 
steamers have descended its entire course from Bir to the sea. 
The volume of the Euphrates in places is, however, somewhat 
less than that of the Tigris, which is a swifter and in its latter 
oonise a deeper stream. It has been calculated that the qtian- 
tity of water discharged every second by the Tigris at Baghdad 
is 164,103 cubic feet, while that discharged by the Euithrates at 
Hit is 72304 feet* 

The Tigris and Euphrates are Tery differently circumstanced 
with respect to tributaries. 8o long as it runs among the 
Armenian mountains, the Euphrates has indeed no lack of 
aftoeots; but these^ except the Kara 8u, or northern Euphrates, 
arc streams of no great Tolnme, being chiefly mountain-torrents 
which collect the drainage of very limited basins. After it 
leaTCS the mountains and enters upon the low country at 
ftimffim^i the aflluents almost entirely cease ; one, the river of 
6^|iir, is reesiTed from the right, in about lat 36^ 40' ; and two 

* Clwiiy, Jft|P^rfwrii|iiiafn,f«tL } liMlwuil Lgraek« mbmmImI Um TIfrit 
yk44. I Mftrty lu Nimrud in 1HA8; but wm 

•lo|i|ir«i hy an artiftrUI bund or Una 
Uirvwn n^-rtw the •trv«m nmr thai 

• IMS. ^ IS. II «•!/ 

m^itk, IK WW , U tV MMM of til* 

OtMwtljr It b •! WuiKkf 

nltM. (Ctimar^r. «ul. i. p. S:(.) Th« 

^HHmukt'im 1S4« nltotniitml Um • 

tal «M WMlSe to pnmvd tkt 
TAHl, frm • ««at of tuSklent 

««i L |k all c< {Hitrntk mti tU H^mams, ml. L eh. v. 



of more importance flow in from the left — the Belik (ancient 
Bilichus), which joins it in long. 39° 9' ; and the Khabour 
(ancient Habor or Chaboras), which effects a junction in long. 
40° 30', lat. 35° 1\ The Belik and Khabour collect the waters 
which flow from the southern flank of the mountain range 
above Orfa, Mardin, and Nisibin, best known as the "Mens 
Masius " of Strabo.^ They are not, however, streams of equal 
importance. The Belik has a course which is nearly straight, 
and does not much exceed 120 miles. The Khabour, on the 
contrary, is sufficiently sinuous, and its course may be reckoned 
at fully 200 miles. It is navigable by rafts from the junction 
of its two main branches near the volcanic cone of Koukab,^ 
and adds a considerable body of water to the Euphrates. Below 
its confluence with this stream, or during the last 800 miles of 
its course, the Euphrates does not receive a single tributary. 
On the contrary, it soon begins to give off its waters right and 
left, throwing out branches, which either terminate in marshes, 
or else empty themselves into the Tigris. After a while, in- 
deed, it receives compensation, by means of the Shat-el-Hie 
and other branch streams, which bring back to it from the 
Tigris, between Mugheir and Kurnah, the greater portion of 
the borrowed fluid. The Tigris, on the contrary, is largely 
enriched throughout the whole of its course by the waters of 
tributary streams. It is formed originally of three main 
branches : the Diarbekr stream, or true Tigris, the Myafarekin 
Kiver, and the Bitlis Chai, or Centrites of Xenophon,^ which 
carries a greater body than either of the other two.® From its 
entry on the low country near Jezireh to the termination of 
its course at Kurnah, it is continually receiving from the left 
a series of most important additions. The chain of Zagros, 
which, running parallel to the two main streams, shuts in the 
Mesopotamian plain upon the east, abounds with springs, which 

» Strab. xi. 12, § 4 ; 14, § 2, &c. 
^ Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, ch. xv. 
p. 322. Compare ch. xi. pp. 269, 270. 
' Xenophon, Anabasis, iv. 3, § 1. 
8 Layard, Kineveh and Babylon, ch. iii. 

p. 49. The Bitlis Chai at Til, just above 
the point of confluence, was found by 
Mr. Layard to be "about equal in size" 
to the united Myafarekin and Diarbekr 

lO Tire FIRST MONAnniY. Chai-. I. 

are well sapplicd during tlie whole summer from its snows,* and 
these when ooUeded form rirers of large sase and most refresh- 
ing cooliMH. The principal are, the eastern Khabour, which 
joins the Tigris in lat 37^ 1*/ ; the Upper Zub, wliich falls in 
by the rains of Nimrud ; the liower 21ab, which joins some way 
below Kileh Shergliat ; the Adhem, which unites its waters half 
way between Samarah and Baghdad ; and tlie Diyaleh (ancient 
GyndesX ^hich is receired between Baghdad and the rains of 

By the influx of these streams the Tigris continues to grow in 
depth and strength as it nears the sea, and becomes at last (as 
we hare seen) a greater river than the Euphrates, which shrinks 
during the latter part of it^ course, and is reduced to a Tolome 
Very inferior to that wliich it once boasted. Tlie Euphrates at 
its junction with the Khabour, 700 miles above Eurnah, is 400 
yaitis wide and 18 feet deep ; at Irzah or ^^'enii, 75 miles lower 
down, it is 350 yards wide and of the same depth ; at Hadisfth, 
140 miles heUm Werdi, it is 300 yards wide, and still of the 
same depth; at llit, 50 miles below Hadiseh, its width has 
increased to 350 yards, but its depth has diminished to 16 feet ; 
at Felujiah, 75 miles from Hit, the depth is 20 feet, but the 
width has diminished to 250 yards. From this point the con- 
tfaction is rery rapid and striking. The Saklawiyeh canal is 
gifen out upon the left, and some way further down the Hin- 
diyeh branches off upon the right, each carrying, when the 
Eaphritee it ftall, a large body of water. The consequence is 
that at Uilloli, 90 mile« below Felujiah, the stream is no more 
than 200 yards wide and 15 feet deep; at Diwaniyeh, 65 miles 
ftirther down, it is only 160 yards wide; and at Lamlun, 20 
miles bebw Diwaniyeli, it is reduced to 120 yards wide, with a 
d^th id DO note than 12 foetl Soon after, however, it begins 
to reeofer itselt The water, which left it by the Hindiyeh, 
returns to It upon the one side, while the 6hat-el-Hie and 
numerous other branch streams fttmi the Tigris flow in u[)on 
tiie other ; but still th«* K«ij»limt'- •'••vr rt«covers itself entirely. 

OUMm mi AMiiM, ^ SOS i /fVMtf if OmtV^ SfoiH^ vol Is. ^ •&. 

Chap. I. 



nor even approaches in its later course to the standard of its 
earlier greatness. The channel from Kurnah to El Khitr was 
found by Colonel Chesney to have an average width of only 
200 yards, and a depth of about 18 or 19 feet/° which implies a 
body of water far inferior to that carried between the junction 
with the Khabour and Hit. More recently, the decline of the 
stream in its later course has been found to be even greater. 
Neglect of the banks has allowed the river to spread itself more 
and more widely over the land ; and it is said that, except in 
the flood time, very little of the Euphrates water reaches the 
sea.^ Nor is this an unprecedented or very unusual state of 
things. From the circumstance (probably) that it has been 
formed by the deposits of streams flowing from the east as well 
as from the north, the lower Mesopotamian plain slopes not only 
to the south, but to the west.^ The Euphrates, which has low 
banks, is hence at all times inclined to leave its bed, and to flow 
off to the right,^ where large tracts are below its ordinary level. 
Over these it spreads itself, forming the well-known " Chaldaean 
marshes," ^ which absorb the chief portion of the water that 
flows into them, and in which the "great river" seems at 
various times to have wholly, or almost wholly, lost itself.^ No 
such misfortune can befall the Tigris, which runs in a deep bed, 
and seldom varies its channel, offering a strong contrast to the 
sister stream.^ 

Frequent allusion has been made, in the course of this descrip- 
tion of the Tigris and Euphrates, to the fact of their having each 
a flood season. Herodotus is scarcely correct when he says, 
that in Babylonia " the river does not, as in Egypt, overflow the 

^'^ Euphrates Expedition, vol. i. pp. 59, 

^ Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, ch. 
xxi. p. 475 ; Loftus, Chaldcea and Susiana, 
p. 45. 

* Heeren's statement, which is directly 
the reverse of this (Asiatic Nations, 
vol. ii. p. 131, E. T.), is at once false 
and self-contradictory. The " deep bed " 
and "bold shores" of the Tigris are 
the consequence of the hit/her level of 
the plain in its vicinity. The fall of the 
Tigris is much greater than that of 

the Euphrates in its lower course, and 
the stream cuts deeper into the alluvium, 
on the principle of water finding its 
own level. 

3 Loftus, p. 44. 

^ Arrian, Exped. Alex. vii. 21, 22; 
Strab. xvi. I, §§ 11, 12. The " lacus 
Chaldaici " of Pliny (Hist. Nat. vi. 27) 
refer rather to the marshes on the Lower 
Tigris. (See the next page.) 

* Arrian, Exped. Alex. vii. 7 ; Plin. 
Hist. Nat. 1. s. c. 

* Arrian, vii. 21. 


of it« own aooord* bat is spread over them by the 
help of eoginc*.**' Both the Tigris and the Euphrates rise 
maoj feet each fpring, and oTeiiOow their banks in various 
pbces. The rise is caused by the molting of the snows in the 
moanlain regions from which the two rivers and their affluents 
apring. As the Tigris drains the southern, and the Euphrates 
tlie iioribeni side of the same mountain range, the flood of the 
former stream is eariier and briefer than that of the latter. 
The Tigris commonly begins to rise early in March, and reaches 
its greatest height in the first or second week of May, after 
which it rapidly declines, and returns to its natural level by 
the middle of June. The Euphrates first swells about the 
middle of March, and is not in full flood till quite the end of 
May or the beginning of June ; it then continues high for above 
a month, and does not sink much till the middle of July, after 
which it gradually falb till September. The country inundated 
by the Tigris is chiefly that ou its lower course, between the 
82Dd and 31 st parallels, the territory of the Beni Lam Arabs. 
The territory which the Euphrates floods is far more extensive. 
As high up as its junction with the Khabonr. that stream is 
described as, in Uio month of April, *' ppreading over the sur- 
rouoding couutr}- like a sea.*** From Hit downwards it inun- 
dates both its banks, more especially the country above Baghdad 
(to whieh it is carried by the 8aklawiyeh canal), the tmct west 
of the Birs Nimrud and extending thence by way of Nedjif to 
Banuiva, and the territory of the AflVj Arabs, between the rivers, 
•bore and bobw the 32nd parallel Its flood is, however, very 
irvQgnlar, owing to the nature of its banks, and the general 
iaflUofttinn of the pUun, whereof mention was made above.* If 
care i» the inumUtion may be pretty equally distri- 
botad (' im ; but if the river banks are 

Baglaet< , mily to the west» rendering the 

whole country on that side tlie river a swamp, and leaving the 
territory oil * lnuMt without water. This state of 

things nay l_ : . — .^:icaUy dom the age of Alexander to 

Lisa. * Uyard, }tkmtk mi itrfjIiiK f, t97. •8«|»f«ll 


the present day, and lias probably prevailed more or less since 
the time when Chaldsea received its first inhabitants. 

The floods of the Tigris and Euphrates combine with the 
ordinary action of their streams upon their banks to produce a 
constant variation in their courses, which in a long period of 
time might amount to something very considerable. It is 
impossible to say, with respect to any portion of the alluvial 
plain, that it may not at some former period have been the bed 
of one or the other river. Still it would seem that, on the 
whole, a law of compensation prevails, with the result that the 
general position of the streams in the valley is not very different 
now from what it was 4000 years ago. Certainly between the 
present condition of things and that in the time of Alexander, 
or even of Herodotus, no great difference can be pointed out, 
except in the region immediately adjoining on the gulf, where 
the alluvium has grown, and the streams, which were formerly 
separate, have united their waters. The Euphrates still flows 
by Hit (Is) and through Babylon ; ^^ the Tigris passes near 
Opis,^ and at Baghdad runs at the foot of an embankment made 
to confine it by Nebuchadnezzar.^ The changes traceable are 
less in the main courses than in the branch streams, which per- 
petually vary, being sometimes left dry within a few years of 
the time that they have been navigable channels.^ 

The most important variations of this kind are on the side of 
Arabia. Here the desert is always ready to encroach ; and the 
limits of Chaldaea itself depend upon the distance from the main 
river, to which some branch stream conveys the Euphrates 
water. In the most flourishing times of the country, a wide and 
deep channel, branching off near Hit, at the very commence- 
ment of the alluvium, has skirted the Arabian rock and gravel 
for a distance of several hundred miles, and has entered the 

'" Herod, i. 179, 180. I the Cuneiform Inscriptions of Assyria 

' Ibid. i. 189 ; Xen. Anab. ii. 4, § 25. and Babylonia, p. 77, note. 
The site of Opis is probably marked by ' Loftus, Chaldcea and Susiana, p. 112. 

the ruins at Khafaji. (See the remarks Some rather considerable changes in the 

of Sir H. Rawlinson in the author's bed of the Tigris are thought to be trace- 

JTerodotus, vol. i. p. 326, note ^) able a little below Samarah. (See Journal 

2 Sir H. Rawlinson, Commentary on of Geographical Society, vol. ix. p. 472.) 



Cbaf. 1. 

i:*enian Galf bj a moutli of its owd/ in tiiis waj the extent 
of Chaldaa has been at times largely increaaed, a raat tract 
being rendered cultivable, which is otherwiae either awamp or 

Such are the chief points of interest connected with the two 
great Mesopotamian rivers. These form, as has been alreadj 
obienred, the only marked and striking characteristics of the 
oonntry, which, except for them, and for one farther feature, 
which now requires notice, would be absolutely unvaried and 
uniform. On tlie Arabian side of the Euphrates 50 miles south 
of the ruins of Babylon, and 25 or 30 miles from the river, is a 
fresh-water lake of very considerable dimensions — the Balu--i- 
Nedjif, the ** Assyrium stagnum ** of Justin.* This is a natural 
basin, 40 miles long, and from 10 to 20 miles broad, enclosed on 
three sides by sandstone clifTti, var)'ing from 20 to 200 feet in 
height, and shut in on the fourth side— the north-east — by 
a rocky ridge, which intervenes between the valley of the 
Eophrates and tliis inland sea. The cliffs are water-worn, pre- 
aeottng distinct indications of more than one level at which the 
water has rested in former times.' At the season of the inundi^ 
tion this lake ia liable to be confounded with the extensive 
floods and marshee, which extend continuously from the country 
west of the Birs Nimrud to Samava. But at other times the 
distinction between the Bahr and the marshes is very evident, 
the former remaining when the latter disappear altogether, and 
not diminishing very greatly in size even in the driest season. 
The water of the lake im fresh and sweety so long as it connnuni- 
oates with the Eaphratea ; when Uie oommiinicatioQ is cut oil* it 
bwwmftt very un|Milatable, and those who dwell in the vicinity 
are no hagpr able to drink it. This remit it attributed to the 
connexion of the lake with rocks of the gypaaferons series.^ 

It is obvious tlmt the only natural divisions of CluUdsDa proper 
are thoae made by the river-conrMa. The principal tract must 

• IHMpar OlMlMlitf. la Um 

0t mu mm, •AOmt mM ar f»- 
hk ommI. ito U mM to haw 
Km* diftini afAlMl Um 
Afttln. Ia AfaWM m^gntkf U it 

dHoa.** TiM 

tuuao la JTanmA 

• JiMla, irlU. S, § ^ 

• *-■*— ^ tk ftO. » IWd^ L ». c. 

Chap. I. 



always have been that which intervenes between the two 
streams. This was anciently a district some 300 miles in length, 
varying from 20 to 100 miles in breadth, and perhaps averaging 
50 miles, which must thus have contained an area of about 
15,000 square miles. The tract between the Euphrates and 
Arabia was at all times smaller than this, and in the most 
flourishing period of Chaldaea must have fallen short of 10,000 
square miles. 

We have no evidence that the natural division of Chaldaea 
here indicated was ever employed in ancient times for political 
purposes. The division which appears to have been so employed 
was one into northern and southern Chaldaea, the first extending 
from Hit to a little below Babylon, the second from Niffer to 
the shores of the Persian Gulf. In each of these districts we 
have a sort of tetrarchy, or special pre-eminence of four cities, 
such as appears to be indicated by the words — " The beginning 
of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, 
in the land of Shinar." ^ The southern tetrarchy is composed 
of the four cities, Ur or Hur, Huruk, Nipur, and Larsa or 
Larancha, which are probably identified with the Scriptural 
" Ur of the Chaldees," Erech, Calneh, and Ellasar.^ The northern 
consists of Babel or Babylon, Borsippa, Cutha, and Sippara, of 
which all except Borsippa are mentioned in Scripture.^" Besides 
these cities the country contained many others, as Chilmad, 
Dur-Kurri-galzu, Ihi or Ahava, Kubesi, Duran, Tel-Humba, &c. 
It is not possible at present to locate with accuracy all these 
places. We may, however, in the more important instances, fix 
either certainly, or with a very high degree of probability, their 

Hur or Ur, the most important of the early capitals, was 

' Gen. X. 10. The sacred historian per- 
haps further represents the Assyrians 
as adopting the Babylonian number on 
their emigration to the more northern 
regions : — " Out of that land went forth 
Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the 
city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen." 
(Gen. X. 11, 12.) 

9 In three out of these four cases, the 
similarity of the name forms a sufficient 

ground for the identification. In the 
fourth case the chief ground of identifi- 
cation is a statement in the Talmud 
that Nopher was the site of the Calneh 
of Nimrod. 

^0 Sippara is the Scriptural Sephar- 
vaim. The Hebrew term has a dual 
ending, because there were two Sipparas, 
one on either side of the river. 


Bituated on the Euphrates, probably at no great distance from 
its mouth. It was probably the chief commercial emporium in 
the early times ; as in the bilingual yocabolaries its ships are 
meDtioned in connexion with those of Ethiopia.* The name is 
found to hsTe attached to the extensi?e ruins (now about six 
miles from the river, on its right bank, and nearly opposite its 
junction with the Shatrel-Hie) which are known by the name of 
Mugheir, or "the bitumened*^' Here, on a dead flat, broken 
only by a few sand-hills, are traces of a considerable town, con- 
sisting chiefly of a series of low mounds, disposed in an oval 
shape, the largest diameter of which runs from north to south* 
and measores somewliat more than Imlf a mile. The chief 
building is a temple, hereafter to be more particularly described, 
which is a Tery conspicuous object even at a considerable dis- 
tance, its greatest height above the plain being about seventy 
feet.' It is built in a very rude fashion, of large bricks, cemented 
with bitumen, whence the name by which the Arabs designate 
the ruins. 

About thirty miles from Hur, in a north-westerly direction, 
and on the other side of the Euphrates, from which it is distant 
eight or nine miles, are the ruins of a town, called in the inscrip- 
tions Larrak, or Larsa, in which some of tlio best Orientalists 
hare recogniied at once the Biblical Ellasar,^ the LaranchsB of 
Berotos,* and the Lariasa of Apollodorus, where the king held 
his oonrt who sent Memnon to tlie siege of Troy.* The identi- 
fication is perhaps doubtful ; but, at any rate, we have here the 
remaina of a leoond Chaldnan capital, dating from the very 
flariieat timei. Tha ruins, which bear now the name of Sen- 
keroh or Siukara, consist of a low circukr platform, about four 
and a ludf miles in circumference, rising gradually from the 
level of the pUin to a central mound, the highest |»oint of which 
attains an elevation of seventy feet above the plain itself, aud is 

•Mr H. m^wUmm, la tlw /Mm«l i Om**, •« dw MtlMr «r bU< 

p,Uh, I «G«.slv. I. 

' Mr. Tsylor. U Um /mtmI of U* \ * Batvi. mf, ^jrMtU., OrtMyf^^ 

A»Mt»c /JwdWy. vol. av. a. MO. tif II. i p. ••. 

■svIUmm |M*m tiM dwIvaUMi of > • AfoUtd. MbHtihm, U. 4, f 4, 

Chap. I. 



— — ^ ' ' I ' i I MiMW. 


/ / / / II 
/ ' ' I I I I 

i^^j^^^-K^'^ '"y^X '' / / / ' 

-^"<?/.^ r^* 'jr^-< 

ScaJe of 1/ardi. 

Plan of Mugheir Ruins. 

H H H H. 2946 yards round. 
a a a. Platform on which the house d is built. 
&. House cleared. 

b. Pavement at edge of platform o, 12 feet below 

c. Tcmb mound. 

de g hklm. Points at which excavallons 

were made by Mr. Loftus. 
ffff. Comparatively open space of very low 


VOL. I. 

1 8 THE PIB8T MONARCHT. CiiAr. 1. 

duliBoUy vinblo from a diftanoe of fifteen milos.^ Tho material 
vied coDi bU of the ordinary imn-dried and baked bricks ; and 
the baeement plutfomiD U^ar the infu'riptions of the same king 
wlio appears to have been the original founder of the chief 
buildings at Ur or Mugheir. 

Fifteen miles from Larsa, in a direction a little north of west, 
and on the same ride of the river, are ruins coniitiderably more 
extensiTe than those of either Ur or Larsa, to which the natives 
applj the name of Warka, which is no doubt a corruption of 
the original appellation. The Erech, or Orech,* of the Hebrews, 
which apjieiirs as Htiruk in the cuneiform geographical lists, 
became known to the Greeks as Orchoe;* and this appella- 
tion, probably continuing in use to the time of the Arab 
conquest, was then corrupted into Urka or Warka, in which 
shape tbe name given by Nimrod still attaches to the second of 
his citii*8. The ruins stand in lat 31° 11)', long. 45° 40', about 
four miles from the nearest bend of the Euphrates, on its left or 
east bank. They form an irregular circle, nearly six miles in 
ctreomference, which is defined by tlie traces of an earthen 
raroijart, in some places forty feet high. A vast mass of undu- 
lating mounds, intersected by innumerable channels and ravines, 
extends almost entirely across the circular space, in a direction, 
which is nearly north and south, abutting at either end u|)on the 
rampart. East and west of this mass is a comparatively o\nn\ 
apace, where the mounds are scattered and infrequent ; while 
ootnde tlie rampart are not only a number of detached hillocks 
marking the site of ancient buildings, but in one dire<>tion — 
towards the east— the city may be traced continuously by nicaiiN 
of niin<*d edifioei^ moonds^ and pottery, fully three miles beynn.l 
the rampart into tlie daiert The greatest height of the ruins 
ia aboot 100 feet; their construction is very rude and primitive, 
the date of some buiMings being eridently as early as that of 
the most ancient structures of either Mogheir or Senkereh.** 

Hixty miles to the Dorth«wsit of theae rains, still on the left 

» UllM.ji.t44. I •§u%\k «»I. I, f 6; Mol. r. 10, 

* Tb» LXX trmmUtan wMptmB Um p. 187. ««• »lio PIlay, Ji*M. AW. 
TJi; by *Of4x I V*. W. •• Utiu», pik I6S-170. 

Chap. I. 



or eastern bank of the Euphrates, but at the distance of thirty- 
miles from its present course, are the remains of another 

0"t^ ^^- 

Scale of ynriis. 

Ruins of Warka (Erech). 

A. Bowariyeh. 
IJ. Wuswas. 

C. Parthian ruin. 
1). Edifice of cones. 

city, the only Chaldcean ruins which can dispute, with those 
already described, the palm of antiquity. They consist of 
a number of separate and distinct heaps, which seem to bo 

c 2 


the remains of difTerent buildings, and are divided into two 
nearly equal groups by a deep ravine or channel 120 feet 
wide, apparently the dry bed of a riyer which once ran 
through the town.' Conspicuous among the other hilKx^ks is 
a conical heap, occupyitig a central position on the eastern side 
of tlie river-bed, and rising to the height of about seventy 
feet above the general level of the plain.* Further on in this 
direction is a low continuous mound, which seems to be a 
portion of the outer wall of the city. The ruins are of con- 
siderable extent, but scarcely so large as those at either Sen- 
kereh or Warka. The name which now attaches to them is 
Kifler ; and it api)ears, from the inscriptions at the place, tliat 
the ancient Semitic appellation was but slightly different.' This 
name, as read on the bilingual tablets, was Nipur ; and as there 
can be little doubt that it is this word which appears in the 
Talmud as Nopher,* we are perhaps entitled, on the authority 
of that treasure-house of Hebrew traditions, to identify these 
ruins with the Calneh of Moses,* and the Calno of Isaiah.* 

About sixty-five miles from Nifler, on the opposite side of the 
Euphrates, and in a direction only slightly north of west, are 
the remains of the ancient Borsippa. These consist of little 
more than the ruins of a single building — the great temple 
of Merodach — which was entirely rebuilt by Nebuchadnenar. 
They have been sometimes regarded as really a |M)rtion of the 
ancient Babylon;^ but this view is wholly incimi)>atiblo with 
the cuneiform records, which distinctly assign to the ruins in 
qaestion the name of Borsip or Borsippa, a place known with 

* hkymrd, AYimwA md Bahylom, eh. whteh Im Joins wlUi B4friT« aad 
xxiv. y. &S1. BoAU tmmnd with bitu- AiyU, ptvelwljr m In Um inMripOoM 

ni« JoiMd Boff«l|s Mipar, and Cuih* or 
Ttgnbn. AyMr b flv«Q la the bilin- 
fiMl mbltli M tiM itMiiie UmaaUtioa 

* 9m nbovn, png* 1ft, not* * 

to tboM ttJIl in UN 
nre mid to b* 
Ibaad, bnmth the aoU, la 
thk nvUM. 
' LbAm,|k10I. 

In tiM mtij •ejihUt or < * Qn^ i. la • bnlah s. S. 

BnliylonlMi tJM mum of tli* . ' Klch. &«omI Mmtoif 

mpmmntad bjr th§ mm* ehnfnetcn m y '<.' lir^rva, Atinlio ilMiMu. vol. II 
urn Mid tor tb*fnd Mut, tbovgli of | |i i:.' K.-r J^onnr, IV— # 4, ml. IK p. 
CMUW witli n dmnmi dsl w totlf i a7t». twe nlw Onmrt** tmn. Mtitkd 

•ad It tlint mmm trfgiUy ywbabN 
w luir* iIm timmnhr fwoaaank 
•r tlM anaM la tlio BiAiN of PlolcMj, 

lit, hc« nlao 0|imrt*t Ma 
••Bili^loa Aailcitta/ In his 

9Hmt*i^u* rm M<,Mjua^mt^, ParU, Oido, 
ISftS ' 


certainty to have been distinct from, though in the neighbour- 
hood of, the capital.® A remnant of the ancient name appears 
to be contained in the modern appellation, Birs-Nimrud or 
Birs-i-Nimrud, which does not admit of any explanation from 
the existing language of the country.^ 

Fifteen miles from hence, to the north-east, chiefly but not 
entirely on the left or east bank of the Euphrates, are the 
remains of " Babylon the Great," which have been so frequently 
described by travellers, that little need be said of them in this 
place. Tlie chief ruins cover a space about three miles long, 
and from one to two broad, and consist mainly of three great 
masses : the first a square mound, called " Babil " by the Arabs, 
lying towards the north at some distance from the other remains ; 
the second or central mound, a pile called the " Kasr " or 
Palace ; and the third, a great irregular heap lying towards the 
south, known as the " mound of Amram," from a tomb which 
crowns its summit. The " Kasr " and " Amram " mounds are 
enclosed within two lines of rampart, lying at right angles to 
each other, and forming, with the river, a sort of triangle, within 
which all the principal ruins are comprised, except the mound 
called " Babil." Beyond the rampart, towards the north, south, 
and east, and also across the river to the west, are various smaller 
detached ruins, while the whole ground, in every direction, is 
covered with fragments of brick and with nitre, the sure marks 
of former habitations. 

The other cities of ancient Chaldsea which may be located 
with an approach to certainty, are Cutha, now Ibrahim, fifteen 
miles north-east by north of Hymar ; Sippara or 8epharvaim, 
which was at Sura, near Mosaib on the Euphrates, about twenty 
miles above Babylon by the direct route ; and Dur-Kurri-galzu, 
now Akkerkuf, on the Saklawiyeh canal, six miles from Baghdad, 
and thirty from Mosaib, in a direction a little west of north. 
Ihi, or Ahava, is probably Hit, ninety miles above Mosaib, on 
the right bank of the river ; Chilmad may be Kalwadha, near 
Baghdad ; and JRubesi is perhaps Zerghul, near the left bank of 

8 Berosus, Fr. 14; Strab. xvi. 1, § 7; Justin, xii. 13; Steph. Byz. ad voc. 
^ Rich, First Memoir, p. 34, note. 




Our. I. 

the MmttM-Hi«s a little above its confluence with the Enphrates. 
Chald«ui cities ap|>ear likewise to have existed at Hywar, ten 
milet finom Babylon towards the east; at Sherifeh and Im 
Khithr, soutli and Kouth-east of Hymar ; at Zibbliyeh,'** on the 
line of the Nil canal, fifteen miles north-west of Nifler; at 
Delay him and Bismiya, in the Afiej marshes, beyond Nifler, to 


the tontli-east; at Phara and Jidr, in the aanie region, to the 
•oath-wett and south-east of Binroiya; at ilammam,** sixteen 
ttiOat tooth-east of Phara, betwei*n the Afiej and the Shatra 
marehes ; at Tel-E4]e, six miles from Hnmmam, to the south- 
soutli-weiit ; at Tel-BIe<litM'h and T«'l-i^ifr, in iho Sluitro maTsheSf 

IS. Uw.LalUn •ticir«U thmnh»> ^ ' 

an of a lulrr cia(<- t^'^Ki.Jr 

k«f Md llftMNMOl M Abttuf Um ituUti*!! 

r*. UMldaMi eltW. 

• ' ■•, p. lia); Iwi t >(» 

Chap. I. 



to the south-east of Tel-Ede and the north-east of Senkereh ; 
at Yokha, east of Hammam, and Niiffdyji, north of Warka ; at 


Lethami, near Niffer ; at Iskhuriyeh, north of Zibbliyeh, near 
the Tigris ; at Tel Kheir and Tel Dhalab, in the upper part of 


24 TBI Pmsr MONABCHY. Chat. I. 

the alluvium, to the nortli of Akkorkuf ; at Diiair, on the right 
buik of the Euphrates, south of Ililleh and Boutli-east of the 
Bint Nimrud ; at Jeb Meliari, south of the Bahr-i-Nedjif ; at 
Mai Uattush, near Swaje; at Tel-eU^hm, nino or ten miles 
south of 8ak-es-8heioukh, and at Abu 8hahrein, in the same 
neighbourhood, on the very border of the Arabian desert.* 
Further investigation ii ill probably add largely to this catalogoe, 
for many parts of Babylonia are still to some extent unexpired. 
This is especially true of the tract between the Shat-el-Hie and 
the lower Tigris,* a district which, according to the geographers, 
abounds with ruins. No doubt the most extensive and most 
striking of the old cities have been visited ; for of these Euro- 
peans are sure to hear through the reports of natives. But it 
is more than probable that a numl^er of the most interesting 
sites remain unexplored, and even unvisited ; for these are not 
always either very extensive or very conspicuous. The process 
of gradual disintegration is continually lowering the height of 
the Chalda^an ruins ; and depressed mounds are commonly the 
sign of an ancient and long-deserted city.' Such remains give 
us an insight into the character of the early people, which it is 
impossible to obtain from ruins where various populations have 
raised their fabrics in succession upon the same spot. 

The cities here enumerated may not perhaps, in all cases, 
have existed in the Chaldsan period. The evidtMice hitherto 
obtained connects distinctly with that period only thu following 
— Ikbylon, Ur or Hur, Larrak or Lena, Erech or Huruk, 
Calndi or Nopher, Bipiiara, Dur-Kurri-galzu, Chilmad, and tlie 
placei now otUed Abu Shahrein and Tel Sifr.^ These sites, it 
will be observed, were s(*attered over the whole territory from 
the extreme Koutli almost to the extreme north, and show the 
extent of the kingdom to have been that above aasigne<l to it* 
They are ooonaeted together by a similarity in building arrange* 

> 9m rrvM^f Mimffimm mm ii» vol. bsvl m. 139-144. 
•frta, pf^ laO-lM; AiM«vMrtll*t JT*. • Thte dUlriei haa bmi vUtod Iqr 

Mtmf&imt^U F* 1*7 Mid Mr. Tbvlor, Imii lu mmnky 

^ in; Imi Mi UMk, la Jmnmd^f mIw U h^^ti dlAMUl « 
M^; bfti^ a«MM Mtf SM«M, |M. *\iiim.C%tMmmd 

■fail; ndJmrnmt^Ottfr't^titiSmtt:,. ;bl4.^4S». • 8m pH* S. 


ments and materials, in language, in form and type of writing, 
and sometimes in actual names of monarchs. The most ancient, 
apparently, are those towards the south, at Warka, Senkereh, 
Mugheir, and Niffer ; and here, in the neighbourhood of the sea, 
which then probably reached inland as far as Suk-es-Sheioukh, 
there is sufficient reason to place the primitive seat of Chaldsean 
power. The capital of the whole region was at first Ur or Hur, 
but afterwards became Nipur, and finally Babel or Babylon. 

The geography of Chaldsea is scarcely complete without a 
glance at the countries which adjoin upon it. On the west, 
approaching generally within twenty or thirty miles of the 
present course of the Euphrates, is the Arabian desert, consisting 
in this place of tertiary sands and gravels, having a general 
elevation of a few feet above the Mesopotamian plain, and 
occasionally rising into ridges of no great height, whose direction 
is parallel to the course of the great stream. Such are the 
Hazem and the Qassaim, in the country between the Bahr-i- 
Nedjif and the Persian Gulf, low pebbly ridges which skirt the 
valley from the Bahr to below Suk-es-Sheioukh. Further west 
the desert becomes more stony, its surface being strewn with 
numerous blocks of black granite, from which it derives its 
appellation of Hejerra.^ No permanent streams water this 
region; occasional "wadys" or torrent-courses, only full after 
heavy rains, are found ; but the scattered inhabitants depend for 
water chiefly on their wells, which are deep and numerous, but 
yield only a scanty supply of a brackish and unpalatable fluid. 
No settled population can at any time have found subsistence 
in this region, which produces only a few dates, and in places a 
poor and unsucculent herbage. Sandstorms are frequent, and 
at times the baleful simoom sweeps across the entire tract, 
destroying with its pestilential breath both men and animals."'^ 

Towards the north Chaldsea adjoined upon Assyria. From 
the foot of that moderately lofty range already described,^ which 
the Greeks called Masius, and the modern Turks know as Jebel 
Tur and Karajah Dagh, extends, for above 300 miles, a plain of 

« See the Journal of the Royal Asiatic I ^ See. the elder Niebuhr's Description 
Society, vol. xv. p. 404. | de VArabie, pp. 7, 8. * See p. 9. 


low eleTation, slightly tmdolating in places, and crossed about 
its oeDtre by an important limestone ridge, known as the Sinjar 
hiUsy which have a din-ction nearly east and west, beginning 
about Mosal, and terminating a little below Bakkah. lliis 
tract differs from the Ciialdssan lowland, by being at once le^s 
flat and more elevated. Geologically it is of secondary forma- 
tion, while Chalda^ proper is tertiary or post^tertiary. It is 
fairly watered towards the north, but below the Sinjar is only 
Tery scantily sopplied. In rocxlem times it is fur nine months 
in the year a desert, but anciently it was well inhabited, means 
haying apparently been found to bring the whole into cultiva- 
tion. As a complete account of this entire region must be given 
in another part of the present volume, tliis outline (it is thou<:^ht) 
may suffice for our present purpose. 

Eastward of Chaldsea, separated from it by the Tigris, which 
in its lower course is a stream of more body tluin the Euphrates, 
was the country known to the Jews as £lam,* to the early 
Greeks as Cissia,* and to the later Greeks as Susis or Susiana.* 
This territory comprised a |)ortion of the mountain country 
which separates Mesopotamia from Persia ; but it was chiefly 
oompoaed of the broad and rich flats intervening betwt*en the 
BMNintaint and the Tigris, along the courses of tho Korkhah, 
Kuran, and Jerahi rivers. It was a rich and fertile tract, re- 
•ambling ChaUhea in its general character, with the exception 
that the vicinity of the mountains lent it freshnets, giring it 
cooler atreamay more frequent rains, and pleasanter breeaea. 
Gapable of maintaining with ease a denie population, it was 
likely, in the early timet, to be a powerful rival to the 
Ketopotamian kingdom, OTer which we shall find tliat in fact 
it iometimei exercised 8upremai*y. 

On the aonth Chaldm bad no nei^'hUnir. II ' is 

•ea, with fow ihoala, land'lockad, and th<ri*fore |* 
the violent storms of Uie ludisn Ocean, invited to « 
offering a raady communi<*Mtit>n with India and C 
M with Ariibm Felix, Ethiopia, and Egypt It 

* I^n. .Ml. s. * MHkS^ tfrm^ liS; livrodocus, v. »ii. 

• auttba^ BV. a, I It. 


this circumstance of her geographical position, as much as to 
any other, that ancient Cbaldaea owes her superiority over her 
neighbours, and her right to be regarded as one of the five 
great monarchies of the ancient world. Commanding at once 
the sea, which reaches here deep into the land, and the great 
rivers by means of which the commodities of the land were 
most conveniently brought down to the sea, she lay in the high- 
way of trade, and could scarcely fail to profit by her position. 
There is sufficient reason to believe that Ur, the first capital, 
was a great maritime emporium ; and if so, it can scarcely be 
doubted that to commerce and trade, at the least in part, the 
early development of Chaldsean greatness was owing. 

28 THB 7IB8T MOXARi'HV Ciap. II. 


** Ager toUus Asue feriilinimut.''~PLiv. J7. N, rl 26. 

LowRR MRSoroTAMiA, OF Chaldflsft, M'hioh lies In the same 
latitude ^ith Contral China, the Piinjah. Palestine, Marocco, 
Georgia, Texas, and Central California, has a climate the 
warmth of which is at least equal to that of any of those 
regions. Even in the more northern part of the country, the 
district about Baghdad, the thermometer often rises during 
the summer to 120^ of Fahrenheit in the shade; * and the in- 
habitants ore forced to retreat to their serdahs or cellar^,* 
where they remain during the day, in an atmosphere whicli, by 
the entire exclusion of the siin*s rays, is reduced to about 100^. 
Lower down the valley, at Zobair, Busrah, and Mohamrorah, 
the summer temperature is still higher;' and, owing to the 
moisture of the atmosphere, consequent on the vicinity of 
the sea, the heat is of that peculiarly oppre&<ive character 
which prevails on the sea-coast of Hindustan, in Ceylon, in tlie 
West Indian islands, at New Orleans, and in other places whose 

is himilar. The vital powers languish under this 
I, >ihii*h produces in the European a lassitude of body 
and a prostration of mind that wholly unfit him for active duties. 
On the Asiatic, however, these influences . seem to have little 
oflbet. The Chal) Arabs, who at present inhabit the region, are 
a tall and warlike race, iitrong-limbed, and mustMilar;^ they 
ap|)ear to enjoy the climat4*, and are as active, as healthy, and 
as long-liTed as any tribe uf their nation. But if man by long 

becomes thoroughly inured to the intense heat of 

IM^m, €%■<<•■ md fcrfwt, f. %, 


Lgftat, p.itO. Thfo tmvvlWr Smm4 • Ibid p. U%, 

Ikt Imprttlure At .Miihamrartth. in 
iWM^ ISSO. tu riM* tiArn to Xtk" of 
fbllfMiMl In lb» •liAAto. 

Chap. II. 



these regions, it is otherwise with the animal creation. Camels 
sicken, and birds are so distressed by the high temperature that 
they sit in the date-trees about Baghdad, with their mouths 
open, panting for fresh air.^ 

The evils proceeding from a burning temperature are aug- 
mented in places under the influence of winds, which, arising 
suddenly, fill the air with an impalpable sand, sometimes circling 
about a point, sometimes driving with furious force across a wide 
extent of country. The heated particles, by their contact with 
the atmosphere, increase its fervid glow, and, penetrating by 
the nose and mouth, dry up the moisture of the tongue, 
parch the throat, and irritate or even choke the lungs.^ Earth 
and sky are alike concealed by the dusty storm, through which 
no object can be distinguished that is removed many yards ; a 
lurid gleam surrounds the traveller, and seems to accompany 
him as he moves ; every landmark is hid from view ; and to the 
danger of suffocation is added that of becoming bewildered and 
losing all knowledge of the road. Such are the perils encoun- 
tered in the present condition of the country. It may be doubted, 
however, if in the times with which we are here concerned the 
evils just described had an existence. The sands of Ohaldgea, 
which are still progressive and advancing, seem to have reached 
it from the Arabian Desert, to which they properly belong: 
year by year the drifts gain upon the alluvium, and threaten 
to spread over the whole country.''' If we may calculate the 
earlier by the present rate of progress, we must conclude that 
anciently these shifting sands had at any rate not crossed the 

If the heat of summer be thus fierce and trying, the cold of 
winter must be pronounced to be very moderate. Frost, indeed, 
is not unknown in the country ; ® but the frosts are only slight. 
Keen winds blow from the north, and in the morning the ground 
is often whitened by the congelation of the dew ; the Arabs, 
impatient of a low temperature, droop and flag ; but there is at 

' Loftus, p. 9, note. 
' Ibid. p. 241 ; Layard, Nineveh and 
Babylon, p. 546. ^ Loftus, pp. 81, 82. 

' Layard, Nineveh andBa.hyh% 1. s.c; 
Loftus, Chaldoea and Susiana^ p. 73 ; 
Fraser, Travels, vol. ii. pp. 37 and 47. 

30 THE nHflT MOWARCHY. Chap. 11. 

no time any teTcrity of cold ; ice rarely furms in the marshes ; 
■now is unknown; and the thermometer, even on the grass^ 
does not often sink below 80°. The Persian kings ptissed their 
winter in Babylon, on account of the mildness of the climate ; 
and Indian princes, ezpelle^i from the Peninsula, are wont, from 
a diuilur cause, to Bt their resddence at Busrah or Biighdad. 
The cold of which travellers speak is relative rather than 
positive. The range of the thermometer in Lower ChaldsBa is 
perhaps 100% whereas in En<(land it is scarcely 80^ ; there is 
thus a greater difference between the heat of summer and the 
cold of winter there than here; but the actual greatest cold — 
that which benumbs the Arabs and makes them lull from their 
horses* — is no more tlian we often experience in April, or even 
in May. 

The rainy season of Chalda^a is in the winter time. Heavy 
showers fall in November, and still more in December, which 
sensibly raise the level of the rivers.' As the spring advances 
the showers become lighter and less frequent ; but still they 
recur from time to time, until the summer sets in, about May. 
From May to November rain is very rare indeed. The sky 
continues for weeks or even montlis without a cloud ; and the 
son's rays are only tempered for a short time at morning and at 
evening by a grey mist or haze. It is during these mouths that 
the phenomenon of the mirage is most remarkable. The strata 
of air, unequally heated, and therefore differing in rarity, 
refract the rays of light, fantastically enlarging and dintorting 
the objects seen through them, which frequently appear raised 
from the ground and hanging in mid-air, or else, by a repetition 
of their image, which is reflected iu a lower stratum, give the 
imprettion that they stand up out of a lake. Hence the delu- 
sion which has so ofV^n driven the traveller to des|)o ration — 
the ^ image of a cool rippling watery mirror,"' which flies 

• Uw.UiUmuntmOm^hfBhmmm | , ffy <i >fii w, vol L pp. as. 99, mmI 61. 

• Mr II. lUwUMom U tiM MllMr't | • lltt■llKlla^ Atpmlt ^ ihtm^ ^. i. 

tms, vt»l. 1. p. 881, Mii*; Midi, 
Ann M«m0ir, p. 18; Cl i Mg r, " 

p.l». Si«,fbrUMiMi,L^3rMd,Amm«4 
miB^6fflm.p.U9; UAM,p.ll8. 


before him as he advances, and at once provokes and mocks 
his thirst. 

The fertility of Chaldsea in ancient times was proverbial. 
" Of all countries that we know," says Herodotus, " there is none 
that is so fruitful in grain. It makes no pretension, indeed, of 
growing the fig, the olive, the vine, or any other tree of the 
kind ; but in grain it is so fruitful as to yield commonly two 
hundred-fold, and when the production is at the greatest, even 
three hundred-fold. The blade of the wheat-plant and of the 
barley -pi ant is often four fingers in breadth. As for the millet 
and the sesame, I shall not say to what height they grow, 
though within my own knowledge ; for I am not ignorant that 
what I have already written concerning the fruitfulness of Baby- 
lonia must seem incredible to those who have not visited the 
country." ^ Theophrastus, the disciple of Aristotle, remarks — 
" In Babylon the wheat-fields are regularly mown twice, and 
then fed off with beasts, to keep down the luxuriance of the 
leaf; otherwise the plant does not run to ear. When this is 
done, the return, in lands that are badly cultivated, is fifty-fold ; 
while, in those that are well farmed, it is a hundred-fold."'' 
Strabo observes — " The country produces barley on a scale not 
known elsewhere, for the return is said to be three hundred-fold. 
All other wants are supplied by the palm, which furnishes not 
only bread, but wine, vinegar, honey, and meal." ^ Pliny follows 
Theophrastus, with the exception that he makes the return of 
the wheat-crop, where the land is well farmed, a hundred and 
fifty-fold.^ The wealth of the region was strikingly exhibited 
by the heavy demands which were made upon it by the Persian 
kings, as well as by the riches which, notwithstanding these 
demands, were accumulated in the hands of those who adminis- 
tered its government. The money-tribute paid by Babylonia 
and Assyria to the Persians was a thousand talents of silver 
(nearly a quarter of a million of our money) annually ; "^ while 

' Herodotus, i. 193. I « Pliny, Hist. Nat. xviii. 17. 

* Theophi'ast. Hist. Plant, viii, 7. ! ^ Herodotus, iii. 92. If we set aside 

' Strabo, xvi. 1, § 14. Compare Xen. I the Indian gold tribute, this was one- 

Anab. ii. 3, §§ 14-16. , ninth of the whole tribute of the empire. 


the tribute in kind was reckoned at one-third part of the contri- 
butions of tho whole empire.* Yet, despite this drain on its 
resources, the government was regarded as the best that the 
Persian king had to bestow, and the wealth accumulated by 
Babylonian satraps was extraordinary. Herodotus tells us of a 
certain Tritantaechmes, a governor, who, to his own knowledge, 
derived from his province nearly two bushels of silver daily! 
This fortunate individual had a stud of sixteen thousand mares, 
with a proportionate number of horses.' Another evidence of 
the fertility of the region may be traced in the fear of Artaxerxes 
3[nemon, after the battle of Cunaxa, lest the Ten Thousand 
should determine to settle permanently in the vicinity of Sittace 
upon the Tigris.' Whatever opinion may be held as to the exact 
position of this place, and of the district intended by Xenophon, 
it is certain that it was in the alluvial plain,* and so contained 
within the limits of the ancient Chaldaea. 

Modern travellers, speaking of Chaldaea in its ])resent con- 
dition, express themselves less enthusiastically tlian the ancients; 
but, on the whole, agree with them as to the natural wipabilities 
of the country. *' The soil," says one of the most judicious, " is 
extremely fertile, producing great quantities of rice, dates, and 
grain of different kinds, though it is not cultivated to above half 
the degree of which it is susceptible."* " The soil is rich," says 
another, "not less bountiful than that on the banks of the 
Egyptian Nile."* "Although greatly changed by the neglect 
of man,** observes a third, ** those portions of Mesopotamia which 
are still cultivated, as the country about Hillali, show that the 
region has all the fertility ascribed to it by Herodotus."* There 
is a general recognition of the productive (pialities of the dis- 
trict, combined with a general lamentation over the existing 

M thftt betwMii the 8hat-£ldha and the 
bMd oT tlM TIffrit, in Ut. S4^ 1 tlioulU 
pbM It lower down, below Baghdaa, 

• IlenKloCiu, 1. 191. Tbb proportkw 
mvpmn exccwlTe. FeriMpe Itebjlook 
rwllv MtppllMl OMMblffd of the gmkt 
wbloA the eottrt conemiied. »<*•*' ()>•< ruiae oTCteeiphon. 

• Ibid. 1. •. e. Firti M0>Huu, p. is. 

I Xea. iUa6. U. 4, { 9S. '>S CMUcm ontf ^'mmim, p. 14 

' Ibid. I IS. CoBimre Alneworth, , * UMMMqr,A|pAi«l«JS9««Mm,vol.U. 

JUtreat of ths Ttn Thommd, pp. lOi- | f, '^^ 

114. lie ivg^nU the dietrfet 


neglect and apathy which allow such gifts of Nature to run to 
waste. Cultivation, we are told, is now the exception, instead 
of the rule. "Instead of the luxuriant fields, the groves and 
gardens of former times, nothing now meets the eye but an arid 
waste.'"' Many parts of Chaldaea, naturally as productive as 
any others, are at present pictures of desolation. Large tracts 
are covered by unwholesome marshes, producing nothing but 
enormous reeds ; others lie waste and bare, parched up by the 
fierce heat of the sun, and utterly destitute of water ; in some 
places, as has been already mentioned, sand-drifts accumulate, 
and threaten to make the whole region a mere portion of the 

The great cause of this difference between ancient and modern 
Chaldiea is the neglect of the water-courses. Left to them- 
selves, the rivers tend to desert some portions of the alluvium 
wholly, which then become utterly unproductive; while they 
spread themselves out over others, which are converted thereby 
into pestilential swamps. A well-arranged system of embank- 
ments and irrigating canals is necessary in order to develop the 
natural capabilities of the country, and to derive from the rich 
soil of this vast alluvium the valuable and varied products which 
it can be made to furnish. 

Among the natural products of the region two stand out as 
pre-eminently important — the wheat-plant and the date-palm. 
According to the native tradition," wheat was indigenous in 
Chaldsea ; and the first comers thus found themselves provided 
by the bountiful hand of Nature with the chief necessary of life. 
The luxuriance of the plant was excessive. Its leaves were as 
broad as the palm of a man's hand, and its tendency to grow 
leaves was so great that (as we have seen®) the Babylonians used 
to mow it twice and then pasture their cattle on it for a while, 
to keep down the blade and induce the plant to run to ear. The 
ultimate return was enormous: on the most moderate com- 
putation ® it amounted to fiftv-fold at the least, and often to a 

« Loftus, 1. s. c. "> Berosus, Fr. 1, * See p. 31. 

' That of Theophrastus, the professed naturalist. See above, p. 31, note *. 

VOL. I. D 



Chap. n. 

hundred-fold. The iiKxlern Oriental is content, even in the case 
of a rich soil, with a ten-fold return.' 

The date-palm was at once one of the most valuable and one 
of the most ornamental products of the country'. "Of all 
vegetable forms," says the greatest of modem naturalists, *' the 
palm is that to which the prize of beauty has been assigned by 



the ooncurront voice of nations in all ages."'' And though the 
date-palm is in form jierhaps less graceful and lovely than some 
of its sister 8|)ecies, it |kwuoooo8 in the dates themselves a beauty 
whi<h they lacrk. These charming yellow clusters, semi-trans- 
parent, which the Greeks likened to amber,' and moderns com- 
pare to gold,^ contrast, both in shape and tint» with the green 

> aMffr^,Jotim. vol. U. p. 91. CSoM- p. 20, R. T. 

ftM Mlebohr, J}e9crif,tiom' Ut i'Arnt^, ; • Xra. Anab. ii. 3, $ 15; rhiluttrat. 
p. 194. ' VU, AfHiilun. Tytm. i. 21. 

> IlumUaat, A»p4cti of Nat^tre, vol. U. * LuAiw, CAaUtea urn/ Sutima, p. 25. 


feathery brandies beneath whose shade they hang, and give a 
richness to the landscape they adorn which adds greatly to its 
attractions. And the utility of the palm has been at all times 
proverbial. A Persian poem celebrated its three hundred and 
sixty uses.^ The Greeks, with more moderation, spoke of it as 
furnishing the Babylonians with bread, wine, vinegar, honey, 
groats, string and ropes of all kinds, firing, and a mash for 
fattening cattle.^ The fruit was excellent, and has formed at all 
times an important article of nourishment in the country. It 
was eaten both fresh and dried, forming in the latter case a 
delicious sweetmeat.''' The wine, "sweet but headachy,"^ was 
probably not the spirit which it is at present customary to distil 
from the dates, but the slightly intoxicating drink called laghy 
in North Africa, which may be drawn from the tree itself by 
decapitating it, and suffering the juice to flow.^ The vinegar 
was perhaps the same fluid corrupted, or it may have been 
obtained from the dates. The honey was palm-sugar, likewise 
procurable from the sap. How the groats were obtained we 
do not know ; but it appears that the pith of the palm was 
eaten formerly in Babylonia, and was thought to have a very 
agreeable flavour.^^ Kopes were made from the fibres of the 
bark ; and the wood was employed for building and furniture.^ 
It was soft, light, and easily worked, but tough, strong, and 

The cultivation of the date-palm was widely extended in 
Chaldsea, probably from very early times. The combination of 
sand, moisture, and a moderately saline soil, in which it delights,^ 
was there found in perfection, more especially in the lower 
country, which had but recently been reclaimed from the sea. 
Even now, when cultivation is almost wholly laid aside, a thick 
forest of luxuriant date-trees clothes the banks of the Euphrates 

5 Strabo, xvi. 1, § 14. « Ibid. 

^ Xen. Anab. 1. s. c. " The peasantry 
in Babylonia now principally subsist on 
dates pressed into cakes." Eich, First 
Memoir, p. 59, note. 

* 'HSu ix\v, KecpuXaXyhs 5e. Xen. 
Anab. 1. s. c. 

^ Hamilton's Wanderings in North 
Africa, ch. xiv. pp. 189, 190. 

10 Xen. A7iab. ii. 3, § 16. 

^ Theophrast. Hist. Plant, ii. 7 ; p. 66. 

2 Ibid. V. 4 and 6. 

^ Theophrast. Hist. Plant, ii. 7 ; p. 
64 ; Plin. B. M. xiii. 4. 

D 2 


on either side, from the vicinity of Mugheir to its embouchure 
at the head of the Persian Gulf.* Anciently the tract was much 
more generally wooded with them. " Palm-trees grow in num- 
bers over the whole of the flat country," says one of the most 
observant and truthful of travellers — Herodotus.* According to 
the historians of Julian, a forest of verdure extended from the 
upper edge of the alluvium, which he crossed, to Mesene and 
the shores of the sea.** When the Arabian conquerors settled 
themselves in the lower country, they were so charmed with the 
luxuriant vegetation and the abundant date-groves, that they 
compared the region with the country about Damascus, and 
reckoned it among their four earthly paradises."^ The propaga- 
tion of the date-palm was chiefly from seed. In Chaldaea, how- 
ever, it was increased sometimes from suckers or offshoots thrown 
up from the stem of the old tree;^ at other times by a species 
of cutting, the entire head being struck off" witli about three feet 
of stem, notclied, and then planted in moist ground.® Several 
varieties of the tree were cultivated ; but one was esteemed above 
all the rest, both for the size and flavour of the fruit. It bore 
the nama of " Royal," and grew only in one place near Babylon."* 
liesides these two precious products, Chaldaja produced ex- 
cellent barley, millet, sesame, vetches, and fruits of all kinds.' It 
was, however, deficient in variety of trees, possessing scarcely 
any but the palm and the cypress. Pomegranates, tamarisks, 
poplars, and acacias are even now almost the only trees be- 
sides the two above mentioned, to bo found between Samarah 
and the Persian Gulf. The tamarisk grows chiefly as a shrub 
along the rivers, but sometimes attains the dimensions of a 
tree, as in the case of the '* solitary tree " still growing upon 
the ruins of Ikbylon.* The pomegranates with their scarlet 
flowers, and the acacias with their light and graceful foliage, 

* LofttM, Chaldaa and Svdana, p. 187 t * Thraphrast. Hist. Plant, ii. 2 ; p. 59. 
and i>. 277; Ainawortli, TnneU m Otf ' li>i<i. ii. 7: p. 64. 

Track of the Tm TSoiuand, p. 105. - '• Ila.l. p. G7 

• lleiod. 1. 193. 

• Amm. Matc uIv. 3; Zotlm. ill. 

pp. 17:i-9. 

' Sir II. lUwIinion, in the Jcmmal of 
the Qeo^ajhical Society, vul. sxvii. p. 180. 

» lUrmui. Kr. 1, § 2; Herod, i. 193. 

* llieh« Fu-Bt Menwir^ p. 26 ; llcorcn, 
Atiaiic S'ations, vol. ii. p. 158; Aiiw- 
worth, JKcMordbi Ai AMiiria, Babylonia 
and CAaUaa, p. 125. 



ornament the banks of the streams, generally intermingled 
with the far more frequent palm, while oranges, apples, 
pears, and vines are successfully cultivated in the gardens and 

f^^ >A^^^ 




Chaldeean reeds, from an Assyrian sculpture (after Layard). 

Among the vegetable products of Chaldsea must be noticed, as 
almost peculiar to the region, its enormous reeds. These, which 
are represented with much spirit in the sculptures of Senna- 
cherib, cover the marshes in the summer-time, rising often to 


the height of fourteen or fifteen feet* The Arabs of the marsh 
region form their hooses of this material, binding the stems of 
the reeds together, and bending tliom into arches, to make 
the skeleton of tlieir buildings; while, to form the walls, 
they stretch across from arch to arch mats made of the 
leares. From the same fragile substance they construct their 
ierradoB or light boats, which, when rendered waterproof by 
means of bitumen, will support the weight of three or four 

In mineral products Clmldcea was very deficient indeed. The 
alluvium is wholly destitute of metals, and even of stone, which 
must be obtained, if wanted, from the adjac^ent countries. The 
neighbouring parts of Arabia could furnish sandstone ai»d the 
more distiint basalt ; which appears to have been in fact transported 
occasionally to the Chalda?aii cities.* Probably, however, the chief 
importation of stone was by the rivers, whose waters would readily 
convey it to almost any part of Chaldaea from the regions above 
the alluvium. This we know to have been done in some cases ; * 
but the evidence of the ruins makes it clear that such importa- 
tion was ver)' limited. The Chaldteans found, in default of stone, 
a very tolerable material in their own country ; which produced 
an inexhaustible supply of excellent clay, easily moulded into 
bricks, and not even requiring to be baked in oixler to fit it for 
the builder. Exposure to the heat of the summer sun hardened 
the clay sufficiently for most purposes, while a few hours in a 
kiln made it us firm and duroble as freestone, or even granite. 
Chulda>a, again, yielded various substances suitable for mortar. 
Calcareous eartlis abound on the western side of the Euphrates 
towards the Arabian frontier;^ while everywhere a tenacious 
slime or mud is easily procurable, which, though imperfect as a 
cement, can scTve the pur|)Ose, and has the advantage of bc*ing 
always at hand. Bitumen is also produced hirgcly in some 

* AlBfwortb. J?«tMrrA4v, p. 1 <> * Vt^noiJioD •tmtrt ihmt mUblooM 

iMymnl, SiHtreh and fii$bykfm, |« |.|iUrU to lUbvloo frum • 

Mr. IzinuiMVi" r.»or llfhf!.** i • • »!!• IM» (Vrli^Uh?), on the 

d4MamitBm»< i , ^^^ 1. M 5.) 

« UjMd, 

iMuir, ^ 65. 

Chap. II. WILD BEASTS. 39 

parts, particularly at Hit, where are the inexhaustible springs 
which have made that spot famous in all ages.^ Naphtha and 
bitumen are here given forth separately in equal abundance ; 
and these two substances, boiled together in certain proportions, 
form a third kind of cement, superior to the slime or mud, but 
inferior to lime-mortar. Petroleum, called by the Orientals 
mumia, is another product of the bitumen-pits.^ 

The wild animals indigenous in Babylonia appear to be 
chiefly the following : — the lion, the leopard, the hyaena, the 
lynx, the wild-cat, the wolf, the jackal, the wild-boar, the 
buffalo, the stag, the gazelle, the jerboa, the fox, the hare, 
the badger, and the porcupine. The Mesopotamian lion is a 
noble animal. Taller and larger than a IMount St. Bernard dog, 
he wanders over the plains their undisputed lord, unless when an 
European ventures to question his pre-eminence. The Arabs 
tremble at his approach, and willingly surrender to him the 
choicest of their flocks and herds. Unless urged by hunger, he 
seldom attacks man, but contents himself with the destruction 
of buffaloes, camels, dogs, and sheep. When taken young, he is 
easily tamed, and then manifests considerable attachment to his 
master.^ In his wild state he haunts the marshes and the banks 
of the various streams and canals, concealing himself during the 
day, and at night wandering abroad in search of his prey, to 
obtain which he will approach with boldness to the very skirts 
of an Arab encampment. His roar is not deep or terrible, but 
like the cry of a child in pain, or the first wail of the jackal 
after sunset, only louder, clearer, and more prolonged. Two 

' Thothmes III. brought bitumen 
from Hit to Egypt about B.C. 1400. 
(See Sir G. Wilkinson's Historical Notice 
of Egypt in the author's Herodotus, 
vol. ii. p. 360.) Herodotus mentions 
Hit as the great place for bitumen, 
about B.C. 450 (Herod, i. 179). Isidore 
of Charax takes notice of its bitumen- 
springs, about B.C. 1.50 (Mans. Parth. 
p. 5). Shortly afterwards its name was 
made to include a notice of the bitumen; 
and thus it is called Ihi-da-kira in the 
Talmud, Idi-cara in Ptolemy, and Dacira 
by the historians of Julian — kier or yhier 

C yi^ ) ^®^"S the Arabic term for bitu- 

" Rich, First Memoir, pp. 63-4. 

^ Mr. Laj'ard gives an amusing ac- 
count of a tame lion which was given 
him by Osman Pasha, commandant of 
Hillah {Nin. and Bab. p. 487). Sir H. 
Rawlinson had a tame lion for some 
years at Baghdad, which was much 
attached to him, and finally died at his 
feet, not suffering the attendants to 
remove him. 



Chap. II. 

TarieCieB of the lion appear to exist : the one is maneless, while 
the other has a long mane, which is black and shaggy. The 
former is now the more common in the country ; but the latter, 
which is the fiercer of the two,* is the one ordinarily represented 
upon the sculptures. Tlie lioness is nearly as much feared as 
the lion ; when her young are attacked, or when she has lost 
them, she is perhaps even more terrible. Her roar is said to be 
deeper and far more imposing than that of the male.* 

WiId-«ow and pigs, from Kojrunjik. . 

The other animals require but few remarks. Gkoelles are 
plentiful in tlie more sandy regions ; buffHloes abound in the 
marshes of the soutli, where they are domesticatetl, and form the 
chief wealth of the inhabitants ; * troops of jackals are common, 
while the hya?na and wolf are comparatively rare ; the wild-boar 
frequents the river banks and marBhes, as depicted in the Assy- 
rian sculptures ; harea abound in the country about Baghdad ; 
|)orcupine8 and badgera are found in most places; leopards, 
lynxes, wild-cats, and deer, are somewhat uncommon. 

Chaldssa poMeasea a great variety of birds. Falcons, vultures, 
kites, owls, hawks and crows of various kinds, francolius or 

* Hm lahftbltoatt aall Om w 
mMbtltovMB,** Umm with 
^'iBfldtla.*' TW 
«iy, will tpar» • M<< 
the Utt«r never. 
JSak. p. 4S7, BOto.) 

tloB, I Imhi fhn Sir G«nlMr WUkliH 
■on, k mmU mt Cm\ro botwwn the fi«M 
m4 the blaek cmcoUile. 
• UtUm,<XUd>9oai»dSfulmm,p.U9, 


black partridges, pelicans, wild-geese, ducks, teal, cranes, herons, 
kingfishers, and pigeons, are among the most common. The 
sand-grouse (Pterocles arenarius) is occasionally found, as also 
are the eagle and the bee-eater. Fisli are abundant in the 
rivers and marshes, principally barbel and carp, which latter 
grow to a great size in the Euphrates. Barbel form an im- 
portant element in the food of the Arabs inhabiting the Affej 
marshes, who take them commonly by means of a fish-spear.^ 
In the Shat-el-Arab, which is wholly within the influence of the 
tides, there is a species of goby, which is amphibious. This 
fish lies in myriads on the mud-banks left uncovered by the 
ebb of the tide, and moves with great agility on the ap- 
proach of birds. Nature seems to have made the goby in 
one of her most freakish moods. It is equally at home in 
the earth, the air, and the water ; and. at different times 
in the day may be observed swimming in the stream, basking 
upon the surface of the tidal banks, and burrowing deep in the 

The domestic animals are camels, horses, buffaloes, cows and 
oxen, goats, sheep, and dogs. The most valuable of the last- 
mentioned are greyhounds, which are employed to course the 
gazelle and the hare. The camels, horses, and buffaloes are of 
superior quality; but the cows and oxen seem to be a very 
inferior breed.''^ The goats and the sheep are small, and yield a 
scanty supply of a somewhat coarse wool.^ Still their flocks 
and herds constitute the chief wealth of the people, who have 
nearly forsaken the agriculture which anciently gave Chaldaea its 
pre-eminence, and have relapsed very generally into a nomadic 
or semi-nomadic condition. The insecurity of property con- 
sequent upon bad government has in a great measure caused 
this change, which renders the bounty of Nature useless, and 
allows immense capabilities to run to waste. The present con- 
dition of Babylonia gives a most imperfect idea of its former 
state, which must be estimated not from modern statistics, but 

' liBiyox^, Nineveh and Babylon y^.b^T. \ '' Cheanej ^ Euphrates Expedition, \o\A. 
' Ainsworth, i?esearcAes, pp. 135, 136; j p. 108. 
Fraser, Mesopotamia and Assrjria, p. 373. | ^ Layard, Nineveh and Babylon,^. 506. 


from the accounts of anciont wntcre and the evidences which 
the country itself presents. From them we conclude that this 
region was among the most productive upon the face of the 
earth, spontaneously producing some of the best gifts of God to 
man, and capable, under careful management, of being made 
one continuous garden* 

Chap. III. 





" A miglity nation, an ancient nation." — Jerem. v. 15. 

That the great alluvial plain at the mouth of the Euphrates 
and Tigris was among the countries first occupied by man after 
the Deluge, is affirmed by Scripture,^ and generally allowed by 
writers upon ancient history.^ Scripture places the original 
occupation at a time when language had not yet broken up 
into its different forms, and when, consequently, races, as we 
now understand the term, can scarcely have existed. It is not, 
however, into the character of these primeval inhabitants that 
we have here to inquire, but into the ethnic affinities and cha- 
racteristics of that race, whatever it was, which, first established 
an important kingdom in the lower part of the plain — a 
kingdom which eventually became an empire. According to 
the ordinary theory, this race was Aramaic or Semitic. " The 
name of Aramaeans, Syrians, or Assyrians, "^ says Niebuhr, " com- 
prises the nations extending from the mouth of the Euphrates 
and Tigris to the Euxine, the river Halys, and Palestine. They 
applied to themselves the name Aram, and the Greeks called 
them Assyrians, which is the same as Syrians (?). Within that 
great extent of country there existed, of course, various dialectic 
differences of language ; and there can be little doubt but that 
in some places the nation was mixed with other races." ^ The 
early inhabitants of Lower Mesopotamia, however, he considers 
to have been pure Aramaeans, closely akin to the Assyrians, 
from whom, indeed, he regards them as only separate politically.'* 

» Gen. xi. 1-9. 

* Heeren, Asiatic Nations, vol. ii. 
p. 130; Sir H.Rawlinson, in the JoMrna^ 
of the Asiatic Society, vol. xv. p. 232 ; 
Vaux, Nineveh and Persepolis, p. 6 ; 
Chesney, Euphrates Expedition, vol. ii. 
p. 18 ; Lenormant, Histoire ancienne de 

t' Orient, vol. ii. p. 5 ; &c. 

^ Niebuhr, Lectures on Ancient His- 
tory, vol. i. p. 12, E.T. 

* Ibid. p. 11 : "We shall begin with 
the Assyrians ; but with those of Baby- 
lon : not, like Justin, with those of 

44 THE FIB8T MOKABCHY. Chap. m. 

Similar Tiews are entertained by most modem writers.* 
Baron Bunsen, in one of his latest works/ regards the fact as 
completely established by the results of recent researches in 
Babylonia. Professor M. Miiller, though expressing himself 
with more caution, inclines to the same conclusion.^ Popular 
works, in the shape of CyclopaMlias and short general histories, 
diffuse the impression. Hence a difficulty is felt with regard to 
the Scriptural statement concerning the first kingdom in these 
parts, which is expressly said to have been Cushite or Ethiopian. 
** And Cush hegcU Nimrod : (lie began to be a mighty one in the 
earth ; he was a mighty hunter before the Lord ; wherefore it is 
said, Even as Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord ;) and 
the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, 
and Calneli, in the land of Shinar." ** According to this passage 
the early Chaldajans should be Hamites, not Semites— Ethio- 
pians, not Aramaeans ; they should present analogies and points 
of connexion with the inhabitants of Egypt and Abyssinia, of 
Southern Arabia and Mekran, not with those of Upper Mesopo- 
tamia, Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine. It will be one of the 
objects of this chapter to show that the Mosaieal narrative 
conveys the exact truth — a truth alike in accordance with the 
earliest ciaasical traditions, and with the latest results of modern 
comparative philology. 

It will be desirable, however, before proceeding to establish 
the correctness of these Msertions, to examine the grounds on 
which the opposite belief has been held so long and so con- 
fidently. Heeren draws his chief argument fnim the supposed 
character of the language. Assaming the form of s()eech called 
Cbaldee to be the original tongue of the i>eople, he remarks 
that it is ^ an Aranuean dialect, difiering but slightly from the 
proper Byriao."* Chaldee is known {wrtly from the Jewish 
Scriptures, in which it is u«»d (K*rasionally,' {tartly from the 

• Rctimi. As. Kat. ««l. II. •. I4A ; 'i^tM^M tf th Smd ^ Wm, fp, 
Priehard, H^skml Bitht^ tf ihmkimd. > (Sret Mitloo). 

vol. It. p. 668; KItto, BMkml 0^^ .ii i n.|o. • A», ir«#. I.t.e. 

jMr«M«, riA. 1. p. t75. ' Itu- i-nioti* of thr OKI Trvtammt 

• J'kHu0u/ihjf <ff OnitHmt Uiilar^, wHltm m tii« M><-iilt<^t (Imiarr nrv 
vol. I. p. IVS. lUra, iv. M (u \i. I.H, Atul Mi \Jli>: 


Targiims (or Chaldaean paraphrases of different portions of the 
Sacred Yoliime), some of which belong to about the time of the 
Apostles, and partly from the two Talmuds, or collections of 
Jewish traditions, made in the third and fifth centuries of our 
era. It has been commonly regarded as the language of 
Babylon at the time of the Captivity, which the Jews, as 
captives, were forced to learn, and which thenceforth took the 
place of their own tongue. But it is extremely doubtful whether 
this is a true account of the matter. The Babylonian language 
of the age of Nebuchadnezzar is found to be far nearer to 
Hebrew than to Chaldee, which appears therefore to be mis- 
named, and to represent the western rather than the eastern 
Aramaic. The Chaldee argument thus falls to the ground ; 
but in refuting it an admission has been made which may be 
thought to furnish fully as good proof of early Babylonian 
Semitism as the rejected theory. 

It has been said that the Babylonian language in the time of 
Nebuchadnezzar is found to be far nearer to Hebrew than to 
Chaldee. It is, in fact, very close indeed to the Hebrew. The 
Babylonians of that period, although they did not speak the 
tongue known to modern linguists as Chaldee, did certainly 
employ a Semitic or Aramaean dialect, and so far may be set 
down as Semites. And this is the ground upon which such 
modern philologists as still ihaintain the Semitic character of 
the primitive Chaldseans principally rely.^ But it can be 
proved, from the inscriptions of the country, that betw^een the 
date of the first establishment of a Chaldaean kingdom and the 
reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the language of Lower Mesopotamia 
underwent an entire change. To whatever causes this may have 
been owing — a subject which will be hereafter investigated^ — 
the fact is certain ; and it entirely destroys the force of the 
argument from the language of the Babylonians at the later 

Another ground, and that which seems to have had the chief 

Daniel, ii. 4 to vii. 28; and Jeremiah, 
X. 10. There is also a Chaldee gloss in 
Genesis, xxxi. 47. 

2 Bunsen, Philosophy of Universal 

History, pp. 193 and 201 ; MUller, 
Languages, &c. 1. s. c, 

' See below, ch. iv. pp. 61-69. 

46 THE FIB8T MOVARrHY Chap. Ill 

weight witJi Niebuhr, is the sui>jK>j*eil iileiitity or intimate con- 
nexion of the Babylonians with the Assyrians. That the latter 
people were Semites has never been denied ; and, indeed, it is 
a point supported by such an amount of evidence as renders it 
quite unassailable. If, therefore, the primitive Babylonians 
were once proved to be a mere portion of the far greater 
Assyrian nation, locally and politically, but not ethnically 
separate from them, their Semitic character would thereupon be 
fully established. Now that this was the belief of Herodotus 
must be at once allowed. Not only does that writer regard the 
later Babylonians as Assyrians — '* Assyrians of Babylon," as he 
expresses it* — and look on Babylonia as a mere "district of 
Assyria," * but, by adopting the mythic genealogy, which made 
Ninus the son of Belus,' he throws back the connexion to the 
very origin of the two nations, and distinctly pronounces it a 
connexion of race. But Herodotus is a very weak authority 
on the aniiquUies of any nation, even his own ; and it is not 
surprising that he should have carried back to a remote period 
a state of things which he saw existing in his own age. If the 
later Babylonians were, in manners and customs, in religion 
and in language, a close counterpart of the Assyrians, he would 
naturally suppose them descended from the same stock. It is 
his habit to transfer back to former times tlie condition of 
things in his own day. Thus he calls the inhabitants of the 
IVlo{x>nne8e before the Dorian invasion "Dorians,"' regards 
Athens as the aeoond city in Greece when Cn.e?<us sent his 
embasnet,* and detcribes as the ancient Persian religion that 
corrupted form which existed under Artaxerxes Ix)ngimanuK.* 
He is an excellent authority for what ho had himself sei*u, or 
for what he had laboriously collected by inquiry from eye- 
witnesses; but be hail neither the critical acumen nor the 
linguistic knowledge neoi*ii8ary for the formation of a trust- 
wortliy opinion on a matter belonging to the remote histor)' of a 
distant people. And the opinioD of Herodotoi as to the ethnic 
idciititv lif the two nations is certainly not confirmed bv otlu^r 

• llrrud. I. 177. * Hi 1 ') J" • IWa. cli. 7. Ibia. VI. M. 

• Ibid > >•. * Ibkl. lil. 16. 



ancient writers. Berosus seems to have very carefully dis- 
tinguished between the Assyrians and the Babylonians or 
Chaldseans, as may be seen even through the doubly-distorting 
medium of Polyhistor and the Armenian Eusebius.^ Diodorus 
Siculus made the two nations separate and hostile in very early 
times.^ Pliny draws a clear line between tlie " Chaldsean races," 
of which Babylon was the head, and the Assyrians of the region 
above them.^ Even Herodotus in one place admits a certain 
amount of ethnic difference ; for, in his list of the nations 
forming the army of Xerxes, he mentions the Chaldseans as 
serving with, but not included among, the Assyrians.'^ 

The grounds, then, upon which the supposed Semitic character 
of the ancient Chalda^ans has been based, fail, one and all ; and 
it remains to consider whether we have data sufficient to justify 
us in determinately assigning them to any other stock. 

Now a large amount of tradition — classical and other — brings 
Ethiopians into these parts, and connects, more or less dis- 
tinctly, the early dwellers upon the Persian Gulf with the 
inhabitants of the Nile valley, especially with those upon its 
upper course. Homer, speaking of the Ethiopians, says that 
they were " divided^' and dwelt " at the ends of earth, towards the 
setting and the rising sun.'' ^ This passage has been variously 
apprehended. It has been supposed to mean the mere division 
of the Ethiopians south of Egypt by the river Nile, whereby 
some inhabited its eastern and some its western bank.^ Again, 
it has been explained as referring to the east and west coasts of 
Africa, both found by voyagers to be in the possession of 
Ethiopians, who were " divided " by the vast extent of continent 
that lay between them.''' But the most satisfactory explanation 
is that which Strabo gives from Ephorus,^ that the Ethiopians 
were considered as occupying all the south coast both of Asia 
and Africa, and as " divided " by the Arabian Gulf (which sepa- 
rated the two continents) into eastern and western — Asiatic and 

^ Euseb. Chron. Can. 
17-21 ; ed. Mai. 

2 Diod. Sic. ii. 1, § 7. 

3 Plin. H. N. vi. 26. 
* Herod, vii. 63. 

4 and 5 ; pp. 

» Horn. Od. i. 23, 24— 

AifltoTra?, toI fiix^a SeSaiarai, etrxaTOi avSpuiu, 
Ot fiev SvaofJiei/ov 'Ynepiovos, oi 6' aftorro?. 

« Strab. i. 2, § 25. ' Ibid. § 26. 
8 Ibid. §§ 26-31. 


African. This was an "old opinion" of the (I neks, wo are 
told; and, though Strabo thinks it indicati*d their ignomnce, 
we may perhaps be excused for holding that it might not im- 
proliably have arisen from renl, thougli imperfect, knowledge. 

The traditions with respect to Memnon serve very closely to 
connect Egypt and Ethiopia with the country at the head of 
the Persian Gulf. Memnon, King of Ethiopia, according to 
Hesiod * and Pindar,' is regarded by jEschylns as the son of a 
Cissian woman,* and by Herodotus and others as the founder 
of 8usa.' He leads an army of combined Susianians and 
Ethiopians to the assistance of Priam, his father's brother, and, 
after greatly distinguishing himself, perishes in one of the 
battles before Troy.* At the same time he is claimed as one of 
their monarchs by the Ethiopians upon the Nile,* and identified 
by the Egyptians with their king, Amunoph III.,* whose statue 
became known as " the vocal ]^mnon." Souietimes his expe- 
dition is supposed to have started from the African Ethiopia, 
and to have proceeded by way of Egypt to its destination.' 
Tliere were palaces, called " 3[emnonia,'* and supposed to have 
been built by him, both in Egypt and at Susa;' and there was 
a tril)e, called Memnones, near 3Ieroe.* Memnon thus unites 
the Eastern with the Western Ethiopians; and the less we 
regard him as an historical personage, the more must we view 
him as personifying the ethnic identity of the two races. 

The ordinary genealogies containing the name of Bel us point 
in the same direction, and serve more definitely to coimect the 
iiabylonians with the Cushites of the Nile. Pherecydes, who is 
an earlier writer than Herodotns, makes Agenor, the son of 
Neptune, marry IXimno, the daughter of Belus, and have issue 
FboBnix, Iiea, and Melia, of whom Melia marries Danaus, and 

* UmWmL TImmm. 964: " M^iu^m • BMik OItm. CWii. 11. p. 978; By 
xaX«e««fvrr4*'. Ai#«ivt»r fimtikna.'* mUm, CkromoffrtipK, |i. 151, C Goanpuv 

< IMml. Sem. III. St. 6S. Ktrmb. tvIL I. f 49 ; and Pllo. U. N. t. 9. 

* \p Strmb. IV. 9. f 9. ' I>Maetriiu >p. Athvn. Ihipmotopk, 

V.&4. Cuai|«r« S(niL 1. •. c. : av. |v 090, A. 

'Al, S 3. • Hvrpd. V. M : Slnib. xt. 9. | 9. 

T' .n. s.31.19; ivU. I. f 49; Dlod. Sk. I. a. c ; Plia. 

Cum, I. la, Ii.N.l:r, 

^ ... • Al*» PiJ%hUl Fr 11 1 : Plin. // X, 

* IMoO. Ste. II. 99, I 4. Tt au. 


Isaea ^gyptus.^ Apollodoms, the disciple of Eratosthenes, 
expresses the connexion thus : — *' Neptune took to wife Libya 
(or Africa), and had issue Belus and Agenor. Belus married 
Anchinoe, daughter of Nile, who gave birth to ^gyptus, 
Danaus, Cepheus, and Phineus. Agenor married Telephassa, 
and had issue Europa, Cadmus, Phoenix, and Cilix."^ Eupo- 
lemus, who professes to record the Babylonian tradition on the 
subject, tells us that the first Belus, whom he identifies with 
Saturn, had two sons, Belus and Canaan. Canaan begat the 
progenitor of the Phoenicians (Phoenix?), who had two sons. 
Chum and Mestraim, the ancestors respectively of the Ethiopians 
and the Egyptians.'^ Charax of Pergamus spoke of ^gyptus 
as the son of Belus.'* John of Antioch agrees with Apollo- 
dorus, but makes certain additions. According to him, Neptune 
and Libya had three children, Agenor, Belus, and Enyalius or 
Mars. Belus married Sida, and had issue ^gyptus and 
Danaus; while Agenor married Tyro, and became the father of 
five children — Cadmus, Phoenix, Syrus, Cilix, and Europa.* 

Many further proofs might be adduced, were they needed, of 
the Greek belief in an Asiatic Ethiopia, situated somewhere 
between Arabia and India, on the shores of the Erythraean Sea. 
Herodotus twice speaks of the Ethiopians of Asia,^ whom he 
very carefully distinguishes from those of Africa, and who 
can only be sought in this position. Ephorus, as we have 
already seen, extended the Ethiopians along the whole of the 
coast washed by the Southern Ocean. Eusebius has preserved 
a tradition that, in the reign of Amenophis III., a body of 
Ethiopians migrated from the country about the Indus, and 
settled in the valley of the Nile."^ Hesiod and Apollodoms, by 
making Memnon, the Ethiopian king, son of the Dawn ('Hft)?),® 
imply their belief in an Ethiopia situated to the east rather 
than to the south of Greece. These are a few out of the many 
similar notices which it would be easy to produce from classical 

' Pherecyd. Fr. 40. 
* ApoUodor. Bibliothec. ii. 1, § 4. 
^ See the Fragments of Polyhistor in 
Miiller's Fr. Hist. Grccc. vol. iii. p. 212; 

* Charax ap. Steph. Byz. s. v. Aiyvinos. 

* Johann. Antiochen. Fr. 6, § 15. 
« Herod, iii. 94; vii. 70. 
^ Euseb. Chron. Can. ii. p. 278. 

Fr. 3. ; s Hesiod, 1. s. c. ; ApoUod. iii. 12, § 4. 

VOL. I. E 


Our. in. 

writera, establishing, if not the fact itself, yet at any rate a full 
belief in the fact on tlie part of the best informed among the 
aooient Greeks. 

The traditions of the Armenians are in accordance with those 
of the Greeks. The Armenian Geography applies the name of 
Cosh or Ethiopia to the four great regions, Media, Persia, 
Snsiana or Elymais, and Aria, or to tlie whole territory between 
the Indus and the Tigris.* Moses of Chorene, the great 
Armenian historian, identifies Belus, King of Babylon, with 
Nimrod ; ^ while at the same time he adopts for him a genea- 
logy only slightly different from that in our present copies of 
Genesis, making Nimrod the grandson of Gush, aud the son of 
Mizraim.' He thus connects, in the closest way, Babylonia, 
Egypt, and Ethiopia Proper, uniting moreover, by his identifi- 
cation of Nimrod with Belus, the Babylonians of later times, 
who worsliipped Belus as their hero-founder, with the primitive 
population introduced into the country by Nimrod. 

The names of Belus and Gush, thus brought into juxtaposi- 
tion, have remained attached to some portion or other of the 
region in question from ancient times to the present day. The 
tract immediately east of the Tigris was known to the Greeks 
as Cissia (Kurala) or Gosstea (Koaaaia), no less than as Elymais 
or Elam. The country east of Herman was named Kusan 
throughout the Sassanian period.^ The same region is now 
Beloochistan, the country of the Belooches or Belus, whilo 
adjoining it on the east is Gutch, or Kooch, a term standing to 
Gush as Belooch stands to Belus. Again, Cissia or Goesea is 
now Khuzistan, or the land of Khuz {\y^) & name not very 
remote from Gosh ; but perhaps this is only a coincidence. 

To the traditions and traces hero enumemtiHl must be added, 
as of primur)' inii)ortauce, the Biblical tradition, which is de- 
livered to us very simply and plainly in that pn*cious docu- 
ment, the ' Toldoth Beni Noah»* or * Book of the Generations 
of the Sons of Noah,' which well daierfei to be called '* the most 

Mot. CbofM. Umtamfk. ub. 
Urn, Cbaim. imTAnm 

i. 6: 

W». >•. » 

• IWd.1.4: p. IS 



authentic record that we possess for the affiliation of nations." * 
" The sons of Ham," we are told, " were Cush, and Mizraim, 

and Phut, and Canaan And Cush begat Nimrod 

And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and 
Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." Here a primitive 
Babylonian kingdom is assigned to a people distinctly said to 
have been Cushite by blood,^ and to have stood in close con- 
nexion with Mizraim, or the people of Egypt, Phut, or those of 
Central Africa, and Canaan, or those of Palestine. It is the 
simplest and the best interpretation of this passage to under- 
stand i{ as asserting that the four races — the Egyptians, 
Ethiopians, Libyans, and Canaanites — were ethnically con- 
nected, being all descended from Ham ; and further, that the 
primitive people of Babylon were a subdivision of one of these 
races, namely of the Cushites or Ethiopians, connected in some 
degree with the Canaanites, Egyptians, and Libyans, but still 
more closely with the people which dwelt anciently upon the 
Upper Nile. 

The conclusions thus recommended to us by the consentient 
primitive traditions of so many races, have lately received most 
important and unexpected confirmation from the results of lin- 
guistic research. After the most remarkable of the Mesopo- 
tamian mounds had yielded their treasures, and supplied the 
historical student with numerous and copious documents bear- 
ing upon the history of the great Assyrian and Babylonian 
empires, it was determined to explore Chaldaea Proper, where 
mounds of less pretension, but still of considerable height. 

* Journal of Asiatic Society, vol, xv. 
p. 230. 

' " And Cush begat Nimrod," Gen. x. 
8. Baron Bunsen says in one work, 
" Nimrod is called a Cushite, which 
means a man of the land of Cush " 
(^Philos. of Univ. Hist. vol. i, p. 191), 
and proceeds to argue that he was only 
a Cushite " geographically," because he, 
or the people represented by him, so- 
journed for some time in Ethiopia. In 
another {Egypt's Place, &c., vol. iv. 
p. 412), he admits that this view con- 
tradicts Gen. X. 8, and allows that " the 
compiler of our present Book of Genesis" 

must have meant to derive Nimrod by 
descent from Ham ; but this " com- 
piler " was, he thinks, deceived by the 
resemblance of 5»>*i3 to J>;.13. Nimrod 
was Hot an Ethiopian, but a Cossian or 
Cossaean ; i.e. (he says) a Turanian who 
conquered Babylon from the mountain 
country east of Mesopotamia. Of course, 
if we are at liberty to regard the "com- 
piler " of Genesis as "mistaken" when- 
ever his statements conflict with our 
theories, while at the same time we 
ignore linguistic facts, we may speculate 
upon ancient history and ethnography 
much at our pleasure. 

E 2 



Chap. UL 

marked the sites of a number of ancient cities. Tlie excaTations 
oondncted at these pUoes, especially at Nifier, Senkereh, 
Warka, and Mugbeir, wero eminently successful. Among their 
other unexpected results was the discovery, in the most ancient 
remains, of a new form of speech, diflfering greatly from the 
later Babylonian language, and presenting analogies with the 
early language of Susiana, as well as with that of the second 
column of the Achsmeniun inscriptions. In grammatical 
structure this ancient tongue resembles dialects of the Turanian 
family, but its vocabulary has been pronounce<l to be " decidedly 
Cushite or Ethiopian ;'* • and the modem languages to which it 
approaches the nearest are thought to be the Mahra of Southern 
Arabia and the Galla of Abyssinia. Thus comparative philology 
appears to confirm the old traditions. An Eastern Ethiopia, 
instead of being the invention of bewildered ignorance,' is 
rather a reality which henceforth it will require a good deal of 
scepticism to doubt; and the primitive race which bore sway 
in Chalda?a Proper is with much probability assigned to this 
ethnic type. 

The most striking physical characteristics of the African 
Ethiopians were their swart complexions, and their crisp or 
frizzled hair. According to Herodotus the Asiatic Ethiopians 
were equally dark, but their hair was straight and not frizzled.* 
Probably in neither case was the complexion wliat we understand 
by black, but rather a dark red brown or coppern-olour, which 
is the tint of the modem Gallas and Abyssinians, as well as of 
the Clia'b and Montetik Arabs and the Belooches. The liair 
was no doubt abundant ; but it was certainly nut woolly like 
tliat of the negroes. There is a marked distinction between the 
negro hair and that of the Ethiopian ract«, which is sometimes 
straight, sometimes crisp, but never wtxilly. This distinction is 
carefully marked in the Egyptian uiunument*<, as is also the 

* Sir B. RavUmou, ia tb» ftuthor't 
Ntndoius, vol. I. p. 441. 

' '•Th* BIbU MMilioM bal m» Kaah, 
XMofU : an A«Ulle KuA Mtoto ooljr 
la Um laMciBAlUm of th» iattrpratoi*, 
•Ad b Um ehlM of tbeir dnrtlr.** 

Pk>i.^..j... o/ Unh, nut, vol. I. 
Ik 191. K odivr hud Sir II. 

kawllaaoit ^ n Uw Jtmrwtl <>/ t^ 

AtmUo StMmigt vul. xv. art. II.: mad 
WMBBMv wpveklly Ea»k. luimvUl. 5. 
• Hml. Til. 70. 


distinction between the Ethiopian and negro complexions ; 
whence we may conclude that there was as much difference 
between the two races in ancient as in modern times. The 
African races descended from the Ethiopians are on the whole 
a handsome rather than an ugly people. Their figure is slender 
and well shaped; their features are regular, and have some 
delicacy ; the forehead is straight and fairly high ; the nose 
long, straight, and fine*, but scarcely so prominent as that of 
Europeans ; the chin is pointed and good. Tlie principal defect 
is in the mouth, which has lips too thick and full for beauty, 
though they are not turned out like a negro's.^ We do not 

Ethiopians (after Prichard). 

possess any representations of the ancient people which can be 
distinctly assigned to the early Cushite period. Abundant hair 
has been noticed in an early tomb ; ^ and this in the later Baby- 
lonians, who must have been descended in great part from the 
earlier, was very conspicuous;^ but otherwise we have as yet no 
direct evidence with respect to the physical characteristics of 
the primitive race.^ That they were brave and warlike, in- 
genious, energetic, and persevering, we have ample evidence, 
which will appear in later chapters of this work ; but we can 
do little more than conjecture their physical appearance, which. 

• See Prichard's Physical Hist, of 
Mankind, vol. ii. p. 44. 

* Loftus, Chaldma and Susiana, p. 202. 
' See the Cylinders, passim ; and com- 

pare Herod, i. 195. 

' Skeletons have been found in abun- 
dance, but they have undergone no 
scientific examination. 



Chap. III. 

however, we may fairly suppoee to have resembled that of other 
Ethiopian nations. 

When the early inhabitants of Chaldaea are pronounced to 
have belonged to the same race with the dwellers upon the 
Upper Nile, the question naturally arises, which were the primi- 
tive people, and which the colonists? Is the country at the 
bead of the Persian Gulf to be regarded as the ori«;,Hnal abode 
of the Cushite race, whence it spread eastward and westward, 
on the one hand to Susiana, Persia Proper, Carmania, Gedrona, 
and India itself; on the other to Arabia and the east coast of 
Africa? Or are we to suppose that the migration proceeded in 
one direction only — that the Cushites, having occupied the 
country immediately to the south of Egypt, sent their colonies 
along the south coast of Arabia, whence they crept on into the 
Persian Gulf, occupying Chaldapa and Susiana, and thence 
spreading into Mekran, Kerman, and the regions bordering upon 
the Indus? Plausible reasons may be adduced in support of 
cither hypothesis, llie situation of Babylonia, and its proximity 
to that mountain region whore man must have first " increased 
and multiplied " after the Flood, are in favour of its being the 
original centre from which the other Cushite races were derived. 
The Biblical genealogy of the sons of Ham points, however, the 
other way; for it derives Nimrod from Cush, not Cush from 
Kimrod. Indeed this document seems to follow the liamites 
from Africa — emphatically " the land of Ham"* — in one lino 
along Southern Arabia to Shinar or Babylonia, in another from 
Egypt through Canaan into Syria. The antiquity of civilization 
in the valley of the Nile, which preceded by many centuries 
that even of primitive Chaldaa, is another argument in favour 
of the migration having been from we«t to east ; and the monu- 
ments and tnulitions of the Chaldeans tbemtelves have Ihhmi 
thought to present some curious indic^ations of an VmI African 
origin.* On the whole, therefore, it aeemt most probable that 
the race deeignated in Scriptaie by the hero-fonnder NimrtMl, 


• V*. liivill. 51 : er. tS, t7 ; evi. tS, 
pc U emlimi C'Ktmi im Um mUv« to- 

• 8(« lh« KaMv of Sir II. lUwii 
la tli0 •uthur's lUrxMkAu*^ vul. i. \> 

mm (Ut •aui(m> 


and among the Greeks by the eponym of Belus, passed from 
East Africa, by way of Arabia, to the valley of the Euphrates, 
shortly before the opening of the historical period. 

Upon the ethnic basis here indicated, there was grafted, it 
would seem, at a very early period, a second, probably Turanian, 
element, which very importantly affected the character and 
composition of the people. The Burbur or Akhad, who are 
found to have been a principal tribe under the early kings, are 
connected by name, religion, and in some degree by language, 
with an important people of Armenia, called Burbur and TJrarda, 
the Alarodians (apparently) of Herodotus." It has been con- 
jectured that this race at a very remote date descended upon the 
plain country, conquering the original Cushite inhabitants, and 
by degrees blending with them, though the fusion remained 
incomplete to the time of Abraham. The language of the early 
inscriptions, though Cushite in its vocabulary, is Turanian in 
many points of its grammatical structure, as in its use of post- 
positions, particles, and pronominal suffixes ; and it would seem, 
therefore, scarcely to admit of a doubt that the Cushites of 
Lower Babylon must in some way or other have become mixed 
with a Turanian people. The mode and time of the commixture 
are matters altogether beyond our knowledge. We can only 
note the fact as indicated by the phaenomena, and form, or 
abstain from forming, as we please, hypotheses with respect to 
its accompanying circumstances. 

Besides these two main constituents of the Chaldaean race, 
there is reason to believe that both a Semitic and an Arian ele- 
ment existed in the early population of the country. The 
subjects of the early kings are continually designated in the 
inscriptions by the title of hiprat-arbat, " the four nations," or 
arba lisun, " the four tongues." In Abraham's time, again, the 
league of four kings seems correspondent to a fourfold ethnic 
division, Cushite, Turanian, Semitic, and Arian, the chief 
authority and ethnic preponderance being with the Cushites."' 

* See an Essay by the same writer in I ^ Chedor-laomer, by his leadership of 
the fourth volume of the same work, | the Elamites or Susianians, should be a 
pp. 250-254 (Ist edition). [ Cushite; Tidal, king of nations, t>. of 


The language alBOofthc early in8cri|>tioiis is tliought tu conUiin 
traces of Semitic, and Arian influence ; so tliat it is at least pro- 
bable that the ** four tongues " intended were not mere local 
dialecta, but distinct languages, the representativea respectively 
of the four great families of human speech. 

It would result from this review of the linguistic facts and 
other ethnic indications, that the Chalda»ans were not a pure, 
but a very mixed people. Like the Romans in ancient, and the 
English in modem Europe, tliey were a "colluvio gentium om- 
nium,*' a union of various races between which there was marked 
and violent contract. It is now generally admitted that such 
races are among those which play the most distinguished part 
in the world's history, and most vitally affect its progress. 

With respect to the name of Chalda»an, under which it has 
been customary to designate this mixed i)eople, it is curious to 
find that in the native documents of the early period it does not 
occur at all. Indeed it first ap|>ears in the Assyrian inscriptions 
of the ninth century before our era, being then use<l as the name 
of the dominant race in the country about Babylon. Still, as 
Berosus, who cannot easily have been ignorant of the ancient 
appellation of his race, applies the term Ohalda^an to the primi- 
tive people,* and, as Scripture assigns Ur to the Chaldees aa 
early as the time of Abraham, we are entitled to assume that 
this term, whenever it came historically into use, is in fact no 
unfit designation for the early inhabitants of the country. 
Perhaps the most proliable account of the origin of the word is, 
that it designateg properly the inhubitantM of the ancient capita), 
Ur or linr^^KhoMi being in the liurbur dialect the exact equi- 
valent of llur, which was the proper name of the Moon God, and 
Cluildu^aus being thus eitiier ** Moon-worsliippers,*' or simply 
^^ inhabitants of tiio town dedicated to, and called after, the 
Moon." Like the term ** liabylonian,'* it would at first have 
designatod simply the dwellers in the capital^ and wouhl subee* 
quently have )mm extended to the people generally. 

iIm wamlrrinic Irlbot, •bould bv a Mejrtli, | Mr H. KavIImm la the flrrt rolumo of 

or Tunitiian: AHoeh rMsUf tb« imn j tWantlMir'* litradatm, vol. I. Kamy vl 

*'ArUii." wblk AairoplMl to • tmm» l | tl, mm* ' (tMoiid «dltkm). 
CMC la • fMiltle MMld. Sm a aol* bj * Bmmm, fr. 1. 5, 6, 11, lir. 

Chap. Ill, 



A dififerent theory has of late years been usually maintained 
with respect to the Chaldseans. It has been supposed that 
they were a race entirely distinct from the early Babylonians — 
Armenians, Arabs, Kurds, or Sclaves — who came down from the 
north long after the historical period, and settled as the domi- 
nant race in the lower Mesopotamian valley.^ Philological 
arguments of the weakest and most unsatisfactory character 
were confidently adduced in support of these views ; ^ but they 
obtained acceptance chiefly on account of certain passages of 
Scripture, which were thought to imply that the Chaldseans 
first colonised Babylonia in the seventh or eighth century before 
Christ. The most important of these passages is in Isaiah. 
That prophet, in his denunciation of woe upon Tyre, says, 
according to our translation, — " Behold the land of the Chal- 
dseans ; iMs ]^eo]^le was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them 
that dwell in the wilderness ; they set up the towers thereof* 
they raised up the palaces thereof ; and he brought it to ruin ;"^ 
or, according to Bishop Lowth, "Behold the land of the Chal- 
dseans. This people was of no account. (The Assyrians founded 
it for the inhabitants of the desert, they raised the watch-towers, 
they set up the palaces thereof.) This people hath reduced her 
and shall reduce her to ruin." It was argued that we had here 
a plain declaration that, till a little before Isaiah's time, the 
Chaldseans had never existed as a nation. Then, it was said, 
they obtained for the first time fixed habitations from one of 
the Assyrian kings, who settled them in a city, probably 
Babylon. Shortly afterwards, following the analogy of so many 
Eastern races, they suddenly sprang up to power. Here another 

^ Gesenius, Comment, in Esaiam xxiii. 
13, and Geschichte der Hebr. Sprache, 
pp. C3, 64; Heeren, Asiatic Nations, 
vol. ii. p. 147 ; Niebuhr, Lectures on 
Ancient. History, vol. i. p. 20, note; 
"Winer, Healudrterbtcch, vol. i. p. 218; 
Kitto, Biblical Cyclopwdia, vol. i. p. 408, 
&c. Mr. Vaux (Diet, of Antiquities, 
vol. i. p. 601) with good reason questions 
the common opinion. 

^ As that Nebuchadnezzar might be 
the Sclavonic sentence JSebye kad zenur 

tzar, or " De coelo missus dominus," — 
that Merodach might be the Persian m/ir' 
dak, " homunculus," &c. (See Prichard's 
Fhys. Hist, of Mankind, vol. iv. pp. 563- 
564.) A more refined argument was 
that of Gesenius, " that the construction 
of the names was according, not to 
Semitic, but to Medo-Persian prin- 
ciples ; " but, being based ujwn pure 
conjectures as to the possible etymology 
of the words, it was really worthless. 
* Isaiah xxiii. 13. 


of Scripture was thoiijrlit to have an important bearing 
on their history. '* Lo ! I raise up the Chaldo^ans," says 
Habakkuk, ^ that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march 
thioiigh the breadth of the land to poaeesa the dwelling phices 
tliat are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful; their 
judgment and their dignity sludl proceed of themselTea ; their 
horaea alao are swifter tlian the leopards, and are more fierce 
than the evening wolves : and tlieir horsemen sludl spread them- 
selves, and their horsemen shall come from far ; they shall fly 
as an eagle that hasteth to eat ; they shall come all for violence; 
their faces shall nip as the east wind, and they shall gather the 
captivity as the eand. And they shall scofif at the kings, and 
the princes shall be a scorn unto them ; they shall deride every 
stronghold ;• they shall heap dust and take it"' The ChaldaBans, 
recent occupants of Lower Mesopotamia, and there only a domi- 
nant race, like the Normans in England or the Lombards in 
North Italy, were, on a sudden, *' raised up" — elevated from 
their low estate of Assyrian colonists to the conquering people 
which they became under Nebuchadnezzar. 

Such was the theory, originally advanced by Gesenius, which, 
variously modified by other writers, held its ground on the 
whole as the established view, until the recent cuneiform dis- 
coveries. It was, from the first, a theory full of difficulty. The 
mention of the Chaldieans in Job/ and even in Genesis/ m a 
well-known people, was in contradiction to the supposed recent 
origin of the race. The explanation of the obscure passage in 
the 23rd chapter of Isaiah, on which the theory was mainly 
based, was at variance with other clearer passages of the same 
prophet Babylon is called by Isaiah tiie ^doMghier of the 
Chaldfians,*** and is spoken of as an ancient city, long *'the 
glory of kingdoms," ^ the oppressor of nations, the power that 
** smote tlie people in wrath with a continual stroke.*** 6^ is 
"the lady of kingdoms,*** and *" the beauty of the Chaldees^ 
exoeliency.**' The Chaldeans are thus in Isaiah, as elsawbere 

• Htthikkak I. S-IO. « Job I. 17. I ' ImUH till. 19. • Ibtd. iW. S. 

• 0««. si. SS m4 SI. ' \\M. alvU. 5. • IbM. alM. 19. 

• iMlahxlvlLlMidft. 



generally in Scripture, the people of Babylonia, the term " Ba- 
bylonians " not being used by him ; Babylon is their chief city, 
not one which tliey have conquered and occupied, but their 
" daughter " — " the beauty of their excellency ;" and so all the 
antiquity and glory which is assigned to Babylon belong neces- 
sarily in Isaiah's mind to the Chaldseans. The verse, therefore, 
in the 23rd chapter, on which so much has been built, can at 
most refer to some temporary depression of the Chaldaeans, 
which made it a greater disgrace to Tyre that she should be 
conquered by them. Again, the theory of Gesenius took no 
account of the native historian, who is (next to Scripture) the 
best literary authority for the facts of Babylonian history. 
Berosus not only said nothing of any influx of an alien race 
into Babylonia shortly before the time of Nebuchadnezzar, but 
pointedly identified the Chaldaeans of that period with the 
primitive people of the country. Nor can it be said that he 
would do this from national vanity, to avoid the confession of 
a conquest, for he admits no fewer than three conquests of 
Babylon, a Median, an Arabian, and an Assyrian.^ Thus, even 
apart from the monuments, the theory in question would be un- 
tenable. It really originated in linguistic speculations,^ which 
turn out to have been altogether mistaken. 

The joint authority of Scripture and of Berosus will probably 
be accepted as sufficient to justify the adoption of a term which, 
if not strictly correct, is yet familiar to us, and which will con- 
veniently serve to distinguish the primitive monarchy, whose 
chief seats were in Chaldaea Proper (or the tract immediately 
bordering upon the Persian Gulf), from the later Babylonian 
Empire, which had its head-quarters further to the north. The 
people of this first kingdom will therefore be called Clialdaeans, 
although there is no evidence that they applied the name to 
themselves, or that it was even known to them in primitive 

The general character of this remarkable people will best 

* Berosus, Fr. 11 and 12. 
' See Niebuhr, Lectures on Ancient 
History^ vol. i. p. 20, note ; and Prichard, 

Physical History of Mankind, vol. iv. 
pp. 563, 564. 


appear from the account, presently to be given, of their man- 
ners, their mode of life, their arts, their science, their religion, 
and their history. It is not convenient to forestal in this place 
the results of almost all our coming inquiries. Suffice it to 
observe that, though possessed of not many natural advantages, 
the Cbaldiean people exhibited a fertility of invention, a genins, 
and an energy, which place them high in the scale of nations, 
and more especially in the list of those descended from a 
Hamitic stock. For the last 3000 years the world has been 
mainly indebted for its advancement to the Semitic and Indo- 
European races ; but it was otherwise in the first ages. Egypt 
and Babylon — Mizraim and Nimrod — both descendants of liam 
— led the way, and acted as the pioneers of mankind in the 
various untrodden fields of art, literature, and science. Alpha- 
betic writing, astronomy, history, chronology, architecture, 
plastic art, sculpture, navigation, agriculture, textile industry, 
seem, all of them, to have had their origin in one or other of 
these two countries. The beginnings may have been often 
humble enough. We may laugh at the rude picture-writing, 
the uncouth brick pyramid, the coarse fabric, the homely and 
ill-shapen instruments, as they present thems^^lves to our notice 
in the remains of these ancient nations ; but they are really 
worthier of our admiration than of our ridicule. The first 
inventors of any art are among the greatest benefactors of their 
race; and the bold step which they take from the unknown to 
the known, from blank ignorance to discovery, is equal to many 
steps of subni^qnent pn»greK8. "The commencement,*' says 
Aristotle, '*is more than half of the whole.** ^ This is a sound 
judgment ; and it will be well that we should bear it in mind 
during the review, on which we are about to enter, of the lan- 
guage, writing, useful and oniamentid art, si^ienct*, and lite- 
ratore of the ClialdMUM. " The child is father of the man," 
both in the individual and the species; and the human race al 
tlie present day lies under infinite obligations to the genius and 
industry of ^arlv aires. 

♦ Ari.i. / ' .V I :, ft.l flu. 



" VpdfjLixaTa /cat yXaxraa XaXSa/oji/." — Dan. i. 4. (Sept. vers.) 

It was noted ia the preceding chapter that Chaldaea, in the 
earliest times to which we can go back, seems to have been 
inhabited by four principal . tribes. The early kings are con- 
tinually represented on the monuments as sovereigns over the 
Ki])rat-arbat, or " Four Races." These '' Four Eaces " are 
called sometimes the Arba Lisun, or " Four Tongues," whence 
we may conclude that they were distiuguished from one another, 
among other differences, by a variety in their forms of speech. 
The extent and nature of the variety could not, of course, be 
determined merely from this expression; but the opinion of 
those who have most closely studied the subject appears to be 
that the differences were great and marked — the languages 
in fact belonging to the four great varieties of human speech — 
the Hamitic, Semitic, Arian, and Turanian. 

The language which the early inscriptions have revealed to 
us is not, of course, composed equally of these four elements. 
It does, however, contain strong marks of admixture. It is 
predominantly Cushite in its vocabulary, Turanian in its struc- 
ture. Its closest analogies are with such dialects as the Mahra 
of Arabia, the Galla and Wolaitsa of Abyssinia, and the ancient 
language of Egypt, but in certain cases it more resembles the 
Turkish, Tatar, and Magyar (Turanian) dialects ; while in some 
it presents Semitic and in others Arian affinities. This will 
appear sufficiently from the following list : — 

Dingir or Dimir, " God." Compare Turkish Tengri. 

Atta, " father." Compare Turkisli atla. Etea is " father " in the Wolaitsa 

(Abyssinian) dialect. 
Sis^ " brother." Compare Wolaitsa and Woratta isha. 


Tmr, "• youth," "t ion.- Compare the tur4chan of the Parthians (Tu- 
ranians), who was the Crown Prince. 

E, ** a houae.** Compare ancient Egyptian /, and Tarkiah «v. 

Ka, *' a gate.** Compue Tarkiah kapi. 

JE^rran, ** a road.** Compare Galla A»ra. 

Buru, **a town.** Compare Heb. y^. 

Ar, **a rircr.** Compare Heb. "VU Arab. nahr. 

(7aibri, *' a mountain.** Compare Axabic jaW. 

.^i," the earth.* 

iTMjTt, ** a country.** 

Ssm, "* the eun.** 


KurrOf " a horse." Compare Arabic gurra. 

OuMki, " gold.** Compare Galla tuer^e. Oiuki means also " red * and " the 

Babar, "silver,** "white,** "the morning.*' Compare Agau ber, Tigre 

Zahar, " copper.** Compare Arabic si/r. 

Burud, " iron.** Compare Arabic hadid. 

Zakadf " the head.** Compare Gonga toko. 

Kai^ " the hand.** Compare Gonga kiao. 

Si, " the eye.** 

Pi, " the ear.** Compare Magyar /tf. 

Outa, " great.** Compare Oalia guda. 

'I'll f /, " little.** Comjiare Qonga <*• and Galla lino, 

K'i ;t, " jiowerful.** 

O'lwn, " firel.** 

Mi*, '* nmny.** Compare AgMi mineh or mmth. 

Oar, " to du** 

Ayir, " after.'* Compare Hhamaia (Abyssinian) igria. 

The grammar of this language U still bat very little knovtu. 
The oonjugations of verbs are said to be very intricate and 
rliflficult, a great variety of verlml forms being ubtaiiifHl from 
the same root, as in Hebrew, by means of pro format Ives. 
Number and person in the verbs are marke<l by suffixes — the 
third [)erson sin«:^Iar (nuuiculine) by hi (c*oinpure Gonga hi, 
**he"), or aril (compare Galla etmi **h««"\ tin* thin! jH^rson 
plural by hi-ninL 

The accusative case in mmns is luarkcii by a |Mist]>ositi«»ii. 
ku, as in Hindustani. The plural of proiiuuu4 ami hukstaiitivfs 
is formed sometimes by hmIu plication. Thus ni is ** him,'* 
while fitai is ''them;** and Chanaan, Yavnan, Lihnan, KH)m 
to be plural forms from Chna, lavam, and lAhtm, 

Chap. IV. 



A curious anomaly occurs in the declension of pronouns.^ 
When accompanied by the preposition hita, " with," there is a 
tmesis of the preposition, and the pronouns are placed between 
its first and second syllable ; e. g. ni, " him " — ki-ni-ta, ** with 
him." This takes place in every number and person, as the 
following scheme will show : — 

Ist person. 2nd person. ard person. 

Sing, ki-mu-ta ki-zu-ta ki-ni-ta 

(with me) (with, thee) (with him) 

Plur. hi-mi-ta ki-zu-nini^a ki-nini-ta 

(with us) (with you) (with them). 

N.B. — The formation of the second person plural deserves 
attention. The word zu-nini is, clearly, composed of the two 
elements, zu, *' thee," and nini, " them " — so that instead of 
having a word for " you," the Chaldaeans employed for it the 
periphrasis " thee-them " ! There is, I believe, no known 
language which presents a parallel anomaly. 

Such are the chief known features of this interesting but diffi- 
cult form of speech. A specimen may now be given of the mode 
in which it was written. Among the earliest of the monuments 
hitherto discovered are a set of bricks bearing the following 
cuneiform inscription : — 

* There is, I believe, a near parallel 
to this peculiarity in the Ostiak. [It 
has been compared with our own use of 
such an expression as " to us-ward ; " 
but here " to " and " ward " are really 

separate prepositions, both having the 
same meaning, and the phrase is merely 
pleonastic. There is no reason to be- 
lieve that ki and ta have separately 
the meaning of " with."] 


Chap. IV. 

^ fVi 



li r 


This inscription is explained to mean : — ** Beltis, his lady, 
has caused Urukh (?), the pious chief, King of Hur, und 
King of the laud (?) of the Akkad, to build a temple to 
her." In the same locality where it occurs,* bricks are also 
found Ijcannjr ovidontly the same inscription, but written in a 
m — . . . ^ iifffrent manner. Instead 

ll^-?^^^^^>~^ oi the wedge and arrow- 
head being the elements 
f the writing, the whole 
is formed by straight lines 
of almost unifoi-m thick- 
ness, and the impression 
-tems to have been made 
l)y a single stamp. 

This mode of writing, 
which has been called with- 
out nuidi reason "the liieratic,"*^ and of which we have but a 
small number of instances, has confirmed a conjecture, originally 
suggested by the early cuneiform writing itself^ that the 
characters were at first the pictures of objects. In some cases 
the pictorial representation is very plain and palpable. For 
instance the ** determinative ** of a god — the sign, that is, which 
marks that the name of a god is about to follow, in this early 
rectilinear writing is ^ | ^ , an eight-rayed star. The archaic 
cuneiform kee()s clos^'ly to this tyi)e, merely changing the lines 
into wedges, thus ^\l< , while the later cuneifonn first unites 
the oblique wedges in one ^jif^* aud theu omits them as un- 
necetaary. retaining only the (>erpondicular and the horizontal 
ones »^ . Again, the character represi*nting the word ** hand " 


is, in the rectilinear writing 

, in the later cuneiform 

in the archaic cuneiform 

The five linen (afttT- 

' The bricks In quMtkm «r*r» 
•I Wftrkft, Um Aaekm HuntJk or BfMh. 


tfN Stmpifkimk, Urn, II. p. 6'.' 

Chap. IY. 



wards reduced to four) clearly represent the thumb and the four 
fingers. So the character ordinarily representing " a house " 

^ ^ y is evidently formed from the original | | , the 
ground-plan of a house ; and that denoting " the sun " A^Y , 

comes from <^>, through 

J^, and ^I, 

the original 



the best representation that straight lines could give of 
the sun. In the case of ha, " a gate," we have not the original 

design; but we may see post, bars, and hinges in 
the ordinary character.'* 

Another curious example of the pictorial origin of the letters 

is furnished by the character ^HL4 T ' ^^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^® French 

une, the feminine of " one." This character may be traced up 
through several known forms to an original picture, which is 
thus given on a Koyunjik tablet g g . It has been con- 

jectured that the object here represented is " a sarcophagus." ^ 
But the true account seems to be that it is a double-toothed conib, 
a toilet article peculiar to women, and therefore one which 
might well be taken to express " a woman," or more generally 
the feminine gender. It is worth notice that the emblem is the 
very one still in use among the Lurs, in the mountains over- 
hanging Babylonia.^ And it is further remarkable that the 
plionetic power of the character here spoken of is it (or 7jat) — 
the ordinary Semitic feminine ending. 

The original writing, it would therefore seem, was a picture- 
writing, as rude as that of the Mexicans. Objects were tliem- 
selves represented, but coarsely and grotesquely— and, which is 
especially remarkable, without any curved lines. This would 

Mt has been conjectured that the 
ideograph for " king," which stands as 
the first character in the first and 
second compartments of the second 
column in the inscription given above 
(p. 63), is derived from a rude drawing 
of a bee, the Egyptian emblem of 
sovereignty. (See Menant, Briiiues de 
VOL. I. 

Bahylone, p. 20.) 

* Oppert, torn. ii. p. 66. 

^ See the Journal of tlie Geographical 
Society, vol, ix. p. 58, where, in speaking 
of the devices on the tombs of the Lurs, 
Sir H. Rawlinson notes " the double- 
toothed comb " as the distinctive mark 
of the female sex. 


seem to indicate that the system grow up where a hard material, 
probably stone, was alone used. The cuneiform writing arose 
when clay took the place of stone as a material. A small tool, 
with a square or triangular point,^ impressed, by a series of 
distinct touches the outline of the old pictured objects on the 
K>fl clay of tablets and bricks. lu course of time simplifications 
took place. The less important wedges were omitted. One 
stroke took the place of two, or sometimes of three. In this 
way the old form of objects became, in all but a few cases, very 
indistinct ; while generally it was lost altogether. 

Originally each character had, it would soeui, the phonetic 
power of the name borne by the object which it represented. 
But, as this name was different in the languages of the different 
tribes inhabiting the country, the same character came often to 
have several distinct phonetic values. For instance, the character 

^ Yyf > representing "a house,'* had the phonetic values of 

S, hit, and ma/, because those were the words expressive of " a 
house,** among the Hamitic, Semitic, and Arian populations 
respectively. Again, cliaracters did not always retain their 
original phonetic powers, but abbreviated them. Thus the 
character which originally stood for Assur^ ** Assyria,** came to 
have the sound oC a«, tliat denoting hH, ** a lord,** had in addition 
the sound of hi, and so on. Under these circumstances it is 
almost impossible to feel any certainty in regard to the phonetic 
representation of a single line of these old inscriptions. The 
meaning of each word may be well known; but the articulate 
sounds which were in the old times attached to them may be 
mutter almost of conjeetnxe. 

Tiie Clialda*an characters are of three kind*i— letters proper, 
monograms, and determinativea. With regard to the letters 
proper, there is nothing particular to remark, except that they 
have almost always a syllabic force. The monograms represent 
in a brief way, by a wedg^ or a group of wedges, an entire word, 
often of two or three syllables, m Nebo, Rabil, Merodach, &c. 

' Toob with ft irUacukr ptktkU »««i« | mmISna irrlllaf , Imv« btM Amad al 
U Ivory, AptMrratljr for mmjfhjWDfmt im \ ItolgrlM. (8« Ofpnrl, MM. U. |^ 68.) 


The determinatives mark that the word which they accompany 
is a word of a certain class, as a god, a man, a country, a town, 
&c. These last, it is probable, were not sounded at all when 
the word was read. They served, in some degree, the purpose 
of our capital letters in the middle of sentences, but gave more 
exact notice of the nature of the coming word. Curiously 
enough, they are retained sometimes, where the word which 
they accompany has merely its phonetic power, as (generally) 
when the names of gods form a part of the names of monarchs. 

It has been noticed already that the chief material on 
which the .ancient Chaldseans wrote was moist clay, in the 
two forms of tablets and bricks. On bricks are found only 
royal inscriptions, having reference to the building in which 
the bricks were used, commonly designating its purpose, and 
giving the name and titles of the monarch who erected it.** The 
inscription does not occupy the whole brick, but a square or 
rectangular space towards its centre. It is in some cases 
stamped, in some impressed with a tool. The writing — as in 
all cuneiform inscriptions, excepting those upon seals — is from 
left to right, and the lines are carefully separated from one 
another. Some specimens have been already given.^ 

Tlie tablets of the Chaldseans are among the most remarkable 
of their remains, and will probably one day throw great addi- 
tional light on the manners and customs, the religion, and even, 
perhaps, the science and learning, of the people. They are 
small pieces of clay,^^ somewhat rudely shaped into a form 

* See above, page 64, where the 
translation of an inscription is given. 
Other translations of the brick legends 
belonging to the same king are the 
following : — 

1. On a brick from Mugheir (Ur): — 
"Urukh, king of Ur, is he who has 
built the temple of the Moon-God." 

2. On a brick from the same : — " The 
Moon-God, his lord, has caused Urukh, 
king of Ur, to build a temple to him, 
and has caused him to build the enceinte 
of Ur." 

3. On a brick from the same : — "The 

build the temple of Tsingathu (?), his 
holy place." 

4. On a brick from Senkareh : — " The 
Sun-God, his lord, has caused Urukh, 
the pious chief, king of Ur, king of the 
land (?) of 'the Akkad, to build a temple 
to him." 

5. On a brick from Niffer : — "Urukh, 
king of Ur, and king of the land (?) of 
the Akkad, who has built the temple of 

9 See above, pp. 63, 64. 
^^^ The size varies from an inch to four 
or five inches in length, the width being 

Moon-God, brother's son (?) of Anu, and always less. The envelope is of very 
eldest son of Belus, his lord, has caused | thin clay, and does not much add to the 
Urukh, the pious chief, king of Ur, to i bulk. 




Chap. IV. 

reBemblin"^ a pillow, and thickly inHoribeii with cuneiform cha- 
racters, which are sometiines accompanied by impressions of the 
cylindrical seals so common in the mnsenms of Europe. The 
seals are rolled across the body of the document, as in the 
accompanying woodcat Except where these impressions occur, 
the clay is commonly covered on both sides with minute writing. 

Wliat is most cu- 
rious, however, is 
that the documents 
thus duly attested 
have in general 
been enveloped, 
after they were 
baked, in a cover 
of moist clay, upon 
which their con- 
tents have been 
again inscribed, so 
as to present ex- 
ternally a dupli- 
cate of the writing 
within ; and the 
tablet in its cover 
lias then been 
bake<l afresh. That 
this was the pro- 
cess employed is 
evident from the 
fact that the inner 
side of the en- 
velope bears a cast, 

scription beneath it Probably the object in view was g^renter 
security— that if the external cover became illegible, or was 
tampered with, there might be a means of proving beyond 
a doubt wliat the docament actually containo<I. The tablets 
in question have in a considerable number of cases been de- 

Chap. IV. - 



cyphered; they are for the most part deeds, contracts, or 
engagements entered into by private persons and preserved 
among the archives of families. 

Besides their writings on clay, the Chaldseans were in the 
habit, from very early times, of engraving inscriptions on gems. 
The signet cylinder of a very ancient king exhibits that archaic 
formation of letters which has been already noted as appearing 
upon some of the earliest bricks. That it belongs to the same 
period is evident, not only from the resemblance of the literal 
type,^ but from the fact that the same king's name appears upon 
both. This signet inscrip- 

jt^ ^ ia ^i4-t- (D^ 


fRfF^^N^ <P^ "J 



tion — so far as it has been 

hitherto decyphered — is 

read as follows:— " The 

signet of Urukh, the pious 

chief, king of Ur, .... 

High-Priest (?) of ... . 

Niffer." Another similar relic, belonging to a son of this 

monarch, has the inscription, '' To the manifestation of Nergal, 

king of Bit-Zida, of Zurgulla, for the saving of the life of Ilgi, 

the powerful hero, the king of Ur, , son of Urukh. 

May his name be preserved." ^ A third signet, which 

belongs to a later king in the series, bears the following legend : 

" sin, the powerful chief, the king of Ur, the king of the 

Kiprat-arbat (or four races) his seal." The cylinders, 

however, of this period are more usually without inscriptions, 
being often plain,^ and often engraved with figures, but without 
a legend. 

' We have only a representation of 
this inscription, the cylinder itself 
being lost. The representation will be 
found in Sir 11. Ker Porter's Travels, 
vol. ii. plate 79, no. 6. 

' I am indebted for the translation of 
this legend to Mr. George Smith, of the 
British Museum. 

= As. Soc. Journ. vol. xv. pp. 272. 273. 



Chap. V. 



"Chaldiei cognitioue aBtrorum Bulitrtiaiiut- ni^tuioruiii antecellunt.** 

Cia (U Div, L 41. 

Amokg the arts which the first Ethiopic settlers on the shores 
of the Persian Gulf either brouoht with them from their former 
homes, or very early invented in their new abode, must un- 
doubtedly have been the two whereby they were especially 
characterised in the time of their greatest power — architecture 
and agriculture. Chaldaea is not a country disposing men to 
nomadic habits. The prodnctive powers of the soil would at 
once obtrude themselves on tlie notice of the now comers, and 
would tempt to cultivation and permanency of residence. If 
the immigrants came by sea, and settled first in the tract im- 
mediately bordering upon the gulf, as seems to have been the 
notion of Berosus,* their earliest abodes may have been of that 
aimple character which can even now be witnessed in the Affej 
and Montefik marslies — that is to say, reed cabins, supported by 
the tall stems of the growing plants bent into arches, and walled 
with mats composed of flags or sedge.' Houses of this descrip- 
tion last for forty or fifty years,' and would satisfy the ideas of a 
primitive race. When greater permanency began to bo required, 
palm-beams might take the place of the reed 8up|>orts, and 
wattles plastered with mud that of the rush mats; in this way 

■ \Wxtmn», Vr. 1. f .1. 

f, SI ; Jomntal cf 
v«L sxvL B^ 187. 

0€ fM9pU0A4lttt OC 

hUA tlM 90m babluiioM of Um 

BtoM, but WM of flgMtle tlas, Ibtty 
fcK kmc ana eighlMtt htH hlfh. It 
hamuA iIm almoiC flibolout agv fbr a 
iwS biaidlBf (If tlw Aiwht mifhl te 
««dUtd)or ttoliMlliMilMira«MM«iy, 
•ad mmnd HMr to ImC m Imif 
■fAlA.*^ (Lufluft. CMlim mtd Smimm, 


habitations would soon be produced quite equal to those in 
which the bulk of mankind reside, even at the present day. 

In process of time, however, a fresh want would be felt. 
Architecture, as has been well observed, has its origin, not in 
nature only, but in religion.'^ The common worship of God 
requires temples ; and it is soon desired to give to these sacred 
edifices a grandeur, a dignity, and a permanency corresponding 
to the nature of the Being worshipped in them. Hence in 
most countries recourse is had to stone, as the material of 
greatest strength and durability ; and by its means buildings 
are raised which seem almost to reach the heaven whereof they 
witness. In Babylonia, as it has been already observed,^ this 
material was entirely wanting. Nowhere within the limits of 
the alluvium was a quarry to be found ; and though at no very 
great distance, on the Arabian border, a coarse sandstone might 
have been obtained, yet in primitive times, before many canals 
were made, the difficulty of transporting this weighty substance 
across the soft and oozy soil of the plain would necessarily 
have prevented its adoption generally, or, indeed, anywhere, 
except in the immediate vicinity of the rocky region. Accord- 
ingly we find that stone was never adopted in Babylonia as a 
building material, except to an extremely small extent ; and 
that the natives were forced, in its default, to seek for the grand 
edifices, which they desired to build, a different substance. 

The earliest traditions,^ and the existing remains of the 
earliest buildings, alike inform us that the material adopted 
was brick. An excellent clay is readily procurable in all parts 
of the alluvium ; and this, when merely exposed to the intense 
heat of an Eastern sun for a sufficient period, or still more when 
kiln-dried, constitutes a very tolerable substitute for the stone 
employed by most nations. The baked bricks, even of the 
earliest times, are still sound and hard; while the sun-dried 
bricks, though they have often crumbled to dust or blended 
together in one solid earthen mass, yet sometimes retain their 
shape and original character almost unchanged, and offer a 

^ Stieglitz, quoted in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, ad voc. 
AncuiTECTUKE. » See above, p. 38. ' Gen. xL 3. 



Chap. V. 

stubborn renstance to the excavator.^ In the most ancient of 
the Cbaldaean edifices we occasional iy find, as in the Bowariyeh 
ruin at Warka,* the entire structure composed of the inferior 
material ; but the more ordinary practice is to construct the 
mass of the building in this way, and then to cover it com- 
pletely with a facing of burnt brick, which sometimes extends to 
as much as ten feet in thickness. The burnt brick was thus 
made to protect the unburnt from the influence of the weather, 
while labour and fuel were greatly economised by the employ- 
ment to so large an extent of the natural substance. The size 
and colour of the bricks vary. The general shape is square, or 
nearly so, while the thickness is, to modem ideas, dispropor- 
tionately small ; it is not, however, so small as in the bricks of 
the Romans. The earliest of the baked bricks hitherto dis- 
covered in Chalda?a are 11 J i^iches square, and 2J inches thick,' 
M'bile the Roman are often 15 inches square, and only an inch 
and a quarter thick.* The baked bricks of later date are of 
larger size than tlie earlier ; they are comuionly about 13 inches 
square, with a thickness of three inches.' The best quality of 
baked brick is of a yellowish-white tint, and very much re- 
sembles our Stourbridge or fire brick ; another kind, extremely 
hard, but brittle, is of a blackish blue ; a third, the eotirsest of 
all, is slack-dried, and of a ]mlo red. The curliest baked bricks 
are of this last colour.' The sun-dried bricks have even more 
variety of ^is^ than the bakcMl ones. They are sometimes as 
large as 16 inches square and seven inches thick, sometimes as 
small as six inches square by two thick.^ Occasionally, though 
not very often, bricks are found differing altogether in shape 
from those above described, being formed for special purposes. 
Of this kind are the triangular bricks used at the coiners of 
walls, intended to give greater regolarity to the angles than 
would otherwise be attained ; ' and the wedge-ahaped bricks, 

pa, tSSftad 405. 

• Thb rula UmnMIv dMoribHl bj 
Mr. Latum la hk Ckaidma mid Bmkm, 
ppi 167-170. 

• Jtmmai </ M# Atlailo fisdMy, V«L 
ST. p. UU 

JmtindHm mT n«r#t, f, 41. 

• Rlel^/Wir«MMr, 11.61. 

• LoAm, pk ISO. 

• ./mtm/ </ A$iaik fiodft^, vol xv 

Pik tea, SS4. * Ibid. p. i6«. 

Chap. V. 



formed to be employed in arches, which were known and used 
by this primitive people.^ 

The modes of applying these materials to building purposes 
were various. Sometimes the crude and the burnt brick were 
used in alternate layers, each layer being several feet in thick- 
ness ; "^ more commonly the crude brick was used (as already 
noticed) for the internal parts of the building, and a facing of 
burnt brick protected the whole from the weather. Occasionally 
the mass of an edifice was composed entirely of crude brick ; 
but in such cases special precautions had to be taken to secure 
the stability of this comparatively frail material. In the first 
place, at intervals of four or five feet, a thick layer of reed 
matting was interposed along the whole extent of the building, 
which appears to have been intended to protect the earthy mass 
from disintegration, by its projection beyond the rest of the 
external surface. The readers of Herodotus are familiar with 
this feature, which (according to him) occurred in the massive 
walls whereby Babylon was surrounded.^ If this was really the 
case, we may conclude that those walls were not composed of 
burnt brick, as lie imagined, but of the sun-dried material. 
Keeds were never employed in buildings composed of burnt 
brick, being useless in such cases ; where their impression is 
found, as not unfrequently happens, on bricks of this kind, the 
brick has been laid upon reed matting when in a soft state, and 
afterwards submitted to the action of fire. In edifices of crude 
brick, the reeds were no doubt of great service, and have enabled 
some buildings of the kind to endure to the present day. They 
are very strikingly conspicuous where they occur, since they 
stripe the whole building with continuous horizontal lines, 
having at a distance somewhat the effect of the courses of dark 
marble in an Italian structure of the Byzantine period. 

Another characteristic of the edifices in which crude brick is 
thus largely employed, is the addition externally of solid and 
massive buttresses of the burnt material. These buttresses have 

* Loftus, p. 133; Journal of Asiatic 
Societfi, 1. 8. c. The "moulded semi- 
circular bricks" found at Warka 
(Loftus, p. 175) are. probably of the 

Babylonian, not the Chaldcean, period. 

^ Journal of the Asiatic Society^ vol, 
XV. p. 263. 

« Herod, i. 179. 



Chat. Y 

Bometimes a Tery considerable projection ; they are broad, bot 
not high, extending lees than lialf way up the walla against 
which they are placed. 

Two kinds of cement are used in th«* » ail y gtrueturea. One 
is a coarse clay or uiud, which is s«)ii)ttiiueh mixed with chopped 
straw ; the other is bitumen. This last is of excellent quality, 
and the bricks which it unites adhere often so firmly together 
that they can with difliculty be separated.* As a general rule, 
in the early buildings, the crude brick is laid in mud, while the 
bitumen is used to cement together the burnt bricks. 

These general remarks will receive their best illustration from 
a detailed descriptioa of the principal early edifices which recent 
reaearches in Lower Mesopotamia have revealed to us. These 
are for the most part temples; but in one or two cases the 
edifice explored is thought to have been a residence, so that the 
domestic architecture of the period may be regarded as known 
to us, at least in some degree. The temples most carefully 
examined hitherto are those at Warka, Mugheir, and Abu- 
Shahrein, the first of which was explored by Mr. Loftus in 1854, 
the aecoud by Mr. Taylor in the same year, and the third by 
the same traveller in 1805. 


The Warka rain is called by the natives Dowariyeh, which 
•igniftea ** reed mats," in allusicm to a iMvulitirity, already noticed, 




in its construction. It is at once the most central and the 
loftiest ruin in the place. At first sight it appears to have been 
a cone or pyramid ; but further examination proves that it was 
in reality a tower, 200 feet square at the base, built in two 
stories, the lower story being composed entirely of sun-dried 
bricks laid in mud, and protected at intervals of four or five feet 
by layers of reeds, while the upper one was composed of the 
same material, faced with burnt brick. Of the upper stage very 
little remains ; and this little is of a later date than the inferior 
story, which bears marks of a very high antiquity. The sun- 
dried bricks whereof the lower story is composed, are " rudely 
moulded of very incoherent earth, mixed with fragments of 
pottery and freshwater shells," and vary in size and shape, being 
sometimes square, seven inches each way ; sometimes oblong, 
nine inches by seven, and from three to three and a half inches 
thick.^ The whole present height of the building is estimated 
at 100 feet above the level of the plain. Its summit, except 
where some slight remains of the second story constitute an in- 
terruption, is "perfectly flat,*' and probably continues very much 
in the condition in which it was when the lower stage was first 
built. This stage, being built of crude brick, was necessarily 
weak ; it is therefore supported by four massive buttresses of 
baked brick, each placed exactly in the centre of one of the 
sides, and carried to about one-third of the height. Each 
buttress is nineteen feet high, six feet one inch wide, and seven 
and a half feet in depth ; and each is divided down the middle 
by a receding space, one foot nine inches in width. All the 
bricks composing the buttresses are inscribed, and arc very firmly 
cemented together with bitumen, in thick layers. The buttresses 
were entirely hidden under the mass of rubbish which had fallen 
from the building, chiefly from the upper story, and only became 
apparent when Mr. Loftus made his excavations.^ 

It is impossible to reconstruct the Bowariyeh ruin from the 
facts and measurements hitherto supplied to us ; even the height 

' Loftus, ChaldcBa and Susiana, p. 168. 

^ See this traveller's account of his labours {Chaldoea and Susiana, pp. 167-170). 

^6 THE nB8T MONARCHY. Chap. V. 

of the first story is at present uuccrtain ; ' und wc have no meanfe 
of so much as conjecturing the height uf the second. The exact 
emplacement of the second upon the first is aUo doubtful, while 
the original mode of access is undiscovered ; and thus the plan 
of the building is in many respects still defective. We only 
know that it was a square ; that it had two stories at the least ; 
and that its entire height above the pluin considerably exceeded 
100 feet 

Mughrir TcnpU 

The temple at Bfughoir has been more accurately examined. 
On a mound or. platform of some size, raised about twenty feet 
above the level of the plain, there stands a rectan<nilAr edifice, 
consisting at present of two stories, both of them ruined in parts, 
and buried to a considerable extent in piles of rubbish composed 
of their dSjri$, The anklet of thn building exactly face the four 

' Th* whob balldlBff U mM Io bt | aor what hr\j/,\\% the f^gmmt of the 

100 ShK abort Um wxrfum of %hm |iUla ; MOOAd •lory attadt*. All that ran \» 

bttt «• M« not loM what la Uia Mfhl ' ntbMwl tnm Mr. Loftus U tliat Um 

fWm Um plain of th« OMMiMt or pTal- { im Mory wm «I kui 46 ftsrt high, 
form upon whidi tbt liM|rfo ttaadai 


cardinal points.'* It is not a square, but a parallelogram, having 
two longer and two shorter sides. The longer sides front to the 
north-east and south-west respectively, and measure 198 feet ; 
while the shorter sides, which face the north-west and the south- 
east, measure 133 feet. The present height of the basement 
story is 27 feet ; but, allowing for the concealment of the lower 
part by the rubbish, and the destruction of the upper part by 
the hand of time, we may presume that the original height was 
little, if at all, short of 40 feet. The interior of this story is 
built of crude or sun-dried bricks of small size, laid in bitumen ; 
but it is faced throughout with a wall, ten feet in thickness, com- 
posed of red kiln-dried bricks, likewise cemented with bitumen. 
This external wall is at once strengthened and diversified to the 
eye by a number of shallow buttresses or pilasters in the same 
material ; of these there are nine, including the corner ones, on 
the longer, and six on the shorter sides. The width of the but- 
tresses is eight feet, and their projection a little more than a 
foot. The ^yalls and buttresses alike slope inwards at an angle 
of nine degrees. On the north-eastern side of the building there 
is a staircase nine feet wide, with sides or balustrades three feet 
wide, which leads up from the platform to the top of the first 
story. It has. also been conjectured that there was a second or 
grand staircase on the south-east face, equal in width to the 
second story of the building, and thus occupying nearly the 
whole breadth of the structure on that side.^ A number of 
narrow slits or air-holes are carried through the building from 
side to side ; they penetrate alike the walls and buttresses, 
and must have tended to preserve the dryness of the structure. 

The second story is, like the first, a parallelogram, and not of 
very different proportions.^' Its longer sides measure 119 feet, 
and its shorter ones 75 feet at the base. Its emplacement upon 
the first' story is exact as respects the angles, but not central as 
regards the four sides. While it is removed from the south- 

'• Loftus, Chaidcca and Sustana, p. 128. j ' Loftus, Chaldoea and Fusimia, p. 129. 

According to Mr. Loftus, this emplace- | " The proportions of the lower stage 

mcnt " is observable in all edifices 1 are almost exactly as 3 to 2. Those of 

(temples ?) of true Chaldaean origin." the upper are as Sj'j to 2. 



fno- V 

eastern edge a distaDce of 47 feet, from the north-western it in 
distant only 30 feet From the two remaining sides it« distance 
is apparently about 28 feet The present height of the second 

story, including the rubbish upon 
its top, is 19 feet; but we may 
reasonably suppose that the ori- 
ginal height was much greater. 
The material of which its inner 
structure is composed, seems to be 
chiefly (or wholly) partial ly-bumt 
brick, of a light red colour, laid 
in a cement composed of lime and 
ashes. This central mass is faced 
with kiln-dried bricks of large 
size and excellent quality, also 
laid, except on the north-west 
face,^ in lime mortar. No but- 
tresses and no staircase are trace- 

Ground-pUnofMugheirTempIo, ^y^]^ ^^ ^hls Story ; thoUgh it 18 

possible tliat on the south-east side the grand staircase may 
hare run the whole height of both stories. 

According to information received by Mr. Taylor from the 
Arabs of the vicinity,* there existed, less than half a century ago, 
some remains^ of a third story, on the summit of the rubbish 
which now crowns the second. This building is described as a 
room or chamber, and was probably the actual shrine of the 
god in whose honour the whole structure was erected. Mr. 
Taylor discovered a number of bricks or tiles glazed with a 
blue enamel, and also a number of large copfier nails, at such a 
height in the rubbish which covers up much of the second story, 
that he thinks they could only have come fn>m this upper 
chamber. The analogy of later linbyloniun buildings, as of the 
Bir»-Nimrud and the temple tif I(elus at Jtubylon,* confirms this 
Tiew,and makes it probiible that f Ii*- < arly (1iald«an temple was 

Ob thlf tia« Om »< 

blmii. ISw Mr. Ti>i 
CIm Jamitai 

</ fA# A$M( 

I to 



»v. ^ SSI.) 

»v. ^ sec • llMod. I 191. 

Chap. V. 



a building in three stages, of which the first and second were 
solid masses of brickwork, ascended by steps on the outside, 
while the third was a small house or chamber highly ornamented, 
containing the image and shrine of the god. 

Mugheir Temple, restored. 

In conclusion, it must be observed that only the lower story 
of the Mugheir temple exhibits the workmanship of the old or 
Chaldaean period. Clay cylinders found in the upper story in- 
form us that in its present condition this story is the work of 
Nabonidus, the last of the Babylonian kings ; and most of its 
bricks bear his stamp. 8ome, however, have the stamp of the 
same monarch who built the lower story; ^ and this is sufficient 
to show that the two stories are a part of the original design, 
and therefore that the idea ot building in stages belongs to the 
first kingdom and to primitive times. There is no evidence to 
prove whether the original edifice had, or had not, a third story ; 
since the chamber seen by the Arabs was no doubt a late Baby- 
lonian work. The third story of the accompanying sketch must 
therefore be regarded as conjectural. 

It is not necessary for our present purpose to detain the reader 
with a minute description of the ancient temple at Abu-Sliahrein. 
The general character of this building seems to have very closely 
resembled that of the Mugheir temple. Its angles fronted the 
cardinal points ; it had two stories, and an ornamented chamber 
at the top ; it was faced with burnt brick, and strengthened by 
buttresses ; and in most other respects followed the type of the 
Mugheir edifice.^ Its only very notable peculiarities are the 

' Journal of the Asiatic Society, vol. 
XV. p. 264, note. 

^ See Mr. Taylor's description in the 

Journal of tlie Asiatic Society, vol. xv. 
pp. 405-408. 

8o THE riBST MONARCHY. Chap. V. 

putud use of stone in the construction, and the occurronce of a 
speoiet of pillar, Tery curiously coin{)osed. The artificial plat- 
form on which the temple stands is made of beaten chiy, ca^ed 
with a massive wall of sandstone and limestone, in some places 
twenty feet thick. There is also a stone, or rather marble, stair- 
cane which lends up from the platform to the summit of the 
first ston.', composed of small polished blocks, twenty-two inches 
long, thirteen broad, and four and a half thick. The bed of the 
staircase is made of sun-drie<l brick, and the marble was fastened 
to this substratum by copper bolts, some portion of which was 
found by 3fr. Taylor still adhering to the blocks.' At the foot 
of the staircase there appear to have stood two columns, one on 
either side of it. The construction of these columns is very sin- 
gular. A circular nucleus composed of sandstone slabs and small 
cylindrical pieces of marble disposed in alternate layers, was 
coated externally witli coarse lime, mixed with small stones and 
pebbles, until by means of many successive layers the pillar had 
attained the desired bulk and thickness. Thus the stone and 
marble were entirely concealed under a thick coating of plaster; 
and a smoothness was given to the outer surface, which it would 
have otherwise been difficult to obtain. 

The date of the Abu-Shahrein temple is thought to be con- 
siderably later than that of the other buildings above described ;* 
and the pillars Xvould seem to be a refinement on the simplicity 
of the earlier times. The use of stone is to be accH>untcd for, 
not BO much by the advance of architectural science, as by the 
near vicinity of the Arabian hills, from which that material 
ctould bo readily derived.* 

Jt is evident, that if the Chaldo^n temples were of the cha- 
racter and construction which we have gathered from their 
remains, they could have posiiessed no great architectural 
beauty, though they may not have lacked a certain grandeur. 
In the dead level of Babylonia, an elevation even of 100 or 
IdO feet must have been impreMive;* and the plain mansive- 

• jMmo/ €f MmUe BoM§, fiL sv. I * 8ii|irm «h. L ^ XA. 
I*. 406, aola. I * Mr. LoAns my~" I know of no* 

« Sw InI0w, «lMpt«r vllL ^ ISt. I thlttf nort «BelUnf or laiprcniv* Uim 


ness of the structures no doubt added to their grand effect on 
the beholder. But there was singularly little in the buildings, 
architecturally viewed, to please the eye or gratify the sense of 
beauty. No edifices in the world — not even the Pyramids — 
are more deficient in external ornament. The buttresses and 
the air-holes, which alone break the flat uniformity of the walls, 
are intended simply for utility, and can scarcely be said to be 
much embellishment. If any efforts were made to delight by 
the ordinary resources of ornamental art, it seems clear that 
such efforts did not extend to the whole edifice, but were con- 
fined to the shrine itself — the actual abode of the god — the 
chamber which crowned the whole, and was alone, strictly 
speaking, "the temple."" Even here there is no reason to 
believe that the building had externally much beauty. No 
fragments of architraves or capitals, no sculptured ornaments of 
any kind, have been found among the heaps of rubbish in which 
Chaldsean monuments are three-parts buried. The ornaments 
which have been actually discovered, are such as suggest the 
idea of internal ratlier than external decoration; and they 
render it probable that such decoration was, at least in some 
cases, extremely rich. The copper nails and blue enamelled 
tiles found high up in the Mugheir mound, have been already 
noticed.^ At Abu-Shahrein the ground about the basement 
of the second story was covered with small jfleces of agate, 
alabaster, and marble, finely cut and polished, from half an inch 
to two inches long, and half an inch (or somewhat less) in 
breadth, each with a hole drilled through its back, containing 
often a fragment of a copper bolt. It was also 
strewn less thickly with small plates of pure gold, 
and with a number of gold-headed or gilt-headed 
nails,^ used apparently to attach the gold plates to the internal 
plaster or wood-work. These fragments seem to attest the high 

the first sight of one of these great 
Chaldwan piles, looming in solitary 
grandeur from the surrounding plains 
and marshes." {C/uildcea and Susiana, 
p. 113.) 

^ See Herod, i. 181, where the stages 

VOL. 1. 

(irvpyoi) are carefully distinguished 
from the temple (^vt}6s) at the summit. 

^ See above, p. 78. 

" Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. 
p. 407. 



ClIAl*. V. 

ornamentation of the shrine in this instance, which we have no 
reason to regard as singular or in any way exceptional. 

The Chaldiean remains which throw light ui)un the domestic 
architecture of the people are few and scanty. A small house 
was disinterred by Mr. Taylor at Mugheir, and the plan of some 
chambers was made out at Abu-Shahrein ; but these are hitherto 
the only specimens which can be confidently assigned to the 
Chaldasan pericnl. The house stood on a platform of sun-dried 
bricks, paved on the top with burnt bricks. It was built in 
the form of a cross, but with a good deal of irregularity, every 
wall being somewhat longer or shorter than the others. The 

material used in its construction was 
burnt brick, the outer layer imbeilded 
in bitumen, and the remainder in a 
cement of mud. Externally the house 
was ornamented with perp«?ndicular 
stepped recesses,* while internally the 
bricks had often a thin coating of 
g)'p8um or enamel, upon which cha- 
racters were inscribed. The floors of 
the chambers were paved with burnt 
brick, laid in bitumen. Two of the 
doorways were arched, the arch ex- 
tending through the whole thickness 
of the walls ; it was semicircular, and 
was construct^'d with bricks made 
wtHlgi^haped for the purpose. A good 
deal of charred date-wo(xl was found 
in the lumse, probaltly the remains of 
rafters which had supimrttnl the roof.' 
The chambers at Abu-Shahrein wert* 
nf 8un-<lriiHl brick, with an internal 
( ivering of fine plaster, ornamented 
i*i»ii4f. nitli paint In one the ornamentation 
consisted ui u ^rm of red, \Atick, and white Uuiib. tlirt^* inelus 

'It'll* C«tl" 

UAM,aUMb««itf£iwMiia,|>.t33. < yonHM/i/iU. &*r. voL sv. |>i> 

Chap. V. 



in breadth ; in another Avas represented, but very rudely, the 
figure of a man holding a bird on his wrist, with a smaller 


5 ji 

2 1 

O (A 

CI ® 

2 bo 

3 ■-« 



figure near him, in red paint.^ The favourite external orna- 
mentation for houses seems to have been by means of coloured 

" Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. pp. 408, 410. 

G 2 



Chap. V 

001168 in terra ootta, which were imU'<](lcHl in moist mud or 
plaster, and armnged iuto a variety of |>utteri)R.* 

But little can be said as to the plan on which houses were 
built The walls were generally of vast thickness, the chambers 
long and narrow, with the outer doors opeuiiig directly into 
them. The rooms ordinarily led into one another, passages 
beiug rarely found. Squared recesses^ sometimes stepped or 

Wm/U rr»m 7 
icJOfeel hi^ 

Grouad-pko of ctuunben exeavAtcd «t Abu-Shahrriiv 

dentated, were common in the rooms ; and in the arrangement 
of the»ie something of symmetry is observable, as they fre- 
quently correspond to or face each other. The roofs were pro- 
bably either flat — beams of palm-wood Uun^ stn^tehed aorosa 
from wall to wall *— or else arche<l with brick.* No indication 

< LofhM,abMM(iMrA«<md, M. IS8. 
1S9. Tb« lmUdli« dtoeovtrtd by Mr. 
Urftw (fram whkh Um rrarMMtotlMi 
OB p. M it UkM) WM At WMrka, Md 
tbnvfuiv mifbt p»rh«|« not b» CM* 
dbn. Tb0 TMt Biuibtr of tlntkr 
flOM% lMm«v«r, wbleb mmt •! Abu- 
Shahrptn iJoumal of Ai. Sbr. vol iv. fk 
411) mud ocbar fnmf ChiMwAii nilM^ 
•ufllciriiily Indlmte tb* Myb of oiW 
MMUtUm u» btloof to tbe flnt on^riL 

• Mr. Taylor ftwnd ■■■■■tsof Uw 

at Muffbdr. (JimrmU ^ J«. Aae. toL 
XV. |k MS.) 

' Mr. I.0II1M baltotM thai ChaldMa 
bttliainy* wm« OMuOl/ roolbd to tbli 
way. (r'A.iUM mirf Ai«4mm, p|k ISi, 
ISS.) Mr. TaybMT al» balkttt Ibai 
iOM* of lb* ebambart wbleb ba tMo- 
ftlid mam bava bam Jea m d. (/Mrmii 
i/4iL&e.voLiv. fL 411.) 


of windows has been found as yet ; but still it is tliougbt that 
the chambers were lighted by themj only they were placed 
high, near the ceiling or roof, and thus do not appear in the 
existing ruins, which consist merely of the lower portion of 
walls, seldom exceeding the height of seven or eight feet. The 
doorways, both outer and inner, are towards the sides rather 
than in the centre of the apartments — a feature common to 
Chaldaean with Assyrian buildings. 

Next to their edifices, the most remarkable of the remains 
which the Chaldaeans have left to after-ages, are their burial- 
places. While ancient tombs are of very rare occurrence in 
Assyria and Upper Babylonia, Chaldsea Proper abounds with 
them. It has been conjectured, with some show of reason, that 
the Assyrians, in the time of their power, may have made the 
sacred land of Chaldaea the general depository of their dead,^ 
much in the same way as the Persians even now use Kerbela 
and Nedjif or Meshed Ali as special cemetery cities, to which 
thousands of corpses are brought annually.® At any rate, the 
quantity of human relics accumulated upon certain Chaldaean 
sites is enormous, and seems to be quite beyond what the mere 
population of the surrounding district could furnish. At Warka, 
for instance, excepting the triangular space between the three 
principal ruins, the whole remainder of the platform, the whole 
space within the walls, and an unknown extent of desert beyond 
them, are everywhere filled with human bones and sepulchres.^ 
In places coffins are piled upon coffins, certainly to the depth 
of 30, probably to the depth of 60 feet ; and for miles on every 
side of the ruins the traveller walks upon a soil teeming with 
the relics of ancient, and now probably extinct, races. Some- 
times these relics manifestly belong to a number of distinct and 
widely separate eras ; but there are places where it is otherwise. 
However we may account for it — and no account has been yet 
given which is altogether satisfactory — it seems clear, from the 
comparative homogeneousness of the remains in some places, 
that they belong to a single race, and if not to a single period, 

Loftus, p. 182. " Ibid. p. 199. » Ibid. pp. .')4 and 6.5. ' Ibid. p. 199. 



Chap. V. 

at any rato to only two, or, at the most, three distinct periodic, 
80 that it is no longer very difficult to distinguish the more 
ancient from the later relics.* iSuch is the character of the 
remains at Mugheir, which are thought to contain nothing of 
later date than the clo64) of the Ikhy Ionian |)eriod, B.C. 538;' 
and such is, still more remarkably, the diaracter of the ruins at 
Ahu-Shahrein and Tel-el-Lahm, wliich seem to be entirely, or 
almost entirely, Clialdsean. In the following account of the 
cofiins and mode of burial employed by the early Chaldamns, 
examples will be drawn from these places only; since otherwise 
we should be liable to confound together the productions of very 
different ages and peoi>lea. 

The tombs to which an archaic character most certainly 
attaches are of three kinds — biifk vaults, clay coffins shaped 

like a dish-cover, and 
coffins in the same ma* 
terial, formed of two 
large jars placed month 
to mouth, and cemented 
together with bitumen. 
The brick vaults are 
found chiefly at Mag- 
heir. They are seven 
feet long, three feet 
seven inches broad, and 
live feet high, composed 
>t* suuMiried bricJu im- 
l tedded in mud, and ex* 
i libit a very remarkable 
l\ >rm and construction of 
the arch. The side walls 

of the vaults slope oat- 
Brick vault At Mufflieir. , ^, * , 

wards as they ascend; 
and tlie arch is formed, liko those in Egyptian buildings nnd 

' PcwilkNi of the relics •n tUm^ eh«« 
ra^trr of th« tomb or eodln. mmI ap 
|iar«it anliquity. or Ih* rc*-^^- -r (»»« 

meluM«l Yrwrit and ortunneot*. will 
camimHilv tlHrnnin« the mg9 witboui 
•Hi»rh unrvrulnt)-. • l4ttttu^ |» 1"*4 

Chap. V. TOMBS. 8/ 

Scythian tombs,^ by each successive layer of bricks, from the 
point where the arch begins, a little overlapping the last, till 
the two sides of the roof are brought so near together that 
the aperture may be closed by a single brick. Tlife floor of the 
vaults was paved with brick similar to that used for the roof and 
sides; on this floor was commonly ' spread a matting of reeds, 
and the body was laid upon the matting. It was commonly 
turned on its left side, the right arm falling towards the left, 
and the fingers resting on the edge of a copper bowl, usually 
placed on the palm of the left hand. The head was pillowed on 
a single sun-dried brick. Various articles of ornament and use 
were interred with each body, which \\ill be more particularly 
described hereafter. Food seems often to have been placed iu 
the tombs, and jars or other drinking vessels are universal. The 
brick vaults appear to have been family sepulchres ; they have 
often received three or four bodies, and in one case a single 
vault contained eleven skeletons.^ 

The clay coflins, shaped like a dish-cover, are among the most 
curious of the sepulchral remains of antiquity. On a platform 
of sun-dried brick is laid a mat, exactly similar to those in 
common use among the Arabs of the country at the present 
day ; and hereon lies the skeleton, disposed as in the brick 
vaults, and surrounded by utensils and ornaments. Mat, skele- 
ton, and utensils are then concealed by a huge cover in burnt 
clay, formed of a single piece, which is commonly seven feet 
long, two or three feet high, and two feet and a half broad at 
the bottom. It is rarely that modern potters produce articles of 
half the size. Externally the covers have commonly some slight 
ornament, such as rims and shallow indentations, as represented 
in tlie sketch overleaf (No. 1). Internally they are plain. Not 
more than two skeletons have ever been found under a single 
cover ; and in these cases they were the skeletons of a male and 
a female. Children were interred separately, under covers about 
half the size of those for adults. Tombs of this kind commonly 

* See the author's Herodotus, vol, iii. p. 61. 

* Journal of the Asiatic Society, vol. xv. pp. 271-274. 



Chap. V. 

occur at some considerable depth. None were discovered at 
Mogheir nearer Uie 8ur£Me than seven or eight feet.^ 



Chaldvaa Uitb<«oirtr tombik. 

*. Oa|Mr html /. J«n mmI wtMib Ibr Ibwl and waiw. m^kf 

t. SMili ji r l lB i ir^ r y y ilB tiett iwnhH j flfMM cHjri mmIm of diu iimwi In tlw 

^ — ■-- - ^ ** *^ * - ■' ' --* ^ft^M^a i 

The third'kind of tonih, i^onimon both at Blugboir and ntTel- 
el-Lahm/ it almost af aocentrio at the preceding. T\io large 

J<mnmlo/lAtA»taticSocM^,si is p Mtf. 

' lbl<Ln>-41^4U- 

Chap. V. 



open-mouthed jars {a and h), shaped like the largest of the 
Avater-jars at present in use at Baghdad, are taken, and the body- 
is disposed inside them with the usual accompaniments of dishes, 
vases, and ornaments. The jars average from two and a half 
feet to three feet in depth, and have a diameter of about two 
feet ; so that they would readily contain a full-sized corpse if it 
was slightly bent at 
the knees. Some- 
times the two jars 
are of equal size, 
and are simply 
united at their 
mouths by a layer 

of bitumen {d d); Chaldeean jar-coffin. 

but more commonly one is slightly larger than the other, and 
the smaller mouth is inserted into the .larger one for a depth 
of three or four inches, while a coating of bitumen is still 
applied externally at the juncture. In each coffin there is an 
air-hole at one extremity (c), to allow the escape of the gases 
generated during decomposition. 

Besides the coffins themselves, some other curious features 
are found in the burial-places. The dead are commonly buried, 
not underneath the natural surface of the ground, but in ex- 
tensive artificial mounds, each mound containing a vast number 
of coffins. The coffins are arranged side by side, often in several 
layers; and occasionally strips of masonry, crossing each other 
at right angles, separate the sets of coffins from their neigh- 
bours. The surface of the mounds is sometimes paved with 
brick; and a similar pavement often separates the layers of 
coffins one from another. But the most remarkable feature in 
the tomb-mounds is their system of drainage. Long shafts of 
baked clay extend from the surface of the mound to its base, 
composed of a succession of rings two feet in diameter, and about 
a foot and a half in breadth, joined together by thin layers of 
bitumen. To give the rings additional strength, the sides have 
a slight concave curve (see woodcut, 2 and 3) ; and, still further 
to resist external pressure, the shafts are filled from bottom to 

90 THE Fnwr MONARCHY. Our. V 

Section of drain. 

top with a loose nuMi of broken pottery. At the top tlie shaft 
ooDtracts rapidly by mewia of a ring of a |)eculiar shape (see 
woodcut, 1) ; and abovtf this ring are a series of |)erforated bricks 

leading up to the top of the 
mound, the surface of which 
is so arranged as to conduct 
the rain-water into these ori- 
fices. For the still more 
efiectual dniiiiage of the 
mound, tlie top-piece of the 
shaft immediately below the 
perforated bri'^ks, and also 
the first rings, are full of 
small holes to admit any 
stray moisture; and be- 
sides this, for the space of 
a foot every way, the shafts are surrounded with broken pottery, 
so tliat the real diameter of eacli drain is as much as four feet." 
By tliese arrangements the piles have been kept perfectly dry ; 
and the consequence is the preservation, to the present day. not 
only of the utensils and ornaments placed in the tombs, but of 
the very skeletons themselves, which are seen perftHJt on opening 
a tomb, though they generally crumble to dust at the fin^t 

The skill of the Chaldasans as potters has received consider- 
able illustration in the foregoing pages. No ordinary ingenuity 
was ueedeil to model and bake the laige vases, and still larger 
covers, which were the ordinary receptacles of the Chuldo^n 
dead. The rings and t())>-pieces of the drainage-shafts also 
exhibit much skill and knowledge of principles. Hitherto, 
however, the reader Ims not been brought into contact witli any 

• Joumat of (A# AsiaHe Sookig, tot I dajt to IIm air. that tVv Uemm f«i/# 
sv. Ml. S6S, S09. I kari, awl eookl Iw hMdM with Im- 

* Ibid. p. S7S( LolliM, p. tie, Mr. , muiIiv.** It to to b» ii«i«iira that 
Taylor, bowwrar, qiMliflM tlito tolUir I Mr. Taylor did not Mad mj of th« 
•tolMMnt. ** DlraeUy oa ofmdng Umm ; alittUa, wbM thua hardracO. to Kngtond, 
rovw*,** h# my, " wrrv I to ftltoaipl to aa thrlr ruailMllott would haw biva 
toMflb the •hulta or b oaa a, thajr would I iMporunt towarda dotonalnlaf th9 
Ihll toto dMC almoiC ImaiadlalHy t but | tcbale character of iba ruM, 
I found, oo rxpoalaf tlM« Sir a Arw 

Chap. V. 



specimens of Clialclaean fictile art which can be regarded as 
exhibiting elegance of form, or, indeed, any sense of beauty as 

Chaldaean vases of the first period. 

distinguished from utility. Such specimens are, in fact, some- 
what scarce, but they are not wholly wanting. Among the 
vases and drinking-vessels with which the Chaldsean tombs 

Chaldean vaseo, drinking-vessels, and amphora of the second period. 

abound, while the majority are characterised by a certain 
rudeness both of shape and material,^*^ we occasionally meet 

'" The vases represented in the first of the above cuts are in a coarse clay, mixed 
with chopped straw, which sometimes appears upon the surface. 


with specimens of a higher character, which would not 8brink 
from a comparison with the ordinary productions of Greek 
fictile art A number of these are represented in Uie second 
woodcut on the preceding page which exhibits several forms not 
hitherto published — some taken from drawings by Mr. Churchill, 
the artist who accompanied 3fr. Loftos on his first jouniey; 
othen drawn for the present work from Tases now in the IWItisli 

It is evident that, while the vases of the first group are roughly 
moulded by the hand, the vases and lamps of the second have 
been carefully shaped by the aid of the potter's wheel These 

OmldcAn Umpt of the 

latt are formed of a far finer clay than the earlier specimena, 
and have sometimes a sUght glaze upon them, which adds much 
to their beauty. 

In a few instances the works of the ClialdnninH in this material 
belong to mimetic art, of which they are rude but iuten*sting 
specimens. Borne of the primitive graves at Stiikareh yielded 
tablets of bake<l chiy, on which were represented, in low relief, 
sometiii ' jurcH of men, sometimes gronjis, sometimes 
men in it with animals. A scene in which a lion u 
disturbe«l in his feast uflfa bullock, by a man armed with a dub 
and a nia(*e or hutchct, possesses rt«niarkable spirit, and, were it 
not for !h«- ''^"•»' Iruwingof tli«- Vu^a^ njiliit..] I'l;, might be 

Chap. Y. 



regarded as a very creditable performance.^^ In another, a lion , 
is reiDresented devouring a prostrate human being ; while a third 
exhibits a pugilistic encounter after the most approved fashion 
of modern England ! ^ It is perhaps uncertain whether these 
tablets belong to the Chalda3an or to the Babylonian period ; 
but on the whole thei^ rudeness and simplicity favour the 
earlier rather than the later date. 

• The only other works having anything of an artistic character, 
that can be distinctly assigned to tlie primitive period, are a 
certain number of engraved cylinders, some of which are very 
curious. It is clearly established that the cylinders in question, 
which are generally of serpentine, meteoric stone, jasper, chalce- 
dony, or other similar substance, were the seals or signets of 
their possessors, who impressed them upon the moist clay which 
formed the ordinary material for writing.^ They are round, or 
nearly so,^ and measure from half-an-inch to three inches in 
length ; ordinarily they are about one-third of their length in 
diameter. A hole is bored through the stone from end to end, 
so that it could be worn upon a string ; and cylinders are found 
in some of the earliest tombs which 
have been worn round the wrist in 
this way.** In early times they may 
have beqn impressed by the hand ; 
but afterwards it was common to 
place them upon a bronze or cop- 
per axis attached to a handle, by 
means of which they were rolled 
across the clay from one end to the 
other.^ The cylinders are frequently unengraved, and this is 
most commonly their condition in the primitive tombs ; but there 
is some very curious evidence, from which it appears that the 

Seal cylinder on metal axis. 

" See Loftus, Chaldcea and Susiana, 
p. 258. 1 Ibid. p. 257. 

2 Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 
608, 60i) ; llawlinson's Herodotus, vol. i. 
p. 336 ; Birch's Ancient I'ottery, vol. 1. 
p. 114. 

' Sometimes the sides are slightly 
concave, as in the above representation. 

•* Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. 
p. 271. 

^ Mr. Layard found remains of the 
bronze in one specimen. (^Nineveh and 
Babylon, p. 609.) The above represen- 
tation gives the probable form of the 
bronze setting. 



Chap. V 

art of enjrravinjr thern was really known and practised (thougli 
doubtless in rare instances) at a very early date. The sij^et 
cylinder of the monarch who founded the most ancient of the 
buildings at Blugheir, Warka, Senkareh, and Nifffr, and who thus 
stands at the head of the monumental kings, was in the possesrion 
of Sir R Porter ; and though it is now lost, an engraving made 
from it is preserved in his * Travels.'* The signet cylinder of 
this monarch's son has been recently recovered, and is now in 
the British Museum. We are entitled to conclude from the data 

SifatC eyUwkr of King Unikh. 

thus in our pow ca rion that the art of cylinder-engraving had, 
even at thii early period, made considerable progress. The 
letters of the inscriptions, which give the names of the kings 
and their titles, are indeed Homewhat rudely formed, as they are 
on the stam{)ed bricks of the jM^riod ;^ but the figures have been 
at well cut, and as flowingly traoe<I, as those of a mneh later 
date. It waa thought |>o*i!<»ible that the artist employed by Sir 
R. Porter had given a flatt«Ting repniUMitation of his original ; 
but the newly recovered relic, known as the " cylind<»r <»f Ilgi,** 
beari opOD it figures of quite as gn^tit txccllence ; and we are 
thus led to the conclusion that both mei*hanieal and artistic 

7>«M**iaNry^lWt<i,te..v«Lll.pL7l^iff.6. ' Itt abov*^ pp^ eSi •«, •». 

Chap. V. 



skill had reached a very surprising degree of excellence at the 
most remote peiiod to which the Chaldsean records carry us 

It increases the surprise which we naturally feel at the dis- 
covery of these re- 

lics to reflect upon 
the rudeness of the 
implements with 
which such results 
would seem to have 
been accomplished. 
In the primitive 
Chaldsean ruins, the 
implements which 
have been disco- 
vered are either in 
stone or bronze. 
Iron in the early 
times is seemingly 
unknown, and when 

it iirst aDDearS is No. land No. 2. Back view of flint knives. No. 3. Side view of No. 2. 

wrought into ornaments for the person.^ Knives of flint or 
chert, stone hatchets, hammers, adzes, and nails, are common in 
the most ancient mounds, which contain also a number of clay 
models, the centres, as it is thought,^ of moulds into which 
molten bronze was run, and also occasionally the bronze instru- 
ments themselves, as (in addition to spear-heads and arrow- 
heads) hammers, adzes, hatchets, knives, and sickles. It will 
be seen by the engraved representations that these instruments 
are one and all of a rude and coarse character. The flint and 
stone knives, axes, and hammers, which abound in all the true 
Chaldsean mounds, are somewhat more advanced indeed than 

* Bangles and rings. (See the Journal 
of tJie Askitic Society, vol. xv. p. 415.) 

" This view was taken by Mr. Vaux 
in a paper read by him before the 
Society of Antiquaries, January, 1860, 
which he has kindly put into my hands. 

It may be questioned, perhaps, whether 
these clay models are not rather the 
representatives of real weapons and 
implements, buried in their stead by 
relatives too poor to part with the 


Chap. V. 

1. StoiMhainnitr. S. Stone liatdieL 3. Slooeadxe. 4. Stone nail. 

Chat'. V. 



tliose very primitive implements which have been found in the 
drift ; but they are of a workmanship at least as unskilled as 
that of the ordinary stone celts of Western and Northern Europe, 
which till the discoveries of M. Pertlies were regarded as the 

1. Knife. 

Bronze Implements. 
2. Hatchet. 3. Hammer. 4. Adze. 5. Sickle. 

most ancient human remains in our quarter of the globe. They 
indicate some practical knowledge of the cleavage of silicious 
rocks, but they show no power of producing even such finish as 
the celts frequently exhibit. In one case only has a flint instru- 
ment been discovered per- ^^^^^^^^^^^ ,-^-.,^^^^^^^^.:.,^ 
fectly regular in form, and l\ ^^^^^ " "" -^ ^-^— ^ 
presentmg a sharp angular ^ "r* " '■ ^^^^■a^^^^— ^- . ^^ .-g -^s^ i.i ra^ . i 
exactness. The instrument, ^^'^* Implement, 
which is figured here, is a sort of long parallelogram, round at 

VOL. I. H 




Chai'. \ 

the back, and witb a deep deprenioD down its face. Its use is 
QDcertain; but, according to a reasonable conjecture, it may 
have been designed for impressing characters upon the moist 
clay of tablets and cylinders — a purpose for which it is said to 
be excellently fitted.'** 

The metallurgy of the Chald<eans, though indicative of a 
higher state of civilization and a greater knowledge of the useful 
arts than their stone weapons, is still of a somewhat rude cha- 
racter, and indicates a nation but just emerging out of an almost 
barbaric simplicity. Metal seems to be scarce, and not many 

kinds are foun<l. There 
is no silver, zinc, or pla- 
tinum; but only gold, 
copper, tin, leiid, and 
iron. Gold is found in 
beads, ear-rings, and 
other ornaments," which 
are in some instances of 
a fashion that is not inelegant.' Copper occurs pure, but 
is more often hardened by means of an alloy of tin, whereby 

LraUru |ii|ir ami jar. 

it beoomet brooie, and is rendered suitable for implements and 
weapons.* Lead is rara, ooonrring only in a very few spedmens, 


*• Jommat 9f Adaiie 8tkt$, voL iv. ChaMawn. At Um mum time It m% 

11.411. U ftliowad that tlifj tvry M"^'* ' 

••AaaUaCaavtbalMa4.(lbi4.|it7a.) Mubla tlw Oratk •'Onpld mx 

I Thaw aar^i«i mn flvaa •• Chal- of whieh Ihara ara to naay 

4Ma.baeaiiMthajw««fettiiaatNiinv ! ISrlti»h MoaMiM. 

•maug rMMlM Iboiiht la bt fmrvly • Sw abova, p^ M, 97. 

Chap. V. METALLUKGY. 99 

as in one jar or bottle, and in what seems to be a portion of a 
pipe, brought by Mr. Loftus from Mugheir. Iron, as already 
observed, is extremely uncommon ; and, when it occurs, is chiefly 
used for the rings and bangles which seem to have been among 
the favourite adornments of the people. Bronze is, however, 
even for these, the more common material. It is sometimes 
wrought into thin and elegant shapes, tapering to a point at 
either extremity; sometimes the form into which it is cast' is 
coarse and massive, resembling a solid bar twisted into a rude 

Bronze bangles. 

circle. For all ordinary purposes of utility 'it is. the common 
metal used. A bronze or copper bowl is found in almost every 
tomb ; bronze bolts remain in the pieces of marble used for tes- 
solating ;^ bronze rings sometimes strengthen the cones used for 
ornamenting walls;'* bronze weapons and instruments are, as we 
have seen, common ; and in the same material have been found 
chains, nails, toe and finger rings, armlets, bracelets, and fish- 

No long or detailed account can be given of the textile 
fabrics of the ancient Chaldseans; but there is reason to believe 
that this was a branch of industry in which they particularly 
excelled. We know that as early as the time of Joshua a 
Babylonian garment had been imported into Palestine, and was 
of 80 rare a beauty as to attract the covetous regards of Achan, 

' See the small woodcut on p. 81. I is given; and for the use of bronze 

* See p. 83 ; where a representation rings, see Journal of the Asiatic Society^ 
of this mode of ornamenting walls j vol. xv. p. 411. 

H 2 



in common with certain larp^e mamos of the precious metals.* 
The very ancient cylinder figured above,* must belong to a time 
at least ^\e or six centuries earlier ; upon it we observe flounced 
and fringed garments, delicately striped, and indicative appa- 
rently of an advanced state of textile manufacture. Recent 
researches do not throw much light on this subject. The frail 
materials of which human apparel is composed can only under 
peculiar circumstances resist the destructive power of thirty or 
forty centuries ; and consequently we have but few traces of the 
actual fabrics in use among the primitive jieople. Pieces of 
linen are said to have been found attaching to some of the 
skeletons in the tombs ;' and the sun-driod brick which supports 
the head is sometimes covered with the remains of a " tasselled 
cushion of tapestry;"* but otherwise we are without direct 
evidence either as to the material in use, or as to the character 
of the fabric. In later times Babylon was especially celebrated 
for its robes and its caq)ets.* Such evidence as we have would 
seem to make it probable that both manufactures had attained 
to considerable excellence in Chaldnpan times. 

The only sciences in which the early Chalda?ans can at 
present be proved to have excelled are the cog^te ones of 
arithmetic aiid astronomy. On the broad and monotonous 
plains of Lower Mesopotamia, where the earth ha^ little upon 
it to suggest thought or please by variety, the ** variegated 
heaven/' ever changing ^ith the hours and with the »»iyiMit, 
would early attract attention, while the clear sky, dry atmo- 
sphere, and level horizon would affonl facilities for observations, 
so soon as the idea of them suggested itself to the minds of the 
inhabitants. The ^ ChaldsMm learning ** of a later age ^ appears 
to have been originated, in all its branches, by the primitive 
people ; in whose language it continue<l to be written even in 
Semitic times. 

Wo are informed by Simplicius that Callisthenos, who accom- 
panied Alexander to llabylun,8eut to Arintotle from tliat capital 

• Josh. vtL SI. • Sm ^ 94. I * Arrlu. Efp, AUs, yL S9; Ath< 

' Jmrmal c/ tkt Ashik AwMy. vol wru*. Utipmimi*, y. p. 197. 
XV. p. 171. •IMd.Lt.e. •lMa.L4. 

Chap. V. 



a series of astronomical observations, which lie had found pre- 
served there, extending back to a period of 1903 years from 
Alexander's conquest of the city.^ Epigenes related that these 
observations were recorded upon tablets of baked clay ,^ which is 
quite in accordance with all that we know of the literary habits of 
the people. They must have extended, according to Simplicius, 
as far back as B.C. 2234, and would therefore seem to have been 
commenced and carried on for many centuries by the primitive 
Chaldsean people. We have no means of determining their 
exact nature or value, as none of them have been preserved to 
us : no doubt they were at first extremely simple ; but we have 
every reason to conclude that they were of a real and sub- 
stantial character. There is nothing fanciful, or (so to speak) 
astrological, in the early astronomy of the Babylonians. Their 
careful emplacement of their chief buildings,^ which were pro- 
bably used from the earliest times for astronomical purposes,^ 
their invention of different kinds of dials,^ and their division of 
the day into those hours which we still use,"^ are all solid, 
though not perhaps very brilliant, achievements. It was only 
in later times that the Chaldseans were fairly taxed with im- 
posture and charlatanism ; in the early ages they seem to have 
really deserved the eulogy bestowed on them by Cicero.® 

It may have been the astronomical knowledge of the Chal- 
daeans which gave them the confidence to adventure on im- 
portant voyages. Scripture tells us of the later people, that 
" their cry was in the ships ; " ^ and the early inscriptions not 
only make frequent mention of the " ships of Ur," but by 

- This passage has often been referred 
to, but rarely quoted. Simplicius argues 
that the earlier Greek writers on 
astronomy have less value than the 
later ones:— 5m to /irjTrw ras virb Ka\- 
Aiadevovs iK Ba^vKwvos ircficpdeiaas 
7rapaT7jp7)(reis a.<(>iKfa6ai els T^y 'EA- 
\dSa, rov 'ApiaTOTtKovs rovro iTricrK'fj- 
, avTos avr<p' &<nivas SiTj^etTai 6 Tlop- 
'I'pios X'^''«"' ^Twv eJvai Koi iputa- 

KOfflwV TpiWV, fJiiXP^ "^^^ XP*'*'"'' 'AAff- 

ay^pov Tov MaKcdouos (Toifo/ifVos. 
^ Plin. //. A: vii. 5G. "Epigenes 

apud Babylonios dccxx annorum ob- 
servationes siderum coctilibus laterculis 
inscriptas docet." 

* See above, p. 76. 

* This is distinctly asserted of the 
great temple of Belus by Diodorus 
(ii. 9, § 4). The careful emplacement 
of the earliest temples makes it probable 
that they were applied to similar uses. 

^ Herod, ii. lO'J. ^ Ibid. 

* See the passage prefixed as a motto 
to this chapter (supra, p. 70). 

" Isaiah xliii. 14. 

I02 THE nwrr vcnrABnrr. cmap. v 

coAAocUiig ihem rmtmU with Ummm of KUuofua* aemn to imply 
UmU Umj vtiw Mngalcd to oaiitidenibl« dktanoet. Unfurtu- 
MlrljT «« pQCnai DO «Mt0rtAb from nhicli to form any idea 
dllHr oIUm OMke Mid dianMter of tho Ch«ld«m tmmIii or of 
tiw BOtart of tbo tndo in wbich tliej were employed. We 
mmj perlM|« mmbm that at fini they were either oaooee 
holkmrd out of a palm-tmnk, or roed fnhrics made water-tight 
by a eoalt^ of liHiioieii. The Chaldeo trading operations hiy, 
so dooht» ebJMly in the PernaD Gulf;' Imt it is quit«) possible 
Ihol eweo in rery early timea they were not coutinod to this 
Mia. The gold, which was ao lavishly nsed in de- 
,* eoold only hare been obtained in the neoeasary quan- 
titiflt from Africa or India ; and it is therefore probable that 
oae^ if aot both, of these countries was visited by the Chaldiean 

Aatroaomical investigations could not be conducted without a 
Cur praideaey ia the leieDce of number. It would be reaaon- 
abla to ooaelade, from flie admitted character of the CbaldsDans 
that they were faauliur nith most arithmetical 
evea had we no evidaaoe upon the subject Evidence 
hovwvar, lo a o»taia exteat^ does exi«t. On a ubiet found at 
loagiag frabM^ to an early {leriud, a table of 
if givea, eorrectly calculated from one to sixty/ The 
of aolatioa,whicbishareaaed,isTerjcarioiit. Beroiet* 
at tbal» ia their ooaipatatiooi of time, the Chaldaaos 
wapioyed an alternate asiagiaimal and de(*imal notation, 
iwekoaiaf tho ytan by tho mm^ the aer, and the <ar— the iom 
biiaf a tMa of 60 yeaie, the asr one of eOO, and the sor 
oao of 80CN> (or 00 seMs). It appears from the Senkaieh 
aMaaaMat, that they oocaiioaally pumaed the same practice 
ia aMia aaaMrieal ealealatioai^ a« will be evM«-»f fr-^^'^ the fbl* 

«a- J 'fTSW jl< 

^Maa ^ yc ISi. 4*4 «mI >MM«a, II. tic. 

immm^ wffc-w. ^ It • Ar limmk. cAr«i. 0«. I, ,. p. 5. 

l^tli^ET * " ' 

Chap. V 


Extract from Senkareh Table of Squares. 


'i' w « 


- ^} w' r 

<^< TTT TTT 

- ^} w' rr 

<« YYY <<< 
< YYY < 


- ^} w' m 

<f W <« 


- =?=} ^/<^ V 

\\< « W' 

- M ^<^<< w 

Y<< rr < 


>-^Y « YYY 

^<\< V ^ 

»*f-Y « Y 

« YYY T 

- Jf=? <<^<< W 

.<<< ^ 1 

-■ =f=? ^<v n? 


- ^} T 

In A.rabic numerals this table may be expressed as follows : — 


































The calculation is in every case correct ; and the notation is 
by means of two signs — the simple wedge Y , and the arrow- 
head ( ; the wedge representing the unit, the soss (60), and the 
sar (3600), while the arrowhead expresses the decades of ea^h 
series, or the numbers 10 and 600.^ The notation is cumbrous, 
but scarcely more so than that of the Komans. It would be 

^ This is the ner of Berosus, which 
Mas a period of 600 years. Compare 
with this notation that of the Mexicans 
(Prescott, History of t/ie Conquest of 

Mexico, vol. i. p. 91), where, besides the 
unit, the only numbers which had dis- 
tinct signs were 20, 400, and 8000. 


TiiR ran moxabcht. 

C0AF. V. 

•vkvaid to ttt0^ horn the paiioiijr in the number of ngOB, which 
eodd wmndf fiol to gife rite to eonftukm, — moce eqpecidlj «§ 
H doMBol appeer tluit tliere waiaoj nay of expressing a cypher. 
It M not pioliiible that at any time it was the notation in ordi- 
nary oae. Namben were ootninonly expressed in a manner not 
unlike the Roman, as will be seen by the subjoinetl table. One, 
ten, a h«Bdredt aiid a thoiwmdt had distinct signs. Fifty bad 
the MUDe Mga m the unit— a simple wedge. The other numbers 
ipoaed from these elements. 

1 T 


<r • 

100 1 t- 

2 n 



200 nv 

3 m 



300 ITTT- 

4 V 



400 VT^ 

5 w 



500 \7|- 

fl s? 



«oo «?T- 

7 f 



700 -^T- 

» w 



800 '??^ 

• ^ 



900 «|y- 

10 < 



1000 y <y- 


Chap. VI. 





Chald^a, unlike Egypt, has preserved to our day but few 
records of the private or domestic life of its inhabitants. Beyond 
the funereal customs, to which reference was made in the last 
chapter,^ we can obtain from the monuments but a very scanty 
account of their general mode of life, manners, and usages. 
Some attempt, however, must be made to throw together the 
few points of this nature on which we have obtained any light 
from recent researches in Mesopotamia. 

The ordinary dress of the common people among the Chal- 
dseans seems to have consisted of a single garment, a short tunic, 
tied round the waist, and reaching thence to the knees, a cos- 
tume very similar to that worn by the Madan Arabs at the 
present day.^ To this may sometimes have been added an ahha, 
or cloak, thrown over the shoulders, and falling below the tunic, 
about half-way down the calf of the leg.^ The material of the 
former we may perhaps presume to have been linen, which best 
suits the climate, and is a fabric found in the ancient tombs.'^ 
The outer cloak was most likely of woollen, and served to 
protect hunters and others against the occasional inclemency of 
the air. The feet were unprotected by either shoes or sandals ; 
on the head was worn a skull-cap, or else a band of cameFs 
hair'^ — the germ of the turban which has now become universal 
throughout the East. 

* See above, pp. 85-89. 

2 Mr. Loftus makes this comparison 
(ChaldcBa and Susiana, p. 257). For re- 
presentations of the costume see Loftus, 
pp. 257, 258, 260; and Rich {Second 
Memoir, pi. iii. fig. 13). 

' See Loftus, Chaldcea and Siisiana, 
p. 258. 

* Asiatic Journal, vol. xv. p. 27 L 
^ Loftus, p. 258. Compare the central 
standing figure in the cylinder of which 
a representation is given, p. 94, 



CUAT. \l. 

TW coitiiBie of the richef rliwai wm mofa dUbomte. A high 
■litiv^ of s forj peenlkr •ppae n me e / or else a low cap, oma- 
BMQled with two cmred boras, oorered the head. 
The neck and arms were bare. The chief gar- 
ment waa a long gown or robe, extending from 
the neck to the feet, commonly either striped 
or flcmnced, or both ; and souk 'times also adorned 
with fringe. This robe, which was scanty ac- 
cording to modem notions, appears not to haye 
been iastenetl by any girdle or cincture round 
the waist, but to have been kept in place by passing 
over one shoulder, a slit or hole being made for 
the arm on one side of the dress only. In some cases the 
iitttM.r finrt of the dress seems to have been detached from the 
lower, and to have formed a sort of jacket, 
which reached about to the hips. 

The beard was commonly worn straight 
and long, not in crisp curls, as by the As- 
syrians. The hair was also worn long, either 
gathered together into a club behind the 
head, or depending in long spiral curls on 
either side the face and down the btick. 
Ornamenta were much affected, especially 
by the women. Bnmie and iron bangles 
and armleu, bracelets of rings or beads, 
ear-ring^ and rings for the toes, are common 
io the tombi^ and few female tkaletoos are without them. The 
malarial ol the ornamenta is generally of small value. Many 
€i the rings are formed by grinding down a small kind of 
ahall;* the others are of bronae or iron. Agate beads, however, 
am nol wnwmmnn , and gold beads hare been foond in a few 
tombs, aa well aa aoma ii^b&t small ornaments in tlie same ma- 
tariaL Tba man aeam to hare oairiad generally an engrared 
eyiiader in agala or other hard stone, which was used as a seal 


or signet, and was probably worn round the wrist.® Sometimes 
rings,® and even bracelets,^ formed also a part of their adorn- 
ment. The latter were occasionally in gold — they consisted of 
bands or fillets of the pure beaten metal, and were as much as 
an inch in breadth. 

The food of the early Chaldaeans consisted probably of the 
various esculents which have already been mentioned as products 
of the territory.^ The chief support, however, of the mass of 
the population was, beyond a doubt, the dates, which still form 
the main sustenance of those who inhabit the country. It is 
clear that in Babylonia, as in Scythia,^ the practice existed of 
burying with a man a quantity of the food to which he had been 
accustomed during life. In the Chaldsean sepulchres a number 
of dishes are always ranged round the skeleton, containing the 
viaticum of the deceased person, and in these dishes are almost 
invariably found a number of date-stones. They are most com- 
monly unaccompanied by any traces of other kinds of food ; 
occasionally, however, besides date-stones, the bones of fish and 
of chickens have been discovered, from which we may conclude 
that those animals were eaten, at any rate by the upper classes. 
Herodotus^ tells us that in his day three tribes of Babylonians 
subsisted on fish alone ; and the present inhabitants of Lower 
Mesopotamia make it a principal article of their diet.^ The 
rivers and the marshes produce it in great abundance, while the 
sea is also at hand, if the fresh-water supply should fail. Carp 
and barbel are the principal fresh-water sorts, and of these the 
former grows to a very great size in the Euphrates. An early 
tablet, now in the British Museum, represents a man carrying a 
large fish by the head, which may be a carp, though the species 
can scarcely be identified. There is evidence that the wild-boar 
was also eaten by the primitive people ; for Mr. Loftus found a 
jaw of this animal, with the tusk still remaining, lying in a 

* At least this is the position which i p. 94 ; and compare As. Joum. vol. xv. 

the signet cylinder always occupies in 
the tombs. (^Asiatic Journal, vol. xv. 
p. 271.) 

» Ibid. p. 415. 

^ See the sitting figure in the cylinder, 

p. 273. 2 See above, pp. 33-36. 

^ Herod, iv. 71 (Author's Translation, 
vol. iii. pp. 61-63). * Ibid. i. 200. 

'' Layard, Nineveh and Babylon^ ch. 
xxiv. p. 567. 


•ludlow cUj disb in one of Uie tombt.* Perhaps we may be 
JMtiled in coododuig, ftom tlie oomperadre rarity of any 
remauui of animal food in the eariy eepulchres, tliat the primi- 
tiro QmldatM whrntad M^ on vegeikable prtxiuctions. The 
Yariely and cicellence of mch eecnlents are promiuently put 
toward by Bamot in his aocouut of the original condition of 
IIm ooontry ; ^ and they still form the principal support of those 
who now inliabit it 

We are told that Nimrod was *' a mighty hunter before the 
Locd;"* and it is erident, from the account already given of 
the animals indigenous in Lower Mesopotamia/ that there was 
abundant room for the display of a sportsman's skill and during 
when men first settled in that region. The Senkareh tablets 
•bow the boldnesB and voracity of the ChaUaean lion, which not 
only levied eontribntions on the settlers* cattle/ but occasionally 
Tentnred to attack man himself. We have not as yet any 
hunting scenes belonging to these early times ; but there can 
be little doubt thai the bow was the chi6f weapon used a^rainst 
Ik* king of beisti, wboee aaHtilants commonly prefer remaining 
at a rsfpectftil distance from him.* Tlie wild-boar may have 
been hnnted in the tame way, or he may have been attacked 
with the s|iear--a weapon equally well known with the bow to 
tba earij aettlen.* Fkh were certainly taken with the hook ; 
to Mi-hooka have been found in the tombs ;* but probably they 
iPtM also eaptorad in nets, uhich are among the earliest of 
luiman invaotioiia.* 

A ooMi d a wb la poitioii of the primitive population must have 
hmm aipafad in m»Mme ponmlta. In the earliest inscriptious 
w ind CMNiaUnt mention of tlie **idiips of Ur,** which api)ear to 
luif* Indad with Rihiopia— a oountry whence may have been 
ilarlvHd ih« iM.ld, which— as baa been already shown—was so 

sv. I vM»MpM,m.fS. 

^9m9kmn.jLyLf,m, l*l ll>H«. vol. 11. p. SI ; yoI. III. ^ SS; 

• a» Uhm, CUk/^ mi ^ 9t m %m\ ttmf^ So|rfMMt AhU^. .14:. whrrt. 

IMS. dl. ts. fk SSS. Ill* Uv««llon of mi« U imiinl with 

^ W. « IMS. ik. tS. f^ SM. Ill* Uv««llon of Ml* U uiiiinl with 

* 9m 

•# ^ptlMilb i UM «ff thill*, •frlcttliufv, mhI Uafvact. 

Ghap. VI. 



largely used by the Chaldaeans in ornamentation.® It would be 
interesting could we regard it as proved that they traded also 
with the Indian peninsula ; but the " rough logs of wood, a]p]pa- 
rently teah" which Mr. Taylor discovered in the great temple at 
Mugheir/ belong more probably to the time of its repair by 
Nabonidus than to that of its original construction by a Chaldsean 
monarch. The Sea-god was one of the chief objects of venera- 
tion at Ur and elsewhere ; and Berosus appears to have preserved 
an authentic tradition, where he makes the primitive people of 
the country derive their arts and civilization from "the Ked 
Sea."® Even if their commercial dealings did not bring them 
into contact with any more advanced people, they must have 
increased the intelligence, as well as the material resources, of 
those employed in them, and so have advanced their civilization. 
Such are the few conclusions concerning the manners of the 
Chaldaoans which alone we seem to have any right to form with 
Qur present means of information. 

® See above, p. 81. 

^ Journal of the Asiatic Society, vol. 
XV. p. 264. 

* Fragm. Hist. Grcec. 1. s. c. The 
" Red Sea " of Berosus, like that of 
Herodotus, is not our Red Sea, but the 

sea which washes the south of Asia, 
including both the Indian Ocean and 
the Persian Gulf. (See Herod, i. 1 ; 
Author's Translation, vol. i. p. 153, 
note ^.) 




*AvorfX«Va< ii r&» Btjlkam mi itrrpa^ teal ^Xidr, nu viKl^vfiv, koI roi'f ir<vrr 
vXoi^niv.^BBiot. ap. HyocelL p. 53. 

The religion of the Chaldieans, from the very earliest tiroes to 
whirh the monuments carry us Iwck, was, in its outward aspect, a 
|JoIy theism of a very elaborate character. It is quite possible that 
there may have been esoteric explanations, knoun to the priests 
and the more learned, which, resolving the personages of the 
Pkntheon into the powers of nature, reconciled the apparent 
multiplicity of gods with monotheism, or even with atlieism.' 
So far, however, as outward appearances were concerned, the 
worship was grossly polytheistic. Various deities, whom it was 
not ooosidefed at all necessary to trace to a single stock, divided 
the aUegianoe of the people, and even of the kings, who regarded 
with equal reelect, and glorified with equally exalte<l epithets, 
soma fifteen or sixteen personages. Next to thcM* princi|>al gods 
were a lar more numerous assemblage of inferior or secondary 
diviiiitie«, lr*»M often mentioned, and regarded as less worthy of 
honour, but still rccogniJiiKi generally through the country. 
Finally, the Pantheon contained a host of mere local gods or 
genii, every town and almost erery Tillage in Ikbylonia being 
under the protection of its own partioalar divinity. 

It will be impoauble to give a complete account of this vast 
and eonplicatod syitem. Tha subject is still but partially 

* ll •pmmn fhHH UmUm (Otm. lbrlrplillaH»|ihWfV«iMCluUdtt«a«Niit»ik 

OM.M»LcU.>MSfVMiiMiM(nWM. «>«iUM«iioaboirUuuilm«wMNiUty 

rm- <>«l- 1 pfk I04i) Uist il if w iM 1 I mtA •m w li H i dmrtm m b ■ Mg niM i 

M)r Ml* §•«• dito mm !• iW RUv* la IW ««u. W« mmoi itU, lM««?«r, 

iMiM ajMnr. WWm b ii fwly mkkk mw« Murlv vmnmmImI ll— iIw 

•il>»««4 «# l ^ll iii ll w Mfli M. ■iii t> i l i««rtWfciiiCi>,orth«athdi 

«Wm« iAUlibiv«<lm«ia «riiMAM»rlto|ibUowplMr. 


worked out by cuneiform scholars ; the difficulties in the way of 
understanding it are great; and in many portions to which 
special attention has been paid it is strangely perplexing and 
bewildering.^ All that will be attempted in the present place 
is to convey an idea of the general character of the Chaldsean 
religion, and to give some information with regard to the 
principal deities. 

In the first place, it must be noticed that the religion was to 
a certain extent astral. The heaven itself, the sun, the moon, 
and the five planets, have each their representative in the 
Chaldsean Pantheon among the chief objects of worship. At 
the same time it is to be observed that the astral element is not 
universal, but partial ; and that, even where it has place, it is 
but one aspect of the mythology, not by any means its full and 
complete exposition. The Chaldsean religion even here is far 
from being mere Sabseanism — the simple worship of the " host 
of heaven." The aether, the sun, the moon, and still more the 
five planetary gods, are something above and beyond those parts 
of nature. Like the classical Apollo and Diana, Mars and 
Venus, they are real persons, with a life and a history, a power 
and an influence, which no ingenuity can translate into a meta- 
phorical representation of phenomena attaching to the air and 
to the heavenly bodies. It is doubtful, indeed, whether the 
gods of this class are really of astronomical origin, and not 
rather primitive deities, whose characters and attributes were, 
to a great extent, fixed and settled before the notion arose of 
connecting them with certain parts of nature. Occasionally 
they seem to represent heroes rather than celestial bodies ; and 
they have all attributes quite distinct from their physical or 
astronomical character. 

Secondly, the striking resemblance of the Chaldaian system 
to that of the Classical Mythology seems worthy of particular 
attention. This resemblance is too general, and too close in 
some respects, to allow of the supposition that mere accident 
has produced the coincidence. In the Pantheons of Greece and 

' See the Essay of Sir H. Rawlinson in the author's Herodotus, vol. i. p. 585 ; 
from which most of the views contained in this chapter are taken.^ 

1 1 2 THB mUlT MOVARCH V. Cnkt. VH 

liuiDe, And in that of Cludd«i» the mum genenil gfoui>in<: jh to 
Ym rancyi M w d ; the mom gmeilogicd waaamdaa is not unfn- 
qo^tlr to be tisoed ; and in ■omeeant eren tbo familiar names 
and tiUet of rUuttcal dirinitiet admit of the mcmt rurioiis illtis- 
Umtion and explanation from Cbaldican sources. We can 
WBUoAi doobt Imt that, in aoma way or other, there was a com- 
annittitioB of belieia— a pawige in very early times, from the 
ahoiea of the Penian Golf to the lands washed by the Mediter- 
ranean, of mythological notions and ideas. It is a probable 
QOnjeeCnre' that ''amon^; the primitive tribes who dwelt on Uie 
Tigris and Kaphrates, when the coneiform alphabet wa.s invented 
and when such writing was first applied to the purposes of 
leligioo, a Si*ythic or.Scytho-Arian race existed, who subse- 
quently migrated to Eorope, and brou<i^ht with them those 
mythic^al traditions which, as objects of popular belief, had been 
mixed np in the nascent literature of their native country,** 
and that these tiaditions were passed on to the classical nations, 
who wefe in part descended fh>m this Scythic or Scytho-Arian 

The grouping of the principal Clialdiran deities is as follows. 
At the head of the Pantheon stands a god, II or Ra, of whom 
but little is known. Next to him is a Triad, Ana, Bit, or Btiu$, 
and Iha or JZmi, who correspond closely to the classical Pluto, 
Japiter, and Neptune. Each of tliese is accompanied by a 
tonnle prtndple or nift*,— ^aa by AtyU, BU (or Bel) by M^iia 
or Beltii^ and Hta or Uoa by Davkma. Then follows a further 
tM. ciniM ii tiiig of ^ or HwrU, the Aloon^yd ; iSbn or iSaiist, 
iSbm tai; nd Vidf the god of the atmosph<«ie. The memben 
of thitf Triad are again accompanied by female powers or wives, 
—Fa/ by a ^oddasi odled 8Mla or TtiU, Sam (the Sun) by QmU 

(ArkM). M ihry tiki %\m with the 
cut* In irvrral muntrWM. Th« •• lake- 
Uw»IUi.f,- uf Kttfoiw wmy b» with 
fffwt tm»f«MlitT MitfMd to them; Mkl 
!•»• '' '• In iIm» tirin mre prr- 

•••1" X'ir iMirUI-KruunU*. 

' ' ry «|mibciy. Mr. 

'<u > I bj Tmkt M. C»|». 

^^ '. Ih-. niMln by it 

v9 ii^f H. liPMonMiil hy Bim, 

Chap. VII. 



or Anunit, and HurJci (the Moon) by a goddess whose name is 
wholly uncertain, but whose common title is " the great lady." 
Such are the gods at the head of the Pantheon. Next in order 
to them we find a group of five minor deities, the representa- 
tives of the five planets, — Nin or Ninip (Saturn), Merodach 
(Jupiter), Nergal (Mars), Ishtar (Venus), and Nebo (Mercury). 
These together constitute what we have called the jprincipal 
gods ; after them are to be placed the numerous divinities of the 
second and third order. 

These principal gods do not appear to have been connected, 
like the Egyptian and the classical divinities,® into a single 
genealogical scheme: yet still a certain amount of relationship 
was considered to exist among them. Ana and Bel, for instance, 
were brothers, the sons of II or Ea; Vul was son of Ana; 
Hurki, the Moon-god, of Bel ; Nebo and Merodach were sons of 
Hea or Hoa. Many deities, however, are without parentage, 
as not only II or Ka, but Hea, San (the Sun), Ishtar, and Nergal. 
Sometimes the relationship alleged is confused, and even con- 
tradictory, as in the case of Nin or Ninip, who is at one time 
the son, at another the father of Bel, and who is at once the son 
and the husband of Beltis. It is evident that the genealogical 
aspect is not that upon which much stress is intended to be laid, 
or which is looked upon as having much reality. The great 
gods are viewed habitually rather as a hierarchy of co-equal 
powers, than as united by ties implying on the one hand pre- 
eminence and on the other subordination. 

We may now consider briefly the characters and attributes of 
the several deities, so far as they can be made out, either from 
the native records, or from classical tradition. And first, 
concerning the god who stands in some sense at the head of 
the Chaldaean Pantheon, 

• These schemes themselves were 
probably not genealogical at first. In 
their genealogical shape they were an 
arrangement given after a while to 
separate and independent deities recog- 

nised in different places by distinct 
communities, or even by distinct races. 
(See Bunsen's Egypt, yol. iv. p. 66, B, 
Engl. Transl.) 

VOL. I. 



TIm fona Bm reprateote piobablj the native Clmldffian 
mm id thk deity, while 17 it the Semitic equivalent. 17, of 
it hot A variant of JS7 (Si)> the root of the well-knovtn 
■blioal Klokim {vrfm) as well as of the Arabic Allah. It is 
dut aaine which Diodonis represents under the form of EIum 
(HXm)^ and Sanchoniathon, or rather Thilo-Byblius, under 
that of Ellis CIIX09) or JUus C^Xo^)* ^^^ meaning of the 
woid m simply "God," or perliaps ''the god" emphatically. 
Jbs the Cttihite equivalent, must be considered to liave had 
le Ibeoe originally, though in Egypt it received a 
application to the sun, and became the proper name 
of that particular deity. The word is lost in the modem 
Elhiopie, It formed an element in the native name of Babylon, 
which was Xo-ru, the Cusliite equivalent of the Semitic Bab-H, 
Mk eipiiiion iigni^'ing ** the gate of God." 

Ba ii a pid with few peculiar attributes. He is a sort of 
iMint and origin of deity, too remote from man to be much 
or to excite any warm interest. There is no evi- 
of Ilia baring had any teniple in Chnldiea during the 
eariy tioMa A belief in his existence is implied rather than 
ipwir il in inscriptions of the primitive kings, where the 
MoQO-fod is said to be *' brother's sou of Ana, and eldest son of 
Bil, or Belua." We gather 6am this, that Bel and Ana were 
coMidcfad to have a common father ; and later documents suffi- 
ekatlj iadioitfa that that common latlier was 11 or Ka. We 
mast ooQcfaMla from the name BiAH that Babylon was origin- 
ally under bis piolselioa, though the god specially worshipped 
ttt the gitat temple Iheiw seams to baTO been in eariy times 
IH umI in Uur times Merodacb. The identification of the 
riialAwi n 11 or lU with Baturn, which Diodurus makes,* and 
vhieh may Mam to derite some oonfirmatkui ih>m Philo- 

• §m DM. ait. M. ao, I A ^tifmn, \ Bid. Orwc, vol. lil. pp. 567 mmI ftTI ; 
kii««Mr.ilMP»to«««ff«flf««llM«llw j Fr. t, f U, Md Fr. 5. 
•m4*Ukm hakam —< •t—wUjr n f ki m A • Lm. m|i. eil. *IMf rir *«* t^ 


Byblius/ is certainly incorrect, so far as the planet Saturn, 
which Diodorus especially mentions, is concerned ; but it may 
be regarded as having a basis of truth, inasmuch as Saturn was 
in one sense the chief of the gods, and was the father of Jupiter 
and Pluto, as Ea was of Bil and Ana. « 


Ana, like II and Ba, is thought to have been a word ori- 
ginally signifying " God," in the highest sense. The root occurs 
probably in the Annedotus and Oannes of Berosus,^ as well as 
in Philo-Byblius's Anobret.^ In its origin it is probably 
Cushite ; but it was adopted by the Assyrians, who inflected 
the word (which was indeclinable in the Chaldsean tongue), 
making the nominative Anu, the genitive Ani^ and the accusa- 
tive Ana. 

Ana is the head of the first Triad, which follows immediately 
after the obscure god Ka. His position is well marked by 
Damascius,* who gives the three gods. Anus, Illinus, and 
Aus, as next in succession to the primeval pair, Assorus and 
Missara. He corresponds in many respects to the classical 
Hades or Pluto, who, like him, heads the triad to which he 
belongs.^ His epithets are chiefly such as mark priority and 
antiquity. He is called " the old Ana," '' the original chief," 
perhaps in one place " the father of the gods," and also " the 
Lord of spirits and demons." Again, he bears a number of 
titles which serve to connect him with the infernal regions. 
He is " the king of the lower world," the " Lord of darkness " 
or " death," " the ruler of the far-off city," and the like. The 
chief seat of his worship is Huruh or Erech — the modern Warka 
— which becomes the favourite Chalda^an burying city, as being 
under his protection. There are some grounds for thinking 

' Kp6vos To'ivvv, hv oi 4»oiV<Kes'^HA,o»/ 
Trpoaayopevovai, fiaaiKeiiuu tt^s X'^po-s, 


\6VTT}V fls Thv TOV Kp6vov acTepa 
Kadiepwdds, k.t.K. This, however, pro- 
fesses to be Phoenician and not Baby- 
lonian mythology. 

2 Fr. 1, § 3 and Fr. 6. Annedotus 

('A»/>/^S«T0sj is (perhaps) "given by 
Ana," or " given by God." Oannes is 
probably Hoa-ana ; or " the god Hoa." 

' Fr. 5. Anobret {'Avcofiper) signifies 
" beloved by Ana." 

* Damasc. I)e Princip. 125. 

* Hesiod, Theogon. 455-457 ; ApoUod. 
BibUothec. i. 1, §§ 5, 6. 

1 2 


that one of \m nftme« wa« Dif.* If this wa« indeed so, it 
would seem to follow, almost beyond a doubt, tliat Dig, the 
lord of Orcus in Roman mythology, must hare been a re- 
miaieeeiice brought from the East — ^a lingoring recollection of 
Di$ or Ana, patron god of Ereeh fOp^ of the LXX), the 
great dty of the dead, the necropolis of Lower Babylonia. 
Farther, cariously enough, we haye, in connexion with this god, 
an illustration of tlie classical confusion between Pluto and 
Plutuf ; for Ana is " the layer-up of treasures ** — the " lord of 
the earth " and of the '* mountains,** whence the precious metals 

The worship of Ana by the kings of the Chaldo^an series is 
certain. Not only did Shamas-vul, the son of Ismi-dagon, raise 
A temple to the honour of Ana and his son Yul at Eileh- 
Shergat (or Asshur) about RC. 1830 — whence that city appears 
in later times to have borne the name of Telane,^ or ''the 
moond of Ana '* — but Urukh himself mentions him as a god in 
an inscription quoted above ; * and there is reason to believe 
that from at least as early a date ho was recognised as the pre- 
liding deity at Ereeh or Warka. This is evident from the &ct, 
thai though the worship of Beltis superseded that of Ana in the 
great temple at that place from a very remote e]x>cli, yet the 
temple itself always retained the title of Bit-Ana (or Beth-Ana), 
•• the house of Ana;** and Ileitis herself was known commonly 
•• ** the lady oC Bit-Ana" from the previous dedication to this 
god of the slirine in question. Ana must also have been wor- 
ihipped tolerably early at Nipur (Niffer), or that city could 
Mtreely have acquired, by the time of Moses,* the api)ellation 
of Oalneh (XoX^ in the Septuagiut translation), which is 
datriy E^Am, •* the fort of Ana." 

«r ik» 0ii4 Am •• dM MAilMitoblMtt 
fcK,A— t> — •f tWyfcMiiHi y»— w 

Dh WM arobftblT aaollMr MiMof Am. 
" • tht Bmv of Sir H. IUwUmm 
Mlhoi^l Htrwktut, vol. I. p. &9S. 

(UN tht Bmt of Sir H. IUwIImm In 
Htroikiu*, vol. I. p. &9S.) 
' Cr. Blvph. Byx. mii vor. Ttxirf. 

*A«rvfki) Sw ^««i Nirot Wf4 rnt NImv 
itfUtm. * SuprM, nf» 67. 

• Qm. s. la TiM IdMUactttloQ of 
mew with Oilaeh n«ttM llw sutKorttjr 
of Um TbIuiuiI (mw abova^ |k 1&). 




Ana was supposed to Lave a wife, Anata, of whom a few 
words will be said below. She bore her husband a numerous 
progeny. One tablet shows a list of nine of their children, 
among which, however, no name occurs of any celebrity. But 
there are two sons of Ana mentioned elsewhere, who seem en- 
titled to notice. One is the god of the atmosphere, Yul (?), of 
whom a full account will be hereafter given.^ The other bears 
the name of Martu, and may be identified with the Brathy 
(BpaOv) of 8anchoniathon.^ He represents ** Darkness" or 
"the West," corresponding to the Erebus of the Greeks.] 


Anat or Anata has no peculiar characteristics. As her name 
is nothing but the feminine form of the masculine Ana, so she 
herself is a mere reflection of her husband. All his epithets are 
applied to her, with a simple difference of gender. She has 
really no personality separate from his, resembling Amente in 
Egyptian mythology, who is a mere feminine Ammon.^ She is 
rarely, if ever, mentioned in the historical and geographical in- 

BIL or ENU. 

Bil or Enu is the second god of the first Triad. He is, pro- 
bably, the minus {B-Enu or " God Enu ") of Damascius.'* His 
name, which seems to mean merely " lord," ^ is usually followed 
by a qualificative adjunct, possessing great interest. It is pro- 
posed to read this term as Nijpru, or in the feminine Nijprut, a 
word which cannot fail to recall the Scriptural Nimrod, who is 
in the Septuagint Nebroth (Ne^pcod). The term ni^ru seems to 
be formed from the root napar, which is in Syriac to " pursue,'* 
to " make to flee," and which has in Assyrian nearly the same 
meaning. Thus Bil-Nipru would be aptly translated as " the 
Hunter Lord," or "the god presiding over the chase," while, 

1 Infra, pp. 129-131. 

2 Fragm. Hist. Gr. vol. iii, p. 566. 

8 Bunsen's Egypt, vol. i. p. 378, E. T. ; 
"Wilkinson in the author's Herodotusy 
vol. ii. p. 295. ♦ De Princip. 125. 

* Bil or Bilu is " lord " in the As- 
syrian and the Semitic Babylonian: 
Knu is the corresponding Cushite or 
Hamitic term. 


mr. mwT monabcht. 

Chap. VIL 

at Uio Miiia time, it might combine tho meaning of ''the con- 
qoertBg Lord " or « the Gml Ccmqueror.** 

Oo thoM grooads it b reaaooable to conclude that we have, in 
this inilmro, an admixture of hero- worship in the Chaldman 
nUgioa. BO-Nipm is probably tho Biblical Nimrod, the ori- 
gioal femider of tho monarchy, the '' mighty hunter** and con- 
qoevor. At the nune time, howerer, that he is this hero deified, 
ba rapreanits alao, as the second Gml of the first Triad, the 
dftMied Jupiter. He is <'the supreme,** ''the father of the 
gods^" •* the procreator,** •• the Lord ** par exeeUence^ " the king 
of all the spirits,** ** the lord of the world,** and again, ** the lord 
of all the countries.** There is some question whether he is 
alfojfether to be identified with the Belus of the Greek writers, 
who tn certain respects rather corresponds to Merodach/ When 
Belos, howerer, is called the first king,^ the founder of the 
empire, or the builder of Babylon,* it set^ms necessary to under- 
•tand Bil-Xipru or 1^1-Nimrod. Nimrod, we know, bnilt 
Babrloo;* and Babylon was called in Assyrian times '< the city 
of BQ-Nipra,** while its famoos defences — the outer and the 
inner wall, — were known, eren under Nebuchadnezzar, by 
IIm name of the same god.* Nimrod, again, was certainly the 
iNmder of the kingdom;' and, therefore, if BiUXipru is his 
ra| ir ea ent a t iT6, he wonld be l^lus under that i>oint of view. 

Tbo chief seat of Bel-Nimrod's worship was undoubtedly 
Nipnr (Nifler) or Calneh. Not only was tliis city designated by 
the rery aame name as the god, and 8|x>cially dedicated to him 
and to his wiib Beltis, but Bel-Nimrod is called ''Lord of 
Nipra," and his wife •* Lady of Nipra,** in evident allusion to 
tbla dty or the tract wherein it was placed. Various tradi- 
tion^ 10 will be herealter shown,* connect Nimiod with Niffer, 

• TV im^um Mikm wmkXfftA hi 
mttJUtw !• lM«« htm Il>w4a»a..wli» 


An. 1. 1< m,H, Mi llM.Gh«w. I. 4. 
f. IS), if k a ^ m (U. tm IMbU^X 
md, IPHlkSfB •« My my, hj |l«r». 

dolMa?). Com|«r»«lMThaliu«(Rr.>) 
Ud urn, Chonni. (I. n, and 9), who 
AhMlttltlv kkntiflm llrlu* with Nimml. 

• AbydM. ft. S. • G^n, n, la 

* TWm wttlk wvre knowa revpMllvvljr 
■• tW /<v«riA^ Wv^mmI Uw Mmiti' 
Mi^MMk (llrii.B««llMHiUitlM«u. 

•it.) •Om.i.IO. •]alKp^tM»lM. 


which may fairly be regarded as his principal capital. Here 
then he would be naturally first worshipped upon his decease; 
and here seems to have been situated his famous temple called 
Kharris-Nipra, so noted for its wealth, splendour, and anti- 
quity, which was an object of intense veneration to the 
Assyrian kings. Besides this celebrated shrine, he does not 
appear to have possessed many others. He is sometimes said to 
have had four " arks " or " tabernacles ; " but the only places, 
besides Niffer, where we know that he had buildings dedicated 
to him, are Calah (Nimrud) and Dur-Kurri-galzu (Akker- 
kuf). At the same time he is a god almost universally acknow- 
ledged in the invocations of the Babylonian and Assyrian 
kings, in which he has a most conspicuous place. In Assyria 
he seems to be inferior only to Asshur ; in Chaldsea to Ea 
and Ana. 

Of Beltis, the wife of Bel-Nimrod, a full account will be 
given presently. Nin or Ninip — the Assyrian Hercules — was 
universally regarded as their son ; and he is frequently joined 
with Bel-Nimrod in the invocations. Another famous deity, 
the Moon-god, Sin or Hurki, is also declared to be Bel-Nimrod's 
son in some inscriptions. Indeed, as " the father of the gods," 
Bel-Nimrod might evidently claim an almost infinite paternity. 

The worship of Bel-Nimrod in Chaldsea extends through the 
whole time of the monarchy. It has been shown that he was 
probably the deified Nimrod, whose apotheosis would take place 
shortly after his decease. Urukh, the earliest monumental king, 
built him a temple at Niffer ; and Kurri-galzu, one of the latest, 
paid him the same honour at Akkerkuf. Urukh also frequently 
mentions him in his inscriptions in connexion with Hurki, tlie 
Moon-god, whom he calls his " eldest son." 


Beltis, the wife of Bel-Nimrod, presents a strong contrast to 
Anata, the wife of Ana. She is far more than the mere female 
power of Bel-Nimrod, being in fact a separate and very im- 
portant deity. Her common title is " the 6rrea^ goddess." In 


Ohaldini har name mm UuUU* or Knuta— both words signify- 
iag *«Uie Lftdj;" in Aagpm the was Bilta or Bilta-Nipruta, 
dM fp— <«<»^ fbriM of Bfl and Bilu-Nipnu Her favourite title 
WM * the HoCber of the Goda," or ** the Mother of the Great 
Gods ; " whence it it tolerably clear that she was the " Dea 
Syria'* wowhipped at Hierapolin under the Arian appellation of 
Xabog.* Though commonly represented as the wife of Bel- 
Nimtod, and mt>th«»r of his son Nin or Ninip, she is also called 

* the wife of Nin," and in one place ** the wife of Asshur.** Her 
oChar title* are ** the lady of Bit-Ana," " the lady of Nipur," 

* the Qneen of the land - or " of the lands," ** the great lady," 

* the godden of war and battle/' and ** the queen of fecundity." 
She aeema thus to have united the attributes of the Juno, 
the Cerea or Demeter/ the Bellona, and even the Diana of the 
flattin>y nations; for she was at once the queen of heaven, the 
goddeat who makea the earth fertile, tlie goddess of war and 
battle, and the goddess of hunting. In these latter capacities 
ahe appears, however, to have been gradually 8U|)erseded by 
Ishtar, who sometimes even appropriates her higher and more 
djatinotive appellations. 

The wordiip of Beltis wils wide-spread, and her temples were 
immeroas. At Erech (NN'arka) she was worshipped on the 
platform, if not even in the same building, witli Ana. At 
or Nipur (NifTer), she shared fully in her husband's 
She had a shrine at Ur (Mugheir), another at Kubesi, 
and another outidde the walls of Babylon. Some of these 
Tery ancient» those at Warka and Nifler being 

mil ISI, lt9),«i4j»rlM|« Um 
(lOJUf) «r Mta. Omhmmim 

(rr^n. Miti, Or, v«L ULblSSI. wI« U). 

li U«h«aMMll»airiw 

IkvUfteMT ^, 

* Mahog U '* the mother of the 
tnm mrt or mmta^ " mother," aad baga^ 
** t^" (fielmrcnic hog), 

* Kirnolflfitts Iwt* bem pniiM bj 
tiM SMM Kbm (*P^)-oM of the 
•WMnwM appelUtivci of tlw ''GrMi 
OoddaM**— who la known nlao m Cerea, 

arbele or Cybfbe, Mnter Dlndyneai^ 
•gnn Mnlrr. lUmm IW. Dm Phrjrffin, 

mkfkm> .aael M|«lvnlMl of ' 0|«, Term, nnd Trlliu. lVrh«i» ihr c« 

iUrblkx . wiMi. llo«h •Ifnt'y 

t>Uwitk« U to be fbuml in t)tr numrrlcnl 
•)raibol of ihto fodd«M, which wn« 15, 

Chap. VII. 



built by Urukh, while that at Mugheir was either built or 
repaired by Ismi-dagon. 

According to one record,'^ Beltis was a daughter of Ana. It 
was especially as " Queen of Nipur " that she was the wife of 
her son Nin. Perhaps this idea grew up out of the fact that at 
Nipur the two were associated together in a common worship. 
It appears to have given rise to some of the Greek traditions 
with respect to Semiramis, who was made to contract an in- 
cestuous marriage with her own son Ninyas, although no ex- 
planation can at present be given of the application to Beltis 
of that name. 

HEA or HOA. 

The third god of the first Triad was Hea or Hoa, probably 
the Aiis ('A09) of Damascius.® His appellation is perhaps best 
rendered into Greek by the "II77 of Helladius — the name given 
to the mystic animal, half man, half fish, which came up from 
the Persian Gulf to teach astronomy and letters to the first 
settlers on the Euphrates and Tigris.^ It is perhaps contained 
also in the word by which Berosus designates this same creature 
— Cannes {^ndpvT]^;) ^ — which may be explained as Hoa-ana, or 
*' the god Hoa." There are no means of strictly determining 
the precise meaning of the word in Babylonian; but it is 
perhaps allowable to connect it, provisionally, with the Arabic 
Hiya, which is at once " life " and " a serpent," since, according 
to the best authority, " there are very strong grounds for con- 
necting Hea or Hoa with the serpent of Scripture, and the 
Paradisaical traditions of the tree of knowledge and the tree 
of life." 2 

Hoa occupies, in the first Triad, the position which in the 
classical mythology is filled by Poseidon or Neptune, and in 
some respects he corresponds to him. He is ^' the lord of the 

^ The inscription on the open-mouthed 
lion, now in the British Museum. (See 
the author's Herodotus, vol. i. p. 625, 
note ".) * De Princip. 1. s. c. 

® Ap. Phot. BibliotheG. cclxxxix, p. 

* Beros. Fr. 1, § 3. Cannes has been 
otherwise explained. It has been thought 
to signify " given by Ana." 

^ Sir H. Kawlinson in the author's 
Herodotus, vol. i. p. 600. 

122 THE FIRST MOVAnriTY. C.iai. VII 

il tf N^yCnne is tcui^o^ ; he Ls '' the king of rivers ; " 
•sd be 000166 from the sea to teach the Babylonians ; but he is 
BOfer called ** the lord of the sea." That title belongs to Nin 
or Ninip. Hoa is ** the lord of the abyss,** or of " the ^reat 
deep,** which does not seem to be the sea, but something distinct 
from it His most important titles are those which invest him 
with the character, so prominently brought out in Oe and 
Oaniiei^' of the god of science and knowledge. He is " the 
iftteUigeill guide,** or, according to another interpretation, " the 
iotelligent ft$h,** * ** the teacher of mankind,** *' the lord of 
widentaiiding." One of his emblems is the "wedge** or 
" arrow-head," the essential element of cuneiform writing, which 
seems to be assigned to him as the inventor, or at least 
the patron, of tlie Chald»an alphabet.* Another is the 
serpent, which occupies so conspicuous a place among 
the symbols of the gods on the black stones recording 
benefactions, and which sometimes appears upon the 
c)iinders. This symbol, here as elsewhere, is emble- 
matic of su{ierhuman knowledge — a record of the 
primeval belief that ''the serpent was more subtle 
tbaB aaj beast of the field.'* * The stellar name of Hoa was 
Kioumit ; and it is 8us]>ected that in this aspect he was identi- 
ied with tbe conttellution Draco, which is perhaps the Eimah 
(»■??) of 8cTipturt\' Beaidea his chief character of ** god of 
knowledge," Uoa is also " god of life,** a capacity in which tbe 
would again fitly symbolise him.* He was likewise 

Mia. LiLC ud BMtM. Pr. I appfMB tliat Um Pbh-Ood wmm rr.llv 

IW latirr writrr f«ve th» fti|. ' Kin or MlBi^ (8w below, p. l 

\iUli»um%-nmfmitUrt, \ • So Bnorat, 1. ■. e. • (J- 

M^Mi tfattMrm Ml I « Job Ix. 9; xsxyIII. 3! ; An. ^ ^ 

I «1Mm> €wmMi0m»kt. m) I traMktiBff A'mm* m **di0 Vitimiim." 

..». ••! 94tm9 tUwif^ui, It to Ml OTM ft pInmL 

r M40WM^, Mi ^dfttmm ' • It to M( perbapt AllogMbtr tkmr 

#«M7v)4f km^uuritm, ' irAy tbo MnMil bM \mm » ft«qnMUy 

Wb*fo «4 w^$ ^Ufm0*0 ivgMiUd M u vmUmi of lUk 8omo 

» ^^itil i ii ^^ L^^ I Mur, bMOMM MroMla •!• loaHlved ; 

il tffmm im i mt ••»» 1 odiMvbwMnvtbeMaMU iMdlly fooMd 

iifiilii. A elreW. mmA ft dfeto wift lb* ijaibol of 

•aiMlft4kftbMb«tff«lft rtrmiiy. But, wbftloTW tbo Nftwa, 

t but mm Om IsMfiptliMi 

Char VII. 



" god of glory," und " god of giving " being, as Berosus said, 
the great giver of good gifts to man.^ 

The monuments do not contain much evidence of the early 
worship of Hoa. His name appears on a very ancient stone 
tablet brought from Mugheir (Ur) ; but otherwise his claim to 
be accounted one of the primeval gods must rest on the testi- 
mony of Berosus and Helladius, who represent him as known to 
the first settlers. He seems to have been the tutelary god of 
Is or Hit, which Isidore of Charax calls Aeipolis ^ ('AetTroXt?), 
or " Hea's city ; " but there is no evidence that this was a very 
ancient place. The Assyrian kings^built him temples at Asshur 
and Calah. 

Hoa had a wife Bav-Kina, of whom a few words will be said 
presently. Their most celebrated son was Merodach or Bel- 
Merodach, the Belus of Babylonian times. As Kimmut, Hoa 
was also the father of Nebo, whose functions bear a general 
resemblance to his own. 


Dav-Kina, the wife of Hoa, is clearly the Dauke or Davke 
(AavKT]) of Damascius,^ who was the wife of Aiis and mother of 
Belus (Bel-Merodach). Her name is thought to signify " the 
chief lady." ^ She has no distinctive titles or important position 
in the Pantheon, but, like Anata, takes her husband's epithets 
with a mere distinction of gender. 

SIN or HURKI. • 

The first god of the second Triad is Sin or Hurki, the moon- 
deity. It is in condescension to Greek notions that Berosus 
inverts the true ChaldaBan order, and places the sun before the 

» See the passage cited at full length 
in note '. According to Assyrian no- 
tions, Hoa did not confine his presents 
to men. One of the kings of Assyria 
says — " The senses of seeing, hearing, 
and understanding, which Hoa allotted 
to the whole 4000 gods of heaven and 
earth, they in the fulness of their hearts 
granted to me." 

1 Mans. Parth. p. 5. 

* De Princip. 1. s. c. ToO 5^ *Aow KaX 
AavKTis vTov yevtadai rhv BrjKoy. 

^ Sir H. Rawlinson in the author's 
Herodotus, vol. i. p. 601, note *. Mo- 
vers and Bunsen derive Aav/crj from 
the Heb. "Tjn, " tundere," and interpret 
it " strife," comparing the Syriac dau- 
kat. (See Bunsen's Egxjpt, vol. iv. pp. 
155, 156.) 


moon iD hit enmneration of the 1* i\*nly Uxiies.* ( .. • .n 
mythology giret a rery decided prcicruiico to the leeser lunauai) , 
perfaapf becMne the nights are more pleasant than the days in 
hoi countries. With respect to the names of the god^ we may 
ohsenre that 8in, the Assyrian or Semitic term, is a word of 
quite uncertain etymology, which, however, is found applied to 
the moon in many Semitic languages;* while Hurki, which is 
the Chaldaaan or llamitic name, is probably from a root cognate 
to the Hebrew *Z7r, "wy, " vigilare," whence is derived the 
term sometimes used to signify ''an angel"* — 7r, "^ " a 

The titles of Hurki are usually somewhat vague. He is 
" the chief," " the powerful,'* " the lord of spirits," ** he who 
dwells in the great heavens ;" or, hyiKJibolically, *' the chief of 
the gods of heaven and earth," '' the king of the gods," and even 
** the god of the gods." Sometimes, however, his titles are 
more deflnite and particular : as, firstly, when they bcloug to 
him in respect of his being the celestial luminary — e. g. '* the 
bright," •* the shining," •* the lord of the month ; ** and, secondly, 
when they represent him as presiding over buildings and an*hi- 
toctore, which the Chaldeans appear to have placed under his 
tpedal superintendanoe. In thii connexion he is coIIihI ** the 
sopporting arcliitoct,** '* the strengthener of fortifications," and, 
more geoerdlji ** the lord of building" (Bel-iuna).^ lirieks 
tbo Chaldgan building material, were of course under his 
protection; and the sign which designatef them is also the 
•ign of the month over nhieh he was oonsidered to exert par- 
tkular oara.* ilis ordinary symbol if the orescent or new 
mooOf which k commonly repressoted as large, but of extreme 

• Bmm, ff. I, t •. : * TW Im» »mm mmy pfrhan tt 

• As It IMS fcr tW M«n hi U»m> b— ■wtwl villi Um llrU |T, *'fEr«.** 

SytiM St iW p tw a t 4»y, 

k tomMmm in AvjrrUn §br 

r£5r5i'St!£''HS "SicrJsclll-Jiu-.'' 

•If wkfali i i y iMwi tt **brtoU' 

Chap. VII. 



thinness ^Ls_// I though not without a certain variety in the 

forms K ^ i^^ . The most curious and the most purely 

conventional representations are a linear semicircle \^^9 and 
an imitation of this semicircle formed by three straight lines ^ 
\ / . The illuminated part of the moon's disk is always 
turned directly towards the horizon, a position but rarely seen 
in nature. 

The chief Chaldaean temple to the moon-god was at Ur or 
Hur (Mugheir), a city which probably derived its name from 
him,^ and which was under his special protection. He had also 
shrines at Babylon and Borsippa, and likewise at Calah and 
Dur-Sargina (Khorsabad). Few deities appear to have been 
worshipped with such constancy by the Chaldsean kings. His 
great temple at Ur was begun by Urukh, and finished by his son 
Ilgi — the two most ancient of all the monarchs. Later in the 
series we find him in such honour that every king's name 
during some centuries comprises the name of the moon-god in 
it. On the restoration of the Chaldaean power he is again in 
high repute. Nebuchadnezzar mentions him with respect ; and 
Nabonidus, the last native monarch, restores his shrine at Ur, 
and accumulates upon him the most high-sounding titles.^ 

The moon-god is called, in more than one inscription, the 
eldest son of Bel-Nimrod. He had a wife (the moon-goddess) 
whose title was " the great lady," and who is frequently asso- 
ciated with him in the lists. She and her husband were con- 
jointly the tutelary deities of Ur or Hur; and a particular 

" These forms are taken chiefly from 
the engravings of cylinders published 
by the late Mr. CuUimore. 

* It is not uncommon for the second 
syllable in an Assyrian or Babylonian 
god's name to be dropped as unim- 
j>ortant. We have both Asshur and As, 
both Sansi and San, both Ninip and Nin, 
&c. Thus we might expect to find both 
J/7ir and Ilurki. It is not perhaps a 
proof of the connexion — but still it is 
an argument in favour of it— to find 

that when Ur changed its name to 
Camarina (Eupolem. ap. Alex. Polyhist. 
Fr. 3), the new appellation was a de- 
rivative from another word (Kamar, 
Arab.) signifying " the moon." (Sir 
II. Ilawlinson in the author's Herodotus, 
vol. i. p. (31G.) 

2 Nabonidus calls him "the chief of 
the gods of heaven and earth, the king 
of the gods, god of gods, he who dwells 
in the great heavens," &c. 

126 THE FIB6T HONABCHT. Cbav. Vlf. 

portioD of tba graai tomplo there was dedicated to Ler honour 
ly. Her •* ark " or " tabomacle,'* which was separate from 

of her hu»l>iuui, was prubtibly, as well as his, deposited in 
this sanctuary. It Uore the title of '* the lesser light,** while his 

odled, emphatically, *' the light.** 


8aB or Sansi, the son-god, was the second member of the 
•aeond Triad. The main element of this name is probably con- 
aacted with the root ahani, ^^, which is in Arabic, and perhaps 
m Hobrew, " bright**' Hence we may perhaps compare oar 
own word ** sun ** with the Chaldaean ** San ; " for " sun " is most 
likalj connected etymologically with "sheen** and "shine.** 
or Shemeah, CW, the Semitic title of the god, is alto- 
separate and distinct, signifying, as it docs, the tninisier- 
im§ office of the snn,^ and nut the brilliancy of his light. A 
tfnoe of the Hamitic name appears in the well-known city 
Bethean/ whose appellation is declared by Eugesijipus to signify 
«< domos Soiis," ** the house of the sun.*' * 

llie titles applied to the sun-god have not often much direct 
wiiarenre to his physical powers or attributes. He is called 
iadeedf in some places, '' the lord of tire," *' the light of the 
gods," *'the ruler of the day,** and **he who illumines the 
of heaven and earth.** But commonly he is either 
of in a more general way, as " the regent of all things,*' 
* the establiiiher of heaven and earth ; " or, if 8()eeial functions 
are anigQed to him, they are connected with his Bup|>usod 
"■otiTe" power, as inspirin- '! . the minds of 

• U VMmm aktmi, *yff^ U u>u«I1n Baitftrt/^, and Bfi»vir. JoMpbtu 

MM rial * bttiHMa Immmi '"^ U]^«v« and B«Mv«. Th« ThU 

Md tW MltUna nuM !• Maim, At 
Se/thopolls ihlt rUy WM ir«ll kttown lo 
Um Ortdtt bikI K<»ttiflna. 

*SmUid» ita»of BOfMlMNia, 

th LeoiB, H. lio •dllkm of tht 

BjMallM (vol Uill. Mb 

••.). "loyllMHW eivIlM, OdIlMt 

MfOfolk, qua el Brthflui, Id Ml, 

•d MM., lad.OfMW ti«MlllllL) 

• 9nm 1^, '^MlakUMv.* (Sm 

BsUMfad fM.) 

• Mtk, urtt. U; J«dt. 1. 17: I ftuM. 
IMt. IS , ta^ Ito IM Nyr S im It 
fffn% ^^ ^tm, or IfTTI, BHh> 

Chap. YII. 



the kings, directing and favourably influencing their expeditions ; 
or again, as helping them to discharge any of the other active 
duties of royalty. San is "the supreme ruler Avho casts a 
favourable eye on expeditions," *' the vanquisher of the king's 
enemies," " the breaker-up of opposition." He *^ casts his 
motive influence" over the monarchs, and causes them to 
" assemble their chariots and warriors " — he goes forth with 
their armies, and enables them to extend their dominions — he 
chases their enemies before them, causes opposition to cease, 
and brings them back with victory to their own countries. 
Besides this, he helps them to sway the sceptre of power, and to 
rule over their subjects with authority. It seems that, from 
observing the manifest agency of the material sun in stimulating 
all the functions of nature, the Chaldseans came to the con- 
clusion that the sun-god exerted a similar influence on the 
minds of men, and was the great motive agent in human 

The chief seats of the sun-god's worship in Chaldsea appear to 
have been the two famous cities of Larsa (Ellasar ?) and Sippara. 
The great temple of the Sun, called Bit-Parra,''' at the former 
place, was erected by Urukh, repaired by more than one of the 
later Chaldsean monarchs, and completely restored by Nebu- 
chadnezzar. At Sippara, the worship of the sun- god was so 
predominant, that Abydenus, probably following Berosus, calls 
the town Heliopolis.® There can be little doubt that the 
Adrammelech, or "Fire-king,"^ whose worship the Sepharvites 
(or people of Sippara) introduced into Samaria,^ was this deity. 
Sippara is called Tsipar slia Shamas, " Sippara of the Sun," in 
various inscriptions, and possessed a temple of the god which 
was repaired and adorned by many of the ancient Chaldaean 
kings, as well as by Nebuchadnezzar and Nabonidus. 

' It would seem from this name that 
Parra was also a title under which the 
Sun was known in Chaldgea in the early 
times. May not this title be connected 
with the Egyptian /Vt-ra or Fi-r a, "the 
sun," whence probably the Hebrew 
Pharaoh ? 

* Abyden. Fr. 1 ; Syncell. vol. i. p. 70. 

' Winer, Bealuorterbuch^ ad voc. 
•' Adrammelech." Sir H. Rawlinson 
allows this derivation to be not im- 
probable (llawlinson's Herodotus, vol. i. 
p. 611), suggesting, however, another, 
from edim, "the arranger," and mclek 
(ibid.). ^ 2 Kings xvii. 31, 


The general preralence of Son's worship is indicated most 
dearlj by the cylinders. Few comparatively of those which 
hafe any diTine symbol upon them are without his. The symbol 

is either a simple circle Cjt^ quartered disk ^4-4 , or a four- 

rayed orb of a more elaborate character 

Kan or Santi ha^l a wife, Ai, Gula, or Anunit, of whom it 
now follows to speak. 


Ai, Gula, or Anunit, was the female power of the sun, and 
was commonly associated with Sun in tem})le8 and invocations. 
Her names are of uncertain signification, except the second, 
Qola» which undoubt4*dly means '' great/* being so translat^nl in 
the Yocabularies.' It is sus|)ected that the tliree terms may 
have been attached respectively to the ** rising," the *^ culmi* 
nating,** and the ** setting sun/* ' since they do not appear to 
interchange; while the name Gula is distinctly stated in one 
inseriptioo to belong to the '* great" goddess, '* the wife of the 
wmriditm Sun.** It is perhaps an objection to this view, that 
the male Bun, who is decidedly the superior deity, does not 
appi«r to be manifeste<l in Ohaldiea under any nuch tlireefold 
rB p wte n tati<jn.* 

As a sobstantire deity, ciisunct fn)in her huHbiuui, Ctula's 
eharaotaristias ars that she presidfls over life and over fecundity. 
It b not quite clear whefiier these offices belong to her ulone, 
or whether she is ass oci a t ed in each of them with a sister 
fwM sM, Thers Is a •" Mistress of Lifi^** who must be r«gaitied 
as tiie special dispenser of that blessing ; and there is a " Mis* 
trsss of the Qods," who Is eipresslj said to ** preside over 

* Omk It iwii P i t hf f^kti la ihm Ai ma/ pvrhapt be th« mom word 

r\ **% tmmt •■•-— m4 ikmm -a | • Sir U. lawUaMm In Uie author. 
IW A^ywtoka gmJ*, **fnM:'' ImI wrt ' * l» A$0feia Meh a thmlbid wwablp 
•Mfc Tlf , ar a« Mijr IM* M«jr UiSi- y^ •» hav« »o tripla aoMMlalurv. 

Chap. VII. 



births." Concerning these two personages we cannot at present 
determine whether they are really distinct deities, or whether 
they are not rather aspects of Gula, sufficiently marked to be 
represented in the temples by distinct idols.^ 

Gula was worshipped in close combination with her husband, 
both at Larsa and Sippara. Her name appears in the inscrip- 
tions connected with both places; and she is probably the 
" Anammelech," w^hom the Sepharvites honoured in conjunction 
with Adrammelech, the " Fire-King." ^ In later times she had 
also temples independent of her husband, at Babylon and Bor- 
sippa, as well as at Calah and Asshur. 

The emblem now commonly regarded as symbolizing Gula is 
the eight-rayed disk or orb, which frequently accompanies the 
orb with four rays in the Babylonian representations. In lieu 

of a disk, we have sometimes an eight-rayed star 


even occasionally a star with six rays only -^^ • It is curious 

that the eight-rayed star became at an early period the universal 
emblem of divinity; but perhaps we can only conclude from 
this the stellar origin of the worship generally, and not any 
special pre-eminence or priority of Anunit over other deities. 

VUL or IVA. 

The third member of the second Triad is the god of the 
atmosphere, whose name it has been proposed to render 
phonetically in a great variety of ways.''' Until a general agree- 
ment shall be established, it is thought best to retain a name 
with which readers are familiar ; and the form Vul will there- 
fore be used in these volumes. Were Iva the correct articula- 


* The only place where these two 
deities are clearly distinguished from 
Gula is in the list of the idols con- 
tained in the great temple of Bel-Mero- 
dach at Babylon. But for this notice, 
the names would certainly have been 
regarded as nothing more than titles of 

" No satisfactory explanation has been 
VOL. I. 

given of the word Anammelech. If it 
represents the female power of the sun, 
we must suppose that Ana is an ab- 
breviated form of Anunit, and that 

melek^ ^P is for malcah, HS/'Dj the 

Jews from contempt not caring to be 
correct in the names of false gods. 
^ See above, p. 112, note '. 

K ^ 


tkm, ve inip:lit mpinl the term as siinply the old Hamitic name 
fer •• the •ir," and illuHtmte it by tlie Arabic heva, \y^, which has 
•till thai meaning, 

Tho imftortance of Vul in the Chaldaean mythology, and his 
•InMig poMtife chararti^r. otMitmst romarknl>ly with tho weak and 
abadowy featnraa of Unuiii8» or J!lther, in tho classical system. 
Vul indeed oorrespoiids in great measure with the classical Zeus 
or Jupiter, b<»inp. like him, tho real " Prince of the power of 
tlie air," the lord of the whirlwind and the tempest, and 
the wielder of the thunderbolt. Hin standard titles are "the 
miniiter of beaTen and earth,'* ** the I^rd of the air,** " he who 
Bttket the tempest to rage.'* He is regarded as the destroyer 
of crops, the rooter-up of trees, the scatterer of the harvest. 
Famine, scarcity, and even their consequence, pestilence, are 
MBgned to him. He is said to have in his hand a ** flaming 
•voidv'* with which he effects his works of destniction ; and this 
** flaming sword,** which probably represents lightning, becomes 
lib emblem upon the tablets and cylinders, where 
it is figured as a double or triple bolt.* Vul again, 
as the god of the atmosphere, gives the rain ; and 
heooe he it " the careful and beneficent chief,** ** the 
girer of abundanoe,** ** the lord of fecundity.*' In 
"^ this capadtj he it naturally chosen to pn^sido over 
eaaaltr tbo great fertiliieii of Babylonia ; and we find among 
hk titkt ** tho lord of canalt,** and " the establislier of workt 


Thm k BOi much evidence of tlie worship of Vul in Chaldo^a 
dvfay Um early ttmet. That he must have been known 
appaiif ftom tlio fael of his name forming an element in the 
name of Shama^Vul, ton of Ismi-dagon, nho rultnl over Chaldmt 
about MA IW)^ It is nl^ . that this 8hamat-Vul tet 

op hk wonblp at Aaidiur i> . ^herglmt) in Aasyria, atto- 
him tliere with his falher .\na, and Imilding to them 

<*«««•. (Kir II. lUwIliwNi iM tlieauthort 
^Mi p. 164. 

* 9m» of QM ftHHt ffMTMMilMl Wff* aarMc (Kir II. lUwIlitM 

tk» wmi m tm§klm m yImott. TW )hv^tx4m», vol. t n. 6ot>, 
iMirttrf MM to * iwmI «niit cm. . 


conjointly a great temple.^ Further than this we have no proof 
that he was an object of worship in the time of the first monarchy ; 
though in the time of Assyrian preponderance, as well as in 
that of the later Babylonian Empire, there were few gods more 

Vul is sometimes associated with a goddess, Shala or Tala, 
who is probably the Salambo or Salambas of the lexicographers.''^ 
The meaning of her name is uncertain ; ^ and her epithets are 
for the most part obscure. Her ordinary title is sarrai or 
sharrat, " queen," the feminine of the common word sar, which 
means " Chief," " King," or " Sovereign." 


If we are right in regarding the five gods who stand next to 
the Triad formed of the Moon, the Sun, and the Atmosphere, as 
representatives of the five planets visible to the naked eye, the 
god Nin, or Ninip, should be Saturn. His names Bar, and Nin, 
are respectively a Semitic and a Hamitic term signifying 
" lord " or " master." Nin-ip, his full Hamitic appellation, 
signifies " Nin, by name," or " he whose name is Nin ; " and, 
similarly, his full Semitic appellation seems to have been Bar- 
shem, " Bar, by nam-e," or ' " he whose name is Bar " — a term 
which is not indeed found in the inscriptions, but which appears 
to have been well known to the early Syrians and Armenians," 
and which was probably the origin of the title Barsemii, borne 
by the kings of Hatra (Hadhr near Kileh-Sherghat) in Koman 

In character and attributes the classical god, whom Nin most 
closely resembles, is, however, not Saturn, but Hercules. An indi- 
cation of this connexion is perhaps contained in the Herodoteap 

' See the Inscription of Tiglath-Pi- * See Mos. Choren. Hist. Armen. i. 13, 

leser I. p. 62. I " Barsamum ob fortissiraas res gestas in 

2 Hesychius uses the form ^aXa/xfii), I Deos ascriptum ad longum tempus Syri 

and calls the goddess "the Babylonian ' coluere." ii. 13, "Tigranes in Mesopo- 

Venus." In the Etymologicum Magnum 
the form used is SoAci/AjSay. 

' The second element in Salambo or 
Salambas is probably ammcT^lleh. Dt?) 

tamiam descendit, et nactus ibi Barsami 
statuam, quam ex ebore et beryllo fac- 
tam argento ornaverat, deportari earn 
jubet, et in Thordano oppido locari." 

a mother." * Herodian. iii. 1, § 1 

K 2 



Chap. VII. 

, which maket Hereulet tn ancestor of Ninas.* Many 
trsditiooi^ we miMi remember, identified Hercules with 
^loro;* and it scomi certain that in the East at any rate this 
i^n^jftf^tiiin wae oommoo.' Nin, in the inscriptions, is the god 
of eliwiigUi and ooonige. He is ** the lord of the brave,** '' the 
cliaiipinn** " the warrior who snbdues foes/* " he who strengthens 
ike hMii of his followers;** and again, ''the destroyer of 

enemies,** " the reducer of the dis- 
obedient,** "the exterminator of 
rebels,** " he whose sword is good." 
In many respects he bears a close 
resemblance to Nergal or Mars. 
Like him, he is a god of battle and 
of the chace, presiding over the 
kind's expeditions, whether for war 
or hunting, and giving success in 
both alike. At the same time he 
has qualities which seem wholly un- 
connectetl with any that have been 
hitherto mentioned. He is the true 
'* Fish-God** of Berosus,* and iB 
figiire<l as such in the sculptures. 
In this i>oint of view he is called 
'' the god of the sea,** ** he who 
dwells in the deep,** and again, 
somewhat curiously, ** the o|)euer 
of aqueilucts.** Ik^sides these epi- 
thets lie has many of a more 
general character, tm " the power- 
ntM««r}(U,il»fltM«d. tul chief,** "tho supreme,** »* the 
ifil of the godi,** ** tlie favourite of the gcnls,'* ** the chief of 
the tpiriti,** and the liko. Again, he has a 8ot of epithets, 

' LfiMb ^ if WNJIM, iv. 4ii Alll». 

pt9 CMrt. tv. Si Dsimm-. 

I It. 

r.ik •«!< 

«r iM ir^w 1^ /*/. 

whMV thlt point la abumUntly provni. 
* Fr. I. I a. T^ ^ir iKotf tfwM* 'x*** 

in4fmm0¥, wmi^wtftmirmt 14 V« riit 

Chap. VII. 



whif.'h seem to point to his stellar character, very difficult to 
reconcile with the notion, that, 
as a celestial luminary, he was 
Saturn. We find him called " the 
light of heaven and earth," " he 
who, like the sun, the light of 
the gods, irradiates the nations." 
These phrases appear to point 
to the Moon, or to some very 
brilliant star, and are scarcely re- 
concilable with the notion that he 
was the dark and distant Saturn. 

Nin's emblem in Assyria is the 
Man-Bull, the impersonation of 
strength and power. He guards 
the palaces of tlie Assyrian kings, 
who reckon him their tutelary 
god, and give his name to their 
capital city. We may conjecture 
that in Babylonia his emblem was 
the sacred fish, which is often 
seen under different forms upon 
the cylinders. 

The monuments furnish no evidence of the early worship of 
Nin in Chaldaea. We may perhaps gather the fact irom Berosus' 
account of the Fish-God as an early object of vene- 
ration in that region,^*^ as well as from the Hamitic 
etymology of the name by which he was ordinarily 
known even in Assyria.^ There he was always 
one of the most important deities. His temple at 
Nineveh was very famous, and is noticed by 
Tacitus in his ' Annals ;'2 and he had likewise 
two temples at Calah (Nimrud), both of them 
buildings of some pretension. 

Nin's emblem, the Man-Bull. 

'" The Fish-god ('naj/j/rjy) comes out of 
the Red Sea (Persian Gulf) to instruct 
the settlers in Chaldwa. 

' That the Assyrians commonly used 
the Hamitic Nin, or Ninip, and not the 

Semitic Bar, or Barshem, is proved by 
the traditions concerning Ninus, and 
by the name of their capital city. 
* Tacit. Arm. xii. 13. 


It iMft been alrettdj meotioncd ' that Nin was the son of Bel- 
Nimrod, and that Beltis was both hw wife and hb mothc r. 
TImm relatJoDships are well established, since they are repeatedly 
umiiud. One tablet, howeTer, inrerts the genealogy, and 
makes Bd*Niiiirod the son of Nin, instead of his father. The 
eootiadictton perhaps springs from the double character of this 
dirinity, who^ as Saturn, is the father, but, as Hercules, the son 
of Jupiter. 


Bel-Merodach is, beyond all doubt, the planet Jupiter, which 
is still called Bel by the Mendseaus. The name 3Ierodach is 
of nnoertain etymology and moaning. It has been compared 
with the Ftanian mardak* the diminutive of mard, ** a man,** 
and with the Arabic Mirrich,^ which is the name of the plauet 
ICaiB. But, as there is every reason to believe tliat the term 
belongs to the flamitic Babylonian, it is in vain to have recourse 
to Arian or Hemitic tongues for its derivation. Moi$t likely the 
word is a descriptive epithet, originally attached to the name 
Bel, in the same way as Nipru, but ultimately usurping its 
pUoe and coming to be regarded as the proper name of the 
deity. It is doubtful whether any phonetic representative of 
Maiodach has been found on the monuments; if so, the pro- 
BBPciation should, apparently, be Amardak, whence we might 
derive the Amorduria ( AfiopBoiUa) of Ptolemy.* 

The titles and attributes of Merodach are of more than usual 
fagneneM. In the most ancient monuments which mention 
bin, be seems to be called "the old man of the gtxls,"^ and 
** tbe judge ** ; be ahio certainly has the paUi, whieh in enrly 
times weie tbe lenta of justice^ undor his special protection. 
Tboi be woold seem to be the god of justice and iudirment— 

9m Ow*, !««• isa ] ' B« tlM PiMvniciaiM 

l^ms. ' -I «h»latwiaiiiof Hi. 

I, vot 11. p. 

Chap. VII. 



an idea which may have giyen rise to the Hebrew name of the 
planet Jupiter, viz. SedeJc, P"]?, "justitia." Bel-Merodach was 
worshipped in the early Chaldsean kingdom, as appears from 
the Tel-Sifr tablets. He was probably from a very remote time 
the tutelary god of the city of Babylon ; ^ and hence, as that 
city grew into importance, the worship of Merodach became 
more prominent. The Assyrian monarchs always especially 
associate Babylon with this god ; and in the later Babylonian 
empire he becomes by far the chief object of worship. It is his 
temple which Herodotus describes so elaborately,^ and his 
image, which, according to the Apocryphal Daniel, the Baby- 
lonians worshipped with so much devotion.^" Nebuchadnezzar 
calls him " the king of the heavens and the earth," '' the great 
lord," '* the senior of the gods," " the most ancient," " the sup- 
porter of sovereignty," "the layer-up of treasures," &c., and 
ascribes to him all his glory and successes. 

We have no means of determining which among the em- 
blems of the gods is to be assigned to Bel-Merodach ; 
nor is there any sculptured form which can be 
certainly attached to him. According to Diodorus 
the great statue of Bel-Merodach at Babylon was 
a figure " standing and ^valhingy^ Such a form ap- 
pears more often than any other upon the cylin- 
ders of the Babylonians ; and it is perhaps allowable 
to conjecture that it may represent this favourite 


Bel-Merodach has a wife, with whom he is commonly asso- 
ciated, called Zir-banit. She had a temple at Babylon, probably 
attached to her husband's, and is perhaps the Babylonian Juno 
(Hera) of Diodorus.^ The essential element of her name seems 

* The Babylonian kings are fond of 
including the word Merodach in their 
names. As early as b.c. 1110, we find 
a Merodach-iddm-akki, the son of an 
Frha- Merodach. Afterwards we have 
Merodach -Baladan, Mesessimordach us, 
Evil-Merodach, &c. 

» Herod, i. 181-183. Compare Diod. 
Sic. ii. 9. 

^^ Apoc. Dan. xiv. 2. 

' Diod. Sic. ii. 9, § 5 : TJ) n\v rov 
Atbs HyaKfia eoTTjK^s ^v Kal S lafi €- 


to be Zir, which i» an old Uamitic root, of uncertain meaning. 
Mhile the areompaDying banit is a descriptive epithet, which 
may be rendered by ** genetrix." Zir-banit was probably the 
goddesi whose worship the Babylonian settlers carried to Samaria, 
and who is calltHl Siu-cdth-bi'noth in Scripture.' 


Nergal, the planet Mars, whose name was continued to a late 
date, under tlie form of Nerig in the astronomical system of the 
Mendcans, is a god whose character and attributes are tolerably 
clear and definite. His name is evidently comjjounded of the 
two Uamitic roots niV, " a man," and pula, " great ;" so tliat he 
is " the great man," or " the great hero." He is the special god 
of war and of hunting, more particularly of the latter. His 
titles are "tlie king of battle," "the champion of the gods," 
" Uie storm ruler," " the strong begetter," ** the tutelar god of 
I^bylonia," and •* the god of the chace." He is usually coupled 
with Nin, who likewise presides over battles and over hunting ; 
but while Nin is at least his equal in the former sphere, Xergal 
lias a deckled pre-eminence in the latter. 

We hare no distinct evidence that Nergal was worshipped in 
the primitive times. He is first mentioneil by some of the early 
.Vasjrian kings,^ who regard him as their ancestor. It has, how- 
efer, been oonjiH*tured that, like ISil-Nipru, he represented the 
deified hero, NimnMl,^ who may liave been worsliippetl in dif- 
ferent parts of Chaldflca under difiercmt titles. 

The city peculiarly d(Mlicat<Hl to Nergal wasCutha orTi<r^aba, 
which it constantly eulhnl his city in the inscriptions. He wtis 
wumhipiied abo at Tarbisa,near Ninereh, but in Tiggaba he wtis 
Niid to ** live," and hiH shrine there was one of groat celebrity, 
liimoo ** the men of Cuth," when trantported to Samaria by the 
XmpkoB, naturally enough ** made Nergal their god," carrying 
his wonbip with them into their new country.* 

* inn i l li, " >wUii,* fa ynb l ^ y S mis* 1 lUU. ana AMiiur.Ulr.pal. about bx. 850. 
ifiAtlBi ti Hr, «r llral, mkkk wmt * Mr II. Ha«iinM..i in ih.. .uOu.r'. 

villi Mfmi, • «af4 iMvlag iien»ht*i0, %ol i. ) 

• MwiKliig* ^^ 
1., aUml ••• 

Chap. VII. 




II ii probiUe that Neq^'s symbol was the Man-Lion. Nir 
it tometiiMf vmd in the inaeripUoiM in the meaning of " lion ;" 
and the Semitie tuane ibr the god him«$lf is <* Aria**— the 
ordinary t^rm for the king of heaets both in Hebrew and in 
8yriac. Perhaps we haTe here the true derivation of the Greek 
for Uie god of war, Ares ("A^wtv),' wliich bus long puzzled 
scholars. The lion would symbolize both the %hting 
the hunting propensities of the god, for he not only engages 
10 combats upon occasions, but often chases his prey and runs it 
down like n hunter. Again, if Nergal is the Man-Lion, his asso- 
ciation in the IxiUdingps with the 3[an-liMll, would be exactly 
parallel with the conjunction, which we so const^intly find, 
between him and Nin in the inscriptions. 

Neigal had a wife, called Laz, of whom, however, nothing is 
known beyond her name. It is uncertain which among the 
emblems of the guds appertains to him. 


Ishtar or Nana is the planetary Venus, and in general features 
eorrasponds with the classical goddess. Her name Ishtar is that 
by which she was known in Assyria ; and the same term pre- 
vailed viith slight modifications among the Semitic races gene- 
rally. The PboDuiciau form was Astarte, the Hebrew Ashtoreth ; * 
the later Mendswin form was Asbtar. In babylonia the goddess 
was known as Nana, whkh seems to be the Nanna of the second 
book of Macoabeei,^aiid the Nani of the modem Syrians.^ No 
afloOQDt can at present be given of the etymology of 
; for tlie pro|XMHil U^ f Islitar with the Greek 

' TW fhkmmB af Umnwm, wk» wmd ^ 'A#tV^« •# 1«XX.). whleh menu to 
gwwfUy IW aOyl—l— ■ptiltiHtii U ' W • a wwrk w«mt fee 
IW r>^ sitlM IW MM ti Arm%o • t Mm. 1. I8.I&. 

Mitte' •€ i»m ■mum (Qwihilii, 
AmMit Mrf ih i i wii ^ , fii tl 1. at.) 
• t Kliiii Ii i m4 Sa. JUtania 

** TW M«M of Ami !• fivra by Um 
Mm IwkofrBphrr lUr lUhlul m om 

•r la* afitM uur. •|.|.<i«m u* i1h> fk^n 

Vmm hf lb* Arwtiic The wunl la aim 

fWrth^r Nui, M In ASkhMktei 
•hm "ih» bMljr Vmum.** The 

whtf MMOX vUtwm siv mlWa Bihi Hfmm* 

•rIffU MMV \m MvlfiMl 10 Um> Cnvk 

(Hhi^;. tt. n..^ ^ i^ ! (;.tr;....7»«o 

Chap. VII. 



acTTrip (Zend siarann, Sanscrit iara, English star, Latin stella), 
though it has great names in its favour,^ is not worthy of much 

Ishtar's aphrodisiac character, though it can scarcely be 
doubted, does not appear very clearly in the inscriptions. She 
is " the goddess who rejoices mankind," and her most common 
epithet is " Asurah," "the fortunate" or "the happy." ^ But 
otherwise her epithets are vague and general, insomuch that she 
is often scarcely distinguishable from Beltis. She is called " the 
mistress of heaven and earth," " the great goddess," " the queen 
of all the gods ;" and again " the goddess of war and battle," 
" the queen of victory," " she who arranges battles," and " she 
who defends from attacks." She is also represented in the in- 
scriptions of one*king as the goddess of the chace.^ 

The worship of Ishtar was wide-spread, and her shrines were 
numerous. She is often called " the queen of Babylon," and 
must certainly have had a temple in that city.'* She 
had also temples at Asshur (Kileh-Sherghat), at Arbela, 
and at Nineveh. It may be suspected that her symbol 
was the naked female form, which is not uncommon 
upon the cylinders. She may also be represented by 
tlie rude images in baked clay so common throughout 
the Mesopotamian ruins, which are generally regarded as images 

Ishtar is sometimes coupled with Nebo in such a way as to 
suggest the notion that she was his wife. This, however, can 
hardly have been her real position in the mythology, since Nebo 
had, as will presently appear, another wife, Varamit, whom there 

* As Gesenius, Movers, and Fiirst. 
Bunsen's argument against an Iranian 
derivation of the name of a Semitic 
god (Egypt's Place, vol. iv. p. 349, E.T.) 
is perfectly sound ; but his suggestion 
that the true etymology of Ashtoreth 
is has-toreth, " the seat of the cow," 
seems scarcely entitled to acceptance. 

^ Compare the Roman notion by 
which the best throw on the dice was 
called "Venus," or " jactus Venereus." 
(Plant. Asin. v. ii. 55 ; Cic. de Viv, ii. 
59, &c.) 

' This is her character in the records 
of Asshur-bani-pal, the son and suc- 
cessor of Esar-haddon. 

* Nebuchadnezzar speaks of having 
" made the way of Nana " in Babylon, 
by which he probably means a way or 
road to her temple. (See the Standard 
Inscription, as given in the author's 
Herodotus, vol. ii. p. 586.) 

' Loftus, Chaldcea and Susiana^ ch. 
xviii. p. 214; Layard, Nineceh and it$ 
Hemains, vol. ii. ch. 7. 



Chap. VH. 

w DO region to believe iileuUcal with Ishtar. It in most pro- 
bable that tlie coDJiinctiun is casual 
and aocidentiil, being duo to special 
and temporary 

L ^\ .uukgf of IfthUtr. 


The last of the fire planetary gods 
is Nebo, who undoubtedly repreaeDta 
the planet Mercury. His name is 
tlie same, or nearly so, both in Baby- 
lonian and Assyrian ; ' and we may 
perhaps assign it a Semitic deriva- 
tion, from the roo\0nibbah, KSJ, ** to 
prophesy.** It is his special function to preside over knowledge 
and learning. He is called ** the god who possesses intelligence,** 
** he who hears from afar,** ** he who teaches,** or ** he who 
iMehet and instructs.** In this ]K)int of view, he of course 
approximates to Hoa, whose sou he is called in some inscriptions, 
and to whom he heart a general resemblance. Like Hoa, he is 
symbolixed by the simple wedge or arrowhead," the primary and 
asssntial element of cuneiform writing, to mark his joint presi- 
dency with that god over writing and literature. At the same 
line Kebo ban, like so many of the Chaldn^an gods a number 
of geoeml titles, implying divine power, whicli, if they had 
heloQged to him only, would luive seemed to prove him the 
deity. Ue is '* the I^ord of lords, who \nis no equal in 
the snprt^me chief,** " the suHt^iiner/* ** the 8Uj)|>orter,** 

•• m 

TW mni^tmmtmm mpumtm to hmiumg 

tli0 Omti VikmktUtimt, 

air U. >««l 


Viwtl. tkf tfmwthoi Neln. I» hto 
iMVfiyllaM. Ii U nrklml •!>• mm omi 
•f fevMT with b)M. Mwl Uuil llicfrlwrv 
, K«M '"■Mjr kmft9 baMi ihrnat t^m- 
Hitejr laSihtr yltM." (Sw th$ MUMir'* 
wtLlwk M7.) 

' TW i^lMiLi fam to jr«Mi, th9 

iakltl ««f«Mil to timlmmmmmr, NftlMMo. 
iMMf. WWiWdSMMf. .NeUmldii or 

UibjrwttM, Nvbuaamkm, and poMihljr 

In LAhonNMIclMMi. 

* la IW frrat tonpl* of Hebo mt Bor- 
ilpoi tWi« U mn inlsrior cbaimhrr, 
wbleh wtan to have bsvn m ohatnl or 
(iiniury. all tl»« brlrks of whicii mn 
fuuml to br •uin|Mxl — In aJUicloM to tho 
unlinary Irgvod of NvbueliadiiMaMr — 
wlih ih« flfttf* of a wfldf* or ftrrow- 
Itrati. It b prplmblv with i » ar tmi to 
IhU fynbul thai Nrtm itwvlvad tho 
MM* of Ttr, whieh to at ooo» ''ao 
arrow,** and Iht mumt of the pUnrt 
Mvrsarjr la aaetoat FWiriss. 

Chap. VII. 



"the ever ready," "the guardian over the heavens and the 
earth," " tlie lord of the con- 
stellations," "the holder of 
the sceptre of power," " he 
who grants to kings the 
sceptre of royalty for the 
governance of their people." 
It is chiefly by his omission 
from many lists, and his 
humble place when he is 
mentioned together with the 
really great gods, that we 
know he was mythologically 
a deity of no very great 

There is nothing to prove 
the early worship of Nebo. 
His name does not appear as 
an element in any royal ap- 
pellation belonging to the 
Chaldsean series. Nor is there 
any reference to him in the 
records of the primeval times. 
Still, as he is probably of 
Babylonian rather than As- 
syrian origin,^ and as an 
Assyrian king is named after 
him in the twelfth century 
B.c.,^ we may assume that he 
was not unknown to the pri- 
mitive people of Chalda^a, 

though at. present their re- ^ebo (from a statue in the British Museum). 

mains have furnished us with no mention of him. In later 

•' When Nebo first appears in Assyria, 
it is as a foreign god, whose worship 
is brought thither from Babylonia. His 
worship was never common in the more 
northern country. 

' This is the monarch whose name is 
read as Mutagipl-Nebu, the grandfather 
of Tiglath-Pileser I., who is mentioned 
in that monarch's great inscription (p. 


•gM tlie chief te^t oC his worship was Boniippa, where the great 
and fiunons temple, known at present as the Birs-Nironid, was 
dedicated to his honour. He had also a shrine at Calah (Nim- 
md), whence were procuned the statues representing him which 
are now in the British Mosenm. Ho was in special iaronr 
with the kin^s of the great Babylonian empire, who were mostly 
named after him and viewed him as presiding over their bouse. 
His symbol has not yet been recognised. 

The wife of Nebo, as already ebserved, was Yaramit or 
Urmit — a word which perhaps means ** exalted," from the root 
W\ ^to be lifted up.** No special attributes are ascribed to 
this goddess, who merely accompanies her hu»baiid in most of 
the places where be is mentioned by name. 

Such, tlien, seem to have been the chief god^ worshipped by 
the early Chaldnans. It would be an endless as well as an 
nnprofitable task to give an account of the inferior deities. 
Their name is "Legion;" and they are, for the most part, too 
vagoe and shadowy for effective description. A vast number 
are merely local ; and it may be suspected that where this is 
the case the great gods of the Pantheon come before us re- 
peatedly, disguised under rustic titles. We have, moreover, no 
doe at present to this labyrinth, on which, even witli greater 
knowledge, it would perhaps be beet for us to forbear to enter ; 
since there U no reason to expect that we should obtain any 
really valuable results from its exploration. 

A few words, however, may be added upon the subject of tlie 
Clialdgan cosmogony. Although the only knowledge that we 
01^ this point is derived from BeriMUM, and thenforo we 
bo iore that we have reilly the belief of the ancient 
peopl^ yet, jodgiag ftom internal evidence of character, we 
may aiMj pioiiottiiee Beimis* aooount not only archaic, but in 
its gnNUidvork aod emoMM a primeval tradition, move ancient 
probably than most of the gods whom we have been considering. 
** In the beginning," says this anoiont legend, *' all was dark- 
nm and water, and tliereln were generated monjitrous animals 
of irtnu^pa and iieruliar fomw. There were men with two wings, 
and some even with four, and with two facet; and otliera with 

Chap. VII. 



two heads, a man's and a woman's, on one body ; and there were 
men with the heads and the horns of goats, and men with hoofs 
like horses, and some with the upper parts of a man joined to 
the lower parts of a horse, like centaurs ; and there were bulls 
with human heads, dogs with four bodies and with fishes' tails, 
men and horses with dogs' heads, creatures with the heads and 
bodies of horses, but with the tails of fish, and other animals 
mixins: the forms of various beasts. Moreover, there were mon- 
strous fish and reptiles and serpents, and divers other creatures, 
which had borrowed something from each other's shapes ; of all 
which the likenesses are still preserved in the temple of Belus. 
A woman ruleth them all, by name Omorka, which is in Chaldee 
Thalatth, and in Greek Thalassa (or * the sea '). Then Belus 
appeared, and split the woman in twain ; and of the one half of 
her he made the heaven, and of the other half the earth ; and 
the beasts that were in her he caused to perish. And he split 
the darkness, and divided the heaven and the earth asunder, 
and put the world in order ; and the animals that could not bear 
the light perished. Belus, upon this, seeing that the earth was 
desolate, yet teeming with productive power, commanded one 
of the gods to cut off his head,^ and to mix the blood which 
flowed forth with earth, and form men therewith, and beasts 
that could bear the light. So man was made, and was intelli- 
gent, being a partaker of the divine wisdom.^ Likewise Belus 
made the stars, and the sun and moon, and the five planets." 

It has been generally seen that this cosmogony bears a re- 
markable resemblance to the history of Creation contained in 
the opening chapters of the book of Genesis. Some have gone 
so far as to argue that the Mosaic account was derived from it."* 

2 There is a confusion here in Poly- 
histor both as reported by Eusebius 
(Chron. Can. i. 2, pp. il, 12) and by 
Syncellus {Chronograph, vol. i. p. 53), 
which can scarcely have belonged to his 
authority, Berosus. Belus is first made 
to cut off his own head, and " the other 
gods" are said to have mixed his blood 
with earth and formed man ; but after- 
wards the account contained in the text 
is given. It seems to me that the first 
account is an interpolation in the legend. 

' I have placed this phrase a little 
out of its order. It occurs in the passage, 
which appears to me interpolated, and 
which is perhaps rather an explanation 
which Berosus gave of the legend than 
part of the legend itself. However, 
Berosus has no doubt here explained the 
legend rightly. 

* So Niebuhr says ( Lectures on Ancient 
History^ vol. i. p. 16, E.T.), but without 
mentioning to what writers he alludes. 


Otbens who reject thiii notion, auggad that a certain ** oUl 
Chaldee tradition" was ^'tlie basis of tbem both/*^ If we 
drop out the word ^'Oialdee" from this statement, it may be 
regarded m lairly expressing the truth. The Babylonian legend 
^nbodias a primeval tradition, common to all mankind, of which 
an inapired author has given us the true groundwork in tiie fint 
and second clmpters of (jenesis. What is especially remarkable 
is the fidelity, oomparatively Mj)eaking, with which the Babylonian 
legend reports the facta While the whole tone and spirit of the 
two accounts,* and even the point of view from which they are 
taken, differ,^ the general outline of the narrati?e in each is 
nearly the same. In both we have the earth at first ** without 
form and void,** and " darkness upon the face of the deep." In 
both the first step taken townrds creation is the separation of 
the mixed mass and the formation of the heavens and the earth 
as the consequence of such neparation. In both we liave light 
mentioned before the creation of tlie sun and moon ; in both we 
luiTn the eziitence of animals before man ; and in both we have 
n divine element infused into man at his birth, and his formation 
** from Uie dust of the ground.*' The only points in which the 
narratiret can be said to be at variance are points of order. The 
liabylonians apparently made the formation of man and of the 
which at present inliabit the earth simultaneous, and 
the creation of tlie sun. moon, and pUnets after, instead 
of befiire, thai of men an<l animals. In other respects the Baby- 
lonian narrative eitlier adds to the Mosaic account, as in its 
dBK»iption of tlie monsters and their dettmction, or clothes in 
mytliic langimg^. that could never have been understood literally, 
tlie truth which in Hcriptun* is put forth with severe simplicity. 
The cleaving of tlie woman Tlialattii in twain, and the beheading 
of Belui^ are embellishroenta of thit latter character ; they are 

iW kMvm Mid Uw «M 

Ktfft9 timtim th$mml 
* Tat fliiUti — nt l— It «MaMa> 

>t$ iiia a b iHifciia wmmmmn Mtol of Ttov to Um Bhy«l«ia Md 
Ito i«M to mMimm mmi | tfiUMi.CM Ulag c«ly braoylil la a 

' In c;««otU iIm inist of rtov to the 

tug Ood crmhd 

•Mill, mmI Um 

pM the Am* of 

Is tlM CiMldw tofMd llw 

MrU 9f M MOVidjirmi the Am* oT 


wlilto M UklRf « mmln |»ft In crmtlMi. 


plainly and evidently mythological ; nor can we suppose them 
to have been at any time regarded as facts. The existence of 
the monsters, on the other hand, may well have been an actual 
belief. All men are prone to believe in such marvels ; and it 
is quite possible, as Niebuhr supposes,^ that some discoveries of 
the remains of mammoths and other monstrous forms embedded 
in the crust of the earth, may have given definiteness and promi- 
nency to the Chaldsean notions on this subject. 

Besides their correct notions on the subject of creation, the 
primitive Chaldaeans seem also to have been aware of the general 
destruction of mankind, on account of their wickedness,^ by a 
Flood ; and of the rebellions attempt which was made soon after 
the Flood to concentrate themselves in one place, instead of 
obeying the command to " replenish the earth " ^° — an attempt 
which was thwarted by means of the confusion of their speech. 
The Chaldsean legends embodying these primitive traditions 
were as follows : — 

" God appeared to Xisuthrus (Noah) in a dream, and warned 
him that on the fifteenth day of the month DsesiuSy mankind 
would be destroyed by a deluge. He bade him bury in Sippara, 
the City of the Sun, the extant writings, first and last ; and 
build a ship, and enter therein with his family and his close 
friends ; and furnish it with meat and drink ; and place on 
board winged fowl, and four-footed beasts of tlie earth ; and 
when all was ready, set sail. Xisuthrus asked ' Whither he was 
to sail ? ' and was told, * To the gods, with a prayer that it might 
fare well with mankind.' Then Xisuthrus was not disobedient 
to the vision, but built a ship five furlongs (3125 feet) in length, 
and two furlongs (1250 feet) in breadth ; and collected all that 
had been commanded him, and put his wife and children and 
close friends on bojird. The flood came; and as soon as it 
ceased, Xisuthrus let loose some birds, which, finding neither 
food nor a place where they could rest, came back to the ark. 

* Lectures on Ancient History, voU i. 
p. 17, E.T. 

' This is not expressly stated in the 
legend ; but the divine warning to 

VOL. I. 

Xisuthrus, and the stress laid by Xisu- 
thrus in his last words on the worship of 
God, seem to imply such a belief, 
^o Gen. ix. 1. 

146 THB riBST MONABCHT. Chap. Vlt 

After tome deyt lie agam sent oot tlie birds,* wliich again re- 
turned to the ark, but with feet corered with mml. Sent out a 
third time, the birds returned no more, and Xittuthnis knew that 
hmd bad reappeared : ao be removed some of the covering of 
the ark, and looked, and behold ! the Tewel had grounded on a 
BMNUitain. Then Xisuthrus went forth with his wife and his 
dMighter, and his pilot,' and fell dowa and worshipped the 
earth,' and built an altar, and offered sacrifice to the gods ; after 
which be disappeared from sight, together with those who had 
•ooompanied him. They who Iiad remained in the ark and not 
gone fortli with Xisnthrus, now left it and searched for him, and 
abooted out his name ; but Xisuthrus was not seen any more. 
Only his voice answered tliem out of the air, saying, ' Worship 
God ; for because I worship|)ed God, am I gone to dwell with 
the gods; and they who were with me have shared the same 
hoooor.' And he bade them return to Babylon, and recover 
the writings buried at Sipjtara, and make them known among 
men; and he told them that the land in which they then were 
waa Armenia. So they, when they liad heard all, sacrificed to 
the goda and went their way on foot to Babylon, and, liaving 
reached it, recovered the buried writings from Sippara, and 
built many cities and temples, and restored Babylon. Some 
portion of the ark still continues in Armenia, in the Grordiaean 
(Kordiah) Mountains ; and peraons aorape off the bitumen from 
it to brii^ away, and tbia tbej iiae aa a remedy to avert mis- 

** The (*arth was still of one language, wben the primitive men, 
who were prood of their atreagth and stature, and despised tlio 
goda aa their inferiori» erected n tower of va^t height, in order 
that they might mount to heaven. And tlie tower was now near 
to heaven, when the gods (or OimI) rnusiHl the winds to blow 
and overtomed the atmctnre upon the men, and made them 

' •• iMa Onrk mmI la Ite ArmmlM. M. Bun- 

u rkrKm rtH. t 3. ii \i\ i Ml luM ''ihlVWlliBMBlf ttpMI iKo Mrlh 

•TUAm' th« ; AMI M)rTCl'*(l.«.r.). 

* I iMve UvrrlMj 

(••#«^ i««t • I iMve UvrrlMl lb« onlrr > 

•r llw mpT M. mmmm fyikmt Ulai 1 tUiM and Um iwwwiliig om, Ui kt 
(i;;flf<,aa,vdLlv.|^a7l> . ilMMMMkMinoi«el«r. 

Chap. VII. 



speak with divers tongues; wherefore the city was called 

Here again we have a harmony with Scripture of the most 
remarkable kind — a harmony not confined to the main facts, but 
reaching even to the minuter points, and one which is altogether 
most curious and interesting. The Babylonians have not only, 
in common with the great majority of nations, handed down 
from age to age the general tradition of the Flood, but they 
are acquainted with most of the particulars of the occurrence. 
They know of the divine warning to a single man,^ the direction 
to construct a huge ship or ark,''' the command to take into it a 
chosen few of mankind only,*' and to devote the chief space to 
winged fowl and four-footed beasts of the earth.^ They are 
aware of the tentative sending out of birds from it,^^ and of their 
returning twice,^^ but when sent out a third time returning no 
more.'^ They know of the egress from the ark by removal of 
some of its covering,^^ and of the altar built and the sacrifice 
offered immediately afterwards.^'^ They know that the ark rested 
in Armenia ; ^^ that those who escaped by means of it, or their 
descendants, journeyed towards Babylon;^ that there a tower 
was begun, but not completed, the building being stopped by 
divine interposition and a miraculous confusion of tongues.^ As 
before, they are not content with the plain truth, but must 
amplify and embellish it. The size of the ark is exaggerated to 
an absurdity,^ and its proportions are misrepresented in such a 
way as to outrage all the principles of naval architecture.* The 

* Two separate versions of this legend 
have descended to us. They come re- 
spectively from Abydenus and Poly- 
histor. We have the words of the 
authors in Euseb. Proep. Ev. ix. 14, 15, 
and Syncell. Chronograph, vol. i. p. 81. 
We have also a translation of their 
words in the Armenian Eusebius {Chron. 
Can. i. 4 and 8). « Gen. vi. 13. 

Mb. 14-16. « lb. verse 18. 

" lb. verse 20. i» lb. viii. 7. 

" lb. 9-11. « lb. verse 12. 

" lb. verse 13: "Noah removed the 
covering of the ark, and looked, and, 
behold, the face of the earth was dry." 

" lb. viii. 20. "And Noah builded 

an altar unto the Lord, and took of 
every clean beast, and of every clean 
fowl, and offered burnt offerings upon 
the altar." 

^' lb; verse 8: "And the ark rested 
. . . upon the moixntains of Ararat." 
Ararat is the usual word for Armenia 
in the Assyrian inscriptions. 

1 lb. xi. 2. '' lb. 4-9. 

' The ark is made more than half a 
mile long, whereas it was really only 300 
cubits, which is at the utmost 600 feet, 
or less than an eighth of a mile. 

* According to some writers, the 
principles of naval architecture were 
not concerned in the building of the ark, 

L 2 



Chap. VII. 

trMMinttirTT of Xbuthnm, his wife, his daughter, and his pilot — a 
reminitoaioe po«ib1y of the translation of Enoch — is unfitly as 
well as lalael J introduced just after they have been miraculously 
•aTcd from destruction. The story of the Tower is given with 
lest departure fiom the actual truth. The building is, however, 
abmrdly represented as an actual attempt to scale heaven;* 
and a storm of wind is somewhat unnecessarily introduced to 
destroy the Tower, which from the Scripture narrative seems to 
have been left standin^^. It is also especially to be noticed that 
in tlie Chaldaoan legends tlie whole interest is made narrow and 
locaL The Flood appears as a circumstance in the history of 
Babylonia ; and the priestly traditionists, who have put the 
legend into shape, are cliiefly anxious to make the event redound 
to the glory of their sacred books, which they boast to have been 
the special objects of divine care, and represent as a legacy from 
the antediluvian ages. The general interests of mankind are 
nothing to the Chaldaean priests, who see in the story of the 
Tower simply a local etymology, and in the Deluge an event 
which made the Babylonians the sole possessors of primeval 

itaat (at thfjr tiv) ** it wm not m Ai^ 
UU m homB^ (Kilto't Hibiioai Cydo- 
voL L Ik S1S> But would **m 
■M," MA ilMiwd •hipwiw, 
mh uUd Um wIimU and 
of m tarribit » erUis? The 

tiMS tiMl llMjr •«%» it, toTO Um ark 
• » ifelp^" ud ffiv» U ** ft pUot" 

• TIm »«|i wiiw la Gmi. xL 4, *<a 
to««r vImiv I0f Mfty naeb ttalo hflaven,** 
b • wmm 9mmm Ifana of OHmuI 
hnmtkth^ ffUtd 10 aajT fftwl Mfht 
(tw VmL I m, mb&n Um tpim an 

(Mid lA bara Iwaaffht hmek «oftl tlwi 

the dtles of the Cknaanltaft were gnU, 
and ^walled up to hpaTon.") But in 
the Chaldee Tvrnion of the story we ar» 
told that the men built the tower ** in 
order that they might mount toheaTen** 
($wmt tit T^v aifar^r hfafimmi^. 

* Baron BaniOB obaerrot wita nmem 
— **The gmaral ooatratt batwaco tba 
Biblical and the Chaldee renion i* very 
great. What a purely special local 
ehanMtar, l«femiary and Ikbuloua, with- 
out idoas, doei it display in arary point 
wblefa It doM not hold in eomoKMi with 
tho llabmr!** iEgfft$ Plam, voL It. 
^ a74. R. T.) 

Chap. VIII. 





" The "beginning of his kingdom was BabeL, and Erech, and Accad, and 
Calneh, in the land of Shinar." — Gen. x. 10. 

The establishment of a Cusliite kingdom in Lower Babylonia 
dates probably from (at least) the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth 
century before our era. Greek traditions ^ assigned to the city 
of Babylon an antiquity nearly as remote ; and the native 
historian, Berosus, spoke of a Ghaldsean dynasty as bearing rule 
anterior to B.C. 2250. Unfortunately the works of this great 
authority have been lost ; -and even the general outline of his 
chronological scheme, whereof some writers have left us an 
account,^ is to a certain extent imperfect ; so that, in order to 
obtain a definite chronology for the early times, we are forced 
to have recourse, in some degree, to conjecture. Berosus de- 
clared that six dynasties had reigned in Chaldaea since the great 
flood of Xisuthrus, or Noah. To the first, which consisted of 
86 kings, he allowed the extravagant period of 34,080 years. 

* Simplicius relates (Comment, in 
Aristot. de Gjelo, ii, p. 123) that Calli- 
sthenes, the friend of Alexander, sent to 
Aristotle from Babylon a series of 
stellar observations made in that city, 
which reached back 1903 years before 
the conquest of the place by Alexander. 
(b.c. 331 + 1903 = B.C. 2234.) Philo- 
IJyblius, according to Stephen (ad voc. 
Bo)8uA«f), made Babylon to have been 
built 1002 years before Semiramis, 
whom he considered contemporary with, 
or a little anterior to, the Trojan "War. 
(^Fraf/m. Hist. Grrvo. vol. iii. p. 563.) 
We do not know his date for this last 
event, but supposing it to be that of 
the Parian Chronicle, b.c. 1218, we 
should have b.c. 2220 for the building 

of the city, according to him. Again, 
Berosus and Critodemus are said by 
Pliny (j^. ^^. vii. 56) to have declared 
that the Babylonians had recorded their 
stellar observations upon bricks for 
480 years before the era of Phoroneus . 
At least the passage may be so under- 
stood. (See the Journal of Asiatic Society , 
vol. XV. p. 222.) Now the date of Pho- 
roneus, according to Qinton (K H. vol. i. 
p. 139), is B.C. 1753; and b.c. 1753+ 
480 gives b.c. 2233. 

^ The most authentic account seems 
to be that which Eusebius copied from 
Polyhistor (Chronica, i. 4). SynceUus is 
far less to be trusted, on account of his 
elaborate systematizing. 



ClfAf. VIII. 

Erecboftf, the founder of the dynasty, liad enjoyed the royal 
dignity for 2400 yearB» and Cbomasbdlus, his son and snoceasor, 
had reigned SOO years longer than his father. The other 84 
moBarcht had filled up the remaining space of 28,980 years — 
their reigns thus aToraging 345 years apiece. It is clear that 
these numbers are unhistoric ; and though it would be easy to 
lednce them witliin the hinits of credibility by arbitrary suppo- 
sitions — as, for instance, that the years of the narrative repre- 
sent months or days* — yet it mny reasonably be doubted whether 
we should in this way be doing any service to the cause of 
historic truth. The names Eyechous and Chomasbelus seem 
mythic rather than real; they represent personages in the 
Babylonian Pantheon, and can scarcely have been borne by 
men. It is likely that the entire series of names partook of the 
nme character, and that, if we possessed them, their bearing 
would be found to be, not historic, but mythological. We may 
parallel this dynasty of Berosus, where he reckons kings* reigns 
by the cyclical periods of sosses and tiers, with ^lanetho's dynasties 
of Gods and Demigods in Egypt, where the sum of the years is 
nearly as great^ 

It is necesHuy, tl^n, to discard as unhistorical the namee and 
numlx^rs assigned to his first dynasty by Berosus, and to retain 
from this part of his scheme nothing but the fact which he lays 
down of an ancient Chalda^an dynasty having niled in Riby- 
loBia, prior to a conquest, which led to the establishment of a 
•eoond dynaaty, termed by him Median. 

The acheine of Berosus then, setting aside his numbers for 
the first period, is — accordbg to the beat extant authorities^ 
follows : — 

Ik lukktv 



. 11 

284 (?) „ 
48(0 n 

Tlite rWw If liki* 

* iHM rww H mM hj Mr. WUUam 

rblarr km bb ApprwIU on ' ItelnrloiilMi 

•lid AmvHm Anl^uUt«•' (fU liit 

ibipliM CVMNofci, vvt U. Ifk MS, Ml.) 
/-« .. j^gg^ ^^ ^ 

Mams, who nkd Bcrpt 
— Um flm hlMorlod kins 

IfM. Ur. v<*l. U 

* Butebiiu and 1 

lag. (>M/WyM. 



Dynasty V. of 9 Arabian kings 245 years. 

VI. „ 45 •(?) , 526 „ 

Reign of Pul ? 

Dynasty Vll. of(?) (?) kings ? „ 

„ VIII. „ 6 Chaldean „ 87 „ 

It will be observed tbat this table contains certain defects and 
weaknesses, whicli greatly impair its value, and prevent us from 
constructing upon it, without further aid, an exact scheme of 
chronology. Kot only does a doubt attach to one or two of the 
number — to the years, i,e. of the second and third dynasty ^ — 
but in two cases we have no numbers at all set down for us, and 
must supply them from conjecture, or from extraneous sources, 
before we can make the scheme available. Fortunately in the 
more important case, that of the seventh dynasty, the number 
of years can be exactly supplied without any difficulty. The 
Canon of Ptolemy covers, in fact, the whole interval between the 
reign of Pul and the close of the Babylonian Empire, giving for 
the period of the seventh dynasty 13 reigns in 122 years, and 
for that of the eighth 5 reigns in 87 years. The length of the 
reign of Pul can, however, only be supplied from conjecture. 
As it is not an unreasonable supposition that he may have 
reigned 28 years, and as this number harmonises well with the 
chronological notices of the monuments, we shall venture to 
assume it, and thus complete the scheme which the fragments 
of Berosus leave imperfect. 

Beeosus' Chronological Scheme completed. 




Dynasty I. of ? Chaldasan kings 




II. „ 8 Median „ .. .. 




III. „ 11 ? „ .... 




IV. „ 49 Chaldsean „ .... 




„ V. „ 9 Arabian „ . . . . 




VI. „ 45 V ;; .. .. 




Reign of Pul (Chaldffian kiug) 




Dyuasty VII. of 13 ? kings .. .. 




„ VIII. „ & Babylonian „ . . . . 




' The 48 years of the third dynasty 
are not in the text of the Armenian 
Eusebius, but in the margin only. The 
text of the same authority assigns 224 
years to the second dynasty, but the 

margin gives 234. 

^ The Canon mentions five only of 
these kings, omitting one (Laboroso- 
archod), because be reigned less than a 
full year. 


Thif •cheme* in whirh there is nothing conjectural cxorpt 
the length of the ri*i}^ of Pul, receives very remarkable coii- 
firmation from the Ai»}*rian monuments. These inform u^ 
fluty that there wet a conquest of Babylon by a Sutiianian 
OMiiareh 1685 years before the capture of ^usa by Asshur-bani- 
pal« the ton of Esarhaddon ; ' and, secondly, that there was a 
■ecood conquest by an Assyrian monarch 600 years before the 
oocopation of Babylon by Esarluuldon's father, Sennacherib. 
Now Sennacherib's occupation of Babylon was in aa 702 ; and 
000 years before this brings us to b.c. 1302, itithin a year of the 
date which the scheme assigns to the accession of the seventh 
dynasty. Susa was taken by Asshur-bani-pal probably in 
1I.C. 651 ; and 1635 years before thit) is B.C. 2286, or the exact 
year marked in the scheme for the accession of the second 
(Median) dynasty. Tliis double coincidence can scan^ly be 
accidental ; and we may conclude, therefore, that we have iu the 
above table at any rate a near approach to the s<'heme of Baby- 
lonian chronology as reoeiTed among both the Bulivlonians ainl 
Assyrians in the seventh century before our era. 

Whether the chronology is wholly trustworthy i^ another 
question. The evidence both of the classical writers* and of the 
inoo om ants is to the eflTect that exact chronology was a subjeta 
to whieh the Babylonians and Assjrrians paid great attention. 
The •• Canon of Ptolemy,** which contained an exact Babylonian 
eompiitation of time from d.c. 747 to n.c. :{31 is genenilly 
allowed to be a most authentic document, and one on which we 
may place complete reliance.' The ** Aatyrian Canon,** which 
gifcs the years of the Assyrian monarchs from B.a 911 to &c. 
000, appears to be equally trustworthy. How much further 
exact notation went back, it la impossible to say. All that we 
know is, first, that the Ut4«r Assyrian monarchs believed they had 
ttfans of fixing the oxai't thite of e? ents in tlioir own history and 
b that of Babylon up to a tima dUstant from their own as much 

• O. iBilb la Jr.? I Mr. BivMqiMi b almoit tbt «Uy 
mk§ ij m mU, Mmmti- ehnmdt§m who •till tlbpaiM Um m- 

• lUivl I. M| ArMirt. 4m, ..y .r llili OoomMBi. (Sm hit 
It. J S) iUiplic O mmmL */ »mA SW /^«kv, AppoodU. pa 4&&4, 



as sixteen or seventeen hundred years ; and, secondly, tliat the 
chronology which results from their statements and those of 
Berosus is moderate, probable, and in harmony with all the 
knowledge which we obtain of the East from other sources. It 
is proposed therefore, in the present volumes, to accept the 
general scheme of Berosus as, in all probability, not seriously in 
error ; and to arrange the Chaldsean, Assyrian, and Babylonian 
history on the framework, which it furnishes. 

Chalda}an history may therefore be regarded as opening upon 
us at a time anterior, at any rate by a century or two,^ to B.C. 
2286. It was then that Niilirod, the son or descendant of Cush, 
set up a kingdom in Lower Mesopotamia, which attracted the 
attention of surrounding nations. The people, whom he led, 
came probably by sea ; at any rate, their earliest settlements 
were on the coast ; and Ur or Hur, on the right bank of the 
Euphrates, at a very short distance from its embouchure, was 
the primitive capital. The "mighty hunter" rapidly spread 
his dominion inland, subduing or expelling the various tribes 
by which the country was previously occupied. His kingdom 
extended northwards, at least as far as Babylon, which (as 
well as Erech or Huruk, Accad, and Calneh) was first founded 
by this monarch.^ Further historical details of his reign are 
wanting ; but the strength of his character and the greatness 
of his achievements are remarkably indicated by a variety of 
testimonies, which place him among the foremost men of the 
Old World, and guarantee him a never-ending remembrance. 
At least as early as the time of Moses his name had passed into 
a proverb. He was known as " the mighty hunter before the 
Lord " * — an expression which had probably a double meaning, 
implying at once skill and bravery in the pursuit and destruc- 

• 8yncolIu» gave 225 years to the 
tint Chal(ln>an tlynasty in Uabylonia; 
but it is difficult to say on what basis 
he went. He admitted seven Itings, to 
whom he gave the names of Evechius, 
Chomnslx'his, Porus, Ncchubas, Nabius, 
OnilMilius, and Zinzcriis. These names 
do not much encourage us to view the 
list as historical. Thi-ee of them belong 

to the late Babylonian period. One 
only (Chomasbelus, perhaps Shamas-Bcl) 
has at all the air of a name of this 
early time. 

3 Gen. X. 10. 

* Gen. X. 9 : " He was a mighty hunter 
before the Lord ; wherefore it is sate/, 
Even as Nimrod, the mighty hunter 
before the Lord." 


154 THE FIBST HOKABOHT. i mm \ ill. 

lion of wild b^asti^ and aLK> a genius for war and success in his 
aggreaioDt upon men. In \\i» own nation bo seems to have 
been deified, and to have continu<Hl down to the latest times 
one of the leading objects of worship, under the title of jBi/u- 
N^rm or Bel-Ximrod,* which may bo traiiKlated ** the god of the 
ohaoe,** or '^ the great hunter/* One of his capitals Calneh, 
which was regarded as his 8pecial city, appears afterwards to 
have been known by his name (probably as being the chief seBi 
of his worship in the early times) ; and this name it still retains, 
slightly cornipted. In the modern Niffer we may recognise the 
Talmudical Nopher, and the Assyrian Xipur, which is Xipru, 
with a mere metathesis of the two final letters. The fame of 
Ximrod luis always been rife in tlie comitry of his domination. 
Arab writera record a number of remarkable traditions, in which 
he plays a conspicuous part;' and there is little doubt but that 
it is in honour of his apotheosis that the constellation Orion 
bean in Arabian astronomy the title of El Jalbar, or " the 
gtant."* Even at the present day his name lives in the mouth 
of the people inluibiting Chaldo^a and the adjacent regions, 
whoee memory of ancient heroes is almost confined to three— 
Nimnxl, Solomon, and Alexander. Wherever a mound of ashes 
is to be seen in Babylonia or the adjoining countries, the local 
traditions attach to it the name of Xunrud or Nimrod;* and 
tiie most striking ruins now existing in the Meso|)otamian 
▼allej» whether in its up)»er or its lower |X)rtion, are made in 
this way monuments of his glor)'.* 

Th« Gfttk hnm, >f«/yM sad N*- ^'"f Abraham Into a fleiy fbraast^ 

wrra 10 w aan i Sistnt with . ' TIm Aiabie Jabiw 
*np). TlMMllvafaBlbtlMiglittoU Baftmr i^S, which it the aptthM 

to pi»rmmror'*mm» laSM.** anlM to Mimrod Ui Gmi. x. 9. Tha 
(1^ cha auihor't litf^kttm, vaL 1. a. IdMillSeatlea oT Vlmuvd with Orion ia 
M7.) I M>l«i bjr Ova»k wrilm. (Sea Jaha of 

• Yaaat daehwae thai fi^mnd al- Antloeh. Fr. a : / .m^ Okfm, mL i. 
la heavM aa the ^64: John of MaUU. p. ITsOMlrMiae, 

wi^ af aa rngjiit, m&A aahae lllAir vol. 1. p. :I7 ; ke.) oHoa la a **mlchiy 

(ChlMa) tha leeM aT thie wttrnm, hnuimrr rvrn In lloMar. (Sea (Mna. 

iUM. a99§mfk, la vac Si$9f.) It It x\. 57»ft7&.) 

Mppnnd that wv have heia aa alloaicai • 7«ani. ^ Xttelfe 8m, vol. iv. p. tSO. 

la the hailtfli« af tha laafar oT lleli»L * Tha fiaal lanala of BoialMa ia 

Tha Kama aoataiae a viofjf of Mamia't haowa ai the Uir^Simfii aad Iha 

Chap. VIII. 



Of the immediate successors of Nimrod we have no account 
that even the most lenient criticism can view as historical. It 
appears that his conquest' was followed rapidly by a Semitic 
emigration from the country — an emigration which took a 
northerly direction. The Assyrians withdrew from Babylonia, 
which they still always regarded as their parent land, and, 
occupying the upper or non-alluvial portion of the Mesopotamian 
plain, commenced the building of great cities in the tract upon 
the middle Tigris.^ The Phoenicians removed from the shores 
of the Persian Gulf, and, journeying towards the north-west, 
formed settlements upon the coast of Canaan,^ where they 
became a rich and prosperous people. The family of Abra- 
ham, and probably other Aramaean families, ascended the 
Euphrates,"^ withdrawing from a yoke which was oppressive, or 
at any rate unpleasant. Abundant room was thus made for the 
Cushite immigrants, who rapidly established their preponde- 
rance over the whole of the southern region. As war ceased to 
be the necessary daily occupation of the new comers, civilisa- 
tion and the arts of life began to appear. The reign of the 
'* Hunter " was followed, after no long time, by that of the 
*' Builder." A monumental king, whose name is read doubt- 
fully as Urkham* or Urukh, belongs almost certainly to this 
early dynasty, and may be placed next in succession, though at 
what interval we cannot say, to Nimrod. He is beyond ques- 
tiou the earliest Chaldsean monarch of whom any remains have 
been obtained in the country. Not only are his bricks found 
in a lower position than any others, at the very foundations of 
buildings, but they are of a rude and coarse make, and the 
inscriptions upon them contrast most remarkably, in the sim- 
plicity of the style of writing used and in their general archaic 

simple name Nimmd is given to probably 
the most striking heap of ruins in the 
ancient Assyria, * Gen. x. 11, 12. 

2 Herod, i. 1 ; vii. 89 ; Strab. xvi. 3 § 4 ; 
Justin, xviii. 3, 5^ 2 ; Plin. //. N. iv. 22 ; 
Dionys. Per. 1. 906. « Gen. xi. 31. 

* This conjectural reading of the 
name has led to a further conjecture, 
viz. that in this monumental sovereign 
we have the real original of the "Or- 

chamus " of Ovid, whom he represents 
as the seventh successor of Belus in the 
government of Babylon {Aletaph. iv. 
212-3). But the phonetic value of the 
monograms, in M'hich the names of the 
early Chaidajan kings are written, is so 
wholly uncertain that it seems best to 
abstain from speculations, which may 
have their basis struck from under 
them at any moment. 



Cmap. VIII. 

type, with the d^bonite and ofUn complicated symbols of the 
UUer monarrha.* The style of Urnkh's buildings is also primi- 
tiro and simple in the extreme; hiii' bricks arc of many sizes, 
and ill (ittinl iogtther ; * he belongs to a time when even the 
baking of bricks seems to have been comparatively rare, for 
siMMlaiiMi he employs only the sun-dried material'; ^ and he is 
■Itogetlier onacqaatnted with the use of lime mortar, for which 
his substitute is moist mud, or else bitumen. There can be 
little doubt that ho stands ut the head of the present series of 
moniuuentiil kings, another of whom probably reigned as early 
as B.C. 2286. As he was succeeded by a son, whose reign seems 
to hare been of the average length, wo must place his accession 
at least as early as B.C. 2326. Possibly it may have fallen a 
century earlier. 

It is as a builder of gigantic works that Urukh is chiefly 
known to us. The basement platforms of his temples are of 
an aoormoos siie ; and th<jugh they cannot seriously be com- 
pared with the Egyptian pyramids, yet indicate the employ- 
mmt for many yean of a vast amount of human labour in a 
very nnprodnetive tort of industry. Th<* Bowariyth mound at 
Warka is 200 foet square, and about 100 feet high.* Its cubic 
eoBlenta, as originally boilt, can have been little, if at all, under 
9i000/)00 feet; and above 80,000,000 of bricks must have been 
Qsad in its construction. Constructions of a similar character, 
and not vaiy diffwMut in their dimensions, are proved by the 
bricks eompCMbg tbem to have been raised by the same monarch 
at Ur, Calneb or Ni|»ur,and I<arancha or Larsu, which is perhaps 
Hlhuwr.* It if avklttit, from the iiae and number of these works, 
that their anetor had tha oomoiand of a vast amount of *' naked 
bttOMUi straagtht" and dkl not aoniple to employ that strength 
in oomtffttelicNM hem whiah no matarial beneflt was derivable, 
but wUek wm% probably datignad ebiafly to extend his own 
lama and parpalvate Us glory. We may gather frxim tiiis that 


' As to IW BovftriMh nAn ai WarU 

* Sttim. |»|». 7^, ;«. • Cm. ftlt. I. 

Chap. VIII. 



he was either an oppressor of his people, like some of the 
Pyramid Kings in Egypt,^^ or else a conqueror, who thus 
employed the numerous captives carried off in his expeditions. 
Perhaps the latter is the more probable supposition ; for the 
builders of the great fabrics in Babylonia and Chaldsea do not 
seem to have left behind them any character of oppressiveness, 
such as attaches commonly to those monarchs who have ground 
down their own people by servile labour. 

The great buildings of Urukh appear to have been all designed 
for temples. They are carefully placed with their angles facing 
the cardinal points,^ and are dedicated to the Sun, the Moon, 
to Belus (Bel-Nimrod), or to Beltis. The temple at Mugheir 
was built in honour of the Moon-god, Sin or Hurhi, who was 
the tutelary deity of the city. The Warka temple was dedi- 
cated to Beltis. At Calneh or Nipur, Urukh erected two 
temples, one to Beltis and one to Belus. At Larsa or Ellasar 
the object of his worship was the Sun-god, San or Sansi. He 
would thus seem to have been no special devotee of a single 
god, but to have divided out his favours very fairly among the 
chief personages of the Pantheon. 

It has been observed that both the inscriptions of this king, 
and his architecture, are of a rude and primitive type. Still in 
neither case do we seem to be brought to the earliest dawn of 
civilisation or of art. The writing of Urukh has passed out 
of the first or hieroglyphic stage, and entered the second or 
transition one, when pictures are no longer attempted, but the 
lines or wedges follow roughly the old outline of the objects.^ 
In his architecture, again, though there is much that is rude 
and simple, there is also a good deal which indicates knowledge 
and experience. The use of the buttress is understood; and 
the buttress is varied according to the material.^ The impor- 
tance of sloping the walls of buildings inwards to resist interior 

" Herod, ii. 1 24, 1 28 ; Arist. Pol. vii. 1 1 . 

* Loftus, Clialdma and Susiana, p. 246. 

2 Supra, pp. 63, 64. 

' Compare the slight buttresses, only 
13 inches thick, supporting the Mugheir 
temple, which has a facing of burnt 

brick to the depth of ten feet, with the 
strong ones at Warka (where unburnt 
brick is the material used), which pro- 
ject seven feet and a half from the 
central mass. (Loftus, pp. 128, 129, 
and p. 169.) , 

1 58 THE IIBgT MONARCHY. Chap. VUl. 

m thoitioghly reoognised.* Drains are iDtroduoed to 
carry off moiiUife, which must otherwise have been Tery destroo- 
tire to buildings composed mainly, or entirely, of crude brick. 
It is erident that tlio builders whom the king employs, though 
tbey do not posiefls much genius, have still such a knowledge of 
t^ most important principles of their art as is only obtained 
gndnallj by a good deal of practice. Indeed the rery fact 
of the continued existence of their works at the di^ance of forty 
centuries is safiicient evidence tliat they possessed a considerable 
amount of architectural skill an<l knowledge. 

We are further, perhaps, justified in concluding, from the 
oarefbl emplacement of IJrukh*s temples, that the science of 
Mtnmomy was already cultivated in his reign, and was regarded 
at having a certain connexion with religion. We have seen that 
tlie early worship of the Chaldasans was to a great extent astral ^ 
— a fiwrt which naturally made the heavenly bodies s]- ' ' iocts 
of attention. If the series of observations, which < • oea 

tent to Aristotle, dating from b.c. 2234, was in reality a record, 
and not a mere calculation backwards of the dates at which 
certain celestial phenomena must have taken place, astronomical 
studies must have been pretty well advanced at a period not 
liNig iDbeeqaent to Urukh. 

Nor mttst we omit to notice, if we would estimate aright the 
oooditiou of Chaldaian art under this king, the indications fur- 
niiliad by his aignet-cylinder. 80 far at we can judge from 
the repieaentatioD, which is all that we potseas of this relic, the 
drawing 00 the cylinder was as good and the engraving as well 
eiecntcd as any work of the kind, either of the Assyrian or 
of tbe bier Babylonian period. Apart from the inscription, this 
work of art has nothing about it that is rude or primitive. The 
elabormlion of the dresses and beailgear of the ilgurGe has been 
alraadj notioed.* It ia abo worthy of remark, that the pnn- 
cflpal flgme sits on an ornamental throne or chair, t»f |tarticu- 
Uriy ta»t«ful oonntructiiin, two leg! of which np|H'ar to have 
been modeled after th<Mt of the boll or ox. W<* may conclude, 

UAttMiltS. *fc»ftl«»tv,di.irll.|^||l. • ftifM. pp. lOft Md lOfi. 

Chap. VIII. 



without much danger of mistake, that in the time of the monarch 
who owned this seal, dresses of delicate fabric and elaborate 
pattern, and furniture of a reclierchS and elegant shape, were in 
use among the people over whom he exercised dominion. 

The chief capital city of Urukh appears to have been Ur. 
He calls himself " King of Ur and Kingi-Accad " ; and it is at 
Ur that he raises his principal buildings. Ur, too, has furnished 
the great bulk of his inscriptions. Babylon was not yet a place 
of much importance, though it was probably built by Nimrod. 
The second city of the Empire was Huruk or Erech: other 
places of importance were Larsa (Ellasar?) and Nipur or 

Urukh appears to have been succeeded in the kingdom by a 
son, whose name it is proposed to read as Elgi or Ilgi. Of this 
prince our knowledge is somewhat scanty. Bricks bearing his 
name have been found at Ur (Mugheir) and at Tel Eid, near 
Erech, or Warka ; and his signet-cylinder has been recovered, 
and is now in the British Museum. We learn from inscriptions 
of Nabonidus that he completed some of the buildings at Ur, 
which had been left unfinished by his father ; while his own 
bricks inform us that he built or repaired two of the principal 
temples at Erech. On his signet-cylinder he takes the title 
of " King of Ur." 

After the death of Ugi, Chaldaean history is for a time a blank. 
It would seem, however, that, while the Cushites were establish- 
ing themselves in the alluvial plain towards the mouths of the 
two great rivers, there was growing up a rival power, Turanian, 
or Ario-Turanian,^ in the neighbouring tract at the foot of the 
Zagros mountain-chain. One of the most ancient, perhaps the 

7 At this early period in the world's 
history, the ditFerences between the 
great families of human speech were 
but very partially developed. Language 
was altogether in an agglutinate, rather 
than in an inflected, state. The intricacies 
of Arian — even the lesser intricacies of 
Semitic grammar — had not been in- 
vented. Languages differed one from 
another chiefly in their vocabularies. 
"What we observe with respect to the 
Susianians or Elamites is, that while 

their vocabulary is mainly Turanian, 
it also contains numerous words which 
were continued in the later Arian 
speech. For instance, Naklmnta is be- 
yond a doubt the Anahita of the Persians 
and the Anaitis of the Greeks. Kudur 
is the same word as the Persian chitra, 
" sprung from " (comiwirc Zend chithra^ 
" seed "). Mdhuk is, perhaps, Mahoij, 
which is formed from the two thoroughly 
Arian roots, mt, " mother," and bog [ Old 
Pers. baga, Slavon. bo(j, bogie). "God." 


most ancient, of all the Ajdatic cities, was Susa, the Elamitic 
capital, which formed the centre of a nationality that endured 
from the twenty-third century ac. to the time of Darius 
Hystaspis (b.c. 520), when it sank finally under the Persians.* 
A king of £lam, whose court was held at Bosa, led, in the year 
B.C. 2286 (or a little earlier*), an expedition against the cities 
of ChaldflBa, succeeded in carrying all before him, ravaged the 
ooimtry, took the towns, plundered the temples, and bore off 
into hid own countr}% as the most striking evidence of victory, 
the images of the deities which the Babylonians especially 
ref er epced.** This king's name, wliich was Kudur-Nakhunta, is 
tbonght to be the exact equivalent of one which has a world- 
wide celebrity, to wit, Z<iroaster.* Now, according to Poly- 
histor' (who here certainly repeats Berosus), Zoroaster was tlie 
first of tliose eight Median kings who composed the second 
dynasty in ChaldsMi, and occupied the throne from about b.c. 
^86 to 2052. The Medes are represented by him as ciipturing 
Babylon at tliis time, and imposing themselves as rulers upon 
tlie country. Eight kings reign in the space of 234 (or 224) 
jemn» after which we hear no more of Bledes, the sovereignty 
being (as it would seem) recovered by the natives. The coin- 
qdwjft** of the conquest, the date, the foreign sovereignty, and 
ibe name Zoroaster, tend to identify the Median dyna^^ty of 
with a period of Huhianian supremacy,' which the 

iM 5«UM. /Mar. mL i. |»r«. IC. 17 ; thr Artaa fuMy (Jomrmti </ Ati.,tic 

• • fv, toL «▼. p. It7. •©«••); and 
ih*t tu irM nMalaf la **tli« mwI of 
Ulnar (VmmX" If »> Kmhu^Xw 
4Aiml« woaM Msetly eorf«t|M»d to 
Mmo tiH ' lor /^-/Mlur). Bat |k. 1&9, 

* k^ 8]raoi4L Ckrmoomfk, p 78, a 
MMpaiv Mas. Omttt. liM, Ammt. I &. 

qiUfbU Ma- 

dynuij " M«- 

int tu 

coLU.>Mal,4. 1VliMNiMrarilMlVr> 
•iaa aaplua la twa, vliMi laak plaw 
MM alkar Ikta, was fnkmUy la pan aa 
MtoaarMgMM af tkm Mipriar aalL 
^•lijraMilfBl^cfllMMHillte mpitaH 

MiiCaraMib4aiiMW. Itaavkava 
immmmt^y mmjB,UU (Si»Mf.O. 

arOaM^ b, 


IU«Ua«Mi Umi iW •iNMNor • < 
aaaH» te !• W» mmAt la iW laa«tMa«« 
af llw iMalik ralW iMa la titum vf 

• By aaUlac hk Moaadayai 
dlaa,*^ M tim m prabibly aaly 

ai^ tlMH II mmm fran tlw 

frael «ail af BikylMUa, whUk In hU 
-•«ra dmy had htm Ibr m wmn ■§«• ihf 
-<«l aT M«da4Ptanla pawar. aSuiana 
liad la hU UMa bmi aoni^Haly ab- 
•orlml lato hNala. (Stfaba, «v. S | ;L) 


raoDuments show to have been established in Chaldaea at a date 
not long subsequent to the reigns of Urukh and Ilgi, and to 
have lasted for a considerable period. 

There are five monarchs known to us who may be assigned 
to this dynasty. The first is the Kudur-Nakhunta above named, 
who conquered Babylonia and established his influence there, 
but continued to hold his court at Susa, governing his conquest 
probably by means of a viceroy or tributary king. Next to 
him, at no great interval, may be placed Kudur-Lagamer, the 
Chedor-laomer of Scripture,'^ who held a similar position to 
Kudur-Nakhunta, reigning himself in Elam, while his vassals, 
Amraphel, Ar loch, and Tidal (or Turgal ^)held the governments 
respectively of Shinar (or Upper Babylonia), EUasar (Lower 
Babylonia or Chaldaea), and the Go'im or the nomadic races. 
Possessing thus an authority over the whole of the alluvial 
plain, and being able to collect together a formidable army, 
Kudur-Lagamer resolved on an expedition up the Euphrates, 
with the object of extending his dominion to the Mediterranean 
Sea and to the borders of Egypt. At first his endeavours were 
successful. Together with his confederate kings, he marched as 
far as Palestine, where he was opposed by the native princes, Bera, 
king of Sodom, Birsha, king of Gomorrah, Shinab, king of 
Admah, Shemeber, king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela or 
Zoar.* A great battle was fought between the two confederated 
armies in the vale of Siddim towards the lower end of the 
Dead Sea.^ The invaders were victorious ; and for twelve years, 
Bera and his allies were content to own themselves subjects of 
the Elamitic king, whom they " served " for that period.^ In the 

* Gen. xiv. 1. j was afterwards submerged, when the 

» For the Tidal ("Jy-in) of the j area of the Dead Sea was extended, 

present Hebrew text, the LXX. have Compare the expression (Gen. xiv. 3), 

Thargal (©a/yyaA), which implies a " All these were joined together in the 

reading of SiTin in their copies. vale of Siddim, wAtcA ts the salt sea ; " 

'r..,.,roi «•,... 1,1 1^ „: «•« *• • 1 and see Mr. Ffoulkes's article on Go- 

lurgal would \ye significative m early • t^ e •*! » /?•;/• / nv 

u«\Zir.^i«,„ ^. : *u*i X I.- xM ' MOURAH in Dr. Smiths Biblical Dxo 

Babylonian, meaning " the great chief." 
(See Smith's Biblical Dictionary, ad voc. 
Tidal.) • Gen. xiv. 2. 

^ The scene of the battle seems to 
have been that part of the plain which 

VOL. I. 

tionan/, vol. i. pp. 709, 710. 

• " Twelve years they served Cliedor- 
laomer, and in the thirteenth year they 
rebelled." (Gen. xiv. 4.) 



Cbat. Vllf. 

thlrteoitli year they rebelled : a general rising of the western 
nations seems to have taken place;* and in order to main- 
tain his conquests it was necessary for the conqueror to make a 
fteeh effort Once more the four eastern kings entered Syria, 
an<1, after Yarions soooesses against minor powers, engaged a 
second time in the valley of Sitldim with their old antagonist**, 
whom tlH*y defeated with great slaughter; after which they 
plundered the chief cities belonging to them.'* It was on this 
fMHnmion that IjoI, the nephew of Abraham, was taken prisoner. 
Laden with booty of various kinds, and encumbered with a 
number of captives, male and female,* the conquering army set 
out upon its march home, and had reached the neighbourhood 
of Damascus, when it was attacked and defeated by Abraham, 
who with a small band ventured under cover of night to fiill 
upon the retreating host, which he routed and pursued to some 
distance.* The actual slaughter chi\ scarcely have been great ; 
but the prisoners and the booty taken had to be surrendered ; 
the prestige of victory was lost; and the result appears to have 
l)eon that the Me80ix>t4vnnan monarch relinquished his projects, 
and, oMitenting himj<elf w ith the fame acquirtni by such distant 
expeditions, made no further attempt to carry his empire beyond 
the Eu|>brate«.' 

The other three kings who may be assigned to the Elamitio 
dynasty are a father, son, and grandson, whose names appear 
upon the native monuments of ChaldsM in a {KKiition which is 
thou^dit to imply that they were posterior to the kings Urukh 
and llgi. bat of greater antiquity than any other monarchs who 
have left memoriaU in the country. Their names are read as 
fcfinti-shil-kbakt KudurMul)uk, and Arid-Sin. Of Siuti-shil- 

• Amc 

MM elMMikNi by 

llM llaHltii, Um 
Awmim, mad Um AmaMImu (Q«i. 

ft. SO), W iMiwwlBi with liik asyUir 

II Mmld imreplv Imtv bMO frottmlMi on 
Imc Uwt 

h* bad Ibr •i«wanl • 
MlifvofdMteliy. (0«a.XT. t.) 

* Tbt MMvaiieo !• v«nt 17 of Um 
AiNhoHMd Vtnlom *<tb* $km^i<r of 
MMl of Um kbis* ^^^^ 
rlib him:' U ov«r«tff«is. TlM 

Mebwrw pknM n^HO doM Ml 
»ar» lltaii "tteHMl" or ** ovvrtlirow. 

CuAP. yiii. 



kliak nothing is known beyond the name.* Kudur-Mabuk is 
said in the inscriptions of his son to have " enlarged the do- 
minions of the city of Ur;" and on his own bricks he bears the 
title of Aj)da Martu, which probably means *' Conqueror of the 
West."'* We may presume therefore that he was a warlike 
prince, like Kudur-^akhunta and Kudur-Lagamer ; and that, 
like the latter of these two kings, he made war in the direction 
of Syria, though he may not have carried his arms so far as his 
great predecessor. He and his son both held their court at 
Ur," and, though of foreign origin, maintained the Chaldsean 
religion unchanged, making additions to the ancient temples, 
and worshipping the Chaldfean gods under the old titles. 

The circumstances which brought the Elamitic dynasty to a 
close, and restored the Chaldaean throne to a line of native 
princes, are unrecorded by any historian ; nor have the monu- 
ments hitherto thrown any light upon them. If we may trust 
the numbers of the Armenian Eusebius,^ the dynasty which 
succeeded, ab. B.C. 2052, to the Susianian (or Median), though 
it counted eleven kings, bore rule for the short space of forty- 
eight years only. This would seem to imply either a state of 
great internal disturbance, or a time during which viceroys, 
removable at pleasure and often removed, governed the country 
under some foreign suzerain.^ In either case, the third dynasty 
of Berosus may be said to mark a transition period between the 
time of foreign subjection and that of the recovery by tlie native 
Chiddneans of complete independence. 

To the fourth Berosian dynasty, which held the throne for 458 

* It is not, perhaps, quite certain 
that Sinti-shil-khak was a Chaldnean 
monarch. His name appears only in the 
inscriptions of his son, Kudur-Mahuk, 
wljorc he is not given the title of 

* AfnrtH certainly means either " the 
West" generally, or Syrin in particular, 
which was the most western country 
known to the earlv Babylonians. Apdd 
is perhaps connected with the Hebrew 
root 13{<» which in the Hiphil has the 
sense of '* destroy " or " ravage." 

" The inscriptions of Kudur-Mabuk 
and Arid-Sin have been found only 

atMugheir, the ancient Ur. (See British 
Mus. Series, vol. i. PI. 2, No. iii., and 
Pi. 5, No. xvi.) 

' It is true that the number 48 oc- 
curs only in the margin of the Armenian 
MS. But the inserter of that number 
must have had it before him in some 
copy of Eusebius ; for he could not 
have conjectured it from the number 
of the kings. 

* Compare the rapid succession in the 
seventh dyiuisey, which is given (par- 
tially) in tlieCauon of Ptolemy, more fully 
in the fragments of Berosus and Poly- 


164 Tire FIB8T MONABCHY. Our, YUL 

ymn, from about b.c. 20(M to b.c. 154* J, the monument* enable 
us to aatign some eight or ten monarch^, whom' inscriptions are 
characterised by a general resemblance, and by a character 
intermediate between the extreme rudeness of the more ancient 
and the oomparatiTe elegance and neatness of the Inter legends. 
Of these kings one of the earliest was a certain Ismi-<lagon, 
the date of whose vdgn we are able to fix with a near a[)proach 
to exactness. Sennacherib, in a rock inscription at Bavian, 
relates that m his tenth year (which was B.c. G92) he recovered 
from Babylon certain images of the gods which had been carried 
thither by Merodaeh-iddin^Lkhiy King of Babylon, after his 
defeat of Tig lath-Pi les«?r, King of A88}Tia, 418 years previously. 
And the same Tiglath-Pileser relates, that he rebuilt a temple 
in Assyria, which had been taken down tO years before, after it 
Ium! lasted 641 years from its foundation by Shamas-Vul, son 
of Ismi-dagon.* It results from these numbers, that Ismi-dagon 
was king as early as B.c. 1850, or, probably, a little earlier.**^ 

The monuments furnish little information concerning Ismi- 
dagoo, beyond the evidence which they afford of the extension 
of this king's dominion into the upper part of the Mesopotamian 
▼allay, and especially into the country knomi in later times as 
Avyria. The fact that 8hamas-Vul, the son of Ismi-<lagon, 
built a temple at Kileli-8her<^hat, implies necessarily that tlie 
Childtwns at this time boro sway in the upper region. Shamas- 
Vol appears to have been, not the eldest, but the second son of 
the nionarcb, and most be viewed as ruling over Assyria in 
the oapaetty of viceroy, either for his father or his brother. 
6adi evidenoe as we possess of the condition of Assyria about 
this period seems to show tliat it was weak and insignificant, 
udmiuistered oitlinarily by Buby Ionian satraiM or govemoys^ 
whose office was ooe of no gveat nmk or dignity.' 

• 9m liM MMlMT't it^rmhiitr dnrlag whkh 1^ bQlldlar had hmm ia 

ti.f,4U,mmK , mlM mmI Um 641 durlnff whieh It hud 

U SMUMdwrltirt loih MM to aft maad, aad w hmw ».c ISSI for Um 

«Vt, Tlitotli.Ptl«>r^« 4HbM mmt hmwm • baUSIaf of Om orlicinBi trmplr h^ *'>'^- 
l«Mi \m mjc. 1110. Ill, rMiorailtM of aaf^ViiL Tlw lUir of hi* lailx 
%km iMMiiA* mmm mi«i»lv mHIm. for ll wwl w i •bwtld br •! Inut 3(> 

*«/ ac liso. Add Um SO jrwr* | * Tliiwor fow tobtotoonUb^kmiMi 

Chap. VIII. 



In Chaldsea Ismi-dagon was succeeded by a son, whose name 
is read, somewhat doubtfully, as Gunguna or Gurguna.^ This 
prince is known to us especially as the builder of the great 
public cemeteries w^hich now form the most conspicuous objects 
among the ruins of Mugheir, and the construction of which is 
so remarkable.^ Ismi-dagon and his son must have occupied 
the Chaldaean throne during most of the later half of the nine- 
teenth century before our era — from about B.C. 1850 to B.C. 

Hitherto there has been no great difficulty in determining the 
order of the monumental kings, from the position of their bricks 
in the principal Chaldaean ruins and the general character of 
their inscriptions. But the relative place occupied in the series 
by the later monarchs is rendered very doubtful by their records 
being scattered and unconnected, while their styles of inscrip- 
tion vary but slightly. It is most unfortunate that no writer 
has left us a list corresponding in Babylonian history with that 
which Manetho put on record for Egyptian ; since we are thus 
compelled to arrange our names in an order which rests on little 
more than conjecture.'* 

The monumental king who is thought to have approached 
the nearest to Gurguna is Naram-Sin, of whom a record has been 
discovered at Babylon,^ and who is mentioned in a late inscrip- 
tion^ as the builder, in conjunction with his father, of a temple 
at the city of Agana. His date is probably about B.C. 1750. The 

satraps have been discovered at Kileh- 
Sherghat. The titles assumed are said 
to " belong to the most humble class of 
dignities." (Sir H. Rawlinson, in the 
author 8 Herodotus, vol. i. p. 448, note ''.) 

' For inscriptions of Gurguna, see 
British Museum iSeries, vol. i. pi. 2, No. vi. 
Some doubt has been entertained as to 
whether this prince was the eon or the 
grandson of Ismi-dagon, but on the 
whole the verdict of cuneiform scholars 
has ]>ecn in favour of the interpretation 
of these inscriptions which makes him 
the son. 

' See above, ch. v. pp. 86-90. 

* Berosus gave no doubt the complete 
list ; but his names have not been pre- 
served to U8. The brief Chaldwan list 

in Syncellus (p. 169) probably came 
from him ; but the names seem to have 
belonged to the first or mythical dynasty. 
One might have hoped to obtain some 
help from Ctesias's Assyrian list, as 
it went back at least as far as b.c. 
2182, when Assyria was a mere pro- 
vince of the Chaldaean Empire. But 
it presents every appearance of an ab- 
solute forgery, being comjwsed of Arian, 
Semitic, Egyptian, and Greek appella- 
tions, with a sprinkling of terms bor- 
rowed from geography. 

* Brit, Mus. iSeries, vol. i. pi. 3, No. 7. 

" The fact is reconled by Nabonidus 
— the Labynetus of Herodotus — on the 
famous Mugheir cylinder. (Ih-it. Mus. 
i>crics, vol. i. pi. 69 ; col. 2, 1. 30.) 


of hi* coQii may be conjocture<1 to have been Babylon, 
wbieb IukI by this time risen into metropolitan consequence. It 
ll endflQt that, as time went on, the tendency was to remove the 
Mtl oC goTemment and empire to a greater distance from the 
•ML The early monarchs reign at Ur (3fupheir), and leave no 
tnMMi of themselres further north than Nifler. iSin-Shada holds 
hit eoari at Erech (Warka), twenty-five miles above Magheir; 
vhfle Karam-Sin is connected with the still more northern city 
of Babylon. We shall find a similar tendency in Assyria, as it 
rose into power. In both cti^es we may regard the fact as 
indicative of a gradual spread of empire towards the north, and 
of the advance of civilisation and settled government in that 

A king, who disputes the palm of antiquity with Naram-8in, 
has left various records at Erech or Warka,' which appears to 
have been his capital city. It is proposed to call him 8in-Shada.* 
He oonstmcted, or rather re-built, the upper terrace of the 
Bowariyeh ruin, or great temple, which Urukh raise<l at Warka 
loBeltis; and his bricks are found iu tlie doorway of another 
luge ruin (the Wiuwa$) at the same place ; it is believed, how- 
ever, that in this latter building they are not tit n/u, but have 
been transferre^l from some earlier edifice.* His reign fell pro- 
bably in the latter |)art of the IStli century B.C. 

Several monarch h of the Sin series — i. e, monarchs into whose 
wamea the word Sin, the name of the Mo4^>n-giKl, enters as an 
»w prtf»<nit themselves. The mo8t ini|K>rtaut of them 
calle«l Ziir-8in. This king er«^ted some buildings at 
MaiglMir; but he is best known as the founder of the very 
ettrioos town nboM* ruins bear at the prescMit day the name of 
Abo-Sbalireio. A deacription of the princi|Md buildings at this 
already given. •• They exhibit certain improve- 
00 the arehitt«rture of the earlier times, and appear to 
very richly omamented, at least in parts. At the 

r JMI #««. 'vriM, v«L I. |L a, aa «, (»rUlBlv » asMto WMBt. 
4tolilv ■ <ii • mmmm. II* mH. .. i>i4. 

hkmJt -•» ar auM^**!,- •iiki* sm •tm; p^ 79, aa 

Chap. VIH. 



same time they contain among their debris remarkable proofs 
of the small advance which had as yet been made in some of 
the simplest arts. Flint knives and other implements, stone 
hatchets, chisels, and nails, are abundant in the ruins; and 
though the use of metal is not unknown, it seems to have been 
comparatively rare. When a metal is found, it is either gold or 
bronze, no trace of iron (except in ornaments of the person) 
appearing in any of the Chaldrean remains. Zur-Sin, Rim-Sin,^ 
and three or four other monarchs of the Sin series, whose names 
are imperfect or uncertain, may be assigned to the period included 
between B.C. 1700 and B.C. 1546. 

Another monarch, and the only other monumental name that 
we can assign to Berosus's fourth dynasty, is a certain Nur-Yul, 
who appears by the Chaldiean sale-tablets to have been the 
immediate predecessor of Rim-Sin, the last king of the Sin 
series. Nur-Vul has left no buildings or inscriptions ; and we 
seem to see in the absence of all important monuments at this 
time a period of depression, such as commonly in the history of 
nations precedes and prepares the way for a new dynasty or a 

The remaining monumental kings belong almost certainly to 
the fifth, or Arabian, dynasty of Berosus, to which he assigns 
the period of 245 years — from about B.C. 1546 to. B.C. 1300. 
That the list comprises as many as fifteen names, whereas 
Berosus speaks of nine Arabian kings only, need not surprise us, 
since it is not improbable that Berosus may have omitted kings 
who reigned for less than a year.^ To arrange the fifteen monarchs^ 
in chronological order is, unfortunately, impossible. Only three 
of them have left monuments. The names of the others are 

' Rim-Sin has left a very fine inscrip- 
tion on a small black tablet, found at 
Mugheir. (Brit. Mas. Series, vol. i. 
pi. 3 ; No. 10.) 

' As Ptolemy did in his Canon. 

' Some writers have exaggerated the 
number of the names to twenty-four or 
twenty-five. (See Oppert, Expedition 
scientiijiqiie en Afesopohimie, vol. 1. p. 
276 ; and compare Lenormant, Manuel 
iVHistoire ancienne de I' Orient, vol. ii. 
pp. 25, 32.) But this la by misunder- 

standing a tablet on which nine of them 
occur. M. Lenormant obtains thirteen 
successors to Khammu-rabi (p. 32) b}' 
not seeing that the tablet is bilingual, 
and counting in five translations of 
names which he has already reckoned. 
M. Oppert does not fall into this error, 
but unduly enlarges his royal list by 
counting twelve names from the ob- 
verse of the tablet, which there is no 
ground for regarding as royal names 
at all. 



Chap. VIII. 

IoiiihI on lingniftii* and other tablotn, in a connection Hhich 
imraljT enablat nt to determine anything with respect to tlicir 
i^ative prioritj or posteriority.^ We can, however, definitely 
plaee aeteii names, two at the beginning and fire towards the 
end of the teriett thus learing only eiglit whose position in the 
lift is undatermined. 

The series commences with a great king, napied Khamnui- 
rabi, who was probably the founder of the dynasty, the " Arab " 
chief, who, taking advantage of the weakness and depression of 
CbaldsDa under the later monarchs of the fourth dynasty, by in- 
trigue or conquest established his dominion over the country, and 
left the crown to his descendants. Khammu-rabi is especially 
remarkable as having been the first (so far as appears) of the 
Babylonian monarchs to conceive the notion of carrying out a 
SjTStem of artificial irrigation in his dominions, by means of a 
canal derived from one of the great rivers. The Nahar-KhammU' 
rabi (" River of Khammu-rabi **), whereof he boasts in one of 
his inscriptions,* was no doubt, as he states, "a blessing to 
the Babylonians** — it ** changed desert plains into well-watered 
fields; it spread around fertility and abundance** — it brought a 
district, previously barren, into cultivation, and it set an 
iple, whi(*h the best of the later monarchs followed, ot a 
whereby the productiveness of tlie country might be 
to an almost inconceivable extent, 

Khemmo-fabi was also distinguishinl as a builder. He re- 
pelled the great temple of the Sun at Senkereh/ and oon* 
ettoded for himself a new paUce at Ealwadlia, or Chilmad, not 



(wv Imi mI»X It nklM iMv* hmm Mp- 
wmM MMr la tkrom 

•m, to Ibet, 

I* ««lllfSt SMi KitffHislM. llw mi of 
aim kWhttm, te ytti la iW ilUi wktm 


to M • white 

•r llw UNIirfV. It iMt 

• by M. 

(fntcripHoiu dt 
ro4 dt JUth^mt, Park, 

Km aIm bwa tr«iiilai«d Inr M. Owtfi 
- paM7, in. 

M. l^pnomuiQt awiunrs wlthtMl 


Itt th* Erp^Uiom, vot L 

(i/uNuW, vul. li. pc 31) lli« laruUty of 
llw A«Aa^A'AfnMiMni6« with the Ankr^ 
M^U^ «r KateebMlMiMr. 

* tM BHL Mt. iftrif, vol. L pt 4, 
ll«^ iv.t Iwir. t (iniMbltd Inr 11. (>p- 

v«k iv.t UMr. I (cnwMawa dv m. «»p- 
pwt, Kjrpmim, ml I. p^ SS7): aod 

■iMf* Um ryllMUrr ui NabunkliM. 

ML M, ii€,im, ToL 1. pL 09, out 11. 


far from the modern Baghdad."' His inscriptions have been fonnd 
at Babylon, at Zerghul, and at Tel-Sifr ; and it is thought pro- 
bable that he made Babylon his ordinary place of residence. 
His reign probably covered the space from about B.C. 1546 to 
B.C. 1520, when he left his crown to his son, Samsu-iluna. Of 
this monarch our notices are exceedingly scanty. We know 
him only from the Tel-Sifr clay tablets, several of which are 
dated by the years of his reign. He held the crown probably 
from about B.C. 1520 to B.C. 1500. 

About sixty or seventy years after this we come upon a group 
of names, belonging almost certainly to this same dynasty, which 
possess a peculiar interest, inasmuch as they serve to connect 
the closing period of the First, or Chaldaean, with the opening 
portion of the Second, or Assyrian, Monarchy. A succession of 
five Babylonian monarchs is mentioned on an Assyrian tablet, 
the object of which is to record the synchronous history of the 
two countries.^ These monarchs are contemporary with inde- 
pendent Assyrian princes, and have relations towards them which 
are sometimes peaceful, sometimes warlike. Kara-in-das, the 
first of the five, is on terms of friendship with Asshur-bel-nisi-su, 
king of Assyria, and concludes with him a treaty of alliance. 
This treaty is renewed between his successor, Purna-puriyas, 
and Buzur-Asshur, the successor of Asshur-bel-nisi-su on the 
throne of Assyria. Not long afterwards a third Assyrian monarch, 
Asshur-upallit, obtains the crown, and Purna-puriyas not only 
continues on the old terms of amity with him, but draws the 
ties which unite the two royal families closer by marrying 
Asshur-upallit's daughter. The issue of this marriage is a prince 
named Kara-khar-das, who, on the death of Purna-puriyas, 
ascends the throne of Babylon. But now a revolution occurs. 
A certain Nazi-bugas rises in revolt, puts Kara-khar-das to death, 
and succeeds in making himself king. Hereupon Asshur-upallit 
takes up arms, invades Babylonia, defeats and kills Nazi-bugas, 
and places upon the throne a brother of the murdered Kara- 
khar-das, a younger son of Purna-puriyas, by name Kurri-galzu, 

7 Brit. M. Series, vol i. pi. 4, No. xv. lag. 3. • Ibid. vol. ii. p. 63. 




or DoiThgalBiL These events muy Ix* tissi^Mied with much pru- 
bability to the period between B.C. 1440 unci h.c. 1380.'"' 

Of the (^re consecutive monarehs presented to our notice in 
this interesting document, two are known to us by their own 
ini^riptions. Memorials of Purna-puriyas and Kurri-galzu, very 
similar in their general character, have been found in various 
parti of Chaldo^ Those of Purna-puriyas corae from Senkereh/ 
the ancient Larsa, and consist of bricks, showing that he repaired 
the great temple of the Sun at that city — which was originally 
built by Urukh. Kurri-galzif s memorials comprise bricks from 

Mugheir (Ur) and Akker- 
kuf,* together with liis sig- 
net-seal, which was found 
at Baghdad in the year 
1860.^ It also appears by 
an inscription of Naboni- 
dus* that he repaired a 

g U l iH am \ of Kurri-gmlxu, Kiug of Babylon, temple at the citV of 

Agana, and left an inscri})tion there. 

But the chief fame of Kurri-galzu arises from his having been 
the founder of an important city. The remarkable remains at 
Akkerkuf, of which an ac>count has been given in a former 
chapter,* mark the site of a town of his erection. It is conjec- 
tured witli some reason tliat this place is the Dur-Kurri-galzu of 
Ae later Assyrian inscriptions — a place of so much consequence 
in tlie time of Sargon that he calls it ** the key of the country." 

The ntuuiining monarehs, who are on strong grounds of pro- 

*• Tb* pasltiM of Um kiogs, AMlmr. 
Iwl'«ki'««« BwBir>A«hiir, and AMhur- 
nittttlt, la lb* A»)rrkui Ibc, hM iMra defl- 

ItMflTM iMarl|ici<Ni<if PttdM, In whhth 
hm itolM dMI AMhur^pAim wm hto 
gtnmdlkth^r. W* hmf ihut mom % eoo> 
ilMMNw MMMikMi fhm Ajdwr-MHiUS. 
M 10 TtglftlJli-XUi, Um ea>4<wriMf of 
Ibbykw I mmI M Uib «oaq«Ml b fljud 
to otettl BA laOO, wo mm ommi l«ek 
to A wl m r-bglHito i iOM bjr ■Hworif m 
ooiwgi of iivooif vooft to o folfo. oad 
OffOMlMotolX fl« hit doto •• fruM »«, 

1440 to 1490. 

» Brit. Mw. Srnf$, vol. i. pi. 4. No. 
xHl. > Ibid. ]>l. 4, Na xiv. 

' The inwriplion un the teoi it rrod 
oa ibllowt: — " Kurri-gaUu, king of 

, Moiiof l*uma-i' 

of Bobylon." (St>e Ihit 
vol. i.. TabU> of iuntrnt«, | 
* Ibid. iJ. G9, ctU. ii. 1. l\J 
» 8«* aliove, p. '2\. TK ! 
Kurri'itaUu arr not fouiitl, l>< 
in the gntit ruin, which ii tit< 
Wbly a rartttltitt t^<irk. 


Chap. vni. 


Kings of Chald^a. 



B.C. to B.C. 

Kings. 1 Events. &c. 




Founds the Empire. 


* * * ♦ 

* * * * 


Ilgi (son). 

* * * * 

Builds numerous temples. 





Conquers Chaldsea, B.C. 2286. 



* * * * 

Kudur-Lagamer . . 

* * * * 
Kudur-Mabuk (son) 
Arid-Sin (son). 

* * * * 

/Contemporary with Abra- 
< ham. Makes two expedi- 
( tions into Syria. 

Wars in Syria. 




* * * * 

* * * * 





* * * * 


* * * * 

Gurguna (son) 

* * * * 

* * * * 
Bilat* * at (a queen). 
Sin-Shada (son). 

* * * * 

* * * * 



j Reigns from about b.c. 1850 
\ to 1830. 

(His brother, Shamas-Vul, 
\ rules in Assyria. 

( Reigns from about b.c. 1586 
( to 1566. 

jReigus from about B.C. 1566 
\ to 1546. 






Samsu-iluna (son) 

* * * * 

* * * * 

Kara-in-das . . 


Kara-khar-das (son) 
Kurri-galzu (brother 

/Reigns from about B.C. 1546 
1 to 1520. 

1 Reigns tVom about B.C. 1520 
1 to 1500. 

1 Contemporary with Asshur- 
\ bel-nisi-su, ab. B.C. 1440. 
J Contemporary with Buzur- 
\ Asshur, B.C. 1420-1400. 

(Contemporary with Asshur- 
upallit, B.C. 1400-1380. 

of Kara-kliar-das) 

* * * * 


iChaldoea conquered by 

* * * * \ Tiglathi-Nin. 



ImUlitr, eifmologiciil and other, amgned to this dynasty are 
8aga-raktiyaa,* the founder of a Tetnplc^ of the male and female 
Son at Sippara,^ Amtnidikoga, Simbar-sikhu, Kharbi-sikhu, 
Ulain-piiriyai, Nan-urdas Mili-sikhu, and Kara-kharbi. Nothing 
is known at present of the jiosition which any of tliese monarchs 
hM in tbe dynasty, or of their relationship to Uie kings pre- 
Tuwdy mentioned, or to each other. 3Iost of them are known 
to us simply from their occurrence in a bilingual list of kings, 
together with Khanimu-rabi, Kurri-galzu, and Puma-puriyas. 
The list in que8ti«>n appears not to be chronological.** 

Modern reaearch has thus supplied us with memorials (or at 
any rate with the names) of some thirty kings, who ruled in the 
ooontry proj)erly termed Chaldaea at a very remote date. Their 
antiquity is evidenced by the character of their buildings and 
of tlieir inscriptions, which are unmistakably rude and archaic. 
It is further indicated by the fact that they are the builders of 
certainly the most ancient edifices whereof the country contains 
any trace. The probable connexion of two of them • with the 
only king known previously from good authority to have reigned 
in the conn try during the primitive ages confirms the conclusion 
drawn from the appearance of the remains themselves ; which is 
further strengtliened by the monumental dates lissigned to two'® 
of them, nhich place them respectively in the tvu*nty-third ami 
the uinetiH^nth century before our enu U'hat tlie kings belong 
to one nriea, and (speaking broadly) to one time, is evidenced 
by Ihb fimilarity of the titles which tliey use, by their unin- 
terrupted worship of the same gods, and by the gi»neral rt^sem- 
Ulanoaof the language and mode of writing which tliey employ." 

b by wm ranu4«l i Mabuk, who are cerUlaly to U eon* 

««l. L |k 173, MC* ^ L». 

Mvte/ with Um Chcdor4ao««r (Kndttr- 

r. ML 11. |L J7X Hut IsiTlM.) 

•r tkk MiifMi U Um i »• KHdur .Nakhuou mmI I«nM«coa. 

iT Vtmm SI AfMft, ««ili • %mfk» » ^ir II. lUwIlaiM myt :» • AM ibt 

nT fkB mam tmam si aiffMi. Aamm kinft ^htm mmwmmu arr Umnd Ui 

mi ><M«r« MMlt, IW MH f , fesv* hmn •nrktlt ClMkfaM owl Um i«l»r Uugttlli* 

••«l th» mam fcm of i»rniin(; ^^f 

- . fmH0$f vol. I* pl* SS| «ol« MO 

Uiiyj 'SMokovfbfkliS.Mio*. ilio MM* eltko, ood aillo««4 Um 

* Koter^HsklMMlB. sad Itidiir* %tw 

Um mtm nUclo**. «nhabii«4 

elU«, ood mommi Um «oaio 

tfodltloM. Ttaplfi boill la Uw mtUmI 



That the time to which they belong is anterior to the rise of 
Assyria to greatness appears from the synchronism of the later 
monarchs of the Chaldaean with the earliest of the Assyrian list, 
as well as from the fact that the names borne by the Babylonian 
kings after Assyria became the leading power in the country 
are not only diiferent, but of a different type. If it be objected 
that the number of thirty kings is insufficient for the space over 
which they have in our scheme been spread, we may answer 
that it has never been supposed by any one that the twenty-nine 
or thirty kings, of whom distinct mention has been made in the 
foregoing account, are a complete list of all the Chaldsean sove- 
reigns. On the contrary, it is plain that they are a very incom- 
plete list, like that which Herodotus gives of the kings of Egypt, 
or that which the later Romans possessed of their early monarchs. 
The monuments themselves present indications of several other 
names of kings, belonging evidently to the same series,' which 
are too obscure or too illegible for transliteration. And there 
may, of course, have been many others of whom no traces remain, 
or of whom none have been as yet found. On the other hand, 
it may be observed, that the number of the early Chaldsean 
kings reported by Polyhistor^ is preposterous. If sixty-eight 
consecutive monarchs held the Chaldaean throne between B.C. 
2286 and B.C. 1546, they must have reigned on an average less 
than eleven years apiece. Nay, if forty-nine ruled between 
B.C. 2004 and B.C. 1546, covering a space of little more than four 
centuries and a half — which is what Berosus is made to assert — 
these later monarchs cannot even have reigned so long as ten 
years each, an average which may be pronounced quite impossible 
in a settled monarchy such as the Chaldaean. The probability 
Avould seem to be that Berosus has been misreported, his numbers 
having suffered corruption during their passage through so many 
hands,^ and being in this instance quite untrustworthy. We 

times received the veneration of suc- 
cessive generations, and were repaired 
and adorned by a long series of monarchs, 
even down to the time of the Semitic 
Nabonidus." (Rawlinson's Herodotus^ 
vol. i. Essay vi. p 441.) 

1 See the author's Herodotus, vol. i. 
p. 440. 

^ See the fragments of this writer 
preserved by Eusebius (^Chron. Can. 
pars i. c. 4). 

' The words of Polyhistor are re- 


may coiifectare that the actual number of reigns which he 
intended to allow his fourth d>Tiasty waa nineteen/ or at the 
utmost twenty-nine, the former of which numbers would give 
the common average of twenty-four years, while the latter would 
produce the less usual but still possible one of sixteen years. 

The monarchy, which we have had under review, is one, no 
doubt, rather curious from its. antiquity than illustrious from 
its great names, or admirable for the extent of its dominions. 
Less ancient than the Egyptian, it claims the advantage of 
priority over every empire or kingdom which has grown up upon 
he soil of Asia. The Arian, Turanian, and even the Semitic 
tribes appear to have been in the nomadic condition, when the 
Cnshite settlers in Lower Babylonia betook themselves to agri- 
culture, erected temples, built cities, and established a strong 
and settled government The leaven which was to spread by 
degrees through the Asiatic peoples was first deposited on the 
shores of the Persian Gulf at the mouth of the " Great River ; " * 
and hence civilisjition, science, letters, art, extended themselves 
northward, and eastwanl, and westward. Assyria, Media, S»mi " 
J3abylonia, Persia, as they derived from Chaldaea the chaia 
of their writing,* so were tliey indebted to the same ccmntry for 
their general notions of government and alministration, for their 
architecture, their decorative art, and still more for their science 
and literature. Each people no doubt modifie<l in some measure 
the lioon received, adding more or less of its own to the common 
inheritance. But ChaldaNi stands forth as the great parent and 

portad to at by BoMbliu in • work (hi« 
Chf^mioa) Um orif lad of which U Umt, 
Mid wbleh w« Imt* only la mu AnsMitoa 

ly la aa Annmma 

ytnUm. PblyhUlor hlaMalf dots Ml 

^.-.^ — I .1^. work of Be- 

loribM." (/Wi^ai. Jfitt Or, toL U. 

* Tlw ehMgf of Ae ialo A# b om 

Tory llkthr to ooeor, aad has numoroiM 


II. wMfv of li • XT. IS; Daol. I. 7 ; Joah. I. 4. 

Afixl! .K have B»- * Tho alphabaCa, aa w«ll aa tha 

at f "fh Anllo> ' laafoafan, of thaaa vaHooa rare* diflrr; 

l>«.i ••, aiMi Iha j bol, aa all aaauma tho wadgr a* iha 

ArwMiUn u» lilt «|^ •lUaslt tlaaaot ool of whieh thalr 

adx ■r^*'Wm I mkm AM fcfid. It aaaa 

1 P ' ^ "* *•*• •kat tliay laarvt tha art of wrlUoff 

l» < nm ona aootbar. If ao, Oialdao baa 

n ovorr grooad tha bail elalan to ba 
> >i|aidad aa the laaehar of the oihera. 

Chap. VIII. 



original inventress of Asiatic civilisation, without any rival that 
can reasonably dispute her claims. 

The great men of the Empire are Nimrod, Urukh, and Chedor- 
laomer. Nimrod, the founder, has the testimony of Scripture 
that he was " a mighty one in the earth ;" ^ "a mighty hunter ; " ^ 
the establisher of a " kingdom," when kingdoms had scarcely 
begun to be known ; the builder of four great and famous cities, 
" Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of 
Shinar," ^ or Mesopotamia. To him belongs the merit of selecting 
a site peculiarly fitted for the development of a great power in 
the early ages of the world,'^ and of binding men together into 
a community which events proved to possess within it the ele- 
ments of prosperity and permanence. Whether he had, indeed, 
the rebellious and apostate character which numerous traditions, 
Jewish, Arabian, and Armenian,^ assign to him ; whether he 
was in reality concerned in the building of the tower related in 
the eleventh chapter of the Book of Genesis,^ we have no means 
of positively determining. The language of Scripture with 
regard to Nimrod is laudatory rather than the contrary ; ^ and 
it would seem to have been from a misapprehension of the nexus 
of the Mosaic narrative that the traditions above mentioned 
originated.'* Nimrod, " the mighty hunter he/ore the Lord" had 

' Gen. X. 8. ^ lb. verse 9. 

* lb. verse 10. 

^"^ In later times, when civilisation 
was more advanced, less fruitful tracts 
may, by calling forth men's powers, 
have produced the most puissant races 
(see Herod, ix. ad fin.) ; but in the first 
ages only fertile regions could nurture 
and develop greatness. Elsewhere man's 
life was a struggle for bare existence. 

^ Josephus makes Nimrod the prime 
mover in the building of the tower (^w^ 
Jud. i. 4, § 2). The Targums generally 
take the same view. Some of the Arabic 
traditions have been already mentioned. 
(Supra, p. 15+, note".) The Armenian 
account will be found in Moses of Cho- 
rene, who, identifying Nimrod with 
Belus, proceeds to describe him as the 
chief of the Giants, by whom the tower 
was built, proud and fierce, and of in- 
satiable ambition, engaged in perpetual 

wars with his neighbours, (ffist. Armen. 
i. 6-10.) 2 Qen. xi. 1-9. 

' Nimrod is called " a mighty one in 
the earth," and " a mighty hunter 
before the Lord.^' Many commentators 
have observed that the phrase in italics 
is almost always used in a good sense, 
implying the countenance and favour 
of God, and his blessing on the work 
which is said to have been done " before" 
him, or '* in his sight." 

■* Commentators seem generally to 
have supposed that the building, or 
attempt to build, described in Gen, xi. 
1-9, is the building of Babel ascribed to 
Nimrod in Gen. x. 10. But this cannot 
be so : for in Gen. xi. we are told, " they 
left off to build the city." The truth 
seems" to be that the tenth chapter is 
parenthetical, and the author in ch. xi. 
takes up the narrative from ch. ix., going 
back to a time not long after the Deluge. 

176 THE FIB8T MOSAiu tiV. Chap. VIII. 

not in the daji oC MO068 that ill reputation which attached to 
liini in later ajres, whon he was regarded as the great Titan or 
Oiant, who made war upon the gods, and who was at once the 
builder of the tower, and the persecutor who forced Abraham to 
quit his oripnal coufitr>% It is at least doubtful whether we 
ought to allow any weight at all to the additions and embellish- 
nents with which later writers, so much wiser than Moses, have 
orerlaad the simplicity of his narrative. 

Umkh, whose fame may possibly have reached the Romans,^ 
was the great Chaldajan architect. To him belongs, apimreutly, 
the conception of the Babylonian temple, with its rectangular 
base, carefully placed so as to present its angles to the four 
Oiidinal points, its receding stages, its buttresses, its drains, its 
sloped walls, its external staircases for ascent, and its ornamental 
shrine crowning the whole. At any rate, if he was not the first 
to conceive and erect such structures, he set the example of 
building them on such a scale and with such soh'dityas to secure 
their long oontinuance. and render them well nigh imperishable. 
There is no appearance in all Chaldca, so far as it has been 
explored, of any building which can be even probably assigntKl 
to a date anterior to Umkh. The attcmptecl tower was no doubt 
earlier; and it ma^ have been a building of the same type;* 
but there is no roaaon to believe that any remnant, or indeed 
any trare, of this primitive ediBce, has continued to exist to our 
day. Hie stnictarBe of the most arehaic character throughout 
ClMkk» are. one and all, the work of King Urukh ; who was 
not content to adorn his metrofMilitan city only with one of the 
new ediflcea, bnt a<lded a simihir ornament to each of the great 
cttiei %rithin hk empire.^ 

The great builder was followed shortly by the great eonquerw. 
Kudnr-I^agamar, the Elauitio prinoe, who, more than twenty 
(M'liturios before oar em, having extendnl his dominion over 
iWiby Ionia and the adjoining regions, marehiHl an army a dis- 

r orrUwii. uT c»%^l. llnM** In Smilh't hi^liomry of Ot 
MiK^eM Huh ihr »om1 Itihlt^ xvL I. lip. 1MU160. 


tance of 1200 miles ^ from the shores of the Persian Gulf to the 
Dead Sea, and held Palestine and Syria in subjection for twelve 
years, thus effecting conquests which were not again made from 
the same quarter till the time of Nebuchadnezzar, fifteen or 
sixteen hundred years afterwards, has a good claim to be re- 
garded as one of the most remarkable personages in the world's 
history — being, as he is, the forerunner and prototype of all 
those great Oriental conquerors who from time to time have 
built up vast empires in Asia out of heterogeneous materials, 
which have in a longer or a shorter space successively crumbled 
to decay. At a time when the kings of Egypt had never ventured 
beyond their borders, unless it were for a foray in Ethiopia,® 
and when in Asia no monarch had held dominion over more than 
a few petty tribes, and a few hundred miles of territory, he con- 
ceived the magnificent notion of binding into one the manifold 
nations inhabiting the vast tract which lies between the Zagros 
mountain-range and the Mediterranean. Lord by inheritance 
(as we may presume) of Elam and Chaldaea or Babylonia, he was 
not content with these ample tracts, but, coveting more, pro- 
ceeded boldly on a career of conquest up the Euphrates valley, 
and through Syria, into Palestine. Successful here, he governed 
for twelve years dominions extending near a thousand miles 
from east to west, and from north to south probably not much 
short of five hundred. It is true that he was not able to hold 
this large extent of territory ; but the attempt and the success 
temporarily attending it are memorable circumstances, and were 
probably long held in remembrance through Western Asia, where 
they served as a stimulus and incentive to the ambition of later 

These, then, are the great men of the Chalda3an empire. Its 
extent, as we have seen, varied greatly at diiferent periods. 
Under the kings of the first dynasty — to which Urukli and Ilgi 
belonged — it was probably confined to the alluvium, which seems 

** The march would necessarily be I . is not more than 800 miles ; but the 

along the Euphrates to the latitude r desert cannot be crossed by an army, 

(nearly) of Alcpix), and then down I " See the " Historical Essay " of Sir 

Syria to the Dead Sea. This is 1200 | G. Wilkinson, in the author's y/e/0(/o<MS, 

miles. The direct distance by the desert ; vol. ii. pp. 341-351. 

VOL. I. N 


tlien to hare been not mom than 300 miles in length along the 
comveof the rireis,** and which is about 70 or 80 miles in breadth 
the Tigris to the Arabian desert In the course of the 
dynasty it rec«*ived a vft«t increase, being carried in one 
direetiDn to the Elamitic mountains^ and in another to the Medi- 
terranean, by the conquests of Kudur-Nakhunta and Chedor- 
Isomer. On the defeat of the latter prince it again contracted, 
though to what extent we have no means qf determining. It is 
probeble that Elam or Susiana, and not unlikely that the 
Euphrates valley, for a considerable distance above Hit, formed 
parts of the Chaldtean Empire after the loss of Syria and Pales- 
tine. At83rria occupied a similar position, at any rate from the 
time of Ismi-dagon, whose son built a temple at Kileh-Sherghat 
or Aashur. There is reason to think that the subjection of 
Asyria continued to the very end of the dynasty, and that 
this region, whose capital was at Kileh-Sherghat, was adminis- 
tered by yiceroys deriving their authority from the Chaldasan 
mooarclis.* Tliese monurchs, as has been already observed,* 
g^radually remove their capital more and more northwards ; by 
which it would appear as if their empire t<*nded to progress io 
that direction. 

The different d>*]iasties which ruled in Chaldn^a prior to tlie 
ettablinhmcnt of Assyrian influence, wheth(»r Chuldncnn, Susia- 
nian, or Arabian, se<*m to have been of kindred race; and, 
whetlier they establishe<l thomaelvee by conquest, or in a more 
peaceful maniiar, to have made little, if any, change in the hin- 
guage, religion, or oottoms of the Empire. The 8o-<«alled Arab 
kings, if they are really (as we have rtup|H>sed), Khammu-rabi 
and hit sncoeesori, show themselves by their names and their 
inM!ripttons to be as thoroughly proto^'haldtean as Urukh or 
llgi« liut with tht* conuiionoemeDt of the Asnyrian i^eriod the 
OMe is altered From the timoof Tiglathi-Nin (about b.o. ISOO), 
the Aasyriaa eooqiisror who efleeted the subjugation of Babylon, 
a strong SemitUBg infloence made itself felt in the lower 
oottntrj — the monarelis oeaae to have Turanian or Cushite and 

iffk4. • Siiprm ^ IS4, Mit '. ' I 

Chap. VIII. 



bear instead thoroughly Assyrian names; inscriptions, when 
they occur, are in the Assyrian language and character. The 
entire people seems by degrees to have been Assyrianised, or at 
any rate Semitised — assimilated, that is, to the stock of nations 
to which the Jews, the northern Arabs, the Aramaeans or 
Syrians, the Phoenicians, and the Assyrians belong. Their lan- 
guage fell into disuse, and grew to be a learned tongue, studied 
by the priests and the literati ; their Cushite character was lost, 
and they became, as a people, scarcely distinguishable from the 
Assyrians.^ After six centuries and a half of submission and 
insignificance, the Chaldseans, however, began to revive and re- 
cover themselves — they renewed the struggle for national inde- 
pendence, and in the year B.C. 625 succeeded in establishing a 
second kingdom, which will be treated of in a later volume, as 
the fourth or Babylonian Monarchy. Even when this monarchy 
met its death at the hands of Cyrus the Great, the nationality 
of the Chaldseans was not swept away. We find them recognised 
under the Persians,'* and even under the Parthians,* as a distinct 
people. When at last they cease to have a separate national 
existence, their name remains ; and it is in memory of the suc- 
cessful cultivation of their favourite science by the people of 
Nimrod from his time to that of Alexander, that the professors 
of astronomical and astrological learning under the Roman 
Emperors receive, from the poets and historians of the time, the 
appellation of " Chaldseans." ^ 

^ Hence Herodotus always regards 
the Babylonians as Assyrians, and Baby- 
lonia as a district of Assyria. (See i. 
10«, 178, 188, 192, &c.; iii. 92 and 
155.) * Herod, vii. 63. 

« Strab. xvi. 1, § 6; Plin. //. N. vi.' 

« Juv. Sat. vi. 552; x. 94; Tacit. 
Ann. ii. 27 ; iii. 22 ; vi. 20, &c. ; Sueton. 
Vit. VitelL 14; Vit. Uomit. 14. 

N 2 




** Tftrmufbi ii 'Affwpiii x^P^ "Hi ^vvifiu ttjj iiAXiif 'Acriijr."— Herod. i. 192. 

The site of the second — or great Assyrian — moimrcliy was tlie 
npper portion of the Mesopotamian valley. The cities which 
rnioceniTely formed its capitals lay, all of them, upon the middle 
Tigris; and the heart of the country was a district on either 
side that river,' enclosed within the thirty-fifth and thirty-seventh 
parallels. By degrees these limits were enlarged ; and the 
tenD» Assyria, came to be used, in a loose and vague way, of 
a vast and ill-defined tract extending on all sides from this 
central region. Herodotus ' considered the whole of Babylonia 
to be a mere district of Assyria. Pliny' reckoned to it all 
Maiopotamia. 8trabo' gave it, besides these regions, a great 
poitioD of Meant Zagros (the modern Kurdistan) and all Syria 
%M far as Cilieia, Judiua, and PhoDuicia. 

If, leaTiog the conventional, which is thus vague and un- 

IM, IM; Hi. 9S. *A«^ ttBd OdMhamJ, Md Omumh*. and Adi«. 
...) .^. »^^.w^t 'h€0^%%, \ b mrf and Um Mwopmamian tuukms 
I Abottt th« GordfaMm, and Um M7fdo> 

M>«t '' TW AanrriAM ad- , of tlie Kui>linitc«, ami • Krmt iwrt oft 

by thto rouniry brvoitd lh« Ku|>hniii« (which It 
■MM tlMjr mH Bi^loata, tad a vmc In iinwiUw of \\\« AmbsV and Um 
UMl oT Uw M 


cl«dli« AUiffte (vtOc* mmitAm mUmff^ 
Md AHMm 

frlOc* MmOM IIImvvIi) 

Midllw BVIMHUM, mm! 

Hftta vmum mmr lltMVib--Pul ii W Ml , 

SMMTwUcd hy way uf dittinclioa 
. MMbliic tu CilioU. and Pbi*- 
Md JodiM, sad to tlw MA ovor 

tho MS of B^M MMl tbo fOlf of 

Chap. I. 



satisfactory, we seek to find certain natural limits whicli we may- 
regard as the proper boundaries of the country, in two direction^ 
we seem to perceive an almost unmistakable line of demarca- 
tion. On the east the high mountain-chain of Zagros, pene- 
trable only in one or two places, forms a barrier of the most 
marked character, and is beyond a doubt the natural limit for 
which we are looking. On the south a less striking, but not 
less clearly defined, line — formed by the abutment of the upper 
and slightly elevated plain on the alluvium of the lower valley* 
— separates Assyria from Babylonia, which is best regarded as 
a distinct country. In the two remaining directions, there is 
more doubt as to the most proper limit. Northwards, we may 
either view Mount Masius as the natural boundary, or the course 
of the Tigris from Diarbekr to Til, or even perhaps the Armenian 
mountain-chain north of this portion of the Tigris, from wheiice 
that river receives its early tributaries.^ Westward, we might 
confine Assyria to the country watered by the affluents of the 
Tigris,® or extend it so as to include the Khabour and its 
tributaries, or finally venture to carry it across the whole of 
Mesopotamia, and make it be bounded by the Euphrates. On 
the whole it is thought that in both the doubtful cases the 
wider limits are historically the truer ones. Assyrian remains 
cover the entire country between the Tigris and the Khabour, 
and are frequent on both banks of the latter stream, giving un- 
mistakable indications of a long occupation of that region 
by the great Mesopotamian people. The inscriptions show that 
even a wider tract was in process of time absorbed by the con- 
querors; and if we are to draw a line between the country 
actually taken into Assyria, and that which was merely con- 
quered and held in subjection, we can select no better boundary 
than the Euphrates westward, and northward the snowy moun- 
tain-chain known to the ancients as Mons Nipbates. 

If Assyria be allowed the extent which is here assigned to 

* Supra, p. 3. ^ Supra, p. 9. 

" This is the division adopted in the 
geographical essay, contained in vol. i. 
of the author's Herodotus (p. 569). It 

was thought most suitable to a general 
review of the geography of Western 
Asia; but is less adapted to a special 
account of the empire of the Assyrians. 


her, ftbe will be a country, not only Tery much larger than 
Cbaldtta or Babylonia, but, positiTely, of considerable dimensions. 
Iteacbing on tlie north to Uie thirty-eighth and on the south to 
the thirty-fourth ijarallel, she had a length diagonally from 
Diarbekr to the alluvium of 350 miles, and a breadth between 
Ibe Eapbimtes and Mount Zagros varying from about 300 to 
170 miles. Her area was probably not less than 75,000 square 
mikfl^ which is more than double that of Portugal, and not 
much below that of Great Britain. She would thus from her 
mere sise be calculated to play an important part in history ; 
and the more so, as during the period of her greatness scarcely 
any nation, with which she came in contact, possessed nearly 
•0 extensive a territory. 

Within the limits here assigned to Assyria, the face of the 
ooantry i» tolerably varied. Possessing, on the whole, perhaps, 
a predominant character of flatness, the territory still includes 
tome important ranges of hills, while on two sides it abuts ujHjn 
lofty mountain-chains. Towards the north and east it is pro- 
Tidttd by nature with an ample supply of water ; rills everywhere 
flowing from the Armenian and Kurdish ranges, which soon 
collect into rapid and abundant rivers. The central, southern, 
and western regions are, however, leas bountifully supplied ; for 
though the Euphrates washes the whole western and south- 
woitem frontier, it spreads fertility only along its banks ; and 
though Mount Maaios sends down upon the Mesopotamian plain 
a considerable number of streams, they form in the space of 200 
milat between Balis and Mosul but two rivers, leaving thus 
large tr^ts to laoguislj for want of the prtH!i(nis fluid. The 
Tiotiiitj of the Arabian and Syrian deserts is likewise felt in 
these ragioDS^ which, kft to themselTeB, tend to acquire the 
desert character, and have oooasionally been regarded as actual 
parts oTAiabia.* 

The chief natural dirision of the country is that made by the 
Tigris, which, having a course nearly from north to south, 
between Til and Samarah, separates Assyria into a western and 

Jimk L S. 1 1 1 film, B, N. v. 14 ; Smk x«i i, { tS, 



an eastern district. Of these two, the eastern or that upon the 
left bank of the Tigris, although considerably the smaller, has 
always been the more important region. Comparatively narrow 
at first, it broadens as the course of the river is descended, till it 
attains about the thirty-fifth parallel a width of 130 or 140 
miles. It consists chiefly of a series of rich and productive 
plains, lying along the courses of the various tributaries which 
flow from Mount Zagros into the Tigris, and often of a semi- 
alluvial character. These plains are not, however, continuous. 
Detached ranges of hills, with a general direction parallel to the 
Zagros chain, intersect the flat rich country, separating the 
plains from one another, and supplying small streams® and 
brooks in addition to the various rivers, which, rising within or 
beyond the great mountain barrier, traverse the plains on their 
way to the Tigris. The hills themselves— known now as the 
Jebel Maklub, the Ain-es-sufra, the Karachok, &c. — are for the 
most part bare and sterile. In form they are hogbacked, and 
viewed from a distance have a smooth and even outline ; but on 
a nearer approach they are found to be rocky and rugged. 
Their limestone sides are furrowed by innumerable ravines, and 
have a dry and parched appearance, being even in spring 
generally naked and without vegetation. The sterility is most 
marked on the western flank, which faces the hot rays of the 
afternoon sun; the eastern slope is occasionally robed with a 
scanty covering of dwarf oak or stunted brushwood.^ In the 
fat soil of the plains the rivers commonly run deep and concealed 
from view,^ unless in the spring and the early summer, when 
through the rains and the melting of the snows in the mountains 
they are greatly swollen, and run bank full, or even overflow 
the level country. 

The most important of these rivers are the following : — the 

* The most important of these is the 
Khosr, or river of Koyunjik, which, 
rising from the Ain Sifni hills beyond 
the Jebel ]\Jaklub, forces its way through 
that range, and after washing Khor- 
sabad, and crossing the great plain, 
winds round the eastern base of the 
mound at Koyunjik, and then runs on 

to the Tigris. It is a narrow and sluggish 
stream, but deep, and only fordable about 
Koyunjik in a few places. (See Layard's 
Aineveh and Babylon, p. 77 ; and com- 
pare the view of the ruins of Nineveh, 
infra, p. 255.) 

» Layard, p. 222. » Ibid. p. 223. 

1 84 THE 8BC0XD MONARCHY. Cmap. I 

'Komibor EaJitcni Khabour, which joins the TigriB in Ut. 37^ 12^; 
the GiCAter Zab (Zab Ala), which washes the ruins of Niinnid, 
esters the main stream almost exactly iu lat. 30°; the 
Zab (Ziib Asfal), which effects its junction about kt 
35® 15'; tlie Adhem, which is received a little below Samarah, 
about lat 34^ ; and the Diyaleh, which now joins below 
|?ag;hdad. but from which branches have sometimes entered the 
Tigris a very little below the mouth of the Adhem. Of these 
•troaiDS tlie most northern, the Khabour, runs chiefly in an un- 
tniTefsed country — the district between Julamerik and the 
Tigria. It rises a little west of Julamerik in one of the highest 
mooDtain districts of Kurdistan, and runs with a general south- 
westerly course to its junction with another large branch, which 
reaches it from the district immediately west of Amadiyeh ; it 
then flows due west, or a little north of west, to Zukko, and, 
bending to the north after passiu<,^ that place, flows once more 
in a south-westerly direction until it reaches the Tigris. The 
direct distance from its source to its embouchure is about 
80 miles ; but that distance is more than doubled by its windings. 
It it a stream of considerable size, broad and rapid, at many 
seasons not ibrdable at all and always forded with difliculty.' 

Tlie Greater Zab is the most important of all the tributaries 
of the Tigris. It rises near Kouia, in the district of Karaso, 
about lat 38* 20,' long. 44"" 30*, a little west of the watershed 
which divides the basins of Lakes Van and Urumiyeh. Its 
general ooorse for the Hrst 150 miles is S.8;W., after which for 
25 or 80 miles it runs almost due south through the country of 
the TiynrL Near Amadiyeh it makes a sudden turn, and flows 
&E. or 8.8.E. to iu junction with the Itowamliz branch;* 
wheooe, finally, it resomoM its old direction, and runs south-west 
fiast the Nimrud mins into tlio Tigris. Its entire counie, 
exeliMiTe of small windings, is above 350 miles, and of those 
nearly 100 ars across the plain country, whioh it enten soon 

* Mr t ««•»<! «..f.U.l ().r Kl 
•m •!«%• Urn !».««•' MLkm, (JTImmA 


after receiving the Kowandiz stream. Like the Khabour, it is 
fordable at certain places and during the summer season ; but 
even then the water reaches above the bellies of horses."* It is 
20 yards wide a little above its junction with the main stream.^ 
On account of its strength and rapidity the Arabs sometimes call 
it the " Mad River." " 

The Lesser Zab has its principal source near LegwinJ about 
twenty miles south of Lake Urumiyeh, in lat. 36° 40', long. 
46° 25'. This source is to the east of the great Zagros chain ; 
and it might have been supposed that the waters would neces- 
sarily flow northward or eastward, towards Lake Urumiyeh, or 
towards the Caspian. But the Legwin river, called even at its 
source the Zei or Zab, flows from the first westward, as if deter- 
mined to pierce the mountain barrier. Failing, however, to find 
an opening where it meets tlie range, the Little Zab turns south 
and even south-east along its base, till about 25 or 80 miles 
from its source it suddenly resumes its original direction, enters 
the mountains in lat. 36° 20', and forces its way through the 
numerous parallel ranges, flowing generally to the S.S.W., till it 
debouches upon the plain near Arbela, after which it runs S.W. 
and S.W. by S. to the Tigris. Its course among the mountains 
is from 80 to 90 miles, exclusive of small windings ; and it runs 
more than 100 miles through the plain. Its ordinary width, just 
above its confluence with the Tigris, is 25 feet.® 

The Diyaleh, which lies mostly within the limits that have 
been here assigned to Assyria, is formed by the confluence of 
two principal streams, known respectively as the Holwan, and 
the Shirwan, river. Of these, the Shirwan seems to be the main 
branch. This stream rises from the most eastern and highest of 
the Zagros ranges, in lat. 34° 45', long. 47° 40' nearly. It flows 
at first west, and then north-west, parallel to the chain, but on 
entering the plain of Shahrizur, where tributaries join it from 
the north-east and the north-west, the Shirwan changes its 

Layard, p. 169. 1 by Sir H. Rawlinson, who was the first 

* Chesney, Euphrates Expedition, vol. 
i. p. 24. « Ibid. p. 22, note \ 

' See the account of its source given 

European to explore this region, in the 
Journal of the Geographical ISociety, vol. 
X. p. 31. " Ciiesney, vol. i. p. 25. 


and bcgiui to run suutli of west, a direction which it 
till it enten the low country, about lat. 35° 5', near 
Semiiam. Thence to the Ti^jia it has a course which in direct 
distance i$ 150 miles, and 200 if wo include only nmin wiudiugs.* 
The whole ooutm cannot be less than 380 mile^, which is about 
the length of the Great Zab river. The width attained, before 
the oonihieiice with the Tigris, is GO yards,^ or three times the 
widtli of tlie Greater, and seven times that of the Lesser Zab. 

On the opposite side of the Tigris, the traveller comes upon 
a legion iar le« favoureil by nature than that of which we have 
been lately speaking. Western Assyria has but a scanty supply 
of water ; and unless the labour of man is skilfully applied to 
oompenaate this natural deticiency, the greater part of the 
region tends to be^ for ten montlis out of the twelve, a desert. 
The general character of the country is level, but not alluvial. 
A line of mountains, rocky and precipitous, but of no great 
eleTation, stretches across the noiihern part of the region, 
running nearly due east and west, and extending from the 
Euphrates at Bum-kaleh to Til and Chelek u]X)n the Tigris. 
Below tills, a vast slightly undulating plain extends from the 
northern mountains to the Babylonian alluvium, only inter- 
niplad about midway by a range of low limestone hills called 
the 8injar, which leaving the Tigris near Mosul runs nearly 
from east to west across central Mesopotamia, and strikes the 
Enphiates half-way between Bakkeh and KeriLesiyeh, nearly in 

Tha northern mountain region, called by Strabo "Mons 
Manos^* and by the Arabs the Karajah Dagh towards the west, 
and townids the east the Jebel Tur, is on tbe whole a tolerably 
fortila ooontfj.* It contains a good deal of looky Und ; but 

HMvlir. (att kb r«yM» m AniU, 

Caoa-aS4.) Wmm tuM ML Min 
m hmm kladljr pbwq M mj ilbpiwl 
by Mr. A. I>. BnrlsftoM, wlw ha* tim- 
tmmmI it. Utt tb» I — •f l fertUiijr of 
thtng^am^mmmn Tfktbakt^ DmeHftmm 

• iw Um m^ Htnliil to Mr B. 

n««UMMi*» UamUt m tkm Atmffmtmlm 

* TMi fiilia kit ktm !««««« I« 

t«Hi •»• to S^ to lUt «r Uw viOM ftvLLfta. 

Chap. I. 



has abundant springs, and in many parts is well wooded. To- 
wards the west it is rather hilly than mountainous ;^ but towards 
the east it rises considerably, and the cone above Mardin is 
both lofty and striking.'' The waters flowing from the range 
consist, on the north, of a small number of brooks, which after 
a short course fall into the Tigris ; on the south, of more 
numerous and more copious streams, which gradually unite, and 
eventually form two rather important rivers. These rivers are 

The Khabour, from near Arban, looking north (after Layard). 

the Belik, known anciently as the Bilecha,^ and the Western 
Khabour, called Habor in Scripture, and by the classical writers 
Aborrhas or Chaboras.^ 

The Belik rises among the hills east of Orfa, about long. 39°, 
lat. 37° 10'. Its course is at first somewhat east of south ; but 

' Niebuhr, Voyage en Arable , pp. 
328-334 ; Pocock, JDescription of the 
East, vol. ii. pp. 158-163 ; Chesney, 
Euphrates Expedition, vol. i. p. 107. 

* Niebuhr, p. 317; Layard, Nineveh 
and Babylon, p. 51. * Isid. Char. p. 3. 

« Aborrhas by Strabo (xvi. i. § 27) 
and Procopius {Dell. I'ers. ii. 5) ; Cha- 
boras (Xa&(apas) by Pliny (xxx. 3), and 
Ptolemy (v. 18). Other forms of the 
word are Aburas (*A/3oi;pos, Isid. Char, 
p. 5), and Abora ('A)8«pa, Zosira. iii, 12). 


H 800D sweeps round, and, passing by the city of Harran — the 
Hanm of Scripture and the classical Carrha?' — proceeds nearly 
due Houth to its junction, a few miles below Kakkah, with the 
Kuphrat^Mi. It is a small stream throughout its whole course,* 
which may be reckoned at 100 or 120 miles. 

The Khabour is a much more considerable river. It collects 
tlie waters which flow southward from at least two-thirds of the 
Metis Masius,* and has, besides, an important source, which the 
Arabs regard as the true "head of the spring,"' derived appa- 
rently from a spur of the Sinjar range. This stream, which rises 
alwut lat 36^ 40', long. 40°, flows a little south of east to its 
junction near Koukab with the Jerujer or river of Nisibis, w hich 
comes down from 3Ions 3Iasius with a course not much west 
of south. Both of these branches are formed by the union of a 
number of streams. Neither of them is fordable for some dis- 
tance above their junction ; and below it, they constitute a river 
of such magnitude as to be navigable for a considerable distance 
by steamers.* The course of the Khabour below Koukab is 
tortuous;* but its general direction is S. S.W. The entire 
length of the stream is certainly not less tluin 200 miles. 

The count r}' between the "Mons Masius" and the Sinjar 
range is an undulating plain, from GO to 70 miles in width, 
almost as devoid of geographical features as the alluvium of 
Babylonia. From a height the whole ap|)ears to be a dead 
level:* but the traveller finds, on descending, that the surface, 
like that of the American prairies and the Roman Campagna, 
really rises and falls in a manner which ofl'ers a decided con- 
trast to the alluvial flats nearer the sea. (Jreat portions of the 
traot are Tery deficient in water. Only small streams descend 
from the Sinjar nuigf, and these are soon absorbetl by the 
thirsty soil ; so that except in the immediaU* vicinity of the 
hilb north and wiUth, and ahmg the courses of the Khabour, 
the liclik, and their affiueutu, there is little uatuml fertility, 

' nim.Ii.N.t.§4\ IN9€h«.«ttirlL j Ot Tm ThmuMd, ^ 19, note * . 
&(lMrBU>vl. I.| ! > JKot W i«M. (Ntobuhr. |k 316; 

• Omjr, HmfknUm Mt^ t Hi k n , wi |k ans ; AliMworth. |i. 7a.) 
^ 1^ f** » — ' AUwworib, L».c. 

Chap. I. 



and cultivation is difficult. The soil too is often gypsiferous ; 
and its salt and nitrous exudations destroy vegetation;^ while 
at the same time the streams and springs are from the same 
cause for the most part brackish and unpalatable.^ Volcanic 
action probably did not cease in the region very much, if at all, 
before the historical period. Fragments of basalt in many 
places strew the plain ; and near the confluence of the two 
chief branches of the Khabour, not only are old craters of 
volcanoes distinctly visible, but a cone still rises from the centre 

Koukab (after Layard). 

of one, precisely like the cones in the craters of Etna and 
Vesuvius, composed entirely of loose lava, scoriae, and ashes, 
and rising to the height of 300 feet. The name of this re- 
markable hill, which is Koukab, is even thought to imply, that 
the volcano may have been active within the time to which the 
traditions of the country extend."^ 

Sheets of water are so rare in this region that the small lake 
of Khatouniyeh seems to deserve especial description. This 

5 Layard, p. 324. « Ibid. pp. 242, 325. 

Ibid. p. 308. Koukab is said to signify " a jet of fire or flame. 



Our. r. 

lake is sitiuiiGd near the point where the Hinjar changes its 
character, and from a high rocky range suhsides into low 
hroken hills. It is of oblong shape, with its greater axis point- 

ing DMrly dna etst and west, in length nliout i.... i.. 
in ita greatMi braadth iomawhat lets than thrci.* Ti 

• 9m Mr. UyMTl 
•r kit ,\*m0mk md ^ 

I •< IW «id iM «UM wort, p. 314. wi 
i JMflM. Nr • f»- l>yMt #N >lf«6«r, p. 316. 

woHi, p. aS4. wlU) C Nicbuhr's 

Chap, I. 



are low and in part marshy, more especially on tlie side towards 
the Khabour, which is not more than ten miles distant.^ In 
the middle of the lake is a hilly peninsula, joined to the main- 
land by a narrow causeway, and beyond it a small island 
covered with trees. The lake abounds with fish and waterfowl ; 
and its water, though brackish, is regarded as remarkably whole- 
some both for man and beast. 

The Sinjar range, which divides Western xissyria into two 
plains, a northern and a southern, is a solitary limestone ridge, 
rising up abruptly from the flat country, which it commands 
to a vast distance on both sides. The limestone, of which it is 
composed, is white, soft, and fossiliferous ; it detaches itself in 
enormous flakes from the mountain-sides, which are sometimes 
broken into a succession of gigantic steps, while occasionally 
they present the columnar appearance of basalt.^ The flanks 
of the Sinjar are seamed with innumerable ravines, and from 
these small brooks issue, which are soon dispersed by irrigation, 
or absorbed in the thirsty plains.^ The sides of the mountain 
are capable of being cultivated by means of terraces, and pro- 
duce fair crops of corn and excellent fruit ; the top is often 
wooded with fruit-trees or forest-trees.^ Geographically, the 
Sinjar may be regarded as the continuation of that range of 
hills which shuts in the Tigris on the west, from Tekrit nearly 
to Mosul, and then leaving the river strikes across the plain in 
a direction almost from east to west as far as the town of Sinjar. 
Here the mountains change their course and bend to the south- 
west, till having passed the little lake described above, they 
somewhat suddenly subside,"* sinking from a high ridge into low 
undulating hills, which pass to the south of the lake, and then 
disappear in the plain altogether. According to some, the Sinjar 
here terminates ; but perhaps it is best to regard it as rising 

" A long swamp, called the Hoi, ex- 
tends from the lake to within a short 
distance of the Khabour (Layard, 1. s. c). 
This is probably the Holi, or Hauli of 
some writers, which is represented as a 
tributary of the Khabour. (See Chesney , 
Euphrates Expedition, vol. i. p. 51 ; 
Journal of Geographical Society, vol. ix. 

p. 423, &c.) 

* Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 250. 
^ Ibid. p. 256. Compare Nineveh and 

its Remains, vol. i. p. 315, note. 

' Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 

* Ibid. p. 265. 

192 THB 8B0OXD MONABCHT. Ciur. I. 

•gain in the Alxl-el-Aiii hills.* which, int^nrening between the 
Khaboor and tlie Euphniti% ran on in the snme sonth-west 
direction from Arlian to Zolubi. If this be acccpt<^ as the 
true ooarte of the Sinjar, we mu^t view it as throwing oat two 
imiMiiiant fpors. One of these is near its eastern extremity, 
and mm to the sooth-east, dividing the plain of Zerga from the 
great central level. Like the main chain, it is of limestone ; 
and, though low, has several remarkable ]M?ak8 uhich serve as 
landmarkji from a vast distance. The Arabs call it Kebritiyeh, 
or ** the Sulphur range,** from a sulphurous spring which rises 
at its foot* The other spur is thrown out near the western 
extremity, and runs towards the north-west, parallel to the 
ooane of the upper Khabour, which rises from its flank at 
Raa^l-Ain.^ The name of Abd-el-aziz is applied to this spur, 
as well as to the continuation of the Sinjar between Arban and 
HalebL It is broken into innumerable valleys and ravines,^ 
abounding with wild animals, and is scantily wooded with dwarf 
oak. Streams of water abound in it. 

Soatli of the Sinjar range, the country resumes the same level 
appearance which characterises it between the Sinjar and the 
Mom Ifaaius. A low limestone ridge skirts the Tigris valley 
fiom Mosul to Tekrit,* and near the Euphrates the country is 
aometimai slightly hilly;* but generally the eye trtivels over 
a vast slightly undulating level, unbroken by eminem^es, and 
auppoiting but a scanty vegetation. The description of Xeno- 
phoo a little exaggerates the flatness, but is otherwise faithful 
enongfa: — ** In these parts the ("ountry was a plain throughout, 
aa srocxith as the kou, an<l full of wormwofxl ; if any other 
shrub or rwd gn'w then% it had a sweet aromatic smell ; but 
thne «aa not a tree in the whole region."' Wati^r is still more 

(Sw ait MufkMtm M tfti A knt v«i L Mvonllaf to Um mbm» Kutlmr. (IbU. 

>t4a, I • Xm. itiM^ 1. S. f I. ^ rUf^ U 

« LifMli,jnM4«iitfJMflM,^f4a, I • Xm. itiM^ 1. S. f I. *Xr r«^ M 

' fl ii y ,JHpl l i li ga iii iaf ■,>L4a. 9mp •ikmrrm. A4ii^<«« M «A9f«r W 

• U/>M. Itiamtk md Jbt y fca, |>. Sll M ti mi) txA* 4^^ Qahi | ««x4^i««. 

* tlMw^, i hm kf ti m Kaptdmm, pfc ! U^^^m W M^9 ip^^. 

«a,ML TW Mtti Is llOt nvka Mv •# 


scarce than in the plains north of the Sinjar. The brooks 
descending from that range are so weak that they generally 
lose themselves in the plain before they have run many miles. 
In one case only do they seem sufficiently strong to form a 
river. The Tharthar, which flows by the ruins of El Hadhr, 
is at that place a considerable stream, not indeed very wide, 
but so deep that horses have to swim across it.^ Its course 
above El Hadhr has not been traced ; but the most probable 
conjecture seems to be that it is a continuation of the Sinjar 
river, which rises about the middle of the range, in long. 41° 50*, 
and flows south-east through the desert. The Tharthar ap- 
pears at one time to have reached the Tigris near Tekrit,* but 
it now ends in a marsh or lake to the south-west of that city.* 

The political geography of Assyria need not occupy much of 
our attention. There is no native evidence that in the time 
of the great monarchy the country was formally divided into 
districts, to which any particular names were attached, or 
which were regarded as politically separate from one another ; 
nor do such divisions appear in the classical writers until the 
time of the later geographers, Strabo, Dionysius, and Ptolemy. 
If it were not that mention is made in the Old Testament of 
certain districts within the region which has been here termed 
Assyria, we should have no proof that in the early times 
any divisions at all had been recognised. The names, however, 
of Padan-Aram, Aram-Naharaim, Gozan, Halah, and (perhaps) 
Huzzab, designate in Scripture particular portions of the 
Assyrian territory; and as these portions appear to correspond 
in some degree with the divisions of the classical geographers, 
we are led to suspect that these writers may in many, if not 
in most, cases have followed ancient and native traditions or 
authorities. The principal divisions of the classical geographers 
will therefore be noticed briefly, so far at least as they are 

According to Strabo,* the district within which Nineveh stood 

' Journal of Geographical Society, vol. 
ix. p. 455. 

* Chesney, p. 50. 

* Ibid. p. 51 ; I^yard, Nineveh and its 
Remains, vol. i. p. 315, note. 
« Strab. xvi. 1, § 1. 

VOL. I. O 




WM eallad Aiori*, which 0eem8 to be tho word Assyria slightly 
oormptcH]. as we know that it habitually wa^ by the Persians.^ 
The neighbouring phun country ho divides into four regions — 
Ddlomen^ Calachene» Chazen^, and Adiabene. Of Dolomene, 
which Strabo mentions but in one place, and which Ls wholly 
omitted by other authors, no account can be given.' Cala- 
ebeo^ which is perhaps the Calacin^ of Ptolemy,* must be the 
tract about Calah (Nimrud), or the country immediately north 
of the Upper Zab river. Cliazene, like Dolomen^, is a term 
which cannot be explained.' Adiabene, on the contrary, is a 
well-known geographical expression.' It is the country of the 
Zftb or Diab rivers,' and either includes the whole of Eastern 
AMyria between the mountains and the Tigris,* or more strictly 
is applied to the region between the Upper and Lower 2iab,* 
which consists of two large plains separated from each other 
by tlie Karachok hills. In this way Arbelitis, the plain between 
the Karachok and Zagros, would fall within Adiabcn^ ; but it 
is sometimes made a distinct region,* in which case Adiaben^ 
be restricted to the flat between the two Zabs, the Tigris, 

AturU C^rovpia) It UMd 
by \rTi%D(Kxp. At. ill. 7), and 
(•a vuc Ntroi). Dio CkHius 
vHin \\yr\% ('KrvfU\ Md %amv%» that 
iJm T »«• alwmjr* UMd fiir the t ** bj tiM 
bvimrUM'* (It. S8>. It wm eerUlnlj 
•D ihhS b)r Um PwsUm (sm the Ihkithim 
i mmnif t m m^ i w iM); bat tb« AmjrtaM 
IhMHNw. lib* llM J««t MMl tiM O mU, 

bjr MmilC Milkr vilb JL DoU» of 
AnUm, (Fr. II. t» tb* Fr^gmmL 
IIM, Or, vd. IIL.fL MS.) It b eUor 
liMl lb* «lbirf0 A»kH^ (8i«pb. Byt. 
•< fm) wwliMiajr fMi tei* A«jup«i4 
IMbi, •HMilaf to Arrtoa, wm % elty 
Ib ftdhbiai 
• J*ld. vi. t Am T%Amf, bMwtr, 
' ^w AdkbMA, bt a«y 

Ante la 

i4 mmUdmk ■ ■a tt wid by 
bli/WSUM/asS ir««p». 

amvAta la btfOUf II Bm 
iMbiBliilMi(«S v«t. Wfi^ 
liilt m inblM m lit mmi fMtlM. 

ft u fc i i UMir it ii«H/ vTMw u 

placing It on th« EuplkraUt. ArriMi 
probably includf^d it In the tarritory of 
Dotba, which was with him a part of 
AdUbao^ (8ae above, note *, and eoaa* 
para the fragmant of Airian : '£» rnirf 
rf 'OXS<9 (leg- AoXfiif vel AaXila(f ) 
Kol rk wtBiu -Hif Xainr^t wmrftanUa 

' M«a StraU xvi. I. § I and § 19; 
Plin. //. .V. V. !«, vi. 13; Plot tI. I; 
Arrian. Pr. 11-13; Ponp. MaL i. II ; 
Solln. 4S ; A mm. Mare. xxUl 90, bo. 

' So Ammianui explaiaa tba name— 
**Noa autrm i«l dicimua, quod in bU 
larria amnoi aunt duo parpatnl, qnoa at 
irmaalvlniM, DlnbM at AdkbM, juMti 
poaUbna; blaoqua Intanigi 
ifaooilBntMB, ut a flumlo 
albw MulMla ^ypcw. h India, lU- 
ina HIbaria •tEntlm.'' (»iii. 6.) 

d w qna 

• PUi 


to Adiabvni 

a to gWa 
tbia «xta«dad alfalfleatlon, 
Mya,— ** Adlabaaw TIfHa at 
alaaa alacant. At b»H i^na rfglo U*- 
danMiMI.** (//. XvLS; eoapataeh. 

* Amn. MafB. La. a. 

* Aa by PioloMy (tfaiy ry *. vi. 1). 

Chap. I. 



and the Karachok. Clialonitis and Apolloniatis, which Strabo 
seems to place between these northern plains and Susiana,''' must 
be regarded as dividing between them the country south of the 
Lesser Zab, Apolloniatis (so called from its Greek capital, 
Apollonia) lying along the Tigris, and Chalonitis along the 
mountains from the pass of Derbend to Gilan.^ Chalonitis 
seems to have taken its name from a capital city called Chala,^ 
which lay on the great route connecting Babylon with the 
southern Ecbatana, and in later times was known as Holwan.^ 
Below Apolloniatis,^ and (like that district) skirting the Tigris, 
was Sittacene (so named from its capital, Sittace^), which is 
commonly reckoned to Assyria,'* but seems more properly re- 
garded as Susianian territory. Such are the chief divisions of 
Assyria east of the Tigris. 

West of the Tigris, the name Mesopotamia is commonly 
used, like the Aram-Naharaim of the Hebrews, for the whole 
country between the two great rivers. Here are again several 
districts, of which little is known, as Acaben^, Tingene, and 
Ancobaritis.* Towards the north, along the flanks of Mons 
Masius from Nisibis to the Euphrates, Strabo seems to place 
the Mygdonians, and to regard the country as Mygdonia.® 
Below Mygdonia, towards the west, he puts Anthemusia, which 
he extends as far as the Khabour river.^ The region south of 

^ Strab. XV. 3, § 12; xvi. 1, § 1. 

• The position of Chalonitis is pretty 
exactly indicated by Strabo, Polybius, 
and Isidore of Charax. Strabo calls it 
TTjv TTfpl TO Zdypov opos XaKuvtriv (xvi. 
1, § 1). Polybius connects it with the 
same mountain range (v. 54, § 7). Isidore 
distinctly places it between Apolloniatis 
and Media {Mans. Parth. p. 5). See also 
Dionys. Perieg. i. 1015, and Plin. H. N. 
vi. 27. 

' Isid. Mans. Parth. l.s. c. Tacitus 
probably intends the same city by his 
" Halus" {Ann. vi. 41), which he couples 
with Artcmita. It does not appear to 
have been identical either with the 
Halah of the Book of Kings, or with 
the Calah of Genesis. 

* The ruins of Holwan were visited 
by Sir H. Rawlinson in the year 1830. 
For an account of them, and for a notice 
of the importance of Uolwaa in Maho- 

metan times, see the Journal of the Geo- 
graphical Soc. vol. ix. pp. 35-40. 

2 Strabo identifies Sittacen^ with 
Apolloniatis (xv. 3, § 12); but from 
Ptolemy (vi. 1) and other geographers 
we gather that Sittacene was further 
down the river. 

' Sittace was first noticed by Heca- 
taeus (Fr. 184). It was visited by Xe- 
nophon {ATiab. ii. 4, § 13). Strabo omits 
all mention of it. We have notices of 
it in Pliny {H. N. vi. 27), and Stephen 
(ad voc. 'VirraKT}'). 

* Strab. xvi. 1, § 1, et passim ; Ptol. 
vi. 1. 

» Ptol. v. 18. 

« Strab. xvi. 1, § 1, and § 23. 

^ Ibid. § 27. Anthemusia derived its 
name from a city Anthemus (Steph. Byz.), 
or Anthemusias (Tacit. Isid.), built by 
the Macedonians between the Euphrates 
and the Beiik. 

o 2 


the Khabonr and the Sinjar be teems to regard as inhabited 
entirely by Arabs/ Ptolemy has, in lieu of the 3Iygdonia of 
Strabo, a district which he calls Gituzanitis;* and this name is 
on good gronnda identified with the Gozan of Scripture ' — the 
trae original probably of the ** Mygdonia *' of the Greeks.' 
Gonn appears to represent the whole of the up()er country 
from which the longer affluents of the Khabour spring ; while 
Halah, which is coupled with it in Scripture,* and which Ptolemy 
calls Chalcitis, and makes border on Gauzanitis, may designate 
the tract upon the main stream, as it comes down from Itas^l- 
Ain.* The region about the upper sources of the Belik has no 
special designation in Strabo, but in Scripture it seems to be 
called Padan-Aram,* a name which has been explained as " the 
flat Syria," or " the country stretching out from the foot of the 
hills.*** In the later Roman times it was known as Osrhoene;' 
but tliis mime was scarcely in use before the time of the An- 

Tlie true heart of Assyria was the country close along the 
Tigris, from lat. 35^ to 3G° 30'. Within these limits were the 
four great cities, marked by the mounds at Khorsabad, Mosul, 
Ximrud, and Kileh-Sherghat, besides a multitude of places of 
inferior consequence. It has been generally supposed that the 
left bank of the river was more properly Assyria than the 
right ; * and the idea is so far correct^ as that the left bank was 

• Mnh. xvL 1. f SS. Compftiv Plin. 
Ji. X. V. X4. • PuO. V. IS. 

* fl Kli^ xvIL 6; xvUI. 11 ; &ix. It; 
I duMk V. S6s U. uxvli. IS. The 

•# bum; bot upOQ 

trilll IIm — tlwi of Um 

(or KlMbMr) m Hm Htt of 

mmI Um lai|il«l Tlelmily of Goms 

•olUf«a(IUrr«a)Mi(l lUlah (ClwlcllU). 

■ aw Um) Ankir on "Uono** is 

miMk*» mU ml I HrH mtr f, ft I. |l 7tS. 

TW teMtal • (0) te CiM vOTi MfBtek 

it fUU cdled Gift, or K«kh, bj tbt 
Arabt. (8MLA>ard's.ViiMm4aMf A4y- 
Im, p. 31-2, note.) 

* Gen. xxr. SO; xxviU. »-7, IM. Tbo 
■MM !• oalj uMd in Ommth. 

• SteiUaj, Sktai mud J*9k$tim0^ f. ItS, 
Mle •. It It ouriout, h«w^v— ''.it bocli 
Ptdym-Artm and Aram ritmll 
tbt Munet of nntkwt > • tbeae 

Crtt In tbe AtiyrUn Umm. 11m eblef 
btbltanu of tbe Mom Matltti mmt- 
tloMd bj tbt mtiy AmyrlM kinfi tra 
tbt AoiW; tad trnwa the Kuphratot. 
It piibtMy • atfo i4 ) ttlli rt tr r^*^'- •* -rnH* AUppo, tbere It t Uibt etlUd 
'*' ' t vbllt tbe if inw^' 'ttma, Prabtbly. ' 

f OX t t tt f dlf f — ori li^noM tre teeideatnl. 

U^mrimtitm. ' l>io C^m. xL 1»: UtIII. IS, 

• t Kin«* a«U. •( BvUI. II t I Cbffon. ArrUn. Fr. 2 { llenidUn. ilL 9, 
iS. * IHoltnjr bowMb Amjrtm 

• Om of tbt MWidt m dUi mtmm T%rtt (Uiywyl vi. 1). FUv 

Chap. I. 



in tnitli of primary value and importance,^ whence it naturally- 
happened that three out of the four capitals were built on that 
side of the stream. Still the very fact that one early capital 
was on the right bank is enough to show that both shores of the 
stream were alike occupied by the race from the first ; and this 
conclusion is abundantly confirmed by other indications through- 
out the region. Assyrian ruins, the remains of considerable 
towns, strew the whole country between the Tigris and Kha- 
bour, both north and south of the Sinjar range.^ On the 
banks of the Lower Khabour are the remains of a royal 
palace,^ besides many other traces of the tract through which 
it runs having been permanently occupied by the Assyrian 
people.^ Mounds, probably Assyrian, are known to exist along 
the course of the Khabour's great western affluent ; "* and even 
near Seruj, in the country between Harran and the Euphrates 
some evidence has been found 
not only of conquest but of occu- 
pation.^ Remains are perhaps 
more frequent on the oppo- 
site side of the Tigris ; at any 
rate they are more striking 
and more important. Bavian, 
Khorsabad, Shereef - Khan, 
Nebbi-Yunus, Koyunjik, and 
Nimrud, which have furnished 

by far the most valuable and interesting of the Assyrian monu- 
ments, all lie east of the Tigris ; while on the west two places 

Colossal lion, near Seruj. 

fies Adiabene with Assyria (//. N. v. 
12). If the Huzzab of Nahum is really 
" the Zab region " (Smith's Biblical Dic- 
tionary, sub voc.), that prophet would 
make the same identification. When 
Strabo (xvi. 1, § 1) and Arrian (Exp. 
Alex, iii. 7) place Aturia on the left 
bank of the Tigris only, they indicate a 
similar feeling. 

» See above, pp. 182, 183. 

1 They are less numerous north of the 
Sinjar. (See Layard, Nineveh and Baby- 
lon, p. 252.) Still there are a certain 
number of ancient mounds in the more 

northern plain. (Ibid. pp. 334, 335 ; 
and compare Nineveh and its HemainSj 
vol. i. p. 311.) 

* At Arban. (^Nineveh and Babylon^ 
pp. 275, 276.) 

' Ibid. pp. 297-300. 

* Ibid. p. 312, and note. 

* The colossal lions at this place, 12 feet 
long and 7 feet 3 inches high, are un- 
mistakably Assyrian, and must have 
belonged to some large building. (See 
Chesney, Euphrates Expedition, vol. i. 
pp. 114, 115, whence the above repre- 
sentation is taken.) 


only hare yioMel relics worthy to be compared with these, 
Arban and Kileh-Sherghat 

It u curious that in Amyria, as in early Chaldaja, there is a 
special pre-eminence of /our cities. An indication of this might 
seem to be contained in Genesis, where Asshur is said to have 
"builded Nineveh, and the city liohoboth, and Calah, and 
Beten ; ** * but on the whole it is more probable that we have 
liere a mistranslation (which is corrected for us in the margin '). 
and that three cities only are ascribed by Moses to the great 
patriarch. In the flourishing period of the empire, however, 
we actually find four capitals, of which the native names seem 
to have been Ninua, Calah, Asshur, and Bit-Sargina, or Dur- 
Sargina (the city of Sargon) — all places of first-rate conse- 
quence. Besides these principal cities, which were the sole seats 
of government, Assyria contained a vast number of large towns, 
few of which it is possible to name, but so numerous that 
they cover the whole face of the country with their ruins.* 
Among them were Tarbisa, Arbil, Arapkha, and Khazeh, in tlie 
tract between the Tigris and Mount Zagros ; Haran, Tel-Apni, 
Baxappa (Rezeph), and Amida, towards the north-west fron- 
tier; Nazibina (Nisibis), on the eastern branch of the Kha- 
bour ; Birki (Circesium), at the confluence of the Khabour with 
the Euphrates ; Anat on the Euphrates, tome way below this 
junction; Tahiti, Magarisi, Sidikan, Katni, Beth-Khalupi, Ac, 
in the diHtrict south of the Sinjnr, between the lower cxiurse of 
the Khabour and the Tigris. Here, again, as in the case of 
ChaU»a»* it im impoauble at present to locate with accuracy all 
the eitiei. We moat once more confine ourselves to the most 
important, and seek to determine, either absolutely or with a 
certain vagoeoeM, their eeTeral positions. 

It admtto of no reasonable doubt that the ruins opposite 
Hotul are those of Nineveh. The name of Nineveh is read on 

•Om.1.11. It. have IwMi added. 

tw II "Um tcmli or Om diy.*^ I v«l 1. p. aU( Ate#f«l «W Bt k ifk m, pfc 

viiMl to fcr bMlir llMi IW ImiimI | 140. tiS, Sit, SIS, te.t J^mntal of 

f«iidMrfa«. Had /AiliM hM Om mum \ AttaUe AwMy. vol xr. pp. 80S, 804. 

or • ptow, Um Itm 'It would wofvdjr j * 9m obovo, pi 1&. 

Chap. I. 



the bricks; and a uniform tradition, reaching from the Arab 
conquest to comparatively recent times,^ attaches to the 
mounds themselves the same title. They are the most exten- 
sive ruins in Assyria ; and their geographical position suits per- 
fectly all the notices of the geographers and historians with 
respect to the great Assyrian capital.^ As a subsequent chapter 
will be devoted to a description of this famous city/ it is 
enough in this place to observe that it was situated on the left 
or east bank of the Tigris, in lat. 36° 21', at the point where a 
considerable brook, the Khosr-su, falls into the main stream. 
On its west flank flowed the broad and rapid Tigris, the " arrow- 
stream," as we may translate the word ; * while north, east, and 
south, expanded the vast undulating plain which intervenes 
between the river and the Zagros mountain-range. Midway in 
this plain, at the distance of from fifteen to eighteen miles from 
the city, stood boldly up the Jabel Maklub and Ain-sufra hills, 
calcareous ridges rising nearly 2000 feet^ above the level of the 
Tigris, and forming by far the most prominent objects in the 
natural landscape.® Inside the Ain Sufra, and parallel to it, 
ran the small stream of the Gomel, or Ghazir, like a ditch 
skirting a wall, an additional defence in that quarter. On the 
south-east and south, distant about fifteen miles, was the strong 
and impetuous current of the Upper Zab, completing the 
natural defences of the position, which was excellently chosen 
to be the site of a great capital. 

* The early Arabian geographers and 
historians mentioned the forts of Ninawi 
to the east and of Mosul to the west of 
the Tigris. (^As. Soc. Journ. vol. xii. 
p. 418, note *.) To prove the continuity 
of the tradition, it would be necessary 
to quote all travellers, from Benjamin 
of Tudela to Mr. Layard, who disputes 
its value, but does not deny it. 

' See Herod, i. 193; Strab. xvi. 1, 
§ 3; Ptol. vi. 1; Plin. vi. 13, § 16; 
Amra. Marc, xviii. 7 ; Eustath, ad Dio- 
nys. Perieg. 991. 

^ See below, ch. iv. 

« So Strabo, xi. 14, § 8 ; Plin. H. N. 
vi. 27 ; Q. Curt. iv. 9, § 16, &c. There 
are, however, some difficulties attaching 
to this etymology. It is Arian, not Se- 

mitic — tigra, as "an arrow," standing 
connected with the Sanscrit tij, " to 
sharpen," Armenian teg, ^' a javelin," 
Persian Ugh, " a blade," and tir, " an 
arrow." Yet it was used by the Jews, 
under the slightly corrupted form of 
Dekel, (T'pn), as early aa Moses (Gen. ji. 
14), and by the Assyrians about B.C. 
1000. (Journal of As. Soc. vol. xiv. p. 
xcv.) It is conjectured that there was 
a root dik in ancient Babylonian, of 
cognate origin with the Sanscrit tij, 
from which the forms Dehet, Digla, or 
Diglath were derived. 

* Capt. Jones, in the Journal of the 
As. Soc. vol. XV. p. 299- 

« Ibid. p. 298. 



Chap. T. 

Sontli of Nineveh, at the distance of about twenty miles by 
the direct route and thirty by the course of the Tigris,' stood 
the second city of the empire, Calah, the site of which is 
marked by the extenBive ruins at Nimrud.* Broadly, this place 
may be said to have been built at the confluence of the Tigris 
with the Upper Zab ; but in strictness it was on the Tigris only 

run of th« Bains nt Nlnrvd (Cbkh> 

the Zab flowing five or six miles further to the south,* and 
entering the Tigris at least nine miles below the Nimrud ruins.' 

S* CMmmI CbanMj (A'NpA/«lM S^ 
val. I. p. tl). 
Ir II. lUwlinMn and Dr. Ilincks 
in rra4Jitff ibr •nrimt twat« of 
ihU riiy M (4il»k. At iIm mmm time It 
U not t* be OmUd tbat Cherv «r» tllfll. 
•nItiM In IW kSMUfknlion. 1. Nimniil 
Winf MljT to nillM IVwn Nln»vrb. It U 
dlAcnlt In And rwni for lUavn, n ** (tvnt 
•liy " (Ow. a. It) hHw 

llwl tb^re un nn 
In ibU |»lliMk a. 

r, If It gnre nnnw to Ptolany't QUn- 
oin^ aboulii be away from ttie riv«r, for 
bv plnolRK <^«l«oiiu^ ti^Mv Adiaben^, he 
nlmott evruittly mennt furtbcr from tbe 
riv»r. * 

* JottrmU of A$. Soe, vol. xv. |k .142. 
At tbe Mme tinM it must be •dintttrU 
tlwt water fhim tbe Zab waa cuuUucUhI 
Into tbe city by a ennnl and tiuin«l, of 
whieh mora will bo mid in 

OBMnay, Lt.e. 

Chap. I. 



These ruins at present occupy an area somewliat short of a 
thousand English acres,^ which is little more than one-half of 
the area of the ruins of Nineveh ; but it is thought that tlie 
place was in ancient times considerably larger, and that the 
united action of the Tigris and some winter streams has swept 
away no small portion of the ruins.^ They form at present an 
irregular quadrangle, the sides of which face the four cardinal 
points. On the north and east the rampart may still be dis- 
tinctly traced. It was flanked with towers along its whole 
course,^ and pierced at uncertain intervals by gates, but was 
nowhere of very great strength or dimensions. On the south 
side it must have been especially weak, for there it has disap- 
peared altogether. Here, however, it seems probable that the 
Tigris and the Shor Derreh stream, to which the present ob- 
literation of the wall may be ascribed, formed in ancient times 
a sufficient protection. Towards the west, it seems to be certain 
that the Tigris (which is now a mile off) anciently flowed close 
to the city.^ On this side, directly facing the river, and extend- 
ing along it a distance of 600 yards,^ or more than a third of a 
mile, was the royal quarter, or portion of the city occupied by 
the palaces of the kings. It consisted of a raised platform, 
forty feet above the level of the plain, composed in some parts 
of rubbish, in others of regular layers of sun-dried bricks, and 
cased on every side with solid stone masonry, containing an 
area of sixty English acres, and in shape almost a regular rect- 
angle, 560 yards long, and from 350 to 450 broad.''' The plat- 
form was protected at its edges by a parapet, and is thought to 
have been ascended in various places by wide staircases, or in- 
clined ways, leading up from the plain.® The greater part of its 
area is occupied by the remains of palaces constructed by 

' Capt. Jones, in the Journal of the 
Asiatic Soc. vol. xv. pp. 347-351. 
3 Ibid, vol. XV. p. 347. 

* Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 656. 

* Ibid. 1. 8. c. ; As. Soc. Journal, vol. 
XV. pp. 342, 343. 

® See Mr. Layard's " Plan " in his 
Nineveh and Babylon, opp. p. 655. For 
the present state of the ruins, see his 

Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i. opp. p. 
331, and compare the chart (supra, p. 
200), which is reduced from Cajitain 
F. Jones's Survey. 

^ The platform is not quite regular, 
being broader towards the south than 
towai'ds the north, as will be seen in the 

® Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 654- 



CuAr. I. 

Tanous native kiii^^s of which a more {>articular acconnt will be 
g^Ten in the clui|»ter on the architecture and other artij of the 
AfisyriansL* It contains also the rains of two small temples, 
and ahuts at its noKh-western angle on the most sin^nilar struc- 
ture which lias as yet been discovered among the remains of the 
AflBjTian cities. This is the famous tower or pyramid which 
looms so conspicuously over tlie Assyrian plains, and which has 
always attracted the special notice of the traveller.* An exact 
description of this remarkable edifice will be given hereafter. 

GrMt Mound of Nimrud or CkUh (after L*jrard). 

It appears from tlie inscriptions on its bricks to have been com- 
menced by one of the early kings, and completed by another. 
lit internal structure has led to the supposition that it was 
dengned to be a place of burial for one or other of these 
moiuir(*hs. Another conjecture is, that it was a watch-tower ; • 
but this seems very unlikely, since no trace of any moilo by 
which it coold be ascended has been discovered. 
Forty miles below Calali, on the opposite bank of the Tigris, 

dflwHbtw Cmlmh, whleb 
h» «!!• UriMft («MM|«i« ih» UebiM, 
n0p9» 9t Om tuMirit«4i l*r«iaiMie|i), m 
**m TWI <wtff<iit riij. funavrlj UIm- 
MMd bj Uw MaAf ; U mm,** hm mjM, 
** mtnmmA9d bjr • «a1I X& fm hnmi, 
100 IbH lllgl^ Md amrljr trvMi Mlira in 
timmtmwmtm, tmiJi ttthmktd briek. with 
• to— b—iMttoUwMgkfriOfct.'* 

«A44|pM. v^ M H^ M» •Ai^fm^r ( Amok, 
ML 4, 1 f.) CtoslM, milk hi* u««mI va- 

•fgtmiQa, mad* Um width bIm thtdr; 
mad tlM bvlfhl elffht tladi*, or m-n 
t lie plMwT Um iijrnunbl «: 
•ad on Um Eupbrntot! v^'*'^ 
IHod. Slo. II. 7, I I.) TlM InpotlM 
of tho ttroetura oirwi bow U wii. 
to by Mr. lAjard (.VtiM'twA .< 
l0muiH*, voL i. Ik 4)iColoMl 1> 
(4rtt#dMm, ToL II. a ISS); i'uUmA 
Ommf (jMrslif Entdiimm, vul. i. 

pi. tl)t AM CipUlB JOOM (At, .S*. 

^mimA vol. sv. pp. a4«. S49). 

* Tbki to th« opInloB of l^plaiB Juttc* 
(4«. ^W. ^fWriMi, vol XV. p^ M»>. 

Chap. I. 



was a third great city, the native name of which appears to have 
been Asshur. This place is represented by the ruins at Kileh- 
Slierghat, which are scarcely inferior in extent to those at 
Nirarud or Calah/'^ It will not be necessary to describe minutely 
this site, as in general character it closely resembles the other 
ruins of Assyria. Long lines of low mounds mark the position 
of the old walls, and show that the shape of the city was quad- 
rangular. The chief object is a large square mound or plat- 
form, two and a half miles in circumference, and in places a 
hundred feet above the level of the plain, composed in part of 
sim-dried bricks, in part of natural eminences, and exhibiting 
occasionally remains of a casing of hewn stone, which may once 
have encircled the whole structure. About midway on the 
north side of the platform, and close upon its edge, is a high 
cone or pyramid. The rest of the platform is covered with the 
remains of walls and with heaps of rubbish, but does not show 
much trace of important buildings. This city has been sup- 
posed to represent the Biblical Eesen; but the description of 
that place as lying "between Nineveh and Calah" seems to 
render the identification worse than uncertain. 

The ruins at Xileh-Sherghat are the last of any extent to- 
wards the south, possessing a decidedly Assyrian character. To 
complete our survey, therefore, of the chief Assyrian towns, w^e 
must return northwards, and, passing Nineveh, direct our atten- 
tion to the magnificent ruins on the small stream of the Khosr- 
su, which have made the Arab village of Khorsabad one of the 
best known names in Oriental topography. About nine miles 
from the north-east angle of the wall of Nineveh, in a direction 
a very little east of north, stands the ruin known as Khorsabad, 
from a small village which formerly occupied its summit * — the 
scene of the labours of M. Botta, who was the first to disentomb 
from among the mounds of Mesopotamia the relics of an 
Assyrian palace. The enclosure at Khorsabad is nearly square 
in shape, each side being about 2000 yards long.* No part of 

' See Layard, Nineveh and its Remains, 
vol. i. p. .5, and vol. ii. p. 44. 

* M. Botta purchased and removed 
this village before he made his great ex- 

cavations. (^Letters from Nineveh, p. 57, 

' See Captain Jones's Survey, sheet L 


it if fery loftj, but the wails are on every side well marked. 
Their angles puiut towards the oardinal points, or nearly so ; 
and the walls themselTet consequently face the north-east, the 
north-west, the south-west, and the south-east Towards the 
middle of the north-west wall, and projecting considerably be- 
yond it, was a raised platform of the usual character ; and here 
stood tlie great palace, which is thought to have been open 
to the plain, and on that side quite undefended.* 

Four miles only from Khorsabad, in a direction a little west 
of north, are the ruins of a smaller Assyrian city, whose native 
name appears to have been Tarbisa, situated not far from the 
modem Tillage of Sherif-khan. Here was a i)alace, built by 
Esarhaddon for one of his sons, as well as several temples and 
other edifices. In the opposite direction, at the distance of 
about twenty miles, is Keremles, an Assyrian ruin, whose name 
cannot yet be rendered phonetically.^ West of this site, and 
about half-way between the ruins of Nineveh and Nimrud or 
Calah, is Selamiyah, a village of some size, the walls of which 
are thought to be of Assyrian construction.* We may conjecture 
that this place was the Besen, or Das^* of Holy Scripture, which 
is said to hare been a large city, interposed between Nineveh 
and Galah.* In the same latitude, but considerably further to 
the east« was tlie famous city of Arabil or Arbil,* known to the 
Greeks as Arbela, and to tliis day retaining its ancient appel- 
lalMML Thaae were the princiiud toxins whose positions van be 
fixed, belonging to Assyria Projier, or the tract in the immediate 
Tieinity of Kinefeh. 

Beaides these plaeee, the inscriptions mention a large number 
of oitiei which we cannot definitely connect with any |)articulur 

Uysnl. Mmttek amJ //t^yfUn, p^ 6&7. U lb* fUe*> of th« Hebrew pi. Tbf 
The Mme b funMil of two tl&mtmU, ThrgaaM suUiitute lb* wbolljrVir 

"*?>*f •>•!* " ^'jy -— ^T l**.!?! ' I • Arbil U Mymolofkalty *♦ Ibe clly of 
tan, mtagmmm siiByi ■■. m- i ih, #«„ gotoj" bui It u not kwm* 

Mt h» iipimliil phnitlarir. »,,,^j, ,^ ,|^ ^,j^ |»i«Mkd. TI.U 

ir^i ^'^^ *■*' H**^" '• "'*» imatinfd la lb* ivlfn .if 

f^ SSI aa^ S74. N>iim»».Vul. lb* aoa of tb« BUek Obc- 

* Hm IXX, laltrfPUm baw Smri . lub fclng, aboui ux. 050. 

Chap. I. 



site. Such are Zaban and Zadn, 'beyond the Lower Zab, pro- 
bably somewhere in the vicinity of Kerkuk ; Kurban, Tidu (?), 
Napulu, Kapa, in Adiabene ; Arapkha and Khaparkhu, the 
former of which names recalls the Arrapachitis of Ptolemy,^ in 
the district about Arbela ; Hurakha, Sallat (?), Dur-Tila, Dariga, 
Lupdu, and many others, concerning whose situations it is not 
even possible to make any reasonable conjecture. The whole 
country between the Tigris and the mountains was evidently 
studded thickly with towns, as it is at the present day with 
ruins;* but until a minute and searching examination of the 
entire region has taken place, it is idle to attempt an assign- 
ment to particular localities of these comparatively obscure 

In Western Assyria, or the tract on the right bank of the 
Tigris, while there is reason to believe that population was as 
dense, and that cities were as numerous, as on the opposite side 
of the river,^ even fewer sites can be determinately fixed, owing 
to the early decay of population in those parts, which seem to 
have fallen into their present desert condition shortly after the 
destruction of the Assyrian empire by the conquering Medes. 
Besides Asshur, which is fixed to the ruins at Kileh-Sherghat, 
we can only locate with certainty some half-dozen places. 
These are Nazibina, which is the modern Nisibin, the Nisibis of 
the Greeks ; Amidi, which is Amida or Diarbekr ; Haran,® 
which retains its name unchanged ; Sirki, w^hich is the Greek 
Circesium,^ now Kerkesiyeh ; Anat, now Anah, on an island in 
the Euphrates ; and Sidikan, now Arban, on the Lower Khabour. 
The other known towns of this region, whose exact position is 
more or less uncertain, are the following : — Tavnusir, which is 
perhaps Dunisir, near Mardin; Guzana, or Gozan,® in the 
vicinity of Nisibin ; Kazappa, or Rezeph, probably not far from 

' Geograph. vi. 1. Arapkha would be 
etymologically "the four fish," a name 
not very intelligible. It was certainly 
to the east of the Tigris, and probably 
not far from Arbela. 

* Journal of Asiatic Soc. vol. xv. p. 304. 

* Layard, Nineveh end its Remains, 
vol. i. p. 315; Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 
245, 246. 

" The name of Haran has not, I be- 
lieve, been found in the Assyrian in- 
scriptions ; but it is mentioned in Kings 
and Clironicles as an Assyrian city. 
(2 Kings xix. 12 ; 1 Chron. v. 26.) 

^ See Mr. Fox Talbot's Assyrian Texts 
Translated, p. 3 1 . 

* See 2 Kings, 1. s. c. 


; Tel-Apni, about OHah or RuA-el-Ain; Tabiti ami 
Iftg^TiM, on the Jerujer, or river of Nifiibin ; Katni and Betli- 
KhiJopi, on the Lower Ehabour ; Tsupri and Nakarabani, on 
the Euphrates, between iU junction with the Khabour and 
Anah ; and Khnzirina, in the mountains near the source of the 
U'igria. BendeB tliese, the inscriptions contain a mention of 
some BCOTCB of towns wholly obscure, concerning which we 
cannot even determine whether they lay west or east of the 

8ach are the chief goograpliical features of Assyria. It 
remains to notice briefly the countries by which it was bordered. 

To the east lay the mountain region of Zagros, inhabited 
principally, during the earlier times of the Empire, by the 
Zimri, and afterwards occupied by the Medes, and known as a 
portion of Media. This region is one of great strength, and at 
the same time of much productiveness and fertility. Com- 
poaed of a largo number of parallel ridges, Zagros contains, 
besidea rocky and snow-clad summits, a multitude of fertile 
Ttlleya, watered by the great affluents of the Tigris or their 
tributaries, and capable of producing rich crops with very 
little cultivation. The sides of the hills are in most parts 
clothed with forests of walnut, oak, ash, plane, and sycamore, 
while mulberries, olives, and other fruit-trees abound ; in many 
^•oaa the pasturage is excellent ; and thus, notwithstanding its 
momitAiiioiif character, the tract will bear a large population.* 
Ita defenaiTe strength is immense, equalling that of Switzerland 
before military roada were const nicted across the High Al|)s. 
Tlie few pmea by which it can bo traversed seem, accortling to 
the graphic phraaeology of the ancients, to be carried up ladders ;' 
tbey furrootmt tix or leTen sucoenive ridges, often reaching 
the tletalioii of 10,000 feet,* and are only open during seven 

tit nkk'i Kwdittm, t«L L f^ 

U-in I Km Tartar, Tmmk, vM. u. m^ 

md M tk f km , iv^ aiT-tK aa4 4lf-4at t 

Jmnmi ^ Ot^yMfMiml JiWMf , voL It. 

4MM, TOL L lA 8f-IM{ ToL 11. p|k 

* DIod. Sit. ate. tl, f S. Camfmn, 
KiMMir, /VraiM JbyiAw, p, 74 ; mmI mw 
•Im AlM«orUi*t Mtmwdkm, pp^ tS4, MA. 

" JayanL A*w4 mtd BJ fy hm, p, 450 1 
JmunJ n^ (ht^rmftkkal SooiHjf^ vol. xvt. 


months of the year. Nature appears to have intended Zagros 
as a sevenfold wall for the protection of the fertile Mesopota- 
mian lowland from the marauding tribes inhabiting the bare 
plateau of Iran. 

North of Assyria lay a country very similar to the Zagros 

region. Armenia, like Kurdistan, consists, for the most part, 

of a number of parallel mountain ranges,^ with deep valleys 

between them, watered by great rivers or their affluents. Its 

highest peaks, like those of Zagros, ascend considerably above 

the snow-line.'* It has the same abundance of wood, especially 

in the more northern parts ; and though its valleys are scarcely 

so fertile, or its products so abundant and varied, it is still a 

country where a numerous population may find subsistence. 

The most striking contrast which it offers to the Zagros region 

is in the direction of its mountain ranges. The Zagros ridges 

run from north-west to south-east,. like the principal mountains 

of Italy, Greece, Arabia, Hindustan, and Cochin China ; those 

of Armenia have a course from a little north of east to a little 

south of west, like the Spanish Sierras, the Swiss and Tyrolese 

Alps, the Southern Carpathians, the Greater Balkan, the Cilician 

Taurus, the Cyprian Olympus, and the Thian Chan. Thus the 

axes of the two- chains are nearly at right angles to one another, 

the triangular basin of Vau occurring at the point of contact, 

and softening the abruptness of the transition. Again, whereas 

the Zagros mountains present their gradual slope to the Meso- 

potamian lowland, and rise in higher and higher ridges as they 

recede from it, the mountains of Armenia ascend at once to 

their full height from the level of the Tigris, and the ridges 

then gradually decline towards the Euxine. It follow^ from 

this last contrast, that, while Zagros invites the inhabitants of 

the Mesopotamian plain to penetrate its recesses, which are at 

first readily accessible, and only grow wild and savage towards 

the interior, the Armenian mountains repel by presenting their 

greatest difficulties and most barren aspect at once, seeming, 

with their rocky sides and snow-clad summits, to form an almost 

' Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 6, 7. Compare Strab. xi. 12, § 4. 
* Chesney, Euphrates Expedition, vol. i. p. 69 ; Layard, 1. s. c. 

ao8 THE SI ' 'VI. MONARCHY. Chap. I. 

insurmountable obstacle to an invading host Assyrian history 
bean tnem of thia difTcrenro ; for whih* the mountain region 
to the east is gradually HufNlued and occupied by the people of 
the plain, that on the north continues to the last in a state of 
hostility and semi-independence. 

West of Assyria (according to the extent which has here been 
given to it), the border countries were, towards the south, 
Arabia, and towards the north, Syria. A desert region, similar 
to that which bounds Chaldma in this direction, extends along 
the Euphrates as far north an the 3Gth parallel, approaching 
commonly within a very short distance of the river. This has 
been at all times the country of the wandering Arabs. It is 
traTenied in places by rocky ridges of a low elevation, and inter- 
cepted by occasional wadys; but othenvise it is a continuous 
gravelly or sandy plain,* incapable of sustaining a settled popu- 
lation. Between the desert and the river intenenes commonly 
a narrow strip of fertile territory, which in Assyrian times was 
held by the Tsukhi or Shuhites, and the Aramaeans or Syrians. 
Korth of the 3(jth parallel, the general elevation of the country 
west of the Euphrates rises. There is an alternation of bare 
undulating hills and dry plains, producing wormwood and other 
aromatic plants.* Permanent rivers are found, which either 
terminate in salt lakes or run into the Euphrates. In places 
the land is tolerably fertile, and produces good crops of grain, 
besides mulberries, pearx, figs, pomegranates, oliveSy vines, and 
pistorhioHiuta.^ Here dwelt, in the time of the Assyrian Empire, 
the Khatti, or Uittitcs, whose chief city, Can*hemish, appears to 
have oocapted the site of IIiem|MihX now Ilambuk. In a 
military point of view, the tract is very much less strong than 
4'iihrr Armenia or Kurdistan, and presents but slight difficulties 
to invailing annies. 

The tract south of Assyria was Chaldssa, of which a descrip- 
tion has baeii giren iu an earlier portion of this volume." 

AlMvwlk, Tmdi te M# 7V««« ^ vol. L mi. SOS-SSSt I^Moek, itmerifHm, 

Tm n I. p. STi rMwk. /^ I fCn voL U. pi Iftft. 

rfiM^Mf Jbil,v«l.lirMM>-l7t. i • SMpm, pp. S.|i. 

Chap. I. CHALD.EA. . 209 

Naturally, it was at once the weakest of the border countries 
and the one possessing the greatest attractions to a conqueror. 
Nature had indeed left it wholly without defence ; and though 
art was probably soon called in to remedy this defect, yet it 
could not but continue the most open to attack of the various 
regions by which Assyria was surrounded. Syria was defended 
by the Euphrates — at all times a strong barrier ; Arabia, not 
only by this great stream, but by her arid sands and burning 
climate; Armenia and Kurdistan had the protection of their 
lofty mountain ranges. Chaldsea was naturally without either 
land or water barrier ; and the mounds and dykes whereby she 
strove to supply her want were at the best poor substitutes for 
Nature's bulwarks. Here again geographical features will be 
found to have had an important bearing on the course of history, 
the close connexion of the two countries, in almost every age, 
resulting from their physical conformation. 


VOL. I. 

310 Tire SEfJOKD MONAnrilY CHAr. II. 



** AwtyriM, oelebriUte et magnitudine, et multifonni fenicitate ditissima." — 
Ann. Mabc. xxiii. 6. 

In describing the climate and productions of Assyria, it will be 
necessary to divide it into regions ; since the country is so large 
and the physical geography so varied, that a single description 
would necessarily be both incomplete and untrue. Eastern 
Assyria lias a climate of its own, the result of its position at the 
foot of Zagros. In ^^'este^n Assyria we may distinguish three 
climates, that of the upper or mountainous coimtry extending 
from Bir to Til and Jezireh, that of the middle region on either 
side of the Sinjar range, and that of the lower region imme- 
diately bordering on Babylonia, The climatic diflerences dejK^nd 
in part on latitude ; but probably in a greater degree on differ- 
enoet of elevation, distance or vicinity of mountains, and the 

Eiftem Assyria, from its vicinity to the high and snow-dad 
range of Zagros, has a climate at once cooler and moister than 
Aaiyiia west of the Tigris. The summer heats are tempered by 
breeaes from the adjacent mountains, and, though trying to the 
constitution of an Euro|)ean, are far less oppressive than the 
torrkl Uasts which prevail on the other side of the river.^ A 
good deal of rain falls in the winter, and even in the spring ; 
while, after the rains un* ]>ast, there is frequently an abundant 
dew/ which supports vegetation and helps to give coolness to 
the air. The winteis are moderately severe.' 

* Jomnml ^ A»iaii» AHMy, vat xv. winds tttm tbt •oolh. which orration. 

pt. Stt. Wmtfmm AiMrrk b aot, how. | ftlljr ewvpl vnt Um eountry, driving In 

•vw, Mttrvir fW Aon Um - tarrtd iMr theri^lvwl fwn •vvrrtlilnf btlbvv 

y^ttC «»«irh •!« ito mm 9i Umw Umw." iNhtmk md iUhft*^ V- 9^) 

«owiiH«i. Mr. UranI m f nt inui at • JamnuUcf JMiHeaociti^,l».c 

KojriuOUi *'|Im a Lffkii, or bHnOaf • JUntworUi'i itMyrM, |k SS. 

Chap. II. 



In the most southern part of Assyria, from lat. 31° to 35° 30', 
the climate scarcely differs from that of Babylonia, which has 
been already described.'* The same burning summers, and the 
same chilly, but not really cold, winters prevail in both districts ; 
and the time and character of the rainy season is alike in each. 
The summers are perhaps a little less hot, and the winters a 
little colder than in the more southern and alluvial region ; but 
the difference is inconsiderable, and has never been accurately 

In the central part of AVestern Assyria, on either side of the 
Sinjar range, the climate is decidedly cooler than in the region 
adjoining Babylonia. In summer, though the heat is great, 
especially from noon to sunset,^ yet the nights are rarely oppres- 
sive, and the mornings are enjoyable. The spring-time in this 
region is absolutely delicious;^ the autumn is pleasant; and the 
winter, though cold and accompanied by a good deal of rain and 
snow,'' is rarely prolonged and never intensely rigorous. Storms 
of thunder and lightning are frequent,^ especially in spring, and 
they are often of extraordinary violence : hailstones fall of the 
size of pigeon's eggs;^ the lightning is incessant; and the wjnd 
rages with fury. The force of the tempest is, however, soon 
exhausted ; in a few hours' time it has passed away, and the sky 
is once more cloudless ; a delightful calm and freshness pervade 
the air, producing mingled sensations of pleasure and repose.^ 

The mountain tract, which terminates Western Assyria to the 
north, has a climate very much more rigorous than the central 
region. ; The elevation of this district is considerable,^ and the 
near vicinity of the great mountain country of Armenia, with 
its eternal snows and winters during half the year, tends greatly 
to lower the temperature, which in the winter descends to eight 

* Supra, pp. 28-30. 

' Chesney, Euphrates Expedition, vol. 
i. p. 106. 

" See Mr. Layard's account of his visit 
to the Sinjar and the Khabour in 1850. 
{Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 234-336 ; cf. 
particularly pp. 246, 269, 273, and 324.) 

^ Chesney, 1. s. c. 

* Layard, Nineveh and its Remains, 

vol. i. p. 124, vol. ii. p. 54 ; Nineveh and 
Babylon, pp. 242, 243, and 294, 295; 
Rich's Kurdistan, vol. i. p. 10. 

® Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 294 ; 
Jones, Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. 
p. 360. 

» Layard, ibid. p. 243. 

^ Mr. Ainsworth estimates the average 
elevation at 1300 feet {Assyria, p. 29). 

p 2 

212 THE 8B0OKD MONARCHY. Chap. U. 

or ten degrees below zero.* Much snow then falls, which usually 
lie* for some weeks; the spring is wet and stormy, but the 
summer and the autumn are fine ; and in the western portion of 
the rej?ion, about Harran and Orfah, the summer heat is great 
Tlie climate is here an ** extreme" one, to use an expression of 
Humboldt's — the range of the thermometer being even greater 
than it is in Chaldn^a, reaching nearly (or perhaps occasionally 
exceeding) 120 degrees.* 

Such is the present climate of Assyria, west and east of the 
Tigris. There is no reason to believe that it was very different 
in ancient times. If irrigation was then more common and 
cultivation more widely extended, the temperature would no 
doubt have been somewhat lower and the air more moist But 
neither on physical nor on historical grounds can it be argued, 
that the difference thus produced was more than slight The 
chief causes of the remarkable heat of Meso]>otamia — so much 
excee<ling that of many countries under the same parallels of 
latitude — are its near vicinity to the Arabian and Syrian deserts, 
and its want of trees, tho^e great refrigerators.^ While the first 
of these caust^s would be wholly untouche<l by cultivation, the 
•eoond would be affected in but a small degree. The only tree, 
which is known to have been an<'iently cultivated in Mesopotamia, 
it the datt^iNtlm ; and as this ceases to lx>ar fruit* about lat 35% 
its greater cultivation could have prevailed only in a very small 
portion of the (*ountry, and so would have effected the general 
dimate but little. Ilistoritnilly, too, we find, among the earliest 
DOlioes which liave any climatic bearing, indications that the 
tempeiatore and the coiiMN|uent condition of the country were 
andaotlj Torj nearly whut they now are. Xenophon sjieaks of 
the faarronne» of the irm:i between the Khaboor and Babylonia, 

tytt **Th0hmHm 
ft m iMtl." (Ab. 
mf tiw tktmmtmt tmOm n&'^ ta Uw 

• llnaibaMl aMatloot ihrw wy In 
wkleli Urn* maH iIm> air, vl*.. by soollnf 

he «jrt, " prolMl Um froiuid 
ftoB tlM 4irwt njt of the nm, erapo- 
imto Sttkb «laboraied bj th* trtM cbam- 
Mlvet, Md eool Um ttrato of air la Im- 
aoaiaol with Umb bj Um ladla- 
of haat from tbair igfaillwilar 

Uiadtb ^ ovaf^anOlM, tad by railUii<«. I. p. lOft. 

atfaaa or loavM.** (lyorrfi ^ 
ToL 1. p. Ii7. K. T.) 
• Ch««a«y, £«/iAmlit Enp^iHtim, vol. 

Chap. II. 



and the entire absence of forage in as strong terms as could 
be used at the present day J Arrian, following his excellent 
authorities, notes that Alexander, after crossing the Euphrates, 
kept close to the hills, " because the heat there was not so scorch- 
ing as it- was lower down, and because he could then procure 
green food for his horses."^ The animals too which Xenophon 
found in the country are either such as now inhabit it,^ or 
where not such, they are the denizens of hotter rather than 
colder climates and countries.^ 

The fertility of Assyria is a favourite theme with the ancient 
writers.^ Owing to the indefiniteness of their geographical 
terminology, it is however uncertain, in many cases, whether 
the praise which they bestow upon Assyria is really intended 
for the country ,here called by that name, or whether it does 
not rather apply to the alluvial tract already described, which 
is more properly termed Chaldsea or Babylonia. Naturally 
Babylonia is very much more fertile than the greater part of 
Assyria, which being elevated above the courses of the rivers, 
and possessing a saline and gypsiferous soil, tends, in the absence 
of a sufficient water supply, to become a bare and arid desert. 
Trees are scanty in both regions except along the river courses ; 
but in Assyria, even grass fails after the first burst of spring ; 
and the plains, which for a few weeks have been carpeted with 
the tenderest verdure and thickly strewn with the brightest and 
loveliest •' flowers,^ become, as the summer advances, yellow, 
parched, and almost herbless. Few things are more remarkable 
than the striking difference between *tbe appearance of the same 

^ Xen, Anah. i. 5, § 5. Ov yap ?\v 
"Xopros, ouSe &K\o ScvSpov ovSev, aA.Aa 

* Arrian, Exp, Alex. iii. 7. 

^ As bustards, antelopes, and wild 

* As the ostrich. It is curious that 
Ileeren should regard the wild ass as 
gone from Mesoi)otamia, and the ostrich 
as still occurring. {As. Nat. vol. i. pp. 
132, 133, E. T.) His statement exactly 
inverts the truth. 

2 Herod, i. 193; Strab. xvi. 1, § 14; 
Dionys. Perieg. 992-999; Plin. //. N. 
vi. 26 ; Amm. Marc, xxiii. 6, &c. 

^ This peculiarity did not escape Dio- 
hysius, a native of Charax, on the Per- 
sian Gulf (Plin. //. N. vi. 27), who speaks 
feelingly of the " flowery pastures " 
{vo/xovi fiapdfas) of Mesopotamia (1. 
1000). Mr. Layard constantly alludes 
to the wonderful beauty of the spring 
flowers in the country at the foot of the 
Sinjar. (Nineveh and Jiabi/lon, pp. 268, 
273, 301, &c.) Mr. Rich notices the 
same features in the country near Kerkulc 
(Kurdistan, vol. i. p. 47). Captain Jones 
remarks similarly of the tract in the 
vicinity of Nimrud. (JoKrnal of Asiatic 
Society, vol. xv. pp. 372, 373.) 



Chap. II. 

tract in Assj'ria at different seasons of the year. Wlmt at one 
time is a garden, glowing with brilliant hues and heavy with 
luxuriant pasture, on which the most numerous flocks can 
ecarcely make any sensible impression, at another is an absolute 
waste, frightful and oppressive from its sterility/ 

If we seek the cause of this curious contrast, we shall find it 
in the productive qualities of the soil, wherever there is sufficient 
moisture to allow of their displaying themselves, combined with 
the fact, already noticed, that the actual supply of water is 
deficient Speaking generally, we may say with truth, as was 
said by Herodotus more than two tliousand years ago — that 
" but little rain falls in Assyria,"* and, if water is to be supplied 
in adequate quantity to the thirsty soil, it must be derived from 
the rivers. In most parts of Assyria there are occasional rains 
during the winter, and in ordinary years, frequent showers in 
early spring. The dependance of the present inhabitants both 
for pasture and for grain is on these. There is scarcely any 
irrigation ; • and though the soil is so productive that wherever 
the land is cultivated, good crops are commonly obtaineil by 
means of the spring rains, while elsewhere nature at once 
spontaneously robes herself in verdure of the richest kind, yet 
DO sooner does summer arrive than barrenness is spread over the 
scene ; the crops ripen and are gathered in ; " the grass 
i^ithereth, tie flower fadeth;"' the delicate herbage of the 
plains shrinks back and disappears; all around turns to a 
uniform dull straw-colour j nothing continues to live but what 
is coarse, dry, and sapless ; and so the land, which was lately 
an Eden, becomes a desert. 

Far different would be the aspect of the region, were a due 
use made of that abundant water supply — actually most lavish 
in the summer time, owing to the melting of the snows* — which 
nature has provide<l in the two great Alesopotamian rivers and 
their tributaries. .S> mpid is the fall of the two main-streams 
in their upixjr course, that by channels derived from them, with 

vol. a. p. 70. 
• Herod. I. 108. 


* l4ayiinl, ut tupra, p. 69. 
' iMUh xl 7. • 8eo 

8eo tbove, p. IS. 

Chap. II. 



the help perhaps of dams thrown across them, at certain intervals, 
the water might be led to almost any part of the intervening 
country, and a supply kept up during the whole year. Or, even 
without works of this magnitude, by hydraulic machines of a 
very simple construction, the life-giving fluid might be raised 
from the great streams and their affluents in sufficient quantity 
to maintain a broad belt on either side of the river-courses in 
perpetual verdure. Anciently, we know that recourse was had 
to both of these systems. In the tract between the Tigris and 
the Upper Zab, which is the only part of Assyria that has been 
minutely examined, are distinct remains of at least one Assyrian 
canal, wherein much ingenuity and hydraulic skill is exhibited, 
the work being carried through the more elevated ground by 
tunnelling, and the canal led for eight 
miles contrary to the natural course 
of every stream in the distriat.^ Sluices 
and dams, cut sometimes in the solid 
rock, regulated the supply of the fluid 
at different seasons, and enabled the 
natives to make the most economical 
application of the great fertiliser. The 
use of the hand-swipe was also certainly 

known, since it is mentioned by Herodotus,^ and even repre- 
sented upon the sculptures. Very probably other more elaborate 
machines were likewise employed, unless the general prevalency 
of canals superseded their necessity. It is certain that over 
wide districts, now dependant for productive power wholly on 
the spring rains, and consequently quite incapable of sustain- 
ing a settled population, there must have been maintained in 
Assyrian times some effective water-system, whereby regions 
that at present with difficulty furnish a few months' subsistence 
to the wandering Arab tribes, were enabled to supply to scores 
of populous cities sufficient food for their consumption.^ 

We have not much account of the products of Assyria Proper 

Hand-swipe (Koyunjik). 

8 See the account of these works, given 
by Captain Jones in the Journal of the 
Asiatic Society, vol. xv. pp. 310, 311. 
Compare Layard, Nineveh and its Be- 

mains, vol. i. pp. 80, 81. 

* Herodotus calls it KeXcovnXov (i. 193). 

2 See Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 


in early times. Its dates were of small repute, being greatly 
inferior to those of Babylon.* It grew a few olives in places/ 
and some spicy shrubs,^ which cannot be identified with any 
certainty. Its cereal crops were good, and may perliaps be 
regarded as included in the commendations bestowed by 
Herodotus* and Strabo' on the grain of the Mesopotamian 
region. The country was particularly deficient in trees, large 
tracts growing nothing but wormwood and similar low shrubs,* 
while others were absolutely without either tree or bush.* The 
only products of Assyria which acquired such note as to be 
called by its name were its silk '** and its citron trees. The silk, 
according to Pliny, was the produce of a large kind of silkworm 
not found elsewhere.'* The citron trees obtained a very great 
celebrity. Not only were they admired for their perpetual 
fruitage, and their delicious odour ; '* but it was believed that 
the fruit winch they bore was an unfailing remedy against 
poisons.^ Numerous attempts were made to natunilize the tree 
in other countries ; but up to the time when Pliny wrote, every 
such attempt had failed, and the citron was still confined to 
Assyria, Persia, and Media.* 

It is not t*) be imagined that the vegetable products of Assyria 
were confined within the narrow compass which tlie ancient 
notices might seem to indicate. Those notices are casual, and 
it is evident that they are incomplete ; nor will a just notion be 
obtained of the real character of the region, unless we take into 

• Plin/ mprukt of the AityrUn dat«t 
chMly fur lattrniiiK piK* •n*! 

laioMl*. (//•«/. .Sat. xiii. 4, 


« A* in ChaioBiti*. (Plla. //. .V. vl. 27.) 

• SiniU xti. 1, f 24. Mib Sa.; Xm. 
Ai^. i. &. f I. 

• Ucrod. L I9S. Mr. Uymt^ raowrkt 
IImI Um kind* of gtmla MMitkNied by 

bnrtojr, tUII «oa»< 
•grknillsml fndw 
i^Mtl and a* SmM****^ %oL 4t. I*, -i'dii.) 
' Smb. xvl. t, f 14. 

• Xm. Amd,. i. 5. f I. 

• lyd. i. &. { 5. N«0 llM 
c|iMl«d nl Ivofib in tto(r ' .^^.^ yii 

'* Pliny tpenkt of ** AMyrinn tnik *' u 
a prupvr drtm §a w«— mi. (" AasyriA 
uinou iHMnbyce ndhiie fcaainb oodiuus." 
-//. .V. xl. 23.) 

» Ibid. xi. 22. 

X Ibid. xU. 3. *' Odore pnN«IUt fbli- 
uruin i|U(M{ur, qui tnuMit in rtmu* un4 
oondilunarceUiue nnimaiium main. Ar- 
bor i|Mui «>iniiibtu huri« |iun)ifcni vt, 
-'"-^ - ' ''•■•- -!'''- maturMCctttibus, 

M >. AMyri*. qtuun 
•hi .Mrtlinim vucant. vvutnil* mrdftur." 
i'om|air« Vir«. iJ^»>f. ii. 126; Solin. 
4V. kr. 

• nin. //. .V. XM 12; Solin. 

I. •. c. 

Chap. II. 



account such of the present products as may be reasonably- 
supposed to be indigenous. Now, setting aside a few plants of 
special importance to man, the cultivation of which may have 
been introduced, such as tobacco, rice, Indian corn, and cotton, 
we may fairly say that Assyria has no exotics, and that the trees, 
shrubs, and vegetables now found within her limits are the same 
in all probability as grew there anciently. In order to complete 
our survey, we may therefore proceed to inquire, what are the 
chief vegetable products of the region at the present time. 

In the south the date-palm grows well as far as Anah on 
the Euphrates and Tekrit on the Tigris. Above that latitude 
it languishes, and ceases to give fruit altogether about the 
junction of the Khabour with the one stream and the Lesser 
Zab with the other.^ The unproductive tree, however, which 
the Assyrians used for building purposes,'* will grow and attain 
a considerable size to the very edge of the mountains.^ Of 
other timber trees the principal are the sycamore and the 
oriental plane, which are common in the north ; the oak, which 
abounds about Mardin ^ (where it yields gall-nuts and the rare 
product manna), and which is also found in the Sinjar and 
Abd-el-Aziz ranges ; '^ the silver poplar, which often fringes the 
banks of the streams f the sumac, which is found on the Upper 
Euphrates;^ and the walnut, which grows in the Jebel Tur, 
and is not uncomTnon between the foot of Zagros and the out- 
lying ranges of hills.^° Of fruit-trees the most important are 
the orange, lemon, pomegranate, apricot, olive, vine, fig, mul- 
berry, and pistachio-nut. The pistachio-nut grows wild in the 
northern mountains, especially between Orfah and Diarbekr.^^ 
The fig is cultivated with much care in the Sinjar.'^ The vine 

' Chesney, Euphrates Expedition, vol. 
i. p. 107 ; Layard, Nineveh and its Re- 
mains, vol. ii. p. 42.3. 

* Strabo, xvi. 1, § 5 ; Plin. H. N. 
xiii. 4. 

^ Chesney, 1. s. c. ; Layard, 1. s. c. 

^ Niebuhr, Voyage en Arable, p. 323. 
(Compare his Description deVArubie, p. 
128.) Mr. Berrington observed two 
species of oak in the Jebel Tur, one of 
which he identified with the Valonia oak. 

^ Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 
256 and 312. 

« Chesney, p. 108. 

® Ainsworth, Assyria, p. 34. 

'* Layard, Nineveh and Babylon,^. 366. 
Mr. Berrington found walnuts near Ain 
Kaf in the Jebel Tur range. 

" Pocock, Description of the East, vol. 
ii. pp. 1.58 and 163. 

'■^ It is grown on terraces, like the 
vine in Switzerland and on the banks 




i« also prown in that region/ but lieare better on the skirtB of 
the hilU above Orfuh anil 3fardin.' Pomegranates ffourish in 
▼ariooi parta of the country. Oranges and lemons belong to 
its more southern parts, where it verges on Babylonia.' The 
olWe clothes the flanks of Zagros in places.^ Besideft these 
rarer fniits, AssyriA has chesnuts, pears, apples, plums, cherries, 
wihl and cultivated, quinces, apricots, melons, and filberts. 

The commonest shrubs are a kind of wormwood — the ajmn^ 
thium of Xenophon — which grows over much of the plain 
extending south of the KImbour* — and the tamarisk. Green 
myrtles, and oleanders with their rosy blossoms, clothe the 
banks of some of the smaller streams between the Tigris and 
Mount Zagros;* and a shrub of frequent occurrence is the 
liquorice plant' Of edible vegetables there is great abun- 
dance. Truffles* and capers* grow wild ; while peas, beans, 
onions, spinach, cucumbers, and lentils are cultivated success* 
fully.** The carob (Ceratonia SUiqua) must also be mentioned 
as among the rarer products of this region." 

It was noticed above that manna is gathered in Assyria from 
the dwarf oak. It is abundant in Zagros, and is found also in 
the woods aliout Mardin, and again between Orfuh and Diarbekr. 
According to Mr. Rich, it is not confined to the dwarf oak, or 
even to trees and shrubs, but is de|)osited also on sand, rocks, 
ftod ttoDo." It is most plentiful in wet seasons, and es|)ccially 
tlltr Ibgs;* in dry seasons it fails almost totally. The natives 


m te gnu 

if99^ m Arahi0, p, 915,) > 
' liiyMd* i n e. Tht vIm la alto 
Mllivatxa at BavUo (BMriaftiNi) Mid 
•Mr KrHiuk (Kkh, Amnlidtm, ««L L 

• noeurk. vol. II. p. IMt NM^hr, f. 
Sit. TW vIm wm •! am tUm mkI- 
irsiMl M km dova m tht tmumfmrtmrnt 
or iW •JIttvliMi. Mm Amb. Mar. ulv. 
SaiKie. j 

• U/Md,ii47fl| LQlhM,CUMM«W ; 


• Uftd, JTAwral Ml M$ JUwi M, 
vaLIL|k4S9) Sim, mtt SU. fp,\U, 19$. 

• AlMWOPth, Tni' • ' '• • 
tAt Tern Tkmmtml, | 

•boumU aUo n<*ii r J • > • 
dUtrirt (Kirh. 

• Uyanl, .N. 

see. ^ ClM«i»«>,L». 

• Layard, p. 915. * Chfnmy, I ^. 
** SMftirBKMior (' 

Coloaal CbMBvy (1 

" '" Kiabuhix . 

m. iSft) ; mmnbara bv Mr. l^yaid (Aia. 

" Ctmmj, l.a.0. 

" Kldi,A'ttr«IMm,vd.l.|i.l4S. 

paia Chaaaay, AV ^p4w il M JiMp, toL L 
* Owaaair. L».a. ONiaaft Klebohr, 


timHfikm J$ tAmbif^ 

Chap. II. 



collect it in spring and autumn. The best and purest is that 
taken from the ground ; but by far the greater quantity is 
obtained from the trees, by placing cloths under them and 
sliaking the branches. The natives use it as food both in its 
natural state and manufactured into a kind of paste. It soon 
corrupts ; and in order to fit it for exportation, or even for the 
storeroom of the native housewife, it has to undergo the pro-, 
cess of boiling.^ When thus prepared, it is a gentle purgative ; 
but, in its natural state and when fresh, it may be eaten in large 
quantities without any unpleasant consequences.^ 

Assyria is far better supplied with minerals than Babylonia. 
Stone of a good quality, either limestone, sandstone, or conglo- 
merate, is always at hand ; while a tolerable clay is also to be 
found in most places. If a more durable material is required, 
basaltic rock may be obtained from the IVIons Masius — a sub- 
stance almost as hard as granite.* On the left bank of the 
Tigris a soft grey alabaster abounds, which is easily cut into 
slabs, and forms an excellent material for the sculptor.^ The 
neighbouring mountains of Kurdistan contain marbles of many 
different qualities ; and these could be procured without much 
difficulty by means of the rivers. From the same quarter it 
was easy to obtain the most useful metals. Iron, copper, and 
lead, are found in great abundance in the Tiyari Mountains 
within a short distance of Nineveh ; ^ where they crop out upon 
the surface, so that they cannot fail to be noticed. Lead and 
copper are also obtainable from the neighbourhood of Diarbekr.''' 
The Kurdish Mountains may have supplied other metals. They 
still produce silver and antimony;^ and it is possible that they 
may anciently have furnished gold and tin. As their mineral 
riches have never been explored by scientific persons, it is very 
probable that they may contain many other metals besides 
those which they are at present known to yield.® 

2 Chesney, p. 124. 

3 Kiebuhr, p. 129. 
* Layard, 

, p. 316. 

Am. and its Remains, vol. 

Ibid. pp. 313, 314. This is the ma- 
terial universally employed for the bas- 

« Ibid. vol. i. p. 223 ; vol. ii. p. 415. 

' Chesney, vol. i. p. 108. 

' Layard, Am. and its Hemains, vol. 
ii. pp. 417-419. 

* Mr. Rich observed traces of iron in 
more places than one. {Kurdistan, vol. 
i. pp. 176 and 222.) 




Among tlio ininoral produrts of As8)'ria — bitumen, nnplitha, 
petrolearo, sulphur, alnm, and salt, hare also to be reckoned. 
The bitumen pitu of Kerkuk, in the country between the Lesser 
Ziib and the Adhem, are scait^ely less celebratiHl tlmn those of 
Hit;* and there are some abundant springs of the same cha- 
racter close to Nimrud, in the bed of tlie Shor Derreh torrent* 
^Tbe AMjrian palaces furnish sufficient evidence that the springs 
were productive in old times; for the employment of bitumen 
as a cement, though not so frequent as in Babylonia, is yet 
oocationally found in them.' With the bitumen are always 
procured both naphtha and petroleum ;* while at Eerkuk there 

Aayriui Lkm, fttMn Nimnid. 

is an abundance of sulphur also.* Salt is obtaincnl from springs 
in the KiTkuk cHumtry;* and is also formed in certain small 
lakea lying U*tw«M-n the Sinjur and nul.yltuila.'^ Almu is |.lin- 
tiful in the hills nUmt Kifri/ 

The most reumrkuble wiM animaU of Aiiyria are the follow- 


ft( lUr fmm, tfmtk, v«L IL pa 
440-44t| Bkk. JTvfdMMM, v«L L ni SI ; 
rirwl M mm%if m ilsiyiw, f. UL 

TW ipoillloii «f IW AUt •prU^ to 
mmrkmd Ui iW bIm, «i|n«, pc SUa Tli»i« 

iUhtk, I'll iilin> vdTk |k«l) 

• UkkafiMMAIIalii|«k4MilM«4 
tW MM oT Uumm «a •mmm U a*- 


•XrU fjfittevtk amJ U* JKranttM, vol. u 
p|k i7S, 919) ; but mfawqttraUjr h« luitua 
«MM trmtm of lit wmvkjnamu (.Aim. ami 
Atk p. 103, k^y. U, BotU iTpnwnu 
UmmvoT It M eoouMM both at Kbur» 
«htd MmI Koyui^)ik ili4t0r$ /nmn .Vn 

' Am abovo, p. 89. 

• Risk, XnrJMra, vd. L^ tf 




Chap. U. 



ing : — the lion, the leopard, the lynx, the wild-cat, the hyaena, 
the wild-ass, the bear, the deer, the gazelle, the ibex, the wild- 
sheep, the wild-boar, the jackal, the wolf, the fox, the beaver, 
the jerboa, the porcupine, the badger, and the hare. The 
Assyrian lion is of the maneless kind, and in general habits 
resembles the lion of Babylonia. The animal is comparatively 
rare in the eastern districts, being seldom found on the banks 
of the Tigris above Baghdad, and never above Kileh-Sherghat.'-' 

Ibex, or Wild-Goat, from Nimrud. 

On the Euphrates it has been seen as high as Bir ; and it is 
frequent on the banks of the Khabour, and in the Sinjar.^'^ It 
has occasionally that remarkable peculiarity — so commonly 
represented on the sculptures — a short horny claw at the 
extremity of the tail in the middle of the ordinary tuft of hair.' 
The ibex or wild-goat — also a favourite subject with the Assyrian 
sculptors — is frequent in Kurdistan, and moreover abounds on 
the highest ridges of the Abd-el-Aziz and the Sinjar, where it 

* Layard, Nin. and its Remains, vol. 
ii. p. 48. 

^0 Ibid. 1. s. c, note. For its fre- 

quency in old times, see Amm. Marc, 
xviii. 7. 

> Layard, pp. 428, 429. 


is approached with difficulty by the hunter.* The gazelle, wild- 
boar, wolf, jackal, fox, badger, porcupine, and hare, are commoa 
in the plains, and confined to no jtarticular locality. Tlie 
jerboa is abundant near the Khal>our.' Bears and deer are 
found on the skirts of the Kunlish hills. The leopard, hya>na, 
Ijnx, and bearer are com])aratively rare. The last-named 
animal, ver>' uncommon in »Southern Asia, was at one time 
found in large numbers on the Khubour ; but in consequence 
of the value set upon its musk bag, it has been hunted almost 

Wild Aml 

to 6itennuiatlon, and is now rery seldom seen. The Khabour 
beavem are said to be a diflerent species from the Ameriain. 
Their tail i* not large and broad, but sharp and pointed ; n(tr 
do they build boiiies, or construct dams across the stream, but 
live in the banks, making thonuielTea large chambers above tht* 
ordinary level of the floods, which are entered by holes beneath 
Uio water-line.* 

The rarest of all the animals which art* Ktill found in A- 

4ki < oin|«r* Mm, md Mk, pf^. tb6 mlm Unxnt m ih« aSobab Hrtr, m trl« 
•u>i ili I Uilary uf iU« Diyalvb. 

Chap. II. 



is the wild ass (Equus Jiemionus), Till the present generation 
of travellers, it was believed to have disappeared altogether 
from the region, and to have " retired into the steppes of Mon- 

Leopard, from Nimrud. 

golia and the deserts of Persia."^ But a better acquaintance 
with the country between the rivers has shown, that wild asses, 
though uncommon, still inhabit the tract where they were seen 

"Wild Ass, from Koyunjik. 

by Xenophon.^ They are delicately made, in colour varying 
from a greyish- white in winter to a bright bay, approaching to 
pink, in the summer-time ; they are said to be remarkably 

' Heeren's Asiatic Nations, vol. i. p. 
132, E. T. 

* Anab. i. 5, § 2. Xenophon speaks of 

them as numerous in his day. He calls 
them " the most common animal " for 
some distance below the Khabour. 



Chap. II. 

swift It IB impossible to take them when full grown ; but the 
Arabs often capture the foalH, and bring them up with milk in 
their tents. Thej then become very 
playful and docile ; but it is found diffi- 
cult to keep them alive ; and they have 
never, apparently, been domesticated. 
The Ambs usually kill them and eat 
their fle^h.*^ 

It is probable that all these animals, 
and some others, inhabited Assyria dur- 
ing the time of the Empire. Lions of two 
kinds, with and without manes, abound in 
the sculptures, the former, which do not 
now exist in Assyria, being the more 
common. They are represented with a skill and a truth which 
shows the Assyrian sculptor to have been familiar not only with 

GaaeQe, from Nimrud. 


' l^^anl. Xim, mad Ha 

vcL L nik ass, as4 ; av*. «mI aa. p^ s: 

Chap. II. 



their forms and proportions, but with their natural mode of life, 
their haunts, and habits. The leopard is far less often depicted, 
but appears goraetimes in the ornamentation of utensils,^ and is 
frequently mentioned in the in- 
scriptions. The wild ass is a 
favourite subject with the sculp- 
tors of the later Empire, and is 
represented with great spirit, 
though not with complete accu- 
racy. The ears are too short, the 
head is too fine, the legs are not 
fine enough, and the form alto- 
gether approaches too nearly to 
the type of the horse. The deer, the gazelle, and the ibex, 
all occur frequently ; and though the forms are to some extent 

Fallow Deer, from Koyunjik. 

Hare and Eagles, from Nimrud. 

conventional, they are not wanting in spirit. Deer are appa- 
rently of two kinds. That which is most commonly found 
appears to represent the grey deer, which is the only species 
existing at present within the confines of Assyria.^ The other 
sort is more delicate in shape, and' spotted, seeming to represent 
the fallow deer, which is not now known in Assyria or the 
adjacent countries. It sometimes appears wild, lying among 
the reeds; sometimes tame, in the arms of a priest or of a 

« See the woodcut, p. 223. 
' The deer which the army of Julian 
found in such numbers on the left bank 

VOL. I. 

of the Euphrates, a little above Anah, 
were probably of this species. (Amm. 
Marc. xxiv. 1.) 




CiiAr. II. 

winged figure. There is no representation in the sculptures of 
the wild boar ; but a wild sow and pigH are given in one bas- 
relief,** sufficiently indicating the Assyrian acquaintance with 
this aniinnL Hares are often depicted, and 
with much truth ; generally they are carried 
in the hands of men, but sometimes they are 
being devoured by vultures or eagles." No 
representations have been found of bears, 
wild-cats, hyflDDO-s wolves, jackals, wild-sheep, 
foxes, beavers, jerboas, porcupines, or badgers. 
There is reason to believe that two other 
animals, which have now altogether disap- 
peared from the country, inhabited at least 
some parts of Assyria during its flourishing 
period. One of these is the wild bull — often 
represented on the bas-reliefs as a beast of 
cliase, and perhaps mentioned as such in the 
lUr«, from KhonabiMi inscriptions.* This animal, which is some- 
times depicted as engaged in a contest with 
the lion,' must liave been of vast strengtli and boldness. It is 
often hunted by the king, and appears to have been considered 
nearly as noble an object of pursuit as the lion. We may pre- 
sume, from the practioe in the adjoining country, Palestine,' 
thai the fleih was eaten as food. 

The other animal, onoe indigenous, but which has now dis- 
appeared, was called by the Assyrians the mWun.nud is thought 
to haT6 been the tiger. Tigera are not now found nearer to 
Aifym than tlie ooantry south of tlio Caspian, Ghilan, and 

M tiipra, p. 4a Both thtf «nd tW 

HWWimlWi tmp.tM&oim Mlun -i^mt 

hmmt to III* dMMBllotM of KrliltaillM^ 

Hb't |Mlare at Ku>uujik. Ttiry mrr givra 
by Mr. Uyanl in hi« " Hpc«^a Hcrriai" 

ofthrj/.*...' •a.piia. 

" TUrri' u« |K.tSft !•«• 

am at Ui* Iwsuntui broaa» aUl« or 

BHibk Mmmmi. TU4WI it i 
la ilM M i m m m mtt ^ Hi 

dlAtf wliieli w«ft tinimlH kjr Mr. Uy 

•mk wm mom la Um 

/.. p^ 54, ftft, viMra bolh SrU. Batr. 
llMM awl Dr. Illaelra aadmlaad th« 
«riU-bttU lo be iniended. Dr. Rlark* 
rvadi lb* wonl umU a« /fwa, whleh wouki 
^^^y b0 lamtiral with the llvbr»«r 
Oin, or on, traaalalfld la our rcinloa 
** ualoora*" aad •omoUaMO UMOgbl le ho 
sa aalolopo, bat aadaiatood hf 0«imi1im 
to d«ifaaia •* tiM wild btAIOk** (Pw bb 
IfMtea la voe^ 

* lAjraid, Jmuaralt §i JV&mmI, fir«t 
wrK 14. 4« aad 4S. • Dvul. %\x. : 

Chap. II. 



Mazanderan ; but as there is no conceivable reason why they 
should not inhabit Mesopotamia,'* and as the mithin is constantly 
joined with the lion, as if it were a beast of the same kind, and 
of nearly equal strength and courage, we may fairly conjecture 
that the tiger is the animal intended. If this seem too bold a 
theory, we must regard the mithin as the larger leopard,^ an 
animal of considerable strength and ferocity, which, as well as 
the hunting leopard, is still found in the country.® 

The birds at present frequenting Assyria are chiefly the fol- 
lowing: — The bustard (which is of two kinds — the great and 
the middle-sized), the egret, the crane, the stork, the pelican, 
the flamingo, the red partridge, the black partridge or francolin. 

Chase of Wild Ox, from Nimrud. 

the parrot, the Seleucian thrush (turdus Seleucus), the vulture, 
the falcon or hunting-hawk, the owl, the wild swan, the bramin 
goose, the ordinary wild goose, the wild duck, the teal, the tern, 
the sand-grouse, the turtle-dove, the nightingale, the jay, the 
plover, and the snipe.''' There is also a large kite or eagle, 
called '' agab," or " the butcher," by the Arabs, which is greatly 
dreaded by fowlers, as it will attack and kill the falcon no less 
than other birds. 

* Diodorus speaks of " Babylonian 
tigers " as among the animals indigenous 
in Arabia (ii. 50, § 2). 

* This animal is now called the nimr. 
The smaller or hunting-leopard (now 
called fahad) is the nimr of the Assy- 
rians, an animal of which the inscrip- 
tions make frequent mention. 

" Sir H. Rawlinson brought a speci- 
men of the larger leopard, which he had 

tamed, from Baghdad to England, and 
presented it to the Clifton Zoological 
Gardens. Many visitors will remember 
Fahad, who died in the Gardens in 1858 
or 1859. 

• The authorities for this list are Mr. 
Berrington, Mr. Layard, and Colonel 
Chesney. (See the Euph. Expedition, vol. 
i. pp. 107, 108 ; and Nineveh and Babylon, 




cuAp. n. 

We haye little iniuiiimu'-n as to wliir-Vi of these binis fre- 
quented the couiitr}' in ancient times. 1 ii<t Assyrian artists 
are not happy in their delineation of the feathered tribe ; and 

Valtara, from Klnrnd. 

Vulture feeding on Corpw (Kojwgik). 

OMvid^ hmm a eytlaiter. Ostrich, from Kimrud. 

though seTcral forms of birds are represented upon the sculp- 
tores of Saigon and elsewhere, there are but three which any 

writer has ventured to 
identify — the vulture, 
the ostrich, and the par- 
tridge. The vulture is 
commonly represente<l 
flying in the air, in 
attendance u(X)n the 
march and the battle 
— sometimes devouring, 
as he flies, the entrails 
of one of Assyria's ene- 
miei. Occasionally he appears upon the battle-field, perched 
upon the bodies of the slain, and pecking at their eyes or their 

vitals." The ostrich, 
which we know from 
Xenophon to have lH?en 
a former inhabitant of 
the country on the left 
blink of tlu» Euphnites,* 
but which has now re- 
treated Into the wilds 
of Arabia, occurs fre- 
and ntcnsilt ; sometimes stalk- 


qoently npon cylindan^ 


••rlai,|l4<. •iUiALi.e. 

Chap. II 



iug along apparently unconcerned ; sometimes hastening at full 
speed, as if pursued by the hunter, 
and, agreeably to the descrip- 
tion of Xenophon, using its wing 
for a sail.^*' The partridge is 
still more common than either 
of these. He is evidently SQUght 
as food. We find him carried 
in the hand of sportsmen return- 
ing: from the chace, or see him ^, , ^. ^ ,^^^ 

" 111 Unknown birds (Khorsabad). 

flying above their heads as they 

beat the coverts/ or finally observe him pierced by a suc- 

Assyrian Garden and Fish-pond, Koyunjik (after Layard). 

" Tots irr^pv^iv, &pa(Ta, ficrirep itrricf}, xpt^l^^^V- Anab. i. 5, § 3. 
* Monuments of JS'inevch, second series, pi. 32. 



Chap. II. 

oettful shot, and in the act of falling a prey to Lis pur- 

The other birds represented upon the sculptares, though 
occasionaUy possessing some marked peculiarities of form or 
habit, hare not yet been ideiitiOed with any known species. 

Bactrian or two-humped Camel, from Nimnad. 

They are commodity represented as haunting the fir-woods, and 
often as perched upon the trees.' One appears, in a sculpture 
of Saigon's, in the act of climbing the stem of a tree, like the 
nni^iatch or the woodpecker.^ Another has a tail like a 

pheaMOt, but in otht i i^n^^^ts cannot be suid to iritoiiihlo tluit 
biftl The artist dot* not appear to aim at truth in these de- 
linea t iops, and it probably would be a waste of ingenuity to e^n- 
jeotore which species of bird he intended 

We ba?e no din*ct evidenee that buelaids inhnbito<l Meso- 

dlrXMa«.v«Lll. Bl. III. • Ibid. PlatM lOS to llS. 

« Ibid. n. 110. Omj/f Urn ii|>|»r woodcut, %ufn, ^ ttS. 

Chap. II. 



potamia in Assyrian times; but as they have certainly been 
abundant in that region from the time of Xenophon ^ to our 
own, there can be little doubt that they existed in some parts 
of Assyria during the Empire. 
Considering their size, their 
peculiar appearance, and the 
delicacy of their flesh, it is 
remarkable that the Assy- 
rian remains furnish no trace 
of them. Perhaps, as they 
are extremely shy, they may 
have been comparatively rare 
in the country when the 
population was numerous. 

Loading a Camel (Koyunjik). 

and when the greater portion of the tract between the rivers was 
brought under cultivation. 

The fish most plentiful in Assyria are the same as in Baby- 
lonia,^ namely, barbel and 
carp. They abound not only 
in the Tigris and Euphrates, 
but also in the lake of Khu- 
taniyeh, and often grow to 
a great size.'' Trout are 
found in the streams which 
run down from Zagros ; ^ and 
there may be many other 
sorts which have not yet 
been observed. The sculp- 
tures represent all the waters, 
whether river, pondjor marsh, 
as full of fish;^ but the 
forms are for the most part too conventional to admit of iden- 

The domestic animals now found in Assyria are camels, horses, 
asses, mules, sheep, goats, oxen, cows, and dogs. The camels 

Head of an Assyrian Horse, Koyunjik 
(after Layard). 

* Anah. 1. s. c. 

^ See above, p. 41. 

^ Chesney, Euphrates Exp. vol. i. p. 

108 ; Layard, Nin. and Babylon, p. 325. 
* Rich, Kurdistan, vol. i. p. 143. 
8 See woodcut on p. 229. 


are of three oolours — white, yellow, and dark brown or black.' 
Thf'V aro probably all of the same spedea, though commonly 
diatuiguiiihed into camels pro|)cr, and ddouh or dromedariGB ; the 
latter differing from the others as tlie English race-horee from 
the cart-horse. The Bactrian or two-humped camel, though 
known to the ancient Assyrians,' is not now found in tlie country. 
The horses arc numerous, and of the best Arab blood. Small 

AatyrUa llone, fnun Nimmd. 

in stature, bat of exquisite symmetry and wonderful powers of 
endurance, they are highly prized throughout the l^Iast,' and 
constitute the diief wealth of the wandering triU^M who occu|)y 
the groater portion of Meso|)otamia. Tlie sheej) and gotits are 
also of good hr6ed% and pruluco wool of an excellent (juaiity.^ 
Tlie cows and oxen cannot be commendeil.^ The dogs kept are 

• UyMvl. S\m09tk mtd B tk i f hm , p, US. ( kmwm aara. Mr. UvAid »«itioM a 
« The BMCriM cmmI ta, I iMltovw, cMt wIm« a Sbelkli iwAued Ibr a lb- 

MUy ivpnfMiMI Ml dM hmmm Wbtk i vwrlto Murv bo k« a torn thaa IfOOt 
OMkk, «bm It ap^Mia aaai^ Um^ < v-. tMl A4c jk 817.) 

f ii MU HBl to cIm IUm A^"b iwalft' '^«mv, AfknUm JTjjw^Wwi, vol, 

ooaalfka. (i*« wood««l oa p, S80.) ^ ' ••«. (CoMpaio woodsal lorMMol- 

' Tb* jooag eolu Imk friem turf- imm MvMfKKanUiii Ump^ p. tSOi) 

it BO ttBBMBBMM fHot hf B «vll 

Chap. II. 



Mule ridden by two women (Koyunjik). 

chiefly greyhounds,® which are used to course the hare and the 

It is probable that in ancient times the animals domesticated 
by the Assyrians were not very different from these. The camel 
appears upon the 
monuments both as 
a beast of burthen 
and also as ridden 
in war, but only by 
the enemies of the 
Assyrians. The horse 
is used both for 
draught and for rid- 
ing, but seems never 
degraded to ignoble 
purposes.^ His breed 
is good, though lie 
is not so finely or 
delicately made as 
the modern Arab. The head is small and well shaped, the 
nostrils large and high, the neck arched, but somewhat thick, 
the body compact, 
the loins strong, the 
legs moderately slen- 
der and sinewy. The 
ass is not found ; but 
the mule appears, 
sometimes ridden by 
women, sometimes 
used as a beast of 
burthen, sometimes 
employed in drawing 
a cart. Cows, oxen, 
sheep, and goats are ^ , , ivr wi- -1 ^ 

^ 5^ Loaded Mule (Ivoyunjik). 

frequent; but they 

are foreign rather than Assyrian, since they occur only among 

* Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 246. 
' Th6 horse draws chariots and not carts. He is never used as a beast of burthen. 


the tpofl taken from conquered countries. The dog is frequent 
on the later sculptures ; and has been found modelled in clay. 

Cart drawn by Mules (Koyunjik). 

Ihb L IKv Moddlid la d^j, ft«a tba fidMa of AMlmr-bani-pd. KoyuQJIk. 

and alio represented in relief on a day tablet Their riiani<t(T 
it that of a large mastiff or hound, and there is abundant ovi- 
that they were employed in hunting.* 
If thaAMjriaiit domeftioaied any bin!, it would seem to have 

M« floMlMtljr M| iriii fl M ' Tlwjr hava aaeb tlwlr bum laaerllwd <mi 

la tiM c1m«» u|iiHt Ihr M<«1|». ItiTM. «btrh UalwajtftlinR ladloMlv* 

l«rM «f i4wlnir»U»ii'|*l (H«nUM|«. tif their hunniiif iiroWMI. Tlw 

ImX a MUnbir of Uif hunatU mvrc (MouDua thu mm la IaImi 
la alftf Al IUr«iOtlu uTibMa. 

Chap. II. 



been the duck. Models of the duck are common, and seem 
generally to have been used for weights.^ The bird is ordinarily 

No. II. Dog in relief, on a clay tablet. 

represented with its head turned upon its back, the attitude of 

the domestic duck when asleep. 

The Assyrians seem to have 

had artificial ponds or stews, 

which are always represented 

as full of fish, but the forms 

are conventional, as has been 

already observed.^ Considering 

the size to which the carp and 

barbel actually grow at the pre- ^^^^""'^ ^"'^^ ^''^"'"^^• 

sent day, the ancient representations are smaller than might 

have been expected. 

» Layard, Nin. and Bab. pp. 600, 601. ' Supra, p. 231. 






"Hm A«}*mD was a cedar in Lebanon, fair of branchea, and with a 
ahadowing shroud, and of an high stature ; and his top was among the thick 
bonghi. .... Nor was any tree in the garden of God like onto him in bis 
beauty.**— EsEK. xxxi. 3 and 8. 

The ethnic character of the ancient Assyrians, like that of the 
Chaldaeans, was in former times a matter of controversy. AVhen 
nothing was known of the original language of the people l)eyond 
the names of certain kings, j)rinct'8, and generals, helieved 
to have belonged to the race, it was dinicult to arrive at any 
determinate conclusion on the stibject The ingenuity of 
etymologists displayed itaelf in suggesting derivations for the 
words in question,* which were sometimes absurd, sometimes 
plausible, but never more than very doubtful conjectures. No 
•ound historical critic could be content to base a positive view 
on any such unstable foundation, and nothing remained but to 
decide tlie controversy on other than linguistic considerations. 

Varioof grounds existed on which it was felt thht a conclusion 
ooukl be drawn. The Scriptural genealogies* connected Asshur 
with Aram, Kber, and Juktan, the allowe<i progenitors of tlie 
AramsBMii or Byriaiis, the Iiiraelitt^ or Hebrews, and tlie northern 
or Joktenuui Arabs. The languages, physical ty|N% and moral 
ohanetariltietof these mcos were well known ; they all U^Iongi^l 
evidently to a linglo family — the family known to ethnologists 
as the Hemitic. Again, the maimen and customs, esjMrially 
the religious rostoms, of the Assyrians connected them plainly 
with the Syrians and PliuMiician^ with whose practices they 
were cloaely allii><l.' Further, it was observed thai the modern 
Chald»ans of KunliKtan, who regard themad?ea as deaoendants 

Hankiml, vui. i« . |t|i. M5. ftS4, vhrtvaOMe 
of the Mi|ipi«Kl ilirlvaiioM affv givM. 
' 0«n. a. Il-Sl ( I Gkr. L 17-Ml 

I wfid by 
Iv. rp. 567, MS. 


Chap. III. 



of the ancient inhabitants of the neighbouring Assyria, still 
speak a Semitic dialect.* These three distinct and convergent 
lines of testimony were sufficient to justify historians in the con- 
clusion, which they commonly drew,^ that the ancient Assyrians 
belonged to the Semitic family, and were more or less closely 
connected with the Syrians,^ the (later) Babylonians, the 
Phoenicians, the Israelites, and the Arabs of the northern por- 
tion of the peninsula. 

Recent linguistic discoveries have entirely confirmed the 
conclusion thus arrived at. We now possess in the engraved 
slabs, the clay tablets, the cylinders, and the bricks, exhumed 
from the ruins of the great Assyrian cities, copious documentary 
evidence of the character of the Assyrian language, and (so far 
as language is a proof) of the ethnic character of the race. It 
appears to be doubted by none, who have examined the evi- 
dence,'^ that the language of these records is Semitic. However 
imperfect the acquaintance which our best Oriental archaeologists 
have as yet obtained with this ancient and difficult form of 
speech, its connexion wdth the Syriac, the later Babylonian, the 
Hebrew, and the Arabic does not seem to admit of a doubt. 

Another curious confirmation of the ordinary belief is to be 
found in the physical characteristics of the people, as revealed 
to us by the sculptures. Few persons in any way familiar with 
these works of art can have failed to remark the striking re- 
semblance to the Jewish physiognomy which is presented by the 
sculptured effigies of the Assyrians. The forehead straight but 

* The elder Niebuhr was the first to 
report this fact. (See his Voyage en 
Arable, p. 285.) It was commonly dis- 
believed till Mr. Ainsworth confirmed 
the statement. 

* See B. G. Niebuhr'e Lectures on An- 
cient History, vol. 1. p. 12, E. T. ; Grote, 
Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 403 ; Bunsen, 
Essay on Ethnology (1847), p. 29. 

" Niebuhr went so far as to identify 
the Assyrians with the Syrians ; but 
here he fell into a mistake. The Ara- 
maeans were probably as distinct from 
the Assyrians as any other Semitic race. 
Niebuhr was misled by the Greek fancy 

that the names, " Assyrian " and " Sy- 
rian," were really identical. (See Herod, 
vii. 63.) But these names had, in truth, 
an entirely distinct origin. Syria (more 
properly Tsyria) was the name given by 
the Greeks to the country about Tsur 
or Tyre, ")-1V. Assyria was tlie cor- 
respondent term to Asshur, t-IC^ti}, — the 
native, as well as the Hebrew, name of 
the tract upon the middle Tigris. 

' See Bunsen's Philosophy of History, 
vol. iii. pp. 193-216 ; Max Miiller, Lan- 
guages of the Seat of War, p. 2h, 2nd ed. ; 
Oppert, JiUcnwns de la Orammaire Assy- 
rienne ; &c. 



Chap. IH. 

not high, the full brow, the eye large and almond-shaped, the 
aqailine nose, a little coarse at the end, and unduly depressed, 
the strong, fimi, mouth, with lipe somewhat over thick, the well* 
formed chin — best seen in the representations of eunuchs — the 
abundant hair and ample beard, both coloured as black, — all 

AtqrHAnf (NImnHl). 

these recall the chief peculiarities of the Jew, more especially as 
he appears in southern countries. They are less like the traits 
of the Arab, though to them also they bear a considerable 
resemblance. Chateaubriand's description of the Bedouin — ** la 
tMe OTale, le front haut et arqu^, le nez aquiline les yens ^rand$ 


et coupes en amandes, le regard liumide et singulierement doux " ^ 
— would serve in many respects equally well for a description of 
the physiognomy of the Assyrians^ as they appear upon the 
monuments. The traits, in fact, are for the most part common 
to the Semitic race generally, and not distinctive of any par- 
ticular subdivision of it. They are seen now alike in the Arab, 
the Jew, and the Chaldaean of Kurdistan ; while anciently they 
not only characterised the Assyrians, but probably belonged also 
to the Phoenicians, the Syrians, and other minor Semitic races. 
It is evident, even from the mannered and conventional sculp- 
tures of Egypt, that the physiognomy was regarded as cha- 
racteristic of the western Asiatic races. Three captives on the 
monuments of Amenophis III.,^ represented as belonging to the 
Patana (people of Bashan?), the Asuru (Assyrians), and the 
Karukamishi (people of Carchemish), present to us the same 
style of face, only slightly modified by Egyptian ideas. 

While in face the Assyrians appear thus to have borne a most 
close resemblance to the Jews, in shape and make they are 
perhaps more nearly represented by their descendants, the 
Chaldaeans of Kurdistan. While the Oriental Jew has a spare 
form and a weak muscular development, the Assyrian, like the 
modern Chaldaean,^ is robust, broad-shouldered, and large-limbed. 
Nowhere have we a race represented to us monumentally of 
a stronger or more muscular type than the ancient Assyrian. 
Tlie great brawny limbs are too large for beauty ; but they 
indicate a physical power, which we may well believe to have 
belonged to this nation — the Komans of Asia — the resolute and 
sturdy people which succeeded in imposing its yoke upon all its 

If from physical we proceed to mental characteristics, we 
seem again to have in the Jewish character the best and closest 
analogy to the Assyrian. In the first place there is observable 
in each a strong and marked prominency of the religious 
principle. Inscriptions of Assyrian kings begin and end, almost 

* Itin^raire, vol. i. p. 421. » Lepsius, Denkmaler, Abtheil. iii. Bl, 88. 

* Rich, Residence in Kurdistan^ vol. i. p. 278. 



Chap. III. 

witiiuut exr^ption, with praises, inyocations, and prayers to the 
priDci|)al objects of their adoration. All the monar(;h*8 suc- 
oettes, all his conquesU and victories, and even his good fortune 
in the chase,' are ascribed continually to the protection and 
favour of guardian deities. Wherever he goes, he takes care to 
** set up the emblems of Asshur," or of " the great gods ; ** and 
focoes the vanquished to do them homage. The choicest of the 

Urnht of AMyrUiu (from th« tculptuTM). 

spoil is dedicated as a thank-oflfering iu the temples. The 
templas themselves are adorned, repaired, beautified, enlarged, 
inerMsed in number, by almost every monarch. Tiie kings 
worship in them in person,' and offer saorifiees.^ They embellish 
their pitlacai, not only with repn^sentations of their own victories 
and hunting expeditious, but also with rt*li<;ious figureS'^the 
emblems of some of tlie princii>al deities/ und with scenes in 

• Sm MMUUy Um TlsUih 

«0«ri— ^ UadMr tlM m mf ktm of lltol> 
mf gmtdlui Miy. I UIM taw vftd 

of KUip, ISO Umm HU iHrtirv 

• ** A« b* (SiMMelMHb) wm worablp. 
plac in Um hmm of Mktntk hk gmk" 
(fl Kla«i xlL 97). 

• TIglftili-niMr L tfmkM oT 


flonllns to All 
bter Inhaliiitii 

tkr IcM rvliKiuut, and ctMiltiml ihnr 
filrtuml »ik1 wul|i(uml rF|irnM>uialiuiui 
to IwIUm ami bunlin|C|*k«i«. (" N«« 
fitim aiwd MM ptotfiiur vvl flniciittr 
allud prwtor variM [iMoUarum] o«d« 
VI brlU," kklv. tt.) 


which are portrayed acts of adoration. Their signets, and 
indeed those of the Assyrians generally,^ have a religious cha- 
racter. In every way religion seems to hold a marked and pro- 
minent place in the thoughts of the people, who fight more for 
the honour of their gods than even of their king, and aim at ex- 
tending their belief as much as their dominion. 

Again, combined with this prominency of the religious 
principle, is a sensuousness — such as we observe in Judaism 
continually struggling against a higher and purer element — but 
which in this less favoured branch of the Semitic family reigns 
uncontrolled, and gives to its religion a gross, material, and even 
voluptuous character. The ideal and the spiritual find little 
favour with this practical people, which, not content with 
symbols, must have gods of wood and stone whereto to pray, 
and which in its complicated mythological system, its priestly 
hierarchy, its gorgeous ceremonial, and finally in its lascivious 
ceremonies,^ is a counterpart to that Egypt, from which the Jew 
was privileged to make his escape. 

The Assyrians are characterised in Scripture as "a fierce 
people."^ Their victories seem to have been owing to their 
combining individual bravery and hardihood with a skill and 
proficiency in the arts of war not possessed by their more un- 
civilised neighbours. This bravery and hardihood were kept 
up, partly (like that of the Komans) by their perpetual wars, 
partly by the training afforded to their manly qualities by the 
pursuit and destruction of wild animals. The lion — the king of 
beasts — abounded in their country,^ together with many other 
dangerous and ferocious animals. Unlike the ordinary Asiatic, 
who trembles before the great beasts of prey and avoids a 
collision by flight if possible,' the ancient Assyrian sought out 
the strongest and fiercest of the animals, provoked them to the 
encounter, and engaged with them in hand-to-hand combats. 

** Layard, Nineveh and its Remains^ 
vol. ii. p. 421 ; Nin. and Bab, pp. 603- 

^ See below, ch. viii. 

^ Isaiah xxxiii. 19. 

" "Inter arundineta Mcsopotamioe 

fluminum et fruteta Icones vagantur in- 
numeri." Amm. Marc, xviii. 7. Tiglath- 
Pileser I. claims to have slain in all 800 
lions. (^Inscription, &c. p. 56.) 

^ Loftus, Clmldma and Susiana^ pp. 
261, 262. 

VOL. I. R 




The spirit of NiuinHl, the *' mighty hunter before the Lord," 
tiot only aiiimateil his own people, but spread on from them to 
their northern neighbours ; and, as far as we can judge by the 
monumentit, prevailed even more in Assyria than in Chaldaea 
itself. The favourite objects of chase with the Assyrians seem 
to have been the lion and the wiM-buU, both beasts of vast 

CbftaftoTa ciljr (KlamMl). 

•trangtii and ooonige, which could not be attacked without great 
danger to the bold ■■■ailant 

No dunbt the ooorage of the Assyrians was tinged ^ith 
ferocity. The nation was ** a mighty and a strong one, wliich, 
as a iempeit of Imil and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty 
waters OTorfloiring, cant down to the earth with the hand.**' 
Ito capiUl might h<II deaerre to be called *'a bloody city,** or 

uviiL a. 



" a city of bloods." ^ Few conquering races liave been tender- 
hearted, or much inclined to spare ; and undoubtedly carnage, 
ruin, and desolation followed upon the track of an Assyrian 
army, and raised feelings of fear and hatred among their 
adversaries. But we have no reason to believe that the nation 

Captives of Sargon (Khorsabad). 

was especially bloodthirsty or unfeeling. The mutilation of the 
slain — not by w ay of insult, but in proof of their slayer's prowess '^ 
— was indeed practised 
among them ; but 
otllerwise there is little 
indication of any bar- 
barous — much less of 
any really cruel — 
usages. The Assyrian 
listens to the enemy 
who asks for quarter, 
he prefers making 

prisoners to slaying ; he is very terrible in the battle and the 
assault, but afterwards he forgives, and spares. Of course in 
some cases he makes exceptions. When a town has rebelled 
and been subdued, he impales some of the most guilty ; * and in 

Captive WomeB. in a cart (Nimrud). 

» Nahum iii. 1. " Woe to the bloody 
city," — or, as the margin gives it — 
" Woe to the city of bloods ! " (I^V <)r] 

* Probably a reward was given for 
heads, as has often been the fashion 

with Orientals. Sometimes scribes are 
represented as taking account of them. 
(See Layard, AVn. and its Eemains , voL 
ii. p. 184.) 

* Mr. Layard has, I think, expressed 
himself too strongly when he says that 

R 2 


two or three instances prisoners are represented * as led before 
the king by a rope fitftened to a ring wliich passes through the 
under lip, while now and then one appears in the act of being 
flayed with a knife.' But, generally, captives are either released, 
or else transferred, without unnecessary suffering,* from their 
own country to some other portion of the empire. There seems 
e?en to be something of real tenderness in the treatment of 
captured women, who are never manacled, and are often allowed 
to ride on mules,* or in carts. 

The worst feature in the character of the Assyrians was 
their treachery. ** Woe to thee that sjK)ilest, though thou wast 
not spoiled, and dealest treacherously, though tliey dealt not 
treacherously with thee ! " is the denunciation of the evangelical 
prophet.* And in the same spirit the author of *Mhe Burthen 
of Nineveh " declares that city to be " full of lies and robbery*** 
— or, more correctly, ** full of lying and violence."' Falsehood 
and treachery are commonly regarded as the vices of the weak, 
who are driven to defend themselves against superior strength 
by the weapon of cunning ; but they are perhaps quite as often 
employed by the strong, as furnishing short cuts to success, and 
even where the moral standard is low, as being in themselves 
creditable.^ It eertaiidy was not necessity which made the 
Afsyrians covenant-breakers; it seems to have been in part 
the wantonneas of power — because they "despisi-d the citiee 
and regarded no man ;*'* perhaps, it was in part also their im- 

M Urn capture of a tows ** m ladiaeri- 
I •Uuxlitrr I 
; anil Ut*t 

mImI* •Uuxlitrr mpomn to haw me- 

* OipilTw are oocmIoiuiII J represented 
ae urged oawarde bjr btowt, like tirnl 
ealtle; and tbej are eooMtlmee hmvUy 

•itlMr bnpakd or oarriad away ae frtlered. But in eaoh eaee the ueage U 

stavea." (A'te. «ad te B^maims, vol H. ' rseeptlonaL 

p S74.) It apfwan, by iht> inirri|*iitin«, ' Bee above, p. SSS. 

that fuwn. mvrt frw|umilv ■|«rr«l, ami • laalah xxx\\\. I. 

tltat the bulk of th**«. wrrr t j^^iim m. I, 

fMenUly WA in ihr pl.c , , ^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ « ftOI of 

• Uotta. M.,Hus,uHt ./ i I M tr^oiAtry and rkOenoet- which b pio. 

\^f: . .. m^ .*^ ■ I ■# liably th* mil tn&tHtiuf, Hut the word 

Ibid. ^iroL II. R ISO; Uymfd^Ifo. ,,^/ j^ ^ .mcJacium " not lil 


CTI3 " mmdaciunt/* not *1 JS 

r.ltqulVo^ 'Ji*£ , ,„ ,, 

awraUre? '1 HeeThuryd. lU. SS. 

aommimm f1« *•* * baJah sxilii. 8; " lie hath 

Older to mak. : rod. tlM eovenant, he hath dMpieed tha eiiioa, 

It. Ml t. »a). he ivgardtcb 90 muL** 

Chap. III. 



perfect moral perception, which may have failed to draw the 
proper distinction between craft and cleverness. 

Another unpleasant feature in the Assyrian character — but 
one at which we can feel no surprise — was their pride. This is 
the quality which draws forth the sternest denunciations of 
Scripture, and is expressly declared to have called down the 
Divine judgments upon the race.^ Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zepha- 
niah alike dwell upon it.''' It pervades the inscriptions. With- 
out being so rampant or offensive as the pride of some Orientals 
— as, for instance, the Chinese — it is of a marked and decided 
colour : the Assyrian feels himself infinitely superior to all the 
nations with whom he is brought into contact ; he alone enjoys 
the favour of the gods ; he alone is either truly wise or truly 
valiant ; the armies of his enemies are driven like chaff before 
him ; he sweeps them away, like heaps of stubble ; either they 
fear to fight, or they are at once defeated ; he carries his vic- 
torious arms just as far as it pleases him, and never under any 
circumstances admits that he has suffered a reverse. The only 
merit that he allows to foreigners is some skill in the mecha- 
nical and mimetic arts, and his acknowledgment of this is tacit 
rather than express, being chiefly known from the recorded 
fact that he employs foreign artists to ornament his edifices. 

According to the notions which the Greeks derived from 
Ctesias,** and passed on to the Eomans, and through them to 
the moderns generally, the greatest defect in the Assyrian 
character — the besetting sin of their leading men — was luxu- 
riousness of living and sensuality. From Ninyas to Sardana- 
palus — from the commencem-ent to the close of the empire — 
a line of voluptuaries, according to Ctesias and his followers, 
held possession of the throne ; and the principle was established 
from the first, that happiness consisted in freedom from all 

" Ezek. xxxi. 10, 11; "Because thou 
hast lifted up thyself in height, and he 
hath shot up his top among the thick 
boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his 
height ; I have tlierefore delivered him 
into the hand of the mighty one of the 
heathen ; he shall surely deal with him : 
I have driven him out for his wicked- 

^ Isaiah x. 7-14, xxxvii. 24^28 ; 
xxxi. 10; Zeph. ii. 15. 

* Some idea of notable luxuriousness 
attaching to the Assyrians is, perhaps, 
earlier than Ctesias. (See Aristoph. Aves^ 
958, ed. Bothe.) Did it come from the 
'Aaavpioi \6yoi of Herodotus ? 


otres or troubles, and unchecked indulgence in every species of 
sensual pleasure.* This account^ intrinsically suspicious, is now 
directly contradicted by the authentic records which we possess 
of the warlike character and manly pursuits of so many of the 
kings. It probably, however, cont^iins a germ of truth. In a 
floarishing kingdom, like Assyria, luxury must have gradually 
advanced ; and when the empire fell under the combined attack 
of its two most powerful neighl)0ur8, no doubt it had lost much 
of its pristine vigour. The monuments leud some support to 
the view that luxury wiis among the causes which produced the 
iifdl of Assyria ; although it may be questioned whether, even 
to the last, the predominant spirit was not warlike and manly, 
or even fierce and violent. Among the many denunciations of 
Assyria in Scripture, there is only one which can even be 
thought to point to luxury as a cause of her downfall ; and that 
is a passage of very doubtful interpretation.^ In general it is 
her violence, her treachery, and her pride that are denounced. 
When Nineveh repented in the time of Jonah, it was by each 
man " turning from his evil way and from the videnee which 
was in their hands."' When Nahum announces the final de- 
struction, it is on ** the Uoodij city, full of lies and rMery'* 
In the emblematic language of prophecy, the lion is taken as 
the fittest among animaln to symbolise Assyria, even at this 
late period of her hixtory.^ 8he is still *' the lion that did tear 
in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lioness, 
and filled his hol*^ with prey, and his deiui with ravin." The 
favourite national embh*m, if it may be so callinl,^ is a(*cepte<l 
as the true tyjK) of the [HM>ple ; and blmMl, ravin, and r«>bbery 
are their charact4*ristics in the mind of the Hebrew prophet 

lu mental power the Assyrians certainly deserve to be con* 
sidered as among tlio furorooHt of the A}«iatic races. They 

• 8MlHod.8le.iL 11. §8^ \ * JiMMh IIL 8. " 

* ltelMtailU.4(**BwM»ofllMM«t. ' • NdittaillLI. 
lllMit <r Um wbopMlMM of llM w«l|. • lliid. IL ll-ia. 

SivoMtd bMrlol, Um aliUvw oTwItdi- • TIm tm^vutkl o w fW« of Um Um 

CfttAt, tlMl mIImIi MlloM Utrmifh brr onib* loawtati, •iUwr la UMfiMtnnil 
m4 hm\\\m UirMigli hmt ftmn or with a hoMM hflwt. 

vIldMtttlU, JMitM, I •m aolMl lliar. JiMiUy tlilt mprMlon. It miul bi* aa* 
MlUk Om Lofd." liUairy U |ifotaUy niltlMl,h0«r»v«r. UmU lli« »UmUnUbrar 


Chap. III. 



had not perliaps so much originality as the Chaldseans, from 
whom they appear to have derived the greater part of their 
civilisation; but in many respects it is clear that they sur- 
passed their instructors, and introduced improvements which 
gave a greatly increased value and almost a new character to 
arts previously discovered. The genius of the people will best 
be seen from the accounts, hereafter to be given, of their lan- 
guage, their arts, and their system of government. If it must 
be allowed that these have all a certain smack of rudeness and 
primitive simplicity, still they are advances upon aught that 
had previously existed — not only in Mesopotamia — but in the 
world. Fully to appreciate the Assyrians we should compare 
them with the much-lauded Egyptians, who in all important 
points are very decidedly their inferiors. The spirit and 
progressive character of their art oifers the strongest contrast 
to the stiff, lifeless, and unchanging conventionalism of tlie 
dwellers on the Nile. Their language and alphabet are con- 
fessedly in advance of the Egyptian.^ Their religion is more 
earnest and less degraded. In courage and military genius their 
superiority is very striking ; for the Egyptians are essentially 
an unwarlike people. The one point of advantage to which 
Egypt may fairly lay claim is the grandeur and durability of 
her architecture. The Assyrian palaces, magnificent as they 
undoubtedly were, must yield the palm to the vast structures 
of Egyptian Thebes.''' No nation, not even Kome, has equalled 
Egypt in the size and solemn grandeur of its buildings. But, 
except in this one respect, the great African kingdom must be 
regarded as inferior to her Asiatic rival — which was indeed 
"a cedar in Lebanon, exalted above all the trees of the field 
— fair in greatness and in the length of his branches — so that 
all the trees that were in the garden of God envied him, and 
not one was like unto him in his beauty." ^ 

* See Bunsen's Philosophy of History, 
vol. iii. p. 192 ; Egypt, vol. iv. pp. 144, 
638, &c. 

^ Denon says of Thebes, with equal 
force and truth : — " On est fatigue 
d'ecrire, on est fatigue de lire, on est 
epouvante de la pensee d'une telle con- 
ception ; on ne peut croire, mcme apres 

I'avoir vu, a la rdalite de I'existence de 
tant de constructions reunies sur un 
meme point, a leurs dimensions, k la 
Constance obstinee qu'a exigee leur fabri- 
cation, aux depenses incalculables de 
tant de sumptuosite'." £gypte, vol. ii. 
p. 226. 

« Ezek. xxxi. 3-9. 



Cbat. r\' 



** Fiiit «t Xinns, impoeiu Tigri, ad solb oocasam spectans, quondam clarib- 
— Plds. JI, N, tI 13. 

The rite of the great capital of Assyria had generally heen 
regarded as fixed with sufficient certainty to the tract imme- 
diately opposite Mosul, alike by local tradition and by the 
statements of ancient writers/ when the discover}' by modem 
travellers of architectural remains of great magniticence at 
acme considerable distance from this position, threw a doubt 
upon the generally received belief, and made the true situation 
of the ancient Nineveh once more a matter of controversy. 
When the noble sculptures and vast palaces of Nimrud were 
fiist uncovered, it was natural to suppose that they marked 
the reftl site ; for it seemed unlikely that any mere provincial 
city should have been adorned by a long serit's of monarchs 
with buildings at once on so grand a scale and so richly orna- 
mented. A passage of Strabo, and another of IHoIemy/ were 
thought to lend confirmation to this theory, which place<l the 
Assyrian capital nearly at the junction of the Upper Zab with 
the Tigris; and for a while the ohi opinion was displaced, and . 
the name of Nineveh was attaclunl very generally in this 
country to the ruins at Nimrud. 

Shortly aftitrwurds a mal claiiuant Htartrd up in the regions 
further tu the iiortlu ExcavatiunM curned on at the vilhigo of 

> The loml tndiikNi b •iHklofflx 
wmtrkad bjr Um IUImmm«ui MWf tUt 
M Um MMltor af llM two ■oM a 4i omio> 
•Ito MaMl it **!!» l«ab of JMakt'* 
wkmm lb* MM KMl.rmmm, TW 
mmfi iaiBOftMt of ih» MirWnl •uUiarlttai 
li XMOfrfMNI (Amah. HI. 4. ff ^^i*)- 

• Sm Uy%id'» AT^mmA tfW ii» M^ 
mmimM, vol. 11. ^ t4t. KvllWr 
k«on«ecJj nrpfMMltd I7 Mr. 


, dkUnelly itlact-c N x.h i,.t 

o« Um LireiM, M '.Mr. Iji>a : 
M Uw Tiflit (0'«a;na|iA. vi l r. hihI 
■ifabo^ thMfh iMdoai not •nuallv Uo 
Uw ■■■, e»rt*inly daw nui aojr where 
my tlMl U WM •• umr the juMtlm of 
IM two rivvr*." Il» My* thai \h0 hftm 
dlvU«d Atttrio (Vom ArtwIitU, ond thai 
NImvvIi «m •llttolod In tlw mIddW of 
dbirlei (svl. I, | a> 

Chap. IV. 



Kliorsabad showed, tLat a magnificent palace and a consider- 
able town had existed in Assyrian times at that site. In spite 
of the obvious objection that the Khorsabad ruins lay at the 
distance of fifteen miles from the Tigris, which according to 
every writer of weight^ anciently washed the walls of Nineveh, 
it was assumed by the excavator that the discovery of the 
capital had been reserved for himself, and the splendid work 
representing the Khorsabad bas-reliefs and inscriptions, which 
was published in France under the title of * Monument de 
Ninive,' caused the reception of M. Botta's theory in many 
parts of the Continent. 

After a while an attempt was made to reconcile the rival 
claims by a theory, the grandeur of which gained it acceptance, 
despite its improbability. It was suggested that the various 
ruins, which had hitherto disputed the name, were in fact all 
included within the circuit of the ancient Nineveh ; which was 
described as a rectangle, or oblong square, eighteen miles long 
and twelve broad. The remains at Khorsabad, Koyunjik» 
Nimrud, and Keremles marked the four corners of this vast 
quadrangle,'* which contained an area of 216 square miles — 
about ten times that of London ! In confirmation of this view 
was urged, first, the description in Diodorus,^ derived probably 
from Ctesias, which corresponded (it was said) both with the 
proportions and with the actual distances ; and next, the state- 
ments contained in the book of Jonah,^ which (it was argued) 
implied a city of some such dimensions. The parallel of 
Babylon, according to the description given by Herodotus,^ 
might fairly have been cited as a further argument ; since it 
might have seemed reasonable to suppose that there was no 
great difference of size between the chief cities of the two 
kindred empires. 

3 Herod, i. 193; Nic. Dam. Fr. 9; 
Arrian. Hist. Ind. 42 ; Plin. H. N. vi. 
13 ; Eustath. ad Dionys. Perieg. 988 ; 
&c. It is perhaps by a slip of the pen 
that Diodorus places Nineveh on the 
Euphrates (ii, 3). 

* See Layard's Nineveh and its Remains, 
vol. ii. p. 247. 

' Diodorus (1. s. c.) made Nineveh an 
oblong square 140 stades (18} miles) 
long, and 90 stades (llf miles) broad. 
Nimrud is eighteen miles from Kqyunjik, 
and about twelve from Keremles. (Lay- 
ard, 1. s. c.) 

* Ch. iii. ver. 3, and ch. iv. ver. 11. 

^ Book i. «h. 178. 

250 TUK «BO0m> XONABCHY. Cbap. IV. 

Attractive, however, as this theory is from its grandeur, and 
hannunious as it must be allowed to be with the reports of the 
Greeks, we have nevertheless to reject it on two grounds, the 
one historical and the other topographical. The ruins of Khor- 
aabad, Keremles, Nimrud, and Koyunjik Injur on their bricks 
distinct local titles; and these titles are found attaching to 
distinct cities in the historical inscriptions. Nimrud, as al- 
read J observed, is Caluh; and Khorsabad is Dur-Sargina, or 
•* the city of Sargon." Keremles has also its o^n ap|>ellation, 
Dur- • • *, " the city of the God 5fZ " Now the Assyrian 
writers do not consider these places to be parts of Nineveh, 
but speak of them as distinct and separate cities. Calah for 
a long time is the capital, while Nineveh is mentioned as a 
provincial town. Dur-Sargina is built by Sargon not at 
Nineveh, but " near to Nineveh." Scripture, it must be re- 
membered, similarly distinguishes Calah as a ])lace separate 
from Nineveh and so far from it that there was room for " a 
great city ** between them.* And the geographers, while they 
g^ve the name of Aturia or Assyria Pro|>er to the country about 
the one town,* call the region which surrounds the other by 
a distinct name, Calachene.' Again, uhen the country is closely 
cucamined, it is found, not only that there are no signs of any 
continuous town over the s]jace included within the four sites 
of Nimrnd, Keremlus, Khorsabad, and Koyunjik, nor any re- 
mains of walls ur ditches connecting them,* but that the four 
sites themselves are as carefully fortified on what, by the theory 
W6 tie eiamining, would be the inside of the (Mty as in other 
diraetknt.' It perhaps need eoaroely be added, unless to meet 
Che argament drawn from Diudonis, that the four sites in 

•gm.x.11, is. W«mi 
Um WBw—iiiw ** ft gml eilj." m qiM> 
Utt4 kgr Ite •imwrti^iM uaAn mkkk 
ti UMwi igtiflly M«M41ai to Uw 

fllty in qttt«4kNi if ^ Imv« ••• 

* tkniM. Bvl. 1. I 1 i .irrtaa. tru. 
Al0,.m.7i Plitt. //. A'. V. It. 

• Ituff, ^ 194. 

* Sm th* t^nM nmrcyt of CVipt. 
JoMt, piibUilMd by Um Boyd A«iatio 
•oeltty. (Jmtrmlt voL bt.) 

' 8MtlMpkworib»rulMM Nloinid 
MMlKoyiuUll((|i|vSOU«iiaSM>. Koyua. 
jJk« ttMunllDff iti ili« hjr|iu(hr»k «uul«l 
oantiijr the north-wrat aimU of l)i« town, 
■ad lu MNitlirrn mihI raiMrni §idm wottl4 
tlitM U within tlir luwn; bill Um cA«^ 
mn tiMM M Um mm» 

Chap. IV. 



question are not so placed as to form the "oblong square" 
of his description/ but mark the angles of a rhombus very 
much slanted from the perpendicular. 

The argument derived from the book of Jonah deserves more 
attention than that which rests upon the authority of Diodorus 
and Ctesias. Unlike Ctesias, Jonah saw Nineveh while it still 
stood ; and though the writer of the prophetical book may not 
have been Jonah himself,^ he probably lived not very many 
years later.^ Thus his evidence is that of a contemporary, 
though (it may be) not that of an eye-witness ; and, even apart 
from the inspiration which guided his pen, he is entitled to be 
heard with the utmost respect. Now the statements of this 
writer, which have a bearing on the size of Nineveh, are two. 
He tells us, in one place, that it was " an exceeding great city, 
of three days' journey;"^ in another, that "in it were more 
than 1 20,000 persons who could not discern between their right 
hand and their left." * These passages are clearly intended to 
describe a city of a size unusual at the time ; but both of then\ 
are to such an extent vague and indistinct, that it is impossible 
to draw from either separately, or even from the two combined, 
an exact definite notion. " A city of three days' journey " may 
be one which it requires three days to traverse from end to end, 
or one which is three days' journey in circumference, or, lastly, 
one which cannot be thoroughly visited and explored by a 
prophet commissioned to warn the inhabitants of a coming 
danger in less than three days' time. Persons not able to dis- 
tinguish their right hand from their left may (if taken literally) 
mean children, and 120,000 such persons may therefore indi- 
cate a total population of 600,000 ; or, the phrase may perhaps 

* Diod. Sic. ii. 3. 

• It has been remarked that "the 
writer of the book of Jonah nowhere 
identifies himself with the prophet." 
(Vance Smith, Prophecies on Nineveh, p. 
252.) *' On the contrary, he rather 
carefully keeps himself distinct, speak- 
ing of Jonah always in the third person, 
and not stujf/esting, by a single word or^ 
implication, that he ever thought of 
being regarded as, at the same time. 

both writer and subject of the narrative." 
All this is undoubtedly true, but it does 
not establish the negative. 

« The position of the book in the He- 
brew Canon, between Amos and Micah, 
shows that its date was regarded as fall- 
ing between Uzziah (b.c. 808) and Ileze- 
kiah (b.c. 697). Nineveh was not de- 
stroyed till, at any rate, b.c. 625. 

^ Jonah iii. 3. 

« Ibid. iv. 11. 


with greater probability be nnderatood of moral ignornnoe, and 
the intention would in that caae be to designate by it all the 
inhabitants. If Nineveh was in Jonah's time a city containing 
a population of 120,000, it would Hufliciently deserve the title 
of "an exceeding great city ; " and the prophet might well be 
occupied for three days in traversing its squares and streets. 
We shall find hereafter that the ruins opposite Mosul have an 
extent more than equal to the accommodation of this number 
of persons. 

The weight of the argument from the supposed parallel case 
of Babylon must depend on the degree of confidence which can 
be reposed in the statement made by Herodotus, and on the 
opinion which is ultimately formed with regard to the real size 
of that capital. It would be improper to anticipate here the 
conclusions, which may be arrived at hereafter, concerning the 
real dimensions of ** Babylon the Great ; " but it may be ob« 
served that grave doubts are entertained in many quarters as 
po the ancient statements on the subject, and that the ruins do 
not cover much more than one twenty-fifth of the space which 
Herodotus assigns to the city. 

We may, therefore, without much hesitation, set aside the 
theory which would ascribe to the ancient Nineveh dimensions 
nine or ten times greater than those of London, and proceed 
to a description of the group of niins believed by the best 
judges to mark the true site. 

The ruins opposite Mosul consist of two princi{uil moundF, 
known retpectively as Kebbi-Yunus and Koyunjik. T^e Ko- 
yunjik mound, which lies to the north-west of tlie other, at the 
distance of 000 yards, or a little more than half a mile, is very 
much the more considerable of the two. Its 8ha|>e is an irre* 
gular oval, elongated to a point towanls the north-east, in the 
lino of its greater axis. The surface is nearly flat ; the sides 
slofie at a steep angle, and are furrow eil with numerous ravines, 
worn in the soft material by the rains of some thirty centuries. 
The greatest height of the mound abo^'e the plain is towanls 
the Mmth-eiatem extremity, iR^here it overhang! the imall 
stream of the Khusr ; the elevation in this part being about 

Chap. IV. 



ninety-five feet. The area covered by the mound is estimated 
at a hundred acres, and the entire mass is said to contain 
14,500,000 tons of earth. The labour of a man would scarcely 
excavate and place in position more than 120 tons of earth 
in a year ; it would require therefore the united exertions 
of 10,000 men for twelve years, or 20,000 men for six years, 

Ruins of Nineveh. 
I. Palace of Sennacherib. 2. Supposed Tomb of Jonah. 

to complete the structure.^ On this artificial eminence were 
raised in ancient times the palaces and temples of the Assyrian 
monarchs, which are now imbedded in the d6hris of their own 


The mound of Nebbi-Yunus is at its base nearly triangular. 

See the Journal of the Asiatic Society, vol. xv. p. 326, note '. 


It oorers an area of about forty acres. It is loftier, and its sides 
are more precipitous, than Koyunjik, especially on the west, 
where it abutted upon the woll of the city. The surface is 
mostly flat, but is divided about the middle by a deep ravine, 
running nearly from north to south, and separating the mound 
into an eastern and a western portion. The so-called tomb of 
Jonah is conspicuous on the north edge of the western portion 
of the mound, and about it are groujied the cottages of the 
Kurds and Turcomans to whom the site of the ancient Nineveh 
belongs. The eastern portion of the mound forms a burial- 
ground, to which the bodies of Mahometans are brought from 
considerable distances. The mass of earth is calculated at six 
and a half millions of tons ; so that its erection would have 
given full employment to 10,000 men for the space of ^ve years 
and a half 

These two vast mounds — the platforms on which palaces and 
temples were raised — are both in the same line, and abutted, 
both of them, on the western wall of the city. Their position 
in that wall is thought to have been determined, not by chance, 
but by design ; since they br«»ak the western face of the city 
into three nearly equal portions." The entire length of this 
side of Nineveh was 13,G00 feet, or somewhat more than two and 
a half miles. Anciently it seems to have immediately overhung 
tl»e Tigris, which has now movcHl off to the west, leaving a plain 
nearly a mile in width between its eastern eilge and the old 
rampart of the city. This rampart followed, apparently, the 
natural course of the river-bank ; and hence, while on the whole 
it is t4ilerably straight, in the most southeni of the three por- 
tions it exhibits a gentle curve, where the river evidently made 
a sweep, altering its oouine from south-east nearly to south. 

The western wall at its northern extremity approaches the 
present course of the Tigris, and is here joined, exactly at right 
angles, by the northern, or rather the north-western, rani|)art. 

• Ctpt JoMi MUM OMt frum ihr from the cmtire of Um N«bbl • Yoniu 

K.W. «n|{le of lb* city to Um trmtre of tiMHiml to Uw 8.W. aayto of tb* vHy, Ar» 

tiM Kuyunjik mouna. frum thai to thv rA«rtly equal dltUneM. {Jcmrmil t} «Ui- 

cmtr^ of Um |t«bW-Yiuiw mmmd, Md i atw JhuM^, vol. sv. jk. SSS.) 

Chap. IV. 



which runs in a perfectly straight line to the north-eastern 
angle of the city, and is said to measure exactly 7000 feet.^ 
This wall is again divided, like the western, but with even 
more preciseness, into three equal portions. Commencing at 
the north-eastern angle, one-third of it is carried along com- 
paratively high ground, after which for the remaining two- 
thirds of its course it falls by a gentle decline towards the 

Khosr-Su and Mound of Nebbi-Yunus (after Layard). 

Tigris. Exactly midway in this slope the rampart is broken 
by a road, adjoining which is a remarkable mound, covering 
one of the chief gates of the city.'* 

At its other extremity the western wall forms a very obtuse 
angle with the southern, which impends over a deep ravine 
formed by a winter torrent, and runs in a straight line for about 

Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. p. 322. 

* Ibid. p. 323. 


1000 yardn, when it meets the eastern wall, with which it forms 
a slightly acute angle. 

It remains to describe the eastern wall, which is the lonjje^it, 
and the least regular of the four. This barrier skirts tlie edge 
of a ridge of conglomerate rock, which here rises somewhat 
above the level of the plain, and presents a slightly convex 
sweep to the north-east. At first it runs nearly iMirallel to the 
western, and at right angles to the northern wall ; but, after 
pursuing this course for about three quarters of a mile, it is 
forced by the natural convexity of the ridge to retire a little, 
and curving gently inwards it takes a direction much more 
southerly than at firsts thus drawing continually nearer to the 
western wall, whose course is almost exactly south-east. The 
entire length of this wall is 16,000 feet, or above three miles. 
It is divided into two portions, whereof the southern is some- 
what the longer, by the stream of the Khosr-Su ; which, coming 
from tiie north-west, finds its way through the ruins of the eity, 
and then runs on across the low plain to the Tigris, 

The enceinte of Nineveh forms thus an irregular tni])ezium, 
or a "triangle with its apex abruptly cut off* to the south.'** 
The breadth, even in the brotidest part — that towards the 
north — is very dispro|)ortionate to tlie length, standing to it 
a« four to nine, or as 1 to 2*25. The town is thus of an oblong 
shape, and so far Diodorus truly descril>e<l it ;* though his 
dimenaigiui greatly exceed the truth. The circuit of the walls 
is somewhat less than eight miles, instead of l>eing more than 
f^fly I 0i*<l ^^ area v^hu:ii they include is 1800 English acres, 
instead of being 112,000! 

It id r(.H'kuue<l that in a populous Oriental town we may 
(pute the inliabitants at nearly, if not quite, a hundriHl piT 
Tliis allows a considerable space for streets, o])en S()uares, 
and gardens ; since it assigns but one individiuil to every space 
of fifty square yards. According to such a mode of reokoning, 
the iiopulation of ancient Nineveh, within the enct»inte here 
desoribed, may he estimat^nl at 175,000 souls. No city of 
Western Asia is at the present day so populous. 

Chap. IV. 



In the above description of the ramparts surrounding Nineveh, 
no account has been given of their width or height. According 
to Diodorus the wall wherewith Ninus surrounded his capital was 
100 feet high, and so broad that three chariots might drive 
side by side along the top. Xenophon, who passed close to the 
ruins on his retreat with the Ten Thousand, calls the height 
150 feet, and the width 50 feet.^ The actual greatest height at 
present seems to be 46 feet;^ but the debris at the foot of the 
walls are so great, and the crumbled character of the walls 
themselves is so evident, that the chief modern explorer inclines 
to regard the computation of Diodorus as probably no exaggera- 
tion of the truth.^ The width of the walls, in their crumbled 
condition, is from 100 to 200 feet. 

The mode in which the walls were constructed seems to have 
been the following. Up to a certain height — fifty feet, accord- 
ing to Xenophon' — they were composed of neatly-hewn blocks 
of a fossiliferous limestone, smoothed and polished on the out- 
side.^ Above this, the material used was sun-dried brick. The 
stone masonry was certainly ornamented along its top by a con- 
tinuous series of battlements or gradines in the same material ; ^ 

and it is not unlikely that a similar ornamentation crowned the 
upper brick structure.'^ The wall was pierced at irregular 

' Anab. iii. 4, § 10. I assume that 
the Mespila of Xenophon is identical 
with the ruins opposite Mosul. There 
does not seem to be any reasonable doubt 
of this. (See Ainsworth, Travels in the 
Track of the 'Ten Thousand, p. 140 ; 
Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. p. 

^ Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. 
p. 322. 

^ Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 660. 
" The remains still existing of these for- 
tifications almost confirm the statement 
of Diodorus Siculus, that the walls were 
a hundred feet high," &c. 

' Anab. iii. 4, § 10. The excavations 
Jiave not yet tested this statement of 

VOL. I. 

Xenophon's ; but, as his estimate of 
twenty feet is exactly correct for the 
stone basement of the walls of Nimrud 
(Larissa), we may fairly assume that 
he probably did not much miscalculate 
here. (Cf. Anab. iii. 4, § 7, with Layard's 
Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 123, 125.) 

^ Aldov ^ecTTov Koyxv^idrov. (Anab. 
iii. 4, § 10.) Mr. Ainsworth remarks 
that this fossiliferous stone is the com- 
mon building material at Mosul, but 
" does not occur far to the north or (o 
the south, being succeeded by wastes of 
gypsum." {'Travels in the I'rack of the 
Ten Thousand, p. 140.) 

^ Layard. Nin. and Bab., p. 658. 

* Ibid., note. 



Chap. IV 

intervals by gates, above which rose lofty towers ; while towers, 
probably of lesser elevation, occurred also in the portions of the 
wall intervening between one gate and another. A gate in tlie 
iiorth-western rampart has been cleared by means of excava- 
tion, the form and construction of which will best appear from 
the annexed ground-plan. It seems to have consisted of thrw* 
gateways, whereof the inner and outer were ornamented with 
colosfiiil human-headed bulls and other figures, wlnlf tlu^ (•♦•nf ml 



Gate In tb« North Wall, Nioewli. 

one WM merely panelled with slalm of alabaster. Between tlir 
gatewap were two large chambern, 70 fe<t long by 23 fi*oi 
wide, which were thus capable of (containing a considerable 
body of soldiers. The chainU^rH an<l gatoways are supposed to 
have been arched over, like the east les* gates on the b»s-rt*liefri, 
I1ie gfttea themiolvoii have wholly dii«ap{icared ; but the dehrU 
which filled both the chanilieni and the paMagos contained 84» 
much charcoal that it is thought they must have boon made, 
not of bronze, like tlie gates of Babylon,^ but of wood. The 

lUffoO. I. 179. 


ground witliin the gateway was paved with large slabs of lime- 
stone, still bearing the marks of chariot wheels.^ 

The castellated rampart which thus surrounded and guarded 
Nineveh did not constitute by any means its sole defence. Out- 
side the stone basement wall lay on every side a water barrier, 
consisting on the west and south of natural river courses; on 
the north and east, of artificial channels into which water was 
conducted from the Khosr-su. The northern and eastern walls 
were skirted along their whole length by a broad and deep 
moat, into which the Khosr-su was made to flow by occupying 
its natural bed with a strong dam, carried across it in the line 
of the eastern wall, and at the point where the stream now 
enters the enclosure. On meeting this obstruction, of which 
there are still some remains, the waters divided, and while part 
flowed to the south-east, and reached the Tigris by the ravine 
immediately to the south of the city, which is a natural water- 
course, part turned at an acute angle to the north-west, and, 
washing the remainder of the eastern and the whole of the 
northern wall, gained the Tigris at the north-west angle of 
the city, where a second dam kept it at a sufficient height. 
Moreover, on the eastern face, which appears to have been 
regarded as the weakest, a series of outworks were erected for 
the further defence of the city. North of the Khosr, between 
the city wall and that river, which there runs parallel to the 
wall, and forms a sort of second or outer moat, there are traces 
of a detached fort of considerable size, which must have greatly 
strengthened the defences in that quarter. South and south- 
east of the Khosr, the works are still more elaborate. In the 
first place, from a point where the Khosr leaves the hills and 
debouches upon comparatively low ground, a deep ditch, 200 
feet broad, was carried through compact silicious conglomerate 
for upwards of two miles, till it joined the ravine which formed 
the natural protection of the city upon the south. On either 
side of this ditch, which could be readily supplied with water 
from the Khosr at its northern extremity, was built a broad 
and lofty wall ; the eastern one, which forms the outermost of 

« Layard, Niri. and Lab. pp. 120-123. 

*" S 2 



Chaf. rv. 



the defences, rises even now a hundred feet above the bottom 
of the ditch on which it adjoins. Further, between this outer 
barrier and the city moat was interposed a species of demi-lune, 
guarded by a double wall and a broad ditch, and connected (as 
is thought) by a covered way with Nineveh itselfJ Thus the 
city was protected on this, its most vulnerable side, towards the 
centre by five walls and three broad and deep moats ; towards 
the north, by a wall, a moat, the Khosr, and a strong outpost ; 
towards the south, by two moats and three lines of rampart. 
The breadth of the whole fortification on this side is 2200 feet, 
or not far from half a mile.^ 

Such was the site, and such were the defences, of the capital 
of Assyria. Of its internal arrangements but little can be said 
at present, since no general examination of the space within 
the ramparts has been as yet made, and no ancient account of 
the interior has come down to us. We can only see that the 
side of the city which was most fashionable was the western, 
which immediately overhung the Tigris; since here were the 
palaces of the kings, and here seem also to have been the dwell- 
ings of -the richer citizens ; at least, it is on this side, in the 
space intervening between Koyunjik and the northern rampart, 
that the only very evident remains of edifices — besides the great 
mounds of Koyunjik and Nebbi-Yunus — are found.^ The river 
was no doubt the main attraction ; but perhaps the western side 
was also considered the most secure, as lying furthest from the 
quarter whence alone the inhabitants expected to be attacked, 
namely, the east. It is impossible at present to give any 
account of the character of the houses or the direction of the 
streets. Perhaps the time may not be far distant when more 
systematic and continuous efforts will be made by the enterprise 
of Europe to obtain full knowledge of all the remains which 
still lie buried at this interestins^ site. No such discoveries are 
indeed to be expected as those which have recently startled the 
world ; but patient explorers would still be sure of an ample 
reward, wei^ they to glean after Layard in the field from which 
he swept so magnificent a harvest. 

^ Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. p. 322. * Layard, Nin. and Bab. p. 660, note. 
® See the plan (supra, p. 253) ; and comp. the Journ. of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. p. 323. 

262 THS 8B00XD MONARCHY. Chap. V. 


" rpdfifutra * Atrcrvpuu** — Hebod. iv. 87. 

There has never been much difference of opinion among the 
learned with regard to the language spoken by the Assyrians. 
As the BiWical genealogy connected Asshur with Eber and 
Aram,' wliile the Greeks plainly regarded the Syrians, Assy- 
rians, and Babylonians as a single race,* it was always supposed 
that the people thus associated must have possessed a tongue 
allied, more or less closely, to the Hebrew, the Syriac, and the 
Chaldee. These tongues were known to be dialectic varieties of 
a single form of si)eech — the Semitic ; and it was consequently 
the general belief, before any Assyrian inscriptions had been 
disinterred, that the Assyrian language was of this typo, either 
a sister tongue to the three above mentioned, or else identical 
with some one of them. The only difficulty in the way of this 
theory was the supposed l^Iedo-Persic or Arian character of a 
certain numlicr of Assyrian roytU names ; but this difficulty was 
thought to l>e sufficiently met by a suggestion that the ruling 
tribe might have been of Median descent, and have maintaine<l 
its old national appellatives, while the mass of the population 
belonged to a different race.' Recent discoveries have shown 
that this last suggestion was needless, as the difficulty which it 
was intended to meet does not exist The Assyrian names, 
which either hitiaty or the monuments have handed down to us, 
are Semitic, and not Arian. It is oidy among the fabulous 
aoooonts of the Assyrian Empire put forth by Ctesias that .Vriau 

* dm, X. Sl-tS. < Tor ih» doM eowMakHi mhI alncwt klra- 

• fw Hrrvd vii. <a. And 140 1 X/t^, I USwIImi of tlM BtAj^mium with tim 
Ptn. IS; XMt. C^n*p, y. 4. f &I. lie.} ' A«3rrtoM,Me HModL 106, 17S; \\\.%t\ 
SeyUx. I'triitl, p. SO; DkM/i. IVrl**. Hcratt. I. •. e. ; ke. 

77S ; Hirab. xvi. 1. f S ; AnrU». Fr. 4« ; • Prielwftl. n^tiaU llittor^ ^ Mum- 

fUm. H. S. V. IS t M«t*, L II. Ibr Om I kimi, voL W. p. MS. 
oT A«txrUM wllk I^Hmm. < 

Chap. V. 



names, such as Xerxes, Arius, Armamitlires, Mithraeus, &c.; are 
to be found. 

Together with the true names of the Assyrian kings, the 
mounds of Mesopotamia have yielded up a mass of documents 
in the Assyrian language, from which it is possible that we may 
one day acquire as full a knowledge of its structure and vocabu- 
lary as we possess at present of Greek or Latin. These docu- 
ments have confirmed the previous belief that the tongue is 
Semitic. They consist, in the first place, of long inscriptions 
upon the slabs of stone with which 
the walls of palaces were panelled, 
sometimes occupying the stone to the 
exclusion of any sculpture, sometimes 
carried across the dress of figures, 
always carefully cut and generally in 
good preservation.'* Next in impor- 
tance to these memorials are the hollow 
cylinders, or more strictly speaking, 
hexagonal or octagonal prisms, made 
in extremely fine and thin terracotta,^ 
which the Assyrian kings used to de- 
posit at the corners of temples, inscribed 
with an account of their chief acts and 
with numerous religious invocations. 
These cylinders vary from a foot and 
a half to three feet in height, and are 
covered closely with a small writing, 
which it often requires a good magnifying glass to decipher. A 
cylinder of Tiglath-Pileser I. (about B.C. 1180) contains thirty lines 
in a space of six inches, or five lines to an inch, which is nearly 
as close as the type of the present volume. This degree of close- 
ness is exceeded on a cylinder of Asshur-bani-pal's (about B.c. 
660), where the lines are six to the inch, or as near together as 
the type of the Edinburgh Eeview. If the complexity of the 
Assyrian characters be taken into account, and if it be remem- 

Assyrian Cylinder. 

* Occasionally the slabs have been purposely defaced and rendered illegible, pro- 
bably by kings of another dynasty. * Birch, Ancient Pottery^ p. 144. 




bered that the whule inscription wag in every case impreased by 
the hand, tliis minuteness must be allowed to be very tarprising. 
It is not favourable to lepbility; and the piitienoe of cuneiform 
scliolars \u\s been severely tried by a nKxie of writing which 
•icrifioefl everything to the deaire of crowding the greatest poa- 
aible quantity of wonis into the smallest pomible space. In one 
respect, however, facility of reading is consulted, for the in8cri|>- 
tions on the cvlinder8 are not carried on in continuous lines 

1 KdU: 

Aaajrian SoiU (sAer LA>-anl>. 

round all the tides, but are written in columns, each column 
occupying a side. The lines are thus tolerably short; and the 
whole of a tentence is brought before the eye at once. 

Besides slabs and cylinders, the written memorials of Assyria 
comprise inscribe<l bulls and lions, stone obelisks, clay tablets, 
hricks, and engravetl seals. The seals generally resemble those 
of tlie Clialdffians, which have bt^n already described ;* but ai« 
somewhat more elaborate, and more varied in their character. 


Fl»*t M—trfcr » ell. It. p^ as, Md di. V. pp. SS-Sa^ 


They do not very often exhibit any writing ; but occasionally 
they are inscribed with the name of their owner, "^ while iti 
a few instances they show an inscription of some length. The 
clay tablets are both numerous and curious. They are of 
various sizes, ranging from nm^ ir^^h^n Jq^^ by six and a 
half '.vide, to an inch ^v 

science, and shall be able by this means to trace a large portion 
of the knowledge of the Greeks to an Oriental source. Here is 
a mine still very little worked, from which patient and cautious 
investigators may one day extract the most valuable literary 

' Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 604, note. * Ibid. p. 345. 

266 THE 8E00XD MONARCHY. Chat. V. 

treaanrea. The stone obelisks are but few, aiuT are mostly in a 
fiBgmentary condition. One alone is ijerfect — the obelisk in 
black basalt, discovereti by 3Ir. Layard nt Nimrud, which has 
now for many yeara been in the British Museum. This monu- 
ment is sculptured oiu<»iw«K <\( jin four sides, in part with writing 

two feet bn>a*l ut the bafl^ taperinj; p^ently towards the summit, 
which is crowned with three low stefts, or gradiues. The in- 
scription, which occupies the upper and lower portion of each 
side, and is also carried along the spaces between the bas-reliels, 
consists of 210 clearly cut lines, and is one of the most im- 
portant documents that has come down to us. It gives an 

Chap. V. 



account of various victories gained by the monarch who set it 
up, and of the tribute brought him by several princes.^ The 
inscribed lions and bulls are numerous. They commonly guard 
the portals of palaces, and are raised in a bold relief on alabaster 
slabs. The writing does not often trench upon the sculpture, but 
covers all those portions of the slabs which are not occupied by the 
animal. It is usually a full account of some particular campaign, 
which was thus specially commemorated, giving in detail whatsis 
far more briefly expressed in the obelisk and slab inscriptions.^ 

This review of the various kinds of documents which have 
been discovered in the ancient cities of Assyria, seems to show 
that two materials were principally in use among the people 
for literary purposes, namely, stone and moist clay. The 
monarchs used the former most commonly, though sometimes 
they condescended for some special object to the coarser and 
more fragile material. Private persons in their business trans- 
actions, literary and scientific men in their compositions, em- 
ployed the latter, on which it was possible to write rapidly with 
a triangular instrument, and which was no doubt far cheaper 
than the slabs of fine stone, which were preferred for the royal 
inscriptions. The clay documents, when wanted for instruction 
or as evidence, were carefully baked; and thus it is that they 
have come down to us, despite their fragility, often in as legible 
a condition, with the letters as clear and sharp, as any legend 
on marble, stone, or metal that we possess belonging to Greek, 
or even to Eoman times. The best clay skilfully baked, is a 
material quite as enduriug as either stone or metal ;2 resisting 
many influences better than either of those materials. 

It^ may still be asked, did not the Assyrians use other ma- 
terials also? Did they not write with ink of some kind on 
paper, or leather, or parchment? It is certain that the Egypt- 
ians had invented a kind of thick paper many centuries before 
the Assyrian power arose ; "^ and it is further certain that the 

9 See the translation by Dr. Hincks 
in the Dublin University Magazine for 
October, 1853. ,. 

1 Journ. of Asiatic Soc., vol. xii. p. 441. 

2 Birch, Ancient Pottery, vol. i. p. 2. 

3 Wilkinson, in the author's Herodo- 
tus, yo\. ii. p. 320, § 33. 


later Anyrian kings had a good deal of intercourse with Egypt 
Under such circumstances, can we suppose tliat they did not 
import paptT from that oouutr}' ? Apiin, the Persians, we are 
told, uwhI parchment for their public records.* Are not the 
Ai^yrians, a much more ingenious people, likely to have done 
the same, at tiny rate to some extent? There is no direct 
evidence by which these questions can be determinately an- 
swered. No document on any of the materials suggested has 
been found. No ancient author states that the Ass^Tians or 
the Babylonians used them.* Had it not been for one piece of 
indirect evidence, it would have seemed nearly certain that they 
were not employed by the Me80|K)tamian races. In some of the 
royal palaces, however, small lumps of fine clay have been 
found, bearing the impressions of seals, and exhibiting traces of 
the string by which they were attached to documents, while the 
documents themselves, beinjr of a different uiaterial, have pe- 
rished.* It seems probable that in these instances some sub- 
stance like ])aper or parchment was used ; and thus we are led 
to the conclusion that, while clay was the most common, and 
stone an ordinar}' writing material among the Assyrians, some 
third substance, probably Egyptian pa|)er, was also known, and 
was used occasionally, though somewhat rarely, for public 

We may now proceed to consider the style and nature of the 
Assyrian writing. Derived evidently from the Chaldietin, it is 
far less archaic in type, presenting no pictorial representations 
of objects, and but a few characters where the pictorial repre- 
sentation can be traced. It is in no case wholly rectilinear; and 

* DIod. Sic. ii. .IS. At Diodorus' m>1p tnniiM> ni AUxamlrr tncntinnM) • ttone 
■uiharity lierv U Um oaCnttt worthy Inscription of S«nlaiia|MiluB (Arr. A'jr|». 
CtMiM, no Kv^t cW pond anw cso be Al. ii. 5; SirmU xi\ > c: o Thr mmI- 
plarrd on hU •tatMMWt. vnx trmilition that ^ thr hitiory 

* This is not • mtrt n*ftiyi9 aryu- and wiMlum af i« ><i timva on 
mcnt, «inrr ■tatrmenta of th« Miture of burnt ami unb«iriit l>iuk (I'^y^i^* •^"•* 
the material u«m1 do ocvur, Aad Mrottl ami jUih. |i. 347, note), lia» a •imllar 

Ibr laMMMt, tpok* of cIm BibjriMibM 

ffwmnlinir thtflr MUVHMMnirai tAmmrrmm 
Uknl tlk»( t. 

J/. A', vll. >• p. SS4. 


* Lftvartl, 11 154: Bona, l^ert from 
NtmtwJk^ p. S*. For a ivprpMNitatfcM 
of th» mark of the vtrinf mw above, 

Chap. V. CHAEACTERS. 269 

indeed praserves the straight line only in a very few characters, 
as in [f^^Y ^ov "house," [j^=Y ^''''' "^^*^'" ^^ 

for " temple, altar," and 


for " fish," all which are in 

the later inscriptions superseded by simpler forms. The wedge 
may -thus be said to be almost the sole element of the writing— 
the wedge, however, under a great variety of forms— sometimes 

greatly elongated, as thus >- , sometimes contracted 

to a triangle >- , sometimes broadened out m^ , sometimes 

doubled in such a way as to form an arrow-head / , and placed 

in every direction— horizontal, perpendicular, and diagonal. 

The number of characters is very great. Sir H. Kawlinson, 
in the year 1851, published a list of 246, or including variants, 
366 characters, as occurring in the inscriptions known to him.^ 
M. Oppert, in 1858, gave 318 forms as those " most in use." « Of 
course it is at once evident that this alphabet cannot represent 
elementary sounds. The Assyrian characters, do, in fact, cor- 
respond, not to letters, according to our notion of letters, but to 
syllables. These syllables are either mere vowel sounds, such 
as we represent by our vowels and diphthongs, or such sounds 
accompanied by one or two consonants. The vowels are not 
very numerous. The Assyrians recognise three only as funda- 
mental-a, i, and u. Besides these they have the diphthongs ai, 
nearly equivalent to e, and au, nearly equivalent to 0.^ The 
vowels i and u have also the powers, respectively, of y and v. 
The consonant sounds recognised in the language are sixteen 

' Journrd of Asiatic Society, vol. xiv. 

8 Expedition scientifique en Mesopota- 
mie, torn. ii. livre i. Appendice ; Catalogue 
des signes les plus usit^s, pp. 107-120. 

» The vowels must be sounded as in 
Italian, A as a in " vast" — E as a in 
"face"— I as e in "me"— O as in 
" host "— U as M in " rude." 


in number. Tliey are the labial, guttural, and dental imues^ p, 
k, t ; the labial, guttural, and dental medim, h, g. d ; the guttural 
and dental aspirates, hh (=s Hi*b. n) and ih (= Greek 6) ; the 
liquids /, ni/ ri, r; and the nibilanta $t $h (= Heb. C*), ft 
(=Heb. v)» and t. The system here is nearly that of the 
Hebrews, Trom which it differs only by the absenoe of the 
simple aspirate n,' uf the guttural y, and of the aspirated c 
(p*). It has no sound which the Hebrew has not. 

From tht^se sounds, combined with tlie simple vowels, comes 
the Assyrian syllabarium, to which, and not to the consonants 
themselves, the characters were assigned. In the first place, 
each consonant being callable of two combinations with each 
simple vowel, could give birth naturally to six simple syllables, 
each of which woulti be in the Assyrian system represented by 
a character. Six characters, for instance, entirely different 
from one another, represented jki, |)i, pu, ap, ip, up ; six others, 
il'a, ki, kUf aky ihy uk ; six others again, ta, ti, tu, at, it, ui. If 
this rule were carried out in every case the sixteen consonant 
sounds would, it is evident, produce 9(y characters. The actual 
number, however, formed in this way, is only 75, since there are 
seven of the consonants which only combine with tlfe vowels in 
one way. Thus we have, ha, hi, im, but not ah, ib, vh; ga^ gi^ 
gu, but not ag, ig, ug ; and so on. The sounds regarded as 
capable of only one combiuntion are the medi/f, h, ^, d ; the 
aspirates kh and th ; and the sibilants i$ and i. 

Such is the first and simplest syllabarium : but the Assyrian 
system does not stop here. It prucoe<ls to combine with each 
simple vowel sound two consonants, one preceding the vowel and 
the other following it If this plan were followed out to the 
utmost poMible extent, tlio result would be an addition to the 
syllabarium of 7(58 sounds, each having its pro{)er character, 
which would raise the numl»er of characters to between eight 
and ?ilfi«' biMidriMl ! Fortunately for the student. phon«.tic ln\v^ 

• Tti# AatyrliM emifcasiltd Uwnwurft | * T1wr» !■ a rharacivr rr|i 

of M ana r, M U>« Qfmtkm did iImm of m th* mdi brMthliiK ' ; but ti<i 

mmI $, (Hot llutinuinu'* Us*U-ju», |. i< niljr, for Um roufb braiiliiti^ 
S4, Md |k ISV. fe. T.) 

Chap. V. CHAEACTEES. . 2/1 

and other causes have intervened to check this extreme luxu- 
riance ; and the combinations of this kind which are known to 
exist, instead of amounting to the full limit of 768, are under 
150. The known Assyrian alphabet is, however, in this way 
raised from 80, or, including variants, 100, to between 240 and 
250 characters. 

Further, there is another kind of character, quite different 
from these, which Orientalists have called " determinatives." 
Certain classes of words have a sign prefixed or suffixed to them, 
most commonly the former, by which their general character is 
indicated. The names of gods, of men, of cities, of tribes, of 
wild animals, of domestic animals, of metals, of months, of the 
points of the compass, and of dignities, are thus accompanied. 
Tlie sign prefixed or suffixed may have originally represented a 
word ; but when used in the way here spoken of, it is believed 
that it was not sounded, but served simply to indicate to the 
reader the sort of word which was placed before him. Thus a 

single perpendicular wedge, Y, indicates that the next word 

will be the name of a man ; such a wedge, preceded by two 

horizontal ones, »^ > ^^^^^ ^^ ^^ expect the appellative of 

a god ; while other more complicated combinations are used in 
the remaining instances. There are about ten or twelve cha- 
racters of this description. 

Finally, there are a certain number of characters which have 
been called " ideographs," or "monograms." Most of the gods, 
and various cities and countries are represented by a group of 
wedges, which is thought not to have a real phonetic force, but 
to be a conventional sign for an idea, much as the Arabic nu- 
merals, 1, 2, 3, &c., are non-phonetic signs representing the 
ideas, one, two, three, &c. The known characters of this de- 
scription are between twenty and thirty. 

The known Assyrian characters are thus brought up nearly to 
three hundred! There still remain a considerable number 
which are either wholly unknown, or of which the meaning is 

273 THB 8B0OND MOKABCHT. Cbat. T. 

knolvn, while the phonetic xtilue cannot at present be deter- 
mine<l. BI. Oppert*8 Catalogue containfl fourteen of tlie former 
and fifty •nine of the hitter clasc 

It has been already obeerve<l, that the monumental evidence 
accorda witli Uie traditional belief in re^rd to the character 
of the Afisyrian language, which is unmistakably Semitic. Not 
only does the vocabulary present constant analogies tu other 
Semitic dialects, but the phonetic laws and the grammatical 
forms are equally of this ty{)e. At the same time the language 
has peculiarities of its own, which separate it from its kindred 
tongues, and constitute it a distinct form of Semitic speech, not 
a mere variety of any known form. It is neither Hebrew, nor 
Arabic, nor PhoDnician, nor Chaldee, nor Syriac, but a sister 
tongue to these, having some analogies with all of them, and 
otliers, more or fewer, with each. On the whole, its closest 
relationship seems to be with the Hebrew, and its greatest di- 
vergence from the Amiuaic or Syriac, with which it was yet, 
locally, in immediate connection. 

To attempt anything like a full illustration of these state- 
ments in the present place would be manifestly unfitting. It 
would be to quit the province of the historian and archa3ologist, 
in order to enter U|x>n that of the comi)arative philologer or 
the grammarian. At the same time a certain amount of illus- 
tration seems necessary, in order to show that the statements 
above made are not mere theories, but have a substantial basis. 

The Semitic character of the vocabulary will probably be felt 
to be sufficiently e)<tabli>hed by the following lists: — 


JH ** ft bUier." OomiMra Hrb. 3K, '3K : Ambio aftov. 

Vwmm^ **a moUier.*' Oonp. Il<b. OK, mkI Ambie mm. 

Akku, ** ft broUMf.* Oonp. Il«b. RK, *nit 

Pal or ImiI, ** ft mi.** Camp. Sjrriiio Inr, mul poriuipt Hub. )). 

y/ii. ^r;od." Oomp. BA. ^t, Pfhf-, Ambte Mlak. 

Siirru,^m Ung." Oottp. Hob. "ib. 

Mtilik, ** ft priiMM*.** Cr«np. llrb. IpQ, tml Afftblo wutlOt, 

Mmt,**mmuL'* CoMp. Ueb. (^•'ftmortel,'* ftiMl Chftld. D^^, *«woaMB.*' 


Dayan, " a judge." Comp. Heb. j**]!, from f]*^, judicare. 
SiimUy '' a name." Comp. Heb. DI^. 
Sami, " heaven." Comp. Heb. D^DCJ', '' the heavens." 
Irtsit, " the earth." Comp. Heb. yiVi. 
Shamas, " the sun." Comp. Heb. C^DS^. 
Tsin, " the moon." Comp. Syriac sin. 

Marrat, or varrat, " the sea." Comp. Arabic hahr, " a lako " (?). Or may the 
root be ID, *' bitter " ? Comp. Lat. mare, a-marus, 
Nahar, " a river." Comp. Heb. "IPIJ, and Arabic nahr. 
Yumu, " day," Comp. Heb. Dh\ 
Bamu, " the world." Comp. Heb. D^IV, 
'Jr, " a city." Comp. Heb. "I>y. 
Bit, " a house." Comp. Heb. n^3. 
Bab, " a gate." Comp, Chald. n23, and Arabic bah, 
Lisan, " a tongue," or " language." Comp, Heb. \\^? ; Chald. |'^7. 
Asar, '* a place." Comp, Chald. "IJIK. 
Mitu, " death." Comp. Heb. niO. 
iS^tt«M, " a horse." Comp. Heb. D-1D. 


Eahu, " great." Comp. Heb. 2"} ; whence the well-known Kabbi (KSn), " a great 
one, a doctor." 

Tabu, " good." Comp. Chald. ID, and Heb. nit3. 

Bashu, " bad." Comp. Heb. ^*^21D, ** a base one," from ^'"13, " to be ashamed." 

Madut, " many." Comp. Heb. I'ii,^, " exceedingly." 

Buk, " far, wide." Comp. Heb. pin\ 


QThe forms marked with an asterisk are conjectural,] 
Mfm, "one" (masc). Comp. Heb. ^HK^V, in '■\^V'"'r\pV, "eleven." 
Ikhit, "one" (fem,). Comp. Heb. ntli^'. 
Shanai, "two" (masc). Comp. Heb. D^JE^>, ^iK^. 
ShaUhat, " three " (masc). Comp. Heb. tli^b^. 
Shilash, " three " (fem.). Comp. Heb. ^h^. 
Arbat, "four" (masc). Comp. Heb. nya^N. 
Arha, " four" (fem.). Comp. Heb. ysnV. " 
Khamshat, *• five" (masc). Comp. Heb. n^Dn. 
Khamish, " five " (fem.). Comp. Heb. EJ^»n. 
Shashat, " six " (masc). Comp. Heb. nt^EJ^. 
Shash, " six " (fem.). Comp. Heb. L^•K^. ^ 
Sliibit, " seven " (masc). Comp. Heb. nVQt^. 
VOL. I. T 


AM;*<«f«i*(fem.). On^k. Helx nr. 
AmmmC*** flight** (miM.). Oonp.Hflb.rUbf. 
TUUIt.*-]iiM''(aMfle.). Ooal^H•l».npr^ 
7^UU,***niii0"(fiBin.). Comp. H«b. prn. 
1«^ -ton" (mMD.). Oonp. Hflb. nx^. 
lfK,««toD''(rflm.). Owip. Hflb. *t^.' 
JaroA " twenty." Comp. Heb. Dn^. 
fiWI«*aj, -thirty." Comp. Ueb. DT^e^. 
JrteX « forty." Oomp. Htbt D*V3"!«. 
JOoMifta^, ''fifty." Oomp. Hflb. O^pn. 
«««rf, ••fluty." Comp. Heb. D»B^. "" 
fi&AoJ, ^'floreoty." Conip. Heb. D^aC**. 
iSkaiimai,* "eighty.** Comp. Heb. D^^by'. 
Tukai. " ninety." Comp. Heb. D^JH. 
Afai, or Mif ** a hundred." Comp. Heb. HKD. 


[Tb« forms marked with an Mterlsk are ceqjectanl.] 
Anaku, «- 1." Heb. •a JK. 
.iWo, ** thou " (maflc). Heb. nm. 
AUi^^^thon" ({*im.). Heht WR. 
Am, "he." Heb. Wn. 
fib;"flhe." Heb. «»n. 
JuaJUhMCPX^^we," HeK ^:n:K. 
J//i«i,»**yo"(ro«»c.). Hib. OnX. 
JKm.»-yfl-(f«m-). Heb. jJ^V 
Sktmut, or Skmm, ** thoy " (maae.). Heb. rmn^ DH. 
«iiMl,oraM»,''lhey*'(fem.). Heb. nin/|n. 
Jfo,- who, which.* 
VUu, - that" Heb. nVlt. " thoflfl." 

Alak,**iogor mh.'Jpn 

AiJkAar,*<toeoUoet." ' Owip. Hflh. "m, *• to aelflot* 
£ama, *" to eraato, to build.** Heb. n». 
DaM, ** to gf va," in Kiphal, nadan, HeL tm. 
I>fa,"tojodg«.- Hflb. p. 

iH.A,-lokia" Oamp.llflh.pp^**tohflatnMai:''1|W,**topouiidorbniiia.'* 
Cl aU. 131. 
7W.**topafli,fli«H.'' Hflb. nb|. 
'/tMA.^UimalM.* OompL ChahL 19^. 
'iriiA, •toaak.pfty." Ooivi Bflh. H^ ** a roqiMflt, 


NaUar, " to guard." Heb. IVJ. 
Naza, " to leap." Heb. ^T^ 
Nazal, " to flow, sink, descend." Heb. ^Tl 
Fakad, " to entrust." Heb. HpB. 
<S'agra, " to grow, become great," Heb. Nib^. 
Shakan, " to dwell." Heb. |b^. 

/S^ator, " to write." Comp. Chald. N^DtJ', " a written contract." 
Tsahat, " to hold, possess." Comp. Heb. niV, " a bundle ;" Arab, tsahat, " to 
hold tight;" Chald. nrinV»" tongs." 

U, " and." Heb. -1 or 1. ' 
La, or itZ, " not." Heb. 1?. 
Lapani, " before the face of." Heb. \;S'"^N. 
Tsi'Wt, " by favour of." Heb. '<hh'i. 
'Hat, " except." Chald. N^N. 
.4<i<, "until." Heb. ly. 
iC/, " if." Heb. % 

It remains to notice briefly some of the chief grammatical 
laws and forms. There is one remarkable difference between 
the Assyrian language and the Hebrew, namely, that the 
former has no article. In this it resembles the Syriac, which 
is likewise deficient in this part of speech. 

Assyrian nouns, like Hebrew ones, are all either masculine or 
feminine. Feminine nouns end ordinarily in -at or -it, as 
Hebrew ones in -eth, -itJi, -uth, or -ah. There is a dual number, 
as in Hebrew, and it has the same limited use, being applied 
almost exclusively to those objects which form a pair. The 
plural masculine is commonly formed by adding -i or -ani to 
the singular — terminations which recal the Hebrew addition of 
0^ ; but sometimes by adding -ui or -uH, to which there is no 
analogy in Hebrew.^ The plural feminine is made by changing 
-U into -et, and -at into at, or (if the word does not end in t), by 
adding -at. Here again there is resemblance to, though not 
identity with, the Hebrew, which forms the feminine plural in 
'Oth (ni-). 

^ The nearest approach to an analogy 
is to be found in those Hebrew nouns 
which adopt the feminine termination 
for their plurals, as 3K " a father," 

niDX " fathers." But in Assyrian the 
masculine plural termination -ut is not 
identical with the feminine, which is -et 
or -at. 

T 2 

276 THB 8B00ND MONARCHT. Ctur, T. 

AsmpuLTu like Hebrew, adjectives, agree in gender and num- 
ber with their substantivet. They form the feminind singular in 
•<fA the pluml masculine in -t and -W, the plural feminine in -at 
and '€L 

In Atfyrian, as in all other Semitic languages, the possea- 
siTe prunoumi are exjvessed by suffixes. These suffixes are, for 
the fiist {M?r8on singular, -^^ or -iya (Heb. V) ; for the second 
person singular mni<culine, -ka (Heb. y) ; for the second person 
singular feminine, -ki (Heb. ^) ; for the third person singular 
masculine, -shu (Heb. ^) ; foY the third {lorson singular feminine, 
•tka (Heb. ''7) ; for the first person plural, -n (Heb. \y) ; for the 
second person plural masculine, -I'un (Heb. D?") ; for the second 
perwm plural feminine, -lin (Heb. ]>) ; for the third person 
plural masculine, shun (Heb. D;) ; for the third person plural 
feminine, shin (Heb. t;). The resemblance, it will be seen, is in 
most cases close, though in only one is there complete identity. 

Assyrian verbs have ^\e principal, and four secondary, voices. 
Only two of these — the lal and the niphal — are exactly iden- 
tical with the Hebrew. The ftaely however, corresponds nearly 
to the Hebrew fid^ and the aphd to the Hebrew hiphU, In 
addition to these we find enumerated the shaphU, the iphUa^ 
the iphia*al, the isiaphalf and the iiaphal. Several of these are 
iiell known forms in Glialdee. 

It is peculiar to Assyrian to have no distinctions of tense. 
The same form of the verb tenes for the present, the past, and 
the future. The only distinctions of mood are an im{)erative 
and an iniinitivo, besides the indicative. T]\pn* i^ aKo, in each 
Toice, one participle. 

The verbs are conjogated by the help of pni M'uinal suffixes 
and prefixes, chiefly the latter, like the futuie (|>riMnt) tense 
in Hebrew. The suffixes and preflxeti are nearly identit^al with 
those used in Hebrew. 

For further particolAitoii this luten^ting subjett tlx -lua* nt 
is r«*fi*rrt^l to tho roodesi bot excellent work oi M. ()j>pert, 
entitled 'fil^mens de la Grammaire Assyrienne,' « from which 
the greater poriioD of tlie above remarks are taken. 

• **hhmma,hirtturiLJfamOffMi. rferta, bnprbMrW ImpArkto, ISSa 



" Architecti miiltarum artium solertes." — Mos. Chor. (De Assyriis) i. 15. ' 

The luxury and magnificence of the Assyrians, and the ad- 
vanced condition of the arts among them whicli such words 
imply, were matters familiar to the Greeks and Komans ; who, 
however, had little ocular evidence of the fact, but accepted it 
upon the strength of a very clear and uniform tradition. More 
fortunate than the nations of classical antiquity, whose compa- 
rative proximity to the time proved no advantage to them, we 
possess in the exhumed remains of this interesting people a 
mass of evidence upon the point, which, although in many 
respects sadly incomplete, still enables us to form a judgment 
for ourselves upon the subject, and to believe — on better grounds, 
than they possessed — the artistic genius and multiform in- 
genuity of the Assyrians. As architects, as designers, as sculp- 
tors, as metallurgists, as engravers, as upholsterers, as workers 
in ivory, as glassblowers, as embroiderers of dresses, it is evident 
that they equalled, if they did not exceed, all other Oriental 
nations. It is the object of the present chapter to give some 
account of their skill in these various respects. Something is 
now known of them all; and though in every case there are 
points still involved in obscurity, and recourse must therefore 
be had upon occasion to conjecture, enough appears certainly 
made out to justify such an attempt as the present, and to 
supply a solid groundwork of fact valuable in itself, even if it 
be insufficient to sustain in addition any large amount of hypo- 
thetical superstructure. 

The architecture of the Assyrians will naturally engage our 
attention at the outset. It is from an examination of their edi- 
fices that we have derived almost all the knowledge which we 



Coat. VL 

of their proi^^ntvs in evoiy art; and it is further as 
architects that they alwayi) enjoyed a special repQte among 
their neighbours. Hebrew and Armenian united with Greek 
tradition in representing the Assyrians as notable builders at a 
Tory early timo. \N'hen Asshur ** went forth out of the hind of 
Shinar/* it was to build cities, one of which is expressly called 
** a p\'ut city." ' When the Armenians had to give an account 
of the palaces and other vast ntructures in their country, they 
ascribed their erection to the Assyrians.' Similarly, when the 
Greeks sought to trace the civilisation of iVsia to its source. 

Termoe-wttll at KhorMhad. 

they carri<-<l it back to Ninus and Somirnmis, whom thoy made 
the founders, respectively, of Nineveh mul I*;ibvlnn.' tin* two 
chief cities of the early worhl. 

Among the anhitectural works of the AstiyrianM, the fintt 
pUoe is challen<:ed by their palaces. Less religiouK, or more 
servile, than the Kgyptiann and the Greeks, they make their 
t4*mphii insignificant in eom|MiriMm with the dwellings of their 
kings, to which indeed the temph* is most (Himmonly a sort of 
appendage. In the fialaro their art culminates — there every 
effort is made, every ornament lavirtlusl. If the architecture of 



• DM. 8le. IL 8 •»! ft. 

Chap. VI. 



the Assyrian palaces be fully considered, very little need be said 
on the subject of their other buildings. 

The Assyrian palace stood uniformly on an artificial platform. 
Commonly this platform was composed of sun-dried bricks in 
regular layers ; but occasionally the material used was merely 
earth or rubbish, excepting towards the exposed parts — the 
sides and the surface — which were always either of brick or of 
stone. In most cases the sides were protected by massive stone 


Pavement-slab, from the Northern Palace, Koyunjik. 

masonry, carried perpendicularly from the natural ground to a 
height somewhat exceeding that of the platform, and either made 
plain at the top or else crowned with stone battlements cut into 
gradines. The pavement consisted in part of stone slabs, in part 
of kiln-dried bricks of a large size, often as much as two feet 
square. The stone slabs were sometimes inscribed, sometimes 
ornamented with an elegant pattern. (See above.) Occasionally 
the terrace was divided into portions at different elevations, which 


were connected by stairrascs or inclined planes. The terrace 
oonununicatcd in the same way with thelc?el prround at it« baae, 
being (as is probable) sometimes ascended in a single place, 
sometimes in sereral. These ascents were always on the side 
where the palace adjoined upon the neighbouring town, and were 
thns protected from hostile attack by the town-walls. ^Vhere the 
palace abutted upon the walls or projected beyond them — and 
the palace was always placed at the edge of a town, for the double 
advantage) probably, of a clear view and of fresh air — the plat- 
form rose perpendicularly or nearly so ; and generally a water 
protection, a river, a moat, or a broad lake, lay at its base, thus 
rendering attack, except on the city side, almost impossible. 
The platform appears to have been, in general shape, a rect- 
angle, or where it had different 
elevations, to have been com- 
posed of rectangles. The mound 
of Khorsabad, which is of this 
latter character, resembles a 
gigantic T. 

It must not be supposed, 
however, that the rectangle was 



always exact. Sometimes its outline was broken by angular 
projections and indentations, as in the annexed plan (p. 281),* 
where the shaded parts represent actual discoveries. Sometimes 
it grew to be irregular, by the addition of fresh (tortious, as new 
kings arose who determinetl on fresh erections. This is the case 
at Nimrud, where the platform broadens towards its lower or 
southern end,* and ntill more at Koyunjik and Nebbi Yunus,* 
where the roctanguhir idea has been so overlaid an to liave 
almost wholly diuapiieared. Palaces were commonly placed 
near one edge of the mound— more especially near the river 
edge— probably for the better enjoyment of the prospect, and 
of the cool air over ilie water. 

* '!).<• plnii i» liorro««d, by nvnalMioo, ImlraUlloo to fimnd dao ia Um Vmw^ 
from Mr. Ft rK'MMio'f «awHlral w«»rk, puHuu ptolfonn (w« p. tSSX 

/;. ' ' / Mr FrrHMilMI IMMfka ihnt ,, p. ;jOa. 

Chap, VI. 



The palace itself was composed of tliree main elements, 
courts, grand halls, and small private apartments. A palace has 
usually from two to four courts, which are either square or 
oblong, and vary in size according to the general scale of the 
building. In the north-west palace at Nimrud, the most ancient 





2 \M& 













^, /////// /„'iii' """''iiifi/''"'!!' iill' ,, ,.,i|/i/f//// ,, , .. .s. 

Vw/'*, „ /^'l' ./'/lilt 1(1 (id ''/'/// V' 1'"" ii||iiliiiu# '^ 



^;m.^) m ,.i " , 

Plan of the Palace of Sargon, Khorsabad (after Fergusson). 

of the edifices yet explored, one court only has been found, the 
dimensions of which are 120 feet by 90. At Khorsabad, the 
palace of Sargon has four courts. Three of them are nearly 
square, the largest of these measuring 180 feet each way, and the 
smallest about 120 feet ; the fourth is oblong, and must have been 
at least 250 feet long and 150 feet wide. The palace of Senna- 



Chap. VL 

eherib at Eoyunjik, a much larger edifice than the pakce of 
Sarjifon, has alao three courts, which are retpectively 93 feet by 
84, 124 feet by 90, and 154 feet by 125. Esar-lmddon's |>alaoe 
at Nimrud haa a court 220 feet long and 100 wide.^ Theae 
courts were all paved either with baked bricks of large size, ot 
with 8tone alab^ which were frequently patterned.* Sometimea 
the courts, were surruunded with buildings ; sometimes they 
abutted npon the edge of the platform : in this latter case 
they were protected by a stone parapet, which (at least in 
places) was six feet high. 

The grand halls of the Assyrian palaces constitute their most 
remarkable feature. Each palace has commonly several. They 
are apartment* narrow for their length, measuring from three 
to five times their own width, and thus having always some- 
what the appearance of galleries. The scale upon which they 
are built is, commonly, magnificent. In the palace of Asshur- 
izir-pul at Nimrud, the earliest of the discovered edifices, the 
great hall was 160 feet long by nearly 40 broad. In Sargon's 
palace at Khorsabt»d the size of no single room was so great ; 
but the number of halls was remarkable, there being no fewer 
than five of nearly equal dimensions. The largest was 116 feet 
long, and 33 wide; the smallest 87 feet long, and 25 wide. 
The palace of Senimcherib at Koyunjik contained the most 
spacious apartment yet exhumed. It was immediately inside 
the great jxjrtal, and extended in length 180 feet, with a uniform 
width of 44J feet. In one instance only, so far as app€»ar8, was 
an attempt made to exceed this width. In the |uilace of Esar- 
haddon, the son of Sennacherib, a hall was designeil, intendeil 
to surpaas all former ones. It.s ItMigth wtis to be 165 feet, and 
its width 62; consequently it would have been nearly one-third 
larger than the great hall of Sennacherib, its area exceeding 
10,000 fqaare feet But the builder who had designed tills 
grand structure appears to have been unable to overcome the 

■ Mr. iMymrd emU» Oiiatmui % 

OM can MNNpttr* hit daa of 

don't N'iinriitl |«1mo (Nol S. oii|il |k («.'•'») 

wkth M. IkMU* yUtttofKhonmimd, ana 

bb own pUna of KoyuiOik, wiiboui m«- 
Ing nl 0M» tlMt Um fTMt «i»c« to rmUjr 

SmUm wnodMl on p< t79. 

Chap. VI. 



difficulty of carrying a roof over so vast an expanse. He was 
therefore obliged to divide liis hall by a wall down the middle ; 
which, though he broke it in an unusual way into portions, and 
kept it at some distance from both ends of the apartment, still 
had the actual effect of subdividing his grand room into four 
apartments of only moderate size. The halls were paved with 
sun-burnt brick. They were ornamented throughout by the 
elaborate sculptures, now so familiar to us, carried generally in 
a single, but sometimes in a double line, round the four walls 
of the apartment. The sculptured slabs rested on the ground, 
and clothed the walls to the height of 
10 or 12 feet. Above, for a space 
which we cannot positively fix, but which 
was certainly not less than four or five 
feet,^ the crude brick wall was continued, 
faced here with burnt brick enamelled 
on the side towards the apartment, 
pleasingly and sometimes even bril- 
liantly coloured.^ The whole height of 
the walls was probably from 1 5 to 20 feet. 
By the side of the halls, or at their 
ends, and opening into them, or some- 
times collected together into groups, with 
no hall near, are the smaller chambers Hall of Esar-haddon's Palace, 

of which mention has been already made. (After Fergusson.) 
These chambers are in every case rect- 
angular : in their proportions they vary from squares to narrow 
oblongs, 90 feet by 17, 85 by 16, 80 by 15, and the like. When 
they are square, the side is never more than about 25 feet. They 
are often as richly decorated as the halls, but sometimes are 
merely faced with plain slabs or plastered; while occasionally 
they have no facing at all, but exhibit throughout the crude 
brick. This, however, is unusual. 

The number of chambers in a palace is very large. In 

' As much as four feet of the wall has 
sometimes been found standing (Fer- 
gusson's Palaces, p. 207). 

^ See the specimens of enamelled 
bricks in Mr. Layard's Monittnetits of 
JS'inevehf 1st Series, Plates 84 to 80. 




Senuacherib*8 pakoe at Ko)iinjik, where great part uf the build- 
ing remaiiifl still unexplored, the excavated cliambers amount 
to sixty-eight — all, be it remembered, upon the ground floor. 
The apace covered by them and by their walls exceeds 40,000 
square yards. As Mr. Fergusson observes, " the imperial pahioe 
of Sennacherib is, of all the buildings of antiquity, surpassed in 
magnitude only by the great i)alaoe-temple of Karuak ; and 
when we consider the vastness of the mound on which it was 
raised, and the richness of the ornaments with which it was 
adorned, it is by no means dear that it was not as great, or at 
least as expensive, a work as the great palace-temple at Thebes."' 
Elsewhere the excavated apartments are less numerous ; but in 
no case is it probable that a palace contained on its ground floor 
fewer than forty or fifty chambers. 

The most striking peculiarity whicli the ground-plans of the 
jialaces disclose is the uniform adoption tliroughout of straight 
and parallel lines. No plan exhibits a curve of any kind, or 
any angle but a right angle. Courts, chambers, and halls, are, 
in most cases, exact rectangles; and even where any variety 
occurs, it is only by the introduction of squared recesses or pro- 
jections, which are moreover shallow and infrequent. When a 
palace lias its own special platform, the lines of the buil<]i! 
are further exactly parallel with those of the mound on win- u 
it is placed ; and the parallelism extends to any otlier detached 
buildings that there may be anywhere ujion the platform.' 
^Vhen a mound is occupied by more |Milaces than one, sometimes 
this law still obtains, as at Nimrud,^ where it seems to embrace 
at any rate the greater number of the palac^es ; sometimes, as 
at Koyunjik,* the rule ceases to be observed, and the ground- 
plan of each palace seems formed separately and independently, 
with no reference to any neighbouring ediflce. 

* Km Um plfts of IsrgM't paUcv At 
Kborwiad. wpfm, ^ Itl. 

• 8MtlM|ilMariJMyiMni4slslfcni 

p. S5ft. Aeeonllnff to It, ^ttt lh« fmlmcf 
OS Um jiteUbns wtMiki Imv0 OivU naiU 

pMmlM to one anothflr and (o the «ldai 
«f Um nblfunn ; but 1 «|Hain Joort't 
•anrvj tDOwa fliat the |>Uitfurnt iimfif U 
imfttlMr, to that Mr. La^anl't ivtir»> 
— lalliwi apnaan lo bv inrAsel. 

* TIm walls of tlM fialaM Meavated 
by llr. LolliMara •oC |wniilrl with thott 
of Um odiflM oUtttOied b^ Mr. U>anL 


Apart from this feature, the buildings do not affect much 
regularity.^ In courts and fapades, to a certain extent, there is 
correspondence; but in the internal arrangements, regularity 
is decidedly the exception. The two sides of an edifice never 
correspond ; room never answers to room ; doorways are rarely 
in the middle of walls ; where a room has several doorways, they 
are seldom opposite to one another, or in situations at all cor- 

There is a great awkwardness in the communications. Very 
few corridors or passages exist in any of the buildings. Groups 
of rooms, often amounting to ten or twelve, open into one an- 
other ; and we 'find comparatively few rooms to which there is 
any access, except through some other room. Again, whole 
sets of apartments are sometimes found, between which and the 
rest of the palace all communication is cut off by thick walls. 
Another peculiarity in the internal arrangements is the number 
of doorways in the larger apartments, and their apparently 
needless multiplication. We constantly find two or even three 
doorways leading from a court into a hall, or from one hall into 
a second. It is difficult to see what could be gained by such 
an arrangement. 

The disposition of the various parts of a palace will probably 
be better apprehended from an exact account of a single build- 
ing than from any further general statements. For this pur- 
pose it is necessary to select a specimen from among the various 
edifices that have been disentombed by the labours of recent 
excavators. The specimen should be, if possible, complete ; 
it should have been accurately surveyed, and the survey should 
have been scientifically recorded ; it should further stand single 
and separate, that there may be no danger of confusion between 
its remains and those of adjacent edifices. These requirements, 
though nowhere exactly met, are very nearly met by the build- 
ing at Khorsabad, which stands on a mound of its own, unmixed 
with other edifices, has been most carefully examined, and most 
excellently represented and described, and which, though not 

• Compare the observations of M. Botta, Monument de Nlnive, vol. v. p. 64. 




completely excavated, bas been excavated with a nearer 
approach to completenesa than any other edifice in AsByria. 
The Khorsabad building — which is believed to be a palace 
built by Sargon, the son of Sennacherib— will therefore be 
selected for minute description in this place, as the palace most 
favourably circumstanced, and the one of which we have, on 
the whole, the roost complete and exact knowledge.^ 

The situation of the town, whereof the palace of Sargon 
formed a part, has been alremly described in a former part of 
this volume.* The shape, it has been noted, was square, the 
angles facing the four cardinal points. Almost exactly in the 
centre of the north-west wall occurs the palace platform, a 
huge mass of crude brick, from 20 to 30 feet high, shajHjd like 
a T, the upper limb lying within the city walls, and the lower 
limb (which is at a higher elevation) projecting beyond the line 
of the walls to a distance of at least 500 feet At present there 
is a considerable space between the ends of the wall and the 
palace mound;* but anciently it is probable that they eitlier 
abutted on the mound, or were separated from it merely by gate- 
ways. The mound, or at any rate the part of it which projected 
beyond the walls, was faced with hewn stone,'® carried perpen- 
dicularly from the plain to the top of the platform and even 
Im vund, so as to form a ptrrapet protecting the etlge of the 
pliiUorm. On the more elevated jxirtion of the mound — that 
which projected beyond the walls — stood the palace, consisting 
of three grouiM of buildings, the principal group lying towards 
the mound s northern angle. On the lower ix)rtion of the plat- 
form were several detache<l buildings, the most remarkable being 
a huge gatt?way, or propyheum, tlm»u;jh whicli the entrance 
lay to the palace from the city, lieyond and below this, on the 
level of the city, the first or outer portals were placed,' giviiur 
entrauce to a court in front of the lower terraoe. 

* tttpni, PPL iOS, SOi. 

• TIm KboMN6a. wbleb mat m thb 
•Id* of Um KliomlMd nila*, oAm «Tvr- 
flow« lia iMinks, ftod pottn lu wmu^n 
•KsiiiBt ttie imiUm aKNtML Tb« g»|« 
■ortb And aouUi of Um MPiiad mmj^ Imv« 

by Its 

*• 8m the woodeol, Mpv*, p. t78. 

* TbcM portaU wvr* dlMov«r«d bj If. 
PUm, M. UolUi's racMMMor at MomU. I 
mmuoi And Ibat mnj reprwtinnlom of 
ihtm bow btoD publiabtd. 

Chai . VI. 



Plan of the PaUce of Sargon, Khorsabad (after Fergusson). 




A visitor approach- 
ing the palace had in 
the first plac-e to pass 
through these portals. 
They were ornamented 
with coloasal human- 
headed bulls on either 
side, and probably 
spanned by an arch 
:ilx)ve, the archi volte 
L>eing covered with 
enamelled bpcks dis- 
posed in a pattern, 
lieeeived within the 
portals, the visitor 
found himself in front 
of a long wall of solid 
stone masonry, the 
rev^tement of the 
lower terrace, which 
rose from the outer 
court to a height of 
at least twenty feet 
Either an inclined way 
or a flight of steps— 
probably the latter- 
must have led up from 
the outer court to this 
terrace. Here the 
visitor found another 
jwrtal or propyhuuin 
of a magnificent cha- 
nicter. Midway in 
the south-east side of 
the lower terrace, and 
about fifty feet (torn 
iU eil;/" "**»**'^ ^^ 

Chap. VI. THE GREAT PORTAL. * 289 

grand structure, a gateway ninety feet in width, and at least 
twenty-five in depth, having on each side three winged bulls of 
gigantic size, two of them fifteen feet high, and the third nine- 
teen feet. Between the two smaller bulls, which stood back to 
back, presenting their sides to the spectator, was a colossal 
figure strangling a lion — the Assyrian Hercules, according to 
most writers. The larger bulls stood at right angles to these 
figures, withdrawn within the portal, and facing the spectator. 
The space between the bulls, which is nearly twenty feet, was 
(it is probable) arched over.^ Perhaps the archway led into a 
chamber, beyond which was a second archway and an inner 
portal, as marked in Mr. Fergusson's plan ; but this is at pre- 
sent uncertain.^ 

Besides the great portal, the only buildings as yet discovered 
on this lower platform, are a suite of not very extensive apart- 
ments. They are remarkable for their ornamentation. The 
walls are neither lined with slabs, nor yet (as is sometimes the 
case) painted ; but the plaster of which they are composed is 
formed into sets of half pillars or reedings, separated from one 
another by pilasters wdth square sunk panels.^ The former 
kind of ornamentation is found also in Lower Chaldgea, and has 
been already represented ; ^ the latter is peculiar to this build- 
ing. It is suggested that these apartments formed the quarters 
of the soldiers who kept watch over the royal residence.^ 

About 300 feet from the outer edge of the lower terrace, the 
upper terrace seems to have commenced. It was raised pro- 
bably about ten feet above the lower one. The mode of access 
has not been discovered, but is presumed to have been by a 
flight of steps, not directly opposite the propylseum, but some- 
what to the right, whereby entrance was given to the great 
court, into which opened the main gateways of the palace itself. 
The court was probably 250 feet long by 160 or 170 feet wide. 

' The widest Assyrian arch actually 
discovered is carried across a space of 
about 15 feet (infra, p. 301). 

' Mr. Fcrgusson argues for the exist- 
ence of a chamber and a second gateway, 
from the analogy of the Persepolitan 

VOL. I. 

ruins (^Palaces of Nineveh, p. 246) ; but 
this analogy cannot be depended on. 

* Fergusson, Handbook of Architecture, 
vol. i. p. 172. 

* Supra, p. 83. 

" Fergusson, Handbook, 1. s. c. 




The Tisitor, on motintinp: the 8te)i8, perhaps passed throngh 
another prnpylsDum (b in the plan) ; after which, if liis bnsinefls 
WM with the monarch, he creased the full length of the conrty 
leaving a magnificent triple entrance, which is thought to have 
led to the king's hareem, on his left, and making his way to the 
public gate of the palace, which fronted him when he mounted 
the steps. The hareem portal, which he passed, resembled in 
the main the great propyl*um of the lower platform ; but, 
being triple, it was still more magnificent, exhibiting two other 
entrances on either side of the main one, guarded each by a 
single pair of winged bulls of the smaller size. Along the 
hareem wall, from the gateway to the angle of the court, was a 
row of 8culpture<l bas-reliefs, ten feet in height, representing 

King and atteodanu, KhorMUMd. 

the monarch with his attendant guards and officers. The fii^ade 
occapying the end of the court was of inferior grandeur. Sculp- 
tnrea similar to those along the hareem wall udorued it ; but its 
centre showed only a single gateway, guarded by one pair of 
the larger bulls, fronting the spectator, and standing each in A 
sort of recess, the diameter of which will be best understood by 
the groiind*plan on the next page. Just inside the bulls was 
the great door of the paUoe^ a single door made of wood — 
apparently of mulberry^— opening inwards, and fastened on the 
inside by a bult at bottom, and also by an enormous luck. This 
door gave entrance into a passage, 70 feet long and about 10 
feet wide, pared with large slabs of stone, and adorned on either 
side with inscriptions and with a doable row of sculptures, repre- 

4iJnMKv«Lv. pk4S. 

Chap. VI. 



senting the arrival of tribute and gifts for the monarch. All 
the figures here faced one way, towards the inner palace court, 
into which the passage led. M. Botta believes that the passage 
was uncovered;® while Mr. Fergusson* imagines that it was 
vaulted throughout. It must in any case have been lighted 
from above; for it would have been impossible to r^ad the 
inscriptions, or even to see the sculptures, merely by the light 
admitted at the two ends. 

From the passage in question — one of the few in the -edifice 
— no doorway opened out either on the right hand or on the 
left. The visitor necessarily proceeded along its whole extent, 
as he saw the figures proceeding in the sculptures, and, passing 
through a second portal, found himself in the great inner court 


1.1 N E OF FAC A D e 

of the palace, a square of about 150 or 160 feet, enclosed on 
two sides — the south-east and the south-west — by buildings, on 
the other two sides reaching to the edge of the terrace, which 
here gave upon the open country. The buildings on the south- 
east side, looking towards the north-west, and adjoining the 
gateway by which he had entered, were of comparatively minor 
importance. They consisted of a few chambers suitable for 
officers of the court, and were approached from the court by 
two doorways, one on either side of the passage through which 
he had come. To his left, looking towards the north-east, were 
the great state apartments, the principal part of the palace, 
forming a fajade, of which some idea may perhaps be formed 
from the representation on page 293. The upper part of this 

• Botta, Monument de Ninive^ vol. v. p. 69. 

Palaces of Nineveh, p. 259, 

u 2 




repreeentation is indeed purely conjectural ; and when we come 
to consider the mode in which tlie Affymn palaces were roofed 
and lighted, we shall perliape find reason to regard it as not very 
near the truth ; but the lower part, up to the top of the sculp- 
tures, the court itself, and the various accessaries, are correctly 
given, and furnish the only penpedive view of this part of the 
palace which has been as yet published. 

The great state apartments consisted of a suite of ten rooms. 
Five of these were halls of large dimensions ; one was a long 
and somewhat narrow chamber, and the remaining four were 
square or slightly oblong apartments of minor consequence. 
All of them were lined throughout with sculptures. The most 
important seem to have been three halls en suite (VI IL V. and 

" ~'^^Cr \ ~ — ^^* ^" ^^^^ V^^^)y wliieh " are, both 

^) i» K\ \r^"~fi Mk ^" their external and internal 
V /I firzLi^^^^^KHl decorations, by far tlie most splen- 

did of the whole palace." * The 
first lay just witliin the north-east 
fa^e, and ran parallel to it. It 
was entered by three doorways, 
^. . , . , „^ .. J the central one ornamented exter- 

nally with two colossal bulls of 
the largest size, one on either side within the entrance, and with 
two pairs of smaller bulls, back to back, on the pn>jecting pylons ; 
the side ones guarded by winged genii, human or hawk-headed. 
The length of the chamber was 11 (i feet () inches, and its breadth 
33 feet. Its sculptures represented the monarch reoeiving 
prisoners, and either personally or by deputy punishing them.* 
We may call it, for distinction's sake, "the Hall of Punishment** 
The second hall (V. in the plan) ran parallel with the first, 
but did not extend along its whole IcngUi. It measured from 
end to end about 80 feet, and fVom side to side 21 feet G inches. 
Two doorways led into it from the first chamber, and two otliera 

> U «M M« Um momivIi !• to tiM 
•et of drlTlBf • tpnr or tev^to tolo 
Um hMd of a eopUvo wtili om iMad, 
white with Um olhir ho htith htei by • 

Ihoof •tt•ch^d to • rlBg puoM through 
hlf untlor ll|K In •oother raw «q •«•>. 
odtteMT tmyt eopiiro (or erimlnol) 
whoteftrtiBiJtei woll 





Chap. VL 

led from it into two lar^ apartments. One communicated with 
a lateral hall (marked VI. in the plan), the other wHh the third 
hall of the suite which is here the special object of our attention. 
This third hall (II. in the plan) wan of the same len^h as the 
first, but was less wide by about three feet It opened by three 
doorways upon a square court, which has been called '' the 
Temple Court,** from a buildin«j on one side of it, which will be 
described presently. 

BArgoo^n hU wafdurlot^ Kbortftbad. 

Tlic Krulptures of tlie second and third halls represented in a 
double row, separated by an inscribed 8|)uco about two feet in 
width, chiefly the wars of the monarch, his battles, sie^^^os, recep- 
tion of captives and of sjioil, iVc. The monarch himself appeared 
at least four times, standing; in his chariot, thrice in calm pro- 
c«»ssion, and once shooting his arrows against his euemii^ 
Betldet these, the nppor loiilptufftt on one side exhibited sacred 



Chap. VI. 



Placed at right angles to this primary suite of three halls 
were two others, one (IV. in the plan)^ of dimensions little, if 
at all, inferior to those of the largest (No. VIII.), the other 
(VI. in the plan)^ nearly of the same length, but as narrow as 
the narrowest of the three (No. V.). Of these two lateral halls 
the former communicated directly with No. VIII., and also by 
a narrow passage room (III. in the plan) with No. II. The 
other had direct communication both with No. 11. and No. V., 
but none with No. VIII. With this hall (No. VI.) three smaller 
chambers were connected (Nos. IX. XI. and XII.) ; with the 
other lateral hall, two only (Nos. III. and VII.). One chamber 
attached to this block of buildings (I. in the plan) opened only 
on the Temple Court. It has been suggested that it contained 
a staircase ; ^ but of this there is no evidence. 

The Temple Court — a square of 180 feet — was occupied by 
buildings on three sides, and open on one only — that to the 
north-west. The state apartments closed it in on the north- 
east, the temple on the south-west ; on the south-east it was 
bounded by the range of buildings called " Priests' Kooms " in 
the plan, chambers of less pretension than almost any that have 
been excavated. The principal fapade here was that of the 
state apartments, on the north-east. On this, as on the opposite 
side of the palace, were three portals ; but the two fronts were 
not of equal magnificence. On the side of the Temple Court 
a single pair of bulls, facing the spectator, guarded the middle 
portal ; the side portals exhibited only figures of genii, while 
the spaces between the portals were occupied, not with bulls, 
but merely with a series of human figures, resembling those in 
the first or outer court, of which a representation has been 
already given. Two peculiarities marked the south-east fapade. 
In the first place, it lay in a perfectly straight line, unbroken 
by any projection, which is very unusual in Assyrian architecture. 

' This hall opened on the north- 
western terrace, and stood so near its 
edge that two of its sides have fallen. 
Internally it was adorned with a single 
row of sculptures, representing the king 
receiving prisoners. 

* The sculptures here were all peace- 
able. The king occurred three times, 
with the sacred flower in his left hand, 
receiving presents or tribute. 

* Fergusson's Palaces, p. 263. 


In the seoond place, as if to compenaate for this monotony in its 
fiusial line, it was pierced by no fewer than ^ve doorwuvH, all of 
oooriderable widtli, and two of them gamislied with bulls, 
namely, the secoml and the fourth. The bulls of the seoond 
gateway were of the larger, those of the fourth were of the 
smaller size ; they stood in the usual manner, a little withdrawn 
within the gateways and looking towards the spectator. 

Of the cnrious building which.closed in the court on the third 
or eooth-west side, which is believed to have been a temple,* the 
lemaina are unfortunately very slight. It stood so near the 
edge of the terrace that the greater part of it has fallen into 
the plain. Less than half of the ground-plan is left, and only 
a few feet of the elevation. The building may originally have 
been a square, or it may have been an oblong, as represented in 
the plan. It was approached from the court by a flight of stone 
steps, probably six in number, of whicli four remain in place. 
This flight of steps was placed directly opposite to the central 
door of the south-west palace facade. From the level of the 
court to that of the top of the steps, a height of about six feet, 
a solid platform of crude brick was raised as a basis for the 
temple; and this was faced, probably throughout its whole 

extent, with a solid wall of 
hard black basalt, orna- 
mented with a cornice in 
grey limestone, of which the 
accompanying woodcuts are 
representations. Above this 
the external work has dis> 
appeared. Internally, two 
chambers may be traced, floored with a mixture of stones and 
chalk ; and round one of tlieae are tome fhigments of bas-relielJB, 
representing sacred subjects, cut on the same black basalt at 
tluit by which the platform is rused, and suflicient to show that 
the same style of ornamentation prevailed here as in the palace. 
The principal doorway on the north-west side of the Temple 

GbTBlet «r tMipl*, Khocmbtd. 


Court communicated, by a passage, with anotlier and similar 
doorway {d on the plan), which opened into a fourth court, the 
smallest and least ornamented of those on the upper platform. 
The mass of building, whereof this court occupied the centre, is 
believed to have constituted the hareem or private apartments of 
the monarch."^ It adjoined the state apartments at its northern 
angle, but had no direct communication with them. To enter it 
from them the visitor had either to cross the Temple Court and 
proceed by the passage above indicated, or else to go round by 
the great entrance (X. in the plan) and obtain admission by the 
grand portals on the south-west side of the outer court. These 
latter portals, it is to be observed, are so placed as to command 
no view into the Hareem Court, though it is opposite to them. 
The passages by which they gave entrance into that court must 
have formed some such angles as those marked by the dotted 
lines in the plan, the result being that visitors, while passing 
through the outer court, would be unable to catch any sight of 
what was going on in the Hareem Court, even if the great doors 
happened to be open. Those admitted so far into the palace 
as the Temple Court were more favoured or less feared. The 
doorway (d) on the south-east side of the Hareem Court is 
exactly opposite the chief doorway on the north-west side of the 
Temple Court, and there can be no reasonable doubt that a 
straight passage connected the two. 

It is uncertain whether the Hareem Court was surrounded by 
buildings on every side, or open towards the south-west. M. Botta 
believed that it was open ; ^ and the analogy of the other courts 
would seem to make this probable. It is to be regretted, how- 
ever, that this portion of the great Khorsabad ruin still remains 
so incompletely examined. Consisting of the private apart- 
ments, it is naturally less rich in sculptures than other parts ; 
and hence it has been comparatively neglected. The labour 
would, nevertheless, be well employed which should be devoted 
to this part of the ruin, as it would give us (what we do not now 
possess) the complete ground-plan of an Assyrian palace. It is 

' Fergusson, Palaces of Nineveh, p. 254 ; Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 646. 
* Monument de Ninive, vol. v. p. 42 ; and compare the plan, vol. i. pi. 6. 


earnestly to be hoped that future excavators will direct their 
efforts to this easily attainable and interesting object 

The ground-plans of the palaces, and some sixteen feet of 
their elevations, are all that fire and time have left us of these 
remarkable monuments. The total destruction of the upper 
portion of every palatial building in Assyria, combined with the 
want of any representation of the royal residences upon tlie bas- 
reliefs, reduces ns to mere conjecture with respect to their 
height, to the mode in which they were roofed and lighted, and 
even to the question whether they had or had not an upper 
story. On these subjects various views have been put forward 
by i)er8ons entitled to consideration ; and to these it is proposed 
now to direct the reader's attention. 

In the first place, then, had they an upper story ? Mr. Layud 
and Mr. Fergusson decide this question in the affirmative, 
Mr. Layard even goes so far as to say that the fact is one which 
" can no longer be doubted." • He rests this conclusion on two 
grounds — first, on a belief that ** upj>er chambers " are mentioned 
in the Inscriptions, and secondly, on the discovery by himself, 
in Sennacherib's palace at Koyunjik, of what seemeil to be an 
inclined way, by which he supposes that the ascent was made to 
an upjier story. The former of these two arguments must be 
set aside as wholly uncertain. The interpretation of the archi- 
tectural inscriptions of the Assyrians is a matter of far too much 
doubt at pres<int to serve as a groundwork upon whirh theories 
can properly be raised as to the plan of their buildings. With 
regard to the inclined passage, it is to be observed that it did 
not appear to what it led. It may have conducted to a galleiy 
looking into one of the great halls, or to an external baloony 
overhanging an outer court ; or it may have been the ascent to 
the top of a tower, whence a look-out was kept up and down the 
river. Is it not more likely that this ascent should have been 
made for some exceptional pur|)ose, than timt it should be the 
only specimen left of the ordinary mode by which one half of 
li palace was rendered aooewihle ? It is to be remembered that 

• inkMM* omI JMylpN, p. SM. 



no remains of a staircase, whether of stone or of wood, have been 
found in any of the palaces, and that there is no other instance 
in any of them even of an inclined passage.^ Those who think 
the palaces had second stories, believe these stories to have been 
reached by staircases of wood, placed in various parts of the 
buildings, which were totally destroyed by the conflagrations in 
which the palaces perished. But it is at least remarkable that 
no signs have been found in any existing walls of rests for the 
ends of beams, or of anything implying staircases. Hence 
M. Botta, the most careful and the most scientific of recent 
excavators, came to a very positive conclusion that the Khor- 
sabad buildings had had no second story ,^ a conclusion which it 
would not, perhaps, be very bold to extend to Assyrian edifices 

It has been urged by Mr. Fergusson that there must have 
been an upper story because, otherwise, all the advantage of the 
commanding position of the palaces, perched on their lofty plat- 
forms, would have been lost.^ The platform at Khorsabad was 
protected, in the only places where its edge has been laid bare, 
by a stone wall or parapet six feet in height. Such a parapet 
continued along the whole of the platform would effectually 
have shut out all prospect of the open country both from the 
platform itself, and also from the gateways of the palace, which 
are on the same level. Nor could there well be any view at all 
from the ground-chambers, which had no windows, at any rate 
within fifteen feet of the floor. To enjoy a view of anything 
but the dead wall skirting the mound, it was necessary (Mr. 
Fergusson thinks) to mount to a second story, which he in- 
geniously places, not over the ground-rooms, but on the top of 
the outer and party walls, whose structure is so massive that 
their area falls (he observes) but little short of the area of the 
ground-rooms themselves.'' 

This reasoning is sufficiently answered, in the first place, by 
observing that we do not know whether the Assyrians appreciated 

^ The inclined passage of Asshiir-bani- 
pal's palace at Koyunjik was not in the 
palace, but led from the level of the city 
up to it. 

2 Monument de Ninive, vol. v. p. 
^ Palaces of Ninecch, p. 275. 
* Ibid. 



the advantage of a view or raised their palace platforms for any 
snch object They may have constructed them for security only, 
or for greater dignity and greater seclusion. They may have 
looked chiefly to comfort, and have reared them in order to 
receive the benefit of every breeze, and at the same time to be 
above the elevation to which gnats and mosquitoes commonly 
rise.* Or there may be a fallacy in concluding, from the very 
slight data furnished by the excavations of M. Botta,* that 
a palace platform was, in any case, skirted along its whole 
length by a six-foot parapet. Nothing is more probable than 
that in places the Khorsabad parapet may have been very much 
lower than this ; and elsewhere it is not even ascertained that 
any parapet at all edged the platform. On the whole we seem 
to have no right to conclude, merely on account of the small 
portions of parapet wall uncovered by M. Botta, that an upper 
story was a necessity to the palaces. If the Assyrians valued 
a view, they may easily have made their parapets low in places : 
if they cared so little for it as to shut it out from all their halls 
and terraces, they may not improbably have dispensed with the 
advantage altogether. 

The two questions of the roofing and lighting of the Assyrian 
palaces are so closely connected together that they will most 
conveniently be treated in combination. The first conjecture 
published on the subject of the roofing was that of M. Flandin, 
who suggested tliat the chambers generally — the great halls, at 
any rate — had been ceiled with a brick vault. Ho tliought that 
the complete filling up of the apartments to the height of 
fifteen or twenty feet was thus best explained ; and he believed 
that there were traces of the fallen vaulting in the debris with 
which the apartments were filled. His conjecture was combated, 
soon after he put it forth, by M. Botta,' who gave it as his 
opinion — first, that the walls of the chamlx»rs, notwithstanding 
their great thickness, would have been unable, consider! nir their 

* That tbto wm om of Uia oUoett htld | * The pftnpet wall waa obwrved al 

lew by the Babjrlonlaaf whan th»y i moit ii 
ilad their Ttoiple platftnM, le eon- parta, i 

unMl by M. FmmL iJ<fmmat Asi- \ ^ Mn 

a<»7M«, Juin IM&S, pp.&SS-&ai.) f(5-«7. 

in Tlew by the Babyloniaaf when they i meet in two plaoee. (See tlie ehadad 
ereeted their Ttoiple platftnat, le eon- parte, OMrked a a oo the plan, p. 881.) 
JectttHMl by M. FtmmI. {Jmmd AH- ' MmmmmU dt if«MV#, vd. t. pp. 

Chap. VI. 



material, to sustain the weight, and (still more to bear) the 
lateral thrust, of a vaulted roof; and, secondly, that such a roof, 
if it had existed at all, must have been made of baked brick or 
stone — crude brick being too weak for the purpose — and when 
it fell must have left ample traces of itself within the apartments, 
whereas, in none of them, though he searched, could he find any 
such traces. On this latter point M. Botta and M. Flandin — 
both eye-witnesses — were at variance. M. Flandin believed that 
he had seen such traces, not only in numerous broken fragments 
of burnt brick strewn through all the chambers, but in occasional 
masses of brickwork contained in some of them — actual portions, 
as he thought, of the original vaulting. M. Botta, however, 
observed — first, that the quantity of baked brick within the 
chambers was quite insufficient for a vaulted roof; and, secondly, 
that the position of the masses of brickwork noticed by M. Flandin 
was always towards the sides, never towards the centres of the 
apartments ; a clear proof that they had fallen from the upper 
part of the walls above the sculptures, and not from a ceiling 
covering the whole room. He further observed that the 
quantity of charred wood and charcoal within the chambers, 
and the calcined appearance of all the slabs, were pheno- 
mena incompatible with any other theory than that of the de- 
struction of the palace by the conflagration of a roof mainly 
of wood.^ 

To these arguments of M. Botta may be added another from 
the improbability of the Assyrians being sufficiently advanced in 
architectural science to be able to construct an arch of the width 
necessary to cover some of the chambers. The principle of the 
arch was, indeed, as will be hereafter shown,^ well known to the 
Assyrians ; but hitherto we possess no proof that they were 
capable of applying it on a large scale. The widest arch which 
has been found in any of the buildings is that of the Khorsabad 
town-gate uncovered by M. Place,'^ which spans a space of (at 
most) fourteen or fifteen feet. But the great halls of the Assyrian 

" Monument de Ninice, vol. v. p. 68. 

" Infra, pp. 327-330. 

'" Journal Asiatique, Rapport de M. 

Mohl pour Aout 18.53, p. 150; Fer- 
gusson, Handbook of Architecture^ p. 


palaces hare a width of twenty-five, thirty, and even forty feet 
It is at any rate anoertain wltether the construotiTe skill of their 
arrhitects could hare grappled successfully with the difficulty of 
throwing a vault ovor so wiiK» an lut^Tval as even the least of 

M, Botta, after objwting, certainly with great force, to the 
theory of M. Flaudin, proceeded to suggest a theory of his own. 
After carefully reviewing all the circumstances, he gave it as his 
opinion that the Khorsabad building had been roofed throughout 
with a flat, earth-covered roofing of wood. He observed that 
some of the buildings on the bas-reliefs had flat roofs, that flat 
roofs are still the fashion of the country, and that the debrU 
within the chambers were exactly such as a roof of that kind 
would be likely, if destroyed by fire, to have produced.* He 
further noticed that on the floors of the chambers in various 
parts of the palace, there had been discovered stone rollers, 
closely resembling those still in use at Mosul and Baghdad, for 
keeping cloee-pressed and hard the earthen surface of such roofs ; 
which rollers had, in all probability, been applied to the same 
use by the Assyrians, and, being kept on the roofs, had fallen 
through during the conflagration.* 

The first difficulty which presented itself here was one of 
those regarded as most fatal to the vaulting theory, namely, the 
width of the chambers. Where flat timber roofs prevail in the 
East, their span seems never to exceed twenty-five feet' The 
ordinary chambers in the Assyrian paUu^es might, undoubtedly, 
therefore, have been roofed in this way, by a series of horizontal 
beams laid across them from side to side, with the ends resting 
upon the tops of the side walk. But the great halls seeme<l too 
wide to have borae such a roofing witliout supports. Accord- 
ingly, M. Botta suggested tliat in the greater apartments a 
tingle or a double row of pillars ran down the middle, reaching 
to Uie roof and sustaining it* His theory was afterwards warmly 
embraced by Mr. Fergusson, who endeavoured to point out the 
couurt position of the pillars in the three great halls of Sargon at 

St JMWM, ^^Lw.ff, 71, 7t. • nrfd. ^ 71 

^lr*MW^^t7<. « JfonvaiMl, Iw., VOL T. |v St. 

Chap. VI. 



Khorsabad.'* It seems, however, a strong and almost a fatal 
objection to this theory, that no bases of pillars have been found 
within the apartments, nor any marks on the brick floors of such 
bases or of the pressure of the pillars. M. Botta states that he 
made a careful search for bases, or for marks of pillars, on the 
pavement of the north-east hall (No. YIII.) at Khorsabad, but 
that he entirely failed to discover any.^ This negative evidence 
is the more noticeable as stone pillar-bases have been found in 
wide doorways, where they would have been less necessary than 
in the chambers, as pillars in doorways could have had but little 
weight to sustain. 

M. Botta and Mr. Fergusson, who both suppose that in 
an Assyrian palace the entire edifice was roofed in, and only the 
courts left open to the sky, suggest two very different modes by 
which the buildings may have been lighted. M. Botta brings light 
in from the roof by means of wooden louvres^ such as are still 
employed for the purpose in Armenia and parts of India,''' whereof 
he gives the representation which is reproduced on the next page. 
Mr. Fergusson introduces light from the sides, by supposing that 
the roof did not rest directly on the walls, but on rows of wooden 
pillars placed along the edge of the walls both internally towards 
the apartments and externally towards the outer air. The only 

' Palaces of Nineveh, p. 262 ; Hand- 
hook of Architecture, p. 171. 

« Monument de Ninive, p. 70. Com- 
pare Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 
649, 650. It must further be noted, as 
throwing considerable doubt on the whole 
spirit of Mr. Fergusson's Assyrian re- 
storations, that their essence consists in 
giving a thoroughly columnar character, 
both internally and externally, to Assy- 
rian buildings, whereas one of the most 
remarkable features in the remains is 
the almost entire absence of the column. 
A glance at the restoration already given 
from Mr. Fergusson (supra, p. 293), or 
at that, by the same ingenious gentle- 
man, which forms the frontispiece to 
Mr. Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, will 
show the striking difference, and (as it 
seems to me) the want of harmony in 
his restorations between the basement 
story of a palace, which is all that we 
can reconstruct with any certainty, and 

the entire remainder of the edifice. Mr. 
Fergusson supports his view that the 
column was really thus prominent in 
Assyrian buildings by the analogy of 
Susa and Persepolis ; but the columnar 
edifices at those places are on an entirely 
different plan from that of an Assyrian 
palace. Those buildings had no solid 
walls at all (Loftus, Chaldcea and Susiana^ 
pp. 374, 375), but lay entirely open to 
the air ; they were mere groves of pillars 
supporting a fiat roof — convenient sum- 
mer residences. The evidence of the 
remains seems to be that there was a 
strong contrast between Assyrian and 
Persian architecture, the latter depend- 
ing almost wholly on the column, and 
elaborating it as much as possible ; the 
former scarcely allowing the column at 
all, and leaving it almost in its primitive 
condition of a mere post. (See below, 
p. 310.) 

'' Fergusson, Palaces of Nineveh, p. 269, 



Chap. VI. 

ground for this supposition, which is of a very startling character, 
seems to be the occurrence in a single bas-relief, representing a city 
in Armenia, of what is regarded as a similar arrangement. But 
it must be noted that the lower |)ortion of the building, repre- 
sented opposite, bears no resemblance at all to the same ])art of 
an Assyrian palace, since in it perpendicular lines prevail, whereas, 
in the Assyrian palaces, the lower lines were almost wholly 
horizontal ; and that it is not even certain that the up|)er por- 


Armenian louvre (after Botta). 

tion, where the pillars occur, is an arrangement for admitting 
light, since it may be merely an ornamentation. 

The difficulties attaching to every theory of roofing and 
lighting which places the whole of an Assyrian palace under 
covert, has led some to suggest that the system actually adopted 
in the larger apartments was that htjjmihral one which is gene- 
rally believed to have prevailed in the Greek temples,* and 

• Mr. FergUMNi dbaUowt Um hjfm- 
ihnl •yvUm t/rn here iDru* J*ri»oiplm 
<grilMi4y, p.381); but laler wrltM* do 
DOC teim converted bj bis MfvaMta. 
(See tbe article on Tutruin in Bmith'e 

Didimttry of Qr««k md Romam Anti' 
firiMM, p. 1105, 9nd edition; and eoo- 
pare Mr. Fallienar's VoJimIu*, Introdue- 
Uon, pp. 19-20.) 

Chap. VI. 



which was imdoubtedly followed in the ordinary Koman house. 
Mr. Layard was the first to put forward the view that the larger 
halls, at any rate, were 
uncovered, a project- 
ing ledge, sufficiently 
wide to afford shelter 
and shade, being car- 
ried round the four 
sides of the apart- 
ment, while the centre 
remained open to the 
sky.* The objections 
taken to this view are 
— first, that far too 
much heat and light 
would thereby have 
been admitted into 
the palace; secondly, 
that in the rainy sea- 
son far too much rain 
would have come in 
for comfort ; and, 
thirdly, that the pave- 
ment of the halls, 
being mere sun-dried 
brick, would, under 
such circumstances, 
have been turned into 
mud.^ If these ob- 
jections are not re- 
moved, they would 
be, at any rate,greatly 

Armenian buildings (from Koyunjik). 

lessened by supposing the roofing to have extended to two- 
thirds or three-fourths of the apartment, and the opening to 

° Nineveh and Us RemainSy vol. i. p. 
259. Compare Nineveh and Babylon, p. 
647 ; and see also the restoration of an 
Assyrian interior in his Monuments of 

VOL. I. 

Nineveh, 1st series, PL 2, from which the 
illustration overleaf is taken. 

^ Fergusson, Pa/aces 0/ i\rmereA, p. 270. 


have been comparatively narrow. We may also suppose that 
on very bright and on very rainy days carpets or other awnings 
were stretched across the opening, which furnished a tolerable 
defence against the weather. 

On the whole, our choice seems to lie — so far as the great 
halls are concerned — between this theory of the mode in which 
they were roofed and lighted, and a supposition from which 
archaeologists have hitherto shrunk, namely, that they were 
actually spanned from side to side by beams. If we remember 
that the Assyrians did not content themselves with the woods 
produced in their own country, but habitually cut timber in the 
forests of distant regions, as for instance of Amanus, Hermon, 
and Lebanon, which they conveyed to Nineveh, we shall perhaps 
not think it impossible that they may have been able to ac- 
complish the feat of roofing in this simple fashion even chambers 
of thirteen or fourteen yards in width. Mr. Layard observes 
that rooms of almost equal width with the Assyrian halls are 
to this day covered in with beams laid horizontally from side 
to side in many parts of Mesopotamia, although the only timber 
used is that furnished by the indigenous palms and poplars.^ 
May not more have been accomplished in this way by the 
Assyrian architects, who had at their disposal the lofty firs and 
cedars of the above-mentioned regions ? 

If the halls were roofed in this way, they may have been 
lighted by louvres ; ^ or the upper portion of the walls, which is 
now destroyed, may have been pierced by windows, which are 
of frequent occurrence, and seem generally to be somewhat high 
placed, in the representations of buildings upon the sculptures. 
(See overleaf.) 

It might have been expected {hat the difficulties with respect 
to Assyrian roofing and lighting which have necessitated this 
long discussion, would have received illustration, or even 
solution from the forms of buildings which occur so frequently 
on the bas-reliefs. But this is not found to be the actual result. 
The forms are rarely Assyrian, since they occur commonly 

2 Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. pp. 259, 260. 
' Such as that represented above, p. 304. 

X 2 




i 1 


I 1 

I X 


AMjrian cmitle (Nimrud obelisk). 

in the sculptares which ropresent tho foreign campaignB of 
the kings ; and they have the appearance of being to a great 
extent conventional, being nearly the same, whatever country 

is the object of attack. In 
the few cases where there is 
ground for regarding the 
building as native and not 
foreign, it is never palatial, 
but belongs either to sacred 
or to domestic architecture. 
Thus the monumental repre- 
sentations of Assyrian build- 
ings which have come down to us, throw little or no light on the 
construction of their palaces. As, however, they have an 
interest of their own, and will serve to illustrate in some degree 

the domestic and sacred ar- 
chitecture of the people, some 
of the most remarkable of 
them will be here introduced. 
The representation Na L 
is from a slab at Khon^abad. 
It is placed on the summit of 
a hill, and is reganled by 
M. Botta as an altar. No. II. 
is from the same slab. It 
stands at the foot of the hill 
crowned by No. L It has 
been called a ** fisliing pavilion ; ** * but it is most probably a 
mall temple, since it l)earB a g(X)d deal of resemblance to other 
fepresentationi which are uiidoubtoil temples, as ((particularly) 
to Na V. (p. 31 0). No. 1 1 1., which is from Loitl Aberdeen's black 
ttone, is certainly a temple, naee it ia acoompanied by a priest, a 
•acred tree, and an ox for taoriflce.* The representation No. IV. 
is abo thought to be a temple. It is of earlier date than any of 

Ka L— AMyriaa altar (7), Aron a baa-reltef, 

^I7». tit. Tfclt UMk tUMM te «r tiM U»« uT 

* J^ th* rvpnMBlatkm U Mr. Far- I E^cliMklMk 

Chap. \1, 



the others, being taken from a slab belonging to the North-west 
Palace at Nimrud, and is remarkable in many ways. First, the 


No. II. — Assyrian temple (Khorsabad). 

want of symmetry is curious, and unusual. Irregular as are the 
palaces of the Assyrian kings, there is for the most part no 
want of regularity in their sacred build- 
ings. The two specimens here adduced 
(No. II. and No. III.) are proof of this ; 
and such remains of actual temples as 
exist are in accordance with the sculptures 
in this particular. The right-hand aisle 
in No. IV., having nothing correspondent 
to it on the other side, is thus an anomaly 
in Assyrian sacred architecture. The 
patterning of the pillars with chevrons is 
also remarkable; and their capitals are 


No. III. — Assyrian temple, 

from Lord Aberdeen's 

black stone. 

altogether unique.* No. V. is a tem- 
ple of a more elaborate character. It is from the sculptures 

• On this point, see below, pp. 333, 334, 




of Aashur-baDi'-pa], the son of Eaar-haddon, and poMeasM 
aeTenl features of great interest The body of the temple 
is a columnar structure, exhibiting at eitlier comer a broad 

pilaster surmounted by a 
capital composed of two sets 
of volutes placed one over 
the other. Between the two 
pilasters are two pillars rest- 
ing u|)on very extraordinary 
rounded bases, and crowned 
by capitals not unlike the 
Corinthian. We might have 
supposed the bases mere 
figments of the sculptor, but 
for an independent evidence 
of the actual employment by 
the Assyrians of rounded pillar-bases. Mr. Layard discovered 
at Eoyunjik a set of ** circular pedestals," whereof he gives the 

Ka IV.— A«3rriAn temple (Nimrud). 

Ko v.- A«3rri«i iMpI* (Morlh P^Im^ Kojoi^iikV 

repreMOtaticn whioh is figured on the next page. Thoy appeared 
to form part of a double line of similar objects, extending from 
the edge of the plutfurm to an entrance of the pahice, and pro- 
bably (as Mr. I^yard soggetta) sup|K)rted the wooden pillars of a 

Chap. VI. 



covered way by which the palace was approached on this side. 
Above the pillars the temple (No. V.) exhibits a heavy cornice or 
entablature projecting considerably, and finished at the top with 
a row of gradines. (Compare No. II.) At one side of this main 
building is a small chapel 
or oratory, also finished 
with gradines, against the 
wall of which is a repre- 
sentation of a king, stand- 
ing in a species of frame 
arched at the top. A 
road leads straight up to 
this royal tablet, and in 
this road within a little 
distance of the king stands 
an altar. The temple 
occupies the top of a 
mound, which is covered 
with trees of two different 

Circular pillar-base, Koyunjik (after Layard). 

kinds, and watered by rivulets. On the right is a " hanging 
garden," artificially elevated to the level of the temple by 
means of masonry supported on an arcade, the arch here used 
being not the round arch but a pointed one. No. VI. (overleaf) 
is unfortunately very imperfect, the entire upper portion having 
been lost. Even, however, in its present mutilated state it 
represents by far the most magnificent building that has yet 
been found upon the bas-reliefs. The fapade, as it now stands, 
exhibits four broad pilasters and four pillars, alternating in 
pairs, excepting that, as in the smaller temples, pilasters occupy 
both corners. In two cases, the base of the pilaster is carved 
into the figure of a winged bull, closely resembling the bulls 
which commonly guarded the outer gates of palaces. In the 
other two the base is plain — a piece of negligence, probably, on 
the part of the artist. The four pillars all exhibit a rounded 
base, nearly though not quite similar to that of the pillars in 
No. V. ; and this rounded base in every case rests upon the 
back of a walking lion. We might perhaps have imagined that 

Chap. VI. 



this was a mere fanciful or mythological device of the artist's, 
on a par with the representations at Bavian, where figures, 
supposed to be Assyrian deities, stand upon the backs of 
animals resembling dogs J 
But one of M. Place's ar- 
chitectural discoveries seems 
to make it possible, or even 
probable, that a real feature 
in Assyrian building is here 
represented. M. Place found 
the arch of the town gate- 
way, which he exhumed at 
Khorsabad, to spring from 
the backs of the two bulls 
which guarded it on either 
side.^ Thus the lions at the 
base of the pillars may be 
real architectural forms, as 
well as the winged bulls 
which support the pilasters. 
The lion was undoubtedly a 
sacred animal, emblematic 
of divine power, and specially 
assigned to Nergal, the As- 
syrian Mars, the god at once 
of war and of hunting. His 
introduction on the exteriors of buildings was common in Asia 
Minor ; but no other example occurs of his being made to sup- 
port a pillar, excepting in the so-called Byzantine architecture 
of Northern Italy. 

No. Ylla. (overleaf) introduces us to another kind of 
Assyrian temple, or perhaps it should rather be said to another 
feature of Assyrian temples — common to them with Babylonian 

Porch of the Cathedral, Trent. 

^ See Layard's Monuments of Nineveh^ 
2nd series, PL 51 ; and compare Nineveh 
and Babylon, p. 208. A similar treat- 
ment of divine figures is common upon 
the Cylinders. (See Cullimore's Cylinders, 
Nos. 19, 20, 30, 55, 96, &c.) It is found 

likewise in Cappadocia. (See Van Len- 
nep's Travels in Little Known parts of 
Asia Minor, vol. ii. p. 118. 

^ Journal Asiatique, AoAt 1853, p. 
150; Fergusson, Handbook of Architec- 
ture^ vol. i. p. 173. 



Chap. VI. 

— the tower or ziggurai. This apfieara to have 'been always 
built in stages, which probably varied in number — never, 
however srt far n« appears, exceeding seven. The sculptured 

Na VII a. — Tower of % temple, Koyuigik (after LajArd). 

example before us, which is from a bas-reliof found atKoyunjik, 
distinctly exhibits four stages, of which the topmost, owing to 
the destruction of the upper portion of the tablet, is imperfect 

It is not unlikely that in this 

instance there was above the 
fourth a fifth stage, consisting 
of a shrine like that >vhich at 
Babylon crowned the great 
temple of lielus.* The complete 
elevation would then have been 
nearly as in No. VII fc. 

The following features are 
wurthy of remark in this temple. 
iho baMimcut story is panelliHl with indented rectangular 



f,,-^- f'f fttnple (rrttofT*!.) 


Chap. VI. 



recesses, as was tlie case at Nimrud,' and at the Birs ; ^ the 
remainder are plain, as are most of the stages in the Birs 
temple. Up to the second of these sq^uared recesses on either 
side there runs what seems to be a road or path, Avhich sweeps 
away down the hill whereon the temple stands in a bold curve, 
each path closely matching the other. The whole building is 
perfectly symmetrical, except that the panelling is not quite 
uniform in width nor arranged quite regularly. On the second 


Tower of Great Temple at Nimrud (after Layard). 

stage, exactly in the middle, there is evidently a doorway, and 
on either side of it a shallow buttress or pilaster. In the centre 
of the third story, exactly over the doorway of the second, is a 
squared niche. In front of the temple, but not exactly opposite 
its centre, may be seen the propyla^a, consisting of a squared 
doorway placed under a battlemented wall, between two towers 
also battlemented. It is curious that the paths do not lead to 
the propylaea, but seem to curve round the hill. 

Eemains of ziggurats similar to this have been discovered at 
Khorsabad, at Nimrud, and at Kileh-Sherghat. The conical 

' See the illustration, overleaf. 

2 Journal of the Asiatic /Society, vol. xvii. p. 13. 







H 1 

€hap. VI. 



mound at Khorsabad explored by M. Place was found to contain 
a tower in seven stages ; ^ that of Nimrud, which is so striking 
an object from the plain/ and which was carefully examined by 
Mr. Layard, presented no positive proof of more than a single 
stage ; but, from its conical shape, and from the general analogy 
of such towers, it is believed to have had several stages. Mr. 
Layard makes their number five, and crowns the fifth with a 
circular tower terminating in a heavy cornice ; ^ bat for this 
last there is no authority at all, and the actual number of the 
stages is wholly uncertain. The base of this ziggurat was a 
square, 167 feet 6 inches each way, composed of a solid mass of 
sun-dried brick, faced at bottom to the height of twenty feet 
with a wall of hewn stones, more than eight feet and a half in 
thickness. The outer stones were bevelled at the edges, and on 
the two most conspicuous sides the wall was ornamented with a 
series of shallow recesses (see opposite page), arranged without 
very much attention to regularity. The other two sides, one of 
which abutted on and was concealed by the palace mound, 
while the other faced towards the city, were perfectly plain. 
At the top of the stone masonry was a row of gradines, such as 
are often represented in the sculptures as crowning an edifice.® 
Above the stone masonry the tower was continued at nearly the 
same width, the casing of stone being simply replaced by one of 
burnt brick of inferior thickness. It is supposed that the upper 
stages were constructed in the same way. As the actual present 
height of the ruin is 140 feet, and the upper stages have so 
entirely crumbled away, it can scarcely be supposed that the 
original height fell much short of 200 feet."^ 

The most curious of the discoveries made during the exami- 
nation of this building, was the existence in its interior of a 
species of chamber or gallery, the true object of which still 
remains wholly unexplained. This gallery was 100 feet long, 
12 feet high, and no more than six feet broad. It was arched or 

^ Fergusson, Handbook of Architecture, 
p. 172. I have been unable to obtain 
any detailed account of this building. 

* Supra, p. 202. 

* Nineveh and Babylon, plan opp. p. 

123 ; Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd series, 
frontispiece. (See the woodcut, p. 315.) 

** See woodcut No. V. on p. 310. 

^ Layard, Nineveh a7id Babylon, p. 129 ; 
comp. l)iod. Sic. ii. 7. 



Chap. VI. 


vaulted at top, both the side walb and the vaulting being of 
sun-dried brick. Its position was exactly half-way between the 

tower's northern and 

southern faces* and with 
these it ran parallel, its 
height in the tower 
being such that its floor 
was exactly on a leTcl 
with the top of the 
stone masonry, which 
again was level with 
the terrace or platform, 
whereupon the Nimrud 
palaces stood. There 
was no trace of any way 

1 I 



Ground Plan of Nimrud Tower. 

by which the gallery was intended to be entered ; its walls showed 
no signs of inscription, sculpture, or other ornament ; and 
absolutely nothing was found in it Mr. Layard, prepossessed 
with an opinion derived from several confused notices in the 
classical writers,® believed the tower to be a sepulchral monu- 
ment, and the gallery to be the tomb in which was originally 
deposited " the embalmed body of the king." ' To account for 
the complete disappearance, not only of the body, but of all the 
ornaments and vessels found commonly in the Mesopotamian 
tombs, he suggested that the gallery had been rifled in times 
long anterior to his visit; and he thought that he found traces, 
both internally and externally, of the tunnel by which it had 

■d CtctiM both notleed 
•diAoe. CAmib. iii. 4, 

t9.) Xmopboa otlb It • *' pyrunid," 
It thowt that It mora rwOTh i nd a towur 
by Mvlnf that it* Mgbt (»00 ft) wm 
doubM IM width at tlie bMe, which he 
MCiniAlM a UMJ (i. He gIVM DO Moouat 
of the purpoM lor which It wm intead«L 
CtesiM, who coo n ao u i l jr ejMggertttc* Its 
•i»e« Bukinft It 10 ttadU wld* mm! 9 
•ladl* (mora than a mile!) hlfh. wm 
the flnt 10 f iv« It ft wpulehml charsctor. 
Ho Mid that It WM buUt bj iMilnUBlt 
over the body cf her hMbtad, KlaM. 

I Ho placed It, however, if we naj baUive 

Diudorus (ii. 7), at Nineveh, and vpoa 

tiir Kuphratoti ! Next to thcM writer*, 

Amyuus, one of the hletorlaiis of Alex- 

, aodiT, noticed the <<diftee. He called it 

I the tomb of Sardanainlun ; and. like 

Cteaias, placed it at Niucvi*h (ap. Athen. 

Jfeipt,. xii. 4, § II). Ovid no doubt in- 

lendeil the laroo building hy his " buaia 

Nini," which, however, according to him, 

lay in the vicinity of liabylon (IMd- 

maryk, iv. 8S). 

• Mftft^ and Bahyhm, ^ 118. 

Chap. YI. 



been entered. But certainly, if this long and narrow vault was 
intended to receive a body, it is most extraordinarily shaped for 
the purpose. What other sepulchral chamber is there any- 
where of so enormous a length? Without pretending to say 
what the real object of the gallery was,^ we may feel tolerably 
sure that it was not a tomb. The building which contained it 

No. I. 
A. Outer court. 

b. Main entrance, guarded by winged lions. 

c. Fronaos or vestibule. 

d. Passage leading from vestibule into temple. 

e. Cell of temple. 

/. Shrine, paved with a single stone. 
' g. Priests' apartments. 
h. Second entrance to temple. 

Xo. ir. 

A. Outer court. 

b. Main entrance, guarded by lions (not 


c. Cell of temple. 

d. Shrine, paved with a single stone. 

e. Small closet (vestry ?). 
/. Priests' apartment. 

Ground Plans of Temples, Nimrud (after Layard). 

was a temple-tower, and it is not likely that the religious 
feelings of the Assyrians would have allowed the application 
of a religious edifice to so utilitarian a purpose. 

Besides the ziggurat or tower, which may commonly have 
been surmounted by a chapel or shrine, an Assyrian temple 
had always a number of basement chambers, in one of which 

^ It may perhaps have had a religious bearing ; and similar galleries may perhaps 
exist under all temple-towers. 




fhe principal shrine of the god. This was a square or 
slightly oblong reoets at the end of an oblong apartment, raised 
somewhat above its level; it was paved (sometimes, if not 
always) with a single slab, the weight of which must occasion- 
ally have been as much as thirty tons.* One or two small 
closets o|)ened out from the shrine, in which it Is likely that 
the priests kept the sacerdotal garments and the sacrificial 
utensils.' Sometimes the cell of the temple, or chamber into 
which the shrine opened, was reached through another apart- 
ment, corresponding to the Greek pi'onaos. In such a case, 
care seems to have been taken so to arrange the outer and 
inner doorways of the vestibule, that persons passing by the 
outer doorway should not be able to catch a sight of the shrine.* 
Where there was no vestibule, the entrance into the cell or 
body of the temple seems to have been placed at the side, 
instead of at the end, probably with the same object* Besides 
these main parts of a temple, a certain number of chambers are 
always found, which appear to have been priests* apartments. 

The ornamentation of temples, to judge by the few specimens 
which remain, was very similar to that of palaces. The great 
gateways were guarded by colossal bulls (?) or lions (see oppo- 
site), accompanied by the usual sacred figures, and sometimes 
covered with inscriptions. The entrances and some portions of 
the chambers were ornamented with the customary sculptured 
slabs, representing here none but religious subjects. No great 
proportion of the interior, however, was covered in this way, the 
walls being in genenil only plastered and then painted with 
figures or patterns. Externally, enamelled bricks were used as 
a decoration wherever sculptured slabs did not hide the crude 

Much the same doubts and ditliculties beset the subjects of 

* Ibt riMit riib which miad the r«. 
e«i (/ Sa gi W M dda n , Na I.) In tU 
grmt»ronh» two Nlmnid tMnpUt, wm 
SI ft loof, le ft. 7 In. hmd, nod 1 ft 
1 In. thick. It eoolnlnad f hut 875 euble 
fb*t of •tone, nn4 mum hnv« weighed 
nmriy, if not qoltt, 80 Ion*. (S«e Ujrnrd't 

Ninttth tmd AAykm, p. S58.) 

• Ibid. p. 957. 

* Note the poeltion of the doorwn}*«, 
6 nod dj in ground-plnn No. 1. 

* See grouod-plno No. 11^ eotimaee &. 

• Uynrd, ymnJk ontf Jhib^km, p. S59 

Chap. VI. 




VOL. I. 



Cbaf. VI, 

the roofing and lighting of the temples as those which have 
been disctused already in connection with tlie palaces. Though 
the span of the temple-chambers 'ia less than that of the great 
palace halls, still it is considerable, sometimes exceeding thirty 
feet^ No eflbrt seems made to keep the temple-chambers 
narrow, for their width is sometimes as much as two-thirds of 
their length. Perhaps, therefore, they were hypcBthral, like 
the temples of the Greeks. All that seems to be certain is 
that what roofing they had was of wood,' which at Nimrud was 
cedar, brought probably from the mountains of Syria. 

AMyrUn VUlase (Koyui^ik). 

Of the domestic architecture of the Assyrians we possess 
absolutely no specimen. Excavation has been hitherto confined 
to the most elevated portions of the mounds which mark the 
sites of cities, where it was likely tliat remains of the greatest 
interest would be found. Palaces, temples, and the great gates 
which gave entrance to towns, have in this way seen the 
light; but the humbler buildings, the ordinary dwellings of 
the people, remain buried beneath the soil, unexplored and 
even unsought for. In this entire default of any actual speci- 

' TIm elMOibfr mftrk«l # U frouDii-pUn No. I. (|i. 919) wm 47 ft. long bj 
31 A. wtdiu (UjAfd, Mtmtk md Jhi , .' ) • IblU. |». 357. 


men of an ordinary Assyrian house, we naturally turn to the 
sculptured representations which are so abundant and represent 
so many different sorts of scenes. Even here, however, we 
obtain but little light. The bulk of the slabs exhibit the wars 
of the kings in foreign countries, and thus place before us 
foreign rather than Assyrian architecture. The processional 
slabs, which are another large class, contain rarely any building 
at all, and, where they furnish one, exhibit to us a temple 
rather than a house. The hunting scenes, representing wilds 
far from the dwellings of man, afford us, as might be expected, 
no help. Assyrian buildings, other than temples, are thus 
most rarely placed before us. In one case, indeed, we have an 
Assyrian city, which a foreign enemy is passin'g ; but the only 

Village near Aleppo (after Layard). 

edifices represented are the walls and towers of the exterior, 
and the temple (No. VI. p. 312) whose columns rest upon 
lions. In one other we seem to have an unfortified Assyrian 
village;^ and from this single specimen we are forced to form 
our ideas of the ordinary character of Assyrian houses. 

It is observable here, in the first place, that the houses have 
no windows, and are, therefore, probably lighted from the 
roof; next, that the roofs are very curious, since, although flat 
in some instances, they consist more often either of hemi- 
spherical domes, such as are still so common in the East, or of 
steep and high cones, such as are but seldom seen anywhere. 
Mr. Layard finds a parallel for these last in certain villages of 
Northern Syria, where all the houses have conical roofs, built 

» Layard, Monuments of Nineveh, PI. 17. A portion of this village is representecl 
in the woodcut, p. 322. 

Y 2 



Chaf. VL 

of mud, which present a Tery nngnlar appearance/ Both the 
domes and the conea of the Aaflyrian example hare evidently 
an opening at the top, which may hare admitted as much light 
into the hooses as was thought necessary. The- doors are of 
two kinds, square at the top, and arched; they are placed 
commonly towards the sides of the houses. The houses them- 
seWes seem to stand separate, though in close juxtaposition. 

The only other buildings of the Assyrians which appear to 
require some notice are the fortified enceintes of their towns. 
The simploiit of these consisted of a single battlemented wall, 
carried in lines nearly or quite straight along the four sides 
of the place, pierced with gates and guarded at the angles, at 
the gates, and at intervals along the curtain, with projecting 
towers, raised not very much higher than the walls, and (appa- 
rently) square in shape. In the sculptures we sometimes find 


VVWV /ysA/^ — -yvwww ^"T^fifig^ 




AMyrian bAttlemented walL 

the battlemented wall repeated twice or thrice in lines placed 
one above the other, the intention being to represent the 
defence of a city by two or three walls, such as we haye seen 
existed on one side of Nineveh.' 

The walls were often, if not always, guarded by moats. 
Internally they were, in every case, constructed of crude brick ; 
while externally it was common to face them with hewn stone, 
either from top to bottom, or at any rate to a certain height 
At Khorsabad the stone retdtement of one portion at least of 
the wall was complete; at Nimrud (Calah) and at Nineveh 
itself, it was partial, being carried at the former of those placet 
oiily Ui the height of tivttnty feet' The masoiiry at Khonabad 

TlM tvpNMaUUM It «r • vlUtft la Um 

• tepttt, pp. tftS-fSl. 

• 8apr», |k a5S, Mto ». 

Chap. VI. 



was of three kinds. That of the palace mound, which formed 
a portion of the outer defence, was composed entirely of blocks 
of stone, square-hewn and of great size, the length of the 
blocks varying from two to three yards, while the width was 
one yard, and the height from five to six feet. The masonry 
was laid somewhat curiously. The blocks (A A) were placed 
alternately long- wise and end- wise against the crude brick (B), 
so as not merely to lie against it, but to penetrate it with their 


'i'""l "jii ;'""'"'"' "il',|"^, U 

Masonry of platform wall, Khorsabad 

Section of same. 

ends in many places.'* Care was also taken to make the angles 
especially strong, as will be seen by the accompanying section. 

The rest of the defences at Khorsabad were of an inferior 
character. The wall of the town had a width of about forty-five 
feet, and its basement, to the height of three feet, was con- 
structed of stone; but the blocks were neither so large, nor 
were they hewn with the same care, as those of the palace 
platform. The angles, indeed, were of squared stone ; but even 
there the blocks measured no more than three feet in length 

* M. Botta says: " Cette muraille 
etait construite en blocs de pierre cal- 
caire tres-dure, venant des montagnes 
voisines : ces blocs ont la forme de 
parallelopipedes rectangles d'une coupe 
reguli^re, et sont disposes par assises, de 
maniere k presenter alternativement au 
dehors leur face la plus large et une de 
leurs extre'mites ; c'est-a-dire que tous 
etant poses de champ, I'un tapisse le 
massif, puis un et quelquefois deux 

autres continuent I'assise par leurs ex- 
tremite's, la meme alternative se repetant 
dans toute la longueur de celle-ci. II en 
re'sulte qu'etant tous de meme longueur, 
ceux qui presentent une extremite au 
dehors depassent a I'interieur la ligne 
des autres, et s'encastrent dans le massif 
de briques. Cette disposition avait pour 
but de Her solidement I'amas terreux 
inte'rieur au revetement exterieur." (^Mo- 
nument de Mnive, vol. v. p. 31.) 



Chap. VL 

and a foot in height; the rest of the masonry consisted of 
smull polygonal stones, merely smoothed on their outer face, 
and roughly fitting together in a manner recalling the Cydo- 
pian walls of Greece and Italy.^ They were not united by any 
cement. Above the stone basement was a massive structure 
of crude brick, without any facing either of burnt brick or of 

Maaonrj of town-wall (Khonabad). 

The third kind of masonry at Khorsabad was found outside 
the main wall, and may have formed cither part of the lining 
of the moat or a portion of a tower, which may have projected 
in advance of the wall at this point. It was entirely of stone. 
The lowest course was formed of small and very irregular 
polygonal blocks roughly fitted together ; above this came two 
coarses of carefully squared stones more than a foot long, but 
leas than six inches in width, which were placed end-wise, one 

• M. Botte makm this eaanrban 
(JfoMMMl dt iiAMM, Lt.e.). Ult i*- 
pwwiHtiw, howtrtr, dlflbn !• two 
■Ala po4Bl» fk«m Um ordlaar^r Cytlopka 

•lyle: 1. th« borlaooUl ooont MNUto 
bt BMlnUiiMd throttfbottt; wkl t. the 
■lOMt do not St loto meh oUmt M all 
oIomIj or with any otafftnim. 

Chap. VI. 



over the other, care being taken that the joints of the upper 
tier should never coincide exactly with those of the lower. 
Above these was a third course of hewn stones, somewhat 
smaller than the others, which were laid in the ordinary- 
manner. Here the construction, as discovered, terminated ; but 
it was evident, from the debris of hewn stones at the foot of 
the wall, that originally the courses had been continued to a 
much greater height.^ 

Masonry of tower or moat (Khorsabad). 

In this description of the buildings raised by the Assyrians it 
has been noticed more than once that they were not ignorant 
of the use of the arch.''' The old notion that the round arch 
was a discovery of the Roman, and the pointed of the Gothic 
architecture, has gradually faded away with our ever-increasing 
knowledge of the actual state of the ancient world ; ^ and anti- 
quarians were not, perhaps, very much surprised to learn, by 

' Botta, Monument de Mnive, vol. v. 
p. 31. 

^ Supra, pp. 301, 311, &c. 

* The earliest arches seem to be those 
of Egypt, which mount at least to the 
15th century before our era. (Wilkin- 
son, Ancient Eijyptians^ Ist series, iii. p. 

317; Falkener, Dccdalas, App. p. 288.) 
The Babylonian arches mentioned above 
(p. 82) cannot be much later than B.C. 
1300. The earliest known Assyrian 
arches would belong to about the 9th 
century b.c. 



Chap. VL 

the discoveries of Mr. I.aynrd, that tlie Assyrians knew and 
used both kinds of arch in their conHtructions. Some interest, 

however, will probably 
be felt to attach to 
the two questions, how 
they funned their 
arches, and to what 
uses they applied them. 
All the Assyrian 
arches hitherto dis- 
covered are of brick. 
The round arches are 
loth of the crude and 
of the kiln-dried ma- 
terial, and are formed, 
in each case, of bricks 
made expressly for 
vaulting, slightly con- 
vex at top and slightly 
concave at bottom, 
with one broader and 
one narrower end. The 
arches are of the sim- 
plest kind, being ex- 
actly semicircular, and 
rising from plain per- 
pendicular jambs. The greatest width which any such arch 
has been hitherto) found to span is alx)ut fifteen feet.* 

The only j>ointetl arch actually discovereil is of burnt brick. 
The bricks are of the ordinary sha|>e, and not intended for 
vaulting. They are laid side by side up to a certain point, 
being bent into a slight arch by the interposition between them 
of thin wedges of mortar. The two sides of the arch having 
been in this way carrie<l up to a point where the lower ex- 
tremities of the two innermost bricks nearly touched, while a 

Archctl drains North- West Palace, Kimrud 
(after Layard). 

FrrfUMOB, ilMMook e/ ArotUUctMrt, toL L p^ 173. 

Chap. VL 



considerable space remained between their upper extremities, 
instead of a key-stone, or key-brick fitting the aperture, ordi- 
nary bricks were placed in it longitudinally, and so the space 
was filled in.^ 

Arched drain, South-East Palace, Nimrud (after Layard). 

Another mode of constructing a pointed arch seems to be 
intended in a bas-relief, whereof a representation has been 
already given.^ The masonry of the arcade in No. V. (p. 310) 
runs (it will be seen) in horizontal lines up to the very edge of 
the arch, thus suggesting a construction common in many of 
the early Greek arches, where the stones are so cut away that 
an arched opening is formed, though the real constructive 
principle of the arch has no place in such specimens.^ 

* Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 163. 

2 Supra, p. 310. 

' See Smith's Dictionary of Greek and 

Eornan Antiquities, p. 125, 2nd edition ; 
a-nd Mr, Falkener's Vcedalns, App. p. 288. 
Compare the representation overleaf. 



Chap. VL 

With regrard to the uses whereto the Assyrians apjilied the 
arch, it would certainly seem, from the evidence . which we 

possess, that they neither em- 
ployed it as a great decorative 
feature, nor yet as a main prin- 
ciple of construction. So far as 
appears, their chief use of it was 
for doorways and gateways. Not 
only are the town gates of Khor- 
sabad found to have been arched 
over, but in the representations 
of edifices, whether native or 
foreign, upon the bas-reliefs, the 
arch for doors is commoner than 
the square top. It is most pro- 
bable that the great palace gate- 
ways were thus covered in, while 
it is certain that some of the interior doorways in palaces had 
rounded tops/ Besides this use of the arch for doors and gates, 
the Assyrians are known to have employed it for drains, aque- 
ducts, and narrow chambers or galleries. 

It has been suggested that the Assyrians applied the two 
kinds of arches to different purposes, "thereby showing more 
science and discrimination than we do in our architectural 
works ; " that " they used the pointed arch for underground 
work, where they feared great superincumbent pressure on the 
apex, and the round arch above ground, where that was not to 
be dreaded."* But this ingenious theory is scarcely borne out 
by the facts. The round arch is employed luiderground in two 
instances at Nimrud,* besides occurring in the basement story 
of the great tower,^ where the su[)erincumlx?nt weight must 
have been enormous. And the i>ointed arch is useil above 
ground for the aqueduct and hanging garden in the bas-relief 
(p. 310), where the pressure, though considerable, would not 

« Infhi, p. 335. 
* VeryuMon, HandBbook of An 

* Uyanl, Nitmtk and Babjfkm, pp. 168 
and 1U&. 

' Supra, p. 918. 

Chap. VI. 



have been very extraordinary. It would seem, therefore, to 
be doubtful whether the Assyrians were really guided by any 
constructive principle in their preference of one form of the 
arch over the other. 

In describing generally the construction of the palaces and 
other chief buildings of the Assyrians, it has been necessary, 
occasionally to refer to their ornamentation ; but the subject is 
far from exhausted, and will now claim, for a short space, our 
special attention. Beyond a doubt the chief adornment, both 
of palaces and temples, consisted of the colossal bulls and lions 
guarding the great gateways, together with the sculptured slabs 
wherewith the walls, both internal and external, were ordinarily 
covered to the height of twelve or sometimes even of fifteen 
feet. These slabs and carved figures will necessarily be consi- 
dered in connexion with Assyrian sculpture, of which they form 
the most important part. It will, therefore, only be noted at 
present that the extent of wall covered with the slabs was, in 
the Khorsabad palace, at least 4000 feet,® or nearly four-fifths of 
a mile, while in each of the Koyunjik palaces the sculptures 
extended to considerably more than that distance. 

The ornamentation of the walls above the slabs, both inter- 
nally and externally, was by means of bricks painted on the 

Assyrian patterns (Nimrud). 

exposed side and covered with an enamel. The colours are for 
the most part somewhat pale, but occasionally they possess 
some brilliancy. Predominant among the tints are a pale blue, 

' Fergusson, Palaces of Nineveh, p. 265. 


an olire green, and a dull yellow. \Miit6 k also largely used ; 
brown and black are not infrequent ; red is comparatively rare.* 
The sabjects repreeented are either such toenes as occor upon 



AMyriaa pat terns (Nimrud). 

the icalptured tlabi, or olfle mere patterns, scrolls, honey- 
focklea, chevrons, gradinen, guilloches, d'c. In the scenes some 
attempt seems to be made at representing objects in their 

• §m Bolte*t Mammmmt it Jfimkt, toL II. PfaUcs 155 aad IM ; UjAnl'i 
4/iirii#MA,l«tMriM|Ptol«S4,S6,MMtS7i Sad mtIm, PUtct 53, 54, «Mi M* 

Chap. VI. 



natural coloui'S. The size of the figures is small; and it is 
difficult to imagine that any great effect could have been 
produced on the beholder by such minute drawings placed at 
such a height from the ground. Probably the most effective 
ornamentation of this kind was by means of patterns, which are 
often graceful and striking (see opposite page). 

It has been observed that, so far as the evidence at present 
goes, the use of the column in Assyrian architecture would 

Ko. I. 

No. II. 

Pillar bases. 

seem to have been very rare indeed.^ In palaces we have no 
grounds for thinking that they were employed at all excepting 

No. T. 

No. II. 
Assyrian capitals. 

No. III. 

in certain of the interior doorways, which, being of unusual 
breadth, seem to have been divided into three distinct portals by 
means of two pillars placed towards the sides of the opening.^ 

' Supra, p. 303, note '. Mr. Fox 
Talbot supposes that he has found a 
mention of colainns in a description given 
of one of his palaces by Sennacherib. 
(^Assyrian Texts 'translated, p. 8.) But 
the technical terms in the Assyrian 
architectural descriptions are of such 

doubtful meaning that no theory can at 
present be rested upon them. 

* Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 103 ; 
Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i. Plan II. 
opp. p. 34, and p. 376. Columns may 
also have been used to support a covered 
passage across a court. (Supra, p. 311.) 



Chap. VI. 

Ibex capiUL 

The bases of tbeee pillars were of stone, and have been fonnd 
en siiu ; their shafts and capitals had disappeared, and can only 
be rapplied by conjecture. In the temples, 
as we have seen, the ose of the column was 
more frequent Its dimensions greatly varied. 
Ordinnrily it was too short and thick for 
beauty,' while occasionally it had the opposite 
defect, being too tall and slender.^ Its base 
was sometimes quite plain, sometimes diver- 
sified by a few mouldings, sometimes curiously 
and rather clumsily rounded (as in No. IL 
above). The shaft was occasionally patterned.* 
The capital, in one instance (No. I.), approaches 
to the Corinthian ; in another (No. II.) it re- 
minds us of the Ionic; but the volutes are 
double, and the upi)er ones are surmounted by 
an awkward-lw)king abacus. A third (No. III.) 
is very peculiar, and to some extent explains the origin of the 
second. It consists of two pairs of ibex horns, placed one over 
the other. With this may be compared another (No. JV.), the 
most remarkable of all, where we have first a single pair of 
ibex horns, and then, at the summit, a complete figure of an 
ibex, very graphically portrayed. 

The beauty of Assyrian patterning has been already noticed. 
Patterned work is found not only on the enamelled bricks, but 
on stone pavement slabs, and around arched doorways leading 
from one chamber to another, where the patterns are carved 
with gpreat care and delieac*y upon the alabaster. The accom- 
panying specimen of a doorway, which is taken from an unpub- 
lished drawing by Mr. lk>uU*hcr, is very rich and elegant, though 
it exhibits none but the very commonest of the Assyrian pat^ 
tema. A carving of a more elaborate type, and one presenting 
even greater delicacy of workmanship, has been given in an 
earlier portion of this chapter* as an example of a patterned 
pavement slab. Slabs of thii kind have been found in many 

Bm AboTs, p. tlO, wwdMl Na V. • IMd., woodcut Na IV. 

• PKff* t79. 


Chap. VI. 



of the palaces, and well deserve the attention of modern 

When the architecture of the Assyrians is compared with 
that of other nations possessing about the same degree of 
ciyilisation, the impression that it leaves is perhaps somewhat 
disappointing. Yast labour and skill, exquisite finish, the most 
extraordinary elaboration, were bestowed on edifices so essen- 

Ornamental doorway (North Palace, Koyunjik). 

tially fragile and perishable that no care could have preserved 
them for many centuries. Sun-dried brick, a material but little 
superior to the natural clay of which it was composed, consti- 
tuted everywhere the actual fabric, which was then covered 
thinly and just screened from view by a facing, seldom more 
than a few inches in depth, of a more enduring and handsomer 
substance. The tendency of the platform mounds, as soon as 

336 THE 8B00KD MOKABCUT. Chap. TL 

formed, must have been to settle down, to bulge at the sides 
and become uneren at the top, to buret their stone or brick 
fiwangs and precipitate them into the ditch below, at the same 
time disarranging and breaking up tlie brick pavements wliich 
oorered their surface. The weight of the buildings raised upon 
the mounds must have tended to liasten these catastrophes, 
while the unsteadiness of their foundations and the character 
of their composition must have soon had the effect of throwing 
the buildings themselves into disorder, of loosening the slabs 
from the walls, causing the enamelled bricks to start from their 
places, the colossal bulls and lions to lean over, and the roofs 
to become shattered and fall in. The fact that the earlier 
palaces were to a great extent dismantled by the later kings is 
perhaps to be attributed, not so much to a barbarous resolve 
that they would destroy the memorials of a former and a hostile 
dynasty, as to the circumstance that the more ancient buildings 
had fallen into decay and ceased to be habitable. The rapid 
succession of palaces, the fact that, at any rate from Sargon 
downwards, each monarch raises a residence, or residences, for 
himself, is yet more indicative of the rapid deterioration and 
dikpidation (so to speak) of the great edifices. Probably a 
palace began to show unmistakable symptoms of decay and to 
become an unpleasant residence at the end of some twenty-five 
or thirty yeare from the date of its completion ; eflfective repaire 
were, by the very nature of the case, almost impossible ; and it 
was at once easier and more to the credit of the monarch 
tliat he should raise a fresh platform and build himself a fresh 
dwelling than that he should devote his efforts to keeping in 
a comfortable condition the crumbling habitation of his pre- 

It is surprising that, under those circumstances, a new style 
of architecture did not arise. The A88}Tian8 were not, like the 
Babylonians, compelled by tlio nature of the country in whirh 
they lived to use brick as tlieir chief building material. M. 
Botta ezprenet his astonishment at the preference of brick to 
•tone exhibited by the buildere of Khorsabad, when the neigh- 
bourhood abounds in rocky hills capable of furniidiing an incx- 


haustible supply of the better material.^ The limestone range 
of the Jebel Maklub is but a few miles distant, and many- 
outlying rocky elevations might have been worked with still 
greater facility. Even at Nineveh itself, and at Calah or Nimrud, 
though the hills were further removed, stone was, in reality, 
plentiful. The cliffs a little above Koyunjik are composed of 
a " hard sandstone," ^ and a part of the moat of the town is 
carried through " compact silicious conglomerate." ^ The town 
is, in fact, situated on " a spur of rock " thrown off from the 
Jebel Maklub,^ which terminates at the edge of the ravine 
whereby Nineveh was protected on the south. Calah, too, was 
built on a number of "rocky undulations,"^ and its western 
wall skirts the edge of " conglomerate " cliffs, which have been 
scarped by the hand of man.^ A very tolerable stone was thus 
procurable on the actual sites of these ancient cities ; and if a 
better material had been wanted, it might have been obtained 
in any quantity, and of whatever quality was desired, from the 
Zagros range and its outlying rocky barriers. Transport could 
scarcely have caused much difficulty, as the blocks might have 
been brought from the quarries where they were hewn to the 
sites selected for the cities by water-carriage, — a mode of trans- 
port well known to the Assyrians, as is made evident to us by 
the bas-reliefs. (See the woodcut overleaf.) 

If the best possible building material was thus plentiful in 
Assyria, and its conveyance thus easy to manage, to what are 
we to ascribe the decided preference shown for so inferior a 
substance as brick ? No considerable difficulty can have been 

^ Monument de Ninive, vol. v. p. 64 : 
*' La maniere de batir les edifices est 
d'autant plus singuliere, qu'h. Ninive 
(Khorsabad) au moins la pierre etait 
trt's-abondante et de bonne qualite, et 
que rien ne for9ait les habitans k se 
servir de briques." And again, p. 65 : 
" L'abondance des roches, soit calcaires, 
soit gypseuses, pouvait leur fournir d'ex- 
cellents matdriaux aussi solides que fa- 
cilesa travailler." 

* Journal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. 
p. 317. 

9 Ibid. p. 311. (See above, p. 259.) 

VOL. I. 

* Ibid. pp. 317 and 323. 

2 Ibid. p. 347. 

^ Ibid. p. 346. It is very remarkable 
that Mr. Layard should so entirely have 
ignored these features of the geology of 
Assyria in his account of the Assyrian 
architecture. {Nineveh and its Remains, 
vol. ii. ch. ii. pp. 250-275.) It would be 
concluded from his account by a reader 
not otherwise informed on the subject, 
that no stone but the delicate alabaster 
used for the bas-reliefs was accessible to 
the Assyrian architects. 




Chap. VT. 

experienced in quarryinpj the stone of the country, which is 
Beldom very hard, and which was, in fact, cut by the Assyrians, 
whenever they had any sufficient motive for removing or mak- 
ing use of it^ One answer only can be reasonably given to 
the question. The Assyrians had learnt a certain style of 
architecture in tlie alluvial Babylonia, and having brought 
it with them into a country far less fitted for it, maintained it 
from habit, notwithstanding its unsuitableness.* In some few 

Wiiter-transport of stone for building (Koyunjik). 

regpects, indewl, they made a slight change. The abundance 
of stone in the country induced them to substitute it in several 
places where in Babylonia it was necessary to use burnt brick, 
as in the facings of platforms and of temples, in dams acroes 
streams, in pavements sometimes, and universally in the orna- 
mentation of the lower portions of palace aud temple walls. 

« At Nimmd the western cliff ie 
" ertifleUUy eeij^ ** to make It « ee- 
cure defmee. {JtMrnal of At. ^4>c. voL 
XT. p. 346.) At Neioab the roek to tun- 
neUed for fame dtotMce, end fore longer 
diieeUed thronyh a herd nnd- 

depth perhftpi of forty fteL** (Ibid. p. 
811.) At IDInereh the moet to cerHed 
**§or upwento of two mllee, with e 
bnwdth of SOO fteC, through a peeultorijr 

(Ibid. p. 3S0.) A rtrj heid be- 
eelt wee uicd in the {lelece temple et 
KhorMbed. (Supra, p. 2i)(i.) 

* M. Bocte winds up hit remerke on 
the etrengeneee of the Aiayrien erohi- 
tecture occurring where li doee, bj eug- 
K««ting " que lee mooumene de NIbIt* 
■ont poet^rieun k ceux de Bebjlooe, et 
que c eet dene ce dernier pe}-* quMl Hut 
chereher rorifine de I'art Aeeyriea** 

Chap. VX. 



But otherwise they remained faithful to their architectural tra- 
ditions, and raised in the comparatively hilly Assyria the exact 
type of building which nature and necessity had led them to 
invent and use in the flat and stoneless alluvium where they 
had had their primitive abode. As platforms were required 
both for security and for comfort in the lower region, they re- 
tained them, instead of choosing natural elevations, in the 
upper one. As clay was the only possible material in the one 
place, clay was still employed, notwithstanding the abundance 
of stone, in the other. Being 
devoid of any great inventive 
genius, the Assyrians found it 
easier to maintain ,^nd slightly 
modify a system with which 
they had been familiar in their 
original country than to devise 
a new one more adapted to the 
land of their adoption. 

Next to the architecture of 
the Assyrians, their mimetic art 
seems to deserve attention. 
Though the representations in 
the works of Layard and Botta, 
combined with the presence of 
so many specimens in the great 
National Museums of London and Paris, have produced a 
general familiarity with the subject, still, as a connected view 
of it in its several stages and branches is up to the present 
time a desideratum in our literature,^ it may not be superfluous 
here to attempt a brief account of the different classes into 
which their productions in this kind of art fall, and the different 
eras and styles under which they naturally range themselves. 

Assyrian statue (Kileh-Sherghat). 

^ Mr. Fergusson, who has treated of 
the architecture of the Assyrians with 
sotnuch knowledge and ingenuity, says 
but little on the subject of their sculp- 
ture. Mr. Layard 's review of the sub- 
ject in his first work (Book ii. ch. ii.) is 

the best which at present exists ; but it 
is of necessity incomplete, owing to the 
early period in the history of Assyrian 
discovery at which it was composed. 
Its views are also occasionally open to 

z 2 



Chap. VI. 

Assyrian mimetic art consists of statues, bas-reliefs, metal- 
castings, carvings in ivory, statuettes in clay, enamellings on 
brick, and intaglios on stones and gems. 

Assyrian statues are comparatively rare, and, when they 
occur, are among the least satisfactory of this people's pro- 
ductions. They are coarse, clumsy, 
purely formal in their design, and 
generally characterised by an undue 
flatness, or want of breadth in the 
side view, as if they were only in- 
tended to be seen directly in front. 
Sometimes, however, this defect is 
not apparent. A sitting statue in 
black basalt, of the size of life, repre- 
senting an early king, which Mr. 
Layard discovered atKileh-Sherghat,* 
and which is now in the British 
i\ruseum, may be instanced as quite 
free from this disproportion. It is 
very observable, however, in another 
of the royal statues recently reco- 
vered,'' as it is also in the monolith 
bulls and lions universidly. Other- 
wise, the pro}X)rtions of the figures 
are commonly correct They bear a 
resemblance to the archaic Greek, 
especially to that form of it which 
we find in the sculptures from Bran- 
chida>. They have just the same 
rudeness, heaviness, and stiff formality. 
It is difficult to judge of their exe- 
cution, as they have mostly suffered 
great injury from the hand of man, 
or from the weather ; but the royal statue here represented, 
which is in better preservation than any other Assyritm work 

SUtue of SanUnapolus 

' See Lftytnl* TITiji^mA ami iti Remahu^ yoL II. pp. 51, 52. 
* iMyuxdf NiMveh m/i Bahifhkt p. 361. This lUtue U abo In the Britbh Miueum. 

Chap. VI. 



" in the round " that has come down to us, exhibits a rather high 
finish. It is smaller than life, being about three and a half 
feet high : the features are majestic, and well marked ; the hair 
and beard are elaborately cuiied ; the arms and hands are well 
shaped, and finished with care. The dress is fringed elabo- 
rately, and descends to the ground, concealing all the lower 
part of the figure. The only statues recovered besides these 
are two of the god Nebo, brought from Nimrud,'^ a mutilated 
one of Ishtar, or Astarte, found at Koyunjik, and a tolerably 
perfect one of Sargon, which was discovered at Idalium, in the 
island of Cyprus.-^ 

Clay statuettes of the god Nebo (?). 

The clay statuettes of the Assyrians possess even less artistic 
merit than their statues. They are chiefly images of gods or 
genii, and have most commonly something grotesque in their 
appearance. Among the most usual are figures which represent 
either Mylitta (Beltis), or Ishtar.^ They are made in a fine 
terra cotta, which has turned of a pale red in baking, and are 
coloured with a cretaceous coating, so as greatly to resemble 
Greek pottery,^ Another type is that of an old man, bearded, 
and with hands clasped, which we may perhaps identify with 

* One of these is figured above, p. 141. 
The actual statues are both in the British 

' This statue is in the Berlin Museum. 

^ See above, p. 140. 

^ Birch, Ancient Pottery, vol. i. p. 124. 



Chap. TT. 

Nebo, the Assyrian Mercury, since his statues in the British 
Museum have a somewhat similar character. Other forms are 
the fish-god Niu, or Nin-ip ; and the deities, not yet identified, 
which were found by 'M. Botta under the pavement-bricks 
at Khorsabad. These 
specimens have the 
formal character of 
the statues, and are 
even more rudely 
shaped. Other ex- 
amples, which carry 
the grotesque to an 
excess, appear to have 
been designed with 
greater spirit and 
freedom. Animal and 
human forms are some- 
times intermixed in 
them; and while it 
cannot be denied that 
they are rude and 
coarse, it must be al- 
lowed on the other 
hand, that they pos- 
sess plenty of vigour. 
M. Botta has engraved 
several specimens,'' in- 
cluding two which have the hind legs and tail of a bull, with a 
human neck and arms, the head bearing the usual horned cap. 

Small figures of animals in terra cotta have also been found. 
They consist chiefly of dogs and ducks. A representation of 
each has been given in the chapter on the productions of 
Assyria.* The dogs discovered are made of a coarse clay, and 
seem to have been originally painted.*® They are not wanting 

* Momtment da Ninhse, voL ii. pUt«t usod were «' blue, ml, and bl«ck/' and they 
1 52 to 155. were " Uiil on in • i»«te " (Atuirnt Put' 

• Supra, p. 234 (No. I.) and p. SS5. tery, vol. I. p. ri.^). At prwent thctr«»t 
^' According to Mr. Uircb, th« coloon of colour ou the dug« arv vcr^- faiuL 

Clay statuette of 
the Fish-god. 

Clay statuette from Khorsabad 
(after Botta). 

Chap. VI. BAS-RELIEFS. 343 

in spirit ; but it detracts from their merit that the limbs are 
merely in relief, the whole space below the belly of the animal 
being filled up with a mass of clay for the sake of greater 
strength. The ducks are of a fine yellow material, and repre- 
sent the bird asleep, with its head lying along its back. 

Of all the Assyrian works of art which have come down to 
us by far the most important are the bas-reliefs. It is here 
especially, if not solely, that we can trace progress in style; 
and it is here alone that we see the real artistic genius of the 
people. What sculpture in its full form, or in the slightly 
modified form of very high relief, was to the Greeks, what 
painting has been to modern European nations since the time 
of Cimabue, that low relief was to the Assyrians — the practical 
mode in which artistic power found vent among them. They 
used it for almost every purpose to which mimetic art is appli- 
cable ; to express their religious feelings and ideas, to glorify 
their kings, to hand down to posterity the nation's history and 
its deeds of prowess, to depict home scenes and domestic occu- 
pations, to represent landscape and architecture, to imitate 
animal and vegetable forms, even to illustrate the mechanical 
methods which they employed in the construction of those vast 
architectural works, of which the reliefs were the principal 
ornamentation. It is not too much to say that we know the 
Assyrians, not merely artistically, but historically and ethno- 
logically, chiefly through their bas-reliefs, which seem to repre- 
sent to us almost the entire life of the people. 

The reliefs may be divided under five principal heads : — 1. 
War scenes, including battles, sieges, devastations of an enemy's 
country, naval expeditions, and triumphant returns from foreign 
war, with the trophies and fruits of victory ; 2. Keligious 
scenes, either mythical or real; 3. Processions, generally of 
tribute-bearers, bringing the produce of their several countries 
to the Great King ; 4. Hunting and sporting scenes, including 
the chase of savage animals, and of animals sought for food, the 
spreading of nets, the shooting of birds, and the like ; and 5. Scenes 
of ordinary life, as those representing the transport and erection 
of colossal buUs, landscapes, temples, interiors, gardens, &c. 


The earliest art is that of the most ancient palaces at Nimrud. 
It belongs to the latter part of the tenth century before our 
era ; the time of Asa in Ju(la>a, of Omri and Aliab in Samaria, 
and of the Sheshonks in Egypt. It is characterised by much 
spirit and variety in the design, by strength and firmness, comi 
bined with a good deal of heaviness, in the execution, by an 
entire contempt for perspective, and by the rigid preservation 
in almost every case, both human and animal, of the exact 
profile both of figure and face.* Of the illustrations already 
given in the present volume a considerable number belong to 
this period. The heads on page 237, and the figures on page 
242, represent the ordinary appearance of the men,* while animal 

Lion-hunt, from Nimrud. 

forms of the time will be found in the lion on page 220, the 
ibex on page 221, the gazelle on page 224, the horse on page 
232, and the horne and wild bull on page 227. It will be seen 
upon reference that the animal are very much superior to the 
human forms, a characteristic which is not, however, peculiar 
to the style of this period, but lelongs to all Assyrian art, frt»m 
its earliest to its latt'st stage. A favourable s| ecimen of the 
Style will be found in the lion hunt which lilr. Layard has 

« The only rxcrptloiM ftiv Wlered to ' flg^ 7.) 

in'stAnOM of llooi* hr«tl«. and 

a hemd on lh« omamroiaCitHi 

•t Mmrud. (K(« laysnl'a 

I, Itt thrrfan, rUtc« 9 and (M>, 

Iw a few inst«ner« of lloni' hrads. and ' The woodml OB Mft t49 It alM 

«M human hc«d on lh« omamrniatitHi • good ipeeUnea of the dvffctivv |irr> 
of dnMM At Mmrud. (Krv Uyanl'a •ihmUvo of the A»yrian artbta. 



engrayed in his * Monuments,'^ arid of which he himself ob-- 
serves, that it is " one of the finest specimens hitherto discovered 
of Assyrian sculpture." ^ The composition is at once simple 
and effective. The king forms the principal object nearly m 
the centre of the picture, and by the superior height of his 
conical head-dress, and the position of the two arrows which he 
holds in the hand that draws the bowstring, dominates over the 
entire composition. As he turns round to shoot down at the 
lion which assails him from behind, his body is naturally and 
gracefully bent, while his charioteer, being engaged in urging 
his horses forward, leans naturally in the opposite direction, 
thus contrasting with the main figure and balancing it. The 
lion immediately behind the chariot is outlined with great spirit 
and freedom ; his head is masterly ; the fillings up of the body, 
however, have too much conventionality. As he rises to attack 
the monarch, he conducts the eye up to the main figure, while 
at the same time by this attitude his principal lines form a 
pleasing contrast to the predominant perpendicular and hori- 
zontal lines of the general composition. The dead lion in front 
of the chariot balances the living one behind it, and, with its 
crouching attitude, and drooping head and tail, contrasts admir- 
ably with the upreared form of its fellow. Two attendants, 
armed with sword and shield, following behind the living lion, 
serve to balance the horses drawing the chariot, without ren- 
dering the composition too symmetrical. The horses themselves 
are the weakest part of the picture ; the fore-legs are stiff and 
too slight, and the heads possess little spirit. 

It is seldom that designs of this early period can boast nearly 
so much merit. The religious and processional pieces are stiff 
in the extreme ; ^ the battle scenes are overcrowded and con- 
fused ; ® the hunting scenes are superior to these,''^ but in general 


Monuments of Nineveh, 1st Series, 

* Ibid. p. 3. 

« See ibid. Plates 12, 23, 24, &c. 
« See particularly, in the same work, 
Plates 13, 14, 19, 28, and 29. 

7 The hunt of the wild bull (Plate 11), 
a pendant to the hunt of the lion above 

described, resembles it in many respects, 
but on the whole is decidedly inferior. 
Several hunting scenes, possessing con- 
siderable merit, are represented on the 
embroidery of dresses. (See PI. 44, fig. 
6 ; PI. 48, figs. 4 and 6 ; PI. 49, figs. 3 
and 4 ; and PI, 50, fig. 1.) 



Chap. VI. 

they too fall far below the lerel of the aboye-described com- 

The best drawing of this period is foand in the figures forming 
the patterns or embroidery of dresses. Tlie gazelle, of which 

AwjrUn teixing a wild ball (Nimrud). 

a representation has been given (page 224), the ibex (page 221), 
the horse (page 232), and the horseman hunting the wild bull 
(page 227), are from ornamental work of this kind. They ure 

IUwk-liMd«l Sfvrt umI tphliu (Ktnnid). 



favourable specimens perhaps ; but, still, they are representa- 
tives of a considerable class. Some examples even exceed these 
in the freedom of their 
outline, and the vigorous 
action which they depict, 
as, for instance, the man 
seizing a wild bull by the 
horn and fore-leg, which 
is figured page 346. In 
general, however, there is 
a tendency in these early 
drawings to the grotesque. 
Lions and bulls appear 
inabsurdattitudes; hawk- ^^*^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^"" (Nimrud). 

headed figures in petticoats threaten human-headed lions with 
a mace or a strap, sometimes holding them by a paw, some- 
times grasping them 
round the middle of the 
tail ; priests hold up 
ibexes at arm's length 
by one of their hind- 
legs, so that their heads 
trail upon the ground; 
griffins claw after ante- 
lopes, or antelopes toy 
with winged lions; even 
in the hunting scenes, 
which are less simply 
ludicrous, there seems to 
be an occasional striving 

King killing a lion (Nimrud). 

after strange and laughable attitudes, as when a stricken bull 
tumbles upon his head, with his tail tossed straight in the air, 
or when a lion receives his death-wound with arms outspread, 
and mouth widely agape. 

The second period of Assyrian mimetic art extends from the 
latter part of the eighth to nearly the middle of the seventh 
century before our era ; or, more exactly, from about B.C. 721, to 



Ciup. VI. 

B.a G67. It belongs to the reipnfis of the three consecutive kings 
— Salmon, Sennacherib, and Esar-haddon, who were contem* 
porary with Hezekiah and ^lanasseh in Judsa, and with the Sa- 
bacoa (Shebeks) and Tirhakah (Tehrak) in Egypt The ronrcea 
which cliiefly illustnitc this period are the magnificent series of 
engrarings published by MM. Flandin and Botta,* together with 
the originals of a certain portion of them in the Louvre ; the 
engravin<^ in ^Ir. Layard*8 first folio work, from pi. 68 to pi. 83 ; 
those in his second folio work from pi. 7 to 44, and from pi. 50 
to 56 ; the originals of many of these in the British Museum ; 
several monuments procured for the British Museum by Mr. 
Loftus; and a series of unpublished drawings by Mr. Boutcher 
in the same great national collection.' 

The most obvious characteristic of this period, when we 
compare it with the preceding one, is the advance which the 



artists have made in their vegetable forms, and the pro-Ra- 
phaelite accuracy which they affect in all the accessories of 
their representations. In the bas-reliefs of the first period we 
have, for the most part, no backgrounds. Figures alone occupy 

I MommtenI dt NbUw, Paris, 1S49. 
TU dMeripilv* l«Ctor*pr«M U by M. 
Bocu. TIm dimwlngf wvre Mwruud bj 
M. riMMUih nd «Qff»T«l bj MILMlkr, 

Fr^rooani, Oury. and oUmti. 

' TImm dra'wlnfi Imt« Imm kimlly 
plMtd At »y diMw«l bj Mr. Vaiu, of 
llM AadqaltW DqfMtaMol. 

gThap. vi; 



the slabs, or figures and buildings. In 
water is represented in a very rude fashion 
only do we meet with 
trees/ which, when 
they occur, are of the 
poorest and strangest 
character (see page 
348). In the second 
period, on the con- 
trary, back - grounds 
are the rule, and slabs 
without them form the 
exception. The vege- 
table forms are abund- 
ant and varied, though 
still somewhat too con- 
ventional. Date-palms, 
firs, and vines are de- 
lineated with skill and 
spirit ; other varieties 
are more difficult to 
recognise. The cha- 
racter of the countries 
through which armies 
march is almost always 
given ^ — their streams, 
lakes, and rivers, their 
hills and mountains, 
their trees, and in the 
case of marshy dis- 
tricts, their tall reeds. 
At the same time, ani- 
mals in the wild state are freely introduced 
any bearing on the general subject of the 

some few instances 
: ^ and once or twice 

without their having 
picture. The water 

' See Mr. Layard's Monuments, 1st 
Series, Plates 15, 16, 33, and 39 b. 

* Ibid. Plates 13, 14, and 33. 

* This is particularly the case in the 

sculptures of Sennacherib. In those of 
Sargon, backgrounds are still rather the 
exception than the rule. 


teems with fish, and, where the sea is represented, with crabs, 
turtle, 8tar-&ih, sea serpents, and other monsters.* The woods 
are alive with birds ; wild swine and stags people the marshes.^ 
Nature is evidently more and more studied ; and the artist 
takes a delight in adorning the scenes of violence, which he 
is forced to depict, with quiet touches of a gentle character — 
rustics fishing or irrigating their grounds, fish disporting them- 
selves, birds flying from tree to tree, or watching the callow 
young which look up to them from the nest for protection.' 

In regard to human forms, no great advance marks this 
period^ A larger variety in their attitudes is indeed to be traced. 

•~-'^, KlioiMiij«a yiier lMy%rd) 

and a greater t-n* tg> iuki life np{)ears in most oi inc ligures; 
but tliere is still much the saini* heaviness of outline, the same 
over^mnsculurity, and the same general clumsiness and want of 
grace. Animal forms show a much more considerable improve- 
ment Horses are excellently portrayed, the attitudes being 
varied, and the heads especially delineated with great spirit (see 

at tD S4; Urud, MumtmsnU </ and tSS. 



opposite). Mules and camels are well expressed,^ but have 
scarcely the vigour of the horses. Horned cattle, as oxen, both 
with and without humps, 
goats, and sheep are very 
skilfully treated, being repre- 
sented with much character, 
in natural yet varied atti- 
tudes, and often admirably 

The composition during 
this period is more compli- 
cated and more ambitious 
than during the preceding 
one; but it may be ques- 
tioned whether it is so effec- 
tive. No single scene of the time can compare for grandeur 
with the lion-hunt above described.^*' The battles and sieges 

Assyrian oxen (Koyunjik). 

Assyrian oxen (Koyunjik). 

are spirited, but want unity ; the hunting-scenes are compara- 
tively tame ; ^^ the representations of the transport of colossal 

9 See above, pp. 230, 233. 

" Pages 344, 345. 

' ' No lion-hunt nor bull-hunt has been 

found in the sculptures of this time. 
The chase seems confined to hares, ga- 
zelles, and birds. 


bulls possess more interest than artistic merit. On the other 
hand, the manipulation is decidedly superior ; the relief is 
higher, ih^ outline is more flowing, the finish of the features 


Assyrian goat and sheep (Koyunjik). 

more delicate. "V^Tiat is lost in grandeur of composition is, on 
the whole, more than made up by variety, naturalness, improved 
handling, and higher finish. 

The highest perfection of Assyrian ai*t is in the third period, 
which extends from B.C. 667 to about B.C. 640. It synchronises 
with the reign of Asshur-bani-pal, the son of Esar-haddon, who 
appears to have been contemporary with Gyges in Lydia,* and 
with Psammetichus in Egypt. The characteristics of the time 
are a less conventional type in the vegetable forms, a wonderful 
freedom, spirit, and variety in the forms of animals, extreme 
minuteness and finish in the human figures, and a delicacy in 
the handling considerably beyond that of even the second or 
middle period. The sources illustrative of this stage of the art 
consist of the plates in Mr. Layard's * Second Series of ]\ronu- 
ments,' from pi. 45 to 49, the originals of these in the British 
3Iu8eum, the noble series of slabs obtained by Mr. Loftus from 
the northern palace of Koyunjik, and of the drawings made 
from them* and from other slabs, which were in a more da- 
maged condition, by Mr. Boutcher, who accompanied Mr. Loftus 
in the capacity of artist 

Vegetable forms are, on the whole, somewhat rare. The 
artists have relinquished the design of representing scenes with 

• 8m below, chapter Ix. There is reason when the shilM wore frenhly exhunie<l, 

to believe that the Eusebian date fur 
Gygea (bx. 698 to b.c. 662) is more cor- 
rect than the Uerodotoan — ikc 724 to 
B.O. 686. 
* Tbeae drawings, which are In the 

often preserve featurtm which have dis- 
apiMnintl during the transport cf the 
originals and their preiiaration for exhl> 
bitiun. By the kindni>sii of Mr. Vaux, 
tho free use of the drawings has been 

British MiMcum, having been Uken allowed tu the author of tliepreaent work. 

Chap. VI. 



perfect truthfulness, and have recurred as a general rule, to the 
plain backgrounds of the first period. This is particularly the 
case in the hunting-scenes, which are seldom accompanied by. 
any landscape whatsoever. In processional and military scenes 

Vine trained on a fir (?), from the North Palace, Koyunjik. 

landscape is introduced, but sparingly ; the forms, for the most 
part, resembling those of the second period.^ Now and then; 

^ See the illustration (No. V.) on page 310, which belongs to this time; andj 
compare the trees with those represented, supra, p. 349. 

VOL. I. • 2 A .' 



Chap. VI. 

however, in guch scenes the landscape Ims l^een made the object 
of special attention, becoming the prominent part, while the 
human figures are accessories. It is here that an advance in 
art is particularly discernible. In one set of slabs a garden 
seems to be represented. Vines are trained upon trees, which 
may be either firs or cypresses, winding elegantly around their 
stems, and on either side letting fall their pendant branches 
laden with fruit Leaves, branches, and tendrils are delineated 

with equal truth and finish, 
y>^5 a most pleasing and grace- 
ful effect being thereby pro- 
duced. Irregularly among 
the trees occur groups of 
lilies, some in bud, son^e 
in full blow, all natuml, 
graceful, and spirited. 

It is difficult to do justice 
to the animal delineation 
of this period, without re- 
producing before the eye 
of the reader the entire 
series of reliefs and draw- 
ings which belong to it. 
It is the infinite variety in 
the attitudes, even more 
than the truth and natural- 
ness of any particular spe- 
cimens, that impresses us 
as we contemplate the 
series. Lions, wild asses, dogs, deer, wild goats, horses are 
represented in profusion ; and we scarcely find a single form 
which is repeated. Some specimens have been already given, 
as the hunted stag and liind on page 224, and the startled wild 
ass on Jiage 223. Others will occur among the illustrations of 
the next cimpter. For the present it may suffice to draw atten- 
tion to the spirit of the two falling asses in the subjoined wood- 
cut (No. I), and of the crouching lion in the wmnlcut No. II. 
(opposite) ; to the life-like force of both ass and hounds in the 

LUici, from the North Palsoe, Ko)'ui\jik. 




representation No. III. (overleaf), and here particularly to 
the bold drawing of one of 
the dog's heads in full, instead 
of in profile — a novelty now 
first occurring in the bas-reliefs. 
As instances of still bolder 
attempts at unusual attitudes, 
and at the same time of a cer- 
tain amount of fore-shortening, 
two further illustrations are 
appended. The sorely-wounded 
lion in the first (p. 357) turns 
his head piteously towards the 
cruel shaft, while he totters 
to his fall, his limbs failing 
him, and his eyes beginning 
to close. The more slightly- 
stricken king of beasts in the 
second (p. 358), urged to fury 
by the smart of his wound, 
rushes at the chariot whence 
the shaft was sped, and in his 
mad agony springs upon a 
wheel, clutches it with his two 
fore-paws, and frantically grinds 
it between his teeth. Assyrian 
art, so far as it is as yet known, 
has no finer specimen of ani- 
mal drawing than this head, 
whi(!h may challenge comparison with anything of the kind 
that either classic or modern art has produced. 

No. II. Lion about to spring, from the North Palace, Ivoyunjik. 

2 A 2 



ClIAP. \l. 

As a specimen at once of animal vigour and of the delicacy 
and finish of the workmanship in the human forms of the time, 
a bas-relief of the king receivinjj the spring of a lion, and shoot- 
ing an arrow into bis mouth, wbile a second Hon advances at a 

rapid |)ace a little behind 
the first, may be adduced 
(se6 page 359). The bold- 
ness of the composition, 
which represents the first 
lion actually in mid-air, is 
remarkable ; the drawing of 
the brute's fore-paws, ex- 
panded to seize his intended 
prey, is life-like and very 
spirited, while the head is 
massive and full of vigour. 
There is something noble 
in the calmness of the mo- 
narch contrasted with the 
comparative eagerness of the 
attendant, who stretches for- 
ward with shield and spear 
to protect his master from 
destruction, if the arrow 
fails. The head of the king 
is, unfortunately, injured; 
but the remainder of the 
fijjure is perfect ; and here, 
in the elaborate ornamenta- 
tion of the whole dress, we 
have an example of the 
careful finish of the time — 
a fiuinh which is so light 
and delicate that it does' not interfere with the gonenil efit^ct, 
being scarcely visible at a few yards* distance. 

Tiie faultM which still remain in this best j)eriod of Assyrian 
art are heaviness and stilTueM of outliiit' in the human forms ; 

Chap. VI. 




a want of expression in the faces, and of variety and animation 
in the attitudes ; and an almost complete disregard of per- 
spective. If the worst of these faults are anywhere overcome it 
would seem to be in the land lion-hunt, from which the noble 
head represented below is taken ; * and in the river-hunt of the 
same beast, found on a slab too much injured to be removed, 
of which a representation is given on page 361. From what 
appears to have remained of the four figures towards the prow 
of the boat, we may conclude that there was a good deal of 
animation here. The drawing must certainly have been less 
stiff tiian usual ; and if there is not much variety in the atti- 

No. I. Wounded lion, about to fall, from the North Palace, Koyunjik. 

tudes of the three spearmen in front, at any rate those attitudes 
contrast well, both with the stillness of the unengaged attend- 
ants in the rear, and with the animated but very different 
attitude of the king. 

Before the subject of Assyrian sculpture is dismissed, it is 
necessary to touch the question, whether the Assyrians applied 
colour to statuary, aud if so, in what way and to what extent. 
Did they, like the Egyptians,^ cover the whole surface of the 
stone with a layer of stucco, and then paint the sculptured parts" 

* See page 358. A representation of 
the whole scene would have been given, 
had this work been on a larger scale ; 
but it is impossible to do justice to the 
highly-finished sculptures of this time 
within the limits of an ordinary octavo. 

The scene itself may be studied in the 
British Museum. It occupies a portion 
of the eastern wall in the underground 
Assyrian apartment. 

' See Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians^ 
1st Series, vol. lii. p. 300. 



Chaf. VI. 

with strong coloan — red, blue, yellow, white, and black ? Or 
did they, like the Greeks,* apply paint to certain • portions of 

• Mm WllklBMMi't Ameina Fnptiant, 
l«C Berl«^ vol lU. p. 199. WorauM, in 
taiih'i I^icfiottarp of Qrmk mU Bpmtm 
JaMgHilMf (ad voo. PicrvBAX •>•• MM*- 

than WllklnaoB ; but tlUl 
■MiaUlM thai Um Qreaka did Ml colour 

Chap. VI. 



their sculptures only, as the hair, eyes, beard, and draperies ? 
Or, finally, did they simply leave the stone in its natural condi^ 
tion, like the Italians and the modern sculptors generally ? 




Chap. VI. 

The present appearance of the sculptures is most in accord- 
ance with the last of these three theories, or at aiW rate with 
that theory very slightly modified by the second. The slabs 
now offer only the faintest and raost occasional traces of colour. 
The evidence, however, of the original explorers is distinct, that 
(U the time of discovery these traces were very much more 
abundant. Mr. Layard observed colour at Nimrud on the hair, 
beard, and eyes of the figures, on the sandals and the bows, on 
the tongues of the eagle-headed mythological emblems, on a 
garland round the head of a winged priest (?), and on the repre- 
sentation of fire in the bas-relief of a siege.* At Khorsabad, 
MM. Botta and Flandin found paint on the fringes of draperies, 
on fillets, on the mitre of the ^ing, on the flowers carried by 
the winged figures, on bows and spear-shafts, on the harness of 
the horses, on the chariots, on the sandals, on the birds, and 
sometimes on the trees.* The torches used to fire cities, and the 
flames of the cities themselves were invariably coloured red. 
M. Flandin also believed that he could detect, in some in- 
stances, a faint trace of yellow ochre on the flesh and on the 
background of bas-reliefs, whence he concluded that this tint 
was spread over every part not otherwise coloured.* 

It is evident, therefore, that the theory of an absence of 
colour, or of a very rare use of it, must be sot aside. Indeed, 
as it is certain that the upper portions of the palace-walls, both 
inside and outside, were patterned with coloured bricks, cover- 
ing the whole space above the slabs, it must be allowed to be 
extremely improbable that at a particular line colour would sud- 
denly and totally cease. The laws of decorative harmony forbid 
such abrupt transitions; and to these laws all nations with any 
taste instinctively and unwittingly conform. The Assyrian 
reliefs were therefore, we may be sure, to some extent eoloureii. 
The real question is, to what extent — in the Egyptian or in the 
classi**''! "^f v]i' ? 

lud Ha H0maim*, toL II. p. 

« 8m M. BoIU'i Mtmmmii <lr ^fo^ 

i*uiM IS, u, 4a, M, 61, 0t, ea, &«. 

Coapttra Um g«ii«r»l tUtMiMit, vol ▼. 


' 8m hit Fey^« 
In tb* ZfMM dn Dnu Ji9mh$, 

1S45, p. KM. 



In Mr. Lajard's Ftrat ScfiM of * 3foniimontii/ a preferenoe 
wif expreMed for what may be called the £g)'ptian theory. In 
the Frontiqnece of that work, and in the aeooiid Plate, containing 
the restoration of a palace interior, the entire baa-reliefs were 
represented as strongly coloured. A jet-black was assigned to 
the hair and beards of men and of all human-headed figures, to 
the manes and tails of horees, to vultures, cAgle-heacb, and the 
like; a coarse red-brown to wiugtKl lions, to human flesh, to 
Ixirses' bodies, and to various ornaments ; a deep yellow to com- 
mon lions, to chariot-wheels, quivers, fringes, belts, sandals and 
other portions of human apparel ; white to robes, helmets, 
sliields, tunics, towns, trees, &c. ; and a dull blue to some of the 
feathers of winged lions and genii, and to large portions of the 
ground from which the sculptures stood out This conception 
of Assyrian colouring, framed confessedly on the assumption of 
a close analogy between tlie ornAnientation of Assyria and that 
of Egypt,* was at once accepted by the unlearned, and naturally 
enough was adopted by most of those who sought to popularise 
the new knowledge among their countrymen. Hence the strange 
travesties of Assyrian art which have been seen in 80K»lled 
^AiBjrian Courts," where all the delicacy of the real sculpture 
bis disappeared, and the 8j>ectator has been revolted by grim 
figures of bulls aud lions, from which a thick layer of coanE^e 
paint has taken away all dignity, and by reliefs which, from the 
aame cause, have lost all spirit and refinement 

It is sufficient objection to the tiieory here treated of, that it 
has DO solid basis of fact to rest upon. Colour has only been 
fom/mi on portions of the bas-reliefs, as on the hair and beards 
of men, on head-ornaments, to a small extent on draperies, on 
the hameM of horaei, on aandala, weapons, birds, flowers, and 
the like. Neither the flesh of men, nor the bodies of animals, 
nor ttie draperies generally, nor the backgrounds (exoept perhaps 
at Khonabad ^), present the slightest appearance of having been 

' Tto opialM of 11. FtoMliB. i 

SI lUMf«tba4, 

hsf« btM dtvlvad fnm a |«HkMator la- 
•tooet, wimw, aeeordlag lo M. Ikma, ih<» 
eolottrinf wm MeldMilal. and Oaioa ttvm 
a ttea MiMaaiiMil to Iho rultt of th* palaoa 
{.Hmmmi 4» iiim»M^ vol. v. jk ITS). 


touched by paint. It is inconceivable that, if these portions of 
the sculptures were universally, or even ordinarily, coloured, the 
colour should have so entirely disappeared in every instance. 
It is moreover inconceivable that the sculptor, if he knew his 
work was about to be concealed beneath a coating of paint, 
should have cared to give it the delicate elaboration which is 
found at any rate in the later examples. All leads to the con- 
clusion that in Assyrian as in classical sculpture, colour was 
sparingly applied, being confined to such parts as the hair, eyes, 
and beards of men, to the fringes of dresses, to horse-trappings, 
and other accessory parts of the representations. In this way 
the lower part of the walls was made to harmonise sufficiently 
with the upper portion, which was wholly coloured, but chiefly 
with pale hues. At the same time a greater distinctness was 
given to the scenes represented upon the sculptured slabs, the 
colour being judiciously applied to disentangle human from ani- 
mal figures, dress from flesh, or human figures from one another. 
The colours actually found upon the bas-relief are four only — 
red, blue, black, and white.^ The red is a good bright tint, far 
exceeding in brilliancy that of Egypt. On the sculptures of 
Khorsabad it approaches to vermilion, while on those of Nimrud 
it inclines to a crimson or lake tint.^ It is found alternating 
with the natural stone on the royal parasol and mitre ; ^ with 
blue on the crests of helmets,'* the trappings of horses,^ on 
flowers,^ sandals,"^ and on fillets ; ^ and besides, it occurs, un- 
accompanied by any other colour, on the stems und branches of 
trees,® on the claws of birds,^° the shafts of speai*s and arrows,^^ 

^ " On the sculptures I have only 
found black, white, red, and blue," says 
Mr. Layard (^Ninerch and its Ji'emains, 
vol. ii. p. 310) ; " and these colours alone 
were used in the painted ornaments of 
the upper chambers at Nimrud. At 
Khorsabad, f/t^een and yellow continuall;/ 
occurred on the bas-reliefs; at Koyunjik, 
there were no traces whatever of colour." j * Ibid. Plates 43 and 113. 
But, in opposition to the statement in ' ^ Ibid. Plate 14. 
italics, M. Botta, the explorer of Khor- j * Ibid. Plate 43. 
sabad, observes, "Nous n'avons trouve 1 " Ibid. Plates 110, 113, and 114. 
k Khorsabad sur les sculptures d'autres *" Ibid. Plates 110 and 114. 

couleursque le rouge, le bleu, et le noir." | " Ibid. Plates 61 and 65. 
(^Monument, vol. v. p. 178.) The green | 

and yellow were confined to the ena- 
melled bricks. 

^ Layard, Nineveh and its Remains, 
vol. ii. p. 311. 

^ Botta, Afonument de Ninioe, Plates 12, 
63, and 113. 

* Ibid. Plate 61. 

* Ibid. Plates 53, 62, 63, &c. 


on bows,* belts,* fillet^,' quivers,^ maces,* reins/ aandals,^ 
ilowere,* and the frinpne of drenea.* It is uncertain whence the 
oolouring matter was derived ; perbaps the substance used was 
the suboxide of copper, with which the Assyrians are known to 
have coloured their red glass.*® 

The blue of the Assyrian monuments is an oxide of copper," 
sometimes containing also a trace of lead." Besides occurring 
in combination with red in the cases already mentioned, it was 
employed to colour tlie foliage of trees," the plumage of birds,** 
the heads of arrows,*^ and sometimes quivers '* and sandals.'^ 

White occurs very rarely indeed upon the sculptures. At 
Khorsabud it was not found at all ; at Nimrud it was confined 
to the inner part of the eye on either side of the pupil," and in 
this position it occurred only on the colossal lions and bulls, and 
a very few other figures. On bricks and pottery it was fre(|uent, 
and there it is found to have been derived from tin ; " but it is 
uncertain whether the white of the sculptures was not derived 
from a commoner material* 

Black is applied in the sculptures chiefly to the hair, beards, 
and eyebrows of men." It was also used to colour the eyeballs, 
not only of men, but also of the colossal lions and bulU." Some- 
times, when tlie eyeball was thus marked, a line of black waa 
further carried round the inner edge of both the upper and the 
lower eyelid." In one place black bars have been introduced to 
ornament an antelope's horns.** On the older sculptures black 

dr Mmt90, PUlM '* \\M. I*lafr« 1 10 and 114. 

61 MMiei. . " I>>|<1. IM«lr61. 

• Ibid. PUtM 6t, 65. and 114. ! * Und. Hat* 61. » Ibid. Pbi» 14. 

• IMd. PUlM IS, 14, 61, Md 6ft. '* Uyaid, JV«wwA md 4» 

vol. t' 

" u«l /Ml«ry, vol L ^ 117. 

*' rxl eUiOMlttW (t^t U WW 

obuluMtl, •• u U in the eouairjr le Iblt 
dav, bjr bunting ihr alabascvr or m—i 
(.V.ii««^ tfMl i|« Htmamu, vtd. IL fL Sll.) 

Ibid. PUI0 63. 

* lliia. Plate 114. 

* Ibid. Itate 53. 
' Ibid, mate 61. 

• IliiU. riaiM 74 and 75. 

• Ibkl. I*lal« 63. 
•• %m Dr. IVrry't aota In Mr. Uxard'a '* Hild. ^ 811. 

Vkmtk md Mkihm, p. 671. Uvaffd*t Mmmmmta. iMiarka, Plaiatl; 

" iMfid, A'Amm* «Mtf Of JKmmAm, Uocia. ^umitmml. Ptolit It awl 4a 
T«L II. ^ Sia BIrrb. Am^ifui pydUry, *» Stmtttk mtd Mt JTawaii, r«L a ^ 

voL I. pi 117. 313. 

•* Ibid. IK M •* M mm m d a ^ Kkm^ lal Svln, 

•* lloiia, J/(/ftMiiim/, llatii II U, l|-i. Plata 91. 
and 114. '* Holla. iToNMMMil. PUla 43. 

Chap. VI. 



was also the common colour for sandals, which however were 
then edged with red.^ The composition of the black is uncertain. 
Browns upon the enamelled bricks are found to have been 

Bronze lion, from Nimrud, 

derived from iron ; ^ but Mr. Layard believes the black upon the 
sculptures to have been, like the Egyptian, a bone black mixed 
with a little gnm.^ 

Fragments of bronze ornaments of the throne, from Nimrud (after Layard). 

The ornamental metallurgy of the Assyrians deserves attention 
next to their sculpture. It is of three kinds, consisting, in the 

^ Nineveh and its Pemains, vol. ii. p. .T12, note. ' Birch, 1. s. c. 

' Nineveh and its lU-mains, vol. ii. p. 311. 



cnAf. vr. 

first plaro, of entire figures, or parfg of fijj^res, wist in a soHd 
ahape; secondly, of castingn in a Itjw reli(*f ; and thirdly, of em- 
boMed work wroaght mainly with the hammer, but tiuished by 
a 8|iartng use of the graving-tool. 

The solid castings are comparatively rare, and represent none 
but animal forms. Lions, which seem to have been used as 
weights, occur most frequently/ None are of any great size ; 
nor have we any evidence that the Assyrians could cast large 
of metal. They seem to have used castings, not (as the 

BiOOMOtttil^, Ihim the throne, Nlmrud (after layarU). 

Greeks aiid the modems) for the greater works of art, but only 
for the smaller. The forms of the few casts which have come 
down to us are good, and are free from the narrowness wiiich 
characteriaea the representations in stone.'' 

Gaatinga in a low reli«'f formed the ornamtntation of thrones, 
atooU,* and aometimet* proliubly of chariots.' They etmsiHted ot 

* Mr. Ujftni diwoirwW tlxtaM of 
ll.a» IkNM U OM plM*. (iiftefMA mi4 
Us AMtaMJM, voL L ft ISa.) TUy had 
•U rtaifi aaiMd lu their Mek*, which 
mmmA to ehow th« wxryum fbr whieh 
ihvy ««fv taiMHiad. The toricM of Umm 
ItflM VM fthent • Ibsl I* leaglk. 

• Suprtt, |k 339. 

* Bee Uyani't Smftfk and iU Jfe- 
Mtea, vot a p. 301 : Bo(i«, Mmmitfml, 
PUte Itt. 

' Rotta, ]*latr i: It it unrvrtaln 
whHher tiM oraaiiieaU In thie cmt. aikl 
la tUit i i l h iiwl to la the ImI m(«, «viv 

Chap. VI. 



animal and human figures, winged deities, griffins, and the like. 
The castings were chiefly in open work, and were attached to 


Feet of tripods in bronze and iron (after Layard). 

the furniture which they ornamented by means of small nails. 
They have no peculiar merit, being merely repetitions of the 

Bronze bull's head from throne 
(after Layard). 

Bronze head, part of throne, showing 
bitumen inside (after Layard). 

forms with which we are familiar from their occurrence on 
embroidered dresses and on the cylinders. 

The embossed work of the Assyrians is the most curious and 

cast or embossed, since we have only the 
representations, not the originals them- 
selves. The throne ornaments, however, 

were actually found (Layard, Nin. and 
Bab. pp. 198-200). They were castings 
in bronze. 



Chap. VI. 

the most artistic p>rtion of their metallurgy. Sometimes it 
consisted of mere heads and feet of animals, hammered into 
shaipe upon a model composed of clay mixed with bitumen. 

End of A tword-sheflth. 
(N.-W. Palac«, Nimrud.) 

Stool or chair (Khorsftbad). 

Sometimes it extended to entire figures, as (probably) in tlie 
of the lions clasping each other, so common at the ends 
of sword - ghenths (see above), the 
human figures which ornament tbe 
sides of chairs or stools, and the like.' 
Occasionally it was of a less solid, 
but at tho same time of a more 
elaborate character. In a palace in- 
habited by Sargon at Nimrud, and in 
(• juxtaposition with a monument 
certainly of his time,' were discovered 

Enirniv«!«-«rabine»ntrBofcup. i^y Mr. La Yard a number of dishes, 

plates, and bowls, embossed with great 

taste and skill, wliich are among the most elegant specimens of 

Assyrian art discovered during the recent researches. Upon 

* Bn9 again w« oftiinol ba eartoln 
wbHher th« aetUpcuNa rapm«l aai- 
U — w i «ork or 

fkbrlra, llkt aword^ahaatha, tba Ibroirr 
more probabla. 
• Uyanl, Mm, and Ai6. p. !««. 

Chap. VI. 



these were represented sometimes hunting-scenes, sometimes 
combats between griffins and lions, or between men and lions, 
sometimes landscapes with trees and figures of animals, some- 
times mere rows of animals following one another. One or 
two representations from these bowls have been already 
given.* They usually contain a star or scarab in the centre, 
beyond which is a series of bands or borders, patterned, most 
commonly with figures. It is impossible to give an adequate 
idea of the delicacy and spirit of the drawings, or of the variety 
and elegance of the other patterns, in a work of moderate 
dimensions like the present. Mr. Layard, in his Second Series 
of * Monuments,' has done justice to the subject by pictorial repre- 
sentation,^ while in his * Nineveh and Babylon ' he has described 
the more important of the vessels separately.^ The curious student 
will do well to consult these two works, after which he may 
examine with advantage the originals in the British Museum. 

One of the most remarkable features observable in this whole 
series of monuments, is its semi-Egyptian character. The 
occurrence of the scarab has been 
just noticed. It appears on the 
bowls frequently, as do sphinxes 
of an Egyptian type ; while some- 
times heads and head-dresses 
purely Egyptian are found, as 

the SUDJOmed,^ which are W^ell- Egyptian head-dresses on bronze dishes, 

known forms, and have nothing ^^^^ ^^°^"^^- 

Assyrian about them ; and in one or two instances we even 
meet with hieroglyphics,^ the onk (or symbol of life), (q) 
the ibis, &c. These facts may seem at first sight to raise a 

* Supra, pp. 223 and 225. 

5 Plates 57 to 67. The drawings by 
Mr. Prentice, now in the British Museum, 
are still more beautiful than these plates, 
since they show the wonderful colouring 
of the bronzes at the time of their arrival. 

« Pages 185-190. 

^ Mr. Layard calls No. I. a head of 
Athor {Nin. and Bab. p. 187); but there 
are no sufficient grounds for the iden- 
tification. The head resembles the or- 

VOL. I. 

dinary mummy type. The head-dress 
No. II. is the well-known double crown, 
worn both by kings and gods, represent- 
ing the sovereignty over both the Upper 
and the Lower country. (Wilkinson, 
Ancient Egyptians, vol. iii. p. 354.) 

^ Layard, Monuments, 2nd Series, 
Plate 61, b; Nin. and Bah. p. 187. On 
the ank or onk, see Wilkinson, vol. v. p. 

2 B 

370 THE SEOOVn Mnv\nrifV Chap. VI. 

great qneation— namely, whether, ufluruU, tho artof the A^ssyrians 
was really of home growth, or was not mther imported from the 
Egyptians, either directly or by way of Phoeniciti. Such a view 
has been sometimes taken ; but the most cursory study of the 
Anyriau remains, in chronological order, is sufficient to disprove 
the theory, since it will at once show that the earliest specimens 
of Assyrian art are the most un-Egyptian in character. No 
doubt there are certain analogies even here, as the preference 
for the profile, the stiffness and formality, the ignorance or 
disregard of pers(3ective, and the like ; but the analogies are 
exactly such as would be tolerably sure to occur in the early 
efforts of any two races not very dissimilar to one another, while 
the liUle resemblances, which alone prove connexion, are entirely 
wanting. These do not ap{)ear until we come to monuments 
which belong to the time of Sargon. when direct connexion 
between Egypt and Assyria seems to have begun, and Egyptian 
captives are known to have been transported into ^lesopotamia 
in large numbers.* It has been suggested that the entire series 
of Nimrud vessels is Phoenician, and that they were either 
carried off as spoil from Tyre and other Phosnician towns, or 
else were the workmanship of Phcenician captives removed into 
Assyria from their own country. The Sidonians and their 
kindred were, it is remarked, tlie most renowned workers in 
metal of the ancient world, and their intermetliate position 
between Egypt and Assyria, may, it is suggested, have been the 
cause of the existence among them of a mixed art, half 
Assyrian, half Egyptian.* The theory is plausible; but upon 
the whole it seems more coni^onant with all the facts' to regard 
the series in question as in reality Assyrian, modified from the 
ordinary style by an influence derived from Egypt. Either 

• iMiah XX. 4. 

' Uyanl. AVmmmA Mtf Il<i6f(im, & IM. 

■ It i« urgv<l tlMt PbanileUia aiuuM> 
Uft apiMW cm OM of Um pUUt (Ibkt p. 
ISS), UMi Um Muvb «rbldl ooeuiv on 
M wmny ot Umnb (tnpm* woodoul on 
pi SM) it ** man of ft PbiMkiM Uim 
mm Rs7p<t«« fon"" 0^ P- 1^« •'^ <*>•* 

fMiod tn Cyprus, ar* almott eertainly 
PhttnlcUn (iU p. 192, uot«*). But Umw 
last Duty wvll be AMyrian. sinr* naw 
AaayrUn rrimiitM Imvv rrrUinly b0Mi 
bniiiKht frum the UUml ; aiHl th« oCher 
{Miinta am too UoubtlUI and too nlottto 
Ut aet against the ■irunff Amyrimm oh»> 
ractrr «■< '>>" '•r'-^t l>itl>( "f li>« uriuuui«ut> 

|ju«ib of Um MflM flliarmctrr, auU i' 

Chap. VI. 





(N.-W. Palace, 


Egyptian artificers — captives probably — may have wrought the 
bowls after Assyrian models, and have acci- 
dentally varied the common forms, more or less, 
in the direction which was natural to them 
from old habits; or Assyrian artificers, ac- 
quainted with the art of Egypt, and anxious 
,to improve their own from it, may have con- 
sciously adopted certain details from the rival 
country. The workmanship, subjects, and mode 
of treatment, are all, it is granted, " more As- 
syrian than Egyptian," ^ the Assyrian character 
being decidedly more marked than in the case 
of the ivories which will be presently considered ; 
yet even in that case the legitimate conclusion 
seems to be that the specimens are to be re- 
garded as native Assyrian, but as produced 
abnormally, under a strong foreign influence. 

The usual material of the Assyrian orna- 
mental metallurgy is feonze, composed of one 
part of tin to ten of copper,"* which are exactly 
the proportions considered to be best by the 
Greeks arid Eomans, and still in ordinary use 
at the present day. In some instances, where 
more than common strength was required, as 
in the legs of tripods and tables, the bronze 
was ingeniously cast over an inner structure of 
iron.* This practice was unknown to modern 
metallurgists until the discovery of the Assyrian 
specimens, from which it has been successfully 

We may presume that, besides bronze, the 
Assyrians used, to a certain extent, silver and 
gold as materials for ornamental metal-work. 
The ear-rings, bracelets, and armlets worn by the 

Assyrian ear-rings. 

kings and the great officers of state were probably of the more 

3 Nineveh and Babylon, p. 192. 

» Ibid. p. 

■• Ibid. p. 191. 
191, note. 

Ibid. p. 178. 
2 B 2 



Chap. VI. 

valuable metal, while the similar ornaments worn by those of 
minor rank may have been of silver. One solitary specimen 
only of either class has been foand;'' but 3Ir. Layard dis- 
covered several moulds, with tasteful designs for ear-rings, 
both at Nimnid and at Koyunjik;* and the sculptures show 
that both in these and the other personal ornaments a good deal 
of artiMtic excellence was exhibited. The ear-rings are frequent 

Bronze cubes inlaid with gold. (Original size.) After Layard. 

in the form of a cross, and are sometimes delicately chased. 

The armlets and bracelets generally terminate in the heads of 

rams or bulls, which seem to have been rendered with spirit 

and taste. 

By one or two instances it appears that the Assyrians knew 

how to inlay one metal 
with another. The spe- 
cimens discovered are 
scarcely of an artistic 
character, being merely 
winged scarabaji outlined 

in gold on a bronze ground.' The work, however, is delicate, 

and the form very much more true to nature than that which 

prevailed in £g>'pt 

The ivories of the Assyrians are inferior both to their metal 

oatdngs and to their bat-reliefik They consist almost entirely 

Egyptian acarab (from Wilkinson). 

' Mr. Liyard fbtiad m gold tar^riag 
with paaHa, togMbar with a 
ti pttraly AmyriUk relka, at 

Koyui^lk (AVimmI and B^km, p. 595). 
Ill* has flgursd it, p. 597. 

• Ibl J. pp. 595, 596. • Ibid, p^ 196. 

Chap. VI. 



of a single series, discovered by Mr. Layard in a chamber of the 
North-West Palace at Nimrud, in the near vicinity of slabs on 
which was engraved the name of Sargon.^^ The most remark- 
able point connected with them is the thoroughly Egyptian 
character of the greater num- 
ber, which, at first sight, have 
almost the appearance of being 
importations from the valley 
of the Nile. Egyptian profiles, 
head-dresses, fashions of dress- 
ing the hair, ornaments, atti- 
tudes, meet us at every turn ; while sometimes we find the 
representations of Egyptian gods, and in two cases hiero- 
glyphics within cartouches (see overleaf). A few specimens 
only are of a distinctly Assyrian type, as a fragment of a 

Fragment of ivory panel, from Nimrud. 

Fragment of a lion in ivory (Nimrud). 

panel, figured by Mr. Layard,^ and one or two others, in 
which the guilloche border appears.^ These carvings are 
usually mere low reliefs, occupying small panels or tablets. 

" Nineveh and its Remains , vol. ii. pp. 
8-10 and p. 205. For other discoveries 
of ivpry objects, see A'ineceh and Babylon, 

pp. 179, 195, and 362. 

* Monuments, 1st Series, Plate 89, fig. 8. 
2 Ibid. Plate 90, figs. 17 and 22. 



Cmat. VI. 

Chap. VI. 



which were mortised or glued to the woodwork of furniture. 
They were sometimes inlaid in parts with blue glass, or with 
blue and green pastes let into the ivory, 
and at the same time decorated with gild- 
ing. Now and then the relief is tolerably 
high, and presents fragments of forms 
which seem to have had some artistic 
merit. The best of these is the fore part 
of a lion walking among reeds (p. 373), 
which presents analogies with the early 
art of Asia Minor. One or two stags' 
heads have likewise been found, designed 
and wrought with much spirit and delicacy. 
It is remarked that several of the speci- ^^^gn^enyfa^stag in ivory 
mens show not only a considerable ac- 
quaintance with art, but also an intimate knowledge of the 
method of working in ivory .^ One head of a lion was " of sin- 
gular beauty ; " but unfortunately it fell to pieces at the very 
moment of discovery. 

It is possible that some of the objects here described may be 
actual specimens of Egyptian art, sent to Sargon as tribute or 
presents, or else carried off as plunder in his Egyptian expe- 
dition. The appearance, however, which even the most Egyp- 
tian of them present, on a close examination, is rather that of 
Asssyrian works imitated from Egyptian models than of genuine 
Egyptian productions. For instance, in the tablet figured on 
the page opposite, where we see hieroglyphics within a cartouche, 
the onk or symbol of life,"* the solar disk, the double ostrich- 
plume, the long hair-dress called namms, and the tarn or kulcupha 
sceptre* — all unmistakeable Egyptian features — we observe a 
style of drapery which is quite unknown in Egypt, while in 
several respects it is Assyrian, or at least Mesopotamian. It is 
scanty, like that of all Assyrian robed figures ; striped, like the 
draperies of the Chaldaeans and Babylonians ; fringed with a 

• Nineveh and its Pemains, vol. ii. p. 10. 

* See above, p. 369. The symbol occurs 
, the foot of the chairs. 

* See Mr. Birch's description in Mr. 
Layard's A'ineveh and its liemains, vol. ii. 
p. II, note. 


broad fringe elaborately coloured* as Assj'rian fringes are known 
to haTe been;* and it kiui lurp» hanging sleeves aluo fringed, a 
ftahion which appears once or twice npon the Nimrud scnlp- 
But if this specimen, nntwitlistanding its numerous and 

Bojral «ttend*nt (Nimrud). 

striking Egyptian features, is rightly regarded as Mesopotamian, 
it would seem to follow that the rest of the series must still 
more decidedly be assigned to native genius. 

The enamelled bricks of the Assyrians are among the most 
interesting remains of their art It is from tliese bricks alone 
that we are able to jud^e at all fully of their knowledge and 
ideas with respect to colour ; and it is from them also chiefly 
that an analysis has been made of the i*olouring materials 
employed by the Assyrian artists. The bricks may be divided 
into two daates— those which are merely patterned, and those 
which contain designs representing men and animals. The 
ptltemed bricks have nothing about them which is very 
remarkable, lliey present the luiml gailloohes» roaettei, baQd^ 

Chap. VI. 



scrolls, &c., such as are found in the painted chambers and in 
the ornaments on dresses, varied with geometrical figures, as 
circles, hexagons, octagons, and the like ; and sometimes with 
a sort of arcade-work, which is curious, if not very beautiful.^ 
The colours chiefly used in the patterns are pale green, pale 
yellow, dark brown, and white. Now and then an intense blue 
and a bright red occur, generally together;^ but these positive 
hues are rare, and the taste of the Assyrians seems to have led 
them to prefer, for their patterned walls, pale and dull hues. 
The same preference appears, even more strikingly, in the 
bricks on which designs are represented. There the tints 
almost exclusively used 
are pale yellow, pale 
greenish blue, olive- 
green, white, and a 
brownish black. It is 
suggested that the co- 
lours have faded, ^ but of 
this there is no evidence. 
The Assyrians, when they 
used the primitive hues, ^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^^^^^^ ^^.^^ ^^.^^^^^ 
seem, except in the case 

of red, to have employed subdued tints of them, and red 
they appear to have introduced very sparingly.^ Olive-green 
they affected for grounds, and they occasionally used other 
half tints. A pale orange and a delicate lilac or pale purple 
were found at Khorsabad,^ while brown (as already observed) is 
far more common on the bricks than black. Thus the general 
tone of their colouring is quiet, not to say sombre. There is no 
striving after brilliant effects. The Assyrian artist seeks to 

* See Mr. Layard's Monuments, 1st 
Series, Plates 84, 86, and 87. 

9 Ibid. Plate 84, figs. 9 and 12. 

* Nineveh and Bahijlon, p. 166. 

2 There is a curious contrast between 
the bricks and the sculptures in this 
respect. In the sculptures there is no 
yellow, but abundance of red. It is a 
reasonable conjecture of Mr. Layard's, 
that in these "some of the red tints 

which remain were originally laid on to 
receive gilding." (^Nineveh and its Re- 
mains, vol. ii. p. 313, note.) 

' Monument de Ninive, Plate 155, figs. 
3, 5, and 9. Mr. Layard says he found 
purple and violet on some of the Nimrud 
bricks (^Nineceh and its lietniins, vol. ii. 
p. 310) ; but he does not represent these 


please by the elegance of his forms and the harmony of his hoes, 
not to tftartle by a dtoplay of bright and strongly-contrasted 

The tints used in a single composition vary from three to five, 
which latter number they seem never to exceed The following 
are the combinations of five hues which occur : — Brown, green, 
blue, dark yellow, and pale yellow ;* orange, lilac, white, yellow, 
and olive-grecu.^ Combinations of four hues are much more 
common: e,g, red, white, yellow, and black;* deep yellow, 
brown black, white, and pale yellow ; ' lilac, yellow, white, and 
green;' yellow, blue, iihite, and brown;* and yellow, blue, 
wliite, and olive-green,*® Sometimes the tints are as few as 
three, the ground in these cases being generally of a hue used 
also in the figures. Thus we have yellow, blue, and white on a 
blue ground," and again the same colours on a yellow ground." 
We have also the simjJe combinations of white and yellow on a 
blue ground,'^ and of white and yellow on an ulive-green 

In every case there is a great harmony in the colouring. We 
find no harsh contrasts. Either the tones are all subdued, or if 
any are intense and positive, then all (or almost all) are so. 
Litense red occurs in two fragments of patterned bricks found 
by Mr. Layard.** It is balanced by intense blue, and acjompanied 
in each case by a full brown and a clear white, while in one 
case ^ it is further accompanied by a pale green, which has a 
Twy good eff*ect, A similar red appears on a design figured by 
M. Botta." \U accompaniments are white, black, and a full 
yellow. Where lilac occurs, it is balanced by its complementary 
colour, yellow,** or by yellow and orange,** and further accom- 

• Uyuvl, JfMMMMii/f, l0t SoriM, PUt« 54, fig*. IS, 13, and 14 
»4. •«. a. 

' Holt*, Mo n umttU d» JfaUM, PUto 
1&&. ftjc. S. • Ibid. fig. S. 

5&, ftff.«. 

^ Bocu, MmmmU dt NMm, PUte 
Iftft, flg». 5 and 9. 

» Ibid. PUt0 &S, figs. 8 and 5 ; aad 
Plate 54, ^g. ». 

>' Ibid. IMaCo M. flg. 1. 
•» Ibid. IMiUr 54, flg. 7. 
»« Ibid. ri«tr 54, flf. S. 
*• Ibid. Ut 8cri«a, Plate S4, flgt. 9 
and 1:1. •« Fig. 9. 

* Uyaid, MnmmtrntittmAUrtm, Plat. '■f.^wmeni dt Ximitt, vol. 11. PUta 

M. flg. ft. S. 

*• lUd. PUlt M, %i. S Md 4 i PUtc • ' ;< 5 »nd 9. *• Ibid. flg. 3. 

Chap. VI. 



panied by white. It is noticeable also that bright hues are not 
placed one against the other, but are separated by narrow bands 
of white, or brown and white. This use of white gives a great 
delicacy and refinement to the colouring, which is saved by it, 
even where the hues are the strongest, from being coarse or 

The drawing of the designs resembles that of the sculptures, 
except that the figures are generally slimmer and less muscular. 
The chief peculiarity is the strength of the outline, which is 

Human figure, on enamelled brick 
(from Nimrud). 

No. ir. 
Ram's head, on enamelled brick 
(from Nimrud). 

almost always coloured differently from the object drawn, either 
white, black, yellow, or brown. Generally it is of an uniform 
thickness (as in No. I.) ; sometimes, though rarely, it has that 
variety which characterises good drawing (as in No. II.). Occa- 
sionally there is a curious combination of the two styles, as in 
the specimen overleaf — the most interesting yet discovered — 
where the dresses of the two main figures are coarsely outlined 
in yellow, while the remainder of the design is very lightly 
sketched in a brownish black. 

The size of the designs varies considerably. Ordinarily the 
figures are small, each brick containing several ; but sometimes 



Chap. VL 

a scale has been adopted of such a size that portions of the same 
figure must have b'*en on different bricks. A foot and leg, 
brought by Mr. Layard from Nimnid, must have belonged to a 
man a foot high ; * while |mrt of a human face discovered in the 
same locality, is said to indicate, for the form to which it 
belonged, a height of three feet.' Such a size as this is, how- 
ever, very unusual. 

King and atU'iidantii, on enunu'lled brick (from NiinruJ). 

It is scarcely necessary to state that the designs on the bricks 
are entirely destitute of ehiaroecuro. The bi-owns and blacks, 
like the blues, yellows^ and reds, are simply used to express 
local colour. They are employed for hair, cvch, eyebrows, and 
sometimes fi>r bows and sandals. The other coloura are applied 

< Bif«h, AmeUmi PotUrg, vol. 1. p. 1S7. 
Itt Urtm, PkM 9i, flf . t. 

TIm ftvfment ii figured In Mr. Ujanl'* 
• Ulreh, p. \f9. 

Chap. VI. COLOUKING. 3^1 

as follows : — Yellow is used for flesh, for shafts of weapons, for 
horse-trappings, sometimes for horses, for chariots, cups, ear- 
rings, bracelets, fringes, for wing-feathers, occasionally for 
helmets, and almost always for the hoofs of horses ; blue is used 
for shields, for horses, for some parts of horse-trappings, armour, 
and dresses, for fish, and for feathers ; white is employed for the 
inner part of the eye, for the linen shirt worn by men, for the 
markings on fish and feathers, for horses, for buildings,^ for 
patterns on dresses, for rams' heads, and for portions of the tiara 
of the king. Olive-green seems to occur only as a ground ; red 
only in some parts of the royal tiara ; orange and lilac only in 
the wings of winged monsters.'* It is doubtful how far we may 
trust the colours on the bricks as accurately or approximately 
resembling the real local hues. In some cases the intention 
evidently is to be true to nature, as in the eyes and hair of men, 
in the representations of flesh, fish, shields, bows, buildings, &c. 
The yellow of horses may represent cream-colour, and the blue 
may stand for grey, as distinct from white, which seems to have 
been correctly rendered.^ The scarlet and white of the king's 
tiara is likely to be true. When, however, we find eyeballs and 
eyebrows white, while the iimer part of the eye is yellow,^ the 
blade of swords yellow,"^ and horses' hoofs blue,^ we seem to have 
proof that, sometimes at any rate, local colour was intentionally 
neglected; the artist limiting himself to certain hues, and being 
therefore obliged to render some objects untruly. Thus we 
must not conclude from the colours of dresses and horse-trap- 
pings on the bricks — which are three only, yellow, blue, and 
white — that the Assyrians used no other hues than these, even 
for the robes of their kings.^ It is far more probable that they 
employed a variety of tints in their apparel, but did not attempt 
to render that variety on the ordinary painted bricks.^ 

' Buildings are white, but the battle- 
ments and some courses in the stone are 
touched with yellow. A door in one is 
coloured blue. (Layard, Monuments, 2nd 
Series, Plate 53, fig. 5.) 

* The authorities for these statements 
are Layard's Monuments, 1st Series, 
Plates 84 and 87 ; 2nd Series, Plates 53, 
54, and 55 ; and Botta's Monument de 

^ See the two fore legs of a horse in a 
fragment figured by Mr. Layard, Monu- 
ments, 2nd Series, Plate 54, fig. 14. 

« Ibid. fig. 7. ' Ibid. fig. 12. 

8 Ibid. fig. 14. 

" Yellow, white, and a pale blue or 
green, are the only colours on the dress 
of the king figured opposite. 

' M. Botta's fragment (figured Plate 

Ninive, Plate 155. 155, fig. 2) is a unique specimen. Had 


The pij^enU nacd by the Ajwyrians seem to have derived 
their tinU entirely from mineralH. The opaque white is fuund 
to be oxide of tin ; the yellow is the antimouiate of lead, or 
Naples yellow, w ith a slight admixture of tin ; the blue is oxide 
of copper, without any cobalt ; the green is also from copj^er ; 
the brown is from iron ; and the red is a suboxide of copper.' 
The bricks were slightly baked before being painted ; they were 
then taiken from the kiln, {xiinted and enamelled on one side 
only, the flux and glazes used being composed of silicate of soda 
aide<l by oxide of lead ;* thus prepiu-ed, they were again sub- 
mitted to tJie action of fire, care being taken to place the painted 

ImpffVMion of aucivnt Assyrian cylinder, in lerpentin*. 

side upwards/ and having been thoroughly baked were then 
ready for use. 

The Assyrian intaglios on stones and gems are commonly of a 
rude description ; but occasionally they exhibit a good deal of 
delicacy, and sometimes even of grac*e. They are cut upon 
serpentine, JMper, chalcedony, cornelian, agate, sienite, qutirtx, 
JoadsUme, amaicm-stone, and lapi»-UzulL* The usual form of 

It CMlalacd tlM ffphii of tb* kiiiff m ' < This Is •vldMOMl bv Uw bridv 
««ll M hit WMt'drvH, w« ilMHild pro- | th— wly, «bw« «• eta oltm w* ibal 
Imv* ImtbI Um rml hwm of Um ' Iht mtllod wmmI ho* run oT«r tad 

trl«lil«l dowa tlM Mm, (8m Blrol^ 


mnh, Amcimd Pct»0r^, v«L L |k ItS ; Amimi Vutttr^, vol 1. I M.) 
lAvafi|«A'tefiMA«WJt«AyAMH&ISS,Mlo. * Kind's <^«c»nil ii*m»^ pit. lt7-lSt 

Chap. VI. 



Assyrian seals. 

the stone is cylindrical ; the sides, however, being either slightly 
convex or slightly concave, most frequently the latter. The 
cylinder is always perforated in the direction of its axis. 
Besides this ordinary form, a few gems, shaped like the Greek, 
that is, either round or oval, 
have been found ; and nu- 
merous impressions from 
such gems on sealing-clay 
shew that they must have 
been tolerably common.^ 
'^rhe subjects which occur 
are mostly the same as 
those on the sculptures — 
warriors pursuing their foes, 
hunters in full chase, the 
king slaying a lion, winged 
bulls before the sacred tree, 
acts of worship and other 
religious or mythological 
scenes. There appears to 
have been a gradual im- 
provement in the workman- 
ship from the earliest period 
to the time of Sennacherib, 
when the art culminates. 
A cylinder found in the 
ruins of Sennacherib's palace 
at Koyunjik, which is be- 
lieved with reason to have 
been his signet,^ is scarcely 
surpassed in delicacy of exe- 
cution by any intaglio of 

the Greeks. The design has a good deal of the usual stiffness, 
though even here something may be said for the ibex or wild- 
goat, which stands upon the lotus flower to the left ; but the 

Assyrian cylinder, with the Fish-God. 

Royal cylinder of Sennacherib. 

" See jNIr. Layard's Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd Series, Plate 69, No. 1 to 32. 
^ Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 160 ; King, Ancient Gems, p. 129. 



Chap. VL 

special excellcnco of the gem ix in the finenen and minutenesi 
of its execution. The intaglio is not very deep ; but all the 
details are beautifully sliarp and distinct, while they are on so 
small a scale that it requires a magnifying glass to distinguish 
them. The material of the cylinder is translucent green felspar, 
or amaion stone, one of the hardest substances known to the 

The fictile art of the Assyrians in its higher branches, as 
employed for directly artistic puri)ose8, has been already con- 
sidered ; but a few pages may be now devoted to the humbler 
divi.<ions of the subject, where the useful preponderates over the 
ornamental. The jx)ttery of Assyria bears a general resem- 
blance in shape, form, and use, to that of Egypt ; but still it 
has certain specific differences. According to Mr. J3irch, it is, 
generally speaking, "finer in its paste, brighter in its colour, 
employed in thinner masses, and for purposes not knoi^n in 
Egypt*** Abundant and excellent clay is furnished by the 
valley of the Tigris, more especially by those parts of it wiiich 
are subject to the annual inundation. The chief employment of 
this material by the Assyrians was for bricks, which were either 
simply dried in the sun, or exposed to the action of tire in a kiln. 
In this latter case they seem to have been uniformly slack- 
baked; they are light for their size, and are of a pale-red 
colour.* The clay of which the bricks were composed was mixed 
with stubble or vegetable fibre, for the purpose of holding it 
together — a practice common to the Assyrians with the Egyp- 
tians* and the Babylonians.' This fibre still ap|X)ars in the sun- 
dried bricks, but has been destroyed by the heat of the kiln in 
the case of the baked bricks, leaving behind it, however, in the 
clay trac<is of the stalks or stems. The size and shape of the 
bricks vary. They are most commonly square, or nearly so; 
but occasionally the shajK) more resembles that of the ancient 
E^ptian and modern English brick,^ the width being about 

* Kli^. Inir««lurtl<m, p. smivl. vol. i. up. li. IS. HtBM Ibi 

* Amftmtt J'at0r^, vol L pw 10&. of ih« UrmditM wbM Umv n 

* tU4. r, lOS. Mrmw for U»elr brldu" (Eft. 
" WilfciiMwi, !• lh» autbot^t //«radbl««, • Uirt-H. p. ISS. 

VlL tt. |k •!»{ mnk, Amaitmt i^wUtrp, • IbtU. p. 13, awl p. 109. 

V. 7-18). 


half the length, and the thickness half or two-thirds of the width. 
The greatest size to which the square bricks attain is a length 
and width of about two feet.^ From this maximum they descend 
by manifold gradations to a minimum of one foot. The oblong 
bricks are smaller ; they seldom much exceed a foot in length, 
and in width vary from six to seven and a half inches. What- 
ever the shape and size of the bricks, their thickness is nearly 
uniform, the thinnest being as much as three inches in thick- 
ness, and the tliickest not more than four inches or four and a 
half. Each brick was made in a wooden frame or mould.''' Most 
of the baked bricks were inscribed, not however like the 
Chalda^an,® the Egyptian,^ and the Babylonian,'^ with an inscrip- 
tion in a small square or oval depression near the centre of one 
of the broad faces, but with one which either covered the whole 
of one such face, or else ran along the edge. It is uncertain 
whether the inscription was stamped upon the bricks by a single 
impression, or whether it was inscribed by the potter with a 
triangular style. Mr. Birch thinks the former was the means 
used, " as the trouble of writing upon each brick would have 
been endless." ^ Mr. Layard, however, is of a different opinion.^ 
In speaking of the Assyrian writing, some mention has been 
made of the terra-cotta cylinders and tablets, which in Assyria 
replaced the parchment and papyrus of other nations, being the 
most ordinary writing material in use through the country.^ 
The purity and fineness of the material thus employed is very 
remarkable, as well as its strength, of which advantage was 
taken to make the cylinders hollow, and thus at once to render 
them cheaper and more portable. The terra-cotta of the 
cylinders and tablets is sometimes unglazed ; sometimes the 
natural surface has been covered with a " vitreous silicious glaze 
or white coating."'' The colour varies, being sometimes a bright 
polished brown, sometimes a pale yellow, sometimes pink, and 

* Twenty-two inches, according to 
Mr. Birch (p. 109). 

^ The longest are 14} inches. (See 
Ancient Potter 1/, vol. i. p. 108.) 

1st Series, vol. ii. p. 97. 

'° Birch, p. 134; Layard, Nineveh'and 

its Remains, vol. ii. p. 187. 

' Birch, p. 109. , ' Layard, 1. s. c. 

^ Ibid. p. 107. " Supra, p. 71. j •'' Supra, pp. 263-266. 

» Birch, Ancient Pottery, vol. i. pp. 1 ■• Birch, ^Ticteni Po^fery, vol. i. p. 113. 

15-18; Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, \ 

VOL. I. 2 C 



Ceap. VI. 

soinetimes a vcn* dark tint, nearly bla^k.* The most umial 
colour however lor cylinders is pale yellow, and for tablets light 

Assyrian vtses, amphone, tec. (after Birch). 

red or pink. There is no doubt that in both tliese cases the 
characters were impressed separately 
by the han^l, a small metal style or 
rod being used for the purj>06e. 

Terra-cotta yessels, glazed and un- 
plazed, were in common use among 
the Assyrians, for drinking and other 
domestic purjwses. They comprised 
vast\<, lamps, jugs, amplu)ra}, saucers, 
jars, t^'c. The material of the vessels 
is fine, though generally rather yellow 
in tone.* The shajKis present no great 
novelty, being for the most |mrt such 
as are found lx)th in the old Chaldiean 
tombs,^ and in ordinary Roman sepul- 
chres.* Among the roost elegant are 
the funereal (?) urns discovered by 
UB^nmi «m, tnm Kboiwted. 3, j^^^^ ^^ Khorsabad, which are egg. 

ihtped, with a small opening at top, a short and very soanty 

115. • ItilO. iv \tO. ' Huium, p|K 91. 99. 

^vol.L^ll5. • ibi 

* BIreh u. 121 

Chap. VI. 



pedestal, and two raised rings, one rather delicately chased, by 
way of ornament. Another graceful form is that of the large 

Nestorian and Arab workmen, with jar discovered at Nimrud. 

jars uncovered at Nimrud (see above), of which Mr. Layard 
gives a representation.^ Still more taste- 
ful are some of the examples which occur 
upon the bas-reliefs, and seemingly repre- 
sent earthen vases. Among these may 
be particularised a lustral ewer resting in 
a stand supported by bulls' feet, which 
appears in front of a temple at Khorsabad,^ 
and a wine vase (see overleaf) of ample dimensions, which 

Lustral ewer, from a bas- 
relief, Khorsabad. 

* Nin. and Bab. p. 574. 

See Botta's Monurnent de Ninive, vol. ii. Plates 141 and 162. 

2 c 2 



Chap. VI. 

18 found in a banquet scene at iu^- ntone place.' Some of the 
lamps are also graceful enough, and aeem to be the prototypes 
out of which were developed the more elaborate productions of 

the Greeks. Others are more 
simple, being without orna- 
ment of any kind, and nearly 
resembling a modern teapot 
(see No. IV.). The glazed 
pottery is, for the most part, 
tastefully coloured. An am- 
phora, with twisted arms, 
found at Nimrud (see oppo- 
site), is of two colours, a 
warm yellow, and a cold 
bluish green. The green 
predominates in the upper, 
the yellow in the under por- 
tion ; but there is a certain 
amount of blending or mot- 
tling in the mid-region, which has a very pleasant effect A 
similarly mottled character is presented by two other amphor» 
from the same place, where the general hue is a yellow which 

WMn«> v»*^, from a bM-relief, KhorMbad. 


AMjrrian rlayUin|i 


dt iTMw, vol U. PUu 76 : Md Mt ToL V. ^ laa 

Chap. VI. 



varies in intensity, and the mottling is with a violet blue. In 
some cases the colours are not blended, but sharply defined by 
lines, as in a curious spouted 
cup figured by Mr. Layard, and 
in several fragmentary speci- 
mens.'* Painted patterns are 
not uncommon upon the glazed 
pottery, though upon the un- 
glazed they are scarcely ever 
found. The most usual colours 
are blue, yellow, and white; 
brown, purple, and lilac have 
been met with occasionally. 
These colours are thought to 
be derived chiefly from metallic 
oxides, over which was laid as a 
glazing a vitreous silicated sub- 
stance.* On the whole porcelain 
of this fine kind is rare in the Assyrian remains, and must be 
regarded as a material that was precious and used by few. 

Assyrian glass is among the most beautiful of the objects 
which have been exhumed. M. Botta compared it to certain 

Amphora, with twisted arms (Nimrud). 

Assyrian glass bottles and bowl (after Layard). 

fabrics of Venice and Bohemia,^ into which a number of different 
colours are artificially introduced. But a careful analysis has 
shown that the lovely prismatic hues which delight us in the 
Assyrian specimens, varying under different lights with all the 

* See I^ayard's Monuments, 1st Series, Plate 85. 
* Birch, Ancient Fottery, vol. i. p. 130. ^ Monument de J\lnive, vol. v. p. 173. 

390 TffK RECOXDMOVAVrifV Cuat. VI. 

delicacy and brilliuui y of the o|)aI, uro due, not to art, but to 
the wonder-working hand of time, which, as it destroys the 
fftfafie, oompaanonately invests it with additional grace and 
beauty. Anyrian glass was cither transparent, or stained with 
a tingle oniform colour^ It was composed in the usual way, 
by a mixture of sand or silex with alkalis, and, like the 
Egyptian,* appears to have been finit rudely fashioned into 
shape by the blow-pipe. It was then more carefully shaped, 
and, where necessary, hollowed out by a turning machine, the 

marks of wliich are sometimes still 

visible." The principal specimens 

which have been discovered are small 

^^^^ bottles and bowls, the former not 

H^ j^^K^T more than three or four inches high, 

*» !3I^^1 the latter from four to five inches in 

^ ^^i^^H diameter. The vessels are occasion- 

mt ^ ^SKM ^^h inscribed with the name of a king, 

^^ i^iiS^^W ,^g jg ii^Q j.ugy in i\^Q famous vase of 

Sargon found by Mr. I^iyard at Nim- 
rud which is here figured This is the 

GIam raae, bvariug the name of i. . i « . . 

fiargoii, from Nimrud earliest kiiown 8}>e<imen oUran»parent 

(after Layani). glass, wiiich is not fouud in Egypt until 

the time of the Psammetichi. The Assyrians used also opaque 
glUB, which they coloured, sometimes retl, with the suboxide 
of copper, sometimes white, sometimes of other hues. They 
teem not to have been able to form masses of glass of any 
considerable size; and thus tlie employment of the material 
mutt hare been limited to a few ornamental, rather than useful, 
pnrpoaea. A curious 8{)ecimen is that of a pi]>e or tu)>e, honey- 
combed externally, which Mr. Layard exhumed at Koyunjik, 
and of which the cut un next page is a rough representation. 
An objttct found at Niinnul, in close connection with aevend 

' An eUboniio •'wouni of it. ' to that work by Sir David 
irbvrvby ibm A«)rriaa fla« hm- 

fmitiMy tlMompamd, mmd of tU .:.. .^ ■"•« Amcifni KgyyUm*, lal 

li by tlM dMonnoiiiioo. will b* I 8eri< |>|kM,M. 

Ib Mr. Uyard't A.n^oA <nmI • I m«m4 «Nrf Ai^^ ^ 197. 

Chap. VI. 



glass vessels,^ is of a character sufficiently similar to render its 
introduction in this place not inappropriate. This is a lens 
composed of rock crystal, about an inch 
and a half in diameter, and nearly an 
inch thick, having one plane and one 
convex surface, and somewhat rudely 
shaped and polished, which, however, 
gives a tolerably distinct focus at the 
distance of 4^ inches from the plane 
side, and which may have been used 
either as a magnifying glass or to con- 
centrate the rays of the sun. The form 
is slightly oval, the longest diameter 
being 1^^ inch, the shortest 1^% inch. 
The thickness is not uniform, but 
greater on one side than on the other. 
The plane surface is ill-polished and 
scratched, the convex one, not polished 
on a concave spherical disc, but fa- 
shioned on a lapidary's wheel, or by 
some method equally rude.^ As a 
burning glass the lens has no great 
power; but it magnifies fairly, and 
may have been of great use to those 
who inscribed, or to those who sought to decipher, the royal 
memoirs.^ It is the only object of the kind that has been found 
among the remains of antiquity, though it cannot be doubted 
that lenses were known and were used as burning-glasses by 
the Greeks.* 

Some examples have been already given illustrating the 
tasteful ornamentation of Assyrian furniture. It consisted, so 
far as we know, of tables, chairs, couches, high stools, footstools. 

Fragments of hollow tubes, in 

glass, from Koyunjik 

(after Layard). 

* Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 197. 
- See the description furnished to Mr. 

Layard by Sir David Brewster. (^Nineoeh 
and Bab// Ion, p. 197, note.) 
' Vide supra, p. 263. 

* This is evident from Aristophanes 
(^Nub. 746-749), where Strepsiades pro- 

poses to obliterate his debts from the 
waxen tablets on which they are in- 
scribed by means of " that transimrent 
stone wherewith fires are lighted." (t^i^ 
XiOovT^v hiaipavri, acp' ijs ih irvp Stttouo-j.) 
Compare also Theophrast. De f<jne, 73. 



Crap. VL 

and stands witli shelves to hold the articles needed for domestic 
parposes. As the objects themselves have in all cases ceased 


No. I. No. 2. >o. 3. 

Ordinary Awyrian uble«, from th« bM-relieft. 

to exist, leaving behind them only a few fragments, it is 

necessary to have recourse to 
the bas-reliefs for such notices 
as may be thence derived of 
their construction and cha- 
racter. In these representa- 
tions the most ordinary form 
of table is one in which the 
principle of our campstools 
seems to be adopte<l, the legs 
crossing each other as in tlie 
woodcuts above. Only two 
legs are represented, but we 
must undoubtedly regard 
these two as concealing two 
others of the same kind at 
the opposite end of the table. 
The legM ordinarily terminate 
in the feet of animals, some- 
time.s of bulls but more com- 
monly of hontes. Sometimes 
bt*tween the two legs wo sea 
a H|>ecies of central pillar, 
which, however, is not trm^eable 
Ik*1ow the |>oint where the legpi 

crofs oneanotlKT 'P- pillnr itiiolf is either twi«tc<l '- p^m!m 

Ha IL Aa^rUn Ublet, fVom bM-rdieft 

Xa IIL Tabu, ortuiiii«oli«l with ranu* 



(see No. 3, on last page). Another form of table, less often 
met with, but simpler, closely resembles the common table of 

No. IV. Ornamented table (Khorsabad). 

Three-legged table (Koyunjik). 

the moderns. It has merely the necessary flat top, with per- 
pendicular legs at the corners. The skill of the cabinet-makers 
enabled them to dispense in most 
instances with cross-bars (see No. 
I.), which are, however, some- 
times seen (see No. II., No. III., 
and No. IV.), uniting the legs of 
this kind of tables. The corners 
are often ornamented with lions' 
or rams' heads, and the feet are 
frequently in imitation of some 
animal form (see No. III. and 
No. IV.). Occasionally we find a 
representation of a three-legged 
table, as the above specimen, which 
is from a relief at Koyunjik. The 
height of tables appears to have 
been greater than with ourselves ; 
the lowest reach nearly to a man's 
middle ; the highest are level 
with the upper part of the chest. 
Assyrian thrones and chairs 
were very elaborate. The throne 
of Sennacherib exhibited on its 
sides and arms three rows of 
carved figures, one above another, supporting the bars with 

Sennacherib on his throne (Koyunjik). 




their handa Tlie ban, t)ie arms, and the back, were patterned. 
The legs ended in a pine-shaped ornament, very common in 

Assyrian funiiture. Over 

the back was thrown an em- 
broidered cloth, fringed at 
the end, which hung down 
nearly tt> the floor. A throne 
of Sargou 8 ^tis adorned on 
its sides with three human 
figures, aj)|)arently repre- 
sentations of the king, below 
which was the war-horse of 
the monarch, caparisoned as 
for battle.* Another tlirone 
of the same monarch s had 
two large and four small 
figures of men at the side, 
while the back was sup- 
ported on either side by a human figure of 8uj)erior dimensions.' 
The use of chairs with high backs, like these, was apjMirently 

confined to the monarchs. 
Persons of less exalted rank 
were content to sit on seats 
which were either stools, or 
chairs, with a low back level 
with the arms." 

Seat8 ot this kind, whether 
thrones or chairs, were no 
doubt constructed mainly 
of wood. The ornamental 
work may, however, have 
been of bronze, either cast 
into the necessary shape, or 
The animal heads at the 

Arm-chair or throne (Khorsabad). 

AaiyrUn onwmi>nu<d aMt (KhonalMd). 

wrought inU* it i>) the hammer. 

* Botlm Mtmtmmd dt Shkt, voL I. 

• IbkL Ptal* 18. 

^ U Um wn\m tnm which Ihk r»pr»> 

•raUlkm b Ukra the flfwrr- ••ii«««i 
•Ml(«d ill turh ft way •« v«> 
that the actual «c«t waa lev« i 
dotUd line <i 6. 

Chap. VI. 




ends of arms seem to have fallen under the latter description.® 
In some cases, ivory was among the materials used : it has been 
found in the legs of a throne at Koyunjik,^ and may not impro- 
bably have entered into the ornamentation of the best furniture 
very much more generally. 

The couches which we find represented upon the sculptures 
are of a simple character. The 
body is flat, not curved; the 
legs are commonly plain, and 
fastened to each other by a 
cross-bar, sometimes termicat- 
ing in the favourite pine-shaped 
ornament. One end only is 
raised, and this usually curves 
inward nearly in a semicircle. 
The couches are decidedly lower than the Egyptian ; ^° and do 
not, like them, require a stool or steps in order to ascend them. 

Stools, however, are used with the chairs or thrones of which 
mention was made above — lofty seats, where such a support for 
the sitter's feet was imperatively required. They are sometimes 

Assyrian couch, from a bas-relief, 

No. I. 

No. II. 
Assyrian footstools (Koyunjik). 

No. 111. 

plain at the sides, and merely cut en chevron at the base ; some- 
nmes highly ornamented, terminating in lions' feet supported 
on cones, in the same ^ (or in volutes) supported on balls, and 
otherwise adorned with volutes, lion castings, and the like. 
The most elaborate specimen is the stool (No. III.) which 
supports the feet of Asshur-bani-pal's queen on a relief brought 
from the North Palace at Koyunjik, and now in the National 

® Layard, Nineveh end Babylon, p. 199. 

» Ibid. p. 198. 

** Wilkinson, Ancient Egt/pti..ns, 1st 

Series, vol. ii. p. 201. 

^ See the woodcut on p. 393. 



Chap. VL 

Collection. Here the appor corners exhiljit the favourite gra- 
dineSy guarding and keeping in place an embroidered cushion ; 
the legs are ornamented with rosettes and with horizontal 
mouldings ; they are oonnected together by two bare, the lower 
one adorned with a number of double volutes, and the upper 
one with two lions standing back to back ; the stool stands 
on balls, surmounted first by a double moulding, and then by 

Stands with shelves often terminate, like other articles of 
furniture, in animals' feet, most com- 
monly lions*, as in the accompany- 
ing specimens. 

Of the embroidered robes and dra- 
peries of the Assyrians, as of their 
furniture, we can judge only by the 
representations made of them U|X)n 
the bas-reliefs. The delicate texture 
of such fabrics has prevented them 
from descending to our day even in 
the most tattered condition ; and the 
ancient testimonies on the subject are for the most part too remote 
from the times of the Assyrians to be of much value.* EzekieFs 
notici;* is the only one which comes within such a period of 
Assyria's fall as to make it an important testimony, and even from 
this we cannot gatlier much that goes beyond the evidence of the 
sculptures. The sculptures show us that robes and draperies 

Stand* for jars. 

* Tb* Qntk and Bonaa idea* on the 
•abjMt of the Aaiyriaa dr«w were pro- 
bably derived from CtcaUu, at lea«t 
mainly. Ua memt to have aerribed to 
Manlaiuipeltte, aad aven to Semiramb, 
jcwrwriita of graat mafniSeenee and of 
ddkaie fabrie. (Sse DIod. Ble. IL 6, f 6, 
St»fl,aadt7,fS.) But be did not, m 
fcr at we know, dUtfiaetly tpeak of tbeee 
ipinneaia ae cmbiokktad. It nmalacd 
ftir the later Ramaa poeCt to detannhM 
that the culmir af tba robet wae purple, 
aad lluii fhrir 

UmwIUm &I1V. Ml, t/t. 

'Du-ec rare AMyrian garmcata were lald 
to have beep adopted by the M"i« •n.l 
afterwards by the Peniaaa. 
ii. 6, $ G.) They were proba 
which waa produced larKely iu A 
(Plln. //. y.xl. 2S). whence it «n< 
Had to Roma and worn both by men 
aad wornM (\K sL 18). 

• Eaek. uvil. ta, t4: **llafaa awl 
Canneh and Edea, the merebaala of 
Hheba, A»$J>mr, and Chitmad, were thy 
merrhanta. Thr«e wrre ihy mere' 
in alt aorta of thiufta, in blur rluttx 
broldervd work nDi|n', and in eixvia oi 
rich apparel, bound with ctmi* and RMHla 
of cedar, aaaong thy mercbaadiee.** 

Chap. VI. 



of all kinds were almost always more or less patterned; and 
this patterning, which is generally of an extremely elaborate 
kind, it is reasonable to conclude was the work of the needle. 
Sometimes the ornamentation is confined to certain portions of 
garments, as to the ends of sleeves and the bottoms of robes, or 
tunics ; at others it is extended over the whole dress. This is 
more particularly the case with the garments of the kings, 
which are of a magnificence difficult to describe, or to represent 
within a narrow compass. One or two specimens, however, 
may be given almost at random, indicating different styles of 

Royal embroidered dresses (Nimrud). 

ornamentation usual in the royal apparel. Other examples 
will be seen in the many illustrations throughout this volume 
where the king is represented.* It is remarkable that the 
earliest representations exhibit the most elaborate types of all, 
after which a reaction seems to set in — simplicity is affected — 
which, however, is gradually trenched upon, until at last a 
magnificence is reached little short of that which prevailed in 
the age of the first monuments. The draperies of Asshur- 
izir-pal in the. north-west palace at Nimrud, are at once 

* As on pp. 290, 292, 393, &c. of this volume. 




more minutely laboured and more tasteful than tlioee of any 
later time. Besides elegant but unmeaning patterns, they 
exhibit human and animal forms, sacred trees, sphinxes, 
griffins, winged horses, and occasionally bull-hunts and lion- 
hunts. The upper part of this king's dress is in one instance 
nlniust covered with figures, whicli range themselves round 
a circnilar breast ornament, whereof the cut opposite is a repre- 
Si'iitation. LL»ewhere his ap{)urel is less superb, and indeed 
it presents almost every degree of richness, from the wonderful 
embroidery of the rube just mentioned to absolute plainness, in 

Kiiibrtiidery on a royal dreta (Nimrud). 

the celebrated picture of the lion-hunt.^ With Sargon, the 
n«xt king who has left many monuments, the case is remark* 
ubly different. Sargon is represented always in tlie same dre« 
— a long fringed robe, embroidered simply with rosettes, which 
are spread somewhat scantily over its whole surface. 8ennu- 
dierib's apparel is nearly of the same kind, ur, if anything, 
richer, though sometimes the rosettes are omitted.' His grand- 
ton, Asshur-bani-pal, also affects the rosette ornament, but 
reverts alike to the taste and the elaboration of the early 
kings. He wears a breast ornament containing human figures. 

* Ivpftt, fk S44. j omiMion wKiy ba tnm mon 

* la* Uyard, Mam»me»tM, lat BariM, I la Um artUt 
riala 77 ; tad •arkt, PUto 41. Tha 


around whicli are ranged a numler of minute and elaborate 

To this account of the arts, mimetic and other, in which the 
Assyrians appear to have excelled, it might be expected that 

Circular breast ornament on a royal robe (Nimrud). 

there should be added a sketch of their scientific knowledge. 
On this subject, however, so little is at present known, while 
so much may possibly become known within a short time, that 

400 THE SEroxD MovATirm*. pmai. rr. 

it seems best to omit it, or to touch it only in the lightest and 
most cursory manner. When the numerous tablets now in the 
British Museum shall have been deciphered, studied, and trans- 
lated, it will probably l)e found that they contain a tolerably 
full indiciition of what Assyrian science really was ; and it 
will then be seen how far it was real and valuable, in what 
respects mistaken and illusory. At present this mine is almost 
unworked, nothing more having been ascertained than that 
the subjects whereof the tables treat are various, and their 
apparent value very different. Comparative philology seems 
to have been largely studied, and the works upon it exhibit 
great care and diligence. Chronology is evidently much valued, 
and very exact records are kept whereby the lapse of time can 
even now be accurately measured. Geograpliy and history 
have each an important place in Assyrian learning; while 
astronomy and mythology occupy at least as great a share of 
attention. The astronomical observations recorded are thought 
to be frequently inaccumte, as might be expected when there 
were no instruments, or none of any great value. ^lythology 
b a very favourite subject, and appears to be treated most 
fully ; but hitherto cuneiform scholars have scarcely penetrated 
below the surface of the mythological tablets, bat!led by the 
obscurity of the subject and the diflBculty of the dialect in 
which they are written.'' 

On one point alone, belonging to the domain of science, 
do the Assyrian representations of their life enable us to 
comprehend, at least to some extent, their attiiinments. The 
degree of knowledge which this people possessed on the subject 
of practical mechanics is illustrated with tolerable fulness in 
the bas-reliefs, more especially in the imjK)rtant series dis- 
covered at Koyunjik, where the tran8jK)rt ol the colossal bulls 
from the quarry to the jwilace gateways is represented in the 
most elaborate detail.* The very fact that tljey were able to 

' TIm mjihiAot(\cm\ tablet* are always and AMyriant " in the author's /r«r»- 
itt the Akkad or oUl (tiaUlsBan UnKiiair. ' d'tu*, vol. i. p. 5S&, note '.) 

•ad In very few in«t«neni an* f^iniUhM i * ThU m-rlvm !■ cxrvllfntly i 

•vcn with a gUiM or riplanatiun in As* | In Mr. I^yani's J/uNuMtrit/ii, Snd Strk*, 

•yrlao. (8s» Sir II. IliiwIinMin'i h'jumy ' PlatM 10 to 17. 

**€>• Um IMIfioo of Ute iiab>luuians 


transport masses of stone, many tons in weight, over a con- 
siderable space of ground, and to place them on the summit 
of artificial platforms from thirty to eighty (or ninety) feet 
high, would alone indicate considerable mechanical knowledge. 
The further fact, now made clear from the bas-reliefs, that they 
wrought all the elaborate carving of the colossi before they 
proceeded to raise them or put them in place,^ is an additional 
argument of their skill, since it shows that they had no fear 
of any accident happening in the transport. It appears from 
the representations that they placed their colossus in a standing 
posture, not on a truck or waggon of any kind, but on a huge 
wooden sledge, shaped nearly like a boat, casing it with an 
openwork of spars or beams, which crossed each other at right 
angles, and were made perfectly tight by means of wedges.^ 
To avert the great danger of the mass toppling over sideways, 
ropes were attached to the top of the casing, at the point 
where the beams crossed one another, and were held taut by 
two parties of labourers, one on either side of the statue. 
Besides these, wooden forks or props were applied on either side 
to the second set of horizontal cross-beams, held also by men, 
whose business it would be to resist the least inclination of the 
huge stone to lean to one side more than to the other. The 
front of the sledge on which the colossus stood was curved 
gently upwards, to facilitate its sliding along the ground, and 
to enable it to rise with readiness upon the rollers, which were 
continually placed before it by labourers just in front, while 
others following behind gathered them up when the bulky mass 
had passed over them. The motive power was applied in front 
by four gangs of men who held on to four large cables, at 
which they pulled by means of small ropes or straps fastened 
to them, and passed under one shoulder and over the other, 
an arrangement which enabled them to pull by weight 

° Mr. Layard first imagined that the 
contrary was the case {Aineveh and its 
Remains, vol. ii. p. 318); but his Ko- 
yunjik discoveries convinced him of his 
error {Nineveh and Bahi/lon, pp. 105, 106). 
'■ * The nineteenth century could make 

VOL. I. 2d 

no improvement upon this. Mr. Layard 
tells us that ^^ precisely tlie same frame- 
work was used for moving the great 
sculptures now in the British Museum." 
(^Nineveh and Babylon, p. 112, note.) 

Chap. VI. 



Labourer employed in drawing 
colossal bull (Koyunjik). 

as much as by muscular strength, as the annexed figures will 
plainly show. The cables appear to have been of great strength, 
and are fastened carefully to four 
strong projecting pins: two near 
the front, two at the back part of 
the sledge, by a knot so tied that it 
would be sure not to slip. Finally, 
as in spite of the rollers, whose use 
in diminishing friction, and so fa- 
cilitating progress, was evidently 
well understood, and in spite of the 
amount of force applied in front, it 
would have been difficult to give 
the first impetus to so great a mass, 

a lever was skilfully applied behind to raise the hind part of the 
sledge slightly, and so propel it forward, while to secure a sound 
and firm fulcrum, wedges of wood 
were inserted between the lever and 
the ground. The greater power of a 
lever at a distance from the fulcrum 
being known, ropes were attached 
to its upper end, which could not 
otherwise have been reached, and 
the lever was worked by means of 

them. Attachment of rope to sledge, on 

which the bull was placed for 
VVe have thus unimpeachable transport (Koyunjik). 

evidence as to the mode whereby 

the conveyance of huge blocks of stone along level ground 
was effected. But it may be further asked, how were the 
blocks raised up to the elevation at which we find them 
placed ? Upon this point there is no direct evidence ; but the 
probability is that they were drawn up inclined ways, sloping 
gently from the natural ground to the top of the platforms. 
The Assyrians were familiar with inclined ways,^ which they 
used almost always in their attacks on walled places, and which 

' The "banks" of Scripture (2 Kings xix. 32 ; Is. xxvii. 33). 

2 D 2 



Chap. VI. 

in many cases thej constniototl eithor of brick or stone' The 
Egyptians certainlj employed them for the elevation of large 

blocks;* and prol>ably in 
the earlier times most 
nations who affected mas- 
sive architecture had re- 
course to the same simplo 
but aneconomi(*al plan.^ 
The crane and pulley 
were applied to this pur- 
pose later. In the As- 
syrian sculptures we find 
no application of either 
to building, and no in- 
stance at all of the two 
in combination. Still each 
appears on the bas-reliefs 
separately — the crane em- 
ployed for drawing water 
from the rivers and spread- 
ing it over the lands,* the 
pulley for lowering and 
raising the bucket in 

Part of a l*»-relief, showing a pulley and a 

warrior cutting a bucket from the rope 

(after Layard). 

We must conclude from these facts that the Assyrians had 
made considerable advances in mechanical knowledge, and were, 
in fact, acquainted, more or less, >\ith most of the contrivances 
whereby heavy weights have commonly been moved and raised 
among the civilized nations of Europe. We have also evidence 
of their skill in the mechanical processes of shaping pottery 

• 8m Mr. Uyanl's Momtmcnti, Snd 
••rici, Platat 18 and 21. 

* TIm fraat •loom of which the pyra- 
■ilda war* built were certainly raised 
from the alluvial plain lo the rocky 
pUtfttrm on whidi thay atnad In thia 
way. (Herod. H IJ*- <yiaimre Wil- 
klnaon In tlie a kdus, vol. 11. 

p. too, note •.) 

deelarae tliat 

Um pyimmida Ihamialwai wart buUl by 

the halp of mowida (I. 6S, § 6). 
bowarar, la improbabU. 

• It ii the moat 
that tlie croM-ttonce at 



BiMid in Ui 
BOW And Ihcm by menna of Inelined 
planet afterwarda elenred away. 
* 0aa tha raprat ant ntton, p^ 215. 

Chap. VI. 



and glass, of casting and embossing metals, and of cutting 
intaglios upon hard stones J Thus it was not merely in the 
ruder and coarser, but likewise in the more delicate processes, 
that they excelled. The secrets of metallurgy, of dyeing, 
enamelling, inlaying, glass-blowing, as well as most of the ordi- 
nary manufacturing processes, were known to them. In all the 
common arts and appliances of life, they must be pronounced 
at least on a par with the Egyptians, while in taste they 
greatly exceeded, not that nation only, but all the Orientals. 
Their " high art " is no doubt much inferior to that of Greece ; 
but it has real merit, and is most remarkable, considering the 
time when it was produced. It has grandeur, dignity, boldness, 
strength, and sometimes even freedom and delicacy ; it is honest 
and painstaking, unsparing of labour, and always anxious for 
truth. Above all, it is not lifeless and stationary, like the art 
of the Egyptians and the Chinese, but progressive and aiming 
at improvement.^ To judge by the advance over previous 
works which we observe in the sculptures of the son of Esar- 
haddon, it would seem that if Assyria had not been assailed by 
barbaric enemies about his time, she might have anticipated by 
above a century the finished excellence of the Greeks. 

" It must be remembered that the 
Assyrians cut not merely the softer ma- 
terials, as serpentine and alabaster, but 
the gems known technically as " hard 
stones" — agate, jasper, quartz, sienite, 

amazon stone, and the like. (See King's 
Ancient Gems, p. 127.) 

* See the summary on this subject in 
the author's Herodotus, vol. i. ; Essay vii. 



Chap. VII. 



** Wboee arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent ; their horses* hoofs 
shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind." — Isaiah ▼. 28. 

In reyiewing, so far as our materials permit, the manners and 
customs of the Assyrians, it will be convenient to consider sepa- 
rately their warlike and their peaceful usages. The sculptures 
furnish very full illustration of the former, while on the latter 
they throw light far more sparingly. 

The Assyrians fought in chariots, on horseback, and on foot* 
Like most ancient nations, as the Egyptians,^ the Greeks in the 
heroic times,* the Canaanites,^ the Syrians,* the Jews and 
Israelites,* the Persians,' the Gauls,' the Britons," and many 
others,' the Assyrians preferred the chariot as most honourable, 
and probably as most safe. The king invariably went out to 
war in a chariot, and always fought from it, excepting at the 
siege of a town, when he occasionally dismounted and shot his 
arrows on foot The chief state-officers and other personages of 
high rank followed the same practice. Inferior persons served 
either as cavalry, or as foot-soldiers. 

The Assyrian war-chariot is thought to have been made of 
wooA*® Like the Greek and the Egyptian, it ap|)ears to have 
been mounted from behind, where it was completely open, or 

• 0«B. xlL is ; Ex. aiT. 7-28 ; S K. 
srili. U; Jer. zItL 9; kc. Compare 
WilkioKHi, Amsitni Egyptians, lit Series, 
vol. i. pp. SS5 et •eqq. 

' Horn. //. HI. S9; It. SM, Ike. Hes. 
Scut, litre. ao«-309; JBseh. Styt, o. TA, 
\M, 191, Ice. 

• Josh. svIL 18: Jttdg. 1. 19 and It. S. 
« Stea.a. 18: 2 K. vi. U, 15. 

• llUk vUl. 11, 12: 1 K.W. 96; a. 
t8j stL9; xxII. 84, lie. 

• Band. vll. 40 : JEseh. Ptfra 86 ; 
L 8, f 10; Arr. £sp, AUjt, 

iLll; m. 11. 

' Cm. De Bell. Oall. ir. 88. 

• Tacit. Aiiric. § 12, and $ 35. ^ 

• As the Philistine* (1 Sam. xiil. 5), 
theHittitesCl K. x. 2U ; 2 K. vii. 6), 
the Stttiaiiians or Klamitc* (It. xxii. 6^ 
the Lydiani {ArJach. I'tr$. 4&-48), the 
wild African tribe* ncarCvrrne (Herod. 
Iv. 18<J; vii. 86), and the Indian* of the 
Punjab region (ibid. ; and Arrian, £jp. 
Ahjt. r. 15). 

>• Uyard, KiMV^K and ito it#«Mte«, 
VOL IL p. 349. 

Chap. VII. 



closed only by means of a shield, which (as it seems) could be 
hung across the aperture. It was completely panelled at the 
sides, and often highly ornamented, as will be seen from the 
various illustrations given in this chapter. The wheels were 
two in number, and were 
placed far back, at or very 
near the extreme end of 
the body, so that the weight 
pressed considerably upon 
the pole, as was the case 
also in Egypt." They had 
remarkably broad felloes, 
thin and delicate spokes, 
and small or moderate- 
sized axles. The number of the spokes was either six or eight. 
The felloes appear to have been formed of three distinct circles 
of wood, the middle one being the thinnest, and the outer one 

Assyrian war-chariot (Koyunjik). 

No. I. Chariot-wheel of the early period. No. II. Chariot-wheel of the middle period. 

far the thickest of the three. Sometimes these circles were fast- 
ened together externally by bands of metal, hatchet-shaped. In 
one or two instances we find the outermost circle divided by 
cross-bars, as if it had been composed of four different pieces. 

** "Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, 1st 
Series, vol. i. p. 343. In the Greek and 
Koman chariots, on the contrary, the 

axle-tree was placed about midway in 
the body. 



Chap. VII. 

Occasionally there is a fourth circle, which seems to represent a 
metal tire outside the felloe, whereby it was guarded from 
injury. This tire is either plain or ornamented. 

The wheels were attached 
to an axle-tree, about which 
they revolved, in the usual 
manner. The Ixxly was placed 
directly upon the axle-tree 
and upon the pole, without 
the intervention of any springs. 
The pole started from the 
middle of the axle-tree, and, 
passing below the flcx)r of the 
body in a horizontal direction, 
thence commonly curved up- 
wards till it had risen to 

Na IIL Oiariot-wheel of the latest period. 

about half the height of the body, when it was again horizontal 
for a while, once more curving upwards at the end. It usually 
terminated in an ornament, which was sometimes the head of an 

idf of eharlot-polot (Nlmrud and Koyui^jik). 

animal — a bull, a horse, or a duck — sometimes a more elaborate 
and complicated work of art. Now and tlien the pole coiitinucnl 
lefel with the bottom uf the body till it had reached iu full 

Chap. VII. 



projection, and then rose suddenly to the height of the top of 
the chariot. It was often strengthened by one or more thin 
bars, probably of metal, which united it to the upper part of 
the chariot-front.^^ 

Chariots were drawn either by two or three, never by four, 
horses. They seem to have had but a single pole.^ Where 
three horses were used, one must therefore have been attached 
merely by a rope or thong, like the side horses of the Greeks,^ 
and can scarcely have been of much service for drawing the 
vehicle. He seems rightly regarded as a supernumerary, in- 
tended to take the place of one of the others, should either be dis- 
abled by a wound or accident.^ It is not easy to determine from 
the sculptures how the two draught horses were attached to the 
pole. Where chariots are represented without horses, we find 
indeed that they have always a cross-bar or yoke ; ^ but where 
horses are represented in the act of drawing a chariot, the cross- 
bar commonly disappears altogether. It would seem. that the 
Assyrian artists, despairing of their ability to represent the yoke 
properly when it was presented to the eye endwise, preferred, 
for the most part, suppressing it wholly to rendering it in an 
unsatisfactory manner. Probably a yoke did really in every case 
pass over the shoulders of the two draught horses, and was 
fastened by straps to the collar which is always seen round 
their necks. 

These yokes, or cross-bars, were of various kinds. Sometimes 

** See the representations of entire cha- 
riots given below, pp. 411, 412, and 413. 

* This was the case also with the 
Greek chariots. The chariots of the 
Lydians, according to iEschylus {Pers. 
45-47), had two and even three poles 
(pippv/xd T€ Koi Tpippvfia tcAt)). In the 
Assyrian sculptures there is one repre- 
sentation of what seems to be a chariot 
with two poles (Layard, Monuments of 
mnevehy 2nd Series, PI. 24) ; but perhaps 
the intention was to represent two cha- 
riots, one partially concealing the other. 

* 26jpaiot, or (Tcipa(p6poi, '' rope- 
bearers," from aeipd, " a cord or rope." 
(See Soph. Electr. 722 ; Eurip. Iph. A. 
223 ; Here. F. 446 ; Schol. ad Aristoph. 

Nuh. 1302 ; Isid. Orig. xviii. 35, &c. : 
and compare the article on Currus, in 
Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman 
Antiquities, p. 379, 2nd edition.) 

* Layard, Nineveh and its EemainSy 
vol. ii. p. 350. 

* Generally the yoke is exhibited with 
great clearness, being drawn in full, at 
right angles to the pole, or nearly so, 
despite the laws of perspective. Some- 
times, however, as in Sennacherib's cha- 
riot (figured below, p. 413, No. II.), we 
find in the place where we should expect 
the yoke a mere circle marked out upon 
the pole, which represents probably one 
end of the yoke, or possibly the hole 
through which it passed. 

410 THE 8B00KD MONARCHY. Chap. VH. 

they appear to have consisted of a mere slight circular bar, 
probably of metal, which passed through the pole,* sometimes of 
a thicker spar, through which the pole itself passed. In this 

latter case the extre- 
mities were occasion- 
ally adorned with 
heads of animals. The 
most common kind of 
yoke exhibits a double 
curve, so as to re- 
semble a species of 
bow unstnmg. Now 

EadcfpoU.withc™..b.r..fterBotU(Khor«.b«i). *";' *''f" " «Pecimen 

IS found very curiously 
complicated, being formed of a bar curved strongly at either 
end, and exhibiting along its course four other distinct curva- 
tures having opposite to them apertures resembling eyes, with 
an upper and a lower eyelid. It has been suggested that this 

yoke belonged to a 
four - horse chariot, 
and that to each of 
the four eyes (a a a a) 
there was a steed at- 
tached ; • but, as no 
representation of a 
four- horse chariot has 
been found, this sug- 
gestion must be re- 
v A , t .*v ^ u /«- 'tt.s garded as inadmis- 

End of pole, with curved yoke (Koyui^ik). " i mi 

sible. 1 he probability 
seems to be that this yoke, like the others, was for two horses, 
on whose necks it rested at the points marked h h, tlie aper- 
tures (c ee c) lying thus on either side of the animals* necks, 
and furnishing the means whereby the yoke was fastened to the 

• Sw tiM potoMdlaf In A hone'a hmd I • BotU, Mmumtnt dt yimivc, toI. t. 
«• ib40S,— dWjiWthat to which re- |k 90. 
if Midt te Ibt kM Boleu 

Chap. VII. 



collar. It is just possible that we have in the sculptures of the 
later period a representation of the extremities {d d) of this 

End of pole, with elaborate cross-bar or yoke (Khorsabad). 

kind of yoke, since in them a curious curve appears sometimes 
on the necks of chariot-horses, just above the upper end of the 

Assyrian chariots are exceedingly short ; but, apparently, 
they must have been of a considerable width. They contain 
two persons at the least ; and this number is often increased to 
three, and sometimes even to four. The warrior who fights from 

Assyrian chariot containing four warriors (Koyunjik). 

a chariot is necessarily attended by his charioteer ; and, where 
he is a king, or a personage of high importance, he is accom- 
panied by a second attendant, who in battle-scenes always bears 
a shield, with which he guards the person of his master. Some- 

' See below, and compare the representation of Sargon's chariot, p. 294, 



Chap. Vn. 

though rarf 1)% four pereons are seen in a chariot — the 
or chief, the charioteer, and two guanla, who protect the 
monarch on either side with circular shields or targes.' The 
charioteer is always stationed by the side of the warrior, not (as 
frequently with the Greeks*) behind him. The guards stand 
behind, and, owing to the shortness of the chariot, must have 
experienced some difficulty in keeping their places. They are 
evidently forced to lean backwards from want of room, and 
would probably have often fallen out, had they not gra^)ed with 
one hand a rope or strap firmly fixed to the front of the 

There are two principal types of chariots in the Assyrian 
sculptures, which may be distinguished as the earlier and the 

No. I. AicyrUn war-ch*riot of Ui« early period (Nimrud). 

later." The earlier are comparatively low and short. The 
wheels are six-spoked, and of small diameter. The body is 
plain, or only ornamented by a border, and is rounded in front, 
like the Egyptian ' and the classical chariutA.' Two quivers are 

* Bocta, McmmmU dt Jfimift, voL U. 

• Dkiimary of AnHpiUtm, toL L pp. 
101. 379, liA. 

M Umm %im l^trmwA'm ** *- |g| 

w Mr. Uijrani's 

** Tb* aarltor btloag to cIm Urn* of 
Aflikaiwftgiiwpai sk ■« 900{ Om Ui«r 
^ tW tteti tf ttifaa, iMMMlMrlb, 
•mi kt^mr tnai>fd Qh^rWddgii't wX 

about ac. 720-««a SooMUmaa, bal 
vtnr rarrijr, • ebartol of Um okl ^rpt 
!• aMtwlUila tlMMeandjMrlod. (Itat 

lAjavd, Mm mm m i9 cf 


* WUklMon, Amcitnt K^fpHma^ IM 
SeriM, Tol. L p. S4&. 

• SmlUi'a iMeUmm'g of AnUpUUm, 
pp. 87S, 379, lid cd. 

Chap, VII. 



suspended diagonally at the side of the body,^ while a rest for 
a spear, commonly fashioned into the shape of a human head, 
occupies the upper corner at the back. From the front of the 
body to the further end of the pole, which is generally patterned 
and terminates in the head and neck of a bull or a duck, ex- 
tends an ornamented structure, thought to have been of linen or 
silk stitched upon a framework of wood,^ which is very conspi- 
cuous in the representations. A shield commonly hangs behind 
these chariots, perhaps closing the entrance ; and a standard is 
sometimes fixed in them towards the front, connected with the 
end of the pole by a rope or bar.* 

The later chariots are loftier and altogether larger than the 

No. II. Assyrian war-chariot of the later period (Koyunjik). 

earlier. The wheel is eight-spoked, and reaches as high as the 
shoulders of the horses, which implies a diameter of about five 
feet. The body rises a foot, or rather more, above this ; and the 
riders thus from their elevated position command the whole 
battle-field. The body is not rounded, but made square in 

' See the "Woodcut No. I., and com- 
pare p. 344. Each quiver held also a 
small axe or hatchet. The arrangement 
of the quivers resembles that usual in 
Egypt (Wilkinson, vol. i. p. 346). 

* Layard, Nineveh and its Remains, 
vol. ii. p. 3.50. Another conjecture is 
that the ornament in question is really a 
flap of leather, which extended horizon- 

tally from the horses' shoulders to the 
chariot-rim, and served the purpose of 
the modern splash-board. The artists, 
unskilled in perspective, would be obliged 
to substitute the perpendicular for the 
horizontal position. 

* See Layard, Monuments^ 1st Series, 
Pis. 14, 22, and 27. 



Chap. VII. 

front; it has no quivers attached to it externally, but has, in- 
stead, a projection at one, or both, of the corners, which seems 
to have served as an arrow-case.* This projection is commonly 
patterned, as is in many cases the entire body of the chariot, 
though sometimes the ornamentation is confined to an elegant 
but somewhat scanty border. The poles are plain, not patterned, 
sometimes, however, terminating in the head of a horse ; there 
is no ornamental framework connecting them with the chariot 
but in its stead we see a thin bar, attached to which, either 
above or below, there is in most instances a loop, whereto we 
may suppose that the reins were occasionally fastened.^ No 
shield is suspended behind these chariots; but we sometimes 
observe an embroidered drapery hanging over the back, in a 
way which would seem to imply that they were closed behind, 
at any rate by a cross-bar. 

The trappings of the chariot-horses belonging to the two 
periods are not very different. They consist principally of a 
headstall, a collar, a breast-ornament, and a sort of huge tassel 
pendant at the horse's side. The headstall was formed com- 

• Layard, Nineveh and its Remains^ I 
vol, ii. p. 352. The feathers of the arrows 
are sometimes distinctly visible. (See i 
the woodcut on preceding page.) 

^ If the white obelisk from Koyunjik } 
now in the British Museum is rightly | 
ascribed to Asshur-izir-pal, the father of 
the Black-Obelisk king, it would appear I 
that the change from the older to the j 

later chariot began in his time. The 
vehicles on that monument are of a 
transition character. They have the thin 
bar with the loop, and have in most in- 
stances wheels with eight spokes ; but 
their proportions are like those of the 
early chariots, and they have the two 
transverse quivers. 

AityrUn chariot of the transition period (Koyunjik). 

Chap. VII. 



monly of three straps: one was attached to the bit at either 
end, and passed behind the ears over the neck ; another, which 
was joined to this above, encircled the smallest part of the 
neck ; while a third, crossing the first at right angles, was car- 
ried round the forehead and the cheek-bones.^ At the point 
where the first and second joined, or a little in front of this, 
rose frequently a waving plume, or a crest composed of three 
huge tassels, one above another ; while at the intersection of 
the second and third was placed a rosette' or other suitable 
ornament. The first strap was divided where it approached the 
bit into two or three smaller straps, which were attached to the 
bit in different places. A fourth strap sometimes passed across 
the nose from the point where the first strap subdivided. All 
the straps were frequently patterned; the bit was sometimes 
shaped into an animal form ; ^^ and streamers occasionally floated 
from the nodding plume or crest which crowned the heads of 
the war-steeds. 

The collar is ordinarily represented as a mere broad band 
passing round the neck, not at the withers (as with ourselves), 
but considerably higher up, almost midway between the withers 
and the cheek-bone. Sometimes it is of uniform width,^^ while 
often it narrows greatly as it approaches the back of the neck. 
It is generally patterned, and appears to have been a mere flat 
leathern band. It is impossible to say in what exact way the 
pole was attached to it, though in the later sculptures we have 
elaborate representations of the fastening. The earlier sculp- 
tures seem to append to the collar one or more patterned straps, 
which, passing round the horse's belly immediately behind the 
fore legs, served to keep it in place, while at the same time they 
were probably regarded as ornamental ; but under the later 
kings these belly-bands were either reduced to a single strap, 
or else dispensed with altogether. 

* See the woodcuts on pp. 407 and 

* Rosettes in ivory, mother of pearl, 
and bronze, which may have belonged 
to the harness of horses, were found in 
great abundance by Mr. Layard at Nim- 

rud {Nineveh and Babylon, p. 177). 

^'^ See the representation which forma 
the ornamented head of a chariot-pole, 
supra, p. 408. 

^^ This is especially the case in the 
sculptures of the early period* 



Chap. VIT. 

Assyrian chariot of the early period (Nimrud). 

The breast-ornament consists commonly of a fringe, more or 
less complicated. The simplest form, which is that of the most 
ancient times, exhibits a patterned strap with a single row of long 

tassels pendant from 
it, as in the annexed 
representation. At a 
later date we find a 
double, and even a 
triple row of tassels.^ 

The pendant side- 
ornament is a very 
conspicuous portion of 
the trappings. It is 
attached to the collar either by a long straight strap, or by a 
circular band which falls on either side of the neck. The upper 
extremity is often shaped into the form of an animal's head, below 

which comes most 
commonly a circle 
or disk, ornamented 
with a rosette, a 3[al- 
tese cross, a winged 
bull, or other sacred 
emblem, while below 
the circle hang huge 
tassels in a single row 
or smaller ones ar- 
ranged in several rows. 
In the sculptures of 
Sargon at Khorsabad, 
the tassels of both the 
breast and side ornaments were coloured, the tints being in 
most cases alternately retl and blue.* 

Occasionally the chariot-horses were covered from the ears 
almost to the tail with rich cloths, magnificently embroidered 

GhAriot*liarM protected by clothing (Koyunjik). 

* Supra, p. 294. In one caM th« rowi of taaaels amount to $ev€n (Layard, J/omn- 
iMnit, 2nd Serica, PI. 42> 
" 8aap.a(U. 

Chap. VII. 



over their whole surface.^ These clothg encircled the neck, 
which they closely fitted, and, falling on either side of the body, 
were then kept in place by means of a broad strap round the 
rurap and a girth under the belly."* 

A simpler style of clothing chariot-horses is found towards 
the close of the later period, where we observe, below the collar. 

Head of a chariot-horse, showing collar with bells attached (Koyunjik). 

a sort of triple breast-plate, and over the rest of the body a 
plain cloth, square cut, with flaps descending at the arms and 
quarters, which is secured in its place by three narrow straps 
fastened on externally.* The earlier kind of clothing has the 

' See Mr. Layard's Monuments, 1st 
Series, PI. 28 ; or his Nineveh and its Re- 
mains, vol. ii. opp. p. 350. 

* Mr. Layard speaks of three straps, 
one of which " passed round the breast " 
{Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. p. 355) ; 
but the breast-strap, to which he alludes, 
has no connexion with the clothes, and 

VOL. I. 

occurs equally on unclothed horses of the 
early period. (See the representation on 
p. 416.) 

* The third strap here is on the back, 
just above the quarters. It is difficult 
to see how it could have been of any 




Chap. Vlt 

appearance of l>einp ft)r ornament; but this looks as if it was 
meant Rolely for protet-tion. 

Beftides the trappings already noticed, the Assyrian chariot- 
horses had frequently strings of beads suspended round their 
necks, between the ears and tlie collar ; th«*y had also, not un- 
frequently, tassels or bells attached to different parts of the 
beadstrtll ; and finally they had, in the Intor period, most com- 
monly, a curious ornament upon the forehead, wliich covered 

almost tlie whole space be- 
tween the ears and the eyes, 
and was composed of a num- 
ber of minute bosses, coloured, 
like the tassels of the breast 
ornament,* alternately red 
and blue. 

Each horse appears to have 
been driven by two reins' — 
one attached to either end of 
the bit in the ordinary man- 
ner, and each paasod through 
a ring or loop in the harness, 
whereby the rein was kept down and a stronger purchase secured 
to the driver. The shape of the bit within the mouth, if we may 

Bronae bit (Nimrud> 

* Supra, p. 416. For repreMntatioM 
of the ornament in question, see supra, 
p. 394, ami infra, p. 425. 

' Yet Kometimea, where there are three 
h o r aei, we find eight reins (La yard, 
Mommmttt, let Seriea, Pis. 13 and 14); 
and often, where there are but two 
horw, we tee eU reins. {Sve aborc, p. 
fM ; aad eonpare Layaitl, Momtmenis, 
let Sertaa, FUtoe 73 and 80 ; 9nd 
t«ri«e, Plate* S8, t4, 19, 4S, lee.) I 
have eoMetlmae donblid whether the 
Aaeyrlaaa of the latar perioil did not 
rmWy drive three horeea, while the 
artists fwonomlsed their labour by only 
reprreriitinK twa It Is to be notiord 
tikat over the two heads there are very 
r e p rees n ted lAre# pitv-* - 'f'^'ta, 
Pla. ftS. 51, 6&. 1. 

. latlerlai,PL T. < at 

tiie practice of eeooomy by tiie artisU 

Is Indubitable. For instance, they often 
show but one, and rarely more than two, 
of the six reins b(>tw(HMi the neclu and 
mouths of the rhariot-horaea, where all 
six would have been visible; and they 
sometimes even suppreM the «<^»n4/ horse 
in a chariot (supra, p. 416 ; Layard, i/<» 
ninnenh, 2nd 8t>ries, PU 29, 42, and 47X 
It is, however, on the whole, perhaps 
most probable that the (A/rc plume* 
and the $ijc reins are traditicMial, and 
held their place in drawinga when tlMJ 
had gone out of iiao in reality. Other- 
wise we sliould probably have had eoOM 
distinct evidence of tite ountinoed na* 
of the third horse. 

Note that when SMUiaeberlb'a honw 
are being taken from hi* ehariot lo <anm 
a river (JVoiumimIs, Sad flariit, PL 4IX 
they are olearly bnt two In number, and 
employ but two grooms. 

Chap. VII. 



judge by the single instance of an actual bit wliicb remains to 
us, bore a near resemblance to the modern snaffle. Externally 

Fig. 1. Fig. 2. 

Bits of chariot-horses (Nimrud). 

the bit was large, and in most cases clumsy — a sort of cross-bar 
extending across the whole side of the 
horse's face, commonly resembling a 
double axe-head, or a hammer. Occa- 
sionally the shape was varied, the hatchet 
or hammer being replaced by forms 
similar to those annexed, or by the figure 
of a horse at full gallop.* The rein 
seems, in the early times, to have been 
attached about midway in the cross- 
bar,® while afterwards it became usual to 
attach it near the lower end.^*^ This 
latter arrangement was probably found 
to increase the power of the driver. 

The use of the bearing-rein, which 
prevailed in Egypt,^^ was unknown to 
the Assyrians, or disapproved by them. 
The driving-reins were separate, not 
stitched or buckled together, and were 
held in the two hands separately. The 
right hand grasped the reins, whatever 
their number, which were attached at 
the horses' right cheeks, while the left 
hand performed the same office with the 

Bits of chariot-horses, from 
the Sculptures. 

• Supra, p. 408. » As in figs. 2, 3, and .5, above. '• As iu figs. 1 and 4, above. 
" Wilkinson, vol. i. p. 351. 



Cbap. VII. 

(•hari.»t'«r ui::«'(l his Imr^'S onward with 
1^^ a hhort haiulh', aiui a thick plaited or 

remaining reins. Tho 

a powerfol whip, liavii 

twisted lash, attached like the lash of a modem horsewhip, 

aometimes with, sometimee without, a loop, and often subdivided 

at the end into two or three tails. 

Chariot-hones were trained to three paces, a walk, a trot, and 
a gallop. In battle-pieces they are commonly represented at 

Drivtng^whipi of AMyrian ch«rtot«en, from th« Seolptiaret. 

full speed, in marches trotting, in processions walking in a 
stately manner. Their manes were frequently hogged,'* though 
more commonly they lay on the neck, falling (apparently) upon 

either side indifferently. Oc- 

^t^rr^^ casionally a portion only was 

^^mf hogged, while the greater part 

aSrm remained in its natural con- 

^^Jr I dition.* The tiiil wa^ uncut, 

^^^^F V i^i^d generally almost swept the 

^^B^^ W ground, but wan contined by a 

^^r / string or riUmd tied tightly 

Hoik of tjinf bMnM* teilt (KoyvjOikX arouud it about midway. Some- 
times, more e«|)cviaUy in th«> 
later ■cnlpturei, the lower lialf of the tail in plaittni and titnl up 
into a loop or bunch,* according to the fashion which prevails in 
the pretont day through moat parts of Turkey and IVrsia. 



pfL 411 umI 416. 

Uyanl. n 7S. 

Chap. VII. 



The warrior who fought from a chariot was sometimes merely 
dressed in a tunic, confined at the waist by a belt ; sometimes, 
however, he wore a coat of mail, very like the Egyptian,^ con- 
sisting of a sort of shirt covered with small plates or scales of 
metal. This shirt reached at least as low as the knees, beneath 
which the chariot itself was sufficient protection. It had short 
sleeves, which covered the shoulder and upper part of the arm, 
but left the elbow and fore-arm quite undefended.'* The chief 
weapon of the warrior was the bow, which is always seen in his 
hands, usually with the arrow upon the string ; he wears, besides, 
a short sword, suspended at his left side by a strap, and he has 
commonly a spear within his reach ; but we never see him using 
either of these weapons. He either discharges his arrows against 
the foe from the standing-board of his chariot, or, commanding 
the charioteer to halt, descends, and, advancing a few steps 
before his horses' heads, takes a surer and more deadly aim from 
terra jirma. In this case his attendant defends him from mis- 
siles by extending in front of him a shield, wliich he holds in 
his left hand, while at the same time he makes ready to repel 
any close assailant by means of a spear or sword grasped firmly 
in his right. The warrior's face and arms are always bare ; 
sometimes the entire head is undefended,^ though more com- 
monly it has the protection of a helmet. This, however, is 
without a vizor, and does not often so much as cover the ears. 
In some few instances only is it furnished with ilaps or lappets ; 
which, where they exist, seem to be made of metal scales, and, 
falling over the shoulders, entirely conceal the ears, the back of 
the head, the neck, and even the chin.^ 

The position occupied by chariots in the military system of 
Assyria is indicated in several passages of Scripture, and dis- 
tinctly noticed by many of the classical writers. When Isaiah 
began to warn his countrymen of the miseries in store for them 

* On the subject of Egyptian scale- 
armour, see Wilkinson in the author's 
Herodotus, vol. ii. p. 79 ; and compare 
the same writer's Ancient Ujyptians, Ist 
Series, vol. i. p. 332. 

* See Layard, Monuments, Ist Series, 
Pis. 18, 20, and 28. 

' Layard, Monuments, Pis. 11, 27, &c. 
The attendants who accomimny the 
monarch have their heads uncovered as 
a general rule. 

•» Ibid. Pis. 18 and 28. See woodcut, 
infra, p. 441. 


at the hands of the new enemy which first attacked Judaa in 
his day, he doscrilxnl them as a people *' whose arrows were 
sharp, and all their bows bent, whose horses' hoofs should be 
counted like flint, and their tcheeh like a whirlwind"' When 
in after days ho was commissioned to raise their drooping 
oonrage by assuring them that they would escape Sennacherib, 
who had angered God by his pride, he noticed, as one special 
provocation of Jehovah, that monarcirs confidence in "the mul- 
titude of his chariots." * Nahum again, having to denounce the 
approaching downfall of the haughty nation, declares that God is 
"against her, and will burn her chariots in the smoke."* In 
the fabulous account which Ctesias gave of the origin of Assyrian 
greatness, the war-chariots of Ninus were represented as 
amounting to nearly eleven thousand,'® while those of his wife 
and successor, Semiramis, were estimated at the extravagant 
number of a hundred thousand ! " Ctesias further stated that 
the Assyrian chariots, even at this early period, were armed with 
scythes, a statement contradicted by Xenophon, who ascribes 
this invention to the Persians,'* and one which receives no con- 
firmation from the monuments. Amid all this exaggeration and 
inventiveness one may still trace a knowledge of the fact that 
war-chariots were highly esteemed by the Assyrians from a very 
ancient date, while, from other notices we may gatlier that they 
continued to be reckoned an im|)ortant arm of the military 
service to the very end of the Empire.* 

Next to the war-chariots of the Assyrians we must place their 
cavalry, which seems to have been of scarcely less importance 
in their wars. Ctesias, who amid all his exaggerations shows 
glim{)ses of some real knowledge of the ancient condition of the 
Assyrian people, makes the number of the horsemen in their 

' It. T. S8. I *> Ibid. II. 17, f 1. Compire SuIOm 

' IbkL jLXxril S4. Conpu* S K. six. ad voe. ^tfilptitut. 

S3. I '• 7)* /lut. t'yr. rl. 1, $ 30. 

' Nahum II. IS. TIm mMtlon of cha- ' Tcutamus wu taid to have tent 300 

rloU In vrrw 4 ifiay boar oo this point. rhariutu with Memnoo to Troy (Diod. 

Uttn pfobably, bowavar, Iba cliariots 
tatandwi both In (bat varaa aud In Hi. 2, 
aiv tbaaa of Aatyrla'a aiiMnI«L 


Diod. tie. 

Aaivrla'a am 
(k. II. ft, I 4 

8ie. IL 22, $ 2). The satno uumbrr U 
aailgncd hy \ftio|ihoft to the AM^rian 

advenwry of ('\rii» (De /ml. i\t. ii. 1. 
I ft). 

Chap. VII. 



armies always greatly exceed that of the cliariots.^ The writer 
of the Book of Judith gives Holof ernes 12,000 horse-archers,^ 
and Ezekiel seems to speak of all the "desirable young men" as 
" horsemen riding upon horses." ^ The sculptures show on the 
whole a considerable excess of cavalry over chariots, though the 
preponderance is not uniformly exhibited throughout the dif- 
ferent periods. 

During the time of the Upper dynasty, cavalry appear to have 
been but little used. Tiglatli-pileser I. in the whole of his long 
Inscription has not a single mention of them, though he speaks 
of his chariots continually. In the sculptures of Asshur-izir-pal, 
the father of the Black-Obelisk king, while chariots abound, 
horsemen occur only in rare instances. Afterwards, under 
Sargon and Sennacherib, we notice a great change in this 
respect. The chariot comes to be almost confined to the king, 
while horsemen are frequent in the battle scenes. 

In the first period the horses' trappings consisted of a head- 
stall, a collar, and one or more strings of beads. The headstall 
was somewhat heavy, closely resembling that of the chariot- 
horses of the time, representations of which have been already 
given.^ It had the same heavy axe-shaped bit, the same 
arrangement of straps, and nearly the same ornamentation. 
The only marked diHerence was the omission of the crest or 
plume, with its occasional accompaniment of streamers. The 
collar was very peculiar. It consisted of a broad flap, probably 
of leather, shaped almost like a half-moon, which \\as placed on 
the neck about halfway between the ears and the withers, and 
thence depended over the breast, where it was broadened out 
and ornamented by large drooping tassels. Occasionally the 
collar was plain,^ but more often it was elaborately patterned. 
Sometimes pomegranates hung from it, alternating with the 

The cavalry soldiers of this period ride without any saddle.^ 

2 Ap. Diod. Sic. ii. 5, § 4, and 17, § 1. 
' Judith ii. 15. 

* Ezek. xxiii. G and 23. 

* Supra, pp. 407, 411, 414, 84c. Com- 
pare p. 231. 

« See above, p. 231. 

^ Layard, Monuments, 1st Series, PI. 32. 

® For a representation, see Nineveh arul 
its lieimiins, vol. ii. p. 357. Saddles are 
not absolutely unknown, for on the horso 



Chap. VIL 

Their legs and feet are bare, and their seat is very remarkable. 
Instead of allowing their legs to hang naturally down the horses* 
sides, they draw them up till their knees are on a level with 
their chargers* backs, the object (apparently) being to obtain a 
firm seat by pressing the base of the horse's neck between the 
two knees. The naked legs seem to indicate that it was found 
necessary to obtain the fullest and freest play of the muscles to 
escape the inconveniences of a fall. 

The chief weapon of the cavalry at this time is the bow. 
Sword and shield indeed are worn, but in no instance do we see 
tliem used. Cavalry soldiers are either archers or mere attend- 
ants who are without weapons of offence. One of these latter 
accompanies each horse-archer in battle, for the purpose of hold- 
ing and guiding his steed while he discharges his arrows. The 
attendant wears a skull-cap and a plain tunic ; the archer has 
an embroidered tunic, a belt to which his sword is attached, and 
one of the ordinary pointed helmets. 

In the second period the cavalry consists in part of archers, in 
part of spearmen. Unarmed attendants are no longer found, 
both si)earmen and archere appearing to be able to manage their 
own horses. Saddles have now come into common use : they 
consist of a simple cloth, or flap of leather, which is either cut 
square, or shaped somewhat like the saddle-cloths of our own 
cavalry.' A single girth beneath the belly is their ordinary 
fastening ; but sometimes they are further secured by means of 
a strap or band passed round the breast, and a few instances 
occur of a second straj) passed round the quarters. The breast- 
strap is generally of a highly ornamented character. The head- 
stall of this i)eri(ki is not unlike the earlier one, from which it 
differs chiefly in having a crest, and also a forehead ornament 
composed of a number of small bosses. It has likewise com- 

wkMi • mcnnUaA aCtoiMUnt \mA» fbr the 
kiaf bvblnd bit chariot, w« mw In every 
• atiuare^ut eloCh, fHnfed and 
(Uy*nl« MoH^munUt !•! 8». 
Hn, Pit. II, 91, SS, and 49, I.) But no 
«(lMr borw bvlte Um klng'i It thus 
* The tqtukn shape (rapim, p. t3f ) la, 

apparentl^r, reeerved for the monarch 
auU hb imnimliiitr iitt(*n«Unt«. OnJinary 
•oldiers have (I irh runt out to 

a point (infra, ). Sometimea, 

even during' < i-.i..'.!, there U no 
■addle. ( t/>>H'on<'N/.«, lai Scrir*. 
PL 64; lUntn. «/ .uvtm/, vol ii. PU. 87, 
88, 84, 99, lie.) 

Chap. VII. 



monly a strap across the nose, but none under the cheek-bones. 
It is often richly ornamented, particularly with rosettes, bells, 
and tassels. ^° 

The old pendant collar is replaced by one encircling the neck 
about halfway up, or is sometimes dispensed with altogether. 
Where it occurs, it is generally of imiform width, and is orna- 

Mounted spearman of the time of Sargon. 

mented with rosettes or tassels. No conjecture has been formed 
of any use which either form of collar could serve ; and the 
probability is that they were intended solely for ornament. 

A great change is observable in the sculptures of the second 
period with respect to the dress of the riders. The cavalry 
soldier is now completely clothed," with the exception of his 

'" See the " Head of an Assyrian 
Horse," on p. 231, and the "Groom and 
Horses," p. 350. 

" A few instances occur where the 
legs are still naked, more especially in 
Sargon's sculptures (Layard, Monuments, 



cuAP. vn. 

two wnoBf which are bare from a little below the nhoulder. He 
wean most oommonlj a tunic which &tB him clo»iely about tlie 
body, but below the waigt expandit into a loo6e kilt or petticoat, 
yery much longer behind than in front, whicli 
ia sometimes patterned, and always terminates 
in a fringe. Bound his waist he has a broad 
belt ; and another, of inferior width, from 
which a sword hangs, passes over his left 
shoulder.^ His legs are encased in a close- 
^ ^'-V^ fitting pantaloon or trouser, over which he 

wears a laced boot or greave, which generally 
reaches nearly to the knee, though sonietimes 
it only covers about half the calf, lliis cos- 
tume, which is first found in the time of Sargon, 
and continues to the reign of Asshur-bani-pal, Esarhaddon's son, 
may properly be regarded as the regular cavalry uniform under 

Grare or laoed boot 

Cftvalry toUiert of the Omo of 8«uwdMriU 

the monarch* of the Lower Empire. In Sennaclierib's reign there 
b found in oonjunction with it another costume, which ia un- 
known to the earlier mulptures. This consists of a dress closely 

l«l SrriM, PL U i DoCU, Mmmm*nU vol. 
U. PI*. •?, 14S> Uttiib«ni(»bM«ui«a 



Chap. VII. 



fitting the whole body, composed apparently of a coat of mail, 
leather or felt breeches, and a high greave or jack-boot. The 
wearers of this costume are spearmen or archers indifferently. 
The former carry a long weapon, which has generally a rather 
small head, and is grasped low down the shaft. The bow of the 
latter is either round-arched or angular, and seems to be not more 
than four feet in length ; the arrows measure less than three 
feet, and are slung iu a quiver at the archer's back. Both 
spearmen and archers commonly carry swords, whicli are hung 
on the left side, in a diagonal, or sometimes nearly in a hori- 
zontal, position. In some few cases the spearman is also an 
archer, and carries his bow on his 
right arm, apparently as a reserve 
in case he should break or lose 
his spear.^ 

The seat of the horseman is 
far more graceful in the second 
than in the first period ; his limbs 
appear to move freely, and his 
mastery over his horse is such 
that he needs no attendant. The 
spearman holds the bridle in his 
left hand ; the archer boldly lays 
it upon the neck of his steed, 
who is trained either to contiuue his charge, or to stand firm, 
A\hile a steady aim is taken. 

In the sculptures of the son and successor of Esarhaddon, the 
horses of the cavalry carry not unfrequently, in addition to the 
ordinary saddle or pad, a large cloth nearly similar to that worn 
sometimes by chariot-horses, of which a representation has been 
already given.^ It is cut square with two drooping lappets, and 
covers the greater part of the body. Occasionally it is united 
to a sort of breastplate which protects the neck, descending 
about halfway down the chest. The material may be supposed 
to have been thick felt or leather, either of which would have 
been a considerable protection against weapons. 

Horse archer of the latest period. 

See the woodcut on p. 425. 

» Supra, p. 416. 


While the carairyand the dmriots woro n^garded as the most 
important portions of the militury fun***, and were the favourite 
with the rich and powerful, there is still abundant 
to believe that Assyrian armies, like most others/ ood- 
sisted mainly of foot Ctesias gives Ninus 1 ,700,000 footmen 
to 210,000 horsemen, and 10,600 chariots.* Xenopbon con* 
timsts tbe multitude of the Assyrian infantry with the com* 
paratively scanty numbers of tbe other two services.* Herodotus 
makes the Assyrians serve in the army of Xerxes on foot only.' 
The author of tlie book of Judith assigns to Holofemes an 
infantr)' force ten times as numerous as his cavalry.* The 
Assyrian monuments entirely bear out the general truth 
involved in all these assertions, showing us, as they do, at least 
ten Assyrian warriors on foot for each one mounted on horse- 
back, and at least a hundred for each one who rides in a chariot. 
However terrible to the foes of the Assyrians may have been 
the shock of their chariots and the impetuosity of their horse- 
men, it was probably to the solidity of the infantr)-,' to their 
valour, equipment, and discipline, that the empire was mainly 
indebted for its long series of victories. 

In the time of the earliest sculptures, all the Assyrian foot- 
soldiers seem to have worn nearly the same costume. This 
consisted of a short tunic, not quite reaching to the knees, con- 
fined round the waist by a broad belt, fringed, and generally 

In fettled empim the cmralrj nrelj ' It. 46.) * Ap. Died. Sic IL 5, § 4. 

• 1)0 ftut. Cyr. ii. I, Jf ft. 
' llenML Tii. 84-87. 

• Judith ii. ft. 

• Tbe prophet baiah, whilt mUtam 
•ueh MUlent point« m tlie ^ hoiwi* hoot 

•■owof to on»-iinh of tho iaJkntfy toroo. 
la mgtr Bwo Cho proportloa mmm to 
hum Um 0M4«ith (Moouomb, JiTMory 
€f Bmu, voL I. p. 97, E. T.) ; in the im- 
porial kfioo it wm little more than n 

tWMUloCh. Amonf tlie P^nlnns It wm ' that are counted like flint," and tho 

•««■ IcM than thU, being only on»> \ clmriut " whcrU, that are like a whlH- 

twonty-flfth at Arbela (Arr. Kjrp. AL wind," to give fbree to hia detcriptioa, 

liL 8>. Alr&Aoder tha Gmt, who Uld | avifW ita duo pboa to tbt Aa^rrlM 

giant atma on tho cavalry ■anrlea, modo t inflMitfy, of whloh he Mya : ** Tbay iImII 

tha proportion In hla anniM o ne l U th, \ ttm» with spreU. twiftly ; nooa shall ha 

or a llttla more (Ibid. I. 11 ; ill. lX,4e.). weary nor •tumble aoMmf then; dom 

It la only whan raeee are in tha DooMMlie ehall alumber nor elaap ; aoither ehnll 

ooadkioa thai iha retetlon of Iho two I tha girdle of Iheir IoIm he looead, Mr 

U inverted. Thehordaaof Qanghb the latchet of their ohoee be bretel 

oeaeUtM •linij»i mtirvlv of envalry, and whose arrows are ehnrp, and all thoir 
IIm Hr^ihiau* sttarked by UmIms ha*i Immi brut " (1>. v. :i7. :iM.) 

a ftmaaa aaong thc«. (Uetx-i 

Chap, YII. 



Ordinary sandal of the 
first period. 

opening in front, together with a pointed helmet, probably of 
metal. The arms, legs, neck, and even the feet, were ordinarily- 
bare, although these last had sometimes the protection of a very 
simple sandal. Swordsmen used a small 
straight sword or dagger which they wore 
at their left side in an ornamented sheath, 
and a shield which was either convex and 
probably of metal, or oblong-square and 
composed of wicker-work.^ Spearmen had 
shields of a similar shape and construction, 
and carried in their right hands a sliort 
pike or javelin, certainly not exceeding five 
feet in length. Sometimes, but not always, 
they carried, besides the pike, a short sword. 
Archers had rounded bows about four feet 
in length and arrows a little more than 
three feet long. Their quivers, which were 
often highly ornamented, hung at their backs, either over the 
right or over the left shoulder. They had swords suspended at 

Convex shield of the first 
period (Nimrud). 

Foot spearman of the first jperiod, 
with wicker shield (Nimrud). 

Foot archer, with attendant — first 
period (Nimrud). 

their left sides by a cross-belt, and often carried maces, probably 
of bronze or iron, which bore a rosette or other ornament at one 

^ Round shields or targes are also 
sometimes worn by swordsmen at this 
time (Layard's Monuments^ 1st Series, 

PI. 29) ; but they arc comparatively 



c«Ap. vn. 

end, and a ring or strap at iIk' tAhr. The tunics of archers 
were sometime!* elaborately enihruidered ; * and on the whole 
they seem to have been regarded as the flower of the foot- 
soldiery. Generally they are represented in pairs, the two being 
in most ca«es armed and equipped alike ; but, oecasionally, one 
of the pair acts as guard while the other takes his aim. In this 
case both kneel on one knee, and the guanl, advancing his long 
wicker shield, protects both himself and his comnuie from mis- 
siles, while he has at the same time his sword drawn to repel all 
hand-to-hand assailants. 

In the early part of the second period, which synchronises 
with the reign of Sargon, the difference in the costumes of the 

foot-soldiers becomes much more 
marked. The A&^yrinn infantry now 
consists of two great classes, archers 
and spearmen.* The archers are 
either light-armed or hea>7'-armed, 
and of the latter there are two 
clearly distinct varieties. The light- 
armed have no helmet, but wear on 
their heads a mere fillet or band, 
which is either plain or patterned. 
Except for a cross-belt which sup- 
ports the quiver, they are wholly 
naked to the middle. Their only 
garment is a tunic of the scantiest 
dimensions, beginning at the waist, round which it is fastened 
by a broad belt or girdle, and descending little more than halfway 
down the thiglu In its make it sometimes closely resembles the 
tunic of the firet jK-riod,* but more often it has the j>eculiar 
I»c»ndant ornament, which has been compared to the Scotch 
phillibeg,^ and which uill \m} here given that name. It is oAen 
lattirned with 8(^|uareH and gradines. The light-armed archer 

Foot archert of the lightest rquip- 
(Time of Sargon.) 

' Uyanl, Mmtmmti, Ifl ttrtoa, PL f6. 

* fwonlMMS wmtrmXy appear aa a 
dta. Tbay oeour only In iwoa and 
thnw at tM atrfMi, wim lh«y vaaetly 
r«Mmt40 III* awordMMa of Xh» Aral 

* 8m Botia, McmMwmit (U Mnir^, vol. 

• Uyanl. AVa.tM md itt Xt 
vol. II. !». .1.10. 

Chap. YII. 



has usually bare feet ; occasionally, however, he wears the slight 
sandal of this period, which is little more than a cap for the heel 
held in place by two or three strings passed across the instep. 
There is nothing remarkable in his arms, which resemble those 
of the preceding period ; but it may be observed that, while 
shooting, he frequently holds two arrows in his right hand besides 
that which is upon the string. He shoots either kneeling or stand- 
ing, generally the latter. His ordinary position is in the van of 
battle, though sometimes a portion of the heavy-armed troops 
precede him."'' He has no shield, and is not protected by an 
attendant,^ thus running more risk than any of the rest of the 

The more simply equipped of the heavy archers are clothed 
in a coat of mail, which reaches from their neck to their middle, 
and partially covers the arms. 
Below this they wear a fringed 
tunic reacliing to the knees, and 
confined at the waist by a broad 
belt of the ordinary character. 
Their feet have in most instances 
the protection of a sandal, and 
they wear on their heads the 
common or pointed helmet. 
They usually discharge their 
arrows kneeling on the left knee, 
with the right foot advanced 
before them. During this ope- 
ration they are protected by an 
attendant, who is sometimes 
dressed like themselves, some- 
times merely clad in a tunic, without a coat of mail. Like them, 
he wears a pointed helmet ; and while in one hand he carries a 
spear, with the other he holds forward a shield, which is either 
of a round form — apparently, of metal embossed with figures' — 

Foot archer of the intermediate equip- 
ment, with attendant. (Time of 

7 Botta, Pis. 95 and 98. 
' One instance only of such protection 
is to be found in M. Botta's work. (See 

vol. i. PI. 62.) 

" See the woodcuts, infra, p. 44* 



Chap. VII. 

ur oblong-square in shape, and evidently made of wickerwork. 
Archere of this class are the least common, and scarcely ever 
occur unless in combination with some of the class which has 
the heaviest equipment. 

The princi|Md cliaracteristic of the third or most heavily 
armed class of archers is the long robe, richly fringed, which 
descends nearly to their feet, tlius completely protecting all the 
lower part of their person. Above this they wear a coat of mail 
exactly resembling that of archers of the intermediate class, 
which is sometimes crossed by a belt ornamented with cross- 
bars. Their head is covered by 
the usual pointed helmet, and 
their feet are always, or nearly 
always, protected by sandals. 
They are occasionally repre- 
sented without either sword or 
quiver,'^ but more usually they 
have a short sword at their left 
side, which appears to have been 
passed through their coat of 
mail, between the armour plates, 
and in a few instances they 
have also quivers at their backs.^ 
Where these are lacking, they 
generally either carry two extra 
arrows in their right hand,* 
or have the same number borne for them by an attend- 
ant' They are never seen unattended: sometimes they have 
one, sometimes two attendants,^ who accompany them, and 
guard them from attack. One of these almost always bears the 
l<jiig wicker shield, called by the Greeks yeppov,^ wliich he rests 
iinnly upon the ground in front of himself and comrade. The 

Foot archer of the heavy equipment, with 
It (Time of Sargon.) 

'• 8m the woodettt aboTeu 
I Bocta, MommmU dt ^MiM, yoI. 1. 

• Ibid. ToL I. R 77. 

• IbkL vol. I. rt M; toL IL PL M. 

• Two Altmdaau are 9ampu%tkrtfy 
but they wlU be MM la 

M. Botta'0 work, Pb. 55, 60, and 96; 
poMihly alMi lit PI. 99. 

* llrrod. is. 62; Xen. Anah, 1. S, |9. 
Boaeliiaei the y4^ U siraiKht, wime- 
ttaiTt It earret baekwaitii towanle the 
10^ (Set below, p. 445.) 

Chap. VII. 



otlier, where there is a second, stands a little in the rear, and 
guards the archer's head with a round shield or targe. Both 
attendants are dressed in a short tunic, a phillibeg, a belt, and a 
pointed helmet. Generally they wear also a coat of mail and 
sandals, like those of the archer. They carry swords at their 
left sides, and the principal attendant, except when he bears 
the archer's arrows, guards him from attack by holding in 
advance a short spear. The archers of this class never kneel, 
but always discharge their arrows standing. They seem to be 
regarded as the most important 
of the foot-soldiers, their services 
being more particularly valuable 
in the siege of fortified places. 

The spearmen of this period 
are scarcely better armed than 
the second or intermediate class 
of archers. Except in very rare 
instances they have no coat of 
mail, and their tunic, which is 
either plain or covered with small 
squares, barely reaches to the 
knee. The most noticeable point 
about them is their helmet, which 
is never the common pointed or 
conical one, but is always sur- 
mounted by a crest of one kind or 
another.^ A further very frequent peculiarity is the arrangement 
of their cross-belts, which meet on the back and breast, and are 
ornamented at the points of junction with a circular disk, probably 
of metal. The shield of the spearmen is also circular, and is 
formed — generally, if not always — of wicker-work, with (occa- 
sionally) a central boss of wood or metal. In most cases their 
legs are wholly bare ; but sometimes they have sandals, while 
in one or two instances "^ they wear a low boot or greave laced 

Foot spearman of the time of Sargon 

" On the variety in the crests of Assyrian helmets, see below, page 442. 
^ Botta, Monument^ vol. ii. Pis. 90 and 93. 

VOL. I. 

2 F 



Chap. VII. 

in front and resembling that of the cavalry." The spear with 
which they are armed varies in lenj^h, from about four to six 
feet It is grasped near the lower extremity, at which a weight 

Shield of a sjxjannan (Khorsabad). 

Greave of a spearman (Khorsabad). 

was sometimes attached, in order the better to preserve the 
balance. Besides this weapon they have the ordinary short 


Spear, with weight at the lower end (Khorsabad). 

sword. The spearmen play an important part in the Assyrian 
wars, particularly at sieges, where they always form the strength 
of the storming party. 

Some important changes seem to have been made under Sen- 
nacherib in the equipment and organisation of the infantry 
force. These consisted chiefly in the establishment of a greater 
number of distinct corps differently armed, and in an improved 
equipment of the more important of them, Sennacherib ap- 
pears to have been the first to institute a corps of slingers, who 
at any rate make their earliest appearance in his sculptures. 
They were a kind of soldier well known to the Egyptians; • and 
Sennacherib's acquaintance with the Egyptian warfare may 
have led to their introduction among the troops of Assyria. 
The slinger in most countries where his services were employed 
wjiH lii'^litlv clad, and r<ckon(Hl almost as a supernumerary. It 

* \ ido sitpru, page 426. I AMyriani in one of the carlieat aoulp* 

* Htvt Wilkinaon's Ancient Kgyptunu^ inn'*. (!<ayard, MomiMaU^ Ut SeriM, 
1 ; p. 316. A allnger is Pi. 2U.) 

I IK the eoemlef of the j 

Chap. VII. 




is remarkable that in Assyria lie is, at first, completely armed 
according to Assyrian ideas of completeness, having a helmet, 
a coat of mail to the waist, a tunic to the knees, a 
close-fitting trouser, and a short boot or greave. 
The weapon which distinguishes him appears to 
have consisted of two pieces of rope or string,^ 
attached to a short leathern strap which received 
the stone. Previous to making his throw, the slinger 
seems to have whirled the weapon around his head 
two or three times, in order to obtain an increased 
impetus — a practice which was also known to the 
Egyptians and the Eomans.^ With regard to am- 
munition, it does not clearly appear how the Assyrian slinger 
was supplied. He has no bag like the Hebrew slinger,^ no sinus 
like the Koman.^ Frequently 

we see him simply provided 
with ^ single extra stone w^hich 
he carries in his left hand. 
Sometimes, besides this re- 
serve, he has a small heap of 
stones at his feet ; but whether 
he has collected them from the 
field, or has brought them with 
him and deposited them where 
they lie, is not apparent. 

Sennacherib's archers fall 
into four classes, two of which 
may be called heavy-armed 
and two light-armed. None 
of them exactly resemble the archers of Sargon 

Foot archer of the heavy equipment, 
with attendant. (Time of Sennacherib.) 

The most 

^ Sometimes the twist of the string is 
very clearly discernible, as represented 
above in the woodcut. 

2 For the Roman usage see the well- 
known lines of Virgil, — 

•' Stridentem fundam, positis Mezcntius hastis, 

Ipse ter adducta circum caput egit hiibona." 

—.<£•«. ix. 586, 587. 

For the Egyptian, consult Wilkinson, 

Ancient Egyptians, 1st Series, vol. i.p. 316. 

' " And David took his staff in his 
hand, and chose him five smooth stones 
out of the brook, and put them in a 
shepherd's hag which he had, even in a 
scrip, and his sling was in his hand," 
&c. (1 Sam. xvii. 40.) 

* See a representation in Smith's Dic- 
tionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 

8. V. FUNDA. 

2 F 2 



Chap. vir. 

heavily equipped wean a tunic, a coat ol mail rcuching to the 
waist/a pointed helmet, a close-fitting trouser, aud a short boot 
or gieaye. He is accompanied by an attendant (or sometimea 
by two attendant**) similarly attired, and fijrhts bL»hind a Urge 
wicker shield or gerrhon, A modification of this costume ia 
worn by the second class, 
the archers of which have 
bare legs, a tunic which 
seems to open at the side, 
and a philUbeg. They fight 
without the protection of a 
shield, generally in pairs, 
who shoot tosrether. 

Foot arrh^r* of Um 

(TioM oTSciuMdMrlL) 

Ik>lti and hMul'drrw of • fool arehar of Um 
third clMi. (Time of SanoMberilk) 

The better equipped of the light-armed archers of this period 
hare a costume which is very striking. Their head-ilress con- 
«fti of a broad fillet, elaborately imttcrned, from which then^ 
often depends on either side of tlio head a large lappet, also 
richly oniamented, generally of an oblong-squaro sha|)e, and 
ti*rmifiating in a fringe. Ikduw thiH they wear a closely-fitting 
tunic, as short as thai worn by the light-armed archers of Sar- 

* Iw Ujanl'i iroMMmte, S»i Irrki, PL SO. 

Chap. VII. 



Mode of carrying the quiver. (Time 
of Sennacherib.) 

gon/ sometimes patterned, like that, with squares and gradines, 
sometimes absolutely plain. The upper part of this tunic is 
crossed by two belts of very unusual breadth, which pass re- 
spectively over the right and the 
left shoulder. There is also a 
third broad belt round the waist ; 
and both this and the transverse 
belts are adorned with elegant 
patterns. The phillibeg depends 
from the girdle, and is seen in 
its full extent, hanging either in 
front or on the right side. The 
arms are naked from the shoulder, 
and the legs from considerably 
above the knee, the feet alone being protected by a scanty 
sandal.''' The ordinary short sword is worn at the side, and a 
quiver- is carried at the back ; 
the latter is sometimes kept in 
place by means of a horizontal 
strap which passes over it and 
round the body. 

The archers of the lightest 
equipment wear nothing but a 
fillet, with or without lappets, 
upon the head, and a striped 
tunic,** longer behind than in iront, 
which extends from the neck to 
the knees, and is confined at the 
waist by a girdle. Their arms, 
legs, and feet are bare ; they have 
seldom any sword ; and their 
quiver seems to be suspended only by a single horizontal strap, 
like that represented in the upper woodcut. They do not appear 

Foot archers of the lightest equip- 
ment. (Time of Sennacherib.) 

" See above, page 430. 

' Sometimes the feet also are bare. 
(Layard, Monuments, 2nd Series, PI. 20.) 

* This tunic is very incorrectly repre- 
sented by Mr. Layard's artist in PI. 20 

of the 2nd Series of Monuments. He 
has omitted almost all the stripes, and 
has only in one instance suflkiently 
marked the fall of the tunic behind. 



Chap "^TT, 

very oft^n ii|K)n the monuments: when > m. :li«y are inter- 
spersed among archers and soldiers of other 1 1 iv-. >. 

Sennacherib*8 foot spearmen are of two classes only. The 
better armed Jiave pointed helmets, witli lappets protecting the 
ears, a coat of mail descending to the waist and also covering 
all the upper part of the arms, a tunic 
opening at the side, a phillibeg, close- 
fitting trousers, and greaves of the ordi- 
nary character. They carry a large con- 
vex shield, apparently of metal, which 
covers them almost from head to foot, 
and a spear somewhat less than their own 
height.* Commonly they have a short 
sword at their right side. Their shield 
is often ornamented with rows of bosses 
towards the centre and around the edge. 
It is ordinarily carried in front ; * but 
when the warrior is merely upon the 
march, he often bears it slung at his 
back, as in the accompanying representa- 
There is reason to suspect that 
the spearmen of this description consti- 
tuted the royal body-guard. They are comparatively few in 
number, and are usually seen in close proximity to the monarch, 
or in positions which imply trust, as in the care of prisoners and 
of the spoil. They never make the attacks in sieges, and are 
rarely observed to be engaged in battle. Where several of them 
are seen together, it is almost always in attendance uiK)n the 
king, whom they constantly precede upon his journeys." 

The inferior 8i)earmen of Sennacherib are armed nearly like 
those of Sargon.* They have crested helmet^*, plain tunicas con- 
fined at the waist by a broad girdle, cross-bolts ornamented with 
circular disks where they meet in the centre of the breast, and, 

Foot ipearman of the time tion. 
of Sennacherib. 

* TIm tpiftr Id Um ACconpMiylnff r»> 
■■■ atatiuM la toaMwlMi loogrr, ami the 
', ihmn uaual. 

* Itt Um rtpweatttloo in Mr. Uy- 
anS'a Niimtk and «f i^«MMiM, vol. li. 


* 8e0 Layanl, AfonumcHt*, 1ft Hcrlea. 
Pit. 7S and SU ; Snd Strict. 1*1». 2tf, 42, 
and 49. 

» Supra, p. 433. 

Chap. VII. 



-~-~ \ 


Wicker shield of spearmen. 
(Time of Sennacherib.) 

most commonly, round wicker shields. The chief points where- 
in they differ from Sargon's spearmen are the following : they 
usually (though not universally) wear 
trousers and greaves; they have sleeves 
to their tunics, which descend nearly to 
the elbow ; and they carry sometimes, 
instead of the round shield, a long con- 
vex one arched at the top. Where they 
have not this defence, but the far com- 
moner targe, it is always of larger di- 
mensions than the targe of Sargon, and is 
generally surrounded by a rim. Some- 
times it appears to be of metal; but more 
often it is of wickerwork, either of the 
plain construction common in Sargon's 
time, or of one considerably more elabo- 

Among the foot soldiers of Sennacherib 
we seem to find a corps of pioneers.'' They 
wear the same dress as the better equipped 
of the spearmen, but carry in their hands, 
instead of a spear, a double-headed axe 
or hatchet, wherewith they clear the ground for the passage 
and movements of the army. They work in pairs, one pulling 
at the tree by its branches while the other attacks the stem 
with his weapon. 

After Sennacherib's time we find but few alterations in the 
equipment of the foot soldiers. Esarhaddon has left us no 
sculptures, and in those of his son and successor, Asshur-bani- 
pal, the costumes of Sennacherib are for the most part repro- 
duced almost exactly. The chief difference is that there are 
not at this time quite so many varieties of equipment, both 
archers and spearmen being alike divided into two classes only, 
light-armed and heavy-armed. The light-armed archers corre- 
spond to Sennacherib's bowmen of the third class.* They have 

Wicker shield or targe. 
(Time of Sennacherib.) 

* See Layard's Monuments, 1st Series, Pi. 76. 

Supra, p. 436. 



Ciup. Til. 

Metal fhield of Um 
Istfltt perkxL 

the fillet, the plain tnnic, the crom-belts, Uio broad girdle, and 
the phillibeg. They differ only in having no lappets over the 
ears and no sandala. The heavy-armed archers resemble the 
first class* of Sennacherib exactly, except tliat they are not 
•een shooting from behind the gerrhon. 

In the case of the spearmen, the only novelty consists in tlie 
shields. The spearmen of the heavier equip- 
ment, though sometimes they carry the old 
convex oval shield, more often have one which 
is made straight at the Ixittom, and. rounded 
only at top. The spearmen of the lighter 
equipment have likewise commonly a shield of 
this shape, but it is of wickerwork instead of 
metal, like that borne occasionally by tlie 
light-armed spearmen of Sennacherib.^ 

Besides spearmen and archers, we see among 
the foot soldiers of Asshur-bani-pal, slingers, 
mace-bearers, and men armed with battle-axes. For the slingers 
Sennacherib's heavy equipment • has been discarded ; and they 
wear nothing but a plain tunic, with a girdle 
and cross-belts. The mace-bearers and men 
with axes have the exact dress of Asahor^ 
bani-i)ar8 heavy-armed spearmen, and may 
possibly be 8)>earmen who have broken or lost 
their weapons. It makes, however, against 
this view, that they have no shields, which 
spearmen always carry. Perhups, tht*refore, we 
must eonehulo that towanis the close of the 
empire, Upsides spearmen, slingers, and archers, 
there were distinct corps of mace- bearers * and 

The arms uaed by the Assyrians have been 
mentioned, and to a certain extent described, 
in the fMrA'r.^ingremarks upon the various classes^.,Miers. 

MtoMT. (TlnM 

* A rr|«r«wuutUNi of lliU aliMd U 
fiv«a OB Um Uai {«§». * llupm, fk 415. 

* Acronliof to lirmtlotus, tlir Amj- 
rUn» in the* mtmy of Xrr&r* " c*rrWil 
Uaett, lUcgvrt, mmI mmduk Wfl4t lMdU4 

Chap. VII. 




Some further details may, however, be now added on their 
character and on the variety observable in them. 

The common Assyrian pointed helmet has been sufficiently 
described already, and has received abundant illustration both 
in the present and in former chapters. It was at first regarded 
as Scythic in character ; but Mr. Layard long 
ago observed^ that the resemblance which it 
bears to the Scythian cap is too slight to prove 
any connexion. That cap appears, whether we 
follow the foreign or the native representations 
of it,^ to have been of felt, whereas the Assyrian 
pointed helmet was made of metal; it was 
much taller than the Assyrian head-dress, and Pointed helmet 
it was less upright. ^li':**'''.f ^""^^^^ 

, . (Nimrud). 

The pointed helmet admitted of but few 
varieties. In its simplest form it was a plain conical casque, 
with one or two rings round the base, and generally with a 
half-disk in front di- 
rectly over the fore- 
head. Sometimes, 
however, there was 
appended to it a fall- 
ing curtain covered 
with metal scales, 
whereby the chin, 
neck, ears, and back 
of the head were pro- 
tected. More often 
it had, in lieu of this 
effectual but cum- 
brous guard, a mere 
lappet or cheek-piece, consisting of a plate of metal, attached to 
the rim, which descended over the ears in the form of a half-oval 

Iron helmet (from Koyunjik). 


with iron " (b6ira\a ^vXwv T«TuA.w/i6i/a 
(Tii-flpCf}. Herod, vii. 63). It is possible 
that this may be a sort of periphrasis for 
maces, whicii were not in use among the 
Greeks of his day. 

' Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i i. p. 34 1 . 

•^ For foreign representations, see the 
author's Herodotus, vol. iv. p. 65 ; and 
for a native one, see the same work, 
vol. iii. p. 69. 



Chap. VH. 

or semi-circle. If we may judge by Uie remains actmilly found, 
the chief material uf the helmet was iron;' copper was used 
only for the rings and the half-disk in front, which were inlaid 
into the harder metaL 

As if to compensate themselves for the uniformity to which 
they submitted in this instance, the Assyrians indulged in a 
great variety of crested helmets. We cannot positively say 
that they invented the crest;* but they certainly detilt with it 

Aasyrian cmted helmeu, from the ba»- reliefs. 

in the free spirit which is usually seen where a custom is of 
home growth and not a foreign importation. They used either 
a plain metal crest, or one surmounted by tufts of hair; and 
they either simply curved the crest forwards over the front of 

* JTAmmI and U» BtmaJiu, vol U. j^ 
SS0. la later tUsM, If w« may believe 
HarodMm, the mmtmrial of the AMyrian 
iMlaM* WM bnmm>, (llrr««l. vii. 63.) 

* Tli0 •tatemnit uf HrrtMlutiM (i. 171) 
that ctwatB>0n9 lovcrntnl by ihvCarUns 
k aol wortli varv mmth t bus it at Umtt 

it Mkr iJbat tka etmi waa 
bjr lliaGffMlu fttm Iha Aatatka. 
Tha Am dbilneC tvldwpa «« hava of 

tbtni to im Um %ypcian reprramtatloM 
oftba£Wr«<aaa,aboutB.clMa llomar 
aacribet them to th« Greeka in tht* liux' 
of the Tn^an War, which «ra« |irr)ia|iM 
earlier than thii ; ami they must at any 
rate have been common in Grrvee in hia 
own aga, which waa probably iha 9ih 
amtwy ma Wa eanaot prova that Iktj 

ikiuiMU lu thp AMvrUutt much beiira 


Chap. VII. 



the helmet, or extended it and carried it backwards also. In 
this latter case they generally made the curve a complete semi- 
circle, while occasionaHy they were content with a small seg- 
ment, less even than a quarter of a circle.^ Tliey also varied 
considerably the shape of the lappet over the ear, and the depth 
of the helmet behind and before the lappet. 

Assyrian coats of mail were of three sizes, and of two dif- 
ferent constructions. In the earlier times they were worn long, 
descending either to the feet or to the 
knees; and at this period they seem to 
have been composed simply of successive 
rows of similar iron scales sewn on to a 
shirt of linen or felt. Under the later 
monarchs the coat of mail reached no 
lower than the waist, and it was composed 
of alternate bands of dissimilar arrange- 
ment and perhaps of different material. 
Mr. Layard suffo^ests that at this time the 

1 I.- I. 1 ^U 1. 4- Scale (Egyptian). 

scales, which were larger than before, were 

*' fastened to bands of iron or copper." ^ But it is perhaps more 
probable that scales of the old character alternated in rows 
with scales of a new shape and smaller 
dimensions. The old scales were oblong, I | I I i ] I J 
squared at one end and rounded at the 
other, very much resembling the Egyptian. 
They were from two to three inches, or 
more, in length, and were placed side by 
side, so that their greater length corre- 
sponded with the height of the wearer. 
The new scales seem to have been not 
more than an inch long ; they appear to have been pointed at 
one end, and to have been laid horizontally, each a little over- 
lapping its fellow.''' It was probably found that this construction, 
while possessing quite as much strength as the other, was moie 
favourable to facility of movement. 

<<<<< <<<<IL 

Arrangement of scales in 
Assyrian scale-armour 
of the second period 

* See Fig. .5, which is taken from the Khorsabad sculptures. 
See Nineveh and its J\'em:iins, vol. ii. p. 336. ' See above, p. 431. 

444 THE 8B0OKD MOV VT^rTTV CiiAr Vll 

Remains of armour belongin;.' t . th >. . nmi period have been 
ducovered in the Assyrian ruiu.s." Thu scales are frequently 
emboMed over their nhole surface with Rroups of figures and 
fiknciful ornaments. The small scales of the first period have 
no inch elaborate ornamentation, being simply embossed in the 
centre with a single straight line, which in of copper inlaid into 
the iron.* 

The Awyrian coat of mail, like the Egyptian,*' had com- 
monly a short sleeve, extending about half 
way down to the elbow. This was either 
com|x>sed of scales set similarly to those 
of the rest of the cuirass,* or of two, three, 
or more rows placed at right angles to the 
others. The greater part of the arm was 
left without any protection. 

A remarkable variety existed in the form 
ofs cofttofmaii— and Construction of the Assvrian shields. 
JSS^^rri^r^"' The most imiming kind is that which has 
been termed the gerrhony from its ap^mrent 
resemblance to the Persian shield mentioned under that name by 
Herodotus.* This was a structure in wickerwork, which equalled 
or exceeded the warrior in height, and which was broad enough 
to give shelter to two or even three men. In shape it was either 
an oblong square, or such a square with a projection at top, which 
stood out at right angles to the body of the shield ; or, histly, 
and most usually, it curved inwards from a certain height, gra- 
dually narrowing at the same time and finally ending in a 
l>oint. Of course a shield of this vtist size, even although 
formed of a light material, was too heavy to Ix* very readily 
carried nyon the arm. The plan adopted was to rest it upon 
the ground, on which it was generally held steady by a warrior 
armed with suord or spear, while his comrade, whoso wea|Mm 

* Ujrftnl. Nkmtk mid m Utmakm, 
%ol, IL 

«ol. II. in MO, MM BOCA. 

' IMd. VOL L yi840; Md vol. IL p. 

eorw>l«H thr platr* of the* iil«rv«« wrrv not 
•rt at right angU'* lu ihciar of the Iwdy. 

' A« in thr rr|irt-M*ntaliou given oa 
^ 4,11. 

• Hrrml. vii. fi| ; ii. 61 ami t»t}. Totn- 

til. lo Um Egy|4Un |«ro X«i. /mI. Cyr. i. S, § », fce. 

Chap, VII. 



was the bow, discharged liis arrows from behind its shelter. Its 
proper place was in sieges, where the roof-liive structure at the 
top was especially usei'ul in warding off the stones and other 
missiles which the besieged threw down upon their assailants. 
We sometimes see it employed by single soldiers, who lean the 

Assyrian gerrha, or large wicker shields. 

point against the wall ^ of the place, and, ensconcing themselves 
beneath the penthouse thus improvised, proceed to carry on the 
most critical operations of the siege in almost complete security. 
Modifications of this shield, reducing it to a smaller and more 
portable size, were common in the earlier times, when among 
the shields most usually borne we find one of wickerwork, 
oblong-square in shape, and either perfectly flat, or else curving 
slightly inwards both at top and at bottom.'' This shield was 
commonly about half the height of a man, or a little more ; it 

3 See the woodcut, p. 446. The 
Egyptians supported their large shields 
with a crutch sometimes. (Wilkinson, 
in the author's Herodotus, vol. iv. pp. 80, 

81.) We have no evidence that the 
Assyrians did the same. 

* See the woodcuts on pp. 429 and 



Chap. VII. 

was often used as a protection for two/ but must have been 
scanty for that purpose. 

Round shields were coramoner in Assyria than any others. 
They were used by most of those who 
fought in chariots, by the early monarchs' 
personal attendants, by the cross-belted 
spearmen, and by many of the spearmen 
who guarded archers. In the most an- 
cient times they seem to have been 
universally made of solid metal, and con- 
sequently they were small, perhaps not 
often exceeding two feet, or two feet and 
a half, in diameter.* They were managed 
by means of a very simple handle, placed 
in the middle of the shield at the back, 
and fastened to it by studs or nails, which 
was not passed over the arm but graspe I 
by the hand.^ The rim was bent inwards, 
so as to form a deep groove all round the 
The material of which these shields were composed was 
in some cases certainly bronze ;* in others it may have been 
iron ; in a few silver, or even gold.* Some metal shields were 
perfectly plain ; others exhibited a number of concentric rings ; *® 
others again were inlaid or embossed with tasteful and elaborate 

Among the later Assyrians the round metal shield seems to 
have been almost entirely disused, its place being sup|)lied by 
a wicker buckler of the same shape, with a rim round the edge 
made of solid wood or of metal, and sometimes with a boss in 

Soldier undermining a wall, 
sheltered by gerrhcm. 

* iMymrd, JUumumtntSt Itt Scriea, Pb. 
17. 19,90. 

* The bronat thlddi found by Mr. 
lityard at Nimrud, one of which U rtv 
|imH^t(Hl in hb A'lWtvA ami Jtahyhn 
(p. 193), had a diameter of 2^ fbot If 
«rt may trust the Ncuipturea, a tmallfr 

p. 439. The Cireeki 
their Mm through the bar at 
the eentre of the ihlekl, and gnui|iod a 

leathtra thong near the rim with their 
hand. (See the author'* lUrvdotut, vol. 
i. pi 306.) 

' I.ayard, Siiwrt-h ami Jlihtfhm, p. 194. 

• Hhields of ipold were taken from the 
•ervantJ of lladadeser, king of Zobah 
(2 Ham. viii. 7), by David. Solomon 
made 800 such shieldt (1 K. x. 17). 
CrGHRie d(Hlicat«Hl a golden shield at the 
temple of Amphiaraiia (H.r.Nt i •,j\ 

*• Supra, p. 411. 

Chap. VII. 



the centre.^^ The weight of the metal shields must have been 
considerable ; and this both limited their size and made it diffi- 

Round shields or targes, patterned (Khorsabad). 

cult to move them with rapidity. With the change of material 
we perceive a decided increase of magnitude ; the diameter of 
the wicker buckler being often fully half the warrior's height, 
or not much short of three feet. 

Convex shields, generally of an oblong form, were also in 
common use during the later 
period, and one kind is found 
in the very earliest sculptures. 
This is of small dimensions and 
of a clumsy make.^^ Its curve 
is slight, and it is generally 
ornamented with a perpendicu- 
lar row of spikes or teeth, in 
the centre of which we often see 
the head of a lion. 

The convex shields of later 
date were very much larger than 
these. They were sometimes 
square at bottom and rounded at top, in which case they were 
either made of wickerwork, or (apparently) of metal. '^ These 
latter had generally a boss in the centre, and both this and the 

Convex shields with teeth (Nirarud). 

*' For representations of round wicker I its simplest form is given on p. 429. 
bucklers, see pp. 434 and 439. '=• See above, pp. 439 and 440. 

'2 A representation of this shield in j 



Chap. VII. 

edge of the shield were often ornamented with a row of rosettes 
or rings. Shields of this shape were from four to five feet in 
height, and protected the warrior from the head to the knee. 

Egyptian convex shield, worn on back. Assyrian ditto (Koyunjik). 

On a march they were often worn upon the back, like the 
convex shield of the Egyptians, which they greatly resembled. 

The more ordinary con- 
vex shield was of an oval 
form, like the convex 
shield of the Greeks,* but 
larger and with a more 
proniiuent centre. In its 
greater diameter it .must 
often have exceeded ^ve 
feet, though no doubt some- 
times it was smaller. It 
was generally ornamented 
with narrow bands round 
tlu* edj^t? and round the boss at the centre; the space between 
the bands lx?ing frequently patterned, with rings or otherwise. 
Like the other form of convex shield, it could be slung at the 

l«i, re«M'ml»liii>r the Grpek 
(K.oyunjik ) 

* For A f i p ww n tatUm of llie Qtmk ihlald, Mt Bmith't Diciiomr^ 0/ Qrmk and 
ft*mdm AtUijuiUMt mI vue. Curst*. 

Chap. VII. 




Quiver, with arrows and 
javelin (Nimrud). 

back,^ and was so carried on marches, on crossing rivers,^ and 
other similar occasions. 

The offensive arms certainly used by the Assyrians were the 
bow, the spear, the sword, the mace, the 
sling, the axe or hatchet, and the dagger. 
They may also have occasionally made use 
of the javelin, which is sometimes seen 
among the arrows of a quiver. But the 
actual employment of this weapon in war 
has not yet been found upon the bas-reliefs. 
If faithfully represented, it must have been 
very short, scarcely, if at all, exceeding three 

Assyrian bows were of two kinds, curved 
and angular. Compared with the Egyptian,^ and with the bows 
used by the archers of the middle ages, they were short, the 
greatest length of the strung bow being about four feet. They 
seem to have been made of a single piece of wood, which in the 
angular bow was nearly of the same thick- 
ness throughout, but in the curved one 
tapered gradually towards the two ex- 
tremities. At either end was a small knob 
or button, in the later times often carved 
into the representation of a duck's head. 
Close above this was a notch or groove, 
whereby the string was held in place. The 
mode of stringing was one still frequently 
practised in the East. The bowman stooped, 
and placing his right knee against the middle of the bow on 
its inner side, pressed it downwards, at the same time drawing 
the two ends of the bow upwards with his two hands. A com- 
rade stood by, and, when the ends were brought sufficiently near, 
slipped the string over the knob into the groove, where it 

Ornamented end of bow 

^ See the woodcut on p. 438. 

^ Layard, Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd 
Scries, PI. 41. Compare infra, p. 464. 

■• The Roman pilnm, which is com- 
monly called a javelin, exceeded six feet. 

VOL. I. 

The Greek ypoaipos, or dart, was nearly 
four feet. 

* See Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, 
Ist Series, vol. i. pp. 304, 305. 

2 G 



Chap. VIL 

necessarily remained. The bend of the bow, thus strung, was 
alight When full drawn, however, it took the shape of a half- 

stringing the bow (Koyui^ik). 

moon, which shows that it must have possessed great elasticity. 
The bow was known to be full drawn when the head of the arrow 
touched the archer*s left hand. 

AMyrian curved bow. 

The AMyrian angiilar bow was of smaller size than the curved 
one. It was not often carried unless as a reserve by those who 
also poM O i Ood the larger and better weapon. 

AMjrrlaa ufuUr bow. 

Bowf were but seldom unstrung. When not in use, they wore 
oarrled strung, the archer either holding them by the middle 
with his left hand, or putting his arm through them, and letting 

Chap. VII, 



them rest upon his shoulder/ or finally carrying them at his 
back in a bow-case. The bow-case was a portion of the quiver, 
as frequently with the Greeks,' and held 
only the lower half of the bow, the 
upper portion projecting from it. 

Quivers were carried by foot and 
horse archers at their backs, in a dia- 
gonal position, so that the arrows could 
readily be drawn from them over the 
right shoulder. They were commonly 
slung in this position by a strap of their 
own, attached to two rings, one near 
the top and the other near the bottom 
of the quiver, which the archer slipped 
over his left arm and his head. Some- 
times, however, this strap seems to have been wanting, and 
the quiver was either thrust through one of the cross-belts, or 

Mode of carrying the bow in a 
bow-case (Koyunjik). 

Peculiar mode of carrying the quiver (Koyunjik). 

attached by a strap which passed horizontally round the body 
a little above the girdle.® The archers who rode in chariots 
carried their quivers at the chariot's side, in the manner which 
has been already described and illustrated.® 

I * Mr. Layard says that the warrior 
carried the bow upon his shoulders, 
*' having first passed his head through 
it." (Nin. and its liemains, vol. ii. p. 342.) 
This may have been the case sometimes, 
but generally both ends of the bow are 

seen on the same side of the head. 

' See Dictionary of Greek and Roman 
Antiquities, p. 126, 2nd edition. 
* See the woodcut, p. 437. 
» Supra, pp. 412 and 414. 

2 G 2 



Chap. %'IL 

The ornamentation of qiiiv< :^ \s i- 
settee and bande constituteil th* n hk 



j.ii' r.illv .•!.i) ..rate. Ro- 

■ t ii-Mil aiMfiiMient ; hut 

t!..-- ■JA\<' pla^-" i.» <!•- 

a muro artistic character, 
bulls, grifSns, aud other , 
figures. Sereral examples 
of a rich type have been already 
given in the representations of cha- 
riot^/^ but none exhibit tiiis pecu- 
liarity. One further specimen of a 
chariot quiver is therefore appended, 
which is among the most tasteful 
hitherto discovered. 

The quivers of the foot and horse 
archers were less richly adorned 
tlian those of the bowmen who rode 
in chariots, but still they were in 
almost every case more or less pat- 
terned. The rosette and tlie band 
here too constituted the chief re- 
source of the artist, who, however, 
often introduced with good effect 
other well-known ornaments, as the 
guilloche, the boss and cross, the 
zigzag, &c. 

Sometimes the quiver had an 
ornamented rod attached to it, which 
projet»teil beyond the arrows and 
terminated in a pomegranate blos- 
som or other similar oan'ing. lo 
this rod were attached the rings 
\\hich received the quiver strap, a 
triple tassel hanging from them at the 
QiUm« or tlM oidlMf7 •k.frt-r. p^jj^^ of attachment The strap nas ^ 

probably of leather, and appears to have been twist cil or plaited. 

Quirmr, with rich ornamenUtion 


Chap. TII. 



It is uncertain whether the material of the quivers was wood 
or metal. As, however, no remains of quivers have been dis- 
covered in any of the ruins, while helmets, shields, daggers, 
spear-heads, and arrow-heads have been found in tolerable abun- 
dance, we may perhaps assume that they were of the more 
fragile substance, which would account for their destruction. 

Quiver with projecting rod (Khorsabad). 

In this case their ornamentation may have been either by 
carving or painting,^ the bosses and rosettes being perhaps in 
some cases of metal, mother-of-pearl, or 
ivory. Ornaments of this kind were 
discovered by hundreds at Nimrud in a 
chamber which contained ai^ns of many 
descriptions.^ Quivers have in some 
cases a curious rounded head, which 
seems to have been a lid or cap used 
for covering the arrows.^ They have 
also, occasionally, instead of this, a kind 
of bag* at their top, which falls back- 
wards and is ornamented with tassels. 
Both these constructions, however, are exceptional, a very large 
majority of the quivers being open and having the feathered 
ends of the arrows projecting from them. 

Assyrian covered quivers 

* In the Khorsabad sculptures the 
quivers not unfrequently showed traces 
of paint. The colour was sometimes red, 
sometimes blue. (See pp. 363, 364.) 

- Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 177. 

^ The lid was probably attached to the 
back of the quiver by a hinge, and was 
made so that it could stand open. The 
Assyrian artists generally represent it in 

this position. The quiver, of which it 
was the top, must also have been round. 
* Possibly this bag may be the upper 
part of a bow-case attached to the quiver, 
which, being made of a flexible material, 
fell back when the bow was removed. 
.Such a construction was common in 
Egypt. (Wilkinson, Anrient J-Jyyptians, 
l8t Series, vol. i. pp. 345-347.) 



Chat. VII. 

TiRr«» IS iictiung reinarkable in the ABsyrian arrows except 

ttioir rw rfo^t tinish and completenen in all that constitntes the 

f such a weapon. The ahaftwas thin and straight. 

My of reod, or of some light and tough wood.* 

of metal/ either of brousse or iron, and was 

i)d-8hai)ed, like a miniature spear-head. It was 

iUtti^li^ aiiii lor greater strength had commonly a strongly 

raised line down the centre. The lower end was hollowed, and 

the shaft was inserted into it The notching and feathering 

arrow-lmds (Nimrud and Koyui^ik). 

of the thait were carefully attended to. It is doubtful whether 
three feathers were used, as by ourselves and by the Eg^'ptians,^ 
or two only, aa by many nations. The fact that we never see 
more than two feathers upon the monuments cannot be oon- 

Mr. Iji^anl't etNOsetttIV UlAi th« 

num<tou* iruii rods whlok h* dtoeomwl 
•4 XioinMl wM« **aiMlb of anrnrt** 
(iTAMvrt tmd AiMK R. m) dow not 
•MM to ■• v«7 himr. TIm Imrotehlag 
of arrowB mMitloo«l b teirlpUif* aimotl 
ewtalttlyAU«d«lotlwBolati^ TbM« b 
M«rldMW» UmI tttoli timmn Mid Imo»- 
f— JMit thlMft M MtUi tlMro mwn vtw 

HHd by MIQr MtlMk 

* A *v HoM ww w h Mi b Imv* bw«, 
iMad la iIm AMjfflMi ihIm^ TImv m« 
pmttkmftd MMl of dM flial, dUfiytd 

Tb« m«(»l airrow-liMa« to 
' WlUclmon, rol. i. p. 809. 

Flint arrow 'bcttd (Nimrud). 

Chap. VII. 



sidered decisive, since the Assyrian artists, from their small 
knowledge of perspective, would have been unable to represent 
all three feathers. So far as we can judge from the representa- 
tions, it would seem that the feathers were glued to the wood 

Assyrian arrow. 

exactly as they are with ourselves. The notch was somewhat 
large, projecting beyond the line of the shaft — a construction 
rendered necessary by the thickness of the bowstring, which was 
seldom less than that of the arrow itself. 

The mode of drawing the bow was peculiar. It was drawn 
neither to the ear, nor to the breast, but to the shoulder. In 
the older sculptures the hand that draws it is represented in a 
curiously cramped and unnatural position,® which can scarcely 
be supposed to be true 
to nature. But in 
the later bas-reliefs 
greater accuracy 

seems to have been 
attained, and there we 
probably see the ex- 
act mode in which 
the shooting was ac- 
tually managed. The 
arrow was taken be- 

Mode of drawing the bow (Koyunjik). 

low the feathers by the thumb and fore-finger of the right hand, 
the fore-finger bent down upon it in the way represented in the 
accompanying woodcut, and the notch being then placed upon 
the string, the arrow was drawn backwards by the thumb and 
fore-finger only, the remaining three fingers taking no part in 
the operation. The bow was grasped by the left hand between 
the fingers and the muscle of the thumb, the thumb itself being 
raised, and the arrow made to pass between it and the bow, by 
which means it was kept in place and prevented from slipping. 

' Supra, p. 429. 



Chap. VII. 

The arrow was then drawn till the cold metal lieml tuu»iietl the 
fore-finger of the left haud» !ij)on which the right hand quitted 
its hold, and the shaft sped on its way. To save the left arm 

Guard worn by an archer (Koyunjik). 

from being bruised or cut by the bowstring, a guard, often simply 
yet effectively ornamented, was placed upon it, at one end 
passing Tound the thumb and at the other round the arm a 
little above the elbow. 

The Assyrians had two kinds of spears, one a comparatively 
short weapon, var}ing from five to six feet in length, with 
which they armed a portion of their foot soldiers, the other a 
weapon nine or ten feet long, which was carried by most of 

Bronze »pear-head from Niinruil. 

their cavalry.* The shaft seems in buth cases to have been 
of wood, and the head was certainly of metal, either bronsce 
or iron.' It was most usually diamond-shaped, but sometimes 
the side angles were rounded off, and the contour became that 
of an elongated pear. In other instances, the jambs of the 
spear-head were exceedingly short, and the point long«nd 
tap<*nng. The upper end of the shaft was sometimes weighted,^ 

' Her above, pp. 425 and 4t6. 
' ll«Hti hrwtMf and Iron •pwir»h— dt 
wrrv found at Nimnad. (Ltyttid, Hit, 

md Bab. p. 194.) 
* 8mUm iUiMtniti' 

Chap. VII. 



and It was often carved into some ornamental form, as a fir-cone 
or a pomegranate blossom, while in the earlier times it was 
further occasionally adorned with streamers. The spear of the 

Spear-heads, from the Sculptures. 

Ornamented ends of spear-shafts 

Assyrians seems never to have been thrown, like that of 
the Greeks, but was only used to thrust with, as a pike. 

The common sword of the Assyrians was a short straight 
weapon, like the sword of the Egyptians, or the acinaces of the 
Persians.'* It was worn at the left 
side, generally slung by a belt of 
its own which was passed over the 
right shoulder, but sometimes thrust 
through the girdle or (apparently) 
through the armour.^ It had a short 
rounded handle, more or less orna- 
mented, but without any cross-bar or guard,^ and a short blade 
which tapered gradually from the handle to the point. The 
swordsman commonly thrust with his weapon, but he could cut 

Ornamented handle of short sword 

* Representations of the Persian aci- 
nices will be given in a future volume. 
The reader may likewise consult the 
author's Herodotus, vol. iv. pp. 52, 53. 

* Botta, Monument de Ninive, vol. ii. 
PL 99. 

® Mr. Layard says (^Nineveh and its 
Remains, vol. ii. p. 298) that the swords 

had often a cross-bar made of two lions' 
heads, with part of the neck and 
shoulders. But a careful examination of 
the monuments, or even of Mr. Layard's 
own drawings, will (I think) convince 
any one that the ornament in question 
is part of the sheath. It is never seen 
on a drawn sword. 



Chap. VII. 

with it likewise, for it was with this Arm that the AaBjnmn 
warrior was wont to decapitate hk frllen enemy. The sheath of 

fwnni i Koviinjik). 

handle of K. 

the sword was almost always tastcluliy desifjnetl, and sometimes 

|X).sses8ed artistic excellence of a 
high order. The favourite ter- 
Ttiinnl ornament consisted of two 
lions clasping one another, with 
their heads averted and their mouths 
agape. Above this, patterns in ex- 
fe orU cellent taste usually adorned the 
scabbard, which moreover exhibited 
occasionally groups of figures, sacred trees, and other mytho- 
logical object**. 

Instead of the short sword, the earlier warriors had a weapon 
of a considerable length. This was invariably slung at the side 
by a cross-belt ptissing over the shoulder. In its ornamentation 
it closely resembled the later short sword, but its hilt was 
longer and more tasteful. 

One. or two instances occur where the sword of an Assyrian 
warrior is represented as curved slightly. The sheath in these 
is plain, and terminates in a button. 

AMyrian curved vword (Khonftbad). 

Hie AMyrian maco was a short thin weajxin, and must either 
have been made of a very tough wood, or — and this in mure 
probable— -of metal. It had an ornamented head, which was 
•ometlmee rery beautifully modelled, and generally a htrap or 
•Iriag at the lower end, by which it could be grasped with 

Chap. VII. 



Head of royal mace (Khorsabad). 


greater firmness. Foot archers frequently carried it in battle, 

especially those who were in close attendance upon the king's 

person. It seems, however, not 

to have been often used as a 

warlike weapon until the time of 

the latest sculptures, when we see 

it wielded, generally with both 

hands, by a certain number of 

the combatants.*^ In peace it 

was very commonly borne by the 

royal attendants, and it seems also 

to have been among the weapons 

used by the monarch himself, for 

whom it is constantly carried by 

one of those who wait most closely 

upon his person. 

The battle-axe was a weapon 
but rarely employed by the As- 
syrians. It is only in the very 
latest sculptures and in a very 
few instances that we find axes 

represented as used by the warriors Maces, from the Sculptures, 
for any other purpose besides the 
felling of trees. Where they are ^ ^ j ^^ |^X> 

seen in use against the enemy, *^^ I I \^n\ 

the handle is short, the head 
somewhat large, and the weapon 
w^ielded with one hand. Battle- 
axes had heads of two kinds. 
Some were made with two blades, 
like the hipennis of the Komans, 
and the lahra of the I^ydians and 
Carians;^ others more nearly resembled the weapons used by 



Assyrian battle-axes (Koyunjik). 

^ See Layard's Monuments, 2nd Series, 
PI. 46. 

^ See Fellows' Lycia, p. 75, and PI. 35, 
Figs. 4 and 5. A two-headed axe is 
likewise represented in some very early 
sculptures, supposed to be Scythic, found 

by M. Texier in Cappadocia. 

Scythian battle-axe. 


oor own knights in the middle ages, having a single blade, 
and a mere omaroentiil point on the other side of the haft. 

The dagger was worn by the Assyrian kings at almost all 
times in their girdles, and was further often assigned to the 

Ornamented handles of daggers (Nimrud). Handle of dagger, with duiin 


mythic winged beings, hawk-headed or human-headed, which 
occur so frequently in the sculptures ; but it seems to have 
been very seldom carried by subjects.® It bad commonly a 
straight handle, slightly concave, and very richly chased, ex- 
hibiting the usual Assyrian patterns, rosettes, chevrons, guil- 
loches, pine-cones, and the like. Sometimes, however, it was 
still more artistically shaped, being cast into the form of a 
horse's head and neck. In this case there was occasionally a 
chain attached at one end to the horse's chin, and at the other 
to the bottom of his neck, which, passing outride the hand, 
would give it a firmer hold on the weapon. The sheaths of 
daggers seem generally to have been plain, or nearly so, but 
occasionally they terminated in the head of an aninml, from 
whose mouth depended a tassel. 

Though the Assyrian troops were not marshalled by the aid 
of standards, like the lU>mau and the Egyptian, yet still a kind 

* I dtotlofalah between the dagger 
mad the abort twonL The |iUoe of the 
tmaer is on the right side; and it is 
from invariably in the ginllt*. The 

ondentood as not making this dbtino- 

Tbe only place, so (kr as I know, 
where a sul^t oarries a dagg^'r* '«* <*>* 

plaeeof the latter lit by thi< U'(i hip, and the slab repmiented by Mr. l<a\tii 

1 1 ba« 


•ppsniv to bwr* bean • tutu. In IM. ai, th« i 

.. baagi nlmo*t alway* fnim a rniM-lMlt. liiii 1st Scriin of JUoHttiiuutu, V 

WbenMr. La)rard sayii t> "• •••»-' • v,. ^ {g \)onic by one vf 


In lime of panee and ^« " i«vo daggt'rs in his gi 

lis iUmak^ ToL IL p^ IHit), be moat be | doubtvdi/ the monarch himM-ii. 



Sheaths of daggers (Nimrud). 

of standard is occasionally to be recognised in the bas-reliefs. 
This consists of a pole of no great height, fixed upright at the 
front of a chariot, between the cha- 
rioteer and the warrior, and carrying 
at the top a circular frame, within 
which are artistic representations of 
gods or sacred animals. Two bulls, 
b^ck to back, either trotting or run- 
ning at speed, are a favourite device. 
Above them sometimes stands a 
figure in a horned cap, shooting his 
arrows against the enemy. Occa- 
sionally only one bull is represented, 
and the archer shoots standing upon 
the bull's back.^^ Below the circular 
framework are minor ornaments, as 
lions* and bulls' heads, or streamers 
adorned with tassels.^^ 

We do not obtain much informa- 
tion from the monuments with re- 
spect to the military organisation or 
the tactics of the Assyrians. It is 
clear, however, that they had ad- 
vanced beyond the first period in 
military matters, when men fight in 
a confused mass of mingled horse, 
foot, and chariots, heavy-armed and 
light-armed, spearmen, archers, and 
slingers, each standing and moving 
as mere chance may determine. It 
is even certain that they had ad- 
vanced beyond the second period, 
when the phalanx order of battle is adopted, the confused mass 
being replaced by a single serried body presenting its best armed 

Assyrian standard (Khorsabad). 

*° See Mr. Layard's Monuments^ 1st 
Series, Pi. 14. Compare Nineveh aivd its 
Bemains, vol. ii. p. 347. 

Monuments, let Series, Pis. 14 and 




Chap. VH. 

troops to the enemy and keeping in the rear, to add their 
weight to the charge, the weaker and more imperfectly pro- 
tected- It was not really left for Cyaxares the Mede to " be 
the first to organise an Asiatic army — to divide the troops into 
companies and form distinct bodies of the spearmen, the archers, 
and the cavalry." ^ The Assyrian troops were organised in this 
way, at least from the time of Sennacherib, on whose sculptures 
we find, in the first place, bodies of cavalry on the march 
unaccompanied by infantry ; ^ secondly, engagements where 
cavalry only are acting against the enemy ;^ thirdly, long lines 
of spearmen on foot marching in double file, and sometimes 
divided into companies;'* and fourthly, archers drawn up 
together, but similarly divided into companies, each distin- 
guished by its own uniform.* We also meet with a corps of 
pioneers, wearing a uniform and armed only with a hatchet,* 
and with bodies of slingers, who are all armed and clothed 
alike.' If, in the battles and the sieges of this time, the troops 
seem to be to a great extent confused together, we may account 
for it, partly by the inability of the Assyrian artists to represent 
bodies of troops in perspective,^ partly by their not aiming at an 
actual, but rather at a typical representation of events,® and 
partly also by their fondness for representing, not the prepara- 
tion for battle or its first shock, but the rout and flight of the 
enemy and their own hasty pursuit of them. 

The wars of the Assyrians, like those of ancient Eome, con- 
sisted of annual inroads into the territories of their neighbours, 

' Herod, i. 103 : Tlpwros iK6xi<Te Karit. 
TfKta rovs 4v rfj 'Aairj, koI irpwros 
iUra^f X<>>P^s ^Kaa-Tovs flvai, rovs t« 
aixiJ-o<p6povs Kal rovs iinrfas, Koi rovs 
To^o<p6povs' irph Tov Si Avaftl^ ^i/ trdvTa 
dfioiui i,vaiTf<pvpfifva. 

' I^yard, Mimumenta of Nineveh, Ist 
Serit'8, Pis. 80 and 81. 

• Ibid. 2nd Series, Pis. 37 and 38. 
< Ibid. l8t Series, PI. G9. 

» Ibid. 2nd Series, PI. 20. 

• Ibid. l8t Series, PI. 76. 

' Ibid. 2nd Series, Pis. 20 and 21. 

• Tlie Assyrians in their Ijat tie-scenes 
never represent u lonj? row of men in 
perspective. Their powers in this resix*ct 

are limited to two men, or at the utmost 
three. Where a longer row is attempted, 
each is nearly on the head of the other, 
and all are represented as of the same 

" E.g. the Assyrian representation of 
a siege is a sort of history of the siege. 
The various jwirts of the attack and 
defence, together with the surrender and 
the carrying away of the captives, are 
all represented in one scene. It is not 
improbable that each of the ditterent 
corjw who took j)art in the various 
attacks is rei)resentod by a few men. 
Hence an apparent confusion. 

Chap. VII. 



repeated year after year, till the enemy was exhausted, sued for 
peace, and admitted the suzerainty of the more powerful nation. 
The king in person usually led forth his army, in spring or early 
summer, when the mountain passes were opened, and, crossing 
his own borders, invaded some one or other of the adjacent 
countries. The monarch himself invariably rode forth in his 
chariot, arrayed in his regal robes, and with the tiara upon his 
head ; he was accompanied by numerous attendants, and gene- 
rally preceded and followed by the spearmen of the Royal 
Guard, and a detachment of horse-archers. Conspicuous among 
the attendants were the charioteer who managed the reins, and 
the parasol-bearer, commonly a eunuch, who, standing in the 
chariot behind the monarch, held the emblem of sovereignty 
over his head. A bow-bearer, a qiiiver-bearer, and a mace- 
bearer were usually also in attendance, walking before or behind 
the chariot of the king, who, however, did not often depend for 
arras wholly upon them, but carried a bow in his left hand, and 
one or more arrows in his right, while he had a further store of 
the latter either in or outside his chariot. Two or three led 
horses were always at hand, to furnish a means of escape in any 
difficulty. The army, marshalled in its several corps, in part 
preceded the royal cortege, in part followed at a little distance 
behind it.^^ On entering the enemy's country, if a wooded tract 
presented itself, the corps of pioneers was thrown out in advance, 
and cleared away the obstructions. When a river was reached 
too deep to be forded, the horses were detached from the royal 
and other chariots by grooms and attendants; the chariots 
themselves were embarked upon boats and rowed across the 
stream ; w^hile the horses, attached by ropes to a post near the 
stern of the boat, swam after it. The horses of the cavalry were 
similarly drawn across by their riders. The troops, both cavalry 
and infantry, and the attendants, a very numerous body, swam 
the stream, generally upon inflated skins,^^ which they placed, 

^'^ Compare the Persian practice (He- 
rod, vii. 40 ; Q. Curt. iii. 3). 

'^ It is very seldom that we find a 
swimmer represented as bold enough to 

dispense with the support of a skin. 
Instances, however, do occur. (See 
Layard, Monuments, 1st Series, Pis. 16 
and 33.) 



Chap. VII. 

Soldier swimming a river (Koyunjik). 

under them, holding the neck in their left hand, and sometimes 
increasing the inflation as they went by applying the orifice at 

the top of the neck to their 
mouths. We have no di- 
rect evidence as to the 
mode in which the baggage 
of an army, which must 
have been very consider- 
able, was conveyed, either 
along the general line of 
route, or when it was ne- 
cessary to cross a river. 
We may conjecture that 
in the latter case it was 
probably placed upon rafts 
supported on inflated skins, such as those which conveyed stones 
from distant quarries to be used in the Assyrian buildings.^ In 
the former, we may perhaps assume that the conveyance was 
chiefly by beasts of burthen, camels and asses, as the author of 
the Book of Judith imagined.^ Carts may have been used to 
some extent; since they were certainly employed to convey 
back to Assyria the spoil of the conquered nations.^ 

It does not appear whether the army generally was provided 
with tents or not. Possibly the bulk of the soldiers may have 
bivouacked in the open field, unless wlien they were able to 
obtain shelter in towns or villages taken from the enemy. 
Tents, however, were certainly provided for the monarch and 
his suite. Like the tents of the Romans, these appear to have 
been commonly pitched within a fortified enclosure, which was 
of an oval shape.^ They were disposed in rows, and were all 

' See the representation, p. 338. 

' Judith ji. 17 : " And iie took camels 
and «#«.'« for thoir carriages, a very great 
number ; and Mheop, and oxen, and goats, 
without nun)lx*r, for their provision." 

I have given elsewhere my reasons 
(I/erodotiu, vol. i. p. 24^, note*, Ist edi- 
tion) for regarding the lUiok of Judith 
a» a post-Alexandrine work, and tlu're- 
fore as no real autUvi-ity on Assyrian 

history or customs. But the writer had 
a good ncqtuiintance w itli Oriental man- 
ners in geiH'rnI, which are and always 
have Ikh'u n'murkably wide-spread and 
IKTUianent. lie may, therefore, fairly be 
used to till out a sketch of Assyria. 

» Stf pp. 2.U and 243. 

* Mr. Ijiyard was at first inclined to 
regard these enclosures as " castles," or 
"walled cities" {MuuumentSf 1st Series, 

Chap. VII. 



Royal tent (Koyunjik). 

nearly similar in construction and form, the royal tent being 
perhaps distinguished from the others by a certain amount of 
ornamentation, and by a slight 
superiority of size. The ma- 
terial used for the coverinjr was 
probably felt.^ All the tents 
were made open to the sky in 
the centre, but closed in at 
either extremity with a curious 
semicircular top. The two tops 
were of unequal size. Inter- 
nally, either both of them, or 
at any rate the larger ones, 
were supported by a central 
pole, which threw out branches 
in different directions resemb- 
ling the branches of a tree or 
the spokes of a parasol. Some- 
times the walls of the tent had 
likewise the support of poles, 
which were kept in place by 
ropes passed obliquely from 
the top of each to the ground 
in front of them, and then 
firmly secured by pegs. Each 
tent had a door, square-headed, 
which was placed at the side, 
near the end which had the 
smaller covering. The furni- 
ture of tents consisted of tables, 
couches, footstools, and domestic 

Ordinary tent (Koyunjik). 

Interior of tent (Koyunjik). 

utensils of various kinds. 

Pis. 63 and 77 ; 2nd Series, Pis. 24, 36, 
and 50). But in his latest work (^Nineveh 
and Babylon, p. 230) he takes the view- 
adopted in the text, that they are really 
" fortified camps and not cities." No 
one will hesitate to admit this conclu- 
sion who compares with the enclosures 
the actual plan of a walled city (Badaca) 
in PI. 49 of Mr. Layard's Monuments, 

VOL. I. 

2nd Series. 

* Felt was used by the Scythians for 
their tent-coverings (Herod, iv. 73, 75); as 
it is by the Calmucks at the present day. 
It is one of the simplest of manufactures, 
and would readily take the rounded form, 
which is so remarkable in the roofs of the 
Assyrian tents. 

2 H 



Crap. vn. 

AVithin the fortified enclosure, but outside the tent<?, were the 
chariot and horses of the monarch, an altar where sacrifice 
could be made, and a number of animals suitable for food, as 
oxen, sheep, and goats.' 

It appears that occasionally the advance of the troops was 
along a road.' Ordinarily, however, they found no such con- 
venience, but had to press forward through woods and over 
mountains as they best could. Whatever the obstructions, the 
chariot of the monarch was in some way or other conveyed 
across them, though it is difficult to suppose that he could have 
always remained, as he is represented, seated in it. Probably 

King walking in a mountainous country — chariot following supported by men 
(from an Obelisk in the British Museum). 

he oc>casionally dismounted and made use of one of the led 
horses, by which he was always accompanied, while sometimes 
he even condescended to proceed on foot.' The use of ptilan- 
quins or litters seems not to J)ave been known to the Assyrians, 
though it was undoubtedly very ancient in Asia ; but the king 

* TImm are often repmented In the 
lM»«ill«ft. (See L«yard, MonutntnUf 
tnd §eriee, Pla. 24 end 86. Compere 
the peeMfe from Judith above quoted, 
p. 464, note *.) 

' A road eeems to bo intended in the 
'of which Mr. I^yanl has given 
ilatiim in his Monunu-ntn uf 
Sim^tmh, Ut fleriet, 1*1. HI. Accord ing 
to tht VMMkrinf of Sir II. lUnlinson, 

Tiglath-Pileeer I. eeiU himself «' the 
opener of the reeds of the oountriee." 
(JnteriptHm, p. .30, § ix.) 

* Hie proUbilitiee of the ceae alone 
wouUi juMtify theee eoneluaions, wbloh 
arc furtlier »up|iorted by the Ineerlptleoa 
{iHM'riittitm of Ti^UttK-l'iU»rr I. pc JIO, 
\ viii. ; Juunuil o/ AsMtu' ^(x**r#y, Tol. 
xix. pp. 139, 140, kc), and by at Icael one 
bae> relief (eee the above repreee n t atl o n ). 


Chap. VII. BATTLES. 467 

was sometimes carried on men's shoulders, seated on his throne, 
in the way that we see the enthroned gods borne in many of the 

The first object in entering a country was to fight, if possible, 
a pitched battle with the inhabitants. The Assyrians were 
always confident of victory in such an encounter, being better 
armed, better disciplined, and perhaps of stronger frames than 
any of their neighbours.'^ There is no evidence to show how 
their armies were drawn up, or how the troops were handled in 
an engagement ; but it would seem that in most cases, after a 
longer or a shorter resistance, the enemy broke and fled, some- 
times throwing away his arms, at other times fighting as he 
retired, always vigorously pursued both by horse and foot, and 
sometimes driven headlong into a river.^ Quarter was not 
very often given in a battle. The barbarous practice of re- 
warding those who carried back to camp the heads of foemen 
prevailed ; and this led to the massacre in many cases even 
of the wounded, the disarmed, and the unresisting, though 
occasionally quarter was given, more especially to generals and 
other leading personages whom it was of importance to take 
alive. Even while the engagement continued, it would seem 
that soldiers might quit the ranks, decapitate a fallen foe, 
and carry off his head to the rear, without incurring any 
reproof;^ and it is certain that, so soon as the engagement 
was over, the whole army turned to beheading the fallen, using 
for this purpose the short sword, which almost every warrior 
carried at his left side. A few, unable to obtain heads, were 
forced to be content with gathering the spoils of the slain and 
of the fled, especially their arms, such as quivers, bows,' helmets, 
and the like ; while their more fortunate comrades, proceeding 


® Layard, Monuments, 1st Series, PI. G5. 
Mr. Fox Talbot supposes palanquins to 
be mentioned more than once in an 
inscription of Sennacherib {Journal of 
Asiatic Society, vol. xix. pp. 152, 153, 
173, &c.) ; but Sir H. Rawlinson does not 

allow this translation. 

»« See p. 239. 

* Layard, Monuments, 2nd Series, 
PI. 46. 

' Sec particularly Layard's Monuments^ 
1st Series, PI. 70. 

2 H 2 



Oiur. VII. 

to an appointed Bpot in tlie rear,* exhibited the tokens of their 
valour, or of their good hick, to the royal acribes, who took an 
exact account of the amount of the spoil, and of the number of 
the enemy killed. 

When the enemy could no longer resist in the open field, he 
usually flod to his strongholds. Almost all the nations with 
whom the Assyrians waged their wars possessed fortified cities, 
or CAstles, which seem to have been places constructed with a 
good deal of skill, and possessed of no inconsiderable strength. 




ni C3 







T 1 



Fortified pUee, belonging to an enemy of the Aasyrians (MImrud). 

According to the representations of the sculptures, they were all 
nearly similar in character, the defencos consisting of high 
battlemented walls, pierced with loopholes or windows towards 
their upper jjart, and fianked at intervals along their whole 
course by towers. Oftfii they poHsessed two or more enceintes, 
which in the bas-reliefs are represented one above the other ; 
and in these cases the outermost circuit was sometimes a mere 
plain ('ontinoom wall, as in the above woodcut They were 
eutertMl by large gateways, most commonly arched, and closed 

of It. (Uyanl. Mm^menl$, Sad 9mrtm, PI. 45.) 

pilcU in 

Chap. VII. 



by two huge gates or doors, which completely filled up the 
aperture. Occasionally, however, the gateways were square- 


Gateway of castle (Koyunjik). 

headed, as in the subjoined illustra- 
tion, where there occurs, moreover, 
a very curious ornamentation of the 

These fortified places the Assyrians 
attacked in three principal ways. 
Sometimes they endeavoured to take 
them by escalade, advancing for this 
purpose a number of long ladders 
against different parts of the walls, 
thus distracting the enemy's attention 
and seeking to find a weak point. 
Up the ladders proceeded companies of 
spearmen and archers in combinatiou, 
the spearmen invariably taking the lead, since their large shields 
afforded them a protection, which archers advancing in file up a 
ladder could not have. Meanwhile from below a constant dis- 
charge was kept up by bowmen and slingers, the former of whom 
were generally protected by the gerrhon, or high wicker shield, 
held in front of them by a comrade. The besieged endeavoured 
to dislodge and break the ladders, which are often represented 
in fragments;^ or, failing in this attempt, sought by hurling 
down large stones, and by discharges from their bows and slings, 
to precipitate and destroy their assailants. If finally they were 
unable by these means to keep the Assyrians from reaching the 
topmost round of the ladders, they had recourse to their spears, 
and man to man, spear to spear, and shield to shield, they still 
struggled to defend themselves. The Assyrians always repre- 
sent the sieges which they conduct as terminating successfully ; 
but we may be tolerably sure that in many instances the invader 

* Mr. Layard regards this ornamenta- 
tion as produced by a suspension from 
the battlements of the shields of the 
garrison, and suggests that it illustrates 
the passage in Ezekiel with respect to 
Tyre: "The men of Arvad with thine 
army were upon thy walls round about, 

and the Gammadims were in thy towers ; 
they hanged their shields njxjn thy walls 
round about." (Nineveh and its Jiemains, 
vol. ii. p. 388.) 

* Lsyard, Monuments, 2nd Series, PI. 




Chap. VII. 

was beaten back, and forced to relinquish his prey, or to try 
fresh methods of obtaining it. 

If the escalade failed, or if it was thought unadvisable to 
attempt it, the plan most commonly adopted was to try the 
eflect of the battering-ram. The Assyrian armies were abun- 




No. I. 

No. 11. 

No. III. 

No. IV. 


dantly supplied with these engines, of which we see as many as 
seven engaged in a single siege.* They were variously designed 
and arranged. Some had a head shaped like the point of a 
spear ;''^ others, one more resembling the end of a blunderbuss.* 
All of them were covered with a framework, which was of ozier, 
wood, felt or skins, for the better protection of those who worked 
the implement ; but some appear to have been stationary, having 

• Layard, MmumenU, Snd SeHM, PL SI. ' As No*. I., 1 1 

• At No. IV., above. 

HI, above 

Chap. VII. 



their framework resting on the ground itself,^ while others were 
moveable, being provided with wheels, which in the early times 
were six,^" but in the later times four only. Again, sometimes, 
combined with the ram and its framework was a moveable tower, 
containing soldiers, who at once fought the enemy on a level, 
and protected the engine from their attacks. Fire was the 
weapon usually turned against the ram, torches, burning tow, or 
other inflammable substances being cast from the walls upon its 
framework, which, wherever it was of ozier or of w^ood, could be 
easily set alight and consumed. To prevent this result, the 
workers of the ram were sometimes provided w ith a supply of 
water, which they could direct through leathern or metal pipes 
against the combustibles.^ At other times they sought to pro- 
tect themselves by suspending from a pole in front of their 
engine a curtain of cloth, leather, or some other non-inflammable 

Another mode of meeting the attacks of the battering-ram 
was by catching the point with a chain suspended by its two 
ends from the walls, and then, when the ram was worked, 
diverting the stroke, by drawing the head upwards.^ To oppose 
this device, the besiegers provided some of their number with 
strong metal hooks, and stationed them below the ram, where 
they watched for the descent of the chain. As soon as ever it 
caught the head of the ram, they inserted their hooks into its 
links, and then hanging upon it with their whole weight, pre- 
vented its interference with the stroke. 

Battering-rams were frequently used against the walls from 
the natural ground at their foot. Sometimes, however, the 
besiegers raised vast mounds against the ramparts, and advanced 

^ See Mr. Layard's Monuments^ 1st 
Series, PI. 19. 

»« Ibid. PI. 17. ^ Ibid. PI. 19. 

2 In the bas-relief represented by Mr. 
Layard in his 2nd Series of Monuments, 
PI. 21, where an enormous number of 
torches are seen in the air, every bat- 
tering-ram is thus protected. A man, 
sheltered under the framework of the 
ram, holds the pole which supports the 
curtain. (See the ram, No. II., in the 

woodcut on the preceding page.) May 
not the TT^o/caAu/i/xaTO of the Platseans 
have been curtains of this description ? 
They were made of " skins and raw 
hides" (Thucyd. ii. 75). 

' Instead of chains, the Greeks used 
nooses ifip6xoi), made of rope probably, 
for this purpose. (See Thucyd. ii. 76, 
where olv^kKwv seems to mean " drew 
upwards," and compare Livy, xxxvi. 23, 
and Dio Cassius, 1080, U.) 



Chap. VIL 

their engines up these, thus bringing them on a level with the 
upper and weaker portions of the defences. Of this nature pro- 
bably were the mounds spoken of in IScripture as employed by 
the Babylonians^ and Egyptians,* as well as the Assyrians,* in 
their sieges of cities. The intention was not so much to pile up the 

mounds till they were on a 
level with the top of the 
walls as to work tlie batter- 
ing-ram with greater advan- 
tage from them. A similar 
use was made of mounds by 
the Pelopounesian Greeks, 
who nearly succeeded in 
taking Plattea in this wayJ 
The mounds were not always 
composed entirely of earth ; 
the upper portion was often 
made of several layers of 
stone or brick, arranged in 
regular order, so as to form 
a sort of paved road, up 
which the rams might be 
dragged with no great diffi- 
culty. Trees, too, were 
sometimes cut down and 
built into the mound.* 

Besides batteriug-ramS| 

the Assyrians appear to 

have been acquainted with 

an engine retk^nbling the 

This engine, 

Aw^riftn halUUB (Nimrud). 

CAtapnlt, or rather the halUia* of the Bomans. 

* Jer. Tl. 6. smIL S4, xxxlii. 4. fcc 

* Kark. xvil. 17. 

* % Klags lis. SS ; la. sssvU. S.1. Tho 
Jn*« IImmmIvmi wrrv aoqiuiiiilMl with 
tbU mmU of fi«g« M Mriv M tho iiiu« 
arUiVliL (S«Mn.ftx. 1ft.) 

' TWd. iL 7ft. 

* iM Um mhutm woolettt* Md cum- 
|M* Mr. U;ftrd'« MmmmtmU, UA 

8m<«, PL 18. So lliMjtlklM tpMiJu 
of Um Mopoaimtii wmumI m roai- 
piMdofMHh, •toBM.uid wood. (*Bf^ 
f9¥0 U tknp it mlkr^ «•) Xf#Mt cat 
yip. Thurytl. II. 75.) 

• Tlip iprm "calniKill" wm prtM* »1^ 
•|»|4ir«| loihi* fiiKiiir whlrh ihirw •!.>< 
ikia which U*n»w %\M»m wm c«ikU 

Chap. VII. 



which was of great height, and threw stones of a large size, was 
protected, like the ram, by a framework, apparently of wood, 
covered with canvas, felt, or hides. The stones thrown from 
the engine were of irregular shape, and it was able to discharge 
several at the same time. The besiegers worked it from a mound 
or inclined plane, which enabled them to send their missiles to 
the top of the ramparts.^° It had to be brought very close to 
the walls in order to be effective — a position which gave the 
besieged an opportunity of assailing it by fire. Perhaps it was 
this liability which caused the infrequent use of the engine in 
question, which is rare upon the earlier, and absent from the 
later, sculptures. 

The third mode of attack employed by the Assyrians in 
their sieges of fortified places was the mine. While the 
engines were in full play, and the troops drawn up around 
the place assailed the de- 
fenders of the walls with 
their slings and bows, war- 
riors singly, or in twos and 
threes, advanced stealthily 
to the foot of the ramparts, 
and either with their swords 
and the points of their 
spears, or with implements 
better suited for the pur- 
pose, such as crowbars and 
pickaxes, attacked the foun- 
dations of the walls, endea- Crowbar. Mining the wall (Koyunjik). 

vouring to remove the stones one by one, and so to force an 
entrance. While thus employed, the assailant commonly either 
held his shield above him as a protection, or was guarded by 
the shield of a comrade;'^ or, finally, if he carried the curved 
gerrhoUy leant it against the wall, and then placed himself under 
its shelter.'^ Sometimes, however, he dispensed with the pro- 


'^ According to Diodonu, balistce 
were chiefly used to break down the 
battlements which crowned the walls 
and the towers. (Diod. Sic. xvii. 42, 

45 ; XX. 48, 88.) 

" Layard, Monuments of Nineveh^ 1st 
Series, PI. 06. 

" See the woodcut, supra, p. 446, 



Qup. YIL 

tection of a shield altogether, and, trusting to his helmet and 
coat of mail, which covered him at all vital points, pursu^ his 
laboar without paying any attention to the weapons aimed at 
him by the enemy.** 

Occasionally the efforts of the benegers were directed against 
the gates, which they endeavoured to break 
li open with axes, or to set on fire by an appli- 

L^ cation of the torch. From this latter circum- 

11 stance we may gather that the gates were 

S^\ ordinarily of wood, not, like those of Babylon " 

^^^ and Veii/* of brass. In the hot climate of 

Southern Asia wood becomes so dry by ex- 
posure to the sun that the most solid doors 
may readily be ignited and consumed.^ 

When at last the city or castle was by some 
of these means reduced, and the garrison con- 
sented to surrender itself, the work of de- 
molition, already begun, was completed. 
■ \ /jrenerally the place was set on fire; some- 

I \ times workmen provided with pickaxes and 

I I other tools mounted u|)on the rami^rts and 

^1 towers, hurled down the battlements, broke 

breaches in the walls, or even levelled the 
Vengeance was further taken 
by the destruction of the valuable trees in the 
vicinity, more especially the highly prized date-jMilms, which 
were cut with hatchets half through their steins at the distance 
of about two feet from the ground, and then pulled or pushed 
down. Other trees were either treated similarly, or denuded 
of their branches.* Occasionally the destruction was of a less 
wanton and vengeful diaracter. Timber>trees were cut down 
for tnuis|)urt to Assyria, where they were used in the construc- 

ImpleflMst UMd in the 
dettnietkm of cities whole buildinfi: 

PI. 19. 

MtvmtimeHtt, Ut neriM, 

"• niod. ate. It t, 1 7. 

nUL li. 

'I <ar oue urtlM>|t«t«g 

the ouuiUr by 111* AflkbaMcw, and 
WM MtUi^ nnawed I9 Ian Uwn an 

I Mr. layarJ'i J/unwmkiiIj, 
PL 40. 

Chap. VII. 



tion of the royal palaces;^ and fruit-trees were occasionally 
taken up by the roots, 
removed carefully, and 
planted in the gardens 
and orchards of the con- 
querors.* Meanwhile 
there was a general plun- 
dering of the captured 
place. The temples were 
entered, and the images 
of the gods, together with 
the sacred vessels, which 
were often of gold and 
silver,^ were seized and 
carried off in triumph.® 
This was not mere cu- 
pidity. It was regarded 

Soldiers destroying date-palms (Koynnjik). 

as of the utmost importance to show that the gods of the 
Assyrians were superior to those of other countries, who were 
powerless to protect either their votaries 
or even themselves from the irresistible 
might of the servants of Asshur. The 
ordinary practice was to convey the images 
of the foreign gods from the temples of 
the captured places to Assyria, and there 
to offer them at the shrines of the prin- 
cipal Assyrian deities.''^ Hence the special 
force of the proud question — ** Where are 
the gods of Hamath and of Arpad ? Where 
are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Soldier carrying off spoil 
Ivah?"« Where are they but carried cap- f^o«»* temple ^Khorsabad). 
tive to Assyria, prisoners and slaves in the temples of those 
deities whose power they ventured to resist ? 

3 Fox Talbot, Assyrian Texts, pp. 8, 
17, &c. 

* So at least Sir Henry Rawlinson 
understands a passage in the Tiglath- 
Pileser Inscription, col. vii. 11. 17-27, 
pp. 58-GO. 

* Inscription of Tiqlnth-Pilesrr T. p. 28. 
" Layard, Monuments, Ist Scries, PI. 

65 ; 2hd Series, PI. 30, &c. 

^ Inscription of Tig lath- Pileser I. p. 
40: Assyrian Texts, p. 17. 

* 2 kings xviii. 34. 




The houses of the city were also commonly plundOTed, and 
everything of value in them was carried off. Long files of 
men, each bearing some article of furniture out of the gate of a 
captured town, are frequent upon the bas-reliefs, where we like- 
wise often observe in the train of a returning army carts ladeu 
with household stuff of every kind, alternating with long strings 
of captives. All the spoil seems to have been first brought by 
the individual plunderers to one place, where it was ciirefully 

sorted and counted in the presence 
and under the superintendence of 
royal scribes, who took an exact 
inventory of the whole before it was 
carried away by its captors. Scales 
were used to determine the weight 
of articles made of the precious 
metals," which might otherwise have 
been subjected to clipping. We 
may conclude from these practices 
that a certain proportion of the value 
of all private spoil was either due 
to the royal treasury, or required 
to be paid to the gods in acknow- 
ledgement of their aid and protection. Besides the private 
spoil, there was a portion which was from the first set apart 
exclusively for the monarch. This consisted especially of the 
public treasure of the captured city, the gold and silver, whether 
in bullion, plate, or ornaments, from the j>alace of its prince, 
and the idols, and probably the other valuables, from the 

The inhabitants of a captured place were usually treated with 
more or less of severity. Those regarded as most responsible 
for the re«istance or the rebellion were seized ; generally their 
hands were manacde<l either before them or behind their backs, 
while somcfiiiu'H fetters were attached to their feet,' mul even 

Scribes taking account of the spoil 

* ?N«<' Mr, I<o|Briri AuMcdl and ita 
Hrtiuitna, vol. U. ft. .'177, and ooinpare a 
rvpn'M-iitatiuii on the brok«m black 
ptirlUk uf AMbur>iiir>|ial, uuw In the 

Brltiiih Mitavum. 

' StH» Mr. Uyanl'M Su 
JtetiMtH*, vol. ii. p. 376. 

it iU 

Chap. VII. 



rings passed through their lips,^ and in this abject guise they 
were brought into tlie presence of the i^ssyrian king. Seated 
on his throne in his fortified camp without the place, and 
surrounded by his attendants, he received them one by one, 
and instantly pronounced their doom. On some he proudly 
placed his foot,^ some he pardoned, a few he ordered for execu- 
tion, many he sentenced to be torn from their homes and 
carried into slavery. 

Various modes of execution seem to have been employed in 
the case of condemned captives. One of them was impalement. 
This has always been, and still remains, a common mode of 
punishment in the East; but the manner of impaling which 
the Assyrians adopted was peculiar. They pointed a stake at 
one end, and, having fixed the other end firmly into the ground, 
placed their criminal with the pit of his stomach upon the 
point, and made it enter his body just below the breastbone.'* 
This method of impaling must have destroyed life tolerably soon, 
and have thus been a far less cruel 
punishment than the crucifixion of the 
Komans. We do not observe it very 
often in the Assyrian sculptures, nor 
do we ever see it applied to more than 
a few individuals.^ It was probably 
reserved for those who were considered 
the worst criminals.® 

Another very common mode of 
executing captives was by beating in 
their skulls with a mace. In this case 
the victim commonly knelt ; his two 
hands were placed before him upon a 

Mace-bearer, with attendant, 
executing a prisoner (Koyunjik). 

block or cushion ; behind him stood two executioners, one of 

' See p. 243, where a representation 
of captives thus treated is given. 

' For a representation of this practice 
see Mr. Layard's Monuments, Ist Series, 
PL 82. The Persian monarchs treated 
captives in the same way, as we see by 
the rock sculpture at Behistun. The 
practice has always prevailed in the 

East. See Josh. x. 24 ; Ps. viii. 6 ; ex. 1 ; 
Lament, iii. 34, &c. 

* For a representation, see p. 242. 

' One king, the great Asshur-izir-pal, 
seems to have employed impalement on 
a large scale. (See his long Inscription, 
British Museum Series, Pis. 17 to 26.) 

®. Assyrian Texts, p. 28. 



Chap. VII. 

whom held him by a cord round his neck, while the other, 
seizing his back hair in one hand, struck him a furious blow 
upon the head with a mace which he held in the other J It 
must have been rarely, if ever, that a second blow was needed. 

Decapitation was less frequently practised. The expression 
inde^, " I cut off their heads," is common in the Inscriptions ; ** 
but in most instances it evidently refers to the practice, already 
noticed,* of collecting the heads of those who had fallen in 

battle. Still there are in- 
stances, both in the Inscrip- 
tions ^ and in the sculptures,^ 
of what appears to have been 
a formal execution of cap- 
tives by beheading. In these 
cases the criminal, it would 
seem, stood upright, or bend- 
ing a little forwards, and, the 
executioner, taking him by a 
lock of hair with his left 
hand, struck his head from 
his shoulders with a short 
sword, which he held in his 

It is imcertain whether a punishment even more barbarous 
than these was not occasionally resorted to. In two or three 
bas-reliefs executioners are represented in the act of flaying 
prisoners with a knife. The bodies are extended upon the 
ground or against a wall, to which they are fastened by means 
of four pegs attached by strings or thongs to the two wrists and 
the two ankles. The executioner leans over the victim, and 
with his knife detaches the skin from the flesh.^ One would 
trust that this operation was not performed until life was 

Swordsman decapitating a prisoner 

^ Another mode of executing with 
the mace it n^prewntcd in Mr. Layard's 
Sinereh and Jiahykn^ p. 458. 

• See the iMcviption of Tiglath-Pi- 
lea T /, pp. 24 and 50 ; Asayritn Texts, 
pp. 11, 30, fcc. • Supra, p. 467. 

' Assyrian Texts, 1. s. c. 

* See particularly the slab in the 
BritiHh MuHeum, entitled " Execution of 
the King of Susiana." 

• For a representation sec Mr. Layard's 
Aincveh and Jiabylon, p. 457. 

Chap. VII. 



extinct. We know that it was the practice of the Persians/ 
and even of the barbarous Scythians/ to flay the corpses, and 
not the living iiorms, of criminals and of enemies ; we may 
hope, therefore, that the Assyrians removed the skin from the 
dead, to use it as a trophy or as a warning,'' and did not inflict 
so cruel a torture on the living. 

Sometimes the punishment awarded to a prisoner was mutila- 
tion instead of death. Cutting oif the ears close to the head, 
blinding the eyes with burning-irons, cutting off the nose, and 
plucking out the tongue by the roots, have been in all ages 
favourite Oriental punishments."^ We have distinct evidence 
that some at least of these cruelties were practised by the 
Assyrians. Asshur-izir-pal tells us in his great Inscription that 
he often cut off the noses and the ears of prisoners; while 
a slab of Asshur-bani-pal, the son of Esarhaddon, shows a 
captive in the hands of the torturers, one of whom "holds his 
head firm and fast, while another thrusts his hand into his 
mouth for the purpose of tearing out the tongue.^ 

The captives carried away by the conquerors consisted of 
men, women, and children. The men were formed into bands, 
under the conduct of officers, who urged them forward on their 
Avay by blows, with small regard to their sufferings. Commonly 
they were conveyed to the capital, where they were employed 
by the monarchs in the lower or higher departments of labour, 
according to their capacities. The skilled workmen were in 
request to assist in the ornamentation of shrines and palaces, 
while the great mass of the unskilled were made use of to 
quarry and drag stone, to raise mounds, make bricks, and the 

* Herod, v. 25 : 'S.KTa^vriv fiacriXevs 
KafjL^ixnqs, a(pa^as aireSeipe ncicrai/ 
r^v avQpa}Trri'C7]v. And again, a little 
further on : tov airoKreivas atreSeipe, 
" flayed after he had slain." 

^ Herod, iv. 64 : IloWol Se avSpcou 
ix^pf^v ra.'i Sf^ias X^V"^ u e k p do v 
iSvTuv OLTroSeipauTes, avTolai ovv^i 
KaXv-KTpas Twv (paperpecou Troi€vvTai. 

" The Scythians used the skins of 
their enemies as trophies. When Cam- 
byses had Sisamnes flayed, it was to 
cover with his skin the seat of justice, 

on which his son had succeeded him, 
and so to deter the son from imitating 
the corruption of his father. 

^ See Herod, iii. 69, 154; vii. 18; 
Xen. Anab. i. 9, § 13 ; Amm. Marc, 
xxvii. 12; Procop. Ve Bell. Pers. i. 11 ; 
Jerem. xxxix. 7, &c. ; and compare Bris- 
son, De Regn. Pers. ii. pp. 334, 335. 

* The whole slab is engraved by Mr. 
Layard in his Monuments, 2nd Series, 
PI. 47. A portion of it is also given in 
his Nineveh and Babylon, p. 458. 



Chap. VIL 

like.' iSometimea, insteatl of being thus employed in task- 
work in or near the capital, the captives were simply settled in 
new regions, where it was thought that they# would maintain 
the Assyrian j>ower against native malcontenta.'® Thus Esar- 
haddon planted Babylonians, SusanQhites, Dehavites, Elamites, 
and others in Samaria," while Sargon settled his Samaritan 
captives in Gauzanitis and in " the cities of the Medes." '• 

The women and children carried off by the conquerors were 
treated with more tenderness than the men. Sometimes on foot, 

Female captives, with children (Koyunjik). 

but often mounted on mules, '' or seated in carts drawn by bullocks 
or asses,'* they followed in the train of their new masters, not 
always perhaps unwilling to exchjinge the monotony of domestic 
life at home for the excitement of a new and unknown condition 
in a fresh country. We seldom see them exhibiting any signs 
of grief. The women and children are together, and the 
mothers lavish on their little ones the usual caresses and kind 
offices, taking them in their laps, giving them the breast, 
carrying them uj)on their shoulders, or else leading them by 
the hand. At intervals they were allowed to stop and rest ; 
and it #ai! not even the practice to deprive them of such portion 
of their household stuff la they might have contrived to setniiv 

\\. {. »& : Anyri^n Texti, pp. t, 7, lo. 
*• IbM. p. 4. 

>• Kara, It. 2 ami 9. 

•• sKingmsviii. II. **8iop^asa. 

'• 0MI PPL ^i aiul ^iX 


before quitting their homes. This they commonly bore in a 
bag or sack which was either held in the hand or thrown over 
one shoulder. When they reached Assyria, it would seem that 
they were commonly assigned as wives to the soldiers of the 
Assyrian army.'^ 

Together with their captives the Assyrians carried off vast 
quantities of the domesticated animals, such as oxen, sheep, 
goats, horses, asses, camels, and mules. The numbers men- 
tioned in the Inscriptions are sometimes almost incredible. 
Sennacherib, for instance, says that in one foray he bore off 
from the tribes on the Euphrates "7200 horses and mares, 
5230 camels, 11,000 mules, 120,000 oxen, and 800,000 sheep " ! ^ 
Other kings omit particulars, but speak of the captured animals 
which they led away as being " too numerous to be counted," 
or " countless as the stars of heaven." ^ The Assyrian sculptors 
are limited by the nature of their art to comparatively small 
numbers, but they show us horses, camels, and mules, in the 
train of a returning army,^ together with groups of the other 
animals,'* indicative of the vast flocks and herds continually 
mentioned in the Inscriptions. 

Occasionally the monarchs were not content with bringing 
home domesticated animals only, but took the trouble to 
transport from distant regions into Assyria wild beasts of 
various kinds. Tiglath-Pileser I. informs us in general terms 
that, besides carrying off the droves of the horses, cattle, and 
asses that he obtained from the subjugated countries, he " took 
away and drove off the herds of the wild goats and the ibexes, 
the wild sheep and the wild cattle ; " ^ and another monarch 
mentions that in one expedition he carried off from the middle 
Euphrates a drove of forty wild cattle, and also a flock of 
twenty ostriches.^ The object seems to have been to stock 
Assyria with a variety and an abundance of animals of chace. 

" Assyrian Texts, p. 19 and note. 

1 See the author's Herodotus, vol. i. 
p. 493, note *. 

« Assi/rinn Texts, p. 11; Tiglath-Pi- 
Icscr Inscription, p. 44, &c. 

' Layard, Monuments, Ist Series, Pis. 

VOL. I. 2 I 

61, 74, 75 ; 2nd Scries, Pis. 33, 34, &c. 

• For representations of such groups, 
see pp. 351, 3.'j2. 

• Inscription, p. 58. 

• Assyrian Texts, p. 25. 



Chap. VIT 

The foes of the .\~^\i..i!i> ■.^■rM -,.:i;.tirii.-s \\Ii.M» hani 
pretBedy desert the <ii) iami, an-i l^ take ihemselvc.s tu the 
marshes, or oroes the sea to islands where they tmsteil that 
they might be secure from attack. Not nnfreqnently they 
obtained their object by snch a retreat, for the Assyrians were 
not a maritime people. Sometimes, however, they were pursued. 
The Assyrians wonld penetrate into the marshes by means of 
reed boats, probably not very diflerent from the ierradas at 
present in use among the Arabs of the Mesopotamian marsh 
districts.'^ Such boats are represented upon the bad-reliefs as 
capable of holding from three to five anned men.* On these 
the Assyrian foot-soldiers Mould embark, taking with them a 
single boatman to each boat, who propelled the vessel much as 
a Venetian gondolier proi)els his gondola, f.c, with a single 
long oar or paddle, which lie pushed from him standing at the 
stem. They would then in these boats attack the vessels of 
the enemy, which are always represented as smaller than theirs, 
run them down or boanl them, kill their crews or force them 
into the water, or perhaps allow them to surrender. 3Ieanwhile 
the Assyrian cavalry was stationed round the marsh among the 
tall reeds which thickly clothed its e<lge, ready to seize or slay 
such of the fugitives as might escape from the foot 

When the refuge sought was an island, if it lay near the 
shore, the Assyrians would sometimes employ the natives of the 
adjacent coast to tran8{x)rt beams of wood and other materials 
by means of their boats, in order to form a sort of bridge or 
mole reaching from the mainland to the isle whereto their foes 
had fled.* Such a design was entertained, or at least professed, 
by Xerxes after the destruction of his fleet in the battle of 
Salmmii,^ and it was suooessfully executed by Alexander the 
Great, who took in this way the new or island Tyre." From n 

' Por ft dMeriptkm of 
•M Mr. Uyaid'0 Nkmtk md Bak^km, 
%. ftM, ftiid eomiart Loftw^ CkaUma mid 
W i fa ii I, p. OH. TIm Iftivir l«rr«fn art 
«r Itftk, but Um mmUot **«OMlftt of ft 
vtryr nmmm tnm»work of ruabfti 
•vvtnd with bltuMML" Thaw Ual mtm 
le h» lh» mftot eooatwrpftn of th* boftis 
wp wM ft lftd Is tb« MvlptitfMi (r 


LAynnl't Mmumtemt*^ Sad 8eii«, Fb. 
S5. 27, aiMlSS.) 

• Uymiti, Ibia. L ft. e. 

* Bottft, J i m u m tm t dt NMm^ vol. i. 
PU. SI to 85. 

*• lleraiL via. p. 97 ; CiM. JTkc. iVrg. 
iS6: Stfftbwlx. I. { IS. 
*» Ajrrlftft, St^ AUm, IL I. 

Chap. VII. 



series of reliefs discovered at Khorsabad we may conclude that 
more than two hundred years before the earlier of these two 
occasions, the Assyrians had conceived the idea and even suc- 
ceeded in carrying out the plan,'- of reducing islands near the 
coast by moles. 

Unlike the Chaldseans, whose " cry was in their ships," ^^ the 
Assyrians seem very rarely to have adventured themselves 
upon the deep. If their enemies fled to islands which could 
not be reached by moles, or to lands across the sea, in almost 
every instance they escaped. Such escapes are represented 
upon the sculptures,^"^ where we see the Assyrians taking a 
maritime town at one end, while at the other the natives are 
embarking their women and children, and patting to sea, without 
any pursuit being made after them. In none of the bas-reliefs 
do we observe any seagoing vessels with Assyrians on board; 
and history tells us of but two or three expeditions by sea in 
which they took part. One of these was an expedition by 
Sennacherib against the coasts of the Persian Gulf, to which his 
Chaldaean enemies had fled. On this occasion he brought 
shipwrights from Phoenicia to Assyria, and made them build 
him ships there, which were then launched upon the Tigris, 
and conveyed down to the sea. With a fleet thus constructed, 
and probably manned, by Phoenicians, Sennacherib crossed to 
the opposite coast, defeated the refugees, and, embarking his 
prisoriers on board, returned in triumph to the mainlandJ^ 
Another expedition was that of Shalmaneser IV. against the 
island Tyre.'^ Assyrians are said to have been personally 
engaged in it ; but here again we are told that they embarked 
in ships furnished to them by the Phoenicians, and manned 
chiefly by Phoenician sailors. 

^^ Unless they had been successful, 
they would not, we may be sure, have 
made the construction of the mole the 
subject of a set of bas-reliefs. 

*' Isaiah xliii. 14. 

" See the description in Mr. Layards 
Monuments, 1st Series, p. 16, and com- 
pare Nineceh and its liemains, vol. ii. 
p. 384. 

'* Journal of the Asiatic Society, vol. 
xix. p. 154. 

'" Menander ap. Joseph. Aiit. Jud. 
ix. 14, § 2. It has been thought that 
Sargon attacked Cyprus. (Oppert, In- 
scriptions des Saryonides, p. 19.) But 
his monument found at Idalium does 
not prove that he carried his arms there. 
By the inscription it appears that the 
tablet was carved at Bah}/ Ion, and con- 
veyed thence to Cyprus by Cyprian en- 

2 I 2 

484 THB BBOOVi* vriVAlNirv Chap. Vlf 

Wlien a country was regarUcU as hul»jugat«Hi, the Assyriau 
monarch commonly marked the establishment of his sovereignty 
by erecting a memorial in some conspicuous or important situa- 
tion within the territory conquered, as an enduring sign of his 
having taken poas oos ion. Tliese memorials were either engraved 
on the natural rock or on solid blocks of stone cut into the form 
of a broad low tiele. They contained a figure of the king, 
usually enclosed in an arched frame, and an inscription of 
greater or less length, setting forth his name, his titles, and 
some of his exploits. More than thirty such memoriab are 
mentioned in the extant Inscriptions, and the researches of 
recent times have recovered some ten or twelve of them.* They 
uniformly represent the king in his sacerdotal robes, with the 
sacred collar round his neck, and the emblems of tbe gods 
above his head, raising the right hand in the act of adoration, 
as if he were giving thanks to Asshur and his guardian deities 
on account of his successes. 

It is now time to pass from the military customs of the 
Assyrians to a consideration of their habits and usages in time 
of peace, so far as they are made known to us either by his- 
torical records or by the pictorial evidence of the btis-reliefs. 
And here it may be convenient to treat 8ej)ttrately of the public 
life of the king and court, and of the private life of Uie 

In Assyria, as in most Oriental countries, the key-stone of 
the social arch, the central point of the system, round which all 
else revolved, and on which all else dejx)n<led, was the momirch. 
** L*^tat, c'est moi " might have been said with more truth by 
an Assyrian prince than even by the "Grand Monarque** whose 
didum it is reiHjrto<l to have been. Alike in the historical 

* To thb dMi bdoag Um roek aoolp- l>«en found at Kurkh. SO mtlM balow 

tttTM, Sv« or tU is amihar, at Um Nahr- Dlarhekr, rrcunllnff Um vxploiu of 

•l-Kdb. Thrre !• anothcrr of (he Miine Aa»)tur-Ulr-twl. mtA hi« mw. 8Ii«1mm> 

thmfwclmr ■( Havlan, « llilnl mi 1-4(11, iMwrr 11. Tliry wrro Ulacovetvil by Mr. 

•• Vbm 0i» I -treMn abovo lHar> John Tnvlor In XM'i, ami aiv miw In 

• I two oUi»ri •! Uie Iho llrllUh Muirum. Th» V^W ami 

4 iiiT rmmtwra Tlfrit, or rivvr of Su|m«( talilvto wort slao tUoc ow w d by 
Two likMk ■■■nridt Uvt I Mr. T«)lur. 

Chap. VU. 



notices, and in the sculptures, we have the person of the king 
presented to us with consistent prominence, and it is con- 
sequently with him that we most naturally commence the 
present portion of our inquiry. 

The ordinary dress of the monarch in time of peace was a 
long flowing robe, reaching to the ankles, elaborately patterned 
and fringed, over which was worn, first, a broad belt, and then 
a species of open mantle, or chasuble, very curiously contrived. 
This consfited mainly of two large flaps, both of which were 
commonly rounded, though sometimes one of them was square 
at bottom.^ These fell over the robe in front and behind, 
leaving the sides open, and so exposing the under dress to 
view. The two flaps must have been sewn together at the 

Chasuble, or outer garment of the king. 

places marked with the dotted lines a h and c d,^ the space 
from a to c being left open, and the mantle passed by that 
means over the head. Ai d g there was commonly a shoi*t 
sleeve (h\ which covered the upper part of the left arm, but 
the right arm was left free, the mantle falling on either side of 
it. Sometimes, besides the flaps, the mantle seems to have had 
two pointed wings attached to the shoulders {afh and c ehm 
the woodcut), which were made to fall over in front. Occa- 
sionally there was worn above the chasuble a broad diagonal 

' I^yard, Monnments, 1st Series, PI. 
34. The wjuared flap is always that 
which is worn Iwhiml. 

' The account and the representation 
of this complicated garment arc taken 

mainly from ^he work of M.Botta (Mtmu- 
rnent de Ninij r, vol. v. p. 84). But the 
author has /dlightly modified both M. 
Botta's theory and his illustration. 




belty ornamented with a deep fringe, and sometimes there 
depended at the back of the dress a species of Uirge hood.^ 

The special royal head-dress was 
a tall mitre or tiara, which at first 
took the shape of the head^ but 
rose aboYe it to a certain height in 
a gracefully cur\ed line, when it 
was covered in with a top, flat, like 
that of a hat, but having a projection 
towards the centre, which rose np 
into a sort of apex or peak, not 
however pointed, but either rounded 
or squared off. The tiara was gene- 
rally ornamented with a succession 
of bands, between which were com- 
monly patterns more or less elabo- 
rate. Ordinarily the lowest band, 
instead of running parallel with 
the others, rose with a gentle curve 
towards the front, allowing room 
for a large rosette over the fore- 
head, and for other similar ornaments. If we may trust the 
representations on the enamelled bricks, supported as they are 
to some extent by the tinted reliefs, we may say that the 
tiara was of three colours, red, yellow, and white.* The red 
and white alternated in brotid bands ; the ornaments upon them 
were yellow, being probably either embroidere<l on the material 
of the head-dress in threads of gold, or com|K)8ed of thin gold 
plates which may have been aewn on. The general material 
of the tiara is likely to have been cloth or felt ; it can scarcely 
have been metal, if tin* dcrp criiuHm tint of the bricks and the 
reliefs is true. 

In tlio early sculptures the tiara is more depressed thiui in 
the later, and it is also U'm richly omumenttHl. It has mddom 
more than two bands, vix. u nurruw one at toj>, and at bottom a 

King iu hi« robot. 

* §m Mr. I^jrard't .Vr«M^rA uml 

vol. II opp. p, 7. 

ui. II. n. u^ 

Chap. VII. 



broader curved one, rising towards the front. To this last are 
attached two long strings or lappets, which fall behind the 
monarch's back to a level with his elbow. 

Tiara of the later period 

Tiara of the earlier period 

Another head-dress which the monarch sometimes wore was a 
sort of band or fillet. This was either elevated in front and 
ornamented with a single rosette, 
like the lowest band of the tiara, 
or else of uniform width and 
patterned along its whole course.^ 
In either case there depended 
from it, on each side of the back 
hair, a long riband or streamer, 
fringed at the end, and some- 
times ornamented with a delicate 

■nfltfprn Fillet worn by the king (Nimrud). 

The monarch's feet were protected by sandals or slioes. In 
the early sculptures sandals only appear in use, shoes being 
unknown^ (as it would seem) until the time of Sennacherib. 

• See the woodcut on p. 507. 

* Shoes were not absolutely unknown 
to the Assyrians, even in the earliest 
period, since they are represented on 
the feet of foreign tribute-bearers aa 

early as the Black-Obelisk king. Boots 
are also represented in this monarch's 
sculptures. But Assi/n'ans wear neither 
till the reign of Sennacherib. 



Chap. VII. 

Rojr«l Mutdal ^Uin« of Sargoo). 

The wmiinlw worn were of two kinds, llie simplest sort had a 
very thin sole and a small cap for the heel, made apparently of 

a number of strips of leather' sewn 
together. It was held in place by a 
loop over the great toe, attached to 
the fore part of tlie sole, and by a 
string which was laced backwards and 
forwards across the instep, and then tied in a bow. 

The other kind of sandal liad a very different sort of sole; it 
was of considerable thickness, especially at the heel, from which 
it gradually tapered to the toe. Attached to this wtis an upper 

leather which i)rotected the heel and 
the whole of the side of the foot, but 
left the toes and the instep exposed. 
A loop fastened to the sole * received 
the great toe, and at the point where 
the loop was inserted two straps were also made fast, which 
were then carried on either side the great toe to the top 
of the foot, where they crossed each other, and, passing twice 
through rings attached to the edge of the upper leather, 
were finally fastened, probably by a buckle, at the top of the 

Tlje shoe worn by the later kings was of a coarse and clumsy 
make, very much rounded at the toe, patterned 
with rosettes, crescents, and the like, and 
(apparently) laced in front. In this respect it 
differed from the shoe of the queen, which 
will be represented presently,* and also from 
the shoes worn by the tribute-bearers. 
The aoceiiory portions of the royal costume were chiefly 
belts, neoklaoeSy armlets, bracelets, and ear-rings. Besides the 

Koyal sandal (time of 

Rgjal »)i<x« (time of 

' At KlMmhttl thftm firipa 
whImm coiB Uw d Allcnwtoly nd and 

bllMU lliNVdAMi tl>i< ftitin* miikUI had 
a ml<lUb tint. ' >t 

• MitiUJ aliapHl • 
to Um pnmnt dmy m 
A«d la acJMr part* 
iMmmmU, toL v i* - 

' ThU loop ha« beaa i«|t«rar«i »'^ m 
mcrtf twiat of thf strap nmad the tirvmt 
lur: but I tliHl it sumedBMa eloari> rc> 
pr«aenl«d aa •itringliif from tl»» aolcc 
Thtu only would it add murh to iho 
iiold of tbf> foot oo tJba taadaL 

« Infra, p. 403. 


belt round the waist, in which two or three highly ornamented 
daggers w^re frequently thrust, and the broad fringed cross-belt, 
of which mention was made above,^ the Assyrian monarch wore 
a narrow cross-belt passing across his right shoulder, from which 
his sword hung at his left side. This belt was sometimes patterned 
with rosettes. It was worn over tiie front flap of the chasuble, 
but under the back flap, and was crossed at right angles by the 
broad fringed belt, which was passed over the right arm and 
head so as to fall across the left shoulder. 

The royal necklaces were of two kinds. Some consisted 
merely of one or more strings 

of long lozenge-shaped beads CCC^^^^^^^S^^EJ^^^^^^fl]] 
slightly chased and connected [Qj^^^^^^^^lflJi^^^^^;;^! 
by small links, ribbed perpen- _ , 

: 1 . 1 Royal necklace (iNimrudj. 

dicularly. The other kmd was 

a band or collar, perhaps of gold, on which were hung a number 
of sacred emblems : as the crescent or emblem of the Moon- 
God, Sin ; the four-rayed disk, the em- 
blem of the Sun-God, Shamas ; the six- 
rayed or eight-rayed disk, the emblem 
of Gula, the Sun-Goddess; the horned 
cap, perhaps the emblem of the king's 
guardian genius ; and the double or triple 
bolt, which was the emblem of Vul, the ^">'"^ ^"""^ ^^^"^;"*^>- 
god of the atmosphere. This sacred collar was a part of the 
king's civil and not merely of his sacerdotal dress ; as appears 
from the fact that it was sometimes worn when the king was 
merely receiving prisoners.® 

The monarch wore a variety of armlets. The most common 
was a plain bar of a single twist, the ends of which slightly 
overlapped each other. A more elegant kind was similar to 
this, except that the bar terminated in animal heads carefully 
wrought, among which the heads of rams, horses, and ducks were 
the most common. A third sort has the appearance of being 
composed of a number of long strings or wires, confined at inter- 

* See p. 485. « See Mr. Layard, Monuments, 1st Series, PI. 82. 



Chap VI F 

Tab of len than an inch by crow bands at right anglw to tlie 
wires. This 8<irt was carried round the arm twice, and even Uieo 

its ends overlapped considerably. 
It is probable that all the arm- 
lets were of metal, and that the 
ap{)earanoe of the last was given 
to it by the workman in imitation 
of an earlier and ruder armlet of 
worsted or leather. 

The bracelets of the king, like 

his armlets, were sometimes mere 

bars of metal, quite plain and 

without ornament More often, 

however, they were ribbed and 

Royal annieu (KhoHHibad). adorued with a large rosette at 

the centre. Sometimes, instead of one simple rosette, we see 

three double rosettes, between which project small points, 

Rqjral bmevlffts 
(KboTMlMd and Koyunjik). 

Rojal I 


shaped like the head of a spear. Occasionally those double 
rosettes appear to be set on the surface of a broad bar, which 
is chased so as to represent brickwork. In no ctuu^ can we see 
how the bracelets were fastened ; perha|)8 they were elastic and 
were slipped over the liand.^ 

Bpeciroens of royal ear-rings have been already given in an 
earlier chapter of Uiis volume.* The most ordinary form in the 
more andeot times was a long drop, which was sometimes deli- 

wltli eairbM. (Sm iHciitmar^ 
^ Jatifititkt, p. I3S, Sad 9d,) Bat 

mora olUm they irvra Ml OfMi, Ilka Ika 
Aaayrfaui annWu^ and mvraly 

Chap. VII. 



Royal ear-rings (Nimrud). 

cately chased.^ Another common kind was an incomplete Maltese 
cross, one arm of the four being left out because it would have 
interfered with the ear. In later times 
there was a good deal of variety in 
the details; but the drop and the 
cross were always favourite features. 

When the monarch went out to 
the hunt or to the battle, he laid aside 
such ornaments as encumbered him, 
reserving however his ear-rings, bracelets, and armlets, and then, 
stripping off his upper dress or chasuble, appeared in the under 
robe which has been already described.'*' This robe was con- 
fined at the waist by a broad cinc- 
ture or girdle, outside of which 
was worn a narrowish belt wherein 
daggers were often thrust. In early 
times this cincture seems to have 
been fastened by a riband with 
long streaming ends, which are 
very conspicuous in the Nimrud 
sculptures. At the same period 
the monarch often wore, when he 
hunted or went out to battle, a 
garment which might have been 
called an apron, if it had not been 
worn behind instead of in front. 
This was generally patterned and 
fringed very richly, besides being 
ornamented with one or more 
long pendant tassels. 

The sacerdotal dress of the king, or that which he commonly 
wore when engaged in the rites of his religion, differed consider- 
ably from his ordinary costume. His inner garment, indeed, 
seems to have been the usual long gown with a fringe descend- 

Early king in his war-costume 

® See the woodcut nearest the top of 
p. 371. 

'" Supra, p. 485. This change of dress 
is almost universal in the earliest and 

in the latest sculptures. In the inter- 
mediate i)eriod, however, the time of 
Sargon and Sennacherib, the monarch 
goes out to war in his chasuble. 


ing to the ankles ; but this was almost entirely concealed under 
an ample outer robe, which was closely wrapped round the form 
and kept in place by a girdle. A deep fringe, arranged in two 
rows, one above the other, and carried round the robe in curved 
sweeps at an angle with the horizontal line, is the most striking 
feature of this dress, whicli is also remarkable for the manner in 
which it confines and conceals the left arm, while the right is 
left free and exiK>8ed to view. A representation of a king thus 
apjjarelled will be found in an earlier part of this work,* taken 
from a statue now in the British 3[useum. It is {)eculiar in 
having the head uncovered, and in the form of the implement 
borne in the right hand. It is also incomj)lete as a representa- 
tion, from the fact that all the front of the breast is occupied by 
an inscription. Other examples * show that the tiara was com- 
monly worn as a part of the sacerdotal costume ; that the sacred 
collar' adonied the breast, necklaces the neck, and bracelets the 
two arms; while in the belt, wliich was generally to some extent 
knotted, were borne two or three daggers. The mace seems to 
have been a netjessary appendage to the costume, and was 
always grasped just below its head by the left hantl. 

We have but one representation of an Assyrian ijueen. 
Despite the well-known stories of Semiramis and her manifold 
exploits, it would seem that the Assyrians secluded their females 
with as rigid and watchful a jealousy as modern Turks or 
Persians. The care tiiken with respect to tlie direction of the 
passages in the royal Juireem has been noti<?ed already.* It 
is quite in accordance with the spirit thus indicatetl, and 
with the general tenor of Oriental habits, that neither in 
iiiseriptions^ nor in sculptured representations do the Assy- 
rians allow their women to make more than a most rare and 

• flM p. »40. ; « See p. 297. 

' Partirulariv th* tlftb engraved by * Mention of an Aiavrlnn w«mmui 

Ur.lM}mnl\nhi»MommmrnU,\tt»0rUm, i ha ' ' 

PLS&, with which oocnpnre the flgure In { i>< 
•A ftjncbcil frame repraaented la the Mmr 
•uUior^t himettk amd JUihykm^ opp. )• 


* For n wpw twi ri i l oi i of the «cml U«i kuwwu kiug. 
coder, tee abovf, f, 4M. 

Chap. VII. 



occasional appearance. Fortunately for us, their jealousy was 
sometimes relaxed to a certain extent; and in one scene, 
recovered from the debris of an Assyrian palace," we are enabled 
to contemplate at once tlie domestic life of the monarch and the 
attire and even the features of his consort. 

King, queen, and attendants (Koyunjik). 

It appears that in the private apartments, while the king, like 
the Komans and the modern Orientals, reclined upon a couch, 
leaning his weight partly upon his left elbow,"^ and having his 
right arm free and disposable, her majesty the queen sat in a 
chair of state by the couch's side, near its foot and facing her 
lord. Two eunuchs provided with large fans were in attendance 
upon the monarch, and the same number waited upon the 
queen, standing behind her chair. Her majesty, whose hair was 
arranged nearly like that of her royal consort, wore upon her 
head a band or fillet having something of the appearance of a 
crown of towers, such as encircles the brow of Cybele on Greek 
coins and statues. Her dress was a long-sleeved gown reach- 
ing from the neck to the feet, flounced and trimmed at 

' The scene is from the palace of 
Esar-haddon's son (Asshur-bani-pal) at 
Koyunjik. It is now in the National 

^ Horat. Od. I. xxviii. 8— "Et cubito 
remancte presso.'' See also Sat. I. iv. 39. 
The Iloman fashion has been thus de- 
scribed (and the description would evi- 

dently suit the Assyrians just as well) 
— "They lay with the upper part of the 
body resting on the left arm, the head 
a little raised, the back supported by 
cushions, and the limbs stretched out at 
full length, or a little bent." (Lipsius, 
Anti'j. Led. iii.) 




the bottom in an elaborate way, and elsewhere pattenied n-ith 
rotetteSy over wliieh she wore a fringed tunic or frock desce'nding 

half-way between the knees and 
the feet In addition to these 
two garments, she wore upon 
her back and shoulders a light 
cloak or cape, patterned (like 
the rest of her dress) with ro- 
settes and edged with a deep 
fringe. Her feet were encased 
in shoes of a clumsy make, also 
patterned. Her onmments, be- 
sides the crown upon her head, 
were ear-rings, a necklace, and 
bracelets. Her chair was cush- 
^^^^^ luflLLivwi ioned, and adorned with a dra- 
I ^l^^^^n^KfflB^ P^ry which hung over the back. 
f ^^^^^\— ^^'=^kil ^ * Her feet rested on a handsome 
■ ^ footstool, also cushioned, 

EnUi^gedfiguwofthequeenCKoyu^jik). ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^.,^j^j^ ^y^^ 

description is taken the royal pair seem to be refreshing them- 
selves with wine. Each supports on the thumb and lingers of 
the right hand a saucer or shallow drinking-cup, probably of 
some precious metal, which they raise to their li()s simul- 
taneously, as if they were pledging one another. The scene of 
the entertainment is the palace-garden ; for trees grow on either 
side of the main figures, while over their heads a vine hangs 
its festoons and its rich clusters. By the side of the royal 
(«uch, and in front of the queen, is a table covered with a 
table-cloth, on which are a small box or casket, • species of 
shallow bowl which may have held inoenae or perfume of some 
kind, and a third article frequently seen in close proximity to 
the king, but of whose U)K3 it is iin]>ossible to form a cunjtvture. 
At tlie couch's head stands another curious articJe, a sort of 
tall vase iurmoantad by a sugnrloaf, which probably n^presents 
an altar. The king bean in his left hand the lotus or saored 
flower, while the queen holds in hers what looks like a modern 

Chap. VII. 



fan. All the lower part of the monarch's person is concealed 
beneath a coverlet, which is plain, except that it has tassels at 
tlie corners and an embroidered border. 

The officers in close attendance upon the monarch varied 
according to his employment. In war he was accompanied by 
his charioteer, his shield-bearer or shield-bearers, his groom, his 

Royal parasol (Nimrud). 

Royal parasol (Koyunjik). 

quiver-bearer, his mace-bearer, and sometimes by his parasol- 
bearer. In peace the parasol-bearer is always represented as in 
attendance, except in hunting expeditions, or where he is re- 


placed by a fan-bearer. The parasol, which exactly resembled 
that still in use throughout the East, was reserved exclusively 
for the monarch. It had a tall and thick pole, which the bearer 
graspeil witli both his hands, and in the early times a somewhat 
small circular top. Under the later kings the size of the head 
was considerably enlarged, and, at the same time, a curtain or 
flap was attached, wliich, falling from the edge of the parasol, 
more effectually protected the monarch from the sun's rays. 
The head of the jmrasol was fringed with tassels, and the upper 
extremity of the pole commonly terminated in a flower or 
other ornament. In the later time both the head and the 
curtain which depended from it were richly patterned. If we 
may trust the remains of colour upon the Khorsabad sculptures, 
the tints preferred were red and white, which alternated in bands 
U])on the parasol as upon the royal tiara. 

There was nothing very remarkable in the dress or quality of 
the royal attendants. Except the groom, the charioteer, and the 
shield-bearers, they were in the early times almost invariably 
eunuchs; but the later kings seem to have preferred eunuchs 
for the offices of parasol-bearer and fan-bearer only. The dress 
of the euimchs is most commonly a long fringed gown, reaching 
from the neck to the feet, with very short sleeves, and a broad 
belt or girdle confining the gown at the waist. Sometimes they 
have a cross-belt also ; and occasionally both this and the ginlle 
round the waist are richly fringed.* The eunuchs commonly 
wear ear-rings, and sometimes armlets and bracelets ; in a few 
instances they have their necks adorned with necklaces, and 
their long dresses elaborately pattenied." Their heails ar«* 
either bans'* or at most encircled with a fillet. 

A peculiar physiognomy is assigned to this class of persons — 
the forehead low, the none small and rounded, the li^is full, the 
chin large and double, the cheeks bloated* They are generally 

Sm p. 2M and p. 999. M. Bolu I * 8m Mr. Uyard't MmmnmU, \ 

that bolA frInfM were •ttachml 

vol. V. p. 9«y: but in that 9tm tha 
lowwr of the two troold Mftfetly I 
tomlttatod, M it (loM, borimiUlly. 

PI. 4. 

I See th«* llluslnitlon la pi. 997, mm! 
eompare below, pp. 498, 509, 906, aiid 



represented as shorter and stouter than the other AasyriaDS. 
Though placed in confidential situations about the person of 
the monarch, they seem not to have held very high or im- 

Heads of Eunuchs (Nimrud). 

portant offices. The royal Yizier is never a eunuch, and 
eunuchs are rarely seen among the soldiers ; they are scribes, 
cooks, musicians, perhaps priests ; * they are grooms-in-waiting, 
huntsmen, parasol-bearers, and fan-bearers ; but it cannot be 
said with truth that they had the same power in Assyria which 
they have commonly possessed in the more degraded of the 
Oriental monarchies. It is perhaps a sound interpretation of 
the name Kabsaris in Scripture to understand it as titular, not 
appellative,^ and to translate it " the Chief Eunuch " or ** the 
Master of the Eunuchs;" and if so, we have an instance of 
the employment by one Assyrian king of a person of this class 
on an embassy to a petty sovereign; but the sculptures are far 
from bearing out the notion that eunuchs held the same high 
position in the Assyrian court as they have since held generally 
in the East,^ where they have not only continually filled the 

* This point will be considered in the I i. p. 590. 

chapter on the Religion of the Assyrians. « This is Mr. Layard's view. {Xinetch 

* See Smiths Biblical Dictionary, vol. j and its Eemaim, vol. ii. p. 325.) 

VOL. I. 2 K 




highest offices of state, but have even attained to sovereign 
power. On the contrary, their special charge seems rather to 
have been the menial offices about the person of the monarcli 
which imply cx)nfidence in the fidelity of those to whom the\ 
are intrusted, but not submission to their influence in the con- 
duct of state affairs. And it is worthy of notice that, instearl 
of becoming more influential as time went on, they appear t' 
have become less so; in the later sculptures the royal atten<! 
ants are far less generally eunuchs than in the earlier ones ; ^ and 
the difference is most marked in the more important offices/ 
It is not quite certain that the Chief Eunuch is represented 

upon the sculptures. Perhaps we 
may recognise him in an attendant 
who commonly bears a fan, bui 
whose special badge of office is a 
long fringed scarf or band, which 
hanjrs down l)elow his middle both 
before him and behind him, being 
passed over the lefl shoulder. Tli i 
ofBcer appears, in one bas-relit-t, 
alone in front of the king; in another, 
he stands on the right hand of tli 
Vizier, level with him, facing th< 
king as he drinks; in a third, h« 
receives prisoners after a batth 
while in another part of the sani* 
sculpture ho is in the king's C4unp 
preparing the uMe for his master^s 
supper. There is always a pM> ' 
deal of ornamentiition about hi 
dress, which othorwiso nearly n - 
sembles that of the inferior royal 
V n or robe, a girdle 

Th« Chief Eunuch (?)-NIinrua. 

attendanta, oonsisting of a long frin 

f H«« rapprlally the tUht of A«bur- 
bMil-|Mil Ijiyanl, l/unMifiMlf, Snd Seriei, 
Pit. 47 to 4V), where laM thu half Om 
iml ftttendttota mm euaneht. 

* From the time of fleaaMbMrlbdows* 
WMdi the k ing't qui vtr-bau«r mmI mm*- 


. auoiitlanu very eloM to hit 
M- to Im* punuehe. TheUtt ehlef 
' ' '■ ■' the ofllce <»f 
. of TigUt) 


Chap. VII. 



fringed or plain, a cross-belt generally fringed, and the scarf 
already described. His head and feet are generally bare, though 
sometimes the latter are protected by sandals.* He is found 
only upon the sculptures of the early period. 

Among the officers who have free access to the royal person, 
there is one who stands out with such marked prominence from 
the rest that he has been properly recognised as the Grand 
Vizier or prime minister ^^ — at once the chief counsellor of the 
monarch, and the man whose special business it was to signify 
and execute his will. The dress of the Grand Vizier is more 
rich than that of any otlier person except the monarch ; " and 
there are certain portions of his apparel which he and the kinj? 
have alone the privilege of wearing. These are, principall}', 
the tasselled apron and the fringed band depending from the 
fillet, the former of which is found 
in the early period only,^^ while the 
latter belongs to no particular 
time, but throughout the whole 
series of sculptures is the distinc- 
tive mark of royal or quasi-royal 
authority. To these two may be 
added the long ribbon or scarf, 
with double streamers at the ends, 
which depended from, and perhaps 
fastened, the belt ^='— a royal orna- 
ment worn also by the vizier in at 
least one representation.^* 

The chief garment of the Vizier 
is always a long Iringed robe, reaching from the neck to the 

Ilead-drew of the VUlcr (KhoimbMl) 

» See below, p. 502. 

»o Layard's JNineveh and its Remains^ 
vol. ii. p. 327. M. Botta suggests that 
this prominent officer is "un Mage" 
fMunumcnt, vol. v. p. 80); but he ap- 
pears in scenes which have no religious 

i» Sometimes, where the king and the 
vizier appear together, the rolx- of the 
vizier is even richer in its ornamenta- 
tion than that of the monarch. (See 

Layard, MmfmenU, litStfto, PL «j) 

12 and 23. There i« oiia bat-rrilrf •*•*• 
the taiwcllwl npron b worn, not ••QT ^ 
the Vi»icr, but abo by ibe Oiltf Bi.- 
nuch and other princlpaJ attemlMla. 
See below, p. 60*. 

" See above, p 491, and oonparf Ik* 
Illustration opposite. 

•♦ Uyani, M<mument$, ItlSerfaa, PL 





feet This is generally trimmed with embroidery at the top, 
roand the deeyes, and ruund the bottom. It is either seen 
to be confined by a broad belt round the waist, or else is co?ered 
from the waist to the knees by two falls of a heavy and deep 
fringe. In this latter case a broad cross-belt is worn over the 
left shoulder, and the upper fall of fringe hangs from the cross- 
belt A fillet is worn upon the head, which is often highly 




CMnmt of Um inil«r. 

(TIaM of AMhttr-Uii»iwL) 

om.i I lie feet are sometimes bar(% but more often are 

prou . M .. 1,> ■^"^^. "r (rts in the accompanying representation) 
by embroid- Kur-rings adorn the ears; bracelets^ 

iomotini : by urmluts, the arms. A sword is 

generally >v(mu at tin^ ii-i't side. 

The Vizitr in ordiiuuily rt^prosented in one of two attitudes. 
Either ho »tuudri with bin two bunds joined in front of him, the 

* 8m Um itootkut uu iirrcwUlng |«fv. 



right hand in the left, and the fingers, not elapsed, but left 
loose— the ordinary attitude of passive and respectful attention, 
in which officers who carry nothing await the orders of the 
king— or he has the right arm raised, the elbow bent^ and 
the right hand brought to a level with his month, while the 
left hand rests upon the hilt of the sword worn at his left side. 
In this latter case it may be presumed that we have the attitude 
of conversation, as in the former we have that of attentive 
listening. Where the Vizier assumes this energetic posture, 
he is commonly either introducing prisoners or bringing in 
spoil to the king. When he is quiescent, he stands before the 
throne to receive the king's orders, or witnesses the ceremony 
with which it was usual to conclude a successful hunting ezpe> 

The pre-eminent rank and dignity of this officer is shown, not 
only by his participation in the insignia of royal authority,* but 
also and very clearly by the fact, that, when he is present, no 
one ever intervenes between him and the king. He has the 
undisputed right of precedence, so that he is evidently the first, 
subject of the crown. He, and he alone, is seen addressing the 
monarch. He does not always accompany the king on his 
military expeditions; but, when he attends them, he still 
maintains his position,^ having a dignity greater than that of 
any general, and so taking the entire direction of the prisoners 
and of the spoil. 

The royal fan-bearers were two in number. They were 
invariably eunuchs. Their ordinary position was lK3hind the 
monarch, on whom they attended alike in the retin^niont of 
private life and in religious and civil ceremonies. On aome 
occasions however one of the two was privileged to h^ive his 
station behind the king's chair or throne, and, advancing in 
front, to perform certain functions before the face of his master. 
He handed his master the sacred cup and waittnl to receive it 
back,* at the same time diligently discharging tlio onhnaiy 
duties of his office by keeping up a current of air and chasiiig 

2 Supra, p. 499. , * j «_!_ « «• 

« See Mr. Layard's Monuments, 1st Series, PU. 63 and 77 ; 2i»a Bertai, PI. U. 

* Monuments^ Ist Series, PI. 12. 


TUB 8800in> MOV ARriTV 

Chai VIT 

away those plagues of the East — the liies. The fan-bearer ihas 
pririleged wears alwa3rs the long tasselled scarf, which seems to 
have been a badge of office, and may not improbably mark him 
for the Chief Eanuf^b/ In tbo absence of the Vizier, or some- 
times in subordination to him/ he btroduced tribute-bearers to 
the king, reading out their names and titles from a scroll or 
tablet which he held in his left haiul 

Tribuu-bearen pretent«d by the Chief Eunuch (Nimnid obelisk). 

The fan carried by these attendants seems in most instances 
to ha?e been made of feathers. It had a shortish handle, ^hich 
was generally more or less ornamented, and frequently termi- 
nated in the head of a ram or other animal. The feathers were 
sometimes of great length, and bent gracefully by their own 
weight, as they were pointed slantingly towards the monarch. 
Occasionally a comparatively short fan was used, and the 
foathers were replaced by a sort of brush, which may have been 
made of horse-hair, or possibly of some vegetable flbro.^ 

The other attendants on the monarch re<|uire no special 
notice. With regard to their number, however, it may be 
obsenred that^ although the sculptures generally do not repre- 
Mat them as very numerous, there is reason to lielieve that 

• Sttp«», p. 49S. 

• ■- Um llUek Obtlkit, Plm Bfcto 
y AmmpmA, 1ft §tHm, PL 

dM kiM ll 

9idm to Ik* tOMMMl WBI 

imm«d\»%dj bttow hj ikk oSktoi, f»yr>» 

•rated M In th« woodeul nbov*. 
' The •Itort hrvtb-tui btloagt \ 

Mril«r, Ike loof SmUmt 
(Sm tk« 
nad fk 515.) 

Ml |i.4»ab 

Chap. VII. 



they amounted to several hundreds. The enormous size of the 
palaces can scarcely be otherwise accounted for: and in one 
sculpture of an ex- 
ceptional character, 
where the artist 
seems to have aimed 
at represeuting his 
subject in full, we 
can coum above 
seventy attendants 
present with the 
monarch at one 
time.* Of tliese less 
than one-half are 
eunuchs; ani these 
wear the long robe 
with the frinored 
belt and cross-belt. 
The other attend- 
ants wear in many 
cases the same costume ; sometimes, however, they are dressed 
in a tunic and greaves, like the soldiers.' 

There can be no doubt that the court ceremonial of tbe 
Assyrians was stately and imposing. The monarch seems 
indeed not to have affected that privacy and seclusion which 
forms a predominant feature of the ceremonial observed in 
most Oriental monarchies.^^ He showed himself very freely to 
his subjects on many occasions. He superintended in i)er8on 
the accomplishment of his great works.^* In war and in the 
chase he rode in an open chariot, never using a litter, though 

Fans or fly-flappers (Nimrud and Koyunjik). 

^ Mmuments of Nineveh^ 2nd Series, 
Pis. 47 to 49. 

" Sti 1 they do not seem to be soldiers. 
They cirry neither spears, shields, nor 
bows, ind they stand with the hands 
joined— an attitude peculiar to the royal 

"* Herodotus ascribed the invention 
of tliB practice to Deioces, his first 
Medial king (i. 99). Diodorus believed 

that it had prevailed In AwyrU at % 
much earlier date (ii. 21). But in this 
he was certainly mistftkon. On it« 
general prevalence in the KmI, tee Brl»- 
son, Dc Jii'if. I'era. I'rinc. i. p. 23 ; and 
compare Gibbon, DecltM and Faily ch. 
xiii. (vol. it. p. 95, Smith's edition).- 

" iMyanU ^fonHmeHt4 of A'iite90hf2ad 
Series, Pis. 12 and 15. 



\ ir 

litters were not unknown to the AfiS)TianHj' In Im e.\{M 
he would often descend from his chariut, and march or li^ i ' u 
foot like the meanest of his subjects. But though thus fami* 
liarizing the multitude with his features and appearance, he 
was far from allowing familiarity of address. Both in peace 
and war he was attended by various officers of state, and no one 
had speech of him except through them. It would even seem 
as if two persons only were entitled to open a conveisation with 
him — the Vizier and the Chief Eunuch. When ke received 
them, he generally placed himself upon his throne, sitting, 
while they stood to address him. It is strongly indicative of 
the haughty pride of these sovereigns that they carried with 
them in their distant expeditions the cumbrous thrones* whereon 
they were wont to sit wlien they dispensed justice or received 
homage. On these thrones they sat, in or near their fortified 
camps, when the battle or the siege was ended, aid thus sitting 
they received in state the spoil and the prisoiers. Ik^hind 
them on such occasions were the two fan-bearer^ while near at 
hand were guards, scribes, grooms, and other attendantjj. In 
their palace halls undoubtedly the ceremonial used was stricter, 
grander, and more imposing. The sculptures, hoivever, furnish 
no direct evidence on this point, for there is notking to mark 
the scene of the great processional pieces. 

In the pseudo-history of Ct^^'sias the Assyrian kings were 
represented as voluptuaries of the extremest kind, who |>a88ed 
their whole lives within the palace, in the company of their 
concubines and their eunuchs, indulging themselves in })er- 
petual east*, pleasure, and luxury.* AVe liave already 6e€n how 
the warlike character of so many inonarchs gives the lie tc these 
stotementSy so far as they tax the Assyrian kings with sloth and 
' It remains to examine the charge of over-ad(Uct ion 

" iM brio*, ip. MS. 

* For i w pw it u UUow of ihoa* IbroMt 

• pyk SM, aiM. MorrMi'i throoo It 

ilod M rorrUMi hy two oiImkI- 

oa hU Iriumphaat rvlurn ttom 

M ORlMdltiao. (UoCU« J/wmwivm^I dir 

JITMlv, vul. I. KL IS.) SMMooliorili 

■Hi « bit ihroM to iiooivt ttptlvvt 

oiiteliU tlM wttlk of • lova tu^fomd to 

AtN, pp. 1&0.15:I.) InaUncM vt klii|rt 
•lltlnf on their throoM intkli tbolr 
fortiaed conpi will Ik* AmiihI ii Mr. 
l^vonl't MimmmrHU, Ut Mrrlr*. I*ts. 6S 
m4 77. ■ Diod.8ie.a]ll,Xa. 

• Iw Abovv, pp. 4SS-4S4. 

Chap. VII. 



to sensual delights, especially to those of the lowest and grossest 
description. Now it is at least remarkable that, so far as we 
have any real evidence, the Assyrian kings appear as mono- 
gamists. In the inscription on the god Nebo, the artist dedi- 
cates his statue " to his lord Yul-lush (?) and his lady, Sammu- 
ramit."* In the solitary sculptured representation of the 
private life of thb king,^ he is seen in the company of one 
female only. Even in the very narrative of Ctesias, Ninus has 
but one wife, Semiramis;^ and Sardanapalus, notwithstanding 
his many concubines, has but five children, three sons and two 
daughters."^ It is not intended to press these arguments to an 
extreme, or to assume, on the strength of them, that the Assy- 
rian monarchs were really faithful to one woman. ITiey may 
have had — nay, it is probable that they had — a certain number 
of concubines; but there is really n