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Full text of “Rise and Progress of Assyriology by E A Wallis Budge”
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Statue of Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria,
883-859 B.C.

Discovered by Layard in the temple of Enurta at
Nimrfid (Calah).






M.A., Litt.D., D.Litt., D.Lit., F.S.A.




















G.C.V.O., D.D., D.C.L., LL.D., Etc.




Those who have taken the trouble to study carefully
the accounts of the decipherment of the cuneiform inscrip-
tions and of the beginnings of Assyriology, which have
appeared in recent years in articles on these subjects in
magazines and encyclopaedic works, both at home and
abroad, must often have been puzzled by the differences
and contradictions that are found in the statements made
by their various authors. Though absolute proof exists
that Major (later Sir) H. C. Rawlinson was the first to
copy, and decipher, and translate the great trilingual
inscriptions of Darius the Great on the Rock of Bihistun,
which is all that he personally ever claimed to have done,
it is often suggested, and even definitely stated, that the
credit for performing this stupendous work should not
be assigned wholly to him. Some would even deny that
he climbed the Rock at all to copy the inscriptions in
1836 and 1837 — a splendid feat of bravery and athleticism

and would have us believe that he never left the ground,
but copied the inscriptions by means of a field-glass. And
some, while admitting that he was the first to publish
translations of the Bihistun Inscription, attempt to show
that the actual decipherment was effected by others, and
that he, with extraordinary astuteness and skill, absorbed
the results which they had obtained, and gave them, in
a modified form, to the world as his own work. Others



assert that Grotefend, the Hanoverian, was the real
decipherer, but omit to state that it was the hint which
he derived from Silvestre de Sacy’s translations of the
Sassanian Pehlevi inscriptions in Persia that enabled him
to make his lucky guesses at the names of Hystaspes, Darius
and Xerxes, which for many years he failed to transliterate

Others say that Rawlinson owed his success to Burnouf’s
Commentary on the Yacna, a section of the Zend Avesta,
because it supplied him with the Zend and Sanskrit forms
of the Old Persian words in the Bihistun Inscription.
Menant claimed the same for de Saulcy, and other French
writers tried to make out that the writings of Mohl, Saint
Martin and Jacquet were the sources of Rawlinson’s
success. Again, others thought that Lassen, Rask and
Westergaard, who by the way were Scandinavians and not
Germans, supplied Rawlinson with his Old Persian Alphabet,
and in some quarters the Irish clergyman Edward Hincks
has been commiserated as being the chief victim of Rawlin-
son’s alleged plagiarism.

Such misstatements show that these authors have not
taken the trouble to read the early literature of the decipher-
ment of the cuneiform inscriptions, and it seems that
some of them have allowed the bias of nationality to
influence their judgment. Only on one point do they
agree, i.e. in their desire to take from Rawlinson, in whole
or in part, the credit which that great Englishman deserves.
And not content with whittling away Rawlinson’s rightful
claim to be the first decipherer and translator of the tri-
lingual inscription of Darius on the Rock of Bihistun,
many writers ignore the great work which he did as Director
of Excavations in Mesopotamia for the Trustees of the
British Museum between 1846 and 1855, and as Editor-
in-chief of the five volumes of the Cuneiform Inscriptions



f Western Asia, which were published by the Trustees
between 1856 and 1884. His work on the Semitic texts
on the tablets from Nineveh alone entitles him to be
styled ” Father of Assyriology,” and for forty years at least
he was the director of all cuneiform enterprise in England.
It may be noted too that the assistants of Rawlinson have
suffered the same fate as their master. The services of
Edwin Norris and George Smith, and other officers of the
British Museum, to whom modern Assyriologists owe most
of their knowledge of cuneiform and the material on
which they work, are never adequately acknowledged by
them, and all mention of the work of these scholars is
generally avoided.

In short, there seems to exist a rather widespread desire,
especially on the Continent, and among the followers of
Continental scholars in England, to belittle the works
of English Assyriologists, and to obscure the fact that the
science of Assyriology was founded by Englishmen, and
developed entirely by the Trustees of the British Museum
and their staff. The English built the main edifice of
Assyriology, and other nations constructed the outlying
buildings. The Trustees took over the task of excavating
the ruins of the great cities of Assyria from Stratford
Canning, and built the Galleries that now hold the
collections of sculptures and other antiquities which were
acquired by Layard, Loftus, Ross, Rassam, George Smith,
and later workers. They next provided trained men to
clean and repair the tablets, bronzes, etc., and found
means to prevent the tablets from disintegrating ; this
done, each tablet was placed in a wool-lined box and
labelled. By means of excavations, frequently renewed,
and by wise purchases effected in Baghdad, Basrah and
London, the great National Collection of Sumerian,
Babylonian and Assyrian tablets, etc., has been increased



until it now contains about 120,000 objects. With the
exception of the tablets exhibited in the Galleries, all
these are arranged on shelves in numbered presses.

Having provided for the preservation of the Collection
and its expansion, the Trustees began their publications
of cuneiform texts with Layard’s Inscriptions in the Cunei-
form Character, London, 1851. During the next thirty
years they published the five large folio volumes of Rawlin-
son’s Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, containing
350 plates of inscriptions which range from 3300 b.c. to
300 b.c. Next they issued Bezold’s Catalogue of Cunei-
form Tablets in the Kouyunjik Collection in five volumes
containing over 20,000 entries, and King’s Supplement
with about 2000 entries. These were followed by forty
volumes of Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Cappadocian
and Hittite cuneiform texts containing 2000 well-filled
plates of inscription. Among the British Museum publi-
cations, containing translations as well as texts, may be
mentioned the Tell el-Amarna Tablets (1892), Annals of
the Kings of Assyria (1903), the Sculptures and Inscription
of Darius the Great (1907), and Babylonian Boundary
Stones (191 2). And the Trustees have treated foreign
scholars and students with the greatest liberality. At
first students were allowed to consult and copy the texts
in Birch’s private study, and when it was found that this
became crowded, a special room was provided for their
use. Would-be Assyriologists and scholarly enquirers were,
and, subject to the necessary regulations for purposes of
custody, still are, permitted to copy and study any tablet
they ask for. My experience leads me to believe that
such liberality is unknown outside England. And until
the privilege was grossly abused, Rawlinson allowed
students to have copies of the sheets of the Cuneiform
Inscriptions to work at before they were published in his



volumes. This was most generous on his part, for more
than one student who came to the Museum to learn to
copy texts, and in fact to acquire the rudiments of Assyri-
ology, announced openly that he had come “to correct
Rawlinson’s mistakes.”

The object of this book is to tell the general reader
how Rawlinson founded the science of Assyriology, how
it was established solely by the Trustees of the British
Museum, and to show how the study of it passed from
England into Germany and other European countries,
and finally into America, where it has taken deep root.
No work in which all the facts are correctly stated has
hitherto appeared, and it is probably due to the omission
of Rawlinson and Norris to write one that students, both
in England and on the Continent, ignore more and more
completely the fact that the world owes the science of
Assyriology to the English. I wrote this book at the
request of my former colleagues in the British Museum,
who wanted to know all I could tell them about the begin-
nings of Assyriology. I was by no means the best qualified
among them to write it, except from the point of view
of age and experience. But they knew that in 1883 I
had been appointed as an Assistant on the Assyrian side
of the Department, that I had before that year worked
in it as a student for eleven years, and that during that
period I had become acquainted with all the early English
decipherers of the cuneiform inscriptions (with the excep-
tion of the Rev. E. Hincks, who died in 1866). They
knew too that I had gained much information about
Rawlinson and his little band of workers, and their labours
and triumphs, from them personally and from their im-
mediate friends and helpers, Birch, Vaux, Bonomi, W. R.
Cooper and others. And they knew that as Assistant and
Keeper, I had for forty-one years been in direct contact with



the students who came from the Continent and America
to study in the Department. During that period it had
been my duty to assist in the preparation of the publications
of the Department, to arrange the Collections of
Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities, to plan editions of
texts, and to carry out the directions of the Trustees for
the working of the Department.

From what is said in the following pages it is clear
that for the last sixty-five years the Trustees of the
British Museum have been publishing original cuneiform
material in no small quantity. In order that further
original work may be satisfactorily done, reliable works of
reference are required, viz. a good English grammar of
Assyrian, a comprehensive dictionary, not overfilled with
philological quotations, and a series of general reference
books on special details, such as weights and measures,
astronomy, mathematics, geography, religious iconography,
and historical dates with references. All these are works of
compilation which the officials of the British Museum
have no time to undertake, and which ought to be done
at some University. It ought to be impossible for students
of Semitic languages to neglect any longer the assured
results of Assyriology, and only standard works of compila-
tion can place these at their disposal. Men are wanted
who will do for Assyriology what Sir William Smith
did for classical studies.

As I have often been asked, ” What was Birch like ? “,
and ” What sort of a man was George Smith to look at ? ”
I felt when I began to write about the early Assyriologists
that it would add to the reader’s interest in them if I
could give him portraits of at least some of them. I
wrote to many Assyriological friends on the subject and
they encouraged me to do this, and I gratefully acknow-
ledge the help and the information with which many



supplied me. Birch gave me the photographs of Hincks
and himself, and Rawlinson, Vaux, Sayce and Boscawen
gave me theirs. The portraits of the great Scandinavians,
Lassen, Rask, Westergaard and Knudtzon, are reproduced
from Friis, Det Nittende Aarhundrede, Copenhagen, 1924,
and Rindom, Minder fra Studenterdagene, Copenhagen,
1924. The portraits of Schrader, Delitzsch and Bezold
I owe to the kindness of Madame Bezold, and the portrait
of Dr. C. H. W. Johns I owe to his widow. Those of
Niebuhr, Grotefend, Burnouf and Fox Talbot I was
fortunate enough to be able to buy. The Rev. Father
Thurston, S.J., kindly allowed me to have a copy made
of the excellent portrait of Father Strassmaier, S.J., now
hanging in the passage of the Jesuits’ House in Farm
Street. The portrait of George Smith is reproduced from
a spirited pencil drawing made by a friend and published
in the Christian Herald for 1875. The portrait of Oppert
is reproduced from Muss-Amok’s excellent list of this
scholar’s works published in Delitzsch’s Beitrdge, Bd. II.
p. 523 ft*. The portrait of L. W. King I owe to the kind-
ness of his sister, Miss F. King, and Mr. Augustus Ready,
of the British Museum, gave me the cast of the medallic
portrait of R. C. W. Ready, his father, by G. A. Carter,
from which my reproduction is taken. I have to thank
too my former colleagues Pinches, Hall, Campbell Thomp-
son, Sidney Smith and Gadd, and the representative
Assyriologists and Archaeologists on the Continent and in
America, Hommel, Father Scheil, Thureau-Dangin, Boissier,
Professors Lyon, Clay and Waterman, and Dr. Gordon
of Philadelphia, for their photographs and permission to
reproduce them. The photograph of myself was added
at the request of the publishers of this book. The repro-
ductions of the monuments in the British Museum were
made by permission of the Trustees.



Assyriologists will have heard, with great regret, of the
death of A. T. Clay, Laffan Professor of Assyrian and
Babylonian Literature in the University of Yale from 1910.
He died at New Haven, Connecticut, on September 14.,
1925. He was born at Hanover, Philadelphia, December
4, 1866. He travelled in the East in the interests of
Oriental Studies in America, and, as will be seen from
p. 255, edited a large number of important cuneiform
texts. His death will be a great loss to Assyriologkal
science in America. A portrait of him will be found
facing p. 256.

E. A. Wallis Budge.

48 Bloomsbtjry St,,

Bedford Square, W.C. i.
September 18, 1925.




Preface …….. vii

I. The Antiquities in Persia : —

Takht-i-Jamshid (Persepolis) . . . . I

Murghab (Pasargadee) ….. 5

Naksh-i-Rustam …… 6

Bihistun (Bagistan) 7

II. Early Travellers in Persia . . . . n

The Rock of Bihistun 29

III. The First Attempts to Decipher the Persian

Cuneiform Inscriptions …. 39

IV. Rawlinson’s Decipherment of the Persian In-

scriptions ……. 47

V. Rawlinson’s ” Memoir ” on the Persian Version . 52

VI. The Susian Version of the Bihistun Inscription . 57

VII. Early Travellers in Babylonia and Assyria . 58

VIII. Rawlinson and the Babylonian Version of the

Bihistun Inscription ….. 73

IX. Rawlinson as Director of Excavations in Mesopo-
tamia …….. 79

X. Rawlinson and the Publication of Cuneiform

Texts . . . . . . . 89



XI. The Renewal of Excavations by the British
Museum ……

XII. The Cleaning and Repair of Inscribed Tablets

XIII. The Catalogue of the Kuyunjik Collection

XIV. The Publication of ” Cuneiform Texts ”

XV. Some other English Assyriologists

XVI. The Spread of Assyriology : —

Assyriology in France ….

Assyriology in Switzerland ….
Assyriology in Germany ….
Assyriology in Italy …..
Assyriology in Scandinavia, Finland, etc.
Assyriology in Holland ….
Assyriology in America ….

XVII. The Passing of the Society of Biblical Archie
ology . . …..

XVIII. Miscellaneous Observations

Bibliography ……

Index …….












Statue of Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria,
883-859 B.C. ….. Frontispiece

Discovered by Layard in the Temple of Enurta at Nimriui (Cahli).

The Tomb of Cyrus the Great at Murghab … 4

From Dieulafoy, ” L’art Antique de la Perse,” Paris, iSgo.

Bas-relief of Cyrus the Great ….. 6

From Perrot and Chipiez, ” History of Art,” London, 1884.

The Rock of Bihistun, showing the Sculptured Panel and
the Trilingual Inscription of Darius I in the Old
Persian, Susian and Babylonian Languages . . 10

From the drawing made by Felix fones and published in Rawlinson’s “Memoir,”

The Sculptured Panel on the Rock of Bihistun. Darius I
receiving the Submission of the Rebel Chiefs. (The
figure above in a winged circle is that of Ahuramazda.) 16

From the drawing made by Felix Jones and published m Rawlinson’s ” Memoir,”

Karsten Niebuhr, 1733-1815 20

Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, Bart., F.R.S., the

Father of Assyriology …… 30

G. F. Grotefend …..••• 4 2

From Aage Friis, “Del Nittende Aarhuudrede,” Copenhagen, 1924.

N. L. Westergaard ……. 46

From Rindom, ” Minder fra Studenterdagene,” Copenhagen, 1024.

Rasmus Rask …..•••• 4″

From Friis, ” Det Nittende Aarhuudrede,” Copenhagen, 11/24.

Christian Lassen …….. 46

From Friis, ” Det Nittende Aarhuudrede,” Copenhagen, 1924.

Winged Man-headed Bull inscribed with a text recording
the Conquest of Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria,
883-859 b.c. . . ‘. . • • • -54

Discovered by Layard in the North-west Palace at NimruJ, (Calah).





Colossal Lion inscribed with a Record of the Principal
Conquests of Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria, 883—
859 B.C. ……… 60

Discovered by Layard In tlie Temple of Enurla at NimrQd (Calah).

The ”Black Obelisk” 68

Discovered by Layard at Nimrud (Calah).

The Town of Mosul and its Bridge of Boats as seen from

the East Bank of the Tigris in 1844 7°

From Badger, ” The Xestorians and their Rituals, 11 London, 1852, Vol. 1. p. 77.

Tomb of the Prophet Daniel and the Ruins at Shush

(Shushan the Palace) in 1851 ….. 76

From a sketch by H. A. Churchill, Esq., C.B.

Colossal Winged and Human-headed Bull and Mytho-
logical Being, from a doorway in the Palace of
Sargon II, King of Assyria, 722-705 b.c. .


Excavated at Khorsabad by Sir H. C. Rawlinson by arrangement vcith the French
Consul at MSsul.

Sir Austen Henry Layard, D.C.L. ….
Samuel Birch, D.C.L., LL.D. …..

Keeper of the Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Huseum.

H. Fox Talbot, F.R.S. ……

Rev. Edward Hincks, D.D. …..

Cylinder of Tiglath Pileser I, 1115-1103 b.c. .

Discovered by H. C. Rawlinson at Kal’ah SharkAt in 2S53.

Cylinder of Nabonidus, 555-538 b.c, inscribed with
Prayer on Behalf of Belshazzar, his Son

Discovered at Mukayyar (Ur of tin Chaldees) by J. E. Taylor in 1854.

W. St. Chad Boscawen ……

Assistant in lite Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum.

W. S. W. Vaux, M.A

Keeper of the Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum.

Robert Cooper Walpole Ready (1811-1903)

Repairer of tlie Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum.

Ernest Wallis Budge, Kt., M.A., Litt.D.

Sometime Keeper of the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British
Museum. [From a photograph by Messrs. Lafayette.)

Theophilus Goldridge Pinches, LL.D.

(From a photograph by Messrs. Swainc.)

Leonard W. King, M.A., Litt.D









IS 1


J 74
J 74



H. R. H. Hall, M.A., Litt.D., F.S.A,
Sidney Smith, M.A.

C. J. Gadd, M.A

J. A. Knudtzon ….

From Friis, ” Del Nittende Aarhundrede,” Copenhagen, 1924

R. Campbell Thompson, M.A., F.S.A.
M. Alfred Boissier ….
George Smith ….

The Rev. Prof. A. H. Sayce, D.D. .
The Rev. C. H. W. Johns, M.A., D.D.

Master of St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge. {Front a photograph
& Fry.)

Eugene Burnouf

Jules Oppert ….

M. Thureau-Dangin

Father Jean Vincent Scheil .

Prof. Dr. Eberhard Schrader

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Delitzsch

Prof. Dr. Fritz Hommel

Prof. Dr. Carl Bezold .

The Rev. Dr. John Nepomuk Strassmaier, S.J

Prof. David Gordon Lyon, the Father of American

Dr. George Byron Gordon, Director of the Museum at
Philadelphia of the University of Pennsylvania

Prof. Albert Tobias Clay …..

Prof. Leroy Waterman ……


















by Messrs. Elliott


. .













. .








In the following pages an attempt has been made to
give the general reader a short account of the birth and
development of Assyriology from the middle of the nine-
teenth century to about 1916, i.e., during a period of about
sixty years. The importance of the subject lies in the fact
that it is the history of the discovery and development
of a new branch of humane learning. The early travellers
in Persia and Babylonia between, say, 1450 and 1850
brought to the notice of the learned world in Europe
the existence of arrow-headed writing in both countries.
But whether this writing in the two countries was funda-
mentally one and the same was not known until the writing
found in each country was deciphered. In the following
sections it is proposed to summarize briefly the accounts
of the early travellers of the antiquities in Persia and
Babylonia, and to show how the decipherment of the
arrow-headed writing was effected.


Takht-i-Jamsh1d (Persepolis)

1. The largest and finest group of antiquities stands

°n a huge terrace, built on an irregularly-shaped platform,

which rests on the slope of the hill Kuh-i-Rahmat, at a



point near the junction of the rivers Kur (Cyrus, Araxes,
Bandamir) and Polvar (Pulwar, Medos), about 40 miles
north-east of Shiraz. The platform on which the terrace
stands resembles the Babylonian temenu, but three sides
of it are supported by a strong wall, which is in some
places more than 30 feet high. These ruins are the remains
of palaces, built of hard grey marble of a fine texture ;
and there is sufficient evidence to show that some of them
were never finished. Local tradition attributed the build-
ing of them to Solomon, King of Israel, or to Jamshid,
a very early Persian king, but they are often called Takht-
i-Kai Khusrau, or ” Throne of Cyrus,” and Khanah-i-
Dara, or ” Palace of Darius,” and Takht-i-Jamshid, or
” Throne of Jamshid.” For centuries they have been
known in the neighbourhood as ” Chihil Manare,” i.e., the
” Forty Minarets ” (or Pillars). We now know that they
were built by Darius I and Xerxes ; and it seems clear
that the site on which they stand was the suburb of a great
city in which Darius I and his successors loved to dwell.
The original Persian names of both city and suburb are
unknown ; but there is no doubt that the ruins known
as the ” Forty Minarets ” are the remains of the buildings
that were burnt by Alexander the Great at the place
which the Greek writers call Persepolis, and describe as
the capital of the Persian Empire (Diodorus, XVII. 70-72)
and the richest city in Persia (Strabo, XV. cap. 3, Persis).

According to Diodorus, the citadel was surrounded with
a wall in three stages, 108 cubits in height, and was provided
with brass gates and brass railings 20 cubits high. Alex-
ander took from the treasury gold and silver to the value
of 120,000 talents, or about twenty-six and a half millions
sterling. During one of the great feasts which he made
to celebrate his capture of Persepolis, a certain courtesan,
an Athenian woman called Thai’s, suggested that the most



splendid act that he could perform would be to burn down
the palaces of the Persians, to avenge the insults which
they had offered to the temples of the Greeks. It is
possible that Alexander may have remembered the 800
Greeks whom he had met during his march to Persepolis,
and the mutilations and slavery that they had suffered at
the hands of the Persians (Diodorus, XVII. 69), and that
he may have been willing to avenge their cause. Be this
as it may, the suggestion of Thai’s was applauded by his
drunken friends, and with songs accompanied by flutes
and the cries of the courtesans, he and his party took the
torches which had been lighted, and set out to burn down
the palaces. Alexander threw the first torch, Thai’s the
second, and each member of the rest of the party threw
his torch against the wood-work, which was of cedar, and
in a short time the building became a fiery furnace. This
statement of Diodorus is supported by the evidence
collected by F. Stolze (see his Die achaemenidischen und
sassanidischen Denkmdler, Berlin, 1882), who found that
the palace of Xerxes at Takht-i-Jamshid showed traces of
having been destroyed by fire. Earlier investigators of
the ruins had arrived at a similar conclusion.

Diodorus mentions a rock containing tombs of the
Persian kings, and states that there is no means of access to it,
and that the bodies had therefore to be deposited in their
tombs by some specially constructed mechanical contriv-
ances. These tombs, which are now supposed to be the
sepulchres of Artaxerxes II, Artaxerxes III, Arses and
Darius III, have been mentioned by several travellers.
Don Garcia de Silva Figueroa says that they are on the
side of the hill at the foot of which the Castle is built (see
Purchas His Pilgrimes, 1625). Thevenot {Voyage, 5 vols.,
Amsterdam, 1727, Vol. IV. p. 520) speaks of two tombs.
He could not enter that on the north, because it was full



of water; but in the southern tomb he found three
sepulchres hewn out of the rock, like the basins of a

The great and wealthy city that Alexander plundered
lay about three miles to the east of the palaces which he
burnt ; and its site had probably been inhabited for many
centuries before the Achsemenians rose to power. As
already said, its name in pre-Persian and Persian times
is unknown. That it was a great city is clear ; but, as
Noldeke rightly says, the real capitals of the Persian Empire
were Susa, Babylon and Ecbatana ; these were well known
to the Greeks. But the city which Alexander plundered
was not, and the name, Persepolis, which Greek writers
gave it, was merely a makeshift. Little is known of the
history of Persepolis after the time of Alexander ; but it
must have been of some importance in the first quarter
of the second century B.C., for Antiochus Epiphanes
attempted to copy Alexander’s example and plunder it.
According to 2 Maccabees ix. I, 2, ” he entered the city
called Persepolis, and went about to rob the temple and
to hold the city ; ” but the inhabitants rose and defended
themselves to such good purpose that he was put to flight,
” and came with dishonour out of the country of Persia.”
In the first or second century a.d., the site of Persepolis
was occupied by the city which the Arabs called Istakhr;
it was the capital of the district of Istakhr, i.e., of the whole
of the northern part of Fars, and was a place of great
importance under the Sassanian kings. As Shiraz, the
new capital, grew, so Istakhr declined ; and during the
Middle Ages it degenerated into a district of fertile gardens
famous for their fruit and vegetables.


The Tomb of Cyrus the Great at Murchab.
(From Dieulafoy, V Art antique de la Perse, Paris, 1890.)



Murghab (Pasargadje)

2. The second large group of Achsemenian ruins is
found at Murghab on the river Kur (Cyrus, Araxes, Banda-
mir), about 30 miles to the north of Persepolis, and
is the remains of the city of Pasargad^e, which Strabo says
(XV. 730) was built by Cyrus to commemorate his defeat
of Astyages the Mede. The city took its name from the
tribe to which Cyrus belonged, and contained a great
treasure-house, in which were heaped up vast quantities
of gold, silver and precious objects. All these were seized
by Alexander a.d. 336, after his conquest of Persia
(Arrian, III. 18, 10). The principal monument here is
the tomb of Cyrus the Great, commonly known in the
neighbourhood as ” Mashad-i-Madar-i-Sulayman,” i.e.,
” Sanctuary of the Mother of Solomon.” It stands on
seven layers of huge white marble blocks ; and its walls,
cornice and roof are made of large, carefully cut and
” dressed ” blocks, which have remained in position in
spite of the clamps that held them together having been
stolen by the people round about. The tomb-chamber,
which is entered through a very narrow doorway, so well
described by Strabo (XV. 3, 7), arsvrjv reXecog e%ovto. t?]v
e’iaodov, and Arrian (VI. 29), is about 7 feet high, 10 feet
6 inches long and 7 feet 6 inches wide. The inscription
which Aristobulos, the companion of Alexander, when he
visited the tomb, says he saw there is no longer visible.
The accounts of the tomb of Cyrus given by classical
writers describe so exactly this building that it is difficult
to understand why Morier’s identification of it was not
accepted without question. Among the ruins of the
town are the remains of several buildings of this period.
The three largest were of brick built on stone foundations,
and bear upon them inscriptions of Cyrus in Persian.



Susian and Babylonian cuneiform characters. Pasargadas
was probably an ancient city when Cyrus began to build
there ; but its power and glory diminished quickly as the
wealth of Persepolis increased.



3. Looking across the river Pulvar from the ruins of the
palaces of Darius and Xerxes, at a distance of about 3
miles, are to be seen the famous Achsemenian tombs of
Naksh-i-Rustam. This name means the ” picture (or
likeness) of Rustam,” and was given to the place because
the natives thought that the reliefs of the Sassanian kings
on the rocks there represented Rustam, the great national
hero of Persia. This mighty warrior is said to have been
a prince of Sajistan, who flourished in the sixth century b.c.
He fought many battles against Isfendiar, the famous
adherent of Zoroaster, and was victorious in them all.
He died when on an expedition to India. Many of the
exploits with which tradition credits him were performed
by other warriors, some of whom lived centuries before
and others centuries after him. The tombs at Naksh-i-
Rustam are four in number, and they are cut high up in
the face of the rock ; it has been thought that Diodorus
confused these tombs with those of Takht-i-Jamshid,
when he said that the bodies of the dead kings had to be
introduced into their tombs by mechanical means. The
decorations of the facades of all four are the same ; and
one of them, the second, contains inscriptions which
prove that it was the tomb of Darius I. The chamber
is really a sort of rock-hewn cave, and is about 60 feet
long and 45 feet wide. In the floor are three rectangular
cavities, each rather more than 6 feet in length ; and
near them are three large slabs of stone which formed


3as-relief of Cyrus the Great.



their coverings. The kings buried here were Darius I,
and probably Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I and Darius II.



4. The Great Rock at Bihistan, or Bihistun, or Bisutun
is the ” Bagistanus Mons ” of Diodorus (II. 13), who says
that it was 17 stadia in height, and stood in a paradise,
or garden, 12 stadia in circumference, and that Semiramis
caused a portrait of herself to be sculptured upon it,
together with portraits of one hundred of her guards,
and an inscription in Syrian characters. Diodorus says also
that the mountain was sacred to Zeus, meaning, of course,
Ahuramazda ; and the original form of the name Bagis-
tana, which means ” the place of the God,” supports his
statement. The Rock rises directly to a height of rather
more than 3800 feet from the end of a long ridge of black
rocks which forms a low mountain range, and is visible
from a very great distance. It stands on the road from
Hamadan to Kirmanshah, i.e., the great highway between
Persia and Babylonia, or the old Khurasan Road, and
is about a day’s march, say, 20 miles, eastwards of
Kirmanshah. The Arab geographer Yakut (ed. Wustenfeld,
Vol. I. p. 769) mentions the village of Bahistun, and says
that it lies on the road between Hamadan and Hulwan
and is called Sasaniyan. He gives a short description of
the Sassanian sculptures there, as also do Istakhri (ed. de
Goeje, p. 193) and Ibn Hawkal (ed. de Goeje, pp. 265,
266). Ibn Hawkal says that the sculptures on the Rock
represent the interior of a school with the master and his
boys, and that the master holds in his hand an instrument
with which to beat the boys when unruly. Such is his
description of the famous relief in which Darius I is seen
standing with the rebels before him. The Sassanian



sculptures are near the spring at the foot of the Rock,
which is mentioned by Yakut ; and according to the same
Arab authority, they represent Khusraw Parwiz, mounted
on his famous horse Shabdiz, and the beautiful Queen
Shirin. Under ShibdAz Yakut gives (Vol. III. p. 250)
a number of traditions about Parwiz and the Queen ; see
also G. le Strange, Eastern Caliphate, p. 188.

The sculptured bas-relief and the great trilingual inscrip-
tion which Darius I caused to be cut on the Rock are from
300 to 400 feet above the ground, and occupy a carefully
prepared surface which is about 60 feet wide and 23 feet
high. In the bas-relief the largest figure is Darius, who
stands with his right hand raised in salutation to the god
Ahuramazda, who is seen rising from out of a winged disk.
The identification of this god was first made by Hincks.
The left hand of the king rests on one end of a bow, and
his left foot is planted on the body of Gaumata, the Magian,
i.e., the False Smerdis, who lies on his back with his hands
raised beseechingly to Darius. Behind the king stand his
bowman and spear-bearer, and before him stand the nine
rebel chiefs, roped together by their necks with their hands
tied together behind their backs. The figure of Skunka,
the ninth rebel chief, who wears a fool’s cap, was sculp-
tured at a later date by Darius. This cap was not given to
the rebel because Darius wished to indicate specially the
folly of Skunka, but because it was, probably, the head-
dress of his clan or tribe. Above the figures is a series of
epigraphs which give the names of the nine rebel chiefs
thus : (1) Atrina of Susiana ; (2) Nidintu-Bel of Babylon;
(3) Phraortes the Median; (4) Martiya the Susian ; (5)
Citrantakhma the Sagartian; (6) Vahyazdata the Persian;
(7) Arakha the Babylonian; (8) Frada the Margian ; (9)
Skunka the Scythian. The text referring to Gaumata is
cut below his figure. The total number of small inscrip-



tions cut in the area of the relief is thirty-two ; eleven
are in Persian, twelve in Susian, and nine in Babylonian.
Immediately below the sculptured relief are five columns
of cuneiform text, in the Old Persian language, containing
96 + 98 + 92 + 92 + 36 = 414 lines. To the left of
these are three columns and three lines of cuneiform text,
in the Susian language, containing 81 + 85 + 94 + 3 = 263
lines. The Susian text contains a translation of the first
four columns of the Persian text. On the left-hand side
of the bas-relief, and on two faces of an overhanging rock
above the Susian text, is an inscription of 1 1 2 lines, written
in the Babylonian language and character, containing a
translation of the first four columns of the Persian text.
To the right of the relief are four columns of supplementary
texts, but the greater part of them is illegible through
weathering ; a part of the first column, which was in
Susian, was cut away in order to make room for the figure
of Skunka the Scythian, which was added some time after
the other figures of rebels had been completed. Some
have wondered why Darius had this bas-relief representing
his triumph over the Pseudo-Smerdis and the nine rebel
chiefs, and this great trilingual inscription containing
nearly 800 lines of text, and the thirty-two epigraphs,
cut upon the face of a rock several hundreds of feet above
the ground, where it is not possible to see the sculptured
figures clearly, still less to read the inscriptions. But it
will be remembered that the Arab geographers mention
springs of water at the base of the Rock ; and, as we see
from the work of King and Thompson {Inscription of
Darius the Great, London, 1907, Plate ii), the springs are
still there. These springs have existed from time im-
memorial ; and it is certain that, as long as the high road
by the pass of Hulwan has run between the Rock and the
springs, caravan leaders have halted there to water their



animals. This was a fact well known to Darius, and he
was certain that, in setting his bas-relief and inscription
on the Rock above the springs, he was placing these wonder-
ful memorials of his conquests in a position where every
traveller by that road would see them, and would have
time during his halt to ask questions about them. By so
doing Darius made the Rock itself an everlasting memorial
of his name. Major F. A. C. Forbes-Leith states that
when he arrived at the Rock of Bihistun in September
1924 he found 5000 pilgrims encamped there {Evening
Standard, 30 Sept., 1924). It seems that a miracle had
been performed in the mosque there — either a blind man
had been made to see or a lame man to walk — and as a
result, every man suffering from blindness or lameness or
some other physical disability was brought there from
many miles round to be healed. Darius, far-sighted though
he was, could hardly have foreseen such a happening !
That Darius should cut an account of his wars and triumphs
on the Rock of Bihistun is easy to understand ; but why
he should take the trouble to proclaim them in writing
on Mount Elvend, or Alwand (the classical Orontes), is
not clear. This mountain range, which stands on the
western side of Persia, is the most prominent mountain
seen by the traveller as he journeys along the age-old road
from Babylonia to Rhages. It is formed of granite, and
is more than twelve thousand feet high, i.e., above sea-level ;
and its summit is six thousand feet above the modern town
of Hamadan, which nestles at its foot. See the description
of the mountain given by Yakut (Vol. I. p. 225), who calls
it ” Arwand.” There must have been a city here from
time immemorial, for several ancient caravan routes
converge here. The Persians called the city Hagmatana
<r( K lh “7lT s=TtT f?T S( Ha-g-ma-ta-a-na, a name which
is said to mean “the meeting- place of many roads”



(Sykes, History of Persia, Vol. I. p. 1 20), and the Greeks
” Ecbatana.” The inhabitants of this city, the capital
of Media, no doubt knew of the existence of the inscrip-
tions of Darius and Xerxes cut on a shoulder of the moun-
tain ; but very few of them could ever have seen them.



The works of several of the classical writers show that
the learned among the Greeks and Romans possessed a
considerable amount of information about the Persians,
Babylonians and Assyrians, and the cities that they built ;
but it is clear that very few of the classical writers had any
real knowledge about the different forms of cuneiform
script in which were written the victories and exploits of
the Persians and others. Herodotus (IV. 87), in speaking
of two memorial tablets set up by Darius, says that one of
these was covered with ” Assyrian letters,” ypafifidrcov
‘Aoovpiwv nUoQ. Strabo (XIV. 5, 9), too, on the
authority of Aristobulos, says that the inscription on the
tomb of Sardanapalus was written with ” Assyrian letters.”
Diodorus (II. 13) says that the inscription on the Rock of
Bihistun was written with ” Syrian letters,” Zvpcoig
ypaft/Liaoiv ; and Arrian {Anabasis, VI. 29, 7, 8) quotes
the inscription on the tomb of Cyrus, which was written
in the Persian language and with Persian characters,
IlepoiKolg ypdju/Axoi ko» ediqlov Ilepaiari. An apocryphal
letter of Themistocles (XXI) speaks of golden censers
inscribed with ” old Assyrian letters,” and not with
the new letters which Darius had recently given to
the Persians. Athenaeus (Diogenes Laertius, De Vitis
Philosophy VII. 49) says that the inscription on the tomb
of Sardanapalus at Nineveh was in ” Chaldean letters ”



(XoddatKofc ypd/^ocatv), and Eusebius, on the authority
of Berosus, says that Sennacherib set up in the city of
Tarsus, which he founded, a stele inscribed in ” Chaldean
letters,” ” Chaldaicis litteris.” The Talmudh (Sanhedrin
21b) also speaks of ” Assyrian writing.” Thus we see that
the Greeks, Romans and Rabbis did not recognize that
the fundamental element in Persian, Chaldean and Assyrian
was the wedge ; and they did not perceive that the most
complicated character in any inscription was composed of
a series of wedges. The first man to understand this fact
was Kaempfer, who called the characters of Persepolis
” cuneatse ” ; and the name ” cuneiform ” is now commonly
given to them. Christian Syrian writers probably called
them “kethibhatha dhe Athuraye,” i.e., “letters of the
Assyrians.” Many of the Arab geographers, e.g., Ibn
Hawkal and Istakhri in the tenth century, and Yakut in
the thirteenth century, knew of the existence of the ruins
of Istakhr (Persepolis) and the inscriptions at Bihistun ;
but none of them seems to have paid much attention to
the inscriptions, and they gave no name to the characters
in which they are written. The natives of Mesopotamia
call the cuneiform writing ” Mismari,” i.e.. Nail-writing ;
and between 1888-91 Nimrud Rassam told me that this
name was given to it first by the lime-burners who dug out
the inscribed limestone slabs from the buildings of Senna-
cherib that were buried under the mound of Nabi Yunis,
and burnt them. The word is not given in the older
Arabic dictionaries ; and it is wanting in Dozy’s Supplement.
The first account of the ruins at Takht-i-Jamshid and
Naksh-i-Rustam by a European traveller is that of Giosafat
Barbaro, who went to Persia as Venetian ambassador in
1472 ; but his Viagi fatti da Vinetia alia Tana was not
published until 1545. He visited Takht-i-Jamshid, Pasar-
gadas and Naksh-i-Rustam. He thought that the great



figure sculptured at the last-named place was that of
Samson ; and this view was held by all those who wrote
about the ruins, including even Niebuhr. This figure is
seen on the fourth or central group of bas-reliefs at Naksh-i-
Rustam ; and the panel containing it is, according to
Lord Curzon, 35 J feet long and 16 feet high. The central
figure is of colossal size, and represents King Shahpur
(Sapor I) on horseback, receiving the homage of the Emperor
Valerian, who fell into his hands a.d. 260, and that of
Cyriadis, or Miriades, of Antioch. Valerian is seen kneeling
by the side of Cyriadis, to whom Shahpur is giving the
kidaris, or symbol of sovereignty; the hands of both
captives are raised in supplication (Sykes, Persia, I. 47 2 )-
Shahpur held Valerian captive for seven years, during
which time he employed him in helping to build the Great
Dam (Shadhurwan) across the river Dujel, immediately
below the city which the Arabs call Tustar and the Persians
Shustar or Shushtar.

The next account we have of the ruins is that of Antoine
de Gouvea, an Augustinian friar, and Professor of Theology
in the College of Goa, who arrived in the Persian Gulf in
1602. He thought that Takht-i-Jamshid was the old
site of Shiraz ; and his description of the ruins is not very
accurate. He noticed that the writing, which he saw in
many places, is unlike that of the Persians, Arabs, Armenians
and Jews (Relacam em que se trata das Guerras, Lisbon,
161 1). In the year of the publication of Gouvea’s ” Rela-
tion,” John Cartwright, sometime a student of Magdalen
College, Oxford, published a little work called The Preacher’s
Travels, in which he described his journey to Persia with
Mildenhall, who was sent on a mission to Shah ‘Abbas
with the view of obtaining permission for English merchants
to trade in Persia. Cartwright had no doubt that Shiraz
was built on the site of Persepolis.



But this mistake was soon corrected by Don Garcia
pe Silva Figueroa, who arrived in Persia in 1617, and
saw no difficulty in identifying the ruins of Takht-i-Jamshid
with the Palace of Persepolis. He was the first to make
this identification. He admired the remains of the palaces
greatly, but was puzzled by the order of architecture
which they exhibited ; for it was not ” Corinthian, Ionic,
Doric or mixed.” As to the writing of the inscriptions,
he had never seen anything like it ; and he says the char-
acters are ” all three-cornered, but somewhat long, of the
form of a pyramid, or such a little obelisk as I have set in
the margin (A) so that in nothing do they differ from one
another but in their placing and situation.” His remarks
show that he had read the account of Persepolis given by
Diodorus ; for he notices that the three-walled girdle of
the palaces no longer existed, and he describes the tombs
in the side of the hill. Don Garcia sent some of his
company to Naksh-i-Rustam, where they saw the Sassanian
bas-relief described above (see his Letter in Purchas His
Pilgrimes, II. 1625, and his Ambassade, Paris, 1667). His
description of the ruins is very good, and it is much to be
regretted that the drawings made by the artist who accom-
panied him to Takht-i-Jamshid were never published
(Booth, Discovery and Decipherment, London, 1902, p. 23).
Among these was the copy of a complete line of cuneiform
text made from a polished marble slab about 4 feet high.
Thus the credit of being the first to copy a line of cuneiform
belongs to Don Garcia’s artist.

The next serious student of the ruins was Pietro della
Valle, an Italian pilgrim who spent five years (1616-21)
in travelling about in Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and the
neighbouring countries. We have full knowledge of his
investigations and discoveries from his letters to his friend
Mario Schipano, which were published in 1658-63 ; see



fiaggi di Pietro della Valle il pellegrino descritti da lui
medesimo in lettere familiari, 2 vols., Brighton, 1845- He
travelled all over Mesopotamia and examined the ruins
of many ancient towns with great care. He gave special
attention to the ruins of Babylon, and seems to have been
greatly astonished at the size of the bricks, both baked and
sun-dried, and the immense numbers of the latter which
he saw. He selected specimens of both kinds, and some
also to which the reeds and bitumen used in laying them
were still attached, and took them to Italy to show to his
antiquarian friends {Letter a XVII. Vol. I.). It is curious
that he makes no remark about the inscription in Baby-
lonian characters which must have been stamped on the
baked specimens, but this was probably because he, like later
travellers, regarded them as mere ornaments. In 1621 he
left Isfahan, where he had been extremely well received,
and made his way to Takht-i-Jamshid, and examined the
” reliquie superbissime dell’antica Persepoli ” {Lettera XV.
Vol. II.) . His general impression about them was a wrong
one ; for he thought that they were ruins of a temple or
temples, and not of a palace. There is no evidence that
the Achsemenians at that period had any temples. To
him the figure was that of a high-priest or king, the animals
were victims for sacrifice, and so on. But Della Valle
paid special attention to the inscriptions ; and his remarks
on the written characters are of interest. He says of the
writing of the great inscription, which covers the wall from
top to bottom near the lion sculptured below the hall
with pillars : —

E queste iscrizioni in che lingua e lettera siano, non sisa, perche h carattere
oggi ignoto. Io solo potei notare che e carattere molto grande, che occupa
gran luogo, e che i carattere non son congiunti un coll’ altro nelle parole,
ma divisi e distinti, ciascun da %h solo, come i caratteri ebrei, se pur quello
che io giudicava un solo carattere non fosse stato a sorte una intera parola, il
che neanche si puo comprendere. O parole o solo caratteri che siano, al



meglio che io potei ne copiai tra gli altri cinque, die vidi e riconobbi in piu
luoghi della scrittura, e son le figure che porrd qui sotto. Ma perche’ i versi
delle iscrizioni erano tutti intieri, non potei conoscer se questa sorte di
carattere si scriva dalla destra alia sinistra al modo degli Orientali, ovvero
al contrario, dalla sinistra alia destra al modo nostra. I cinque caratteri
adunque che copiai sono i seguenti : /Y 5y» Y/_ 1 //TT (LetUra XV.
Vol. II. pp. 252, 253).

From this We see that he did not know in what language
or with what letters these inscriptions were written, and
that the direction in which they were to be read was
unknown. But he noted that the characters were very-
large, that they filled much space, and that they were
not joined to each other in the words, but were separate
and distinct ; and that each stood by itself, like the Hebrew
characters. On the other hand, he was prepared to think
that a sign which he regarded as a single character might
perhaps be a complete word, though he was unable to
understand this view. But whether the signs were words
or characters, he copied from among them as well as he
could five which he saw and recognized in several passages
of the inscriptions. And because the lines of the inscrip-
tions were full and complete he was unable to decide
whether this class of character was written from right to left,
as Orientals write, or from left to right, as we write. Then
follow the five characters which he copied. Continuing,
he gives it as his opinion that they were characters written
from left to right, and states his reasons for this view.
But he is careful to add that they are mere speculations
with no certainty in them. From Takht-i-Jamshid Pietro
della Valle went to Naksh-i-Rustam {Lettera XV. Vol. II.
p. 260), but in his descriptions of the sculptures there he
merely reproduces the views about them which were
commonly held by the people of the neighbourhood.

The description of the ruins given by Sir Thomas
Herbert, who arrived at Bandar ‘Abbas in 1627, are of



little value. He was convinced that Takht-i-Jamshid was
Old Shiraz. In his narrative of his journey, Some Tears
Travaille begum, anno 1626, London, 1634, he gives a
view of the ruins, the first ever published. In the later
editions of his work he refers to the inscriptions, and speaks
of a ” dozen lynes of strange characters, very faire and
apparent to the eye, but so mysticall, so odly framed as no
Hieroglyphick no other deep conceit’can be more difficultly
fancied, more adverse to the intellect. These consisting
of figures, obelisk, triangular and pyramidall, yet in such
simmetry and order as cannot well be called barbarous ”
(ed. 1638, p. 145). It is interesting to note that Herbert
calls attention to the destruction of the monuments which
had already begun to take place. The natives were not
only defacing the bas-reliefs, but cutting up the fine
polished slabs of marble of which they were composed,
to make into headstones for graves and benches. As the
result of Herbert’s complaints, Lord Arundel sent out a
young artist to draw the monuments ; but he died before
he reached Persia (Booth, Discovery, p. 38).

A careful examination of the Achsemenian ruins was
made by J. A. de Mandelslo in 1638 ; he was sent to Persia
by Adam Oelschlager (1599-1671), a German Orientalist,
and his descriptions of the remains on the various sites were
first published by Oelschlager, or Olearius, in his Beschrei-
bung der muscovitischen und persischen Reise, at Schleswig in
1647. Mandelslo was one of the first to note that the
cuneiform inscriptions had either been inlaid or decorated
with gold.

The first approximately accurate representation of the
ruins at Takht-i-Jamshid we owe to Andre Daulier
Des Landes, a young French artist, born at Montoire-sur-
Loir, who accompanied Jean Baptiste Tavern ier (1605-
89) on his sixth journey to Persia in 1664. His sketches



and drawings were published by him in his Les Beautes
de la Perse, Paris, 1673. Daulier Des Landes paid a second
visit to the ruins in 1665, an< ^ on tn i s occasion was accom-
panied by J. de Thevenot (1633-67), famous for having
first brought coffee to France, who had published the first
edition of his Voyage in 1664 > ^ ater editions appeared in
1674, 1684 and 1689. He visited the ruins again in the
year in which he died (1667) in company with Ta vernier,
and on this occasion they found Chardin hard at work
describing them. Thevenot’s account of the ruins added
little to the existing knowledge of them ; and though
Tavernier visited them several times, they in no way
impressed him. On one of his visits he was accompanied
by Philippe Angel, a Dutch painter of still life, whom
Shah ‘Abbas II had commissioned to make drawings of
the ruins. Angel spent a week at the work, and then
declared that he had wasted his time. Tavernier saw
nothing to admire in them, and thought the bas-reliefs
very poor things. His views about them are given in his
Les Six Voyages, Utrecht, 1 71 2. The only other traveller
who visited Persia in the seventeenth century and wrote
an account of the ruins was Jans Janszoon Strauss (died
1694), but his work (Les Voyages de J. Struys, Amsterdam,
1 681) supplied no new information.

The early years of the eighteenth century were made
memorable by the publication of the Voyages (Amsterdam,
1711) of Jean Chardin (1643-1713), who visited Takht-i-
Jamshid and other sites in 1666, 1667 and 1674. His
work contains the best description of the ruins which had
appeared ; and the plates containing the drawings of
Guillaume Joseph Grelot (born about 1630) were the
first to give an exact idea of the character, arrangement
and extent of the remains of the Achsemenian palaces.
Between the time of his last visit to them (1674) an ^ I 7 II >



when his Voyages first appeared, Chardin studied the
Persian cuneiform inscriptions carefully; for he decided
that they were really inscriptions, not merely decorations,
and that they were to be read from left to right. He
thought that they might also be read perpendicularly,
but in this respect he, of course, was wrong. He, like
Mandelslo and Daulier, noticed that they were originally
gilded, and he was the first to publish a complete inscrip-
tion in three scripts. He was also the first to publish a
good description of the inscriptions at Naksh-i-Rustam.

In 1693-94 the appearance of two short papers in the
Philosophical Transactions shows that the Royal Society
was willing to forward the study of Persian cuneiform
characters. The first of these was a letter enclosing a
paper by Mr. S. Flower, published in Vol. XVII. pp.
77J-6 ; and the second contained an ” exact draught or
copy of several characters engraved in marble at the
mountains of Nocturestand and Chahelminar in Persia, as
they were taken in November 1667 by Mr. S. Flower ”
(Vol* XVII. pp. 776-7). Flower was an Agent of the
East India Company ; and the characters which he copied
were those of two complete lines of text. They were
reproduced by Dr. T. Hyde in his Histaria religionis
vtUrum Persarum, Oxford, 1700, quarto, who described
the characters as ” dactuli pyramidales seu cuneiformes,”
and thought they were to be read from left to right.
Another letter containing copies of Persepolitan characters
kf Nicolas Witsen (born 1640) was printed in Vol. XVIII.
pp. 117-26. Witsen was the wealthy Burgomaster of
Amsterdam, where his famous Description of lartary was
published (1 692-1 705).

The good work which Chardin began was carried on by
Engelbert Kampfer (1651-1716), who visited the ruins
in 1686. He paid much attention to the inscriptions,



and copied a long inscription in the Babylonian character,
the first ever published ; but he was mistaken in regarding
the signs as ideographs. He was the first to apply the term
cuneiform to the writing which he found on the monu-
ments. His views on this subject, and an account of his
travels, will be found in his Amcenitates Exotica, Lemgo,

Further good work in copying inscriptions was done by
Cornelis Le Brun de L’Aia, who was born in 1652 and
died at Utrecht in- 1728. He visited the ruins in 1704,
drew some general views of them, and copied several
inscriptions. By placing the three lines of the ” Window
Inscription ” one below the other in parallel lines (Booth,
op. cit., p. 73) he proved that the inscriptions were not
to be read perpendicularly. We have already seen that
Pietro della Valle sent several bricks from Babylon, on which
inscriptions had been stamped, to Rome ; but Le Brun was
the first to collect Persian antiquities ; and in his collection
he sent to the Burgomaster of Amsterdam at least one
large stone inscribed in cuneiform. His Voyages de Corneille
Le Brun was published in Paris in 1726; and in this work
he gives good reasons for believing that the great building
at Takht-i-Jamshid was a palace, and not a temple, as
several earlier travellers had thought, and that it was the
palace to which Alexander the Great set fire.

During the eighteenth century the general interest in
the architectural features of the ruins of the palaces of
Darius and Xerxes at Takht-i-Jamshid, dwindled ; but the
remarks of Chardin, Kampfer and Le Brun on cuneiform
writing greatly stimulated the interest of archaeologists in
the inscriptions found upon them. No one in England,
France or Germany believed that they could be read;
and seeing the number of conflicting and contradictory
views current about them, this is not to be wondered at.


Karsten Niebuhr. 1733-1815.



But the copies of inscriptions made by Kampfer and Le Brun
formed a comparatively sure foundation for investigations.
Among those who turned them to good account was
Karsten Niebuhr (born at Liidingworth, Lauenburg in
Holstein, 1733, died 181 5). Though his natural bent led
him to study mathematics, he worked at Arabic, and so
fitted himself for joining the expedition which Frederic V
of Denmark sent out in 1761 to explore Arabia. He
travelled in Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Arabia as far
south as Sanaa. Several members of the expedition died
in 1762 and 1763 ; and Niebuhr only saved his life by
adopting native habits and dress and food. In 1764 the
surgeon of the expedition and Niebuhr sailed for Bombay ;
but the former died during the voyage, and Niebuhr
landed in Bombay as the sole survivor of the ill-fated
expedition. He remained there for fourteen months, and
then set out on a series of travels in Mesopotamia and
Persia. He went to Takht-i-Jamshid early in March
1765, and spent about three weeks there in making ground
plans of the buildings, which showed their relative positions,
and in copying the inscriptions. His drawings have been
adversely criticized ; but there can be no doubt that they
cleared up many points which the drawings of Kampfer
and Le Brun left undecided. His copies of the inscriptions
were of very great value ; and his bold, clear characters
contributed largely to the successes gained by early de-
cipherers. For the first time students had correct and
complete copies of some of the most important inscriptions
of Darius and Xerxes to work from, and some of the texts
are of considerable length ; several of these were published
by Niebuhr for the first time. It is quite clear that he
realized the student’s need of complete texts, and he was
the first to see that three distinct systems of characters were
used in them; but there is no evidence that he guessed



that the inscriptions in the three distinct systems of char-
acters, which always occurred in the same order, were
inscriptions containing the same subject-matter in three
languages. We now know that these trilingual inscriptions
are written in Old Persian, Susian, and Babylonian. To
Niebuhr belongs the great credit of being the first to
realize the possibility of the simple signs used in one of the
systems of writing being alphabetic characters ; and he
actually drew up an ” alphabet ” containing forty-two
distinct signs. He also proved that the inscriptions were
to be read from left to right, and that the characters were
not to be read perpendicularly, like the Chinese. The
net result of the publication of his copies was that many
scholars devoted themselves to the study of the Perse-
politan remains and inscriptions ; and there is no doubt
that Niebuhr’s clear and systematic statements made the
decipherment of Persian cuneiform possible. For a full
account of his work, see his Reisebeschreibung von Arabien
und anderen umliegenien Landern, Amsterdam, 1774-78 ;
a«id for his life, see Lives of Eminent Men (Useful Know-
ledge Society, London, 1838).

Whilst Niebuhr was travelling in the East and making
copies of the Persepolitan inscriptions, etc., Abraham
Hyacinthe Anquetil Duperron (1731-1801) was studying
in India under the Parsees, and with the help of Pehlevi
and Persian was making a tentative translation of the Zend-
Avesta. On his return to France he revised his work, and
in due course published a translation of the whole book.
This pioneer work on the Zend language was of great
assistance to the early decipherers ; and though it lost
much of its importance after the publication of the Yacna
by Burnouf, there is no doubt that indirectly it facilitated
the work of Grotefend and Lassen.

Many travellers, moved by Niebuhr’s accounts, visited



Takht-i-Jamshid in the first quarter of the nineteenth
century, and among these may be mentioned :

1. James Justinian Morier (born 1780, died at Brighton
1849). He travelled through Persia in 1808-9 (see his
Journey through Persia, London, 18 12); but his descrip-
tions of the ruins contained no new information. He
visited Murghab, and was the first to identify the Temple
of the Mother of Solomon with the Tomb of Cyrus ; and
it was this identification that helped Grotefend to decipher
the name of Cyrus.

2. Sir Gore Ouseley (born 1770, died at Beaconsfield
1844), a great Orientalist, was sent on a diplomatic mission
to: Persia in 181 1, and J. J. Morier acted as his secretary.
Ouseley was convinced that the Tomb of Cyrus was to be
found at Fasa, and rejected Morier’s identification of the
building at Murghab with it. He wrote a long account
and made several drawings of the Murghab edifice. He
examined the ruins at Takht-i-Jamshid, spending several
days in the process, and copied several inscriptions. His
party took with them masons, who detached several sections
of the sculptures for them to send to England, some for
Ouseley himself and some for Lord Aberdeen (Morier,
Second Journey, London, 18 18, p. 75 ; William Ouseley’s
Travels in Persia, London, 1819-1823, Vol. II. p. 255).
These sculptures were afterwards given to the British
Museum; and they are now exhibited on the west wall
of the Assyrian Transept. They have a special value in
the National Collection, which, unfortunately, contains
very few specimens of Achaemenian sculpture.

Many of the travellers who visited Takht-i-Jamshid in
the nineteenth century brought back reports concerning
the steady destruction of the monuments there at the
hands of natives and foreigners. In the early ‘eighties it
increased to such an alarming extent that English arch<e-



ologists considered seriously what steps could be taken to
arrest it. As the Persian Government had neither the
wish nor the power to safeguard the monuments, the lovers
of Old Persian art and architecture decided that casts of
the more important of the bas-reliefs should be made, so
that at least faithful presentments of them might be avail-
able for study. In 1887 Mr. (now Sir) Cecil Harcourt
Smith, of the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities
in the British Museum, was appointed a member of the
diplomatic mission which was dispatched from England to
Persia, and whilst there he surveyed the monuments at
Takht-i-Jamshid, and made a list of the bas-reliefs, etc.,
of which he thought moulds for casts should be made.
He collected money from Lord Savile and other friends,
and sent out the formatore Giuntini and his son, under
the direction of Mr. Herbert Weld Blundell, to make
the moulds required. The moulds were brought to
England ; and one complete set of casts was presented to
the British Museum, and another to the Nottingham Castle
Museum. Selections from sets were purchased for the
Museum of the Louvre, the Imperial Museum in Berlin,
and other large museums. The sculptures and inscriptions
of which moulds were made were : 1. Xerxes seated on
his throne with Ahuramazda above him ; below are three
rows of figures. 2. The stairway of Artaxerxes Ochus.

3. Procession of bearers of offerings. From the staircase.

4. Frieze with figures of men and animals. From a passage
on the north side of the Great Hall of Xerxes. 5. Portion
of another frieze. 6. Slab sculptured with a figure of
Cyrus. 7. Slab sculptured with a figure of one of the
” Immortal Guards.” 8 and 10. Bas-reliefs, king stabbing
a mythological monster. 9. King stabbing a lion. ir. Slab
sculptured with the figure of a lion. 12. Inscription of
Xerxes. The descriptive list of the casts that was published



soon after they were made is out of print and unobtainable ;
and I owe the short list given above to the kindness of
Mr. G. Harry Wallis, Curator of the Nottingham Museum.
For details of the mission of which Sir Cecil Smith was a
member, see Dickson, W. K., Life of Major-General Sir
Robert Murdoch Smith, London, 1901, p. 810 ff.

3. Sir Robert Ker Porter (1777-1842) visited Murghab,
Takht-i-Jamshid, Naksh-i-Rustam and Naksh-i-Rajab in
18 1 8, and spent about three weeks in making plans of the
buildings, drawing the monuments, and copying the inscrip-
tions. He was a trained artist, and knew how to draw to
scale; and the two large quarto volumes in which he
enshrined his drawings contain by far the best account
of the Achsemenian remains existing in English. His work,
Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia and Ancient Babylonia,
London, 1821, has only been superseded by the fine photo-
graphic reproductions published by Stolze and Noldeke
in their great work Die achdmenidischen Denkmdler von
Persepolis, Berlin, 1882, 2 vols., folio. Ker Porter also
published drawings of the sculptures of Naksh-i-Rustam,
and correctly identified the tomb of Darius I ; but he
thought that the ruins were older than the time of that
king, and attributed them to the early Persian king Jamshid,
whom, curiously enough, he identified with Shem, the
son of Noah.

4. The most famous traveller to visit Persia in the first
quarter of the nineteenth century was Claudius James
Rich, who was born at Dijon in 1787 and died of cholera
on Oct. 5, 1821, and was buried in the Jan Numa at Shiraz.
He travelled all over Palestine and Syria ; and making his
way eastwards, he visited Mardin, Mosul, Baghdad and
Basrah, and then went on to Bombay. In 1807 he was
appointed Resident and Consul-General of Baghdad, and
his official position enabled him to make excavations at



Babylon, and to explore many ancient sites. Though his
chief object was to collect Arabic, Persian and Syriac
manuscripts, he took great interest in the decipherment of
the cuneiform inscriptions, as his work at Babylon and the
researches he made during his four visits to Mosul show.
Wherever he went, he collected antiquities, in this respect
imitating Kampfer; but he never mutilated bas-reliefs or
sculptures after the manner of the members of Sir Gore
Ouseley’s Mission to the Shah of Persia in 1811. His
collection of Assyrian and Babylonian antiquities, which
was purchased by the British Government on May 3rd, 1825,
for £1000, contained four historical baked clay cylinders,
inscribed in cuneiform, thirty-two clay tablets and fragments
inscribed in cuneiform, thirteen bricks stamped with inscrip-
tions in the Babylonian character, a black stone memorial
tablet inscribed in cuneiform, a large inscribed boundary-
stone, and several small miscellaneous objects. All these
things he acquired by purchase from the natives at Hillah ;
and there is little doubt that they were excavated by the
men who had worked for M. l’Abbe J. Beauchamps, Vicaire-
general de Babylone in 1784, when he succeeded in pene-
trating the foundations of the Kasr at Babylon. Beau-
champs specially mentions ” solid cylinders, 3 inches in
diameter, of a white substance, covered with very small
writing, resembling the inscriptions of Persepolis described
by Chardin.” The ” master mason ” told him that they
sometimes found such in the ruins, but that he left them
among the rubbish as useless. He wanted bricks to build
houses with at Hillah, and not inscribed clay cylinders !
Beauchamps took some of the bricks back to France with
him, and presented them to his friend, the Abbe Barthelemy.
These facts about Beauchamps’s work at Babylon are
taken from an English translation of his original article
written in French, which he published in the Journal des



Scavans in 1791. The English translation appeared in the
European Magazine, Vol. XXI, London, 1792, pp. 338-342.
The great French Dictionary of Biography states that the
article by Beauchamps was published in the Journal for
1 79 1 ; but the only copy of the Journal which I have been
able to consult — that in the British Museum Library —
lacks the part for July 1791, which presumably contains
M. Beauchamps’s article. I heard that a file of the Journal
existed in a library in the north of England, but was sub-
sequently informed that it had been destroyed because the
Institution wanted more room for modern books.

But to return to Rich and his work. During his visits
to Mosul and his stay at Baghdad he spared no effort in
collecting cuneiform inscriptions, and having full belief in
the value of Grotefend’s system of decipherment, he took
care that a copy of every cuneiform text that came under
his notice should be sent to Grotefend either by himself
or by his secretary, Karl Belli no, who deserves more
than a passing mention of his name. Karl Bellino was
born on Jan. 21st, 1791, at Rothenburg am Neckar, and
died at Mosul on Nov. 13th, 1820. He studied Oriental
languages at Vienna, where he was introduced to Rich,
who made him his secretary; subsequently he became an
interpreter and captain in the service of the Hon ble – East
India Company. He went to Baghdad with Rich, and
developed an extraordinary facility in copying Assyrian
cuneiform inscriptions. He made a copy of the inscription
on a cylinder of Sennacherib (b.c. 705-681), which Rich
had obtained at Nabi Yunis, and which is now known as
the ” Bellino Cylinder ” (Brit. Mus. No. 22502) ; and
when Grotefend received it from Rich, he published it in
the ” Abhandlungen ” of the Academy of Sciences at
Gottingen. Another copy was made from the cylinder by
Layard, who published it in his Inscriptions, London, 1851



(pll. 63, 64) ; but, according to Fox Talbot, Bellino’s copy
is the more accurate, and is the ” most wonderful instance
of patient accuracy which is to be found in the whole
range of archasological science ” (Jnl. R.A.S., Vol. XVIII.
1 86 1, p. j6 ff.). The inscriptions published by R. Ker
Porter are taken from Bellino’s copies ; and James Silk
Buckingham (1786 — 1855) and other travellers were greatly
indebted to Bellino for exact information about cuneiform
inscriptions. Rich in his Residence, Vol. II. p. 126, describes
him as a ” young man of a singularly affectionate disposition,
whom no one could know and not love ” ; and he was
generally known as ” Mr. Rich’s amiable and accomplished
young friend.” The high esteem in which Rich held him
is touchingly shown in a letter to Joseph von Hammer,
in which he describes Bellino’s last days and death, which
is printed by Fleming in Beitrdge zur Assyriologie, Vol. I.
pp. 84, 85. To Bellino belongs the credit of being the
first to copy with considerable accuracy a long Assyrian
text; and the printed copy of it suggests that, had he
lived, he would have become a competent editor and
decipherer of cuneiform texts.

The death of Bellino in 1820 was a great blow to Rich;
and it is easy to understand why he turned his attention
to other fields of cuneiform research. In 1821 we find him
at Bushire, whence he went on to Shiraz and thence to
Takht-i-Jamshid, or Persepolis. He first visited Murghab,
where he copied the inscription, which was well known;
but he doubted if the ” Temple of the Mother of Solomon ”
was the Tomb of Cyrus, as Morier had asserted and Ouseley
and others denied. He made a brief examination of
Naksh-i-Rajab and the ruins of Istakhr, the Sassanian
capital, and then returned to Takht-i-Jamshid, where he
spent a week, and copied all the inscriptions, except one of
Xerxes. Soon after his return to Shiraz he was attacked



by cholera and died, and Oriental philology suffered a
terrible loss. His copies of texts and his literary efforts
were not published until 1836, by which time they had
lost most of their value. But his Narrative of a Residence
in Koordistan, London, 2 vols., 1836, created a deep impres-
sion on Oriental scholars ; and it was entirely due to its
publication that the French Government established a
Vice-Consulate at Mosul, and sent Botta to excavate
Nineveh, and that Stratford Canning despatched Layard
to excavate both Nineveh and Calah (Nimrud). And it
must never be forgotten that the beginning of the great
and splendid collection of Assyrian and Babylonian anti-
quities now in the British Museum was Rich’s collection
of inscribed cylinders, tablets, bricks, and miscellaneous
antiquities from Kuyunjik, Nabi Yunis and Babil, which
became the property of the nation in 1825. And the
value of his collection was great, from the excavator’s point
of view; for the cylinders and tablets showed him and
others the exact spots at Kuyunjik and Babil where such
things were to be obtained. Later excavators of both
sites obtained their best results by following up the clues
afforded them by natives seeking for bricks at Babil with
which to build houses, and for alabaster bas-reliefs at
Nineveh to burn into lime for building purposes.


Travellers to the Rock of Bihistun

Having summarized the descriptions of the Achaemenian
ruins by European travellers from Barbara in 1472 to Rich
in 1 82 1, we must now mention briefly the travellers who
visited the great Rock of Bihistun, with its trilingual inscrip-
tion of Darius I, and Mount Elvend (Alwand). One of
the earliest and most trustworthy accounts of the sculptures
°f Bihistun is that of Ambrogio Bembo (1652-1705), a



Venetian merchant who travelled in Persia in the last
quarter of the seventeenth century. Considering that he
had no means of seeing the figures, except at some distance,
his description of them is good (Morelli, Dissertazione,
p. 64).

Jean Otter, a Swedish Orientalist (born at Christiania
in 1707, died in Paris 1748), who travelled in Persia in the
interests of French commerce between 1734 and 1744,
examined the sculptures; but his remarks on them (see
his Voyage, Paris, 1748, Vol. I. p. 187) are of little value.

The great French naturalist, G. A. Olivier (1736-1814),
travelled in Persia between 1792 and 1798, examined the
sculptures, and, like Otter, made a drawing of them, which
he published in his Voyage (Vol. III. p. 24). But he
must have drawn them while standing on the ground;
and, not being acquainted with the general character of
such antiquities, his drawing is very inaccurate. Paul
Ange Louis de Gardane (1 765-1 822), secretary to his
brother Claude, French Ambassador in Teheran in 1807,
described the sculptures, and thought that the figure of
Ahuramazda was a cross, and that the twelve figures below
it represented the Twelve Apostles (see his Journal d’un
Voyage, Paris, 1809, p. 83).

Sir J. M. Kinneir (1782-1830), who made many journeys
into Persia from Bushire in 1 808-1 809, was the first to
ascribe the bas-reliefs to the same period as the sculptures
at Takht-i-Jamshid, or Persepolis (Travels in Asia Minor,
London, 18 13).

G. T. Keppel (Earl of Albemarle, 1 799-1 891) described
the bas-relief at great length in his Personal Narrative,
London, 1827, Vol. II. p. 80 ff., but threw no light on its

Ker Porter in his Travels (II. 159 ff.) gave a long
description of the Bihistun sculptures; and though he


Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, Bart., F.R.S., the
Father of Assyriolocy.



made his drawings of them from the ground, they are
singularly accurate, and are the best that had appeared up
to that date (1822). He thought that the famous bas-
relief had been made by Shalmaneser, ” King of Assyria
and the Medes,” to commemorate his ” total conquest ”
over Israel. In the row of figures standing before Darius
he saw representatives of the Ten Tribes; in the royal
figure he saw Shalmaneser, ” the son of the renowned
Arbaces ” ; and in the high fool’s cap on the head of
Skunka he detected an ” exaggerated representation of the
mitre worn by the sacerdotal tribe of Levi.” And the
inscription on one figure he regarded as a phylactery.
This is a typical example of the archaeological imagination
of the period.

None of the travellers mentioned above made any serious
attempt to copy the inscriptions on the Rock of Bihistun ;
but this is not to be wondered at, seeing that none of them
was provided with the ropes, ladders, etc., necessary for
reaching the inscriptions, which are cut upon the face of
an almost perpendicular rock at a height of 500 feet or so
from the ground. The first to succeed in copying the
inscriptions was Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, when a
lieutenant in the service of the Hon ble – East India Com-
pany. He was born at Chadlington Park, Oxfordshire, in
1 810, and died of influenza in 1895. When at school at
Ealing he devoted himself wholeheartedly to the study of
the Greek and Latin historians ; and being of fine physique,
he became no mean athlete. When he was sixteen years of
age, a nomination was secured for him from the Hon ble –
East India Company, and he arrived in India in 1827.
Here he studied Persian, Arabic and Hindustani to such
good purpose that in 1828 he was made interpreter and
paymaster to the 1st Bombay Grenadiers. He became at
this time a fine Persian scholar, and learned to recite by



heart long passages from the great Persian poets, an attain-
ment which he found to be all-important when, later, he
was brought into close contact with the Shah and his
Court. It will be remembered that when the Shah visited
England in 1875, Rawlinson was specially appointed by the
British Government to discuss matters of political import-
ance with him in His Majesty’s native tongue. His splendid
horsemanship made him a very popular officer with all
classes of natives. He served five years with the 1st Bombay
Grenadiers, and was then (1833) employed on special duty
in the Intelligence Department. In 1835 he was selected
for service in Persia, and was sent to Kirmanshah to act as
Military Adviser to the Shah’s brother, the Governor of
the Province. On his way thither, in April, he heard that
cuneiform inscriptions existed on one of the rocky slopes
of Mount Elvend, or Alwand (the ” Aurant ” of the Avesta
and the ” Orontes ” of classical writers), which lay about
eight miles from the city; and he went there and copied
them. The first to notice these inscriptions was Kinneir,
who examined them in 18 10, and described them in his
Geographical Memoir in 1813 (p. 126). Morier also
examined them in 18 13, when the natives told him that
they were called ” Ganj Namah,” i.e., ” Treasure-Book,”
because it was believed that the inscriptions, if read, would
indicate where hidden treasure was to be found. Ker
Porter saw them, but had no time to copy them ; and
Karl Bellino, who set out to copy, them in 1820, died at
Hamadan on the way. It is said that copies of them were
made by Stewart and Vidal about 1827; but they were
not published until 1836 (Booth, op. cit., p. 96). Thus it
is quite clear that Rawlinson obtained no help from the
writings or copies made by any one who had travelled in
Persia before him. The two inscriptions which he copied
at Elvend in 1835, and re-collated in 1836, formed the



material from which he obtained the names of Darius and
Xerxes, and so prepared him for his subsequent discoveries
in the Persian cuneiform inscriptions. The great import-
ance of these inscriptions is described towards the end of
the present chapter.

On arriving at Kirmanshah, Rawlinson heard of the
great inscription and reliefs on the Rock of Bihistun ; and
he visited it frequently during the summer and autumn of
J835. The Rock lies about 22 miles west of Kirmanshah ;
and being a remarkably good horseman, he thought lightly
of this distance. On one occasion, when it was necessary
to warn the British Ambassador at Teheran of the arrival
of the Russian Agent at Herat, he rode 750 miles in 150
consecutive hours. During his visits to the Rock in 1835,
he began to copy the inscriptions; and it is said that he
managed to reach the ledge which projects immediately
below the text without the help of a rope or ladder. An
illness necessitated a visit to Baghdad at the end of 1835 ;
but in the spring of 1836, whilst conducting manoeuvres
with one of the Shah’s armies, he received permission to
visit Shush (Susa) and Shustar. On his return to Kirmanshah
he found a mass of papers from Colonel Taylor, the
British Resident at Baghdad, which told him of the progress
made by Grotefend in Persian decipherment.

During the summer and autumn of 1836 and the first
half of 1837 he continued the copying of the Bihistun
inscription. At the end of that year he had copied about
200 lines of the Persian text. He returned to Baghdad in
!°38, and remained there, working at his copies, for nearly
“year. I n 1839 the Afghan War broke out; and in 1840
aewas appointed Political Agent in Kandahar. He led a
J**Jy of Persian cavalry, which he himself had enrolled and

STm ‘ at thC battle Which WaS f0Ught outside Ka ndahar
D av 29th, 1842, and won a conspicuous success. He



assisted at the capture of Ghazni, and returned to India
before the close of the year. Here, as Lane Poole says, his
military career ended, and he declined the tempting offers
made to him by Lord Ellenborough, for his heart was set
upon returning to Baghdad, where he could take up his
cuneiform studies once more. At this time Colonel Taylor,
Political Agent in Turkish Arabia, retired ; and Rawlinson
succeeded him in 1843, and took up his duties in Baghdad.
Early in the summer of 1844 he set out for Bihistun,
accompanied by Mr. Hester and Captain Felix Jones, R.N. ;
and with their help he made complete copies of the Persian
and Susian Versions. His task was difficult ; and as many
incorrect statements are current about it, we quote his
own description of the way in which he overcame his
initial difficulty. He says : —

” On reaching the recess which contains the Persian text of the record,
ladders are indispensable in order to examine the upper portion of the tablet ;
and even with ladders there is considerable risk, for the foot-ledge is so
narrow, about 18 inches, or at most 2 feet in breadth, that with a ladder
long enough to reach the sculptures sufficient slope cannot be given to
enable a person to ascend, and if the ladder be shortened in order to increase
the slope, the upper inscriptions can only be copied by standing on the
topmost step of the ladder, with no other support than steadying the body
against the rock with the left arm, while the left hand holds the note-book
and the right hand is ’employed with the pencil. In this position I copied
all the upper inscriptions and the interest of the occupation entirely did
away with any sense of danger.

” To reach the recess which contains the Scythic translation of the record
of Darius is a matter of far greater difficulty. On the left-hand side of the
recess alone is there any foot-ledge whatever ; on the right hand, where
the recess, which is thrown a few feet further back, joins the Persian tablet,
the face of the rock presents a sheer precipice, and it is necessary therefore
to bridge this intervening space between the left hand of the Persian tablet
and the foot-ledge on the left hand of the recess. With ladders of sufficient
length, a bridge of this sort can be constructed with difficulty ; but my first
attempt to cross the chasm was unfortunate, and might have been fatal,
for, having previously shortened my only ladder in order to obtain a slope
for copying the Persian upper legends, I found, when I came to lay it across
to the recess in order to get at the Scythic translation, that it was not
sufficiently long to lie flat on the foot-ledge beyond. One side of the ladder



uld alone reach the nearest point of the ledge, and, as it would of course
, tilted over if a person had attempted to cross in that position, I changed
. from a horizontal to a vertical direction, the upper side resting firmly on
the rock at its two ends, and the lower hanging over the precipice, and I

epared to cro ss, walking on the lower side and holding to the upper side with
my hands. If the ladder had been a compact article, this mode of crossing,
although far from comfortable, would have been at any rate practicable;
but the Persians merely fit in the bars of their ladders without pretending
to clench them outside, and I had hardly accordingly begun to cross over
when the vertical pressure forced the bars out of their sockets, and the
lower and unsupported side of the ladder thus parted company from the
upper, and went crashing down over the precipice. Hanging on to the
upper side, which still remained firm in its place, and assisted by xny friends,
who were anxiously watching the trial, I regained the Persian recess, and
did not again attempt to cross until I had made a bridge of comparative
stability” {Archceologia, Vol. XXXIV., 1852, p. 74).

But the ropes and ladders, etc., which Rawlinson had
with him in 1844 were insufficient to enable him to make
a copy of the Babylonian Version ; and he was obliged to
return to Baghdad with copies of the Persian and Scythic
(Susian) Versions, and the Babylonian epigraphs above the
figures of the bas-relief. In 1847 he returned to Bihistun
in order to obtain a copy of the text of the Babylonian
Version. Its position on the Rock made it impossible
for him to copy it by hand on sheets of paper, as he had
copied the other Versions, and he determined to make a
paper ” squeeze ” ; how he did this he tells us in the following
extract : —

” The Babylonian transcript at Behistun is still more difficult to reach
than either the Scythic or Persian tablets. The writing can be copied by
the aid of a good telescope from below, but I long despaired of obtaining a
cast of the inscription ; for I found it quite beyond my powers of climbing
to reach the spot where it was engraved, and the cragsmen of the place,
who were accustomed to track the mountain goats over the entire face of
. e m °untain, declared the particular block inscribed with the Babylonian
e ? ei ™ t0 be unapproachable. At length, however, a wild Kurdish boy,
.*& co me from a distance, volunteered to make the attempt, and I
P rnised him a considerable reward if he succeeded. The mass of rock in
4 estion is scarped, and it projects some feet over the Scythic recess, so that
annot be approached by any of the ordinary means of climbing. The



boy’s first move was to squeeze himself up a cleft in the rock a short distance
to the left of the projecting mass. When he had ascended some distance
above it, he drove a wooden peg firmly into the cleft, fastened a rope to this,
and then endeavoured to swing himself across to another cleft at some
distance on the other side ; but in this he failed, owing to the projection of the
rock. It then only remained for him to cross over to the cleft by hanging on
with his toes and fingers to the slight inequalities on the bare face of the
precipice, and in this he succeeded, passing over a distance of twenty feet
of almost smooth perpendicular rock in a manner which to a looker-on
appeared quite miraculous. When he reached the second cleft the real
difficulties were over. He had brought a rope with him attached to the
first peg, and now, driving in a second, he was enabled to swing himself
right over the projecting mass of rock. Here with a short ladder he formed a
swinging seat, like a painter’s cradle, and, fixed upon this seat* he took
under my direction the paper cast of the Babylonian translation of the
records of Darius. … I must add, too, that it is of the more importance
that this invaluable Babylonian key should have been thus recovered, as the
mass of rock on which the inscription is engraved bore every appearance,
when I last visited the spot, of being doomed to a speedy destruction, water
trickling from above having almost separated the overhanging mass from
the rest of the rock, and its own enormous weight thus threatening very
shortly to bring it thundering down into the plain, dashed into a thousand
fragments ” (Archaohgia, Vol. XXXIV., 1852, p. 75 f.).

When Rawlinson returned to Baghdad in 1844, he found
that the copies of the Persian text which he had made in
1 835-1 837 were useless, and he therefore prepared from the
note-books which he had just filled at Bihistun a new and
complete copy in sheets for publication. Later the sheets
were bound in a single volume, which the late W. S. W.
Vaux, Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, showed me
in his rooms in Cheyne Terrace in 1875 and 1876. Who
inherited his books after his death is unknown to me ; but
a few months ago some of his books were sold, and it is
possible that this volume was among them. The paper
” squeezes ” referred to in the preceding paragraph were
brought to London by Rawlinson, and were exhibited by
him in the rooms of various learned Societies before whom
he lectured. They were presented by him subsequently
to the Trustees of the British Museum, and were stored



for some years behind the ” bull ” on the west wall of the
Nimrud Central Saloon. They were often taken out for
examination by scholars, and suffered greatly from being
handled ; in an evil hour mice found their way behind the
” bull,” and destroyed many sections. From the remainder
specimens were selected; and these are exhibited in the
Second Northern Gallery in the British Museum. And
whilst the student and the mice together were destroying
the ” squeezes,” water and wind were obliterating the
inscription on the Rock itself, from which they were

In 1895-1896 the Trustees decided to publish a Corpus of
cuneiform inscriptions ; and it was found necessary to
issue a revised transcript of the Babylonian Version of the
Bihistun Inscription which Rawlinson had included in the
third volume (pll. 39 and 40) of ” The Cuneiform Inscrip-
tions of Western Asia.” When the ” squeezes ” were taken
out and examined, it was found that many of the sheets
were wanting, and that the portions which remained were
in such a state of ruin that they were quite useless for
collation purposes. In fact, no trustworthy revision of
the text without a new collation made on the Rock itself
was possible. In 1904 the late Mr. L. W. King, Assistant
in the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities
in the British Museum, was conducting excavations for
the Trustees at Kuyunjik (Nineveh) ; and he was instructed
to proceed to Bihistun in order to collate all the texts,
and to make measurements and take photographs. His
colleague in the Department, Mr. R. Campbell Thompson,
was also despatched to Mosul to facilitate the work. Prof.
Williams Jackson, an American, had succeeded in 1903
m reaching the ledge below the Persian Version ; and the
result of his collation of certain doubtful passages in the
lower portions of the first four columns of that Version



showed that it was necessary to collate the whole text (see
his Persia, Past and Present, New York, 1906, p. 186 ft.).

Mr. L. W. King left Mosul on the 19th of April, and
arrived at the Rock of Bihistun on the 6th of May. To
reach the inscription, he decided to employ cradles sus-
pended from above it ; it was the only possible way, as
Rawlinson’s example showed, and the only method by which
a satisfactory copy of the text could be made. By climbing
up a ravine, King succeeded in reaching a natural ledge
about 200 feet above the inscription. Crowbars were then
driven into the crevices of the rock ; and ropes, made fast
to them, were shaken down over the face of the rock until
their ends reached the ledge which is hewn in the surface
of it below the inscription, and is rather less than 200 feet
above the foot of the cliff. This lower ledge was reached
by climbing from below. Wooden cradles were slung
from the pendent ropes, and were raised or lowered as
required by natives stationed on the natural ledge beside
the crowbars. The results of the labours of King and
Thompson were published in an official volume entitled
The Sculptures and Inscription of Darius the Great on the
Rock of Bihistun in Persia, London, 1907. It contains
the complete texts of the Persian, Susian and Babylonian
texts, with transliterations, translations, etc. Plates repro-
duced from photographs are a valuable feature of the book ;
and it is especially gratifying to feel that the coping-stone
of the building which Rawlinson founded has been placed
upon it by two officers of the British Museum, who were
also his fellow-countrymen.




To many of the travellers who examined the inscriptions
a t Takht-i-Jamshid it seemed a waste of time to discuss
them. Some supposed that the characters represented
writing of some kind ; and others, like Dr. Thomas Hyde
(1636-1703), the learned Orientalist, ” stupor mundi,”
as he was called, regarded them merely as a species of
ornamentation. But the first traveller to prove that the
latter view was erroneous was Niebuhr; and with the
publication of his Voyage in 1780 the work of scientific
decipherment began. Strictly speaking, he was not a
decipherer, but it is clear from his work that he had devoted
much time and attention to the subject; had he failed
to publish his copies of texts and his luminous remarks, the
decipherment of them would have been deferred for some
two or three generations. He was the first to copy the
characters with accuracy, and to give their correct forms.
He showed the true limit of each character, and marked
with a dot where each ended. He first recognized that
the inscriptions were trilingual, and proved that they were
to be read from left to right ; and he was the first to draw
up an alphabet of Persian characters. His alphabet con-
tained forty-two characters, and of these thirty-two are
accepted by scholars to-day. Of the remaining ten, nine
are incorrect, and the tenth is the sign < (so on the Rock)
which divides words. He guessed correctly so much that
rt is hard to understand how he failed to divine the pur-
pose of this wedge (see Plate XXIII. facing p. 106 of his
V °yage, Vol. II.).

The first to make use of Niebuhr’s copies was Olaus
whrard Tychsen (1734-18 1 3), a great Hebraist and
^bbinic scholar. He published a small work on the



Egyptian hieroglyphs (Ueber die Buchstabenschrift der
alten Aegypter, Gottingen, 1790), and a tract on the cunei-
form inscriptions entitled De Cuneatis Inscriptionibus
Persepolitanis Lucubratio, 1798. He adopted many of
Niebuhr’s views; but he arbitrarily assigned phonetic
values to the cuneiform characters, and then tried to read a
meaning into groups of them by comparing the sounds of
his words with words in several Semitic and Aryan languages.
Like Niebuhr, he did not suspect that the sign ^ marked
the division of words. It is interesting to note that three
or four of his phonetic values are correct (Booth, op. cit.,
p. 154). According to him, the inscriptions were records
of Arsaces, the founder of the Parthian kingdom.

The perusal of Niebuhr’s Voyage incited F. C. C. Munter
( 1 761-1830) to attempt to decipher the Persian cuneiform
inscriptions ; and he began his work by proving that
Tychsen’s estimate of their age was wrong, and that they
could only belong to the period of the Achasmenian kings.
He thought that the first form of writing (Persian) was
alphabetic, the second (Susian) syllabic, and the third
(Babylonian) ideographic. The three languages were,
according to Tychsen, Parthian, Median, and Bactrian,
and according to Munter Zend, Pehlevi and Parsi. He
recognized the use of the diagonal wedge as the divider of
words. He counted the number of times certain signs
occurred in the inscriptions published by Niebuhr, and
concluded that those which appeared most frequently
must be vowels, a, a, i, o, u ; but of all the guesses that he
made only two were correct, and he can only be credited
with discovering the values of fyy a and t! b. Both Tychsen
and Munter observed that one group of seven signs, ^(ff
“<< f!T i(- KT IT r(r, occurred often in the inscriptions;
and at first both thought that the signs represented the
name of a king. Later, Munter thought they formed a



title, perhaps ” King of kings,” and that the word that
came before it must be the name of a king. He was very
nearly right, for the seven signs (which read KH-SHA-A-
YA-TH-I-YA) mean ” king ” ; but he was puzzled by the
signs which formed what he termed an ” inflection ” following
the word for ” king,” and unfortunately turned aside from
the path which led to true decipherment. Thus neither
Tychsen nor Miinter helped to solve the difficulty.

The first real success in the decipherment of Persian
cuneiform we owe to G. F. Grotefend (1775— 1853), a
distinguished scholar, but not an Orientalist. He had a
natural aptitude for solving pictorial puzzles, rebuses,
riddles, enigmas, and acrostics ; and when his friends heard
that he was devoting himself to the decipherment of Persian
cuneiform, about which the scholars throughout Europe
were talking, some of them took the opportunity of pointing
out how limited his knowledge of Oriental matters was.
When he began to study Niebuhr’s texts is not known;
but it is certain that he read Munter’s papers and accepted
many of his general statements as to the period of the texts,
etc., but not his system of transliteration of the cuneiform
alphabet drawn up by Niebuhr. Grotefend’s first step
was made under inspiration derived from A. I. Silvestre
de Sacy (1758-1838), who, in his Memoires sur diverses
Antiquites, Paris, 1793, published translations of some of
the short Pehlevi inscriptions found at Naksh-i-Rustam.
Some of these, like the epigraphs of the Bihistun inscription
over the figure of Darius, were written above figures of
kings ; and de Sacy showed that they contained the names
of the kings and their fathers, and the title ” King of kings.”

From these facts Grotefend rightly deduced that the
scribe who drafted the Pehlevi epigraphs had followed
the old Persian tradition, and that from the Persian inscrip-
tions he ought to be able to obtain the names of the Persian



kings whom they commemorated. He guessed, too, that
the Persian texts would also contain the title ” King of
kings.” Then, remembering the group of seven characters
that Munter thought might form the word for ” king,”
Grotefend saw at once that the repetition of the seven
characters, with additional characters, fi| S< ffif “TlT
following, must mean ” of kings.” After an examination
of the two short inscriptions published by Niebuhr (Band
G, Plate XXIV), he came to the conclusion that they com-
memorated two different kings, and that, as in the Pehlevi
texts, each king was called ” great King, King of kings.”

The first name in B is 7f ?TT H it- “fe Or” “7T> an &
following the analogy of the Pehlevi, he assumed that it was
the name of a king ; the first name in G is «H “<< T <- T?T
2T “<<” TtT? an d this he assumed to be a king’s name. He
noticed that the name in B also occurred in G (line 3),
but spelt with an additional character thus, ff ?H H tK”~
“T^ <D( <7f ^< ; and he thought that this character <s(
represented a case-ending, probably of the genitive. This
suggested that the king in G was the son of the king in B.
But who were the kings mentioned ? They certainly could
not be Cyrus and Cambyses, for if they were, both names
would begin with the same letter ; and the only two other
great Achsemenian kings were Darius and Xerxes. In
line 4 of B Grotefend saw the group of signs ^ “yf” *<<” t]fl
fll yg 2= (with the termination or case-ending t^t r <- ffiy),
which again suggested a proper name and a relation-
ship to the king who had B written. Grotefend then
guessed that the group of signs without the case-ending
represented the name Hystaspes, and decided that the king
who had B written was Darius. Applying the same kind
of argument to G, he decided that the king who had that
inscription written was Xerxes. All this guessing was based


G. F. Grotefend.




G. F. Grotf.fend.



on the assumption that the Persian inscriptions were drawn
up on the same principle as the Pehlevi epigraphs trans-
lated by de Sacy. The next difficulty was to find the
phonetic values of the characters used in writing the three
royal names and ” King of kings.”

By further guessings, some of which were based on the
forms in Zend of the words which he thought the Persian
characters represented, he succeeded in assigning to twelve
characters phonetic values which are now accepted as correct ;
but he failed to assign correct values to the remaining
letters of the Persian alphabet. He first published the
result of his labours in 1802 at Gottingen; and in the
following year de Sacy gave a full account of them, together
with the text, transliteration, and translation of Niebuhr’s
inscriptions B and G in Millin’s Magasin Encyclopedique.
In subsequent years Grotefend attempted to transliterate
and translate all the Persian cuneiform inscriptions that
he could find, especially those published by Niebuhr;
but when he professed to find in one the name of the ancient
Persian king JamshId, scholars became sceptical about the
accuracy of his translations. His knowledge of Zend and
Pehlevi was comparatively slight, and for a time he guessed
recklessly in making his translations, having no long Pehlevi
inscriptions to guide him. The result was that he published
many translations and statements about the trilingual
inscriptions which even his contemporaries could see were
absurd. After 181 5 he made no contribution of importance
to the decipherment of the Persian cuneiform inscriptions.
In 1810-1811 Rich, who believed wholeheartedly in Grote-
fend’s system, began to send to him through Bellino copies
of all kinds of inscriptions in cuneiform, Persian, Assyrian,
and Babylonian ; and Grotefend examined them, but made
nothing of them, for his general views about them were
absolutely wrong. And to the very end of his life he clung



to many of them, in spite of the discoveries of Rask, Burnouf,
Lassen and Rawlinson, and was convinced that he was the
one man who could decipher and interpret the great mass
of Semitic and Sumerian material which Botta, Layard and
others had discovered at Nineveh, Calah, and Babylon.

The only scholar of importance who refused to accept
Grotefend’s alphabet was J. A. Saint Martin (1791-1832),
a French Orientalist, whose sole claim to notice is that
he gave the correct value of V to the character ^ and the
partially correct value of Y (instead of I) to the character “yf.
He formulated an alphabet which contained several of the
correct phonetic values already ascertained by Grotefend;
but all the other values are wrong. There is nothing
correct in his papers, so far as decipherment is concerned,
which he did not borrow from others.

A scholar who did much to guide decipherers of the
Persian inscriptions into the right path was Rasmus Chris-
tian Rask (1787-1832), a distinguished Zend and Pehlevi
scholar. He studied Grotefend’s alphabet and translitera-
tions, and concluded that the language of the Persian
inscriptions resembled Zend, which he proved to be as
old as, if not older than, the language used in the
Achaemenian inscriptions. He showed that the genitive
plural fyf *K TU *~W> which Grotefend transliterated A-
TSCH-A-O, should be read A-N-A-M, and thus discovered
the correct reading of two of the letters of the Persian
alphabet, s( N and -fyf M. But Rask was wholly devoted
to his study of Zend and Pehlevi; and, beyond making
several valuable suggestions as to the relationship of Zend
to the Old Persian language, he did nothing to help forward
the decipherers.

The decipherment received fresh impetus in 1836 by
the publication of the two trilingual inscriptions from Mount



Elvend and one from Van (Wan) by Eugene Burnouf
(1801–1852), the distinguished Zend scholar. Although
Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil Duperron (1731-1801)
had given new life to the study of Zend when he published
his translation of the Zend-Avesta in 1771, interest in the
language declined until Burnouf realized its philological
importance for the study of Old Persian. When his Com-
mentaire sur le Tacna (a liturgical work which formed the
Third Part of the A vesta proper) appeared in 1834, lts
great value was at once recognized by all those who were
engaged in the decipherment of the Persian inscriptions.
In his paper, MSmoife sur deux Inscriptions Cuneiformes,
Burnouf tried, with the sixteen letters of the Persian
alphabet of which he knew the true values, to translate the
Elvend inscriptions, and to transliterate a list of names of
countries. He drew up an alphabet containing thirty-
three cuneiform signs, and claimed that he had found the
true values of twelve signs ; but as a matter of fact he only
made out the values of two letters, viz., fc K and f— f Z ;
for of his twelve values eight were wrong, and two were
borrowed from his predecessors. But Burnouf’s contribution
to the decipherment was very important, for his great
knowledge of Zend and Sanskrit enabled him to supply the
meanings of several words in the inscriptions which he
could only partially transliterate. He showed that the
word ffy J( -ftf adam, which Grotefend regarded as a
title, really means ” I am,” and he identified correctly
the names of several countries in the geographical list which
Grotefend had worked at.

In the same year (1836) in which Burnouf published his
Mimoire, Christian Lassen (1 800-1 876) published his
work Die altyersischen Keilinschriften, Bonn, 1836, which
Went over much of the ground covered by the illustrious
frenchman. Burnouf and Lassen were close friends,



and corresponded with and visited each other, and though
it is quite clear that each wrote his book independently,
yet, as Booth suggests (pp. cit., p. 223), when the two friends
discussed their studies together, the one may have been
more communicative than the other. Lassen remembered
that Herodotus tells us (IV. 87) that Darius surveyed the
Bosporus, and set up on its shores two pillars of white
marble, whereon he inscribed the names of all the nations
that formed his army, on the one pillar in Greek, on the
other in Assyrian characters. Lassen thought it only
natural that a list of this kind ought to be found among the
inscriptions at Takht-i-Jamshid ; and he set to work to
examine all the inscriptions published by Niebuhr and others.
He thought that some of the names given on the pillars
mentioned by Herodotus and found in the Zend-Avesta
might suggest their pronunciation in the Persian inscrip-
tions, which he hoped to be able to transliterate with the
help of Grotefend’s alphabet. He found the inscription
suited to his purpose in that marked I by Niebuhr (Plate
XXXI), with its mention of twenty- four proper names.
When his study of it was ended, he drew up an alphabet
containing twenty-three letters, to which he gave correct
phonetic values, whereas Grotefend’s only gave twelve or
thirteen, and that of Burnouf sixteen. To him belongs
the credit of the discovery of the true values of eight letters,
viz., <£T D, ff I, yt K, ffr T, M Z, J<t M, <yr G, <£ G ;
and in respect of two others his values were nearly correct,
“ftE W, yp T. And of the twenty-four proper names in
inscription I he identified nineteen, a great triumph.

In the following year (1837) the progress of decipherment
was carried a step further by E. E. F. Beer (1805-1841),
who added two letters to the alphabet T {- Y and <£< H,
and by Eugene Vincent Stanislas Jacquet (1811-1838),


N. L. Westercaard.



Rasmus Rask.


Christian Lassen.



w ho added Z, viz. -JE V, fp C, y<| TH, T <- Y, ~« R
and <P( H. Beer and Jacquet had discovered Y and H
independently. Neither of these scholars was able to
improve on the translations of Bumouf and Lassen, but
their results, some of which were obtained independently,
were of use to those whose knowledge of Zend enabled
them to employ them in adding words to the Old Persian


Rawlinson began to copy the two trilingual inscriptions
on Mount Elvend and the trilingual inscription on the Rock
of Bihistun in 1835, when he was sent to Kirmanshah to act
as Adviser to the Governor of the Province. Some say
that he had heard of Grotefend’s alphabet and of his
attempts to decipher the inscriptions of Takht-i-Jamshid
(Persepolis) and some names of the Achsemenian kings, and
others say that he had not. But whether he had or had not
matters little ; it is certain that he had never seen Grote-
fend’s alphabet, and that he had none of the books or
papers that had been written on the subject. It is possible
that he may have heard, if he heard anything at all about
Grotefend, that the names of Hystaspes, Darius, and
Xerxes had been identified by him; but it is far more
probable that his own excellent classical knowledge made
him guess that the inscriptions were more likely to be those
of Darius and Xerxes than of any other of the Achsemenian
kings. Having copied the two inscriptions on Elvend,
Rawlinson compared them, and then saw that, with the
exception of three groups of signs, they were identical.
Using exactly the same reasoning as Grotefend, he guessed
that these groups must be proper names ; and when he
a Pplied to them the names of Hystaspes, Darius, and Xerxes,



he became certain that his guesses were correct. But these
names only supplied him with thirteen characters, which he
assumed to be alphabetic, viz., *ff D, ftf A, £f RA T <- YA,
IS WA, -Off U, “« SH, «n KH, * V, ff I, tTrT TA, fe5 AS and
Y^ PA. (I give here the now generally accepted values of
these characters ; for it is unnecessary to repeat the incorrect
values assigned to them by the early decipherers.) But
Rawlinson remembered that Xerxes, in his speech to Arta-
banus, as recorded by Herodotus (VII. n), gives his own
genealogy, and says that he was the child of Darius, the son
of Hystaspes, the son of Arsames, the son of Ariaramnes,
the son of Teispes, the son of Cyrus, the son of Cambyses,
the son of Teispes, the son of Acha^menes. It was quite
clear to him that there were only three royal names in the
Elvend inscriptions ; but he thought it possible that the
inscription on the Rock of Bihistun might give more. And
if this were the case, and he could identify the groups, the
Greek forms of the names given by Herodotus would enable
him to guess the values of the characters with which they
were written. Burnouf and Lassen had the same idea when
they attempted to read the twenty-four geographical names
on Niebuhr’s inscription I ; but this Rawlinson did not
know. He then attacked the opening lines of the Bihistun
Inscription, and identified the following groups : —

i. fif £T << Trf *1tT

2. <a< «TT ffi *W s< If « If t<~

3. m a yr a- m a *w x
5- ?? ffi ar ife ir k-

In No. 1 group he knew the values of the first four signs,
A.R.SH.A., and these obviously formed part of the name



called Arsames by the Greeks ; therefore the last sign must
__ M and he could write ARSAM. In No. 3 group
he knew the values of all the signs except the last,
A.R.I-Y.A.R.M., which clearly represent the Greek form
Ariaramnes ; therefore the last sign must = N. In group
No. 5 he knew the values of all the signs P.A.R.SA.I.YA.,
which give the name of Persia. In group No. 2 he knew
the values of all the signs except the first, KH.A.M.N.L-
SH.I.YA, which clearly represent ” the Achaemenian ” of
the Greek Herodotus ; the first sign, then, represented the
vowel A, or perhaps an aspirate ; but as he knew A already,
fty, he guessed that the sign {a( must represent H. In
group No. 4, again, he knew all the signs except the first,
I.S.P.IS., which must represent the name called by the
Greeks Teispes, a fact indicated by the P. Later he gave
to the first sign fp the value of C or CH. Then, in going
through the inscription and working out the proper
names, he obtained the values of nearly all the other
letters. Thus from Artavardiya he obtained £]] D ;
from Athura (Assyria) f<y TH ; from Atrina ff TR ; from
Auramazda ]>*■] Z; from Babirush (Babylon) tf B and
-« R ; from Bagabigna <ff^ G ; from Kabujiya (Cambyses)
~CE J ; from Katpatuka (Cappadocia) zjj K, ffr T (before
U) ; from Chorasmia T<£ M (before I) ; from Kurush (Cyrus)
<T K ; from Mudraya (Egypt) H<~ M (before U) ; from
Ufaatu (Euphrates) f« F; from Haldita -tf L; from
Magush <£ G (before U) ; from Fravartish K< F ; from
Uvaja -f< J (before A) ; and so on.

Towards the end of 1836 Rawlinson had to go to Baghdad
tor medical advice, and there Colonel Taylor put into his
hands the alphabets of Grotefend and Saint Martin. After
examining them, he found that they did not help him ; for



he had discovered the values of more Persian signs than either
of them. In his Memoir on the Bihistun Inscription he
describes them as ” conflicting systems of interpretation.”
He determined to do his work in his own way ; and he
returned to Kirmanshah and went on copying the great
inscription, until he had copied about 200 lines. Little by
little he enlarged his alphabet ; and his guesses at the values
of the letters were astonishingly accurate. He had not
de Sacy’s translations of the Pehlevi inscriptions to help him,
as had Grotefend; but he possessed a wonderful faculty
for divining the correct values of the signs, for restoring
broken words, and for grasping intuitively the general
meaning of a passage. The extreme length of the Bihistun
text helped him greatly; and as no one had worked at it
before him, his mind was undisturbed by other people’s
views and opinions. During the whole of 1837 he
worked at the Bihistun text; and before the end of the
year he felt that, without the help of any of the works on the
Persian cuneiform inscriptions which European scholars had
written, he had succeeded in making a translation of its first
two paragraphs. He then drew up a paper containing
text, translation, transliteration, notes, etc., and sent it to
the Royal Asiatic Society in London, where it arrived early
in 1838. The only official in the Society who was capable
of passing any opinion on the merits of the paper was Edwin
Norris ( 1 795-1 872), the Orientalist, who had recently been
appointed Assistant Secretary. By his advice, a copy of
the paper was sent to the Societe Asiatique in Paris, so that
Burnouf and his colleagues might discuss the translation.
Silvestre de Sacy, whose opinion would have been invaluable,
had unfortunately died on the 22nd of the February pre-
ceding. Burnouf and the other members of the Society
esteemed the paper so highly that they elected Rawlinson an
Honorary Member, and showed their opinion of their new



member’s work by sending him copies of Burnouf’s Mimoire,
published in 1836, and his book on the Yacna, published in
1833. It was on this paper, written in 1837, and on its
supplement, written in 1839, that Rawlinson based his claim
to be the discoverer of the Persian cuneiform alphabet, and
to be the first to translate with approximate accuracy any-
substantial part of an inscription, and not on his ” Memoir ”
in Vol. X. of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, which
was not published until 1846. Nearly one-half of the
Persian alphabet had been made out correctly through the
efforts of Miinter, Grotefend, Rask, Burnouf, Saint Martin,
Lassen, Beer and Jacquet, but with it alone Rawlinson could
never have made his translation ; only the values of the
other half which he himself discovered unaided enabled
him to do this.

In 1838 Rawlinson entered into correspondence with
Lassen, but only to find that Lassen’s most recent trans-
literation merely supplied values to signs which he already
knew or had partially divined. From Burnouf’s book on
the Yacna he admits that he learned a great deal; and as
this showed him the great importance of Zend in interpreting
the Bihistun text,- he began to learn that language and
enough of Sanskrit to enable him to use it as an auxiliary
in his work. By the beginning of 1839 he had deciphered
and translated nearly all the 200 lines which he had copied
of the Bihistun text, and he says in his ” Memoir ” that in
many cases Lassen had at that time understood neither the
grammar nor the etymology of the texts which he tried to
translate. That same year he sent a supplementary paper to
the Royal Asiatic Society containing a summary of the
greater part of the Bihistun text. The translation which he
niade in 1839 1% substantially the same as that published in
f* s ” Memoir ” in 1846 ; and modern scholars have succeeded
ln modifying it in a few details only. There is no doubt



that before 1840 he had made himself the Father of the
decipherment of Persian cuneiform.



When the Afghan War broke out in 1839, Rawlinson was
recalled to India ; and during the next three or four years
his military duties afforded him neither time nor oppor-
tunity for continuing his study of the Bihistun Inscription.
It was not until 1844, when he became Consul-General in
Baghdad as well as Political Agent of the East India Com-
pany in Turkish Arabia, that he was able to return to the
studies that henceforward became the main object of his
life. Meanwhile Grotefend had been continuing his efforts
to translate the inscriptions from Takht-i-Jamshid ; and
Niels Ludwig Westergaard (18 15-1878), the eminent
Sanskrit scholar, had been sent to Persia in 1843 to copy
the inscriptions and to collect archaeological information.
He had studied all the published texts, and he was the first
copyist of the inscriptions at Takht-i-Jamshid and Naksh-
i-Rustam who understood what he was copying. He gave
his copies of the Persian versions of the texts to Lassen,
who in 1844 drew up a new alphabet, and together with him
published a work on the Persian and Susian versions in 1845.
Lassen’s alphabet and translations were discussed by
Adolf Holtzmann (1810-1870), an eminent Sanskrit
scholar ; and he corrected two of Lassen’s phonetic values,
and through his knowledge of Sanskrit improved Lassen’s
translations in many places. In 1845 the contents of all
the Persepolitan inscriptions and the inscription of Cyrus
from Murghab were known to Lassen, Westergaard and
Holtzmann ; and Lassen’s alphabet was all but complete
and practically correct. Indeed, it is said that Rawlinson



admitted that he was indebted to it for the values of two
of the letters in his own alphabet.

When Rawlinson arrived in Baghdad in 1844, he read all
that the above-mentioned scholars had written, and began
to study Zend and Sanskrit under Parsi teachers. One of
his first acts was to revisit Bihistun, to complete the copying
of the Persian and Susian Versions of the great inscription.
He returned to Baghdad with a new copy of the Persian
text (414 lines), a complete copy of the Susian text (about
260 lines), copies of all the epigraphs, and a drawing of the
great sculptured panel above the inscriptions made by that
distinguished naval officer John Felix Jones (died 1878).
The remainder of 1844 and the whole of 1845 Rawlinson
spent in writing his ” Memoir ” for the Royal Asiatic
Society. As he read the works of Lassen and others, he
found that a great many of his own discoveries had been
anticipated; and analogies from Zend and Sanskrit which
were brought forward by Burnouf, Westergaard and Holtz-
mann were of great assistance to him. Whilst the writing
of the ” Memoir ” was in progress, an Irish clergyman,
Edward Hincks (1792-1866), was studying the Persian
inscriptions ; and he communicated the results of his
labours to Edwin Norris, Assistant Secretary of the Royal
Asiatic Society. Norris forwarded abstracts of Hincks’s
papers to Baghdad; and Rawlinson found that their
author had not only arrived at results similar to those of
Lassen and himself, but that Hincks’s observations enabled
him (Rawlinson) to clear up some of his difficulties. Hincks,
like Rawlinson, was a born decipherer; and nearly all the
Papers that he afterwards published possess matter of
permanent value. Thus in many of his own discoveries
Rawlinson was again anticipated.

Early in 1846 Rawlinson sent the first part {i.e., the trans-
lation) of his ” Memoir ” to the Royal Asiatic Society ; and



Norris placed it in the hands of the printer. It was decided
to print the cuneiform text with types, and the difficulty of
cutting these delayed the publication of the work until the
end of the year. Norris designed the cuneiform types,
which were cut by Messrs. Harrison, and read the proofs,
and, as it was impossible to communicate quickly wth
Baghdad, he made several alterations in the transliteration,
and completed many broken words in the cuneiform text,
which his own knowledge enabled him to do correctly. His
intuition was so sure that he was able to ask Rawlinson if he
had not omitted a line in Col. IV. of the Persian text ;
and when Rawlinson consulted his first copy, he found that
he had done so. Whilst reading the proofs, Norris noted
several passages in which the copy seemed to him to be
defective, and sent a list of them to Rawlinson, with the
suggestion that they should, if possible, be verified on the
Rock itself. When Rawlinson visited Bihistun in 1847 to
copy the Babylonian Version, he re-examined these passages,
and found that, with two exceptions, Norris’s doubts were

The ” Memoir ” was divided into four Parts, and the
first three of these appeared in the tenth volume of the
Journal of the Society. The First Part was published in

1846, and contained the complete text of the Persian Version,
with a transliteration, two translations, one in Latin and
the other in English, and two drawings of the sculpture on
the Rock. The Second and Third Parts were published in

1847, and contained chapters on the cuneiform alphabet, and
a revised transliteration and translation of the Persian texts,
and corrected copies of all the texts published by Lassen.
The Fourth Part, which did not appear until 1849, was
devoted to the vocabulary and was intended to contain a
discussion of philological questions ; but, unfortunately, it
was never finished. In this Part Rawlinson shows that


Winced Man-headed Bull Inscribed with a Text Recordinc the
Conquests of Ashurnasirpal II, Kinc of Assyria, 883-859 B.C.

Discovered by Layard in the North-west Palace at Nimrud (Calah).



since his arrival in Baghdad in 1844 he had made very
considerable progress in the study of Zend, Sanskrit, Pehlevi,
Turkish, Persian and Pali, Hebrew, Syriac, etc., and it is
therefore difficult to understand why he left it unfinished.
He may have been occupied too closely with the study of the
Susian and Babylonian Versions between 1846 and 1849 to
give much time to the Persian Version. But from many
conversations which I had with him when I was sent to
receive his instructions concerning my official missions to
Mesopotamia, I gathered that the anticipation of some of his
discoveries by European scholars, and their persistent claims
to priority, and the acrimonious disputes of such men as
Holtzmann, wearied and irritated him. Rawlinson was by
nature, like Hincks, a decipherer ; and his one aim in working
at a text was to make it yield to him the information it
contained. He never tried to acquire the faculty for dealing
with the minutiae of philological scholarship which was
possessed by Lassen; and he never treated any text as
material on which to exhibit grammatical gymnastics. This
being so, he was content to let his reputation as a Persian
cuneiform scholar rest on his decipherment of the first two
paragraphs of the Bihistun Inscription in 1837, and on his
translation of the Persian Version published in 1846. He
claimed that his translations contained ” novelty and
interest ” (” Memoir,” p. 18) ; and this claim sufficed him.

In two particulars, Rawlinson’s services and work have
been greatly under-valued, and scholars generally have
ignored them. I refer to the translations of all the in-
scriptions which Lassen had translated in his work Ueber
die Keilinschriften, published at Bonn in 1845, and to
the physical difficulties which attended the copying of
the trilingual inscription of Darius. In Chapter V of his
” Memoir ” Rawlinson gave new translations of these ; and
m them he showed that he possessed a knowledge of the Old



Persian language greater than that of any other living man.
His intimate knowledge of the Bihistun Inscription enabled
him to correct many of Lassen’s errors, to restore broken
passages, and to suggest emendations of passages which the
great modern masters of the language, Spiegel and Weiss-
bach, have adopted. None but Rawlinson could have done
that in 1847. And as for the copying of the inscriptions on
the Rock, everyone who has read the foregoing pages (see
pp. 34, 36) must admire Rawlinson’s physical courage and
athletic skill, and the efficient way in which he performed
his self-appointed and hazardous task. Many times did
he climb the rocks, which rise to a height of nearly two
hundred feet at the foot of the Rock, and reach the ledge,
in 1835-37; an d even in 1844 and 1847, when he worked
from cradles slung from stakes driven into the crevices of
the Rock above the sculptured panel, the risks to his life or
limbs were very considerable. M. Flandin, who was sent
out with the French Mission to the Shah in 1839 to copy
the inscriptions in Persia, surveyed the Rock, and managed
to climb up by the path made by Rawlinson to the ledge,
but declared that it was impossible to do more, and aban-
doned the undertaking. And J. de Morgan, the Director
of the Delegation en Perse, who proposed to publish a new
edition of the texts of the Rock in the official publication of
the French Government, was obliged to relinquish the idea
when he came to work out the cost of the purchase and
transport of the many tons of scaffolding, ropes, chains, etc.,
which he felt would be necessary for performing this work.
He told me, after Messrs. King and Thompson of the
British Museum had re-copied the texts on the Rock, that
he was very glad they had relieved him of the necessity of
doing that work. He was a professional engineer, and said
that he could never have allowed any of his men to risk their
lives and limbs by ” emulating the exploits of Rawlinson.”




The works of Rawlinson and Westergaard published in
1845 and 1846 prove that both were working at the decipher-
ment of the Susian Version simultaneously, but indepen-
dently ; for Rawlinson was ignorant of the existence of the
joint publication of Lassen and Westergaard. The text
on which Westergaard worked was the list of countries
conquered by Darius, which was inscribed on his tomb at
Naksh-i-Rustam, and was copied by Westergaard in 1843 ;
and Rawlinson’s material was the Bihistun Inscription.
Westergaard worked on the proper names, and was the
first to transliterate a passage of a Susian inscription.
He thought that the Susian characters were partly alpha-
betic and partly syllabic, and made a list of about eighty-
five ; but he failed to recognize the use of some signs as
determinatives. He called the language ” Median,” though
he admitted that it had close affinities with the Scythic. In
his ” Memoir ” (p. 228), Rawlinson says that lines 92-98
of the second column of the Persian Version were in such
a bad state of preservation that he was only able to translate
them with the help of the Median (Susian) Version. A
glance at the plate containing the text of the last para-
graph is sufficient to show the damage that has been caused
to the text by rain and wind. And it is clear that if Raw-
linson was able to supply the meanings of the broken and
missing words from the Susian Version, his knowledge of the
Susian language must have been considerable. That such
was the case is proved by the fact that he began a ” Memoir ”
on the Median (Susian) Version, and nearly finished it. But
whilst he was revising his decisions, the work of Westergaard
and papers by Hincks read before the Royal Irish Academy
reached him, from which he saw that, as was the case in the



Persian Version, many of his discoveries had also been made
by these scholars. Therefore without more ado he sent his
copy of the text, with his readings and notes, to Norris, who,
with his help in places, published his work on the Susian
Version in Vol. XV. (1855) of the Journal of the Royal
Asiatic Society. It contains the complete Susian text with
a transliteration and translation, and statements about the
language and its affinities which are of great value to this
day. In fact, his translation has received only trifling altera-
tions from modern scholars. The values assigned to the
Susian characters by him, and his conclusions, have been
discussed by many scholars, e.g., de Saulcy, Mordtmann,
Menant, Lenormant and Sayce. But the two modern
scholars who have done most to establish the Susian language,
and to provide an accurate syllabary, are Oppert and
Weissbach, the former by his Le Peuple des Medes, Paris,
1879, and the latter by his Altpersische Keilinschriften,
Leipzig, 1893, and his Achdmenideninschriften zzveiter Art,
Leipzig, 1896.

One of the first European travellers to visit Mesopotamia
was Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish Rabbi and a native of
Navarre, who passed through Assyria and Babylonia about
1 173, and went on to Persia, and eventually made his way
to the boundaries of China. His journeyings lasted for
thirteen years, and he seems to have travelled solely with the
view of acquiring information. He visited the ruins of
Nineveh and Babylon, and accepted the tradition which
was current in his day, that Birs-i-Nimrud, which is a part
of the ruins of the great temple of Nabu at Borsippa, was
the Tower of Babel. The temple of Bel at Babylon, the
zikkurat of which was the true Tower of Babel, was in ruins
when Alexander the Great arrived in Babylon (see Arrian,



Anabasis, VII. 17). He gave orders to rebuild it, and had
all the debris removed and the site cleared, a fact which
Koldewey’s excavations have proved; but he died before
he could begin the work. An interesting inscription in the
British Museum (see Cuneiform Texts, Pt. IV, plate 39,
tablet 88-5-12, 619) published by Pinches, contains the
record of a money contribution to the clearing of the great
Temple of Babylon E. SAG. ILA, in place of a slave’s
labour. The tablet is dated in the sixth year of Alexander,
the son of Alexander the Great, and not of Alexander the
Great, as Oppert erroneously supposed. See Sidney Smith,
Babylonian Historical Texts, p. 130 (note). There seems to
be no doubt that E. SAG. ILA, the great Temple of Bel in
Babylon, was in ruins in Alexander’s day ; but we have no
knowledge about the state of the zikkurat, or temple-tower,
that was attached to it. We may assume that the upper
part of it was wrecked by Xerxes ; and it is possible that all
the stairways leading to its stages were destroyed, though
the massive lower stages can hardly have disappeared. But
during the fifteen centuries that elapsed between the reign
of Alexander the Great and the visit of Benjamin of Tudela,
the natives had probably carried off the bricks for building
purposes, and the dust to use as top dressing on their fields ;
and there was nothing that resembled a tower for Benjamin
to see.

On the other hand, there was much more of the
zikkurat of the Temple of Nabu at Borsippa to see than
there is now; and Benjamin and later travellers may be
pardoned for calling the Birs-i-Nimrud the Tower of Babel.
Therefore it is unlikely that any traveller to Babylon after
the death of Alexander can have seen the Tower of Babel.
Beatus Odoricus, a friar who visited Babylon in the
fourteenth century, also called Birs-i-Nimrud the Tower of
Babel. John de Burdens, or Sir John de Mandeville



(1322), says that the ” Tour of Babiloyne was built by
Nembrothe (Nimrod),” but there is no evidence that he saw
it. Many travellers, both English and Italian, made their
way into Persia and India via Mesopotamia during the
fifteenth century ; but as most of them were either mer-
chants or agents for commercial houses, their interest was not
centred in antiquities. In the second half of the sixteenth
century the principal travellers were ” Master ” Cesar
Frederick (1563), the correct form of whose name is Cesare
Federigo (see the Hakluyt Society’s Vol. V. p. 365) ;
Gasparo Balbi, a Venetian jeweller (1579); John New-
berrie (1581); John Eldred, Ralph Fitch (1550-1611),
W. Leedes, a jeweller, and John Story, a painter, all of
whom embarked on a ship called the ” Tiger ” for the East
in 1583 ; and Dr. Rauwolf (died 1596). John Eldred says
that when he was coming down the Tigris from Mosul, he
saw on the right bank of the river the Tower of Babel;
but the mass of brickwork which he saw was the ruin of the
zikkurat, or temple-tower, which was built by one of the
Kassite kings in the city of Dur Kurigalzu, and is called to-
day ‘Akar-Kuf (see Ibn al-Athir, Vol. IV. p. 328). Rau-
wolf, it seems, examined the ruins of Babylon with great
care ; but his description of what he saw is somewhat
vague. He speaks of the ruins of the ” Tower of Babylon,”
which he says are half a league in diameter, and the holes
in it mentioned by him are probably the ” series of rhom-
boidal holes ” which Rawlinson saw in the Birs-i-Nimrud,
and thought were made for ventilation or drainage. Rau-
wolf’s descriptions of what he saw do not help the archaeo-
logist ; and some recent critics doubt if he ever saw Babylon
at all. Far more valuable are the remarks of Pietro della
Valle, who visited Babylon in 1620. He was a good anti-
quary and scholar, and possessed sufficient knowledge of the
histories of classical writers and of the Bible to form accurate


Colossal Lion Inscribed with a Record of the Principal Conquests
of Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria, 883-859 b.c.

Discovered by Layard in the Temple of Rnurta at Nimrud (Calah).



ideas about what he saw. A careful perusal of his work
suggests that he devoted his whole attention to the mound
of Babil and to the ruins of the Kasr, or Palace, the tower
or pyramid of which he thought might be the Tomb of
Belus mentioned by Strabo. He makes no mention of the
Tower of Nimrod ; and it k therefore very doubtful if he
visited Birs-i-Nimrud. The collection of bricks, baked and
unbaked, which he made to send to his friends in Italy, has
already been mentioned.

In the second quarter of the seventeenth century the ruins
of Babylon were visited and carefully examined by the
learned Roman Catholic missionary Pere Emanuel de Saint
Albert. He approached Hillah from the north ; and before
arriving there, he saw a hill, formed of masses of ruins
of buildings, the circumference of which he estimated at
two or three miles. This hill was probably the great mound
of Babil, which from the north is visible from afar. From
it he took away some square bricks on which characters in
some unknown writing were stamped. He crossed the
Euphrates and went on to Hillah, and then set out to
examine another hill which lay about one hour distant and
was, he says, in Arabia. There he found a number of square
bricks stamped with the same inscriptions as those which
he took from Babil. On the top of the hill he saw a frag-
ment of a thick wall, which seen from a distance looked like
a tower. Another mass of brickwork lay near it, and he
notes that the cement used in it was so hard that it was
impossible to extract a single brick whole. He thought
that both masses of brickwork had been vitrified. Here he is
clearly referring to Birs-i-Nimrud. Some of the natives
told him that the masses of brickwork were the remains of
Babylon, i.e., of the Tower of Babel ; but he did not believe
them, and preferred to think that the first hill, i.e., the mound
of Babil, marked the site of Babylon. The natives told



him many silly legends about both hills ; and among them
was one which asserted that Birs-i-Nimrud was the Prison-
house of Nebuchadnezzar.

Another learned Italian, F. Vincenzo Maria, who travel-
led from Mosul to Baghdad and from Al-Basrah to Hillah
in the second half of the seventeenth century, rejected the
belief that ‘Akar-Kuf represented the Tower of Babel,
because it stood near the Tigris, and not on the Euphrates,
as the Scriptures say. On the other hand he believed that
Birs-i-Nimrud was the ruins of the Tower of Babel. Be-
tween 1760 and 1767 Karsten Niebuhr (173 3-1 8 15)
travelled all over Western Asia, and visited the ruins of
Babylon. He thought that many of the great buildings
and the walls that surrounded the Citadel had disappeared
through the agency of the natives, who had carried away the
bricks to build their houses, bridges, etc. This view was,
no doubt, suggested by the sight of the men whom he saw
digging bricks out of the foundations of the buildings which
they had demolished. He rightly believed that the remains
of the Citadel and Hanging Gardens lay on the right bank
of the Euphrates, and thought that Birs-i-Nimrud originally
formed part of the city of Babylon, and that it represented
the ruins of the great Temple of Bel (Reisebeschreibung,
Vol. II. p. 288). He visited Mosul, but has nothing to say
about the ruins of Nineveh on the east bank of the Tigris ;
for he rode over the long low lines of mounds under which
lie the ruins of the ancient city without knowing that he had
ridden over Nineveh, until it was pointed out to him.
Even the name of Kala’at Nunya, or ” Castle of Nineveh,”
which he saw, conveyed nothing to his mind. It is inter-
esting to note that the village of ” Koindsjug,” i.e., Ku-
yunjik, was in existence in his time.

The first European to explore the ruins of Babylon was
M. l’Abbe J. Beauchamps, Vicaire-general de Babylone.



He travelled in Babylonia between 1781 and 1785. With

the help of the natives who were digging out bricks for

building purposes from the massive foundation-walls of

Babylon, he found the famous stone lion, which is still

preserved on the site, and made his way into the chamber

which Koldewey believed had once contained the

machinery which supplied with water the imaginary

” Hanging Gardens ” of Babylon. The arguments for and

against the existence of ” Hanging Gardens ” at Babylon

are summarized in my Nile and Tigris, London, 1920,

Vol. II. p. 297. Beauchamps recognized that the characters

stamped on the bricks, and on the baked clay cylinders

about three inches thick, and on the black stones which had

been found there, were writing; and he sent some of the

bricks to his friend, the Abbe Barthelemy, in Paris (see above,

p. 26). Thus before the close of the eighteenth century

there were Babylonian bricks in Rome, sent by Pietro della

Valle ; in Amsterdam, sent by Kampfer ; and in Paris, sent

by Beauchamps. What became of the bricks collected by

Emanuel de Saint Albert at Babil and Birs-i-Nimrud is not

known to me. The Hon ble – East India Company ordered

their Resident at Basrah to send home a dozen specimens

of the inscribed bricks from Babylon for their Museum ;

and these arrived in London in 1801 (Booth, op. cit., p. 163).

The ruins of Babylon, which in the Middle Ages must have

been very considerable, were further spoiled by the natives,

who dug in them for bricks. The famous French zoologist

G. Antoine Olivier (1756-1814), when visiting Babylon,

said it was hopeless to try to distinguish which were the

actual ruins of the great city ; for the whole district had been

dug through by the natives, who^ had covered the country for

miles with heaps of cUbris. And he pointed out that

Wlah, Kin, Kufah, Masjid ‘All, Masjid Husen and many

other towns have been built with bricks from Babylon.



When Claudius J. Rich arrived in Baghdad as Resident
of the Hon ble -. East India Company, he learned about the
work which Beauchamps had done at Babylon ; and in
1811 he paid his first visit to the ruins. At Jumjumah he
purchased a basalt boundary-stone, now in the British
Museum, and then passed on to examine the ruins. He set
small parties of men to dig in various parts of the ruins,
especially in the Kasr, or ” Fortress ” ; but his excavations
were on a small scale, and he found nothing of special
interest. He next went to Birs-i-Nimrud, and examined
and measured the portion of a brick wall which stands on
the top of it and, as we have seen, was commonly known
as the ” Tower of Babel ” ; he found that it was 37 feet
in height and 28 feet in width. He noticed the vitrification
of the brickwork, and assumed that it was due to the action
of fire ; and he remarks on the apertures in it, which go right
through the ruin. He gives the circumference of the whole
mound as 762 yards, and its height from ground level to the top
of the wall as 235 feet. He attributes the preservation of the
wall to its distance from the river, which makes the carrying
away of the bricks a serious undertaking. Finally he decided
that the wall was not a part of the Tower of Babel, which
he was convinced was on the other side of the Euphrates ;
but later his views on the subject were not so definite.
They are set out at length in his ” Memoir on the Ruins of
Babylon,” which was printed, at Von Hammer’s request,
in the Fundgruben des Orients. His later doubts were based
on the approximate similarity of the circumference of Birs-i-
Nimrud (2286 feet) to that of the Mukelibah, i.e., the hill
of the Kasr, or ” Fortress.” But of course Rich did not
know that the ruins of the great Temple of E.Sag. Ila (and
probably also the debris round the Tower of Babel) were
cleared away by the orders of Alexander the Great, who
intended to build a new temple to Bel.



Whilst Rich was Resident at Baghdad, Sir Robert Ker
Porter and James Silk Buckingham visited Babylon under
his auspices, and discussed his conclusions, measurements
of the ruins, etc. Porter thought that the wall on the Birs-i-
Nimrud was a part of the Tower of Babel. Both were
classical scholars, and tried to make the ruins fit the measure-
ments given by Herodotus, Diodorus, Strabo and others ;
but their results were barren, though their discussions show
that they were men of considerable learning. After 181 1
Rich made no further excavations at Babylon or anywhere
in the neighbourhood, but transferred his activities to
Assyria and Persia, as has been already said (see above,
pp. 27, 29). It is much to be regretted that he did not make
any attempt to excavate the mound of Al-UhSmar, i.e.
” The Little Red Hill,” which lies about eight miles to
the east of Babil. Porter found it to be 60 feet high and
surmounted by a rectangular building made of burnt bricks,
and oriented to the cardinal points. We now know that
the mound marks the site of the ancient city of Kish ; and
the excavations made there in 1924 by Professor Langdon
at the expense of Mr. Weld Blundell, and those of Genouillac
made twelve years earlier, 1 show what splendid results awaited
the spade of the excavator. No further excavations were
made at Babylon until 185 1, when Mr. (later Sir) A. H.
Layard began to work on the mound of Babil.

Mention must now be made of the excavations by
the French and English in Assyria. Owing to ill-
health at Baghdad, Mr. C. J. Rich, Political Resident,
was obliged to make a tour through Kurdistan; and he
found it convenient to return via M6sul, a town which
stands on the right, or west, bank of the Tigris,
exactly opposite the mounds of Kuyunjik and Nabi Yunis,

1 See Genouillac, Premieres Recberches archlologiques & Kiel, torn. I,
Paris, 1924.



which mark the site of the City of Nineveh. He paid
several visits to the latter mound, and learned from the
natives that large sculptured slabs had been found in it
by them when digging foundations for houses. The figures
of men and animals on the slabs had been held by the natives
to be ” devils ” ; and so, as good Muslims, they first
destroyed the effigies, and then, as practical men of business,
burned the slabs into lime for building purposes. In the
houses at Nabi Yunis Rich saw many inscribed stones,
bricks, etc. ; and one of the natives took him down into his
sarddb, or underground chamber, in which, on account of
its coolness, the family passed the summer, and showed him
passages lined with stone slabs, and various openings. These
ran under the so-called Tomb of Jonah ; arid they were so
large that Rich felt certain that they formed parts of the
substructure of a very large and very ancient building.
From the native who showed him the massive brick walls
and slabs he acquired a baked clay barrel-shaped hollow
cylinder of Sennacherib (b.c. 705-681), which we now know
must have come from the foundations of a temple or palace
of that king. Thus before Rich went to Mosul, the natives
of Nabi Yunis had discovered Nineveh. At Kuyunjik he
made a few ” trial ” excavations, and obtained fragments of
pottery, bricks and cuneiform tablets ; and these results
confirmed him in his view that the mounds contained the
ruins of very large royal buildings. The shape and substance
of the cylinder of Sennacherib showed him that it belonged
to the same class of antiquities as the cylinders of Nebu-
chadnezzar II. which he obtained at Hillah, and he could
hardly fail to attribute it to the same period of antiquity.
And, though it was the fashion at one time to say that Rich
did not suspect the existence of palaces of Assyrian kings
under the mounds facing Mosul, the remarks which he makes
about his collection of antiquities show clearly that he



realized their general importance. No man with Rich’s
antiquarian knowledge, after four visits to Mosul, could
fail to do so. He never doubted, as did Botta and Layard,
that the -ruins of Nineveh lay under Nabi Yunis and Kuyun-

The excavations which were made in these mounds
were the direct result of the publication of Rich’s Journals
and copies of inscriptions which his widow issued in 1839.
These were read and studied by M. Julius Mohl (1806-
1876), the famous French Orientalist, who came to the
conclusion that Rich had found the site of Nineveh, and
that rich archaeological treasure lay buried there. As the
result of his influence and activity, the French Government
appointed a Vice-Consul to M6sul, and instructions were
given him to make collections of manuscripts and antiquities
for his country. The man chosen was Paolo Emilio Botta
(born at Turin 1802, died 1870), who arrived in Mosul in
1842. By the advice of the natives he applied for leave to
excavate Nabi Yunis ; but the Pasha objected, and he there-
fore turned his attention to Kuyunjik, where he dug for
about six weeks (Dec. 1842-Feb. 1843) and found nothing.
Natives having reported to him that there were sculptured
slabs at Khorsabad, about 10 miles from Mosul, there Botta
went in March 1843 ; and in a few weeks’ work he uncovered
the ruins of the magnificent palace of Sargon II., King of
Assyria (b.c. 721-705), and found hundreds of yards of
sculptured slabs, colossal winged man-headed bulls, etc.
Botta thought that he had discovered Nineveh ; and in his
first letter to M. Mohl, dated 5th April, 1843, he wrote,
” Ninive etait retrouvee.” In the early stages of his work,
his funds were provided by his personal friends ; but when
the importance of his discovery was realized in France, the
Government made an adequate grant, and he was enabled
to finish the excavations at Khorsabad satisfactorily. In



May 1843 Botta abandoned Kuyunjik and devoted all his
energies to Khorsabad, where he continued work until
1845. In that year he returned to France with the magnifi-
cent collection of sculptures that are now in the Louvre.

Whilst Botta was excavating at Khorsabad, Layard, who
had gone to Constantinople in 1842 and had been kept
informed of the progress of Botta’s work, urged Stratford
Canning, the British Ambassador to the Porte, to let him
undertake excavations at Nimrud. He was familiar with
Rich’s description of the great mounds there, and had him-
self gone over them carefully with his friend Mr. Mitford
in 1840, and had visited them again in 1842. Stratford
Canning hesitated for some time ; but when he received the
Report which the Rev. G. P. Badger (1815-1888 ; see his
Nestorians and their Rituals, Vol. I, p. 87 ff.) made of his
survey of the mounds, he decided to obtain a faramdn, or
” permit,” from the Porte, and to name Layard as his
agent for carrying out the work at Nimrud. Rich thought
that Nimrud marked the site of the town of Larissa men-
tioned by Xenophon (Anabasis iii, 4, § 7), and Layard
thought the ruins there were those of Nineveh; but we
know now that they stand on the site of the city of Calah
mentioned in the Bible (Gen. x. 11). Stratford Canning
did nothing by halves, and he agreed to provide out of his
own pocket the funds necessary for giving the work a fair
trial, just as Botta’s friends in Paris had done for him.
It is morally certain that, but for the promptitude of
Stratford Canning and his public-spirited behaviour on this
occasion, the splendid collection of Ashurnasirpal’s sculptures
which adorn the British Museum would now be filling a
gallery in the Louvre. Layard had been shrewd enough to
make an arrangement with Botta in 1843, when he aban-
doned Kuyunjik, whereby he could carry on the work there
for Stratford Canning. It was well that Layard had done



I I Hi . w yy >. Uj l -r- Ty

The ” Black Obelisk.”
Discovered by T.ayard at Nimrud (Calah).



so ; for when he returned to Mosul in 1845, he found that
Botta’s successor as Vice-Consul claimed the site as French
property, and was actually excavating there. When Layard
was in Constantinople early in 1845 he persuaded Stratford
Canning to legalize the excavations which he had already
made for him at Kuyunjik by including Kuyunjik in his
demand to the Porte for a faramdn. But for this timely
thought, Ashurbanipal’s sculptures and the thousands of
inscribed tablets from the Royal Library and the Temple
Library would now be in Paris instead of in the British

With a faramdn empowering him to dig anywhere and
everywhere in the Pashalik of Mosul, Layard left Constan-
tinople in the middle of October 1845, went by steamer to
Samsun on the Black Sea, and rode to M6§ul in twelve days,
a very fine feat of horsemanship. His riding and powers of
physical endurance were well known and greatly admired
by the natives throughout the East ; and forty years after
his departure from Assyria, the greybeards of Sinjar remem-
bered him as the ” Frangi who understood the language of
the horses.” He was often sent on missions by Stratford
Canning in which speed and secrecy were indispensable ; and
the story of his ride from Constantinople to Broussa and
back in an almost incredibly short time was told in the
coffee-shops and khans for a generation or two.

When Layard reached Mosul, he found that Botta’s
successor had begun to dig at Kuyunjik; and he at once
started work on the same mound. The French Vice-Consul
protested, and was strongly supported by the Turkish
Governor, Kiritli Oglu, who was credited with having a
brutal, tyrannical and avaricious disposition. He had only
one eye and one ear ; and his personal appearance and con-
duct made him exceedingly unpopular. Brushing aside all
opposition, Layard began to dig at Kuyunjik, working in one



part of the mound while the French Vice-Consul worked in
another. Neither found anything of importance ; and after
a few weeks both excavators abandoned their digging. The
Vice-Consul felt sure that there was nothing in the mound
worth digging for ; and Layard was anxious to get to work at
Nimrud, which lay about 20 miles downstream of Mosul,
and was, he firmly believed, the site of Nineveh. Towards
the end of November Layard arrived at Nimrud, and started
work with only a few men. He seems to have been guided
to the chambers which he first cleared out by natives, who
told him that they had been opened some thirty years earlier
by the custodians of the tomb of Sultan ‘Abd- Allah, who
wished to obtain stone to repair the tomb. These men had
loosened some of the sculptured slabs, but found them too
heavy to remove. By the beginning of December Layard
had found a number of sculptured slabs, and winged, man-
headed ” bulls,” and many small objects. He wrote to
Stratford Canning and reported progress, and asked him
for a supplementary Jaramdn, which would put a stop to
the mischievous obstruction of the Kadi and Mufti and
others. He further described the magnitude of the work
to be done and, of course, asked for more money. The
jaramdn arrived in due course, and then Layard proceeded
to lay open the whole site, rejoicing in the fact that the
document ” secured to the British nation the records of
Nineveh [sic], and a collection of the earliest monuments
of Assyrian art.”

On his return to Mosul in January 1846, he found that
Kiritli Oglu had been superseded, and that the town was
being governed (with justice) by an officer called Isma’il
Pasha, until the arrival of Hafiz Pasha. Layard at once
reopened the excavations in Kuyunjik ; and whilst these
were in progress, he tested the powers of his new jaramdn
by opening up the mounds at Ba’ashika, Ba’azani, Karamlis,










Kara Kosh, Yara and Jarnah, and found unimportant
Assyrian remains in most of them. In the spring of 1846
he received a letter from Stratford Canning, saying that he
had presented to the British nation all the sculptures .that
had been excavated at his expense, and that in future the
British Museum would supply funds for the work at Nim-
rud up to a certain sum. But alas ! the sum named was a
very small one, and but for the assistance rendered by his
friends Layard could never have done what he did at
Nimrud. The French Government voted for the excava-
tions at Khorsabad a sum exceeding the total grant of the
Treasury to the British Museum, and sent one of the ships
of the French Navy to Basrah to bring the sculptures to
Europe. And when these were deposited in Paris, the
Government undertook the publication of them without
counting the cost. On the other hand, the Nimrud
excavations were starved for want of money ; and when the
sculptures reached Basrah, they lay there for months waiting
for ” tramp ” ships to take them to Bombay. There they
were dumped on the Bandar, and many of the cases were
opened or unpacked, and their contents left lying about for
weeks, and in some instances for months. Thefts by the
people were numerous ; and we shall never know now exactly
what was found at Nimrud. And but for the generous grant
made for the purpose by the Hon ble – East India Company,
and the subscriptions of friends, the Nimrud sculptures
could never have been published ; the Treasury refused to
give a grant for the purpose, and the British Museum could
do nothing, for it had no money.

During 1846 and a part of 1847, Layard continued his
excavations at Kuyunjik ; but his absences at Nimrud were
so frequent that the work of superintending them was under-
taken by Mr. Ross, to whom we owe our earliest good
general account of Sennacherib’s sculptures at Bavian.



The value of his services and discoveries is acknowledged by
Layard in Nineveh and its Remains, Vol. II, p. 1 38 ff. In
1847 Layard returned to England, and Mr. Ross left Mosul,
and, with the consent of the Trustees of the British Museum,
the excavations were handed over to the care of Mr. Chris-
tian Rassam, the British Vice-Consul, who married Matilda,
the sister of the Rev. G. P. Badger. During the period of
Layard’s absence in England, Mr. Rassam was assisted by
his brother, Mr. Hormuzd Rassam (1826-1910), who had
acted as unpaid Wakil, or Deputy, to Layard at Nimrud.
Layard returned to Mosul in 1849, and devoted all his
energies to the excavations at Kuyunjik, where work was
carried on steadily until 1851, when he finally left Assyria.
During the years 1 849-1 851, Layard and Rassam cleared out
at Kuyunjik seventy-one chambers, and laid bare a series of
bas-reliefs of a total length of 9880 feet, and twenty-seven
gateways adorned with colossal winged ” bulls ” and lion-
sphinxes {Nineveh and Babylon, p. 589).

Whilst work was going on at Kuyunjik under the direction
of Rassam, Layard was riding about the country seeking for
ruins containing large bas-reliefs, bulls, etc. He examined
the mass of ruins at Al-Hathr in the heart of the Western
Desert, and in 1850 went down to Babylon to see what was
to be found there. He excavated a part of the north end
of the mound of Babil and discovered many coffins and
remains of the Parthian period, and eventually came to
solid piers and walls ; but they were not covered with reliefs.
He then went to the Kasr and cleared out a part of the sub-
terranean passage, which the natives had shown to Beau-
champs in 1782 and to Rich in 181 1, but found nothing that
he considered to be worth removing. He next went to
the mound of ‘Amran ibn ‘All, and found fragments of glass
of the Greek period, and terra-cotta divining bowls inscribed
with magical texts in Hebrew, Syriac, Mandaitic, etc.



His ” finds ” disappointed him, and he came to the conclu-
sion that the heaps of earth and rubbish which lay about the
place were not worth excavating. He next visited Al-Uhe-
mar (Kish), but made no excavations there, though the
solid square structure with its terraces, or platforms, ought to
have suggested the possibility of making important dis-
coveries in the mound.


In 1847, as already said, Rawlinson paid another visit to
the Rock of Bihistun to re-collate several passages of the
Persian Version, and to copy the Babylonian Version. On
his return to Baghdad he set to work on the decipherment
of the Babylonian text, and made an intensive study of it
for about a year and a half. He found it necessary to resume
his studies of Hebrew and Syriac, which languages were, as
he realized more and more as his work went on, of the first
importance as helps to translation. By the end of the
summer of 1849 he felt that he had made out the general
meaning of the inscription ; and he returned to England
in order to lay his work before the Royal Asiatic Society.
In January and February 1850 he read an introduction to his
work on the Babylonian text before the Society, in which he
discussed the Inscriptions of Assyria and Babylonia. In
this he said that he had identified about eighty proper
names, and fixed the values of about 150 characters, and
had succeeded, through the Persian text, in compiling about
500 Babylonian words of which he knew the meaning cer-
tainly and the phonetic values approximately. But he
gave no list of characters. He made valuable remarks on
the polyphonic character of the languages, and was the
first to discuss this important matter. But on examining
the papers on the Babylonian and Assyrian Syllabary which



Hincks published between 1846 and 1850, it is quite easy to
see that he had more accurate knowledge of the use and
values of the characters and their nature than Rawlinson.
Hincks was the first to publish a list of characters, the greater
number of the values of which were correct ; and he
identified the signs for the vowels, and proved that many
signs were syllabic. He noticed the care used in distin-
guishing the various gutturals, labials and sibilants, he
pointed out the existence of ideographs and determinatives,
he read the name and titles of Nebuchadnezzar, and deter-
mined the meanings of the signs that are used for ” king,”
” god,” ” son,” ” great,” ” earth,” ” man,” etc. In fact
the first step in the correct decipherment of the Babylonian
text was made by Hincks. Moreover, he made the deduc-
tion that the Babylonians and Assyrians had borrowed their
writing from a non-Semitic people, and that originally the
phonetic values of the ideograms corresponded in some way
with the first sounds of the words they represented. But
in translating the Semitic inscriptions, Rawlinson was as
superior to Hincks, and in the same way, as he had been to
Lassen in translating the Persian inscriptions. This he
clearly proved by his translations of several passages from
the Black Obelisk, and his running commentary on them.
Rawlinson’s work on the Babylonian text, with a Syllabary,
and the complete translation and the transliteration, was
laid before the Royal Asiatic Society in the winter of
1850-1851, and the greater part of it was printed before the
following May. The complete work, which forms Vol. XIV.
of the Journal of the Society, did not appear until January
1852. Having seen the greater part of the volume in type,
Rawlinson committed the completion of the volume to the
care of Norris, and returned to Baghdad in the autumn

Some writers on the decipherment of the Babylonian



Version of the Bihistun Inscription have put forward the
view that the world is indebted for it to the labours of
Grotefend ; but such is not the case. Grotefend, by
deciphering the names of Darius, Xerxes and Hystaspes,
did make out the true values of about eight characters ;
and some of his guesses about the values of another eight
were partly correct. But he denied that the Babylonian
language was Semitic ; and he thought that Persian,
Susian and Babylonian were cognate languages. And he
translated the ordinary brick inscription of Nebuchad-
nezzar as a prayer to the god Mithras. These facts are
sufficient to show that he was incapable either of trans-
literating or translating the Babylonian text at Bihistun.

Menant and, following him, several other French scholars
have claimed that Rawlinson owed to de Saulcy many
of the values which he gave in his Syllabary, and that he
only obtained his successful results by adopting de Saulcy’s
system and translations. What exactly de Saulcy wrote
on the Van inscriptions cannot be stated ; for his early
contributions on cuneiform matters were contained in
private letters to Burnouf (Booth, of. cit., p. 399). From
his published work it is clear that he did not know that
the Babylonian signs were syllabic in character; and he
thought that some of them consisted of two parts, one
part giving the consonant and the other the vowel. Accord-
ing to Menant, de Saulcy gave correct values to about 120
signs in 1849; and when he saw in Rawlinson’s Syllabary,
published about a year later, sixty-eight signs with the same
value as his own, he asserted that Rawlinson had borrowed
them from him. But Hincks had done all this work two
years earlier ; and we know that his papers were read in
France to Mohl and other scholars a year before de Saulcy
published his two papers. And Rawlinson’s transliteration
and translation of the Babylonian Bihistun text were



finished before he left Baghdad in the autumn of 1849;
and he was actually travelling to England when de Saulcy’s
papers appeared. In any case, de Saulcy’s alphabetic
method was wrong; and it was only when Rawlinson,
following Hincks, adopted a syllabic system that the inscrip-
tion was correctly deciphered. Rawlinson always kept his
lists of signs by him, and made alterations in the values he
had given to them whenever his increasing knowledge of the
texts justified it. It is impossible to think that there were
sixty-eight signs of which he did not know the values ; and
it is certain that if either de Saulcy or Rawlinson borrowed
values from the other’s works, it was not Rawlinson. One
of the points overlooked by de Saulcy’s friends was that
Hincks published papers showing that in 1847 he had
arrived at the values which de Saulcy claimed to be his
in 1849 ! But it has also been claimed by de Saulcy’s
friends that Rawlinson was indebted to him for help in
making his translations of the Achaemenian and Assyrian
inscriptions. This claim, too, is absurd, for the texts of
the Bihistun inscriptions were available to no one until
Rawlinson published them. There were many Assyrian
texts available to both scholars ; for the Khorsabad inscrip-
tions were published by Botta in 1848, and the text on
the Black Obelisk by Layard in his Monuments of
Nineveh in 1849, and there is no doubt that both scholars
worked at them independently. Down to 1854 de Saulcy
persisted in his erroneous views, and even in that year
asserted that Rawlinson’s method of reading was essentially
wrong, and that the credit for such parts of it as were
correct should be shared with him. In short, it is safe to
say with Booth (op. cit., p. 405) that on all points of differ-
ence between Rawlinson and de Saulcy, both as regards
the theory of the language and the details of its expression,
Rawlinson was right and de Saulcy was hopelessly wrong.




». .







We have now to consider briefly to what extent Rawlinson
was helped by Hincks in his translation and transliteration
of the Babylonian text at Bihistun. We know from the
papers that were in the possession of the late Mr. W. S. W.
Vaux of the British Museum that Rawlinson made very
full lists of the signs that are found in the Persian, Susian
and Babylonian Versions of the great inscription of Darius ;
and the papers themselves showed that he altered from
time to time the values that he gave them. But we do
not know the dates when these alterations were made;
and still less do we know the immediate causes of his altera-
tions. The greater number were undoubtedly due to his
progress in his knowledge of the various languages, which,
when he had finished his translations, was greater than
that of any other scholar. But among the papers in
Mr. Vaux’s possession there were several notes and sum-
maries of passages in Hincks’s papers, which show that
Norris kept Rawlinson informed of the extraordinary
success of Hincks’s labours ; and it is very possible that
these contained hints that Rawlinson found illuminating
and developed in his own wonderful fashion. Norris
himself raised many queries in his letters to Rawlinson ;
and these caused him to revise some of his conclusions
and phonetic values. Rawlinson was not a profound
Oriental philologist in the true sense of the word, and
he accepted Norris’s remarks and criticisms with gratitude,
in the same way as he received the information that he
derived from Burnouf’s invaluable treatise on the Yacna.
The value of Norris’s help to Rawlinson between 1838
and 1850 has never been adequately recognized or appreci-
ated. Though possessing great Oriental attainments,
Norris was singularly modest; and he was as diffident
about the value of his work as was Rawlinson about his
transliterations and translations. Students in England and



on the Continent were far too busy in asserting their
claims to ” priority ” to trouble about Norris’s contri-
butions to science ; and his name is rarely mentioned by
the writers on cuneiform decipherment, who endeavour to
magnify the efforts of Rask, Lassen, Westergaard, de
Saulcy and Oppert at the expense of Rawlinson. Time
after time Rawlinson’s friends asked him to make a definite
statement about the way in which he obtained the values
in his Syllabary; and his answer to them was always the
same, ” I have no idea how I arrived at them.” But he
openly said on more than one occasion that in 1850 Hincks
knew more about the languages used in the Bihistun inscrip-
tion than anyone else. In his Syllabary, published in
1850, Hincks says that he borrowed J J values from Rawlin-
son, and that of the remaining 267 signs, he and Rawlinson
only disagreed about the values of 49, the points of dis-
agreement being, not the consonantal values of the signs,
but only of the vowels inherent in them. Hincks ascer-
tained the value of about 200 signs independently; but
an examination of Rawlinson’s Syllabary, published in his
” Memoir ” of 1851, shows that he can only have borrowed
a few values, if any, from Hincks. The value of Hincks’s
work on the Syllabary was very great ; and if we assume
that his merits as a decipherer are equal to those of Rawlin-
son, it in no way detracts from the value of Rawlinson’s
independent decipherment, or robs Rawlinson of his
priority ; for unless Rawlinson had made for himself very
full lists of signs with correct values, he could never have
made his translations. And, as regards these translations,
it is quite obvious that no one could enter into competition
with him when he made them . The only competitor possible
was Hincks ; and he never published all the translations he
made or disputed the accuracy of those made by Rawlinson.
His longest translation was that of the inscription of Tiglath



Pileser; and this was only made after the decipherment
of the cuneiform inscriptions was an accomplished fact.


In 1 85 1 Layard finally left Mesopotamia, convinced
apparently that there were no more mounds containing
the remains of large buildings with bas-reliefs and ” bulls ”
to be excavated in that country. He was an indefatigable
rider, and it is impossible to say where he did not go in
Assyria and Babylonia; but there is no record that he
ever visited the great mounds in Lower Babylonia, e.g.,
those of Nuffar, or Niffer, from which Dr. Peters and
Mr. Haynes obtained such priceless literary treasures (see
Peters, Nippur, 2 vols., New York, 1897). It is a matter
for wonder, too, that Layard did not attempt to make
excavations at Susa (Shush), which he had visited in 1 841
(Layard, Early Adventures, p. 352 ff.). He describes the
mound there as being as large as the great mound at
Babylon ; and according to Kinneir (” Memoir,” p. 100) it
was in 18 13 100 feet high and a mile in circumference.
It is possible that the fact of Susa being in Persian territory
caused Layard to abandon all idea of excavating the
mound. Rassam accompanied him to England in 1851,
and the excavations at Kuyunjik and Nimrud were tem-
porarily committed to the care of Mr. Christian Rassam,
the British Vice-Consul at Mosul. When Layard an-
nounced his intention of abandoning archaeological work
in the East, the Trustees asked Rawlinson to take charge
of the excavations, and at Layard’s suggestion sent out
Rassam in 1852 to carry on the works under his direction.

During the absence of Layard and Rassam in England,
the French Government sent out Victor Place (1822-
1875) to renew excavations both at Khorsabad and Kuyunjik,



claiming that both places were the property of the French,
notwithstanding the fact that the Sultan of Turkey had
given Stratford Canning permission to dig in any part of
Turkey. When Rawlinson returned to Baghdad at the
end of 1 85 1 and began his directorate of excavations,
Place, hearing that Layard had abandoned work in Assyria,
told Rawlinson that he had been instructed to dig at
Kuyunjik; and Rawlinson raised no objection. Thus it
fell out, unfortunately, that he had made it impossible for
Rassam to continue his work at Kuyunjik; and he was in
consequence much aggrieved at his chief’s action. Rawlin-
son thought that Kuyunjik was quite cleared out, and that
the site was of no further use to Rassam. Rassam, how-
ever, knew that this was not the case, for the northern
part of the mound had not been searched at all, and he
determined to dig there at all costs ; and he was well
within his rights in doing so. For Kuyunjik was private
property, being owned by a native whose ancestors had
bought it from the Turkish Government, and had grown
crops on one part of it and pastured huge flocks of sheep
on the other. The name of Kuyunjik, which means
literally “lambs many,” was given to it by the natives,
because in the spring the mound was covered with sheep
that were driven there to feed upon the new grass and
to rear their young. The excavations spoiled the mound
for the growth of crops and sheep-feeding purposes ; and
the owner naturally claimed compensation. Botta, backed
by the governor Kiritli Oglu, rode roughshod over the
owner’s objections, and laughed at his claim for com-
pensation; and the man was ruined. He went to Con-
stantinople to appeal to the Porte, and meeting Layard
there told him his trouble. Layard managed to obtain
money, presumably from Stratford Canning, and helped the
man out of his difficulties, and made an arrangement with



him whereby for a number of years the English obtained
the sole right to excavate at Kuyunjik. Rassam therefore
protested to Rawlinson, who promptly told Place that the
English had purchased the lease of Kuyunjik for excavation
purposes ; but Place refused to withdraw from the mound,
and began to dig. Rawlinson was unwilling to take any
action which might be construed as unfriendly to the
French; and the whole summer of 1853 was spent in
attempting to negotiate. In the autumn, Place continued
his excavations; but he altered the direction of them,
and began to work towards the northern part of the mound.
During the winters of 185 1-1 852 and 1852-1 853 some of the
natives who had been employed by Layard and Rassam in their
excavations in 1 845-1 847 and 1 849-1 85 1 had ” searched ” the
mound, and had good reason for believing that there was
much to be found in the northern part of it. When they
saw Place steadily making his way in that direction, they
urged Rassam to act, and to act quickly; and nothing
loath, he made arrangements with them to dig through
the parts of the mound indicated by them secretly and by
night. The first night (Dec. 20, 1853) was passed in
removing dSbris. The work of the second night revealed
a large bas-relief ; and on the third night the magnificent
sculptured bas-reliefs of Ashurbanipal’s Lion Hunt were
laid bare. Secrecy was no longer possible; and Rassam
therefore increased the number of his diggers, and worked
day and night until they had cleared the chamber, which
was 50 feet long and 15 feet wide. In this chamber they
found several heaps of inscribed baked clay tablets, but
nearly all of them were broken into small pieces. They
resembled the tablets which Layard had found in 1 849-1 85 1 ;
and as there was nothing to suggest that they had been
kept or stored in the chamber, it seemed clear that they
had been brought from some other part of the palace of



Ashurbanipal, and hurriedly piled up there in heaps. We
now know that the tablets found by Layard belonged to
the Nineveh Library, and those found by Rassam to the
King’s private library. The total number of tablets and
fragments which have been brought from Nineveh and
are now in the British Museum is, approximately, 25,000 ;
this does not include the thousands of fragments which
are too small to deal with. It is impossible to over-estimate
the value of this splendid ” find ” of Rassam’s from religious,
historical and literary points of view. These tablets have
supplied the material by the aid of which the decipher-
ment of the cuneiform inscriptions in the Assyrian, Baby-
lonian and Sumerian languages was completed, and form
the foundation of the science of Assyriology.

During one of the journeys which Rawlinson made from
Baghdad to Mosul, he took the opportunity of visiting
Nimrud, where Layard made such splendid discoveries in
I.846-1847, and KaPah Sharkat, which marks the site of the
city of Ashur, where Layard had excavated between 1849
and 1 85 1. It was as evident then as now that the mounds
at Nimrud had not been completely dug through, and
that work at Kal’ah Sharkat had been stopped before the
site had been properly examined. The “find” of in-
scribed tablets at Kuyunjik in 1850 convinced Rawlinson
that a collection of similar tablets ought to exist at Nimrud ;
and by his wish Rassam went there in 1853, and reopened
the excavations. He excavated the temple of Adar, and
discovered six fine statues of the god Nabu (Nebo), two
of which are now in the British Museum. But he did
not find the inscribed clay cylinders which he expected
to discover either under the temple-tower (zikkurat) or
near ^ it. Assyriologists have long wondered why many
inscribed tablets were not found at Nimrud; for there
must have been a Library attached to the temple of Nabu,



and presumably one in the palace. Literature must have
been held in honour at a Court presided over by such
kings as Ashurnasirpal and his son Shalmaneser. One
tablet was certainly found in the South-East Palace at
Nimrud, namely, that on which is drawn a series of the
original pictorial forms of certain cuneiform characters;
this is in the British Museum, and was published by
Houghton (Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., Vol. VI, p. 454). This
caa hardly have been the only tablet that existed at Nim-
rfid ; indeed, the mere character of the inscriptions upon
it suggests that there were others preserved with it at one
time. The fact is that many tablets were found both at
Kuyunjik and Nimrud by Layard. Several fragments of
tablets were found at the former place before any excava-
tions were made there by Europeans ; for the heavy rains
washed the earth down from the sides of the mound, leaving
the fragments bare and visible. The natives thought they
were bits of pottery decorated in an unusual manner ; and
Dr. Birch told me that Layard thought the same until
1849, when he brought home a few specimens of the
” strange pottery ” and showed them to him. When
Birch told him what they were, and showed him the plates
in Rich’s ” Second Memoir,” Layard sent out to Kuyunjik
and ordered Mr. Christian Rassam to collect all the pieces
of the ” strange pottery ” he could find, and to put them
in baskets until his return to Mosul. Similar orders were
sent to Nimrud, but it was too late ; for the tablets and
fragments had been thrown out on the piles of earth that
had been excavated, and had since been carried away by
the natives to make top-dressing for their fields. We
have it also on the authority of Mr. Nimrud Rassam,
H. B. M.’s Vice-Consul at Mosul, that many tablets were
found at Nimrud; but neither natives nor Europeans
knew what they were, and, like the baked clay cylinders



which the natives used to dig out from the foundations of
Babylon, they were just thrown away with the dibris
from their diggings. But so much of Nimrud remains
unexcavated, that it is possible that many tablets are still
lying there under the mounds.

When Rawlinson returned to Baghdad in 1851, he
found that Place was excavating at Karah Sharkat. The
distinguished Frenchman worked there during the whole
winter of 185 1-2; and though he found little to reward
him for his toil Rawlinson did not believe that the possi-
bilities of the site were exhausted. He therefore instructed
Rassam to go there and dig into the large, very solid mass
of earth and bricks which he thought was the base of the
temple-tower of the ancient city. Mr. J. E. Taylor,
who had been digging at Mukayyar in Lower Babylonia,
had in that year (1853) found four inscribed cylinders
(now in the British Museum) at the corners of the temple
of the Moon-god; and Rawlinson thought it very prob-
able that cylinders would be discovered in the foundations
of some of the buildings at Kal’ah Sharkat. The result
of Rassam’s excavations was the discovery of two fine
inscribed baked clay eight-sided prisms of Ticlath-
Pileser I, king of Assyria (1115-1103 b.c), now in the
British Museum. A third prism was, according to Rassam
(Jssbur, p. 20), found there by Layard in 1852 (1851 ?).
Each of the three was found in a case of masonry at one of
the three corners of the square base of the temple-tower ;
the fourth was, apparently, never found. The inscriptions
recorded the building of the temple of Anu and Adad
which was founded by Shamshi-Adad about 1820 b.c. ;
and they showed that the remains at Kal’ah Sharkat are
those of the city of Ashur, which is now known to be the
oldest capital of Assyria. Writing of his work in 1878,
Rassam says : —


Colossal Winced and Human-headed Bull and Mythological Beinc
from a Doorway in the Palace of Sarcon II, King of Assyria,

722-705 B.C.

Excavated at Khorsabad by Sir H. C. Rawlinson by arrangement with the
French Consul at Mosul.



” At Kalaa-Shirgat I had excavations carried on for some months ; but
we met with the same meager (sic) results as before. The site of this ancient
Assyrian city is an enigma to me. Its size and important position make it
look most tempting and full of hopeful results to an ardent explorer ; but
when the spade of the digger penetrates deep into it, nothing but con-
glomerate rubbish is found in the heart of it, with here and there some
sprinkling of fragments of inscriptions, painted bricks and pottery. I have
tried the mound over and over again ; and yet I could never find a sign of
any building. , With all these failures, I still believe that it contains valuable
remains, which the spade of future excavation will bring to light, as was the
case at Birs Nimroud and Babylon ” (Asshur, New York, 1897, p. 256).

The splendid series of historical stelae found by the Deutsche
Orient-gesellschaft at Kal’ah Sharkat prove that Rassam’s
belief was well-founded.

Before passing to the excavations in Babylonia at this
period, reference must be made to the two colossal winged
human-headed bulls from Khorsabad that were obtained
for the nation by Rawlinson. The winged colossal figures
beside them are mythological in character, and are per-
forming a ceremony of anointing the bulls with magical
unguent ; the whole group is at once the largest, finest, and
most imposing of all the Assyrian monuments in the British
Museum. They were obtained as the result of a friendly
arrangement made between Rawlinson and Place, the former
wishing to secure some fine specimens of the architectural
work of Khorsabad, and the latter a selection of the sculp-
tured reliefs from Kuyunjik. Place, who never ceased to
regard Kuyunjik as French property, viewed the successes
of Layard and Rassam on this site with much chagrin,
and protested angrily, especially against the action of the
latter. Early in 1854 Rawlinson went to Mosul; and
having chosen the sculptures which he thought most
suitable for the British Museum, he allowed Place to select
those that he wanted for the Louvre. Place selected
between 70 and 80 of the remainder, and these were
despatched on rafts to Basrah for transport to Paris. One



of the rafts, a huge affair between 30 and 40 feet square,
loaded up with several of the Kuyunjik bas-reliefs, as well
as with a large collection of most valuable antiquities from
Khorsabad, got out of control just as it was about to enter
the Shatt al-‘Arab at Kurnah, where the Tigris and
Euphrates unite, and striking a stony projection on the
left bank, heeled over. The French officials in charge
of the antiquities had no knowledge of the way in which
rafts made of poles supported on inflated skins of goats
should be handled in such cases, and insisted on trying to
right the raft in their own way. The result was that the
raft broke in pieces under the weight of the bas-reliefs,
which had been moved to the river side of it ; and every-
thing on it fell into the river, and settled down in the
mud, where the sculptures now are. The bas-reliefs that
reached Paris are now exhibited in the Louvre.

The work of both Layard and Rassam was seriously
hampered by want of funds ; and on more than one occasion
the former would have been obliged to stop work altogether
if friends had not helped him with money. When Layard
returned to England in 1851, he made this fact known;
and Lord John Russell and others founded the Assyrian
Excavation Fund, and collected a considerable sum of
money, with the view of clearing out Kuyunjik and Nimrud
entirely, and opening other sites in Assyria and Babylonia.
Layard refused to return to Assyria ; and in 1852 the Fund
sent out Mr. (later Sir) W. K. Loftus to carry on the work
of excavation. Mr. Loftus was no neophyte; for in 1851
he had made excavations at Susa on the site which he
surveyed in 1850. As Rassam was working at Kuyunjik
and Nimrud, Loftus betook himself to Baghdad, and under
Rawlinson’s direction made excavations at Nuffar (Nippur),
Warka (Erech), Sangarah (Larsa), Mukayyar (Ur of the
Chaldees) and Abu Shahren (Eridu) in Lower Babylonia.



The objects that he found were sent home to the British
Museum, together with a report on his discoveries, which
is, presumably, now among the official Archives in the
Director’s Office. Loftus was the first to bring back
specimens of the large glazed coffins which were in use in
the Parthian Period, and of the baked clay sickles, which,
it is thought, were used by the peasants of a still earlier
period in cutting fodder or in reaping grain. In the same
yea* he published a volume of lithographed copies of
cuneiform texts without a title-page or introduction, and
of course without any translations. Rassam left Mosul
on May 1, 1854, and returned to England ; and in response
to a request made by the Trustees of the British Museum,
he agreed to go back to Kuyunjik and finish the excavations
there. But for private reasons he felt that he was bound
to accept the offer of a permanent political appointment
at Aden which Sir James Outram, the Resident, offered
him at this time, and therefore did not go back to Kuyunjik.
Thereupon Rawlinson directed Loftus to go to Mosul and
finish the excavations there, the British Museum and the
Assyrian Excavation Fund providing the funds jointly.
Loftus opened several parts of the mound of Kuyunjik,
but found only a few bas-reliefs. He did most useful work
in clearing out the trenches and rooms which his prede-
cessors had only partly excavated; and he was rewarded
by the discovery of many tablets, bricks and small objects
which they had overlooked. Botta, Layard, Ross and
Rassam piled up the contents of the shafts and trenches
which they dug immediately above them, and never
attempted to carry away the dibris to a distance. It made
excavation easy for them, but it rendered the work doubly
difficult for their successors, who wished to dig through
those parts of the mound that were buried under the debris.
Whilst Rawlinson was Director of Excavations, Dr.



Jules Oppert (1825-1905), the eminent Professor of
Assyriology in the College de France, was sent on a mission
to Mesopotamia (see his Expedition en MSsopotamie, 2 vols.,
Paris, 1863) ; and he made an exhaustive study of the ruins
of Babylon and Birs-i-Nimrud. With the view of assisting
him in the compilation of his map of Babylon, Rawlinson
had some excavations made at the Kasr, or ” Fortress of
Babylon,” but he obtained no results of importance. At
the same time he set Tonietti to work at Birs-i-Nimrud,
which the Jews called Bursi and Bursip, and the Greeks
Borsippa. He found in the base of the temple-tower
(zikkurat) some inscribed cylinders of Nebuchadnezzar II,
thus proving the correctness of the Arab geographer’s
statement (Yakut, Vol. I, p. 565) that there were ” ruins of
Nebuchadnezzar and a high hill called the Tower of Burs
at Al-Birs.” It is to be regretted that Tonietti did not
extend his excavations to the temple of Nabu close by, and
to the mound of Ibrahim al-Khalil, where, thirty years
later, so many important objects were discovered. During
the last year (1854) of Rawlinson’s work at Baghdad, Mr.
J. E. Taylor, British Vice-Consul at Basrah, carried out
tentative excavations at Mukayyar (Ur of the Chaldees),
and in the following year he extended his operations to
Tall Abu Shahren, which marks the site of Eridu, probably
the oldest Sumerian city mentioned in the inscriptions, and
to Tall al-Lahm, where are the ruins of another ancient
city, at present not identified. A description of the results
obtained from these excavations will be found in Taylor’s
papers printed in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,
Vol. XV, p. 260 ff. and p. 404 ff. The grant made by the
Treasury to the Trustees of the British Museum for
excavations in Babylonia was £3,000 ; and everyone who
takes the trouble to examine the results obtained under
Rawlinson’s Directorship of Excavations must admit that



his administration was both economical and fruitful.
He loved the work, and treated it as a part of his duty as
Consul-General of Baghdad, and received no extra money
for his services. Being convinced that no remains of large
ancient buildings similar to the palaces and temples of
Assyria were to be found in Babylonia, he felt, when Mr.
Taylor had finished his excavations at Mukayyar and the
neighbouring sites, that the time had come for him to
return to England, in order to establish on a broader base
the science of Assyriology which he had founded.

Therefore he resigned his Consul-Generalship of Baghdad
in February 1855, and returned to England. The only
appointment he accepted afterwards was that of Minister
Plenipotentiary to Persia ; but he only held the office for
about ten months (April 16, 1859, to Feb. 20, i860). His
knowledge of Persian literature and of the ancient history
of the country, to say nothing of the facility with which he
spoke the language, made him fersona grata with the
Shah and his Court ; and on his departure from Teheran
the Shah and his Ministers said openly that they had lost
a wise adviser and an understanding friend.



The publication of the monuments of Khorsabad by
Botta, and those of Nimrud and Nineveh by Layard, and
the translation of the inscriptions on the Rock of Bihistun
in the ” Memoirs ” by Rawlinson and Norris, and Oppert’s
translation of a unilingual inscription from Khorsabad
had excited the interest of scholars, and the wonder and
admiration of the nation generally. When Rawlinson
arrived in England, he was at once acknowledged by all
those who had followed his researches to be the chief
authority on cuneiform decipherment ; and from theo-



logians and historical students and Oriental philologists
demands for further information poured in upon him.
It was a fairly easy matter in 1855 for him to answer ques-
tions about the comparatively few inscriptions from Persia
and the Rock of Bihistun; but since he had published
his ” Memoir,” in 1846, a vast mass of cuneiform inscriptions
on bas-reliefs, obelisks, memorial tablets, bricks, boundary-
stones, baked clay prisms and barrel-shaped cylinders, and
two libraries of baked clay tablets inscribed in cuneiform,
had been brought to London from Nineveh, Nimrud,
Kal’ah Sharkat, Babylon and several sites in Lower Baby-
lonia ; nearly all these were undeciphered, and of only a
very few were even the general contents known to him.

Whilst the excavations were in progress in Assyria and
elsewhere Layard made copies of several cuneiform inscrip-
tions; and of those that he could not copy he made
” squeezes,” i.e., impressions taken by beating sheets of
moistened cartridge or other paper into the inscriptions,
and letting them dry. These he brought home in 1849,
and handed over to the British Museum, and the Trustees
promptly made arrangements for publishing them. The
preparation of the copies for the printer was entrusted to
Birch, then an Assistant in the Department of Antiquities.
Birch was not an Assyriologist in the modern sense of the
word; but he had studied all that had been written on
the cuneiform inscriptions, and especially the papers of
Hincks on the Assyrian Syllabary. He was in constant
communication with Hincks, Rector of Killyleagh in Ireland,
and with Norris ; and the latter helped him in restoring
passages where the ” squeeze ” was torn or defective, and
in correcting Layard’s pencil copies. Layard never pro-
fessed to have any knowledge of even the simplest forms of
the cuneiform characters, and only set down in his note-
books what he thought he saw. That he confounded the













signs at times was only what Niebuhr, Grotefend, and the
later copyists did, when they could not read what they were
copying; the wonder is that so much in Layard’s copies
was correct. At length Birch and Norris finished the
copies, and, having been revised by Rawlinson, who spent
the whole of the year 1850 in England, they were repro-
duced in type in folio form under the title, ” Inscriptions
in the Cuneiform Character from Assyrian Monuments
discovered by Sir A. H. Layard, G.C.B., D.C.L.” Printed
by Harrison and Sons, London, 1851. The publication
of this volume placed a mass of new material in the hands of
students ; and the promptness with which the Trustees
made available to the public inscriptions which only five
years earlier had been buried under the mounds of Kuyunjik
and Nimrvid is beyond all praise.

But though the appearance of these texts stimulated
the study of the cuneiform inscriptions, a close examination
of them and of the renderings of parts of the text on the
Black Obelisk, published by Rawlinson and Hincks, caused
many scholars and students to doubt the correctness of
their system of decipherment. The stumbling-blocks to
them were the homophones and the polyphones, the use
of which was at that time only understood by the actual
decipherers themselves; that a character could have
several phonetic values, and several characters have the
same value, seemed to them to be incredible. Rawlinson
explained the difficulties time after time in the lectures
which he delivered before learned societies and private
bodies of students; but the public generally -were not
convinced. He exhibited explanatory diagrams and copies
of texts, and by the use of the blackboard showed how he
had deduced the values of the characters ; but scepticism
prevailed. It may be noted in passing that the copies of
the Persian text of the two trilingual inscriptions at Elvend



which he used at his lectures, are exhibited over the door-
ways of a room in the Second Northern Gallery in the
British Museum. They were formerly in the possession
of Mr. Isaac, a member of the subordinate staff of the
Museum, who acted as demonstratox at Rawlinson’s
lectures. In the same Gallery will be found casts of some
of the Pehlevi inscriptions of the Sassanian kings which
were translated by de Sacy, and which guided the early
decipherers in their attempts to translate the older Persian

Several of Rawlinson’s friends pressed him to make some
general pronouncement on the decipherment ; but he
always refused, saying, ” We do know a little about it, but
there is a great deal more to find out ; and until I have
studied all the tablets from Nineveh and Babylonia, I shall
say no more.” The matter was, curiously enough, brought
to a head in 1856-1857 by William Henry Fox Talbot
( 1 800-1 877), the eminent mathematician and inventor of
the ” Talbotype ” system of photography in 1840. He was
a frequent visitor of Birch’s and a close student of the works
of Hincks and Rawlinson, and was no mere amateur
Orientalist. He was convinced of the accuracy of their
methods, and suggested to Norris, then Secretary of the
Royal Asiatic Society, that his Society should call upon
three or four prominent cuneiform scholars to translate inde-
pendently a long Assyrian inscription, and that each should
send his translation in a sealed packet to the Society, and
that a committee should be appointed to open the packets
and compare the translations, and report publicly upon
them. He himself made a translation of the great inscrip-
tion on the three baked clay prisms of Tiglath-Pileser I,
which had been found at Kal’ah Sharkat, and sent it under
seal to the President of the Society. He made his trans-
lation from Mr. Bowler’s lithograph copy, which was


H. Fox Talbot, F.R.S.


Rev. Edward Htncks, D.D.



prepared from Norris’s manuscript copy, and which after-
wards appeared in Rawlinson’s great official publication.
Rawlinson, Hincks and Dr. Jules Oppert were each supplied
with a copy of the lithographed text, and each was asked to
send in a translation under seal, as Fox Talbot had done.
In due course each scholar finished his translation, and
sent it in to Prof. Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860),
who was then Director of the Royal Asiatic Society. At a
meeting of the Society, Prof. Hayman Wilson, Sir Gardner
Wilkinson, Mr. Grote, Dr. Whewell, Master of Trinity
College, Cambridge, Dr. Milman, Dean of St. Paul’s, and
some other gentlemen who were to act as referees were chosen
to examine and report upon the four translations. The
most complete translation was that of Rawlinson ; and that
of Hincks, which was by no means complete, agreed closely
with it. Passages in Fox Talbot’s translation were para-
phrastic in character, and though there were many parts of
it which agreed with the renderings of Hincks and Rawlinson,
there were others that showed he had missed the scribe’s
meaning. Viewed as a whole, it is certain that Oppert’s
translation showed that he worked on the same lines as
Hincks and Rawlinson; but, with characteristic inde-
pendence, he had not used the lithographic copy of the
inscription sent to him, and had made a copy of the text
for himself. And he. wrote his translation in English,
which seems to have been a language that he was not in
the habit of using for such purposes ; and the exact meanings
of several passages were doubtful. He annotated his
renderings very fully, and quoted several Semitic and
Aryan languages in support of his translations of difficult
passages. The report made on the translations by Prof.
Wilson and his colleagues showed that they regarded the
decipherment of the Assyrian inscriptions as an accomplished
fact, although it proves that the close agreement in the



translations which they thought should exist was wanting.
But it had a very good effect on the opinion of the learned
world, and produced in the minds of the general public a
keen sympathy, which had been hitherto lacking.

The translation of the Tiglath-Pileser inscription being
disposed of, Rawlinson felt that the time had come to under-
take the publication of all the long texts that were available,
and especially of the new material from Kuyunjik, to which
Norris, after the publication of his edition of the Susian
Version of the Bihistun Inscription in 1855, had been able
to devote close attention. About this time (1857) the
Trustees of the British Museum discussed the publication
of the inscriptions on the baked clay prisms, barrel-shaped
cylinders, bricks and tablets in their keeping, and he agreed
to edit them, together with English translations and com-
mentary, in a series of folio volumes, to be called the
Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia. Each volume was
to contain 70 plates of text, though why the number 70
was chosen is not clear. The edition of each volume was
to be 250 copies ; 125 copies were to be sold to the public,
and the remainder were to be reserved until the time when
Rawlinson could supply the translations, which were to be
printed and bound up facing the original texts. The
volumes were to range with the volume of cuneiform texts
from the monuments discovered by Layard, which the
Trustees had published in 185 1. That volume was printed
from the fine, bold cuneiform type which Messrs. Harrison
had specially cut in 1843 for printing Rawlinson’s “Memoir,”
and other communications to the Journal of the Royal
Asiatic Society, of which they had been the printers since
1830. But though this type was admirably suited for
printing Assyrian texts, the complicated characters of
Babylonian inscriptions could not be reproduced by it ;
and Rawlinson determined to have recourse to lithography



for their reproduction. He decided that they could be
represented more accurately by lithography than by types,
of which a long series would have to be specially cut ; and
the great cost of designing and cutting such types made
the idea of using them impossible. Another reason for
using lithography was the fact that the services of a com-
petent lithographer were available. This lithographer was
Mr. Bowler, whom the East India Company had employed
to make the excellent facsimile of the inscription of Nebu-
chadnezzar II from the famous ” Black Stone,” which Sir
Harford Jones Brydges (1 764-1 847) acquired at Baby-
lcm and sent home to the East India House in 1807. It is
aow preserved in the India Office, but there is a painted
cast of it in the British Museum (No. 90,847) ; and another,
similar in all respects, presented by myself in 1922, will be
found in the Library of the Royal Asiatic Society. Mr.
Bowler had made a list of all the Babylonian characters then
known, and it was for many years an authoritative document,
and was frequently consulted by both Norris and Rawlinson.
The general plan of the first volume of the Cuneiform
Inscriptions of Western Asia having been settled, Rawlinson
began to collect his material without delay. He had been
elected a Crown Director of the East India Company in
1856, and became Member of Parliament for Reigate in
1858, but resigned his seat the same year on being elected
a member of the newly-appointed India Council. In 1859
he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to Persia;
but he held that office for less than a year, because his views
about the operations of Russia did not agree with those of
less well informed politicians at home. It is easy to under-
stand that from the end of 1855 to i860 he could devote
very little time to his favourite study, and to active co-
operation in the publication of texts ; and thus it happened
that the greater part of the work connected with the



preparation of the first two volumes of the Cuneiform
Inscriptions fell to the lot of Norris, who had edited Rawlin-
son’s ” Memoir ” and had seen it through the press in
1844-1846. Rawlinson directed and made plans, but it was
Norris who worked out these plans and made them take
shape ; and Assyriologists have forgotten how much they
are indebted to the infinite patience and never-ceasing
labour of that modest and simple-minded man. Norris
was born at Taunton in 1795, and before he was twenty
had learned Armenian and kindred languages, and several
European languages. At the age of twenty-three he entered
the service of the East India Company, and studied Indian,
African and Polynesian languages ; he became Assistant
Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1838, the year in
which Rawlinson sent his first paper to that Society.
He then studied the various languages that he knew were
akin to Old Persian ; and thus he was able to deal with the
various sections of Rawlinson’s ” Memoir ” as they arrived,
and prepare them for the printer. In 1845 he deciphered
the rock-inscription of King Asoka at Kapur di Giri, and
for several years sent to Rawlinson at Baghdad abstracts
of all the papers on the cuneiform inscriptions that appeared
in England and on the Continent, with shrewd and helpful
criticisms and remarks. He had a competent knowledge
of several African languages, including Haussa, Bornu and
Fulah, and published two valuable volumes on the Cornish
Drama, which included the texts of many very old Cornish
plays. He founded the Ethnographical Library, and
edited one edition of Pritchard’s ” Natural History of
Man.” As an Oriental scholar he will be best remembered
by his translation of the Susian Version of the Bihistun
Inscription, published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic
Society (Vol. XV, 1855), and by his ” Assyrian Dictionary,”
the first volume of which appeared in 1868. In this work,



a marvellous production for its time, he gave not only the
Assyrian words with their equivalents in cognate Semitic
dialects, but also, printed in cuneiform type, extracts from
the texts in which they appeared, together with English
translations. He died in 1872, and left the dictionary
unfinished. This book was of the greatest use to students,
for it provided them with a reading-book and material
for study; and Norris, seeing that the development of
Assyriology was in the hands of the young student, tried to
help the beginners. His most valuable work in Semitic
philology was done in connection with his work on the
^ayunjik tablets. He was the first to recognise the
importance of the lists of cuneiform signs, which the ancient
Assyrian scribes had drawn up for the use of their pupils,
and to see that they could be used in settling many of the
questions which between 1850 and 1855 were vexing the
minds of decipherers. They showed that the Assyrians
and Babylonians did not use for writing an alphabet, like
the Persians, but a syllabary, and that each cuneiform
character, with the exception of the vowel signs A f|, E eft,
I fc£ and U < or tfyft, was in itself a syllable, either simple
or compound. The simple syllable contains a vowel and
a consonant, e.g., ba, bu, ki, ku, and the compound syllable
two consonants with a vowel between them, e.g., man, bit,
tnvl, lil,gir.

Another important result obtained from the examina-
tion of the lists and other tablets from Nineveh, and a
tablet from Larsa, was the discovery that the language
in which many of the texts were written was not Semitic.
Rawlinson and Norris found that the non-Semitic texts
were furnished with interlinear Assyrian translations, and
that many of the words and forms in them were found on
other tablets containing lists of words to which Assyrian (or
Semitic) translations or explanations were added. They



saw that the inscriptions stamped on bricks that had been
found in Babylonia were written in this language; and
Rawlinson concluded that this language had been spoken
by the early non-Semitic inhabitants of the country before
the Semitic Babylonians established themselves there. As
in the historical inscriptions which he had read he found
that kings called themselves ” King of Sumer and Akkad,”
he held the view that the early dwellers in the land were
” Akkadians,” and that the language they spoke was
” Akkadian.” Hincks was the first to call the language
” Akkadian,” for Rawlinson spoke of it as the ” Chaldean
or Hamitic language of Babylonia.” For many years this
non-Semitic language was called by this name by Assyri-
ologists. Oppert, on the other hand, maintained that
its correct name was Sumerian, and that this language
was the tongue of the early inhabitants of Babylonia.
This view is now accepted generally; and the Semitic
Babylonian language is now called “Akkadian.” About
30 years after Rawlinson’s discovery of the Sumerian
language, the eminent French Orientalist Halevy denied
its existence, and asserted that the inscriptions in it were
a species of secret writing invented by the Semitic Baby-
lonian priests who, according to his theory, were the
inventors of cuneiform writing. For a time Halevy’s views
were accepted by many scholars, including Delitzsch;
but at length, chiefly through the writings of Oppert,
Lenormant, Sayce and Hommel, who agreed that Sumerian
was a language, the old view of Rawlinson and Hincks was
proved to be correct. The first useful grammar of Sumerian
was published by Prof. Langdon in 1914; but the great
want of students was material to work upon. This want
has been supplied by Mr. C. J. Gadd, of the British Museum,
who in 1924 published ” A Sumerian Reading Book ”
(Clarendon Press, Oxford). The author shows that every



Sumerian character is, in origin, a picture of some object
familiar to primitive man, and that the Sumerians, between
3500 and 3000 B.C., had arrived at the stage when they
could use certain of these pictures in combinations solely
for the sound of the word which expresses the idea they
represent, without any direct reference to the object
depicted, and can thus serve in writing some portion of
a word entirely unconnected with the original of the
picture. At this stage true writing begins, as it ends at
the stage where the smallest possible number of symbols
k used to represent sounds when the origin of the
symbols themselves has been entirely obscured, as in the
case of the modern alphabet . . . Sumerian writing, as
now known, is a combination of pictorial and phonetic
writing of which it might be said that, for the most part,
the former constitutes the skeleton of the speech, and the
latter covers it with the flesh of grammatical coherence.
The cuneiform script in which the Sumerian language is
written is undoubtedly of pictorial origin ; but at the
earliest known period it was already conventionalized to
the point of entirely obscuring, in the case of many signs,
the original object depicted (Gadd, Sumerian Reading
Book, pp. 8 and 9). The wedge (Lat. cuneus, hence the
word ” cuneiform ” applied to the wedge-writing) had
originally no part in the composition of the characters ;
and its existence is entirely due to the material for writing
used by the scribes. That material was clay; and the
outlines of pictures of curved and round objects soon
became straight lines and subsequently wedges. Thus
the circle O, which represented ” sun,” ” day,” is written
\> 5 and in Assyrian inscriptions this is simplified into *f.
For other examples, see Houghton, Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch.,
Vol. VI. p. 454, King, L. W., First Steps, London, 1898,
p. xxiii, and Deimel’s edition of the Schultexten.



Though the plans for publishing the inscriptions in the
British Museum were completed in 1856 it was not until
the early part of 1861 that the first volume of the Cuneiform
Inscriptions of Western Asia was given to the public. Its
appearance marked an epoch in the history of Assyriology ;
and its value to the student is almost as great now as then.
It would be incorrect to say that there are no mistakes
in the texts ; but when we consider that Rawlinson and
Norris were publishing some texts, like those on the bricks
from Babylonia, that they could neither read nor under-
stand, and others that contained scores of words of the
meaning of which they were ignorant, the marvel is that
the mistakes are so few. The drawings of the characters
are wonderfully accurate, and reflect great credit on Bowler
the lithographer, who by means of them set the standard
which has always been followed in the publication of
cuneiform texts issued by the British Museum. The
characters are bold and clear, and are free from the uncer-
tainty that marks the publications of many Continental
scholars, who have been in the habit of ” shading ” the
characters that they could not read, or about the values
of which they were in doubt. This ” shading ” is usually
an indication, not of scientific accuracy, but of unskilful-
ness in copying, or of haste. The best copyist, in repro-
ducing a closely- written Assyrian or Neo-Babylonian text,
may mistake a character ; but he should always write
clearly, and never let the student be in doubt as to which
character he thought he was writing.

The texts given in the first volume of the Cuneiform
Inscriptions were chiefly historical. The first five plates
contain inscriptions from bricks found at Mukayyar (Ur),
Warka (Erech), Nippur (or Nuffar), Abu Shahr8n (Eridu),
Uhemar (Kish), Babylon, and other early Babylonian sites.
The short Assyrian texts given on plates 6-8 are followed


Cylinder of Tiglath Pileser I, 1115-1103 b.c.
Discovered by Rawlinson at Kal’ah Sharkat in 1853.



by the great Assyrian inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser,
Ashurnasirpal, and Shamshi Adad (plates 9-31). Next
come inscriptions of all the great kings but one of the last
Assyrian Kingdom, Sargon II, Sennacherib and Esar-
haddon ; and then we have a group of texts of the Baby-
lonian kings Nebuchadnezzar II, Neriglissar and Nabonidus.
Bearing in mind the difficulty which students would find
in reading the complicated Babylonian characters, Rawlinson
added transcripts of three of them into the ordinary
Assyrian script. And in order to make as many historical
texts as possible available for the student, he included
copies of the cylinder of Nebuchadnezzar II in the pos-
session of the famous antiquary and Trustee of the British
Museum, Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), the cylinder
of Neriglissar presented by Sir John Malcolm in 1908 to
the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the
cylinder of Nebuchadnezzar II, which Rich purchased at
Babylon and published in his Second Memoir on Babylon,
London, 181 8. On the last sheet of the volume, Rawlinson
gave a copy of the text on the boundary-stone preserved
in the Cabinet de Medailles, Paris. This stone was found
by the natives whilst digging for top-dressing in the ruins
of Ctesiphon, on the Tigris, and was purchased by M. Andr£
Michaux ( 1 746-1 802), a botanist and physician resident
in Baghdad in 1780. The estate referred to in the text
was situated near a city called Bak-da-da, which the early
decipherers believed to be the original form of the name
of Baghdad. When the volume appeared, complaints
were made in certain quarters that Rawlinson had not
given to the public any information about the contents
of the inscriptions, but they were unreasonable. It is
quite true that he could not read all that he had published
in the volume, and he was the first to admit the fact ; but
he took the right course in making the texts available for



study to workers all over the world. Mistranslations and
faulty readings have a way of perpetuating themselves ;
and it was due to his innate dislike of publishing trans-
lations and readings of names based on guesswork that he
finally abandoned the idea of adding translations and notes
to the plates which the Trustees had handed over to him
for this purpose.

Rawlinson’s second volume appeared in 1866, and was
entitled A Selection from the Miscellaneous Inscriptions of
Assyria ; it contained copies of inscriptions from the
tablets and fragments found at Kuyunjik, made chiefly
by Norris, and lithographed by Bowler. The texts con-
tained lists of cuneiform signs written in two languages
(Proto-Babylonian, i.e. Sumerian, and Assyrian), lists of
animals, birds, stones, wooden objects, parts of the body,
countries, cities, rivers, gods, etc., and grammatical com-
positions which the scribes drew up to help their pupils
to learn the Sumerian language. And the volume con-
tained a great mass of lexicographical material of the first
importance, as well as a most valuable text dealing with
the Synchronous History of Babylonia and Assyria. The
table of contents is somewhat meagre, and well displays
Rawlinson’s caution in describing texts which were not
at the time well understood by him.

The third volume of Rawlinson’s ” Selection ” appeared in
1870 j and it provided the student with a mass of material
dealing with chronology, history, astronomy and astrology,
mythology and commerce of the Assyrians, as well as
copies of fragments of syllabaries and grammatical texts
which either supplemented or helped to complete the texts
already published in the second volume. No systematic
arrangement of the texts was attempted, and only specimens
of the different classes of tablets were given, Rawlinson’s
view being that it was better to publish at once the texts



that were tolerably complete than to wait until a scientific
classification of the tablets and fragments according to
their subject-matter could be effected. Norris was
especially interested in the syllabaries and grammatical
texts, because from them he found it possible to deduce
the values of many characters, and, with the help of his
knowledge of Hebrew, Syriac and Chaldee, to translate
the Semitic equivalents of the Sumerian words in the
Lists of Words and Synonyms. Rawlinson, on the other
hand, was keenly interested in historical texts, especially
those of the kings of the last Assyrian Empire, which
were likely to throw light on the historical books of the

When the second volume of the “Selection” was
published in 1866, Norris, according to the statements of
Mr. W. S. W. Vaux, found that his devotion to the study
of the tablets had injured his eyesight ; and he was anxious
to do some work to help forward the study of Assyriology
other than that of copying texts. Whilst copying for
Rawlinson, he made a large collection of Assyrian words,
with references to the texts in which they were found, and
proposed to compile a ” Skeleton Dictionary ” of the
Assyrian language. He prepared a specimen sheet, which
was printed in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
for 1866 ; and as the idea was warmly welcomed by Hincks,
who assisted him in preparing the specimen sheet, and by
Rawlinson, he determined to put his plan into execution.
A public-spirited gentleman who saw the specimen approved
of it generally, but said that the work ought to be done
on a larger scale, and that the original text of all the passages
from which words were excerpted should be printed in
cuneiform type. When Norris pointed out to him that
(even in those days) cuneiform printing was an expensive
luxury, the gentleman, who wished to remain anonymous,



undertook to defray the whole cost of printing the
Dictionary, provided that Norris enlarged it and made
his entries as full and comprehensive as possible. There-
upon Norris instructed Messrs. Harrison to cut new types,
and abandoning all other occupations, he rewrote the
manuscript of his Dictionary, added many new words
and extracts to it, and then settled down to see the book
through the press as fast as his enfeebled health would

Meanwhile the loss of the services of Norris was a serious
matter for Rawlinson, who had received instructions from
the Trustees to prepare another volume of the ” Selection.”
For the first few years after his return from Baghdad in
1855, he visited the British Museum frequently, and
worked hard with Norris in examining the tablets and
preparing copies of the texts for the lithographer. But,
as the years passed, he found it more and more difficult
to find time for the study that the tablets demanded ; and
but for the energy of Norris the appearance of the first
and second volumes of the Cuneiform Inscriptions would
have been delayed indefinitely. From 1865 t0 x 868
Rawlinson sat as Member for Frome; and in 1868 he was
again elected a member of the India Council. The
Government called upon him frequently for advice and
assistance in dealing with Indian, Persian and Russian
politics ; and his Parliamentary duties naturally absorbed a
great deal of his time. That he was in great need of an
assistant in 1865 is obvious; and to find one with the
special qualifications possessed by Norris seemed impossible.
Rawlinson hoped that he would have obtained help from
the Assistant who was then in the Department of Oriental
Antiquities ; but it was not forthcoming.

For a few years after the Bihistun inscriptions were
deciphered, there was a good deal of loose talk about



the importance of a knowledge of Zend and Sanskrit
for the purpose of decipherment ; and in i860 the Trustees
decided to give Birch an Assistant who knew one or other
of these languages, if he could be found. William
Henry Coxe, the eldest son of Henry Octavius Coxe
(1811-1881), the famous Bodley’s Librarian, was chosen,
and was appointed Assistant in the Department of
Oriental Antiquities in May 1861. “Coxe of Balliol”
W*s * good classical scholar ; and he had studied Sanskrit
with men success that he won the Boden Scholarship.
B»«h described him as a genius, quick in thought, bright
ind lively, with pleasing manners, and said that he was
liked by all who knew him. He made the acquaintance
of Norris (who was then almost daily in the Museum
copying the texts of the Kuyunjik Collection for Rawlinson),
and was expected to study that Collection and to make
himself an expert in copying. But when he realized that
these texts were written in the non-Semitic Sumerian
language, and in Assyrian, a Semitic language, he found
that his knowledge of Sanskrit, which might have helped
him in the” Persian inscriptions, was of little use to him
for his daily work. He examined the Collection day by
day, and did some good work in identifying fragments of
tablets that xould be re-joined ; but the ” chaos of the
tablets,” as he called it, prevented him from entering on
his new work with enthusiasm, and he wanted to be trans-
ferred to the Department of Manuscripts, where his know-
ledge of Sanskrit could be used to good purpose. Early
in 1865 he was offered the Professorship of Sanskrit at
King’s College ; but permission to hold it conjointly with
his Assistantship in the Museum was refused. In the
autumn of the same year, through Rawlinson’s influence,
he was^ offered an appointment in connection with the
Educational Service of Bengal ; and he resigned his post in



the Museum in Jan. 1866, and went to India. But as the
Indian authorities required the services of a Sanskrit
scholar with the knowledge of a Monier Williams or a
Max Miiller, Coxe returned to England, and was reap^
pointed as Assistant in December of that year. Mean-
while Norris had ceased to attend at the Museum ; and
George Smith was being employed as a temporary copyist
for the Department. Work in the Museum now became
uncongenial to Coxe; and early in 1868 his health broke
down. For about eighteen months his sick-leave was
almost continuous; and at length he was asked to send
in his resignation before the end of January 1870. After
a period of great suffering, during which he was nursed
in the house of Mr. (later Sir) C. T. Newton, he died on
Dec. 18, 1869.

But Rawlinson’s good fortune did not forsake him ;
and Fate provided him with a marvellously capable assistant
in the person of George Smith. This remarkable man was
born on March 26, 1840, in Chelsea, and died at Aleppo
on August 19, 1876. At the age of fourteen he was
apprenticed to Messrs. Bradbury and Evans of Bouverie
Street, and was intended to learn bank-note engraving.
In this work he soon made great progress ; for he possessed
a keen, accurate eye and deft fingers, and had he devoted
all his energies to his trade, he would undoubtedly have
become one of the master-engravers of the nineteenth
century. This was the opinion expressed by one of the
partners, when Smith left the firm to enter the service
of the Museum; and another of them regarded Smith’s
abandonment of a well-paid trade and regular employ-
ment, in order to follow his literary bent, as an act of pure
folly. One of Smith’s favourite books as a boy was the
Bible ; and at an early age the historical books fascinated
him, and he read greedily every book he could lay his hands



on which described the East or in any way amplified the
Bible narrative. The poetical books of the Bible caught
his imagination ; but his real interest was centred in the
Books of Genesis, Samuel and the Kings. The books of
Layard opened a new world to him ; and the story of the
decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions seized his
mind with a force almost indescribable. He stinted him-
self to buy the works of Layard, Rawlinson, Vaux and
Bonomi, and spent his evenings in devouring their contents.
But he also studied the antiquities from Nineveh and
Babylon which were exhibited in the British Museum as
they arrived, and thus laid the foundation of his knowledge
of practical archaeology which served him so well in later
years. He spent in the British Museum most of his few
holidays, and most of his dinner hours on the three days
of the week in which the Sculpture Galleries were open
to the public. About 1861 his visits to the Museum
attracted the notice of Birch, who had recently been made
Keeper of Oriental Antiquities, and who gave him many
of the sheets of the first volume of Rawlinson’s Cuneiform
Inscriptions, and introduced him to Norris. A year or
two later, it became apparent to Smith’s friends in the
Museum that his knowledge of the inscriptions on the
Babylonian bricks, and of the historical inscriptions recently
published, was very considerable ; and Smith was employed
by the Museum officially as a ” repairer.” His work was
to go over the fragments of inscribed tablets from Nineveh,
and to find out those fragments that could be rejoined^
and his facility in identifying the nature and character of
the inscriptions upon them enabled him to make many
remarkable ” joins.” He read the Ninevite script with
the greatest ease, and his ability to find the general meaning
of a passage in an inscription, even though there were
words in it that he did not know, proved that he possessed



real genius. Like Rawlinson, he felt what an inscription
must mean ; and his instinct was very rarely at fault. In
1866 he began to publish some of the results of his work
in the Athenceum ; and Birch suggested to Rawlinson
that Smith should be made an Assistant in his Depart-
ment, and that he should be employed in copying
cuneiform texts for the proposed new volume of the
” Selection.” Rawlinson approved the suggestion, and
made representations to the Trustees ; and towards the
close of 1866 Smith was appointed an Assistant in Birch’s

In 1867, Smith began a systematic examination of the
tablets and of the paper ” squeezes ” of inscriptions made in
the East by Layard and Rawlinson. Acting on Rawlinson’s
advice, he grouped the fragments according to their
subject-matter, and searched most diligently for inscrip-
tions of a historical character, especially those that would
throw light on the Bible narrative. He worked incessantly,
and heartily cursed the London fogs which deprived him
of light, and often caused the whole staff to be sent home.
The only artificial light allowed in the Museum in those
days was supplied by a very limited number of moderator
lamps, which were reserved for the use of Keepers, and
locked lanterns, which were not numerous. At first, when
the tablets arrived, they were laid out on tables and planks
on trestles in the large room over the Board Room. But
when this was required for the Accountant’s Office, Smith
was moved to a small room on the south-west staircase;
and a large number of the tablets were arranged in presses
with special shelf accommodation. Here he worked, and
prepared copies for the lithographer, and collated the proofs
for Rawlinson’s revision. Considering the imperfect state
of Assyriological knowledge at that time, and the difficulty
of reading the tablets, hundreds of which were still un-



cleaned, and the defective state of the paper ” squeezes ”
from which Smith worked, his copies are wonderfully
good, and merit the highest praise and the sincere gratitude
of all scholars. He, and the lithographer, made mistakes,
of course; but his completions of broken texts and
characters prove that he really did understand much of
what he was copying; and no other man at that time
could have done the work as well as he did. The third
volume of Rawlinson’s ” Selection ” shows that Smith’s
knowledge of the contents of the tablets of Nineveh was
extraordinarily wide, and that his genius and instinct
enabled him to select unhesitatingly the best and most
important texts for publication.

The interest evoked by the publication of the mass of
important new material in the third volume induced the
Trustees to order the preparation of a fourth volume under
Rawlinson’s direction ; and the selection of the material
and the copying of the texts were entrusted to Smith.
By this time he had succeeded in grouping the tablets
from Nineveh according to their contents ; the cleaning
of many of the larger fragments and tablets had been
carried out, and he found it possible to include in his
selection of texts specimens dealing with subjects hitherto
unknown. The bilingual texts in Sumerian and Assyrian
were already the subjects of careful study in England and
France ; and Rawlinson decided that the new volume should
contain as many bilingual, magical and religious texts as
possible. As each sheet was printed off, Rawlinson, with
characteristic generosity, sent copies to Oppert, Lenor-
mant and others ; and it was in these that the latter
scholar found most of the material for his works on the
” Accadienne ” (i.e., Sumerian) language. Thus it fell out
that some scholars were able to publish as original work
copies of texts which were merely reproductions from the



sheets of the official edition of the British Museum, and
to claim priority of publication !

Whilst Smith was preparing the copies for the third
volume of Cuneiform Inscriptions, he made copious notes
about all the tablets that passed through his hands, and thus
collected a great deal of material worthy of publication.
The natural place for most of it was Rawlinson’s official
volumes ; but the authorities, and even Rawlinson himself,
thought that texts and nothing but texts, with the briefest
possible general description of their contents, should
appear in them. Rawlinson’s argument was that the
proper places for philological discussions and tentative
translations were the Transactions and Journals of learned
Societies; and it was this view that made him abandon
the idea of adding translations in a special edition of his
first volume. Meanwhile Smith had compiled a history
of the early kings of Babylonia, based on Rawlinson’s
manuscript list of kings, and had collected and translated
the inscriptions of Ashurbanipal; and he was anxious to
publish them. But he was comparatively unknown outside
the Museum ; and even Nicholas Triibner was not ready
to embark on the publication of Assyriological works in
which cuneiform types in large numbers were necessary.
The difficulty of publication was solved by the help of
Birch, J. W. Bosanquet, the banker, and Samuel Sharpe,
the Egyptologist. Mr. Bosanquet undertook to defray the
cost of printing the History of Ashurbanipal, provided that
the texts were accompanied by an interlinear transliteration
and translation ; and Birch promised to help Smith in
matters of literary form. Sharpe, an authority in those
days on ancient chronology, not only desired to see Smith’s
history of Babylonia published, but provided the money
for printing it. And Birch, President of the newly-founded
Society of Biblical Archaeology, arranged for Smith to read
a precis of it before the Society on June 6, 1871, and










included it in the first volume of the Transactions of the
Society, which appeared in 1872.

Now whilst these works were passing through the press.
Smith found time to draw up a good list of Assyrian signs,
which was published under the title of ” The Phonetic
Values of Cuneiform Characters,” London, 1871, and was
of great value to students. In the same year he succeeded
in deciphering correctly the Cypriote inscriptions, and
in showing that the system inaugurated by the Due de
Luynes and adopted by Roth was worthless. It is inter-
esting to see that he employed the method followed by
Rawlinson in dealing with the Persian text of the Bihistun
inscription. Smith chose a bilingual inscription in Cypriote
and Phoenician ; for his knowledge of Greek did not justify
him in attempting to decipher one in Cypriote and Greek.
He guessed which groups of Cypriote signs represented
proper names, and applied to them the values of the
equivalent groups of Phoenician letters. He identified
E-da-li (Idalium) because, like Melekyathan, it had in it the
letter L, and Ki-ti (Kitium) because, like Melekyathan, it
contained the letter K, and so on. Birch suggested that
the Cypriote equivalent for the Phoenician word for king
(melek) would be ” Basileus ” ; and Smith found it to be
so. With phonetic values obtained in this way he identified
the Cypriote forms of the Greek names Evagoras, Pytha-
goras, Stangoras, etc., and increased thereby his list of
phonetic values. He succeeded in translating many pas-
sages of the inscription on the famous ” Bronze Tablet of
Idalium,” and ultimately drew up a Cypriote Syllabary,
containing the values of about fifty characters (see Trans.
Soc. Bibl. Arch., Vol. I. p. 129 ff.). This philological
triumph was announced with such modesty that it attracted
little notice ; and Smith never received the full praise for
his achievement that was his due.

Considerable progress was made in collecting and



pointed out to Oppert, he remarked, ” Yes, Smith is a
great excavator, and he writes like one.”

Smith read his paper on the Deluge Tablet before the
Society of Biblical Archaeology on Dec. 3, 1872 ; and his
discovery made a profound impression on his hearers.
Sir Henry Rawlinson presided, and there were present
on the platform Mr. W. E. Gladstone, Mr. Childers,
Mr. Giffard (later Lord Halsbury), Dr. Birch, Mr.
Emanuel Deutsch, Mr. J. Bonomi, Mr. J. W. Bosanquet,
Canon Cook, Mr. Fox Talbot, Dean and Lady Augusta
Stanley, the Rev. J. M. Rodwell and several distinguished
scholars, theologians and archaeologists. After the speeches
and the long discussion which followed the reading of the
paper, a resolution was passed unanimously in which the
renewal of excavations at Kuyunjik was urged, and the
Trustees of the British Museum and the Government were
called upon to take steps to secure for the nation the
missing portions of the Deluge Tablet which, presumably,
were then lying among the ruins of Nineveh. The pro-
prietors of the Daily Telegraph, realizing the importance
of Smith’s discovery and knowing that Governments
generally regarded matters of the kind with leisurely
benevolence, promptly and in true business-like fashion
offered to spend 1000 guineas on excavations at Nineveh,
provided that Smith was allowed to conduct the excava-
tions, and to supply them from time to time with accounts
of his journeys and discoveries. The Trustees accepted
this generous offer, and acted with such promptitude that
Smith left London on Jan. 23, 1873, with leave of absence
for six months. He arrived at Mosul on March 2, and as
the Pasha of the district would not let him dig, he went
by raft to Baghdad, visited Babylon and Birs-i-Nimrud,
and took the opportunity of purchasing a collection of

contract tablets. He returned to Mosul on April 2, and,

1 /



copying the material for the fourth volume of Rawlinson’s
“Selections” in 1870 and 1871 ; but the work was
brought practically to a standstill in 1872 through the
discovery by Smith that a certain tablet from Nineveh
contained an Assyrian account of the Deluge. He
had suspected this for some time; but it was not
until Ready had succeeded in cleaning the tablet that he
could be sure. He copied and translated the text, and
submitted the manuscript to Birch and Rawlinson, who
agreed that he had made a truly great discovery, and
decided that he should read a paper on the tablet before
the Society of Biblical Archasology in the following Decem-
ber. Rawlinson made known the discovery to Oppert,
who promptly came to London to see the tablet; and
having convinced himself that the inscription had been
correctly read, he returned to Paris, and obtained a grant
from the French Government to enable him to come to
London and publish it. He arrived in due course, and
applied to Birch for the tablet ; and when Birch failed to
produce it, he made application to Rawlinson, stating
that the French Government had commissioned him to
publish it, and had provided him with the necessary funds
for doing so. When Rawlinson, naturally, objected to
hand over to him Smith’s discovery to publish, Oppert
took the line that all the tablets from Kuyunjik in the
British Museum belonged to the French Government,
because the Porte had given the site to the French in 1842,
and that only the French should publish them. Oppert
returned to France in dudgeon, and never forgave Smith
for not handing over his copies to him for publication.
His opinion of Smith’s literary abilities was a low one;
and two years after this event, when the fame of George
Smith, as the “Discoverer of the Deluge Tablet,” had
reached the uttermost ends of the earth, and this was



pointed out to Oppert, he remarked, ” Yes, Smith is a
great excavator, and he writes like one.”

Smith read his paper on the Deluge Tablet before the
Society of Biblical Archaeology on Dec. 3, 1872; and his
discovery made a profound impression on his hearers.
Sir Henry Rawlinson presided, and there were present
on the platform Mr. W. E. Gladstone, Mr. Childers,
Mr. Giffard (later Lord Halsbury), Dr. Birch, Mr.
Emanuel Deutsch, Mr. J. Bonomi, Mr. J. W. Bosanquet,
Canon Cook, Mr. Fox Talbot, Dean and Lady Augusta
Stanley, the Rev. J. M. Rodwell and several distinguished
scholars, theologians and archaeologists. After the speeches
and the long discussion which followed the reading of the
paper, a resolution was passed unanimously in which the
renewal of excavations at Kuyunjik was urged, and the
Trustees of the British Museum and the Government were
called upon to take steps to secure for the nation the
missing portions of the Deluge Tablet which, presumably,
were then lying among the ruins of Nineveh. The pro-
prietors of the Daily Telegraph, realizing the importance
of Smith’s discovery and knowing that Governments
generally regarded matters of the kind with leisurely
benevolence, promptly and in true business-like fashion
offered to spend 1000 guineas on excavations at Nineveh,
provided that Smith was allowed to conduct the excava-
tions, and to supply them from time to time with accounts
of his journeys and discoveries. The Trustees accepted
this generous offer, and acted with such promptitude that
Smith left London on Jan. 23, 1873, with leave of absence
for six months. He arrived at Mosul on March 2, and as
the Pasha of the district would not let him dig, he went
by raft to Baghdad, visited Babylon and Birs-i-Nimrud,
and took the opportunity of purchasing a collection of
contract tablets. He returned to Mosul on April 2, and,



as the Pasha was still obstructive, went and dug at Nimrud
for a month. On May 7 he began work at Kuyunjik;
and a week later he had the extraordinarily good fortune to
find a fragment which contained seventeen lines, hitherto
wanting, of the first column of the Chaldean account of
the Deluge. Rassam claims (Asshur, p. 53) that the
fragment was found in one of his ” abandoned trenches,”
and says in a footnote, ” It has now been proved by Assyrian
scholars that this fragment of the Assyrian account of the
Deluge, found by Mr. George Smith, does not belong to
the tablet I discovered in 1853.” But this does not detract
from the importance of Smith’s discovery, because the
fragment found by Smith gave us a portion of the Account
of the Deluge which was wanting. That he recognized the
character and contents of the text, and its true position
in the Legend, is another proof of his genius. Early in
June he closed down the works, and left M6§ul and arrived
in England on July 19; but he could not get to work
on his finds, because the Turkish Customs authorities at
Alexandretta had confiscated his boxes of tablets, and as
his guileless soul did not understand the use of Bakshish,
he had to leave them behind. It required a strong protest
to the Porte from the British Ambassador before the
tablets were permitted to leave Turkey.

Now the faraman, or permit, under which Smith worked
was only drawn for one year ; and that year expired on
the 9th or 10th of March, 1874. In order to get the
fullest possible advantage from it, the Trustees decided to
send Smith out to Nineveh, this time on their own account.
The Daily Telegraph generously handed over the permit
to them, and all the excavation plant ; and Smith left
London on Nov. 25, and arrived in Mosul on Jan. 1, 1874.
On this occasion he confined his work to Kuyunjik, and
succeeded in recovering several hundred tablets and frag-



ments of tablets ; but the quarrels among his workmen
and the obstruction of the authorities compelled him
to stop work early in March. And, worst of all, the
Pasha claimed all duplicates on behalf of the Imperial
Ottoman Museum in Constantinople ; and Smith, still
not understanding the use of Bakshish, and being ignorant
of the cunning devices to which underpaid Pashas were
obliged to resort when they wanted money, surrendered
a considerable number of tablets, for the Pasha did not
want fragments. The Pasha knew that Smith had bought
on his first mission the large boundary-stone in the British
Museum (90,850), and the stone lion-weight of Khian
(B.M. 987, found at Abu Habbah), and hundreds of con-
tract tablets of the Persian and Parthian Periods, from the
natives at Baghdad, and regarded him as a ” merchant of
anticas,” i.e., a dealer, and therefore as one to be ” squeezed.”
He knew too that the French Consul, M. Peretie, had
sold to Smith for £jo in 1874 the memorial slab of Adad-
Nirari I (now in the British Museum, No. 90,978) for
which he had only paid 30 piastres (5/. or 6s.) ; and the
Pasha wanted to take part in a trade that carried such
profit with it. No salary had been paid [him for many
months and he wanted money. He expected Smith to buy
back the tablets that he took from him ; but Smith did
not do so, and no one now knows what became of them.
It is highly improbable that they ever reached Constanti-
nople. The loss of these tablets is much to be regretted,
and it might so easily have been avoided. Smith would not
take the advice of the French Consul, who implored him
to ” make an arrangement ” with the Pasha, who did not
want the tablets and had no means by which to send them
to Constantinople. But Smith never understood the native
mind or native ways, and his inability to do so in the end
cost him his life.



The collections of tablets brought home by Smith as
the result of his two missions were considered to be of such
great value that Rawlinson asked the Trustees to obtain a
renewal of the faramdn, and to send Smith out on a third
mission. Application was made to the Porte by the
Trustees through the Foreign Office during the summer of
1874, but with little result ; and nothing more was done
at Kuyunjik that year. Whilst waiting for the faramdn,
Smith filled up his official time by copying texts for pub-
lication in the fourth volume of Rawlinson’s ” Selection ” ;
and he worked to such good purpose that it was published
in 1875. In his private time he wrote an account of his
travels and labours, which was published under the title of
Assyrian Discoveries, in 1875 ; and in that same year he
published the Chaldean Account of Genesis, London, 1875,
8vo., The Assyrian Eponym Canon, London, 1875, 8vo.,
and Assyria, London, 1875, 8vo -> in the series Ancient
History from the Monuments, issued by the S.P.C.K. About
this time he prepared an edition of the Inscriptions of
Sennacherib, and wrote a small History of Babylonia for
the S.P.C.K. ; but these were not published until after
his death.

In March 1876 the faramdn was issued by the Porte,
but only after repeated applications in person by Smith,
who had been waiting for it in Constantinople since the
previous October. On his journey across the Continent
he had met a Finn called Eneberg, an Assyriologist, who
had been sent out by the Swedish Government to collect
information about the sites of Babylon and Nineveh, and
was himself a well-trained and advanced student of Semitic
languages. Smith, finding that Eneberg possessed a good
knowledge of the Semitic dialects akin to Assyrian, struck
up a friendship with him ; and the two men saw much
of each other during the months they were in Constanti-



nople. Having agreed to travel together, they set out
from Constantinople at the end of March 1876, and with
difficulty made their way to Aleppo ; there was cholera in
the country, and the Turkish authorities made such regula-
tions that travelling for private persons, and even caravans,
was well-nigh impossible. Fighting broke out between
some of the powerful tribes ; and Smith could find no
caravan-men who would risk their lives and beasts in taking
him to Mosul. But he found means of reaching Bir, or
Bir Edjik, on the Euphrates ; and having examined several
ancient sites in the neighbourhood, he followed the course
of the river and stopped and examined the ruins of Car-
chemish, which had already been identified by Skene.
As it was hopeless to attempt to cross the desert on the
left, or east, bank of the Euphrates, he and Eneberg pro-
ceeded by river to Baghdad via Fallujah. Eneberg, who
was wholly unfitted for the hard life of travelling in the
desert, fell sick about this time ; and as Smith had no
supply of medicines, and was incapable of rendering even
” first aid,” he grew worse, and died. The truth is that
no two men who were called upon by Fate to travel in
Mesopotamia, considering what travel was in those days,
were ever more unfitted for their work. Both were enthusi-
astic, excitable, and optimistic ; and both were sadly
chafed in mind by the petty daily annoyances of the natives,
and by their difficulty in obtaining food and good sleeping
accommodation. Smith had little Arabic, and Eneberg’s
Arabic was that of the ICur’an, which does not help a man
much in buying dates, sugar and bread, or in chaffering
with greedy natives about the hire of camels and asses.
The cordons round the villages prevented them from
obtaining supplies by day ; and anything smuggled out
to them by night would have to be dearly paid for.
Eneberg was not a robust man ; and there is small wonder



that he succumbed to want of food and the hardships of
travelling by night on a Euphrates boat in winter, when
the cold is indescribable. The wonder is that Smith did
not die also. Finding that their old customer was once
more in Baghdad, the natives brought to him collections
of contract tablets which they had dug up at Abu Habbah
and other places in the neighbourhood ; and Smith bought
over two thousand of them. Rich was the founder of the
” antica ” trade on a small scale at Mosul ; and Smith
established it on a large scale at Baghdad. Babylonian
tablets, like ” mummies,” had become ” merchandise ” ;
and the merchants who trafficked in them found means
of exporting them to their agents in London, in spite of
all the regulations of the Baghdad Government to the

From Baghdad Smith journeyed to Mosul with the
view of reopening the excavations at Kuyunjik. But when
he arrived there, he found that the Pasha of Mosul was
trying to beat off the attacks of the men of Sinjar, and
to stop the raiding of sheep which was then going on
among the great desert tribes ; and as no native would
work in the mound during the great heat of July, Smith
was obliged to abandon all idea of making any further
excavations that year. Weary and disappointed, he left
Mosul at the end of July, and set out for Aleppo. In
spite of the warnings of the French Vice-Consul and of
natives experienced in travelling, he insisted on marching
during the day, which no native ever does in the summer ;
and he tried to live on the coarse hard bread-cakes of the
country and dates, like the natives. I was told in Mosul
in 1888 that he was badly provisioned for his journey,
and that he had no medicines with him. He struggled
on, in spite of fatigue and sickness ; but on August 16,
when dysentery attacked him, he was obliged to stay in



the little village of Ikisji, about four days by caravan from
Aleppo. The natives, fearing trouble with the Govern-
ment if a ” Frangi,” or European, died in their village,
sent a man on a swift camel to tell the British Consul,
Mr. J. H. Skene, what had happened. Mr. Skene at once
sent Dr. Parsons, a physician resident in Aleppo, to Ikisji ;
and he found Smith in a state of collapse. Dr. Parsons
quickly constructed a sort of ambulance, and travelling
by night brought him within two days’ journey of Aleppo.
Smith had lost consciousness (the natives said he was
dead) ; and in this state Dr. Parsons brought him into
the Consulate at Aleppo. Some say that he rallied a little ;
but in spite of all the care and attention shown to him by
Dr. Parsons and Mr. and Mrs. Skene, he died on August 19,
and was buried in the cemetery of the Levant Company.
Thanks to the large amount of work helpful to students
that Smith had done, his untimely death at the age of
thirty-six did not greatly delay the progress of Assyriology,
for several young men in England had begun to work at
the subject ; and fortunately Rawlinson was enabled to
carry on his great undertaking of publishing new material
for study. It may be noted in passing that Rawlinson was
elected a Trustee of the British Museum in 1876; and
thus, in addition to being the ” Father of Assyriology,”
he became the official head and director of Assyriological
studies in England.

It will be readily understood that Smith’s absence from
the British Museum on his three missions hampered work
considerably in the Department of Oriental Antiquities ;
for at that time Birch had no other Assistant, and attending
to the wants of students like Delitzsch and Strassmaier
absorbed much of his time and interfered with his studies.
Smith had been so much occupied with the copying of
texts for publication that he had found it impossible to






attend as much as was desirable to the numbering and
registration of the collections. He could easily find almost
any tablet that was asked for, because he carried the arrange-
ment of the collections — such as there was — in his mind ;
but at that time no one else could, and Birch sorely needed
help. Whilst matters were thus, a young man, about
twenty years of age, called W. St. Chad Boscawen (1855-
I 9 I 3)> was introduced to Birch as a possible candidate
for an Assistantship in his Department. Boscawen when
a schoolboy at Rossall was deeply interested in the dis-
coveries of Layard and Rawlinson, and had read everything
he could get hold of on the subject. He had learned the
cuneiform characters from the list published by Smith,
and had read and re-read and actually transcribed the
greater part of Smith’s History of Ashurbanipal. Bos-
cawen’s father was a clergyman at Wrexham, and was in
a position to supply his son with all the books he needed
for his studies. Smith regarded young Boscawen as a
promising Assyriologist ; and with the help of Rawlinson
and Professor Sayce he was made an Assistant of the First
Class in Birch’s Department (June 9, 1875).

Boscawen entered upon his duties with great zeal ; and his
knowledge of the literature of Assyriology generally made
him a valuable acquisition to the Department. He occupied
Smith’s room and devoted himself to the examination of
the collections which Smith had brought home as a result
of his missions for the Daily Telegraph, or rather for
Sir Edwin Arnold, and the Trustees. When the large
collection of over 2000 contract tablets, which Smith
purchased at Baghdad for the Trustees in May and June
1874, reached England in October of that year, the task
of examining and reporting upon their contents fell naturally
to Boscawen. The interest in them displayed by the
public was very great; and it was generally believed by


W. St. Chad Boscawen, Assistant in the Department
of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum.



those who had read Mr. Mathison’s letters in the Daily
Telegraph, that Smith had read and arranged the tablets
chronologically before he shipped them at Baghdad, and
that the translation of them would be a quick and com-
paratively easy matter. But such was not the case ; for
the tablets had been thrust into the boxes indiscriminately,
and many of them were so much covered with mud as to
be illegible. Boscawen worked at the tablets day by day
for nearly a year, and found that the greater number of
them were commercial documents belonging to a great
firm of bankers and merchants, who flourished at Babylon
in the seventh and following centuries before Christ. The
head of the firm was one Egibi. The value of the datings
of the tablets for chronological purposes was at once recog-
nized ; and Mr. J. W. Bosanquet commissioned Boscawen
to write a detailed report of them for publication. Bos-
cawen prepared an abstract of his Report which he read
before the Society of Biblical Archaeology in January 1877,
and the complete Report was published in the Transactions
(Vol. VI) of the Society, at Mr. Bosanquet’s expense,
under the title of Babylonian Dated Tablets and the Canon
of Ptolemy. In the ” Discussion ” which took place after
the reading of the paper, its importance was emphasized
by Mr. J. W. Bosanquet, the Chevalier E. de Bunsen,
Professor Seager, Professor Sayce, and Dr. Lowy.

Boscawen’s reputation as an Assyriologist was made by
his paper on the Egibi Tablets ; and religious bodies of all
denominations, believing that all the difficulties in the Book
of Daniel were to be cleared away by their means, pressed
him to lecture to them on the tablets. Editors of religious
newspapers and magazines clamoured for articles ; and
journalists, seeking news of his ” very latest discovery,”
waylaid him in the galleries of the Museum and begged
for material for ” copy.” But though Boscawen was a



sturdy, well-built young man, his strength was not great ;
and soon after the reading of his paper in Jan. 1877, lZ
became clear that he was suffering from overwork, worry
and over-excitement. He sought relief from his studies,
and found it in the society of a somewhat Bohemian set
of literary men and newspaper correspondents, who fre-
quented the Reading Room of the British Museum at that
time, and with whom his easy-going, kindly disposition
made him popular. But the occupations of his leisure
hours accorded ill with the demands of his work, and he
began to absent himself from the Museum. Every con-
sideration was shown him by the authorities, but his
absences became so frequent and so long that at length
they were obliged to dispense with his services (July 7,
1877). After he left the Museum he devoted much time
to lecturing and to writing articles on Oriental Archaeology
for newspapers, and reviews of books. His lectures were
largely attended ; and as he possessed a sympathetic voice
and the power of clear and simple exposition, he was a
good popularizer of Assyriology and Egyptology. Soon
after he left the Museum, he determined to go to the
East and examine the sites which had been excavated by
Layard, Rawlinson and Rassam. His friends encouraged
his idea ; and Birch and others who had been associated
with the Assyrian Exploration Fund, which was established
in 1852, knowing that there was a small balance to the credit
of the Fund at the bankers, managed to obtain possession
of it, and despatched Boscawen to Mesopotamia. Exactly
how far eastwards he went is not known ; but having heard
from the Italian Consul at Alexandretta of the trial excava-
tions which Smith had made in the ruins at Jarabis (identi-
fied by Skene and Smith with those of Carchemish), he
went to Bir Edjik on the Euphrates, and made his way
down the river to Jarabis and did some work there. It is



said that he wrote the account of Carchemish which was
published in the weekly edition of The Times for Aug. 19,
1880 ; and there is no doubt that he wrote the description
of the Hittite monuments at Carchemish which appeared
in The Graphic for Dec. 11, 1880.

Owing either to his unbusinesslike habits, or to robbery
by the natives, his funds came to an end when he was at
Jarabis ; and it was only with the greatest difficulty and
after suffering greatly from cold, hunger and thirst, that he
arrived, ill and exhausted, at the British Consulate at
Damascus. At first, as he tramped along with any small
caravan he could join, he bartered his compass and personal
ornaments for food. At a khan near Aleppo he sold his spare
clothes for more food ; and the night before he left the place,
his coats and a pair of shoes were stolen from him. He
acquired in some way a strong cudgel, such as shepherds
carry, and a shepherd’s sack, with which he covered his
head and shoulders. But these led to a catastrophe; for
as he was about to enter Aleppo late in the evening, a party
of merchants, to whom he addressed questions in very
halting Arabic, thought that he was a highway robber;
and their servants fell upon him and beat him soundly,
and tried to drag him into the town to get him thrown
into prison. He escaped, however; but the encounter
prevented him from going into the town and obtaining
assistance from the British Consul, and he was obliged to
struggle on to Damascus along one of the least-frequented
caravan routes. A ” Frangi,” dressed in a ragged shirt
and trousers and a native shepherd’s sack and only one
boot, and without money, would find travelling in that
part of Turkey-in-Asia very difficult. When he made his
way into Mr. Dickson’s presence, and told his story, that
kindly man gave him clothes and fed him, and at the earliest
opportunity sent him back to England, at the expense of



the British Government, as a ” distressed British subject.”
Some of the above particulars I heard from Boscawen
himself, and some from Mr. Dickson, whose kindness to
all travellers was proverbial in Syria.

Boscawen’s contributions to Assyriology consisted of two
books, viz. : From Under the Dust of Ages, London, 1886,
and ihe First of Empires, London, 1903, and a series of
articles printed in the publications of the Society of Biblical
Archaeology, the Babylonian and Oriental Record, etc.
The result of his life’s work is very disappointing, but yet
it is hardly to be wondered at. He possessed a great deal of
natural ability, and his progress in the study of cuneiform
was extraordinarily rapid. He copied texts easily and well,
and was able to grasp their general import quickly and
with a considerable amount of accuracy. His language
was fluent, and he had the faculty of clear expression ; even
learned men listened to his expositions with pleasure, and
his lectures and ” Gallery rounds ” in the British Museum
attracted large audiences. But he could only work at the
texts regularly for a limited period, and then only if he
had a particular object in view. Official hours and duties
and routine work in general he could not tolerate, and the
means he adopted for avoiding such were disreputable.
When he left the Museum friend after friend secured for
him work of a lucrative character, but he lost position
after position through his failure to keep his promises
and to work to time. He would undertake to write an
article or book or review, receive part payment on account,
and then disappear for days and even a week at a time.
He wore out all his friends, for when arrangements had
been made for him to lecture in London or Scotland or
elsewhere, and the audiences had bought their tickets and
taken their seats, he would sometimes keep them waiting
half an hour and sometimes not appear at all. He made



more money by his writings on Oriental Archaeology than
any other man in England, and yet he was never free from
acute financial anxiety ; his boon companions helped him to
spend all he got, and his friends, taking advantage of his
easy-going, pleasure-loving disposition, stripped him bare.
During the last two years of his life the kindly wife of a
publican who had known him as a young man used to
manage to get hold of his earnings and feed him, and
allow him so much a day for pocket money. Those of
us who knew him well will ever regret the wasted abilities
of the amiable and generous man who had only one enemy
in the world — himself.

Rawlinson hoped at one time that Boscawen would have
taken up Smith’s work as a copier of texts for a fifth volume
of his ” Selection ” ; but when it became clear that this was
impossible, he was obliged to seek elsewhere for an Assistant.
With good fortune he found him in the person of Mr.
Theophilus Goldridge Pinches, who, like George Smith,
was a trained engraver and die-sinker, and who, because
of his love for Assyriology, was willing to exchange the
emoluments of a highly skilled craftsman for an exiguous
official salary. Soon after Pinches entered the British
Museum as an Assistant in Birch’s Department, the results
of the renewed excavations of Rassam at Kuyunjik, Abu
Habbah, Birs-i-Nimrud and other sites began to arrive ;
and a vast amount of new material became available for
publication. Among this were several texts written upon
baked clay cylinders in archaic Babylonian characters,
which were extremely difficult to copy. But the accurate
eye and trained hand of Pinches succeeded in transcribing
them ; and they have made the fifth volume one of the most
valuable of Rawlinson’s series of ” Selections.” No other
Assyriologist has had the good fortune to edit such impor-
tant documents as the ten-sided prism of Ashurbanipal



(Rm. i), the inscription of Agum-kakrime (about 1500 B.C.),
the barrel-cylinder of Cyrus, the ” Sun-god Tablet,” or
inscription of Nabu-apal-iddina, the barrel-cylinder of
Antiochus, and the Charter of Ritti-Marduk granted by
Nebuchadnezzar I (1170 B.C.). The other contents of
the volume include bilingual lists and syllabaries, grammati-
cal tablets, lists of kings, stars, gods, etc., mythological
texts, letters, report tablets, contracts, with accurately
drawn copies of the impressions on them made by the seals
of witnesses, and many other important texts. The demand
for these texts was so great that the Trustees decided not to
delay their appearance until the whole set of seventy plates
was ready for publication in one volume ; and they issued
Plates I-XXXV in 1880, and Plates XXXVI-LXX in 1884.
The discovery of the Deluge Tablet by George Smith
stirred up great interest in Assyriology among scholars
throughout the world ; and one of its immediate results
was a brisk demand for the fourth volume of Rawlinson’s
” Selection ” published in 1875. The edition of 250 copies
was exhausted ; and scholars asked Rawlinson to prepare
a new edition of the volume. When Part II of the fifth
volume was finished and published, Pinches was instructed
to make a new collation of the texts in the fourth volume,
and to add the texts from the fragments which had been
re-joined to the tablets since Smith’s death. This was done
efficiently; and because there was not space enough to
include the additional texts on the plates as numbered in
the old edition, it was decided to print the new edition
in the small and beautifully clear types of Messrs. Harrison
and Sons. In the new edition of the fourth volume, which
appeared in 1890, ten plates were added, five withdrawn,
and two incorporated with others. The demand for the
fifth volume was so great and persistent that the Trustees
published a complete reprint by photo-lithography in 1909.



The activities of Pinches were not exhausted by the
copying of texts for Rawlinson’s ” Selection ” ; for quite
early in his career he published the first part of a most
useful work entitled ” Texts in the Babylonian Wedge
Writing, with a list of characters and their meanings,”
London, 1882. The script of the Babylonian tablets was
very difficult to read, and this work afforded great help
to students of it. A little later, Pinches made the drawings
for Harrison’s new fount of Babylonian type, which for
accuracy and clearness is unrivalled. He has also published
many important texts, with translations and commentaries,
in the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archeology,
e. g. The Capture of Babylon by Cyrus (1880), The Con-
sonants R and L (1881), Assyrian Grammar (1882, 1884),
The Falcon (1884), Babylonian Chronology and History
(1884), Lament of the Daughter of Sin (1895), Assyrio-
logical Gleanings (1896, 1901), Babylonian Temples (1900),
Gilgamesh and the Hero of the Flood (1903), Babylonian
Gods of War (1906), Legend of Merodach (1908), The
Goddess Ishtar (1909), Enlil and Ninlil (1911), Early
Sumerian Month-names (1913), Ancestor-Worship (1915),
Two Tablets of Historic Interest (1916) ; in the Journal
of the Royal Asiatic Society, e. g. The Babylonian Chronicle
(1887 and 1894), The New Version of the Creation-Story
(1891), The Languages of the Early Inhabitants of Meso-
potamia (1884), Hymns to Pap-due-garra (1924), The
Divine Lovers Enlil and Ninlil (1919) ; in the Transactions
of the Victoria Institute, e.g. Recent Discoveries (1893),
Inscriptions and Records (1 895-1 896), Religious Ideas of the
Babylonians (1895). He has also published a Catalogue
of the Sir Henry Peek Collection (privately printed, London,
1882); translated Hymns to Tammuz from tablets at
Owens College; translated the texts on the Bronze Gates
of Shalmaneser from Tall Balawat ; and contributed trans-



lations to Records of the Past, New Series, and the Baby-
lonian and Oriental Record. His excellent Guides to the
Kuyunjik Gallery and the Nimrud Central Saloon in the
British Museum have been out of print for many years.
For his contributions to the ‘Trans. Soc. Bill. Arch., see
the Index published by the Society, and the Bibliographies
published by Bezold in Zeit. fur Ass., 1888 f.

The publication of the five volumes of Rawlinson’s
Selectionfrom the Cuneiform Inscriptions of W e stern Asia occu-
pied a period of about twenty- four years. In the preceding
paragraphs an attempt has been made to describe his plan
of work and the share which he and his three Assistants
took in its execution ; and it will be well here to indicate
briefly the amount of new material which he placed in
the hands of students of Assyriology. The five volumes
contain three hundred and fifty large folio plates of cunei-
form texts in the Sumerian, Akkadian {i.e. Babylonian) and
Assyrian languages. Among the texts are specimens of
inscriptions dealing with almost every branch of learning
known to the nations who used the cuneiform writing,
history, chronology, historical legends, grammar, lexi-
cography, religion, magic, astronomy, astrology, mathe-
matics, law, epistolography, etc. ; and taken as a whole
they form the main foundation of the science of Assyriology.
The texts are edited from bas-reliefs, memorial stelae,
boundary-stones, baked clay prisms and cylinders, baked
and unbaked clay tablets, and paper squeezes. The total
number of inscriptions published in the five volumes is
about nine hundred and sixty-seven, and the lines of text
run into thousands. The volumes were edited by one and
the same man, Rawlinson, whose one aim was to make
available to scholars and students all the material possible
as soon as possible. He received no remuneration for his
invaluable services. Norris’s only payment for his copies



was his personal satisfaction in making discoveries ; and
George Smith and Pinches each worked for some years for
a salary that was smaller than that then received by a
master carpenter or master mason. The Trustees also
managed, without any special grant from the Government,
to provide the funds necessary for the publication of the
great work ; and the debt of gratitude owing to them by
Assyriologists all over the world is incalculable.



The Babylonian tablets and other antiquities purchased
by Smith in Baghdad opened up new fields of Assyriological
research; and Rawlinson was convinced that the area of
the Trustees’ excavations must be enlarged, and must
include the sites from which the tablets had come. The
numerous fragments of tablets which Smith had obtained
at Kuyunjik, by digging through the trenches that Layard
and Rassam had abandoned, proved that there were still
many more tablets and fragments to be got out of the
mounds there, and public scientific opinion demanded
that the task of ” clearing out Nineveh ” should not cease
because death had removed Smith from the work. But
it was felt that excavation in Assyria was a ” whole-time
job,” and that it must be undertaken by a man who had
experience, and who understood both the people of Western
Asia and the principal languages of the country, i.e. Arabic
and Turkish. The Jaramans under which Smith worked
were so full of rules and regulations and stipulations, and
threats of penalties and fines for non-compliance, that it
is impossible to understand how any British Ambassador
in Constantinople could have accepted them. The truth
is that the jaramans issued to Smith were intended to be



prohibitive of work and therefore of success ; and it speaks
volumes for his dogged determination, and the astuteness of
the wily dealers of Baghdad, that he was able to bring
home as much as he did.

When the proprietors of the Daily Telegraph were dis-
cussing the proposed mission of Smith, Sir Edwin Arnold
consulted Rassam about the matter ; and he was anxious
that Rassam should be sent instead of Smith. But, accord-
ing to Rassam (Asshur, p. 53), when he announced this
fact to the proprietors, he found that they had already
committed themselves to the sending out of Smith; and
therefore Rassam’s offer to go was not accepted. On the
death of Smith there was no other qualified person to send
to Assyria except Rassam ; and the Trustees of the British
Museum despatched him to Constantinople to get a
faraman early in 1877. For various reasons his efforts
were not successful ; and having waited there’ three and a
half months, he returned to England. When Sir Henry
Elliot, the British Ambassador to the Porte, left Con-
stantinople, Sir Henry Layard was appointed to succeed
him ; and the new special Ambassador set out for the
East to take up his duties in April 1877. A month or two
later, Layard succeeded in obtaining a satisfactory faraman
from His Majesty the Sultan ; and Rassam, who had
returned to Constantinople in June 1877, set out at once
for Mosul to reopen the excavations at Kuyunjik. He
passed through Aleppo and saw the British Consul,
Mr. J. H. Skene, who told him that he had succeeded in
convincing George Smith that the ruins at Jarabis marked
the site of the old Hittite city of Carchemish. On his way
via Wan (Van), he visited the village of Tirmait, where
he saw the remains of an inscribed black basalt obelisk,
partly buried in the ground, and noted the two cuneiform
inscriptions called ” Ilan Dashlari ” at Ardish. Near the



church of Dara Killisa at Wan he found a mound con-
taining remains of a building of Assyrian origin ; but as
his faramdn did not include the Wan district, he was not
able to excavate it. In many of the churches which he
visited he saw cuneiform inscriptions built into the walls.
When Rassam arrived at Mosul he was unable to begin work,
because his faramdn had not arrived; and on Dec. 10
he left for Baghdad. From Baghdad he visited the very
ancient town of Karkuk, near which quite recently the
Sumerian statuette of a woman acquired by the British
Museum in 1924 was found, and Irbil, the Arbela of
classical writers. On his return to Mosul he found that
the Porte had instructed the Pasha to allow him to begin
work; and early in Jan. 1878 he began work at Kuyunjik.
Having set men to clear out the old trenches and to open
new ones, he rode about the country seeking new sites for
excavations. During the previous year (1877) some large
pieces of bronze plates with figures of soldiers in relief had
been shown to him, and he had been told that they came
from the neighbourhood of Mosul. On making enquiries,
the natives told him that they had been found by a native
when digging near a mound at Balawat, about twenty miles
east of Mosul. Thither he went, and after many difficulties
with the natives was shown the place where the pieces of
bronze plates were said to have been found. He set his
men to work, and in a short time they uncovered an object
” lying on its face and spread like a gigantic hat-rack ”
(Asshur, p. 207). This object proved to be a gate, with
double leaves, lying on its side, with the lower portion sunk
in the ground to a depth of about 15 feet. Each leaf
had a thick bronze pivot and seven bronze panels with
designs in repousse work, each about 8 feet long. All the
woodwork was rotten, and crumbled to dust. The bronze
plates were removed with difficulty, and carefully packed



and sent to the British Museum, where they were cleaned
and mounted by Mr. Ready and are now exhibited as the
Bronze Gates of Shalmaneser III (859-824 B.C.) and his
father Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.). I visited Tall
Balawat with Mr. Nimrud Rassam in the winter of
1890-1891, but none of the natives had ever heard of the
discovery of the bronze plates ; Mr. Rassam questioned
them closely, and was convinced that someone had made
a mistake. At Kuyunjik Rassam cleared out many chambers
in the palaces of Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal, and found
many tablets and the splendid baked clay prism of Ashur-
banipal (Rm. 1). He left Mosul in May 1878, and arrived
in London on July 12.

Through Layard the Trustees obtained a new faramdn,
which enabled them to carry on excavations at more than
one site at the same time; and in October 1878 Rassam
again took the road to the East. On his arrival at Mosul he
re-started the works at Kuyunjik and Nimrud, and then
opened up new works at Kal’ah Sharkat (the city of Asshur),
where among other interesting things he found the curious
memorial object of Arik-den-ilu (1325-1310 B.C.), now in
the British Museum (No. 91,059). As the new faramdn gave
Rassam permission to dig in the Walayats {i.e. Provinces)
of Mosul-Baghdad, Aleppo and Wan, he left Assyria in
Jan. 1879 and went to Baghdad, and then to Hillah. The
large collections of tablets which Smith purchased in 1876
were known to come from the neighbourhood of Hillah, and
thither Rassam went, to obtain what was to be had and to
excavate. At Mahmudiyah, about twenty miles south of
Baghdad, he heard that inscribed bricks had been found at
Der and Abu Habbah, a few miles further to the south ;
and he went and examined both mounds. He thought the
mound at Der unimportant ; and that is easily understood
when we remember that Rassam was always wanting to find



the ruins of large and massive buildings, and colossal statues,
lions and bulls. He returned to Abu Habbah, and, having
examined the mound and talked to the natives, determined
to excavate there. He found the remains of a very large
mass of buildings, and counted some 300 chambers, which
suggests that he had discovered the store-rooms of the
ancient city of which they formed a part. This city was
undoubtedly Sippar. He cleared out about 170 of the
chambers ; but as the Porte refused to renew hisfaramdn, he
was obliged to stop work. I visited the site in 1888 and
1 891 and found the natives digging in the chambers which
Rassam had left untouched, under the excuse that they
were digging for bricks, and carrying away the dust to
spread over their fields for top-dressing. On going through
the chambers I saw the remains of great numbers of large
jars, which resembled the zir, or waterpot ; and the
natives told me that when they opened them, they found
them full of soft unbaked inscribed tablets. In other
chambers they discovered small sealed pots, which contained
large inscribed baked tablets about 4 inches long. In one
chamber they found rows of larger tablets arranged on stone
shelves ; and to these dockets or seals were attached by
means of cord made of some kind of vegetable fibre.

The tablets bought by Smith were found at Abu Habbah,
and from that place came also all the collections of tablets
which were sold to the Americans and those that were ex-
ported to Europe by the Jewish and Armenian merchants in
Baghdad. Smith had shown the natives that tablets were
worth much money ; and it was to the interest of the finders
of the tablets, and the dealers, and the Turkish officials
who received ” good bakshish ” for allowing anticas to be
exported contrary to the law, to develop the trade as much
as possible. It was the combined efforts of these three
classes of people that brought about the stoppage of Rassam’s



work, and caused all the opposition and annoyance from
which subsequent excavators had to suffer. Rassam says
{Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., Vol. VIII., p. 177) that between
40,000 and 50,000 tablets were found at Abu Habbah, but,
judging by the enormous collections which I saw in Baghdad
and Hillah and other places, the number must have been
nearer 130,000. Many thousands of tablets were destroyed
by the natives who, like Mr. Doubleday of the British
Museum, tried to harden the unbaked tablets by baking
them ; the result of the baking was to make the inscribed
surfaces on both sides flake off and crumble into dust.
This baking was carried out by placing the tablets in the
fire, and the destruction of their surfaces was bound to
follow. The method now followed in all Museums is to
apply heat to them gradually, without the direct application
of fire ; and the result is satisfactory. The chief temple of
Abu Habbah was dedicated to the Sun-god, and there seems
to have been a zikkurat attached to it. For descriptions of
the chief objects found there, see Pinches, Trans. Soc. Bibl.
Arch., Vol. VIII., pp. 164-171.

From Abu Habbah Rassam went to Babylon and was
rewarded by finding at Jumjumah the broken baked clay
cylinder inscribed with a copy of the official account of the
capture of Babylon by Cyrus (now in the British Museum,
No. 90,920). At Birs-i-Nimrud Rassam found many
tablets in the ruins of a building where the natives had been
digging before his arrival ; and opposite Ibrahim al-Khalil he
discovered the remains of a palace of Nebuchadnezzar II.
He also made trial excavations at Tall Ibrahim, which some
say marks the site of Kuthah. In February 1879 Rassam
went to Tall Loh on the Shatt-al-Hayy ; but finding that the
district round about was not any longer included in the
Pashalik, or Province, of Baghdad, he could not make any
authorized excavations there. But when he heard that



M. de Sarzec, the French Vice-Consul of Basrah, had
excavated there without a faramdn, he thought that he
might do the same. He collected men and set to work on
the largest of the mounds, and in a few hours found the
remains of a temple and two inscribed gate-sockets, and in a
grave close by a number of unbaked tablets were unearthed.
At the depth of about two feet he came across large numbers
of inscribed memorial cones, and many red stone inscribed
mace-heads, which he calls ” weights ” {Asshur, p. 277) ;
but after digging for three days, because of the fighting that
broke out between his workmen and the neighbouring
Arabs, he stopped the work and returned to Baghdad. He
visited Kal’ah Sharkat on his way back to Mosul, and found
that nothing of interest had been discovered during his
absence. The same was the case both at Kuyunjik and
Nimrud. He had long wished to excavate a part of the
famous mound on which the tomb of the Prophet Jonah
stands ; and, after much consultation with men of influence,
he bought some houses there, so that he might have the
right of exploring the ground beneath them. But as soon
as he began to drive tunnels under the houses, the authorities
raised objections of every kind ; and their opposition was so
strong that in the end Rassam thought that he had better
close down his work and return to England, where he arrived
in June 1879.

In April 1880 Rassam again set out for the East. He
arrived at Babylon in May, when the votive bronze doorstep
of Nebuchadnezzar was discovered. The works at Babylon
itself had been carried on by his agents, and a number of
inscribed tablets were found in the various mounds there.
They rediscovered the wells or shafts which had been
excavated by Beauchamps in 1782, and which Koldewey be-
lieved to have been used for the machinery that he supposed
to have existed for watering the Hanging Gardens, though



he obtained no evidence that throws any light on their
use. In June Rassam left Baghdad for Mosul to continue
his work at Nabi Yunis ; but finding this impossible, he
set his nephew Nimrud Rassam over the excavations at
Kuyunjik, and on July 15th started for Wan, where he
arrived on the 29th. He set men to work at once on
the mound near the ” Valley Church,” where Dr. Reynolds
of the American Mission at Wan had begun to dig on his
behalf. Dr. Reynolds found bronze shields embossed
with figures of lions, bulls, and elaborate decorations, ivory
figures, parts of a bronze throne, and a large number of
miscellaneous objects, which are now in the British Museum.
As Captain Clayton, the British Resident at Wan, under-
took to superintend the excavations, Rassam left Wan
early in September, and arrived at Mosul (Sept. 27, 1880).
Returning to Baghdad in November, he went to Babylon
and inspected the works, and then went to Abu Habbah
and began to dig near the base of the zikkurat. In a short
time he was rewarded by the discovery of the famous
” Sun-god Tablet,” and the coffer in which it was buried.
He arrived in England in the course of the spring, but set
out again for the East in March 1882, and renewed his work
at Abu Habbah, where he found ” 60,000 or 70,000 ” un-
baked tablets (Asshur, p. 419) ; and he continued to dig
there until the end of July 1882, when his excavations for
the British Museum ceased. He appointed agents with
monthly salaries to watch the sites of the Trustees’ excava-
tions until his faraman could be renewed, and returned to
England towards the close of the year.

As soon as the dealers and officials in Baghdad knew that
Rassam was out of the country they began to make excava-
tions on their own account. They employed the workmen
who had been employed by Rassam ; and in a very short
time the Jews of Hillah, working in collusion with the Jews



and Armenians of Baghdad, began to export large collections
of tablets and other antiquities to London and America.
The British Museum bought several collections, and as there
was keen competition in Paris and America prices began to
soar, and in a short time contract tablets of Nebuchadnezzar
II, for which the finders were paid five piastres each in Bagh-
dad, were fetching £4. each in London. It was, of course,
quite hopeless to stop the trade in anticas at Baghdad ; and
as long as Museums found it cheaper to buy tablets than to
dig for them, naturally their Directors bought. But
presently Rawlinson and others found out, by reading the
tablets which the British Museum bought in the open market,
that several of them came from the sites on which Rassam
had worked and which the agents appointed by him were
being paid salaries to watch. Moreover, information
reached the Museum from Prof. Sachau and others that
German agents of the Berlin Museum had travelled via
Mosul to Baghdad, and had bought collections of Babylonian
tablets from the watchmen paid by the Trustees. It was
obvious that this illicit dealing in anticas ought, if possible,
to be stopped, and that, if this was impossible, steps should
be taken to secure the tablets, excavated clandestinely, for
the British Museum, in order to prevent their being
scattered all over the world. Rawlinson pointed out that
it was quite impossible to stop the illicit trade in anticas,
and also that the watchmen appointed by Rassam were
powerless to stop natives digging in the sites already worked
for the Trustees, because they were not appointed by the
Turkish Government. Moreover, the period for which
Rassam’s faramdn was effective had expired in 1882.

In October 1887 I was instructed to extend my operations
from Egypt (my mission thither having been already
sanctioned earlier in the year) to Baghdad, to consult with
Colonel W. Tweedie, the British Consul-General, to visit



all the sites where excavations had been made for the
British Museum, and to report on the same. In an official
conversation just before leaving London, Rawlinson told
me that I was to spare no effort to acquire tablets. His
words were to this effect : There is a leakage of tablets from
our sites ; either find the source of that leakage and stop it, or
secure for the Museum what comes from the leakage. Of
course you must pay for the tablets you get hold of ; but
that cannot be helped. The money must be found and will
be found. The vitally important thing is to secure the
tablets ; for, as compared with tablets, money has no value ;
money can be replaced, but tablets cannot, and once gone
into the Museums of other countries, they are, so far as the
British Museum is concerned, gone for ever. I carefully
wrote down these very definite and other less definite
instructions; and in February 1888 I arrived in Baghdad.

Rassam had given me introductions to his watchmen and
others, and Rawlinson had given me letters to Messrs.
Lynch Bros., and to certain Jewish firms in Baghdad ; and
within a week I found that the exportation of tablets was
an important and profitable business in Baghdad and
Basrah. Mr. Dawud Thorn a, Rassam’s overseer, and his
brothers ‘Abd al-Karim and ‘Abd al-Ahad possessed very
large collections of tablets from Abu Habbah ; and when I
had acquired these, Dawud Thorn a took me to the houses
of his friends, where I found other large collections of
tablets from Abu Habbah and some sites near the Birs-i-
Nimrud. Rassam’s overseer and some of his watchmen sold
to me several collections of valuable tablets and signed the
receipts for the moneys, which were paid to them by Messrs.
Lynch Bros., with their full names, and saw nothing un-
usual or irregular in the proceeding. For further details see
my Nile and Tigris, London, 1920. From Baghdad I
visited all the sites where Rassam had carried on excavations,



Abu Habbah, Tall Ibrahim, Birs-i-Nimrud, Ibrahim al-
Khalil, Jumjumah and other places near Babylon, and
Dailam. On many of the sites men were digging for tablets
openly by daylight ; no watchmen were there, and had they
been there, they could not have prevented digging. At
every place I visited I purchased good tablets at the rate of
from three to five piastres each. The Turkish governor of
Hillah told me that Abu Habbah and neighbouring mounds
were situated on lands that were the personal property of the
Sultan ‘Abd-al-Hamid Khan, and that His Majesty and the
Baghdad Government greatly resented the appointment of
watchmen by Rassam on the Crown Domains. He had seen
the faraman under which Rassam worked ; and he stated
that it was similar in every respect to that given to mining
engineers when prospecting for minerals and special kinds
of stone. The Sultan had given permission for excavations
to be made on his property as a special favour to Sir Henry
Layard, then the British Ambassador to the Porte ; but his
officials had drawn up the faraman in accordance with the
regulations and stipulations usually imposed on mining
engineers. It was the evasion of these regulations by the
men whom Rassam left in charge of the works, when he was
riding about the country, that provoked the opposition on
the part of the Baghdad Government which ultimately
brought Rassam’s operations to a standstill.

Whilst I was wandering about Musayyib one evening, a
native brought me several fine ” case-tablets,” i.e. inscribed
tablets encased in clay envelopes, inscribed with a duplicate of
the text on the tablet, and bearing impressions of many seal-
cylinders, which he wanted to sell. They were the finest of
their kind that I had ever seen ; and with difficulty I drew
from him the fact that they came from Der, a site about
twenty miles south of Baghdad. He said there were ruins of
walls there in which the openings where gates had been could



be seen, and that in one corner there were several chambers
full of such tablets. This seemed incredible ; but I rode to
the ruins the following day, and I saw enough to convince me
that the site was worth excavating. At the depth of three
feet from the surface the natives with me showed me fine
solid walls built of large rectangular Babylonian bricks
about 1 6 inches square; but when I pressed to see the
chambers about which the native had told me the previous
day, they said that men were watching them from a distance,
and they were afraid of getting into trouble with the
authorities in Baghdad.

In the summer of 1888 the Trustees decided to renew their
excavations at Kuyunjik ; and in September I was sent to
Constantinople to make application, in person, for afaramdn.
O. HamdI Bey, Director of the Imperial Ottoman Museum,
made a special arrangement whereby I was to keep all the
fragments of inscribed tablets that might be found ; and in
return the Trustees presented to His Majesty ‘Abd al-Hamid
Khan a set of their publications. After I had waited six
weeks in Constantinople and made daily application to the
Porte and to the Minister of Public Instruction for the fara-
man, Sir William White asked the Sultan, as a personal
favour, to permit me to excavate at Kuyunjik. This
request was promptly granted; and I was despatched to
Assyria forthwith. When I arrived at Mosul and had visited
the mounds of Kuyunjik, it seemed to me that to make any
systematic clearance of the debris and to excavate the
northern gateways and walls would cost a very large sum of
money, and occupy years. I therefore decided to work
on a very modest scale, and to dig through the trenches that
had been made by Layard, Rassam, Loftus and Smith. Some
hundreds of men were set to work, and almost every day we
recovered two to six inscribed fragments. An inspector
was sent from Stambul to watch the work on behalf of the



Turkish Government ; and the British Museum had to pay-
all his travelling expenses and his salary of £T20 per month.
According to thefaramdn I was bound to pack up and trans-
port to Constantinople at my expense all the antiquities
found : and when this was done, the British Museum was
to have whatever the Minister of Public Instruction was
pleased to grant. But, relying on the agreement made
with Hamdi Bey, Mr. Nimrud Rassam managed to gain
possession of about 310 tablets and fragments of tablets
that had been found ; and these in due course arrived at the
British Museum. I collected some tons of large objects,
including a fine stone circular altar from Khorsabad, and
transported them to Basrah, en route for Constantinople ;
but the inspector and the authorities quarrelled, and the
governor of Basrah would not allow the antiquities to leave
his Sarai. Nimrud Rassam undertook to continue the
digging through of the trenches at Kuyunjik, and I went
to Baghdad by raft, and having acquired several collections
of Babylonian tablets, returned to England in May 1889.

Soon afterwards Rawlinson advised the Trustees to apply
for a faramdn to excavate Der, and after more than a
year’s negotiations it was granted. On my way to Mosul,
and whilst there, I visited many of the ancient monasteries,
and collected from them and from private individuals a
considerable number of Syriac and Arabic manuscripts ;
for a list of them, see my Nile and Tigris, Vol. II, pp.
295 ff. With these and about 240 tablets from Kuyunjik
I travelled by raft to Baghdad to begin work at Der.
On my arrival there, I found that, when it became known
in Baghdad some months before that the British Museum
wanted to excavate Der, the Pasha had commissioned
certain natives to go there and dig on his behalf. They
did so, and found two chambers full of tablets, which they
carried into Baghdad; and they were sold there to the



dealers. Most of them were ” case-tablets,” and all belonged
to the period of about 2000 b.c. But there was a third
chamber at D&r, built into the corner of a large room;
and, though known to the native who was in charge of the
Pasha’s excavations, he did not reveal its existence to his
subordinates, but kept it secret, in order that he might
sell his knowledge to me. When the dibris was cleared
from the entrance, which was in the roof, we saw that the
chamber contained many large jars, with coverings fixed in
position with bitumen. Some jars were full of tablets, and
others only half-full; and three were empty. Each jar
contained the contracts and business documents probably
of one family, like the modern black tin boxes seen in
solicitors’ offices. The jars broke when attempts were made
to move them ; but every tablet in them was secured
unbroken. There were nearly 3000 tablets in that chamber,
which was a comparatively small one ; and judging by the
size of the collections which I saw in Baghdad, the total
number of tablets found in the three chambers at Der
cannot have been less than 15,000. I secured about 2300
of the largest and best of them, and shipped them to
London in batches, as opportunity offered, before I left
Baghdad, and I arranged with the dealers to despatch the
rest, a few hundreds at a time, to the British Museum ;
and in due course all arrived there, and were purchased.
The site now called ” Der ” was occupied by the Baby-
lonians at a very early period ; and a town with three or
four gates stood there before 2500 b.c. On one side of it
ran a large canal. Assyriologists now know that the old
name of the town was ” Sippar Yakhruru,” or ” Sippar
Aruru ” ; and therefore we must abandon the theory
formerly held that Der marked the site of Akkad, or
Agade. The ruins at Abu Habbah contain the remains of
the city of the Sun-god Sippar ; and one of the principal



buildings in it was the large house, which was probably
attached to the temple of Shamash, in which lived the
priestesses and other women who were in the service of
the god. Sippar Yakhruru may have been a kind of self-
contained suburb of Sippar, and the large and valuable
collection of early Babylonian tablets found there attests
both its antiquity and its importance. It is possible that
in the early centuries of the Christian era some large
monastery or nunnery flourished there ; at least the name
” Der ” suggests this.

During the next twelve years (1891-1903) the staff at
the British Museum were engaged in arranging and in
digesting the contents of the mass of material which had
been pouring in from Babylonia ; and as a result, the
Trustees decided’ to renew excavations at Kuyunjik. A
faramdn drawn up on the usual lines was obtained with
difficulty, and the late Mr. L. W. King, Assistant in the
Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, was sent
out. He began work on March 3, 1903, and went on
steadily until July 18, by which time he had excavated the
temple of Nabu down to its foundations. He was joined
by another Assistant from the Museum, Mr. R. Campbell
Thompson, who arrived in Mosul on Feb. 29, 1904, and
took sole charge of the works from June 22 to Feb. n,
1905, when the excavations were finally closed by the
Trustees. From first to last, i.e. between 1846 and 1905,
a great and splendid work of excavation has been carried
out at Kuyunjik, one which reflects great credit on the
ability, energy, perseverance and self-denial of Layard,
Rassam, Ross, Loftus, Smith, King and Thompson ; for it
is a fine achievement of British Assyriologists. It is much
to be regretted that this work at Kuyunjik has been spoken
of in such disparaging terms by Messrs. Breasted and
Luckenbill, who, it is said, visited Mosul soon after the



Armistice with the view of purchasing antiquities. These
gentlemen were of opinion that no ” scientific digging ”
had been done at Kuyunjik, as they went over or surveyed
the mounds ; but in the printed prospectus in which they
have published their opinion they do not, unfortunately,
tell us what they mean by ” scientific digging.” More
travellers than one who have seen the site of the American
excavations at Nippur have failed to see there any ex-
hibition of scientific digging. As one of the Trustees’
servants, whose duty it was to play a modest part in
digging at Kuyunjik for tablets, it is, naturally, not
for me to proclaim that the digging carried out by my
colleagues or by myself was ” scientific,” or to dispute
the accuracy of the criticism of these distinguished
gentlemen. But it may be pointed out that whether the
methods of digging employed by the British Museum
officials are ” scientific ” or not, the authorities of the
Museum of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia
have joined forces with the Trustees of the British
Museum, and are at this time (1924-1925) engaged in
excavating, together with them, the ruins of Mukayyar,
or “Ur of the Chaldees.” It may be further pointed
out that whatever knowledge of Assyriology American
professors possess, they owe it solely to the results
obtained by British excavators, whose methods of digging
were not, according to our critics, ” scientific.” And but
for the efforts of these excavators, Messrs. Breasted and
Luckenbill would not have been able to acquire at Mosul
the baked clay prism of Sennacherib which the latter has
published, and the value of which he overestimates so greatly.
In 191 8 the Trustees of the British Museum decided to
take advantage of the British military occupation of Lower
Babylonia, and to renew excavations at Mukayyar, or ” Ur
of the Chaldees,” and at Abu Shahren, the ruins of which



mark the site of Eridu, where, according to ancient native
tradition, Babylonian civilization began. They arranged
with the military authorities that Capt. R. Campbell
Thompson, formerly an Assistant in the British Museum,
and employed at Baghdad in the Intelligence Dept. of
the Army, should be allowed to conduct their excavations,
and so continue the work on the sites that had been examined
and partly excavated by Loftus and Taylor between 1850
and 1854, and by the American Mission in 1900. There-
upon Thompson went to Mukayyar and, after a careful
examination of the extensive ruins, devoted all his energies
to the excavation of Abu Shahr£n, where he discovered a
number of very important objects dating from the early
Sumerian period and the period which immediately pre-
ceded it. His results are described by himself in Archce-
ologia, Vol. LXX. When he returned to England in 1919,
the Trustees sent out Dr. H. R. Hall to continue his
work. Hall carried out extensive excavations at Mukayyar
and Abu Shahren ; and whilst these were in progress he
was fortunate enough to come across the remarkable site
of Tall al-‘Ubed, where he found several series of antiquities
hitherto unknown to archaeologists. These belong to the
early Sumerian Period, say 3300 b.c. He was unable, for
want of time, to finish his excavations at Abu Shahren and
Tall al-‘Ubed, and in 1922 Mr. C. L. Woolley was sent
to Mukayyar to continue the work on that extensive site,
and to finish the excavation of Tall al-‘Ubed and Abu
ShahrSn. See his Reports in the Antiquaries Journal, 1923
and 1924. During the course of his work in the winters of
1922-1923 and 1923-1924 Woolley has recovered from Tall
al-‘Ubed objects of such value from every possible archaeo-
logical point of view that Hall’s discovery of the little
mound (it is only about 150 feet long) must be regarded
as one of the most important yet made in Babylonia. Not



only has it supplied us with rich early material, but it has
told archaeologists very many things that they did not
know. Some of the pottery is probably prehistoric, and
must date from a period anterior to the first dynasty of
Ur, 3300 B.C. ; and its similarity to that found at Shush
(Susa) by J. de Morgan and Loftus makes it certain that
the predecessors of the Sumerians in Lower Babylonia were
immigrants from the north or north-east. The makers of
this pottery seem to have been ignorant of the use of metal.
No other site has supplied such objects as the great
lion-heads of copper with inlaid stone eyes and teeth
of shell, the inlaid bulls, the massive copper relief of Imgig,
the lion-eagle grasping two stags, the inscribed stone statue
of the official Kurlil ( ?), the pillars inlaid with mother-of-
pearl, the copper bulls and shell and limestone reliefs set
in copper frames ; and incidentally, it has given us one of
the oldest known cuneiform inscriptions, which, accord-
ing to some authorities, was written as early as B.C. 3300.
This inscription is of great value historically ; for the name
of one of the kings mentioned in it is found in King Lists that
were supposed by some Assyriologists to be mythological. The
question, ” What building was it of which Hall excavated
the remains at Tall al-‘Ubed ? ” is answered by the inscrip-
tion in very archaic line-characters on a steatite foundation
tablet discovered there, which Mr. C. J. Gadd of the
British Museum translates thus : ” A-anni-padda, king of
Ur, son of Mes-anni-padda, king of Ur, has built a temple
to the goddess Nin-har-sag.” This is probably the oldest
Sumerian temple known to us. With this tablet there
was found a gold scaraboid inscribed ” A-anni-padda, king
of Ur.” It is pierced throughout its length, and was worn
or carried on a string and used as a seal ; and it is probable
that the inscribed cylinder-seal which was rolled on clay
tablets at a later period is a modification of such flat seals.



That A-anni-padda’s gold seal is in the form of a scaraboid
is noteworthy ; for, like the scarab in Egypt, it was worn
by its owner, and often served both as an amulet and as a
seal. The objects discovered by Hall are exhibited in the
British Museum, and a summary description of them will
be found in the official Guide, with illustrations (pp. 57 ff.).
For his own fuller accounts of them, see the Proceedings of
the Society of Antiquaries (Dec. 1919) ; Journal of Egyptian
Archeology, Oct. 1922 and Oct. 1923 ; and the Centenary
Supplement of the Royal Asiatic Society, Oct. 1924. His
book A Season’s Work at Tall al-‘Ubed is expected to be
ready this year. Mr. C. L. Woolley has published an
account of his work at Ur in the Antiquaries Journal,
No. IV, 1923 ; and a further Report appeared in the same
Journal, No. I, 1924. See also articles by him in the
Museum Journal of the University of Pennsylvania for
March 1924 and March 1925, letters in The Times, Jan.
14, Feb. 4, 1925, etc., and an article by Leon Legrain in
the September number of the Museum Journal.



The tablets and smaller antiquities excavated by Layard,
Rassam, Loftus, Taylor and Rawlinson arrived at the British
Museum during the years 1 850-1 85 5 ; and the greater number
of them had suffered greatly in transit from Mesopotamia
to England via Bombay. The large sculptures and bas-
reliefs had been packed in mats and strong iron-clamped
wooden cases, and therefore arrived in a good state of
preservation, but the tablets were tied up loosely in native
reed baskets and placed in boxes without further packing.
All were covered with a thick coating of dust and earth,
which was easily removed by careful brushing; but there



were many hundreds with large patches of a crystalline
deposit adhering to their surfaces, and these rendered it
impossible to see the inscriptions beneath them. The
tablets from Nineveh were, like the great historical prisms
and cylinders from Kuyunjik, Kal’ah Sharkat and Babylon,
made of baked clay, but many of those that came from
Warka, Sankarah and other sites in Lower Babylonia had
only been sun-dried. Many of the latter also had patches
of a crystalline deposit adhering to them ; and when an
attempt was made to remove them, the tablet crumbled
in the hand, leaving the deposit intact. Sometimes the
patches of crystals came away from the tablets easily ; but
portions of the surfaces of the tablets came away with
them, and the inscriptions were mutilated. Many of the
unbaked tablets had broken as they were being taken from
the ground, and those that were removed in an entire state
often cracked and broke into fragments, or crumbled into
dust. None of the officials of the British Museum knew
what steps should be taken to remove the crystalline deposit
from the tablets, or how to prevent them from crumbling
into dust, and no expert assistance was to be had ; for no
cleaner or repairer of antiquities had any experience in
such work. Mr. Doubleday, the repairer employed by the
Trustees at that time, made various suggestions and was
allowed to treat some of the tablets, but the results were
disastrous. He attempted to bake the unbaked Babylonian
tablets, being convinced that he could make them as hard
as the baked tablets from Nineveh ; but the result of his
” firing the tablets ” was that the whole surface of both
sides of each tablet flaked off and fell into dust, and the
inscriptions were lost for ever. Then he made attempts
to consolidate the tablets by immersing them in specially
prepared preservative solutions; but these too were un-
successful; for the tablets disintegrated, and lay in little



heaps on the bottom of the vessel. At length Birch stopped
the experiments, and nothing further was done in the way
of cleaning the tablets for three or four years — in fact, not
until after the death of Mr. Doubleday.

Among the frequent visitors to the Departments of
Antiquities at this time was Albert Way (1805-1874), the
founder, in 1845, of the Archaeological Institute and editor
of the Promptorium Parvulorum for the Camden Society.
He was a great authority on mediaeval seals, and the study
of these brought him into contact with Mr. (later Sir)
Augustus Wollaston Franks (1 826-1 897). Hearing of the
difficulty about cleaning the tablets, he told Franks that
he was sure that a cleaner and repairer of antiquities
employed by him could do what was wanted, and asked
him to let him bring his protSgi to the Museum to look at
the tablets. This cleaner and repairer was Robert Cooper
Walpole Ready (1811-1903), and as he unaided solved all
the difficulties in connection with the cleaning and pre-
servation of the tablets, it will be well to put on record a
few facts about this remarkable man. Domestic finances
made it necessary for him to earn his living at an early age,
and for some years he took whatever work offered itself,
and at one time was custodian of the Public Baths at
Leeds. He was a keen observer of men and things, and
lost no opportunity of adding to his knowledge ; he was
always strongly attracted to the study of ancient things,
and he made the collecting of mediaeval seals the hobby of
his life. Wherever seals were to be seen, he went to see
them ; and when the owners or custodians discovered what
a mass of information he possessed about such things, they
frequently put him in the way of seeing collections in
private hands. It was he who made the fine collection of
casts of seals which Mrs. Way presented to the Society of
Antiquaries after her husband s death.



Ready married early in life, and set up in business as a
tobacconist in Norwich; but the work was distasteful to
him, for by this time the collecting of mediaeval seals had
become a passion, and he was never content unless he was
occupied in the pursuit of his hobby. The chronic ill-health
of his wife finally made him decide to leave Norwich, and
he sold his business and went to Cambridge, and offered
his services to the University Library and the College
Libraries in making casts of the fine seals attached to the
documents preserved in them. Both at Cambridge and
Oxford he found plenty of work of the kind so dear to him ;
and in 1857 he was recognized as the first authority on
mediaeval seals. About this time Doubleday died, and thus
the post of repairer to the British Museum became vacant.
Supported by Mr. Way and Mr. Franks, Ready offered his
services to the Trustees, but found that another com-
petitor, a Mr. Laing of Edinburgh, was already in the
field. After much consultation, the Trustees decided that
each competitor should have an opportunity of proving
his skill ; and repairing work was given to each to do.
When the results were examined, Birch, Vaux and Franks
agreed that Ready was the better craftsman, and in due
course he was appointed repairer to the Trustees ; but he
was not put on the ” Trustees’ Books,” and his services,
though considered permanent, earned no pension. He was
paid at a certain rate per hour; but though he worked
every hour the Museum was open, his total earnings made
a very meagre salary. During the winter months he lost
many hours’ work ; for no artificial light, except that given
by small padlocked lanterns, was allowed in the Museum.
To increase his salary, he did much private work, in the
course of which he invented new processes of cleaning and
treatment ; and his knowledge of practical chemistry stood
him in good stead. He refused to divulge his ” trade




W. S. W. Vaux, M.A.


Robert Cooper Walpole Ready (1811-1903).



secrets ” to officials ; and his methods were known to his
four sons only. He was a fine electrotypist, and the cases
°* electrotypes of coins and medals made by himself and
his son Charles, which the Trustees present to institutions
and Colleges from time to time, are good examples of his
skill in this branch of work. Another triumph of his is the
cleaned and reconstructed bronze plates of the Gates set
up by Shalmaneser at Balawat, now exhibited in the
Assyrian Basement in the British Museum. These plates
were much oxidized and were broken into hundreds of frag-
ments when they arrived from Assyria ; and the skill shown
by Ready and his sons Talbot and Augustus in the cleaning
and re-joining of them is beyond all praise.

Robert Ready entered the service of the Trustees in
1858 or 1859, and at once began to work on the tablets
and the smaller antiquities from Mesopotamia. He first
dealt with the ivory panels of boxes found by Layard at
Nimrud in a dreadfully mutilated condition, cleaned them
and treated them by one of his secret methods, and put
them practically in the condition in which they are to-day.
The bronzes yielded quickly to another of his treatments;
and in cases where the oxidization had not destroyed the
metal, he obtained good results. The shallow pottery
” magical ” bowls, i.e. bowls used for divining, from
Babylon, were difficult to deal with. Soon after they
arrived in England, they shot out from their surfaces long,
silky, white, hair-like filaments, and so destroyed the
inscriptions in Hebrew, Syriac and Mandaitic which
covered their insides. Attempts had been made to save
the bowls from destruction by covering them with varnish
and other substances; but they failed. Ready analysed
the filaments, found them to be composed of sodium, and
saw that the only way to stop the ” blooming ” of the bowls
was to extract the salt, which he did by keeping them in



secrets ” to officials ; and his methods were known to his
four sons only. He was a fine electrotypist, and the cases
of electrotypes of coins and medals made by himself and
his son Charles, which the Trustees present to institutions
and Colleges from time to time, are good examples of his
skill in this branch of work. Another triumph of his is the
cleaned and reconstructed bronze plates of the Gates set
up by Shalmaneser at Balawat, now exhibited in the
Assyrian Basement in the British Museum. These plates
were much oxidized and were broken into hundreds of frag-
ments when they arrived from Assyria ; and the skill shown
by Ready and his sons Talbot and Augustus in the cleaning
and re-joining of them is beyond all praise.

Robert Ready entered the service of the Trustees in
1858 or 1859, and at once began to work on the tablets
and the smaller antiquities from Mesopotamia. He first
dealt with the ivory panels of boxes found by Layard at
Nimrud in a dreadfully mutilated condition, cleaned them
and treated them by one of his secret methods, and put
them practically in the condition in which they are to-day.
The bronzes yielded quickly to another of his treatments;
and in cases where the oxidization had not destroyed the
metal, he obtained good results. The shallow pottery
” magical ” bowls, i.e. bowls used for divining, from
Babylon, were difficult to deal with. Soon after they
arrived in England, they shot out from their surfaces long,
silky, white, hair-like filaments, and so destroyed the
inscriptions in Hebrew, Syriac and Mandai’tic which
covered their insides. Attempts had been made to save
the bowls from destruction by covering them with varnish
and other substances ; but they failed. Ready analysed
the filaments, found them to be composed of sodium, and
saw that the only way to stop the ” blooming ” of the bowls
was to extract the salt, which he did by keeping them in



cool distilled water for several days at a time. Thereupon
the ” blooming ” ceased, and both the bowls and the
inscriptions on them were saved. Ready then took in
hand several fragments of the baked clay tablets from
Kuyunjik, which Norris had been trying to copy “; and by
some means, which he did not divulge, he brought them
back clean, with every character legible. He also cleaned
successfully many unbaked Babylonian tablets, and found
the way to remove from them the patches of hard crystalline
deposit without damaging the inscriptions.

Meanwhile other officers in the Museum discovered
Ready’s value in cleaning and repairing miscellaneous
antiquities, and by them more work was heaped upon him
than he could possibly do. His skill in putting together
pottery vases of all kinds was marvellous ; and many of the
British urns and other vessels are as firm to-day as when he
handed them back to the Departments to which they
belonged. On looking back and considering the large
number of tablets that he cleaned, it is clear that the debt
Assyriologists owe to this silent and unrecognized worker
on their behalf is very great. In the case of George Smith
this was especially the case, as one instance will show.
When he was examining the tablets of the Kuyunjik Col-
lection and searching for portions of tablets inscribed with
the story of the Deluge, he found that the large fragment
now numbered K. 3375 contained an important part of
the legend. One side of it was easily legible ; but the greater
part of the other was covered with a thick whitish lime-
like deposit, which resisted all his brushings and attempts
to remove it. It happened that Ready was absent from
the Museum on private business for several weeks, and there
was no one else to whom Birch would allow the tablet to
be given for cleaning. Smith was constitutionally a highly
nervous, sensitive man ; and his irritation at Ready’s absence



knew no bounds. He thought that the tablet ought to
supply a very important part of the legend ; and his
impatience to verify his theory produced in him an almost
incredible state of mental excitement, which grew greater
as the days passed. At length Ready returned, and the
tablet was given to him to clean. When he saw the large
size of the patch of deposit, he said that he would do his
best with it, but was not, apparently, very sanguine as to
results. A few days later, he took back the tablet, which
he had succeeded in bringing into the state in which it
now is, and gave it to Smith, who was then working with
Rawlinson in the room above the Secretary’s Office. Smith
took the tablet and began to read over the lines which
Ready had brought to light ; and when he saw that they
contained the portion of the legend he had hoped to find
there, he said, ” I am the first man to read that after more
than two thousand years of oblivion.” Setting the tablet
on the table, he jumped up and rushed about the room
in a great state of excitement, and, to the astonishment of
those present, began to undress himself !

Not the least of the services rendered to Assyriology
by Ready was his invention of the process by which he made
plaster impressions of the hard stone cylinders that the
Babylonians, Assyrians and other peoples used as seals.
On these are cut figures of gods, priests, and private persons,
mythological scenes, figures of sacred objects connected
with various cults, mythological animals, etc., but it is not
until we have good flat impressions to work from that
minute details of the work can be studied and the general
meaning of the designs made out. The early arch^ologists
had to be satisfied with impressions made in sealing-wax ;
but parts of them were always indistinct, and as the surfaces
were uneven and ” lumpy,” both the figures and the
inscriptions were distorted. Ready, however, devised a



means whereby he obtained perfectly flat impressions of
cylinder seals in plaster, in which all the figures, however
deeply cut on the cylinders, stand out in full relief, every
detail being faithfully shown. Ready passed on the secret
of his process to his son Augustus, who entered the service
of the Trustees in 1873 ; and most of the seal-impressions,
exhibited in the British Museum, side by side with the
cylinder-seals, were made by him.

Between i860 and 1880 few tablets were cleaned, except
those destined for publication in Rawlinson’s Cuneiform
Inscriptions of Western Asia, the fifth and last volume of
which work was published in 1884. In 1878 the Trustees
had succeeded in obtaining from the Porte through Layard
a faramdn, or authorization, to excavate in the pashaliks
of Wan, Mosul and Baghdad ; and Rassam had been sent
to carry out the work. As the result of his excavations,
and by purchases in the open market, the British Museum
acquired many thousands of tablets between 1879 and 1884 ;
and of these a very large number needed cleaning and
repairs. In 1884, owing to the removal of the Natural
History Collections to the new Museum at South Kensing-
ton, the Department of Oriental Antiquities, as it was then
called, was given five extra rooms in the Northern Gallery
and the supplementary gallery running parallel to them,
in which to exhibit and to store its antiquities. At the
east end of the supplementary gallery a room for the use
of students was arranged ; and for the first time it became
possible to make the various collections of tablets available
for examination and study. The immediate result of the
making of a room for students was a great increase in the
number of students who came to collate published texts
and to copy some that were unpublished. Up to about
1880 students had been accommodated with difficulty
in Birch’s room, now demolished and absorbed in the



Mausoleum Room, and from 1880 to 1884 space was pro-
vided for two or three students in a temporary room
formed by partitioning off the western end of the old
Etruscan Room.

The tablets most frequently asked for by students were
those that had been published in the four volumes of Raw-
linson’s ” Cuneiform Inscriptions ” (1 861-1874) ; and as
both Norris and Smith, who had prepared the copies for
this work, and had been the last to handle the tablets, were
dead, no one in the Department knew exactly where to
find them. A very large number of tablets were kept
in Smith’s room on the south-west staircase ; and thousands
of others were laid out in the drawers of the table-cases
in the Nimrud and Kuyunjik Galleries. Smith had
apparently examined the Kuyunjik Collection very care-
fully ; for many of them bore his private marks on the
edges of the tablets, and their contents were roughly
indicated by letters, thus : H = history ; R = religion ;
M = mythology; and so on. A considerable number of
Kuyunjik tablets had been registered, and on these the
letter K and a running number were painted; tablets
that had been copied by Bowler, the lithographer, bore his
mark 0. The state of the published tablets, so far as
cleaning was concerned, left little to be desired ; but such
was not the case with the remainder of the Collection.
Ready’s time was too fully occupied with work for the other
Departments to allow him to go on with the tablets regu-
larly and steadily ; and the same was the case with his sons
Talbot and Augustus, whom he had brought to the Museum
to help him. When, in 1886, Bezold began to prepare the
manuscript for his Catalogue of the Kuyunjik Collection,
which the Trustees had commissioned him to make, his
work was much delayed because many of the tablets which
he had to describe were illegible on account of the deposit



which filled up the characters. The difficulty of getting
the tablets cleaned was overcome a year or two later, when
the officials of the Department found a means of cleaning
them for themselves ; and from that time the work has been
carried out in a systematic manner, to the great advantage
of all students. Unbaked as well as baked tablets have
been treated with striking success.

Here a word or two may well be said about the way in
which the great collection of Babylonian and Assyrian
tablets, about one hundred and twenty thousand in number,
is preserved in the British Museum. Many hundreds
of them arrived at the Museum in fragments which it
seemed futile ever to hope to see re-joined. As soon as
Norris and Rawlinson began to examine them, they found
that it was possible, especially in the case of texts arranged
in columns, to re-join many fragments, which were at once
stuck together with shellac. Later they were able to re-join
many others, when they recognized the continuity of the
texts written upon them. Smith, during his search for
fragments of historical texts, was able to re-join many more ;
and the Assistants who succeeded him in the Department
have re-joined several hundreds. It soon became obvious
that it was unwise to keep the tablets loose in drawers,
because they knocked together when the drawers were
pulled out or pushed back, and bits of them were chipped
off by striking against each other. Therefore it was ordered
that every tablet and fragment in the Collection was to be
placed in a wool-lined box ; and little by little the whole
collection has been ” boxed.” To the inside of each box a
paper slip is attached; and on this the registration and
running numbers of the tablet in it are written ; and as the
cover is made of glass, these can be easily seen. When two
or more fragments are re-joined, a new box is provided.
The tablets are arranged according to the running numbers



on shelves in presses. The first systematic attempt to place
the tablets in boxes was made in 1883. Dr. Lyon came to
the Museum, and asked to be allowed to collate all the
tablets published in the fourth volume of Rawlinson’s
collection ; and permission was given him to do so. Birch
instructed me to find the tablets for Dr. Lyon, but this
was no simple matter ; for the greater number of them
were scattered about in various drawers of the cases in the
Nimrad and Kuyunjik Galleries. At length they were
found, and the tablets published on Plate I were placed
in a glass-topped box specially made for the purpose, those
published on Plate II in another box, and so on. The
boxing of all the collections of tablets in the Museum
followed as a matter of course.



The first man who felt the necessity of a catalogue of
the Kuyunjik Collection was Birch, Keeper of Oriental
Antiquities in the British Museum. When the Depart-
ment was formed in i860, all the Assyrian and Babylonian
Collections made by Layard, Rassam, Loftus and Taylor,
the Egyptian Collections, and the miscellaneous Oriental
antiquities were handed over to him ; and he at once set
about getting them into order. He registered carefully
all the Egyptian objects, and began to make a Catalogue of
them. He described each object on a slip of greyish-blue
paper, adding the date of its acquisition and any details
as to its provenance, or the name of the collector who
sold it to the Museum, or the sale at which it was acquired,
which would help in identifying it and assist him in its
custody. His work in writing the thousands of slips for
this Catalogue (which is now preserved in the Department
of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, and is a wonderful



monument of his capacity for work and tenacity of purpose)
was comparatively easy; for he could read hieroglyphic
and hieratic texts, and the transliterations and trans-
lations that follow his descriptions show that he under-
stood most of their contents. He even published, with the
assistance of Mr. (later Sir) Wollaston Franks, Catalogues
of the Phoenician and Himyaritic Inscriptions in the
British Museum. See the volumes Inscriptions in the
Phoenician Character, discovered on the site of Carthage during
researches made by Nathan Davis, 1856-1858, London,
1863, folio; and Inscriptions in the Himyaritic Character,
discovered chiefly in Southern Arabia, London, 1863, folio.
But in the matter of the Kuyunjik Collection he was
comparatively helpless ; for though he possessed a certain
facility in copying and editing the cuneiform inscriptions
on the bas-reliefs, bulls, and larger monuments, he had no
skill in reading tablets, and his official duties and private
studies left him no time in which to acquire it. When
Smith was made his Assistant, Birch urged him to group
the tablets according to the subjects of which they treated,
and to make at least numbered inventories of them. But from
1868 to the time when Smith left London in 1876 on his
third, and fatal, mission, he was far too much occupied in
copying texts for Rawlinson, and in searching for fragments
of texts of Ashurbanipal and Sennacherib and the missing
portions of the Deluge and Creation Tablets, to attend
to what he perhaps regarded as the unimportant matter
of the custody and safety of the Collections. The need of a
Catalogue of the tablets became an urgent matter when
students began to come to the Museum to examine and
collate the texts which Rawlinson had published in his
” Selection ” ; for when Rawlinson or Smith was absent
from the Museum, Birch could not identify the tablets
asked for. Birch was averse, and rightly, from putting



unmarked or unnumbered tablets into the hands of any-
stranger or student, whether foreign or English ; and he
trusted no one when acting in his official capacity. Time
after time he discussed the matter with Rawlinson, who was
only too anxious to have a catalogue made. But he had
no time to make even an inventory for his own use, still
less a catalogue ; he much regretted the fact, because either
would have enabled him to make his edition of the texts
more complete.

Year after year matters remained in this unsatisfactory
state ; and it was not until 188 1 that Birch moved his study
and several collections of miscellaneous antiquities from the
ground floor of the Museum to the upper floor, where,
owing to the departure of the Natural History Collections,
several rooms in the First Northern Gallery had been allotted
to him. At first students were accommodated in a section
of the present First Egyptian Room, which was separated
by a wooden screen from the portion of the room open to
the public. During the winter of 1 883-1 884, when the
Collections of Minerals had been transferred to South
Kensington, it became possible to devote a room to students,
whose demands for tablets increased in proportion as
facilities for study were afforded them. Then the question
of a catalogue of the Kuyunjik Collection again became
acute ; and Birch and Rawlinson began to consider seriously
what kind of a catalogue ought to be made, and what
form it should take. After some discussion and consultation
with Dr. Strassmaier, an Assyriologist who had been copying
tablets for years in Birch’s room, Rawlinson took the line
that, as at his advanced age (he was then seventy-five) he
was unable to work at the Museum regularly, the proposed
catalogue must be drawn up in accordance with the rules
that governed the production of the other official catalogues,
and must be written by some member of the staff under



Birch’s direction. He (i.e. Rawlinson) found that editing
the fifth volume of his ” Selection ” exhausted all the time
that he could manage to give to Assyriology ; and he could
undertake no further editorial work for the Museum.
Before any definite plan for the catalogue could be decided
upon, Birch fell into a state of bad health during the summer
of 1885, and died on December 26.

Meanwhile a young Bavarian Assyriologist, Dr. Carl
Bezold, had been introduced to Rawlinson by Dr. Rein-
hold Rost, Professor of Oriental Languages at St. Augus-
tine’s College, Canterbury. As Bezold had studied the
inscriptions of Darius I on the Rock of Bihistun, and had
published books upon them in 1881 and 1884, Rawlinson
welcomed him, and did all he could to further his interests
and studies in this country. He was a fellow-countryman
of Dr. Strassmaier ; and his Kurzgefasster Ueberblick iiber
die babylonisch-assyrische Liter atur, Leipzig, 1886, proved
that he had made a profound study of all the literature
dealing with the cuneiform inscriptions, and possessed a
very considerable knowledge of the actual cuneiform texts.
Rawlinson quickly perceived that if Bezold could be induced
to abandon his duties in Germany and take up his abode in
London, his services might be usefully employed in making
a catalogue of the Kuyunjik Collection. The two Assistants
in the Department of Oriental Antiquities had no time to
undertake the work ; for one was engaged in copying texts
for Rawlinson’s fifth volume and dealing with the custody
of the tablets, registration, etc., and the other was occupied
in working the Department and in attending to the
Egyptian and miscellaneous Semitic Collections. Rawlin-
son found the best way out of the difficulty under the
circumstances, and proposed to Mr. (later Sir) Edward
A. Bond, Principal Librarian of the British Museum, that
Bezold should be employed by the Trustees to catalogue



the Kuyunjik Collection. The new Keeper of the Depart-
ment, Mr. (later Sir) P. Le Page Renouf, was instructed
to submit a statement on the subject generally, together
with a specimen page of the proposed catalogue, and an
estimate. He did so, and proposed that the catalogue
should be uniform in size with the Catalogues of the Syriac
and Ethiopic manuscripts made by Professor W. Wright,
and that there should be two columns to the page. He
thought that the work would fill a volume of 400 pages,
and that the writing of the manuscript and the reading
of the proofs would occupy a period of two years. The
authorities sanctioned the proposal, and Bezold was in-
structed to begin work.

This, however, was not such an easy matter as it seemed,
for when the specimen page containing two columns was
set up, it was at once evident that a great deal of space
was wasted; and after many changes in the arrangement
of the cuneiform types, a smaller page, viz. one measuring
11 in. by 7J in., was adopted. The next difficulty was a
very serious one, and delayed progress considerably; i.e.,
without stopping the printing for several years, how
was it possible to classify the tablets according to their
contents ? To do this satisfactorily would require endless
labour, and the expenditure of much time ; and everyone
knew that the character of the inscriptions on many scores
of tablets in the Kuyunjik Collection was such as no serious
Assyriologist would venture to describe. Finally, it was
decided to catalogue the tablets, beginning with No. 1
of the K {i.e., Kuyunjik) Collection, and following on with
the others in their numerical order. The hope of seeing
the Catalogue printed in two years was not fulfilled ; for
soon after Bezold began to work, and during the great
rearrangement of the Department which began in 1888,
several cases were found full of the Kuyunjik tablets which




George Smith had set aside for further examination and
apparently had forgotten. The tablets were all unnum-
bered ; but there were marks on the convex edges of many
of them in black lead pencil, which indicated the general
character of the inscriptions. This discovery made it
necessary to revise the estimates as to the length of the
Catalogue, the time it would take to write, and the cost of
production ; but whatever the cost in time and money,
it was decided that full descriptions of the tablets should
be included in the Catalogue. The net result was that
the Catalogue, with the all- important indexes, filled five
volumes instead of one, and the compilation and printing
of it occupied twelve years instead of two.

The first volume describes 2,191 tablets, fills 451 pages,
including the index to the five volumes of Rawlinson’s
“Selection,” and appeared in 1889. The descriptions are
lengthy and somewhat verbose ; but the information con-
tained in them is exhaustive. To prevent the work from
becoming unwieldy, it was decided to condense the descrip-
tions in the succeeding volumes. The second volume describes
5,971 tablets, fills 480 pages, and appeared in 1891. The third
volume describes 6,068 tablets, fills 470 pages, and appeared
in 1894. The fourth volume describes 2,485 tablets of
the Smith Collection, 384 tablets of the Daily Telegraph
Collection, 1,636 tablets of the Rassam Collections, and
3,483 tablets of miscellaneous collections ; in all 7,988 tablets.
It fills 582 pages and appeared 11*1896. The fifth volume
contains an Introduction, a General Index, and three
Appendices, and fills 466 pages. The palaeography of the
Kuyunjik Collection is well illustrated by the twelve
collotype plates which are included in the volume. The
complete Catalogue thus contains descriptions of some
22,220 tablets and fragments, and fills about 2,500 pages.
The descriptions contain careful measurements of each



tablet and fragment, give the number of lines and columns,
the subject of the inscription upon it, and where possible
the name of the series to which it belongs. Parts of inscrip-
tions of special interest, the names of several gods, cities,
countries, names of people, etc., are given in cuneiform,
and hundreds of references to printed works in which the
texts, in whole or in part, have been published or described
or commented on. The Catalogue is most useful for the
purpose of official custody, and the number of fragments
that have been re-joined by means of it runs into hundreds ;
and its value to Assyriologists cannot be overrated. The
General Index, a marvellous piece of work, has enabled
Assyriologists all over the world to specialize in their
studies ; and without its help many of the works that
have appeared during the last twenty-five years could never
have been written. The grouping and classification of the
texts given in it are fine pieces of work ; and in 1899, when
this Index appeared, no one but Bezold could have made
them. There are, of course, mistakes in it, as there are in
Rawlinson’s texts ; but there must always be a percentage
of mistakes in any long and protracted work,- and the
wonder of the Index is that the mistakes are so few. For
twelve years Bezold lived solely for his Catalogue, to say
nothing of the years in which he was preparing for his
great work. His learning, energy, concentration and per-
sistence command our admiration, and merit the unstinted
thanks of all Assyriologists, who by means of it have gained
their knowledge of the contents of the greatest library of
pre-Christian times which has come down to us, viz. the
Kuyunjik Collection. The cost of producing the Catalogue
cannot have been less than £5,000, but it is sold at £4 %s.
per copy (a price that only covers the cost of printing, paper
and binding), so that it may be within the reach of every
student. The existence of the Catalogue shows that Raw-



linson and his fellow-Trustees counted no cost too great
where the consolidation of the foundations of the science
of Assyriology was concerned ; and the gratitude of every
student is due to them for their scientific foresight and

In 1 903-1 905, as already said, King and Thompson re-
opened the excavations at Kuyunjik, and succeeded in
recovering nearly 800 inscribed tablets and fragments, and
a few miscellaneous antiquities, which became the property
of the Trustees by arrangement with H. E. O, HamdI
PashA, Director of the Imperial Ottoman Museum in
Constantinople. When these were examined in England,
they were found to be of such importance that it was
decided to make and print a catalogue of them to form a
Supplement to Bezold’s Catalogue. But during the years
which had elapsed since the publication of Bezold’s volumes,
King, in the course of his official duties, had been working
through the dibris of the Kuyunjik tablets, which no one
had thought it worth while to examine. In doing this he
was able to identify many of the texts on the fragments,
and to re-join the fragments themselves to the fragments
that Bezold had catalogued. A further examination of
the debris showed that there were about 2,550 fragments
worth cataloguing ; and it was decided to include descrip-
tions of these in the proposed Supplement. The printing
of the work was sanctioned, and the Supplement was pub-
lished in 1914. It contains 3,349 entries, an Introduction,
a General Index, three special indices, and six collotype
plates; and it fills 323 pages. The plan of Bezold’s
Catalogue was followed substantially; but in explanatory
details King was able, in the light of increased knowledge,
to make many improvements. The Supplement is in
every way a worthy and fitting completion of Bezold’s



The last volume of Bezold’s Catalogue appeared in 1899;
and it may be said that every scholar who has published
Assyrian texts since the issue of the first volume in 1889
has consulted and freely used one or all of the five volumes
of the work, to the great advantage of his own book. To
those who devote themselves to making editions of special
classes of texts, Bezold’s Indices are indispensable. It
seems to me that the one great need of Assyriologists
throughout the world at the present time is catalogues of
the great collections of the Babylonian and Assyrian tablets
now preserved in Constantinople, Berlin, Paris, London,
Oxford, Philadelphia and other cities in America, as well as
of those in private hands. The tablets in ‘each collection
might be grouped or classified by the Assyriologist in charge
of it, who might begin by publishing a section dealing with
the historical and chronological tablets, and follow it up
with sections describing those treating of magic and religion,
astrology and astronomy, grammar and lexicography, and
so on. Until something of this kind is done, it will be
impossible for any student to know well the contents of
any collection except that to which he has immediate


The second part of the fifth volume of Rawlinson’s
Selection from the Miscellaneous Inscriptions of Western Asia
was published in 1884; and no publication of any other
great Corpus of cuneiform texts was undertaken by the
Trustees until 1896. During these twelve years, the
Museum acquired a large number of important collections
of Babylonian and Assyrian tablets of all kinds ; and the
great amount and variety of the material which thus became
available for study made the problem of publication difficult.



Owing to advancing years and his numerous duties, both
official and private, Rawlinson was unable to come to the
Museum as frequently as in days past; and he was un-
willing to suggest fresh undertakings without seeing and
examining the newly-acquired tablets. Moreover, the
staff of the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Anti-
quities (for such was the new name of the Department)
were fully occupied in carrying out the scheme of re-
arrangement which the Trustees had decided upon ; and
all their energies were employed in more or less routine
work, the object of which was to make the tablets more
easily accessible when required by students. The tablets
were removed from drawers and arranged upon numbered
shelves in upright presses ; and then the work of placing
each tablet in a glass-topped, labelled and numbered box
began. A good room, lighted by a large window in the
north wall, was set apart for the use of students who came
from the Continent and America and various parts of
England ; and the satisfying of their demands for tablets
kept many members of the clerical staff busily occupied.
Great alterations were also carried out in the Assyrian
Basement. A strong steel and glass-paved gallery, sup-
ported on cantilevers, was built on the level of the pave-
ment of the ground floor ; and the sculptures of the Lion
Hunt from Ashurbanipal’s palace at Nineveh were removed
from the walls of the inner room of the Basement, and
hung upon the walls above the new gallery. Never before
had these splendid specimens of the craft of the Assyrian
sculptor been seen to such advantage. The great slabs
of the stone pavement from Nineveh were taken from the
floor and hung upon the north wall; and the group of
bas-reliefs, illustrating the siege and capture of Lachish by
Sennacherib, were made to line the walls of the old Phoeni-
cian Room on the ground floor. Thus cleared, the Assyrian



Basement was suitable for a lecture-room, and this it has

Whilst these and other re- arrangements of equal magni-
tude were being carried out, it was impossible for Birch
or Renouf, each with his two Assistants, to plan new pub-
lications of cuneiform texts, or to get any work of urgency
done by their staff. Thus when Birch found that a large
number of the unbaked tablets from Abu Habbah were
crumbling into dust, and that valuable texts were in conse-
quence being lost to science, he was obliged to ask for
outside help. Fortunately this was available in the person
of M. G. Bertin, who was promptly employed by the
Trustees to copy the texts on the said tablets at a fixed
rate per tablet. Similarly, when a catalogue of the Kuyun-
jik Collection became an absolute necessity, Rawlinson
proposed that Bezold should be employed to do the work.
Another example of the same kind occurred in 1888.
Whilst on an official mission in that year, I had the good
fortune to acquire a considerable number of the now
famous Tall al-‘Amarnah Tablets, and to bring them
home safely. When they were purchased, the Trustees
ordered the publication of the texts in cuneiform types,
with a number of collotype plates to illustrate the palaeo-
graphy of this important group of documents ; and Rawlin-
son was asked to undertake the editing of them. The work
of copying these tablets was entrusted to a gentleman
who had been transferred to the Department from the
Department of Printed Books ; and he occupied himself
with the task in 1889 and a part of 1890. When Renouf
retired in Dec. 1890, the work, for various reasons, was
unfinished; and what was done of it was pronounced to
be unsatisfactory by two experts who were asked to examine
it and report upon it. The copying of the Tall al-
‘Amarnah tablets was undoubtedly a very difficult task and



could only be done by a man who had exceptional know-
ledge and experience. When Rawlinson was consulted, he
recommended that Bezold should be employed to make
an edition of the texts ; but he declined to act as general
editor because, as he said, with characteristic modesty, he
had no knowledge of the peculiar class of epistolary com-
positions inscribed on the Tall al-‘Amarnah tablets. But
he insisted that a geographical index, and a precis of each
letter should be given with the texts. That great palaeo-
grapher, Sir E. Maunde Thompson, also insisted that
collotype reproductions of a number of the tablets should
be included in the work, so that the scripts employed by
the scribes in various parts of Western Asia should be
easily accessible for comparison and study. Bezold was
detached for a time from his work on the Kuyunjik Collec-
tion ; and his edition of ” The Tell el-Amarna Tablets
in the British Museum ” was published in 1892.

Meanwhile the acquisition of tablets by the British Museum
continued on a large scale. As already said, I was able to
get possession of practically all the tablets that were found at
Der by the natives in 1889 and all those that were excavated
from three chambers at Der by myself in the winter of 1890-
1891. I brought back from Baghdad about 2,500 ; and the
remainder, some 15,000, arrived in batches during the next
four or five years. In saying that this collection was impor-
tant, I merely state a simple fact ; for it contained a very
large number of commercial documents dated in the reigns
of the kings of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon, about 2050-
1750, b.c. and letters, and miscellaneous inscriptions of
value chronologically and historically, to say nothing of the
fine group of early Babylonian seal-cylinders, the model of
a sheep’s liver used for divining purposes, and the list of the
names of the years by which contracts, etc., were dated.
It was obvious that this mass of new material ought to be


Ernest Wallis Budge, Kt., M.A., Litt.D.

Sometime Keeper of the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities
in the British Museum.



published without delay ; but where were the men who
could copy these thousands of inscriptions in the old com-
plex Babylonian character, and where was the money to
come from ? The news of the arrival of the tablets from
D£r soon reached the Continent; and German students
came to the Museum to see what was to be seen and to
copy the most important texts in the Collection. Among
these was the distinguished Assyriologist, Dr. Bruno
Meissner, who was permitted to examine the new material ;
and he thought the collection of such importance that he
asked to be allowed to publish it in its entirety. The sole
desire of the authorities in respect of it was to see the
tablets published and to know that copies of them were
in the hands of students ; and the whole collection was
placed at his disposal. He worked at them for a time,
and published copies of a small section of them ; but
when his book appeared, it was found that he had dealt
with less than one hundred tablets, and there was no hint
in it that further volumes were in preparation. So once
again the Department had to consider the question of the
publication of the tablets from D£r, and in fact the
publication of all the newly-acquired material.

Early in 1894 1 was promoted to be Keeper of the Depart-
ment of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, and it became
my duty to think out a scheme of publication of cuneiform
texts to be submitted for consideration to the Trustees
through the Director. Up to that time we had always
had the experience and knowledge and ready sympathy
of our great Master to fall back upon; but in 1 893-1 894
he was often attacked by gout, and spent long periods at
Eastbourne for the benefit of his health. I last saw him
in May 1894, and found that his interest in cuneiform
studies was as keen as ever ; but he seemed to be over-
whelmed with the rapidity of their development, and the



extent of the literature of Assyriology which had sprung
up in recent years. When I asked him what he suggested
should be done about publication, he said that he felt that
he could make no useful suggestion, and that even if he
could, he ought not to do so. He repeated a remark which
I have often heard him make, viz., ” I was only a pioneer,
and not a philologist ; and I don’t know how I ever
managed to decipher the cuneiform inscriptions. It was
only the information in them that excited people’s interest.”
By this he meant that it was not his exploits that interested
the world, but the actual historical information contained
in the inscriptions. He went on to say that he had been
obliged to find his own way out of his own difficulties, and
that we must do the same with ours ; he was quite sure
that we should do so. Having inspected the re-arrange-
ment of the sculptures on the ground floor, he went upstairs
and looked at the thousands of tablets which had been
arranged on trays for his examination, and was amazed
at the amount of new material which he saw. He expressed
the hope that he would live long enough to read what all
the tablets contained ; but he died early in the following
March (1895).

In the autumn of the same year the Trustees decided to
publish a series of copies of the ” more important texts of
the cuneiform inscriptions on Babylonian tablets and other
antiquities in the British Museum,” which were to be
issued from time to time with the view of making them
speedily available. It was thought well to abandon the
hige format employed in Rawlinson’s ” Selection” ; for the
plates of text in his volumes were too large for convenient
study, and the space required for a volume when open was
considerable. It had been found that when the lithographer
drew the inscriptions on the stones from the copies supplied
to him, he made many mistakes, and that some of these



escaped, quite naturally, the notice of the editor. To avoid
this, it was decided to transfer the copies of the texts to the
stones by means of photo-lithography, and so one fruitful
source of mistakes would be removed ; at the same time the
cost of reproducing the texts was lessened materially. It
was further decided to limit the number of plates in a set
of copies to fifty, and to issue them unbound in loose card-
board cases. The issue of the copies in this way would
enable the student to arrange the plates according to his own
convenience, which it was impossible to do in the case of
the sheets of Rawlinson’s bound volumes ; and the cost of
binding would be saved. Specimen plates were prepared
and approved on these lines ; and in the middle of October
1896 Part I of Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets,
etc., in the British Museum was published. The size of the
plates was, and still is, 1 3-5- inches by 8i inches ; and they can
be carried in a student’s ordinary portfolio undamaged.
Part I and nearly all the following Parts were published at
“]s. 6d. each, a price which only covered the cost of paper,
cardboard cases and lithography. The prices of the later
Parts had to be raised considerably because of the high cost
of paper, and printing, and materials generally in recent
years. But compared with the prices of the Assyriological
works published on the Continent, when the quality and
quantity of the material given in the Parts are considered,
the student will find them relatively cheap. We may note
in passing that the price of no publication issued by the
British Museum before the War has been raised.

The decision to reproduce the copies of the texts by
photo-lithography brought in its train a new and very im-
portant modification in the drawing of the cuneiform
characters. Bowler and his successor Jankowski drew all the
wedges in every character solidly in black ; but in the
Cuneiform Texts the wedges, except those in archaic inscrip-



tions, are in black outline. The well-shaped characters and
regular lines of text in Rawlinson’s ” Selection ” are due to
the skill of the lithographer ; but in the Cuneiform Texts we
owe them to the copyists. The characters in all the copies
of texts published in the latter work were drawn on a large
scale and afterwards reduced by photography, the reduction
adding greatly to the clear, neat appearance of the published
texts. The duty of the copyist is not to make a facsimile
of the tablet which he is copying and show every scratch
or abrasion of the surface of the clay, but to supply the
student with a copy of the text which he can read. It is
useless to smother with lines a character which the copyist
cannot read with certainty, and to think that the student
or a fellow-scholar will be helped by such evidence of the
copyist’s uncertainty. It is the duty of the copyist to decide
what each character is before he copies it, and to make his
copy as clear and as neat as possible. A glance at the
volumes, recently published in Germany, containing copies
of the tablets found at Kal’ah Sharkat, will show how little
the copyists have heeded these important facts. For clear-
ness and accuracy the texts published in Cuneiform Inscrip-
tions cannot be bettered; and it is good to see that
Assyriologists generally are following the methods employed
by the English editors of texts and improving their own

Up to the present time (1925) thirty-eight Parts of the
new Corpus of Cuneiform Texts have been published, i.e.
nineteen hundred plates of text, containing copies of about
two thousand three hundred inscriptions ; Part I was pub-
lished in 1896 and Part XXXVIII in 1925. Almost every
variety of cuneiform script is represented, and the inscrip-
tions cover a period of at least three thousand years, i.e.
from about 3200 b.c. to 200 B.C. The texts are taken from
gate-sockets, mace-heads, memorial and foundation tablets,



bricks, cones, statues, archaic stone vases, stone weights,
boundary stones, baked clay prisms and cylinders, and about
nineteen hundred tablets and fragments. They include
inscriptions in ” line ” or semi-pictorial characters which
preceded the use of characters formed of wedges, and inscrip-
tions in Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Cappadocian and
Hittite. In selecting the texts for publication, special care
was taken to include every inscription which threw light on
the history of the early Sumerian kings and the kings of the
first dynasty of Babylon. But the claims of the Kuyunjik
Collection were not forgotten, as the texts of the three
Classes of Syllabaries (Parts XI and XII), the Creation
Series (Part XIII), the Vocabularies (Parts XIV and XIX),
lists of gods (Part XXIV), and the religious, magical, and
medical texts (Parts XVI, XVII, XX, XXIII, XXV, XXVII,
XXVIII, XXX and XXXI) will show. A whole Part
(XXVI) is devoted to the magnificent prism of Sennacherib,
which tells us more than was ever known before of the walls,
gates, gardens, water-supply, etc., of the city of Nineveh.
From the texts in this Part we learn that Sennacherib intro-
duced cotton-growing into his country. On the texts pub-
lished by Rawlinson in his ” Selection,” and those published
in the new Corpus, Cuneiform Texts, and the three supple-
mentary volumes on the Cappadocian and Hittite tablets,
the great edifice of Assyriology is founded. They have sup-
plied the greater part of the material which modern
Assyriologists have had to work upon, and the early workers
had nothing else. It is greatly to be hoped that the Trustees
of the British Museum, who, with Rawlinson’s help, nurtured
and found the means to develop Assyriology, and brought it
to its present position among philological sciences, will be
enabled to continue their publications and excavations, and
so add to our knowledge of the dawn of civilization in Elam
and Babylonia, and increase the debt” that every student



of ancient Oriental History owes to their enlightened

The copies of the texts published in the Cuneiform Inscrip-
tions were made by T. G. Pinches, L. W. King, R. C.
Thompson, P. S. P. Handcock, A. W. A. Leeper, Sidney
Smith and C. J. Gadd, Assistants in the British Museum.
Mr. (later Dr.) Pinches, of whom mention has already been
made, was responsible for the copies of the difficult ” case-
tablets ” dated in the reigns of the kings of the First
Dynasty of Babylon, which are printed in Parts II, IV, VI
and VIII. He is an expert copyist, and though his cunei-
form writing is somewhat small, it is beautifully distinct and
clear ; his copies are models of neatness and correctness,
and may be studied and imitated with advantage by every
beginner in the art of copying texts.

The chief contributor to the Cuneiform Inscriptions was
the late Leonard W. King, M.A., Litt.D., who made the
copies for sixteen Parts (I, III, V, VII, IX, X, XIII, XV,
XXI, XXIV-VI, XXIX, XXXII-IV). He entered the
Museum in 1892, and devoted himself to the study of
cuneiform. He was extremely methodical in his work, and
made careful notes j and his progress in the study was rapid
as well as sure. He possessed a natural aptitude for copying
the most intricate and badly-written texts ; and his cunei-
form handwriting was a joy to behold. There was no
uncertainty about the characters he drew, and they were
formed by bold, clear strokes of his pen ; he never attempted
to write a character which he could not read. As a result,
his copies have a unique value. His first official publication
was Part I of Cuneiform Texts, which is filled with copies
of tablets of the late Sumerian period. He was especially
interested in the group of circular tablets of the time of
Bur-Sin, which are dated by events and not by regnal years.
This Part was of great importance to students, and has long


Theophilus Goldridge Pinches,


Leonard W. King, M.A.,


H. R. H. Hall, M.A., Litt.D., F.S.A. Sidney Smith, M.A.



been out of print. His copies published in the other Parts
show that he was a master of all the known forms of cunei-
form writing, and that he could read and transcribe them
accurately. His other official publications include A New
Collation of the versions of the great inscription of Darius I
on the Rock of Bihisttin (London, 1907), Babylonian Boundary-
stones (London, 191 2), Bronze Reliefs from the Gates of
Shalmaneser (London, 191 5), and Annals of the Kings of
Assyria (London, 1903). All these are characterized by-
thoroughness and accuracy of scholarship.

With such a large amount of work to his credit, many a man
would have been content to rest from his labours ; but not so
King ; for in his private time he copied and translated many
an important text which did not fall within the scope of the
publications issued by the British Museum. To help the
beginner, he published First Steps in Assyrian (London,
1908), and a more elementary work on the language, and one
on the Babylonian Religion in Kegan Paul’s Series ” Books on
Egypt and Chaldea.” In Luzac’s Series he published The
Letters and Inscriptions of Khammurabi, 3 vols. (London,
1898) ; The Seven Tablets of Creation, 2 vols. (London,
1902) ; Records of the Reign of Tukulti-Ninib I. (London,
1904) ; Chronicles concerning Early Babylonian Kings,
2 vols. (London, 1907), and an important volume on
Babylonian Magic (1895). In 1901 he was granted leave
of absence to visit Assyria ; and on his return the Trustees
sent him out to re-open the excavations at Kuyunjik. He
was joined later by his colleague, Mr. R. C. Thompson ; and
they carried out a great work there, and recovered about
800 tablets and fragments. The collation of the inscrip-
tions on the Rock of Bihistun which they made whilst on
this mission has already been referred to (p. 18). King
visited Wan, and copied many rock-inscriptions during this
journey, and also collated the famous inscription of



Sennacherib at Bavian. He filled his note-books with a
mass of information of a valuable character ; but unfortun-
ately much of it remains unpublished. I learned from his
conversation on his return that he had visited many sites
hitherto unknown to archaeologists ; and I was convinced
that he had tried his powers of physical endurance to the
utmost by his continuous travelling. Soon afterwards
he fell ill, and matters went hard with him ; but Sir
James Cantlie eventually diagnosed the tropical disease, and
succeeded in saving his life, to everyone’s intense relief.

In 1907 I suggested to him that the time had come for
him to write a History of Babylonia and Assyria ; for no
other man at that time possessed in the same degree the
necessary knowledge and the general qualifications for writing
such a work. I introduced him to Mr. Chatto (of Chatto
and Windus) and Mr. P. Lee Warner, 1 whose death in
Jan. 1925 will be deplored by every author who knew him ;
and after a lunch at the firm’s house in St. Martin’s Lane,
King undertook to write a History of Sumer, Akkad {Baby-
lonia) and Assyria in three volumes. The first two volumes
of the work appeared in 1910 and 1915 respectively ; but the
third King did not live to write. It is satisfactory to know
that the volume on Assyria is being written by Mr. Sidney
Smith, his successor in the Department of Egyptian and

1 He was born in 1877, and educated at Rugby and University College,
Oxford. He became a partner in the firm of Chatto and Windus in 1905,
he was incorporated in the Medici Society, Ltd., in 1908, and was its
Managing Director and Publisher from 1908-1921, when he resigned. He
became Managing Director of Martin Hopkinson & Co., Ltd., 1923. The
great and important work which he did in producing beautiful books was
admirably described in his obituary notice in The limes, and it is impossible
to overrate it. In spite of chronic ill health he managed always to do the
work of three men. As a man of business authors found him not only just,
but generous, and his kindliness and sympathy made him their friend as
well as publisher. None who knew him will ever forget his tall, slightly-
stooping figure, the winning smile, the eager, vivid personality, and, above
all, the kindliest heart that ever beat in human bosom.



Assyrian Antiquities, and that we may look for its appear-
ance in 1926. In the two volumes on the history
of the Sumerian and Semitic peoples of early Babylonia
King marshals his facts and evidence in a masterly fashion,
and shows everywhere that his sound deductions are based
either on first-hand evidence, or on information supplied
by others which he had tested and found to be correct.
His volumes are mines of facts in which many have
dug with no small advantage to themselves and their

Soon after the War broke out in August 191 4, he and a
very large number of the Museum staff were drafted into
other Departments of the Government to do special work.
He threw himself heart and soul into his new duties, and in
fact overworked. In 1916 he gave the Schweich Lectures,
choosing as his subject The Legends of Egypt and Babylonia
in relation to Hebrew Tradition ; they were published at
Oxford in 1918. In 1916 the Oxford University Press
decided to publish the grammar and exercises on the
Spoken Arabic of Mesopotamia, which the Rev. John Van
Ess, M.A., of the American Mission, Basrah, had compiled
for the Administration of the Territories. The book was
urgently needed for the use of the British Officers in Meso-
potamia ; and to avoid the delay that would necessarily
occur if the proofs were sent to Basrah, King was asked to
see it through the press. He undertook the difficult task
willingly, but the need for the book was so pressing that he
had to work at reading the proofs in Arabic and English
day and night ; and this unfamiliar labour told upon him.
The changes made after the printing had begun caused him
an immense amount of trouble and worry; and, as before,
he overworked. In 191 8 the Trustees decided to send King
out to Mesopotamia to finish the excavations at Eridu and
Ur, which Mr. R. C. Thompson had begun in the previous



year ; and with the view of rendering him immune from
attacks of the diseases of the country, he was inoculated
against typhoid, etc. Unfortunately collapse followed the
inoculations, and after some months’ illness, King died
(August, 1919), to the intense regret of a large number of
his friends and admirers. By his death Assyriology suffered
an irreparable loss. Want of space makes any adequate
discussion of his services to science impossible here ; but it
is an obvious truth that he published more Sumerian,
Babylonian and Assyrian texts than all the other Assyriol-
ogists in the world. And the quality of his work was as
good as its quantity was great. He was easily the best and
most accurate copyist of his generation ; and when foreign
scholars appealed to him for his opinion about the reading
of a sign, his decision was accepted as that of the final
authority. His work was eminently sound and sane, and
his strong common sense, which was based on real knowledge,
kept him from indulging in fantastic and misleading theories
such as those of Delitzsch in his Babel und Bibel, and those
of Winckler in his writings on the imaginary country of
Musri. He possessed the gift of making friends ; by nature
he was kindly and generous, and his disposition was bright
and cheerful.

The third contributor to the Cuneiform Texts was Mr. R.
Campbell Thompson, M.A., F.S.A., who copied the texts
for 10 Parts (XI, XII, XIV, XVI-XX, XXII and XXIII).
In two of the Parts he gathered together texts of syllabaries
of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Classes ; and by their means he was
able to reconstruct the syllabaries of the 1st and 2nd
Classes. In three other Parts he collected vocabularies and
bilingual Lists ; and in the remaining five he published a
great quantity of material dealing with medicine and magic,
portents and incantations. Most of these texts belonged
to the Kuyunjik Collection. He gathered together for the



C. J. Gadd, M.A.


J. A. Knudtzon.


R. Campbell Thompson, M.A., F.S.A. M. Alfred Boissier.



first time a considerable number of the ” devil texts,” and
their great importance is proved by the frequent reference
which Meissner, the latest writer on Babylonian magic and
divination, makes to them in his Babylonien und Assyrien,
Bd. II, p. 198 ff. In Part XVI Thompson did good service
in publishing in full the text of the tablet which, according
to some of the older Assyriologists, contains a description of
the Garden of Eden and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good
and Evil. It need hardly be said that the text deals with
quite different things. Following on his official work on the
magical texts, he published in Luzac’s Series three volumes,
entitled Semitic Magic (London, 1908), The Devils and Evil
Spirits of Babylonia (London, 1903-1904), and Reports of the
Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon (London,
1900). He was sent to assist in the work of excavating
Nineveh in 190 3-1 904, and was in sole charge of operations
there for nearly a year. He went to Bihistun with King,
and assisted him in collating the texts and in taking photo-
graphs of the sunk panel containing sculptured figures of
Darius I and the leaders of the rebellions against him.
Later, Thompson was a member of the mission sent by the
Trustees to excavate Carchemish; and he published an
account of his wanderings in the Land of the Hittites between
Angora and Eregli (Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1910-1911). As a
result of his studies in Hittitology, he proposed a system of
decipherment of the pictorial Hittite inscriptions (see
Archaologia, London, 191 3). But it is hardly probable that
the actual decipherment of these inscriptions will be made
until the indispensable bilingual inscription in Hittite and
some known language has been discovered. For many years
past Thompson has devoted much time to the study of the
Assyrian and Babylonian medical texts, for the reading and
translation of which he has a special aptitude. He saw from
the first that it would be useless to discuss the medical



knowledge of the Assyrians until all the texts dealing with
the subject were published ; and he set to work to make a
Corpus of Medical Texts. He was actively engaged in this
work so far back as 1913-1914; but his military service in
Basrah and Baghdad during the War interrupted his studies,
and he was not able to continue his researches until the
Kuyunjik Collection in the British Museum became once
more available for students.

It was well known to Assyriologists in 1914 that Thomp-
son was preparing his Corpus of Medical Texts of Kuyunjik
tablets ; yet Ebeling, apparently lacking a full appre-
ciation of the demands of modern science in this con-
nection, began a piecemeal publication of a portion of
these fragmentary texts, by bringing out in 1921 thirty-
five, and following it by a republication of these with about
sixty more in his Keilschrift-texte Mediziniscben Inhalts, I.
In 1924 he published sixty-two more (in Heft II of his
book). Such fragmentary work, published piecemeal, can
hardly be said to satisfy the student ; and in any case it
was bound to be swamped and rendered antiquated by
Thompson’s publication of six hundred and sixty tablets
and fragments in the spring of the same year (1924). This
edition was the result of a study begun nearly twenty years
before, which included persistent collation and handling
of the tablets ; and it is gradually being followed by his
translations, which have the advantage of the rich field
for research which so large a number of texts necessarily
provided, especially in the difficult subject of drug-names.
It is only by the publication of so large a number of frag-
ments that that great problem — ” joins ” — can be solved
with satisfaction, especially in a class of texts which has
suffered so much from the ravages of time. And, as a
proof of this, it may be added that since the printing off
of this Corpus of Medical Texts Thompson has made more



than seventy ” joins ” from among them, a result impos-
sible from a superficial publication.

Thompson has since issued facsimiles and letter-press in
which he deals with the identification of medicines, both
vegetable and mineral ; and for the first time the student
of Assyrian medicine has before him accurate copies of all
the medical tablets in the British Museum hitherto identi-
fied. Many of the conclusions arrived at by Felix von
Oefele, Kuechler, Dennefeld and others will need
revision in the light of the evidence of the new material
given by Thompson in his standard edition of Assyrian
Medical Texts. When he has finished with his scientific
expositions, we hope that he will write a general work on
Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine, in which he will discuss
its relationship to the systems of medicine in use among
the Greeks, Syrians, Arabs, and perhaps the ancient
Egyptians. Thompson has travelled in many countries —
Assyria, Babylon, Western Persia, Asia Minor, the Sudan,
Egypt, Tripoli — and a bright and interesting account of
his wanderings will be found in his book A Pilgrim’s Scrip
(London, no date). This work contains many illustrations
made from his own photographs, and, what is very rare in
records of travel, a really useful index.

During the short period of his service in the British
Museum Mr. P. S. P. Handcock, M.A., Barrister-at-Law,
made copies of the inscriptions which are published in
Parts XXVII, XXVIII, XXX and XXXI of Cuneiform Texts.
The greater number of these dealt with auguries, portents,
omens, and other branches of magical literature ; and as
most of them were published for the first time, they were
found to be of considerable interest and importance. With
the view of popularizing Assyriology, Handcock compiled
a work entitled Mesopotamian Archaology (London, 191 2)
which was read eagerly in Mesopotamia during the War,



and Latest Light on Bible Lands (London, 191 3). He is
also joint author of Trade Associations, a practical work for
lawyers and commercial men.

When the War broke out, Mr. A. W. A. Leeper, C.B.E.,
was engaged in copying and preparing material for Part
XXXV of Cuneiform Texts ; but he was drafted off for
service in another Government Department, and the Part
was finished by Mr. C. J. Gadd. Leeper is a man possessing
great linguistic and philological abilities ; but he has found
a new career in the Diplomatic Service, and all must
lament that his services, at least officially, are lost to

In Part XXXVII of Cuneiform Texts, edited by Mr. Sidney
Smith, we have copies of texts of an historical character,
taken from large clay foundation-cones, and a mass of
material which formed part of the great magical treatise
that was used by witch-doctors in Babylonia. The decisions
arrived at by the witch-doctor as to the probable recovery
of sick persons were, it is clear, based upon careful diag-
noses ; and we shall probably find that the same system
of doctoring survived in Mesopotamia until the Middle
Ages. To Sidney Smith we owe two volumes of Cuneiform
Texts from Cappadocian Tablets in the British Museum
(London, 1921-1925). The existence of this class of tablet
was known from the articles of Amiaud, Chantre, Pinches,
Sayce, Thureau-Dangin, and Contenau; but in these
volumes we have complete copies of about 190 Cappa-
docian texts, with a sign-list, a plate of facsimiles, and a
learned introduction by Smith. These open up a new
page of history ; for they prove that a settlement of Semitic
traders flourished in the region of Csesarea about 2400 B.C.,
a fact unsuspected until comparatively recently. Lin-
guistically and historically they are of the highest import-
ance; and Assyriologists will hope that the remainder of



the collection will be published at no distant date. Mean-
while we have a right to expect from him a little book
written on the lines of his Introduction to the first Part
of his edition of the Cappadoeian tablets, in which he will
describe the trade methods and trade routes of the Semites
at Csesarea and the other great towns in the neighbour-
hood, in the third millennium B.C. The appearance of
Roster’s Schiffahrt und Handdsverkehr in 1924 makes such
a work absolutely necessary.

Among the unofficial publications of Smith must be men-
tioned the First Campaign of Sennacherib (London, 1921) and
Babylonian Historical Texts (London, 1924). The former
supplies much new information as to the course of events
that followed this king’s accession, and gives us a text in
which the military tactics of the Assyrian king in his Baby-
lonian War (703-702 b.c.) are described. The Assyrian
text, which is published for the first time, is of great value
both historically and geographically; and the translation
and comments are admirable. From the Babylonian
Chronicles given in the latter work, Smith shows that
the Assyrian Army which, according to the Book of Kings,
was smitten by the ” Angel of the Lord,” was that of
Esarhaddon and not that of Sennacherib, as has been
commonly supposed. Smith entered the service of the
Trustees in 1914. He was immediately drafted into the
Army, and was not demobilized until 1919. He was
appointed Assyriologist to the Joint Mission sent by the
British Museum and the Museum of the University of
Pennsylvania to excavate Ur in 1 922-1 923 ; and he has
travelled extensively in Mesopotamia. Smith and Gadd
are the heirs of Rawlinson in the British Museum, and
their skill as accurate copyists and their profound knowledge
of the ancient Mesopotamian languages and history should
make future Parts of Cuneiform Texts peculiarly valuable.



Owing to the War and the death of King, the issue of
Parts of Cuneiform Texts was suspended for a few years;
but the Series was continued with the publication of a
series of Sumerian Hymns (Part XXXVI), copied by C. J.
Gadd, who joined the staff of the Department of Egyptian
and Assyrian Antiquities in 1919. For several years past
Gadd has made a careful study of Sumerian, i.e. the
language of the non-Semitic inhabitants of Babylonia;
and in 1924 he published his Sumerian Reading Book,
which included a short Grammar, to which reference has
already been made. In this work he has stated clearly
the fundamental facts of the language ; and for the first
time the diligent student who possesses some knowledge of
cuneiform can hope to gain a trustworthy knowledge of
the contents of Sumerian texts. The vagueness, uncer-
tainty and theorizing that characterize other works on
Sumerian are wanting in this book, which supplies the
acute need that has been felt by Assyriologists for many
years. In Part XXXVIII of Cuneiform Texts Gadd gives us
a mass of new material dealing chiefly with Omens. To
Gadd we also owe the valuable contribution to early
Babylonian Chronology published by him in his Early
Dynasties of Sumer and Akkad (London, 1921). In this
work he has collected all the evidence that can be derived
from written records which, as he says, are ” almost as old
as the events which they commemorate ” ; and he gives
us, for the first time, an ” entirely connected scheme of
chronology ” of the early period of history in Babylonia.
An important point in the history of Assyria also has been
fixed by him, namely, the date of the fall of Nineveh,
which, as he has adduced evidence to show, took place in
606 B.C., and not in 612 B.C., as was hitherto supposed
(see Fall of Nineveh, London, 1923). Gadd was appointed
Assyriologist to the Joint Mission sent by the British



Museum and the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania
to excavate Ur and Tall al-‘Ubed in 1 923-1 924; and he
visited many of the principal sites where the English,
French, Germans and Americans have made excavations.



First and foremost among unofficial English Assyriolo-
gists must be mentioned the Rev. Archibald Henry
Sayce, D.D., Professor of Assyriology in the University of
Oxford from 1891 to 1919, Member of the Old Testament
Revision Company, Hibbert Lecturer, Gifford Lecturer,
Rhind Lecturer, etc. He was born in 1846, and at the
age of thirty was elected Deputy Professor of Comparative
Philology at Oxford, a post which he held until 1890.
In the ‘sixties we find him studying carefully the texts in
the first two volumes of Rawlinson’s ” Selection ” ; and in
1872 he published his ” Assyrian Grammar for Comparative
Purposes,” a work which drew the careful attention of the
older Semitic scholars to the ” new ” language. His
paper on the ” Origin of Semitic Civilisation ” appeared
in the same year (Trans. Soc. Bill. Arch., Vol. I. pp. 294-309).
In 1873 he translated parts of the Synchronous History of
Assyria and Babylonia (ibid., Vol. II. pp. 1 19-145); and
in 1874 he published a long and important paper on the
Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians, with transcripts
of the cuneiform texts and translations (ibid., Vol. III.
pp. 145—339)- About this time the interest of the general
public in Assyriology was very great ; and the demand for
elementary handbooks on the subject was insistent. In
1875 Sayce published a most useful Elementary Assyrian
Grammar (London), in which cuneiform types, specially
imported from Germany, were used. In the three follow-
ing years he published a series of Lectures on the Assyrian



Language and Syllabary (London, 1877), a work on Baby-
lonian Literature (London, 1877), and began to contribute
translations of long Assyrian texts to the First Series of
the Records of the Past, the publication of which had been
recently founded by Birch. All these works were most
instructive and stimulating ; and at that time there was
no other man in England who could have written them.
No one who ever heard Sayce lecture to the students of
the Archaic Classes can forget his lucid exposition, and the
clear and forceful language in which he clothed his learning.
Perhaps the best example of his literary style is found in
his Hibbert Lectures (London, 1887), a work that also
gives a good idea of the range of his knowledge of the
cuneiform inscriptions and of his skill in finding out the
meaning of difficult texts. For want of time and oppor-
tunity, Sayce never became an editor of texts and masses
of new material, like Norris and George Smith and his
successors in the British Museum ; but he possesses the
sagacity of the real decipherer, as his decipherment of the
Wan Inscriptions (1882), and the Old Susian texts of
Mai-Amir (1885) testifies.

His work on the inscriptions at Wan made it neces-
sary for him to examine a cuneiform inscription which
Dr. A. D. Mordtmann described in the Zeitschrift
of the German Oriental Society (Bd. XXVI. 1872).
This ran round the rim of a silver circular boss; and
within it was a series of hieroglyphic characters, which
Sayce believed to be the equivalents of the cuneiform
inscription. In other words, he thought that he had
found a bilingual cuneiform and Hittite inscription, by
means of which the Hittite inscription might be deciphered.
His article on the boss of Tarkond6mos and its inscriptions
will be found in Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch., Vol. VII. p. 294 ff.
From the time of writing this article (1880) Sayce has



devoted most of his energy to the study of the Hittite
inscriptions, both those in hieroglyphs and those in cunei-
form; and the mere names of the articles he has written
on the subject would fill several pages. As to the correct-
ness of his system of decipherment I am not qualified to
speak. For information as to it and to the systems pro-
posed by Conder, Ball, Menant, Peiser, Jensen, R. C.
Thompson and Cowley see G. Contenau’s excellent
EUments de Bibliographic Hittite, Paris, 1922. For two
score years or more Sayce has been in the habit of spending
several months of the winter season in the East, where he
has watched the excavations, copied inscriptions in many
languages, and conversed freely with all the leading Oriental
archseologists of the last two or three generations. His
wide learning and alert and keen intelligence have enabled
him to see at a glance the bearings, both philological and
historical, of the results they have achieved, and very often
to make deductions which have an abiding value. Many
of these are set forth with his usual skill in such books as
The Races of the Old Testament (London, 1891), the Higher
Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments (London, 1894),
Patriarchal Palestine (London, 1895), The Egypt of the
Hebrews and Herodotus (London, 1895), Israel and the
Surrounding Nations (London, 1898), Egyptian and Baby-
lonian Religion (London, 1903), etc.

In collecting his information he has spared neither
time nor money; and he has endured hardship in
his quest of knowledge. One year we find him standing
up to his waist in water in the conduit between the
upper and lower pools, copying the Siloam inscription,
and the next he is seen scrambling up rocks in a waterless
desert to copy graffiti. The natives loved the ” mad
priest,” as they called him; and he was known to
many of them as ” father of the flat turban,” ” father



of spectacles,” and ” lord of the split tail,” the allusions
being to his clerical hat and coat. Later we find him
in the islands of the Pacific (where he was desperately
ill), studying Polynesian civilizations, the cults of Java,
the Dyaks of Borneo, and the primitive religions of Guinea.
Later still we hear of him in Tokyo discussing with the
priests and Mrs. Gordon, the well-known authority on
Buddhism, Christological Buddhism, and the introduction
of Christianity into China by the Nestorians in the early
centuries of our Era ; and everywhere men wondered at
the wideness of his knowledge, his tolerance, and his kind-
ness and sympathy. The work which he did for Assyri-
ology in the first twenty years of his literary life was of great
value ; and at that time there was no man who could
write the books he wrote. But though specialists may
regret that he did not devote the rest of his life to the
cuneiform inscriptions, and may even revile him because
he did not do so, there is no doubt whatever that he has
done a great and good work on behalf of Oriental Archae-
ology among thinking people throughout the world. He
has made its dry bones live, and has opened the eyes of
the multitude to the importance of Egyptology, Assyriology,
and Hittitology for the right understanding of the Bible.
And he is a fearless seeker after truth, wherever it may
lead him. He has at times been sharply criticized, and
one scholar went so far as to ask the Deity, ” quousque
tandem, Domine ? ” i. e. how long he must endure Sayce
and his books ; but it may be safely said that for every one
who read that critic’s works, a thousand read Sayce’s, and
that the name of Sayce will be gratefully remembered
when that of the critic is forgotten.

The Rev. C. J. Ball, M.A., was a great Hebrew scholar,
and in respect of the Hebrew text of the Bible he was
probably the first authority in England. He began to



George Smith.


Rev. A. H. Sayce, D.D.


Rev. C. H. W. Johns, M.A., D.D.



study Assyrian in connection with Hebrew, and was a
contributor to the Speaker’s Commentary ; being unable
to copy tablets in a way satisfactory to himself, he worked
entirely from published texts. He was convinced that
the early Sumerian signs were identical in sound and
meaning with the old seal-characters of the Chinese, and
wrote many papers {Trans, gth Or. Congress, Vol. II.
pp. 677-728; Proc. Soc. Bill. Arch., 1891, 1893 and 1898),
and a small book {Chinese and Sumerian, London 191 3)
to prove his theory. He accepted the views of A. E. J. B.
Terrien de Lacouperie (see Bab. and Oriental Record, 1886),
and professed to be able to read Sumerian inscriptions
from his knowledge of very ancient Chinese characters.
But when he tried to read a tablet written wholly in
Sumerian, the result was disappointing to himself and to
others. He published the texts of several of the inscriptions
of Nebuchadnezzar II in the Proceedings of the Society of
Biblical Archssology(l888-i 889), and a popular work entitled
Light from the East, or the Witness of the Monuments (London,
1899), which was intended to be an introduction to the
study of Biblical Archaeology.

The Rev. Claude Hermann Walter Johns, Litt.D.
(1857-1920), owed his earliest interest in Assyriology to
the perusal of the articles which George Smith wrote for
the Daily Telegraph in 1873, while excavating at Kuyunjik
on behalf of the enlightened proprietors of that news-
paper. Johns was placed in the First Class in the Mathe-
matical Tripos in 1880, and then went to Tasmania, where
he took a mastership in Horton College and remained for
about four years. He was ordained in 1887 and became
Rector of St. Botolph’s, Cambridge, in 1892. About this
time he remembered his early interest in Assyriology, and
began to work at the subject in good earnest ; in 1898 he
was appointed Lecturer in Assyriology at Queens’ College,



Cambridge. In 1909 he was elected Master of St. Cather-
ine’s College, Cambridge. In the early ‘nineties he formed
a close friendship with S. Arthur Strong, of St. John’s
College, Cambridge, who was himself a student of the
cuneiform inscriptions ; and stimulated by his sympathy,
Johns determined to do some original work, and to publish
the texts of the commercial tablets of the last Assyrian
and Babylonian Empires. When he had collected a large
mass of material, and copied and collated the texts and
annotated them, the question of publication came up ;
and here Strong rendered Johns very material assistance.
He brought the matter before the Duke of Devonshire;
and, having had explained to him the importance for
science of this fine piece of original work, the Duke under-
took to defray the cost of publication. Johns called his
great Corpus of contracts, etc., Assyrian Deeds and Docu-
ments ; and these volumes appeared in 1 898-1 901, and
the fourth volume, edited by his widow, in 1923. x The
number of texts published in these volumes, together with
philological discussions, is about 1150. His Assyrian
Doomsday Book (Leipzig, 1901) may be regarded as a supple-
ment of the Corpus. He translated the Code of Kham-
murabi {The Oldest Code of Laws in the World, Edinburgh,
1903) ; and in the Schweich Lectures for 191 2 he gave
an interesting account of the Relations between the Laws of
the Babylonian and the Laws of the Hebrew Peoples (Oxford,
1 91 4). He edited a volume of cuneiform texts from the
Pierpont Morgan Collection (1908), published several
papers on important inscriptions in the Transactions of
learned Societies, and contributed many articles to the
Encyclopaedia Biblica, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Hastings’
Dictionary of the Bible, etc. Two small but most useful

1 In Vol. IV a list of his works, papers, reviews, etc., and a biography of
Johns by Mr. R. C. Thompson are given.



works by him were the little volumes Ancient Assyria and
Ancient Babylonia, published by the Cambridge University
Press in 191 2 and 191 3 respectively. In these he incor-
porated much information which he had collected from
unpublished texts during the course of his studies. After
he became Master of St. Catherine’s College he ceased to
publish texts ; for he was obliged to devote much of his
time and energies to his new duties. For various reasons
a blight had settled upon the College, and for many years
its influence in the University declined ; but under the
Mastership of Johns a new era of prosperity began for it.
He swept away childish regulations, and by his tact made
the Fellows his willing colleagues ; as a man who had lived
among men and knew the realities of life, his good nature
and humanness won the esteem and even affection of the
undergraduates. He was no ” cloistered don ” or ” arro-
gant scholar ” ; and it is possible that the good work which
he did in resuscitating St. Catherine’s will prove of more
value to the world generally than all his valuable contri-
butions to Assyriology.

His friend S. Arthur Strong (1863-1904) was both an
Oriental scholar and an artist. He studied Pali, Arabic
and Assyrian with the view of obtaining an Assistantship
in the British Museum. He published a Hymn of Nebu-
chadnezzar II ; Alliterative Texts in Babylonian and
Assyrian ; Oracles of Esar-haddon ; A Letter of Ashur-
banipal, and some Miscellaneous Texts, in the Journal
of the Royal Asiatic Society (1891, pp. 145-160, 1892,
pp. 337-368; Eebraica, 1892, pp. 1-3; Beitrdge zur Ass.
(Leipzig, 1894), pp. 627-645; Bab. and Or. Record, 1892,
pp. 1-9; and Proceedings of the Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1895,
pp. 131-151). He was Librarian and Surveyor of Pictures
to the Dukes of Devonshire and Portland, and later Librarian
to the House of Lords ; and he published a Catalogue



of the pictures in the Collection of the late Lady-

Stephen Herbert Langdon, Professor of Assyriology in
the University of Oxford, was born at Monroe, Michigan,
in May, 1876. He studied Hebrew under F. Brown, in
Michigan (1 899-1 903) ; Assyrian under Craig and Prince ;
Arabic, Syriac, Phoenician and Ethiopic under Gottheil;
Sumerian and Babylonian under Scheil, Fossey and Thureau-
Dangin for three years in Paris; Arabic and Himyaritic
under Derenbourg ; Syriac under Zimmern in Leipzig ; and
Arabic under Fischer (1906-1907). In 1908 he was
appointed Shillito Reader in Assyriology in Oxford. He
became a British subject in 191 3, and during the War
served for three months ” as a regular ” in the 22nd London
Regiment, and for a year held the post of Curator of the
Babylonian Section of the Philadelphia Museum. He has
published a large number of texts, e.g. Annals of Asbur-
banifal (1904), Building Inscriptions (1906), Inscriptions
from Drehem (1911), Konigsinschriften (1912), Babylonian
Liturgies (1913), Historical and Religious Texts (1914),
the Oxford edition of Sumerian Historical and Religious
Texts in the Weld-Blundell Collection (Oxford, 1924). He
has written several general works on the history and languages
of Mesopotamia, e.g., Babylonian and Palestine (1906),
Tammuz and Isbtar (1914), History of Sumer and Accad
(1922), the Epic of Creation (containing translations of
the Seven Tablets of Creation, Oxford, 1923), etc. He
has contributed many articles to the Journals and
Transactions of several learned Societies ; much of his
best work is buried in such publications. He is an
indefatigable worker, and has done a vast amount of
pioneer work of a most valuable character. He has
specialized in Sumerian, and was the first to publish a
really useful Grammar of that difficult language. One



must wish that he would revise and enlarge that Grammar,
and publish a Sumerian Glossary, or, if possible, a Dictionary,
and a Corpus of Sumerian Texts, and so complete the work
he has begun with so much zeal and ability. In recent
years he has directed the excavations of the Weld-Blundell
and Field Museum Mission at Kish ; and the first volume
of his work on the discoveries he made there has already
appeared. According to the descriptions of his ” finds ”
which have appeared in The limes he has discovered
remains which prove that the Sumerians had estab-
lished their civilization on a firm base, and had already
attained a high state of culture, in the early part of the
fourth millennium b.c. He has written a large number of
articles on Babylonian and Biblical subjects in the Trans-
actions of many learned Societies, the Revue d’Jssyrio-
logie, Babyloniaca, etc., and contributed largely to various
Encyclopaedias. His studies in Sumerian under Thureau-
Dangin led him to undertake original work in that language ;
and the result of it is seen in his books La Syntaxe du Verbe
Sumerien (1907), Sumerian and Babylonian Psalms (1909),
The Sumerian Epic of Creation (1919), and Epical and
Liturgical Texts dealing with Paradise, the Flood, the Fall
of Man, etc. (191 7). To him belongs the credit of being
the first to publish A Sumerian Grammar and Chrestomathy
(Paris, 191 1), and so to make the study of this difficult
language practicable for beginners. Some of his views and
statements are not universally accepted ; but time and
further information are required for proof or disproof.
In arguing from what is known in Sumerian to what is
unknown, he is over-bold in the opinion of matter-of-fact
scholars. But he has done in twenty years a large amount
of hard work for which students will be grateful ; and he
has undoubtedly added much to our knowledge.
Dr. Samuel Daiches, Barrister-at-law, and Professor



of the Bible, Talmudh and Midrash at the Jews’ College,
London, has devoted himself to the study of the cuneiform
inscriptions, and has, with the help of his profound and
accurate knowledge of the Hebrew text of the Bible, and
of the Targums, Talmudh, and Rabbinic literature generally,
succeeded in throwing much light on difficult inscriptions.
He is almost the only Assyriologist who has made a study
of the later Hebrew literature ; and his contributions to
Assyrian Philology are therefore of special value and interest.
For the Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie he has written ” On the
Tetragrammaton ” (1902 and 1909), ” Assyrian Hebrew
Notes ” (1902), ” Talmudic and Midrashic Parallels ”
(1904), ” The Code of Hammurabi,” a specially valuable
paper (1905), “The Elephantine Papyri” (1908), “The
Book of Job ” (191 1), ” Lexicographical Notes ” (Vol. XVII.
f.) ; for the Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exp. Fund,
” The Gezer Calendar ” (1909) ; for the Jewish Quarterly,
” Ezekiel and the Babylonian Account of the Deluge ”
(1905), “On Isaiah 27, 28 ” (1916); for the Zeit. fur
Alttest. Wissen., Biblical Exegetical Notes (1911) ; for the
Orient, Lit. Zeit., “Notes on Isaiah, chap. 3″ (191 1),
” Gilgamesh-Epic ” (191 2), ” Biblical Names ” (1908) ; for
the Proceedings of the Soc. Bib. Arch., ” Aramaic Ostrakon ”
(1913), ” Beard of the Ear of Corn ” (1915), ” Babylonian
Dog-Omens” (191 7); for Hashiloah, “Aramaic Inscrip-
tions” (1907), ” The Passover in Egypt ” (1912) ; for the
Jewish Chronicle (Supplement), ” Song of Deborah ” (1923) ;
for the Expository Times, “Notes on Psalm 17″ (1908);
for the Hilprecht Volume, ” Balaam ” (1909), etc. Among
his independent works are : Old Babylonian Legal Docu-
ments (Leipzig, 1903) ; Babylonian and Hebrew Literature,
in Hebrew (Leeds, 1904) ; Jewish Codes and Codifiers
(London, 1909) ; The Jews in Babylonia (London, 1910) ;
Babylonian Oil Magic (London, 1913) ; The Story of the



Talmud in Spain (London, 1921) ; and Lord Kitchener
and his Work in Palestine (London, 191 5). During the
Great War Daiches was compelled, owing to the war-work
on which he was engaged, to suspend his studies ; but it is
to be hoped that he will soon finish the important books
on Assyrian-Hebrew which he has had in hand for some

G. R. Driver (born Aug. 20, 1892), M.A., M.C., Fellow
and Librarian of Magdalen College, Oxford, has published
Letters of the First Babylonian Dynasty, Oxford, 1925, and
a Report on Kurdistan and the Kurds (published for the
Egyptian Expeditionary Force) . He has contributed articles
on Hebrew Lexicography, the Aramaic Papyri, etc., to the
Journal of Theological Studies (Vol. 22, pp. 382-383 ; Vol.
23, pp. 69-73; 405-410; Vol. 25, pp. 177-178, 197-199,
2 39-3°3; v °l- 26, pp. 76-77); to the Journal of the
Royal Asiatic Society, on Syrian Arabic, Assyrian Roots,
and the Kurds and their name (1920, pp. 305-318 ; 1921,

PP- 389-393> 563-572 ; I9 2 3> PP- 393-4°3) 5 to the Cen-
tenary Supplement of ‘the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
(pp. 41-48) ; on ” The Epic of Creation,” ” The Fall of
Nineveh,” ” The Righteous Sufferer ” and ” The Death and
Resurrection of Bel” to Theology (Vol. VIII. pp. 2-13,
67-79, 123-130, I 9°- I 97); on the Kurds, and their
Religion, etc., to the Bulletin of the School of Oriental
Studies (Vol. II. pp. 197-213), the Persian Magazine
(Vol. I. pp. 106-117), and the Asiatic Review (Vol. XVII.
pp. 695-700) ; on the Fourth Gospel in the Jewish Guardian
(Jan. 6 and 13, 1923, Feb. 5, 1925); on the Yazidi Bird
(Melek Ta’us) to The Times (Sept. 5, 1924). His studies
were interrupted by the Great War, and he served in the
Anglo-Serbian Hospital and Postal Censorship (1915);
as Captain and Major (D.A.A.G.), he served on the Graves
Registration Commission, B.E.F., France; he was an



Intelligence Officer in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force;
was wounded in 191 6; mentioned in despatches, France,
1 91 7 ; Military Cross, 191 8 ; and served in Serbia, France,
Belgium, Egypt and Palestine. He has in the press A
Grammar of the Colloquial Arabic of Syria and Palestine, a
translation of the Bazaar of Heracleides, 1 and a work on
the Modern Study of the Hebrew Language. He is
equipped with a good knowledge of the Semitic dialects
akin to Assyrian and Babylonian ; and the Philological
Supplement to the Oxford Hebrew Lexicon should be a
very important work.



The credit of being the first among western nations to
make excavations in Assyria belongs to the French ; and the
immediate cause of their undertaking archaeological work
in that country was the publication of Rich’s Narrative
of a Residence in Koordistan and on the Site of Ancient Nineveh,
in 1836. Their first excavator was P. E. Botta, an Italian
born at Turin in 1802, who was appointed French Vice-
Consul at Mosul in 1842. In 1843 he conducted excavations
in the mound of Kuyunjik, which produced few results ;
and then he transferred his labours to Khorsabad, where he
discovered and excavated the palace of Sargon II (722-
705 b.c), and obtained a splendid series of bas-reliefs and
colossal winged bulls, the finest known. This great dis-
covery was due, as was the discovery of the palaces of
Sennacherib and Esarhaddon at Nabi Yunis by Layard,
and that of the fortress of Babylon by Beauchamps, to
the natives, who were in the habit of burning the sculptures
of Khorsabad into lime for building purposes, and of digging

1 This has now appeared.



out bricks from the foundations of Babylon with which to
build their houses. Botta described his excavations in
his letters to Mohl, which were published in the Journal
Asiatique, Paris, 1 843-1 845 ; and the French Government
published facsimiles of the bas-reliefs and bulls of Khorsabad
in Monuments de Ninive (Paris, 1 846-1 850). The various
successors of Botta at Mosul carried on desultory excavations
at Nineveh from time to time in later years ; but of the
results I can find no account. For the rest, the French
seem to have abandoned Assyria as a scene of archaeological

In 1877 E. de Sarzec was appointed French Consul at
Al-Basrah ; and as soon as he took up his duties, he seized
the opportunity which his official position gave him, and
began to examine the country, with the view of finding
some ancient site worth excavating. He was, of course,
well acquainted with the results of the excavations made at
Tall Sifr, Mukayyar and other neighbouring sites by Loftus
and Taylor ; and he questioned the natives in the district
as to the possibility of finding an untouched site. These
told him that at a certain place which they called Tall Loh,
and which lay on the Shatt-al-Hayy, between Warkah
and Sankarah, there were several stone statues standing
partly uncovered. A series of mounds, they said, ran by the
river banks ; and we know now that the site covered by
them is between four and five miles long. Without more
ado, de Sarzec went to Tall Loh, and found that the
report of the natives was correct. Dispensing with the
permission of the Turkish Government, he proceeded to
remove the statues ; and he excavated the site on which
they stood for three months (March to June), and dis-
covered many important objects. He continued to excavate
the large mound from February to June 1878, and then
returned to Paris with his spoil, which he disposed of to the



Louvre for the sum of 130,000 francs (Fossey, Manuel,
p. 50). He invoked the help of his Government ; and
application was made by the French Foreign Office to the
Porte for a faraman authorizing him to excavate all the
mounds. This being obtained, the Government made him
a special grant ; and he returned to Tall Loh, and in January

1880 set to work to excavate the whole site systematically.
During the spring of 1880 and the winter of 1 880-1 881 he
dug out the great diorite statues of the early fatesis, or
governors, of the old Sumerian city of Lagash, which are
now the glory of the Louvre, and a very large number of
small objects. He attacked mound after mound, but
excavated none of them completely; and his only aim
seems to have been to acquire objects as quickly as possible.
He found the remains of a Sumerian temple ( ?), bricks
and vases and weapons inscribed with the names of Mesilim,
Ur-Nina, Entemena and other kings of Lagash, the famous
Stele of Vultures, and the wonderful baked clay prisms
inscribed with the history of the work and exploits of
Gudea. Between 188 1 and 1891 de Sarzec frequently returned
to Tall Loh, and made excavations in parts of the seventeen
mounds at which he had already worked ; but in spite of
his exertions he was unable to clear the site completely.
When I went over the mounds in the winter of 1 890-1 891
with Mr. Robertson, British Vice-Consul at Al-Basrah,
I felt convinced that there were many outlying parts of
it that would repay an excavator for his trouble. After

1 88 1 the intervals between de Sarzec’s periods of work on
the mounds grew longer and longer ; and as he took no
steps to safeguard his interests in them, the local Arabs,
working hand in hand with the men who had been with
Rassam in 1 879-1 882, and supplied with money by the dealers
in Baghdad, began to excavate the mounds on their own
account. Their object was not to find large antiquities,



which could not easily be smuggled out of the country,
but inscribed clay tablets, which could be carried on the
person in the folds of a cloak, or packed in small boxes.
The dealers in Baghdad felt certain that somewhere in
some one of the mounds at Tall Loh there must be a chamber
or chambers containing inscribed tablets, just as there had
been at Abu Habbah; and some of the men who had
worked at Abu Habbah went to Tall Loh fully determined
to find the chancery of the city.

The ruins at Tall Loh were clearly those of a great
mercantile community and of a royal residence ; and
this being so, the records of the business transacted
there, the tax accounts, and the temple library must
be there somewhere. The search for the record office
and clearing-house of Lagash could not be successfully
carried on by clandestine excavations at night ; so the
work was carried on openly by day. The local officials,
whose salaries were more than a year in arrear, saw no
reason why they should not yield to the persuasion
of the Baghdad dealers, which was expressed in pecuniary
terms ; and so, when they saw men digging in the mounds,
and were told that they were seeking for dust to lay on the
fields, they asked no further questions. At length the
unauthorized diggers found what they were looking for
in a small compact mound, in which was a series of little
chambers containing baked clay inscribed tablets. The
news of their discovery spread, as such things will, with
extraordinary rapidity ; and before they had made arrange-
ments to remove the tablets and pull down the chambers,
de Sarzec appeared at Al-Basrah. The diggers hurriedly
shovelled back sand and stones and earth over the chambers,
and began to dig in another mound, one which de Sarzec
had partially excavated. When he came to Tall Loh, he was
greeted by shouts and cries of joy in the Arab fashion ; but



everyone denied all knowledge of any discovery of tablets.
His former overseers went to work for him as before ;
but with one excuse and another they succeeded in keeping
him from attempting to dig in the mound containing the
tablets ; and though his suspicion was by no means lulled,
every effort he made to find the tablets was effectively
foiled by the Arabs and the servants of his own house. He
returned to Al-Basrah angry and disappointed, and tried
to induce the Governor to send out troops to Tall Loh to
compel the natives to disgorge the tablets, which he was
certain in his own mind that they had. But that astute
soldier knew better than to attempt to apply coercion to
the Muntafiks and the wild and lawless tribes who were
their neighbours ; for the Turkish troops were invariably
worsted in their fights with them. On two occasions the
Wali of Baghdad sent iooo soldiers, with as much military
equipment as could be gathered together, to reduce the
Muntafiks to submission, but not a Turkish soldier returned
to tell of the crushing defeats that the Government troops
suffered at the hands of the Muntafiks. In many of the
tents of the Muntafiks I saw in 1891 piles of saddles,
bandoliers and rifles, metal cooking pots, etc., which had
been taken from the Turks.

When the commotion stirred up by de Sarzec had died
down, the dealers began to press the men at Tall Loh to
unearth their prize ; for they had heard that the Louvre
had paid de Sarzec £5000 (rumour said £50,000) for his
first collection of antiquities, and they were anxious to sell
the tablets and make money, as he had done. The diggers
uncovered the chambers again, and, on opening them,
found that some were full of tablets and others partly
full ; the number of the tablets found on that occasion was
probably nearer forty than thirty-five thousand. They
were of different shapes, and they varied in size from about



12 inches to z\ inches square ; all were made of baked clay,
and most of them were in as perfect a state as when they
were stored in the chambers 4500 years ago. Some (the
larger ones) were piled up one on the other ; many hundreds
were laid upon shelves ; and the smaller ones were heaped
up in pots. As soon as the diggers, dealers and others had
arranged about the division of the tablets, they were quickly
removed to places in the neighbourhood, whence, as
opportunity afforded, they were taken to Baghdad and Al-
Basrah. The dealers submitted several specimens of the
tablets to an archaeologist at that time resident in Baghdad ;
and when he told them that the inscriptions on them were
not historical, but were chiefly accounts, lists of grain and
animals, inventories of cattle and sheep, lists of workmen
employed by the priests of the temples and their rations,
contracts, etc., they were bitterly disappointed, and at
once threw their share of the tablets on the market ; and
as the diggers had already done the same thing, the market
was glutted. Many of the natives, and several Europeans,
including captains of the river-boats and ocean-going
steamers, and clerks in offices, bought collections very
cheaply ; for the largest tablets often changed hands at
20 piastres (3^. \d.), the medium-sized at 10 piastres, and
good contract tablets at from 3 to 5 piastres. Every
buyer exported his purchases as soon as possible ; and so
the great collection of Tall Loh tablets, at least 35,000 in
number, was very soon scattered all over the civilized world.
Some have blamed de Sarzec for this result of his excavations
at Tall Loh ; but under the circumstances I cannot see that
he could help it. The natives of Tall Loh regarded the
mounds and their contents as their property, and readily
helped de Sarzec in his clandestine excavations there, believing
that they would receive a share of the proceeds of the sale
of the antiquities which he took out of them. They heard



from the dealers in Paris that he sold the results of his first
and second excavations to the Louvre for 130,000 francs;
but of this sum they received nothing. When de Sarzec
returned to Tall Loh in 1880 armed with a faramdn, the
natives could not prevent him digging, but they concealed
many of the things which they found and sold them to
dealers in Al-Basrah. When Fate gave the chambers full
of tablets into their hands, they determined to keep the
knowledge of their existence from de Sarzec ; and there is
every reason to believe that they did so. They scouted
any idea of handing over the tablets to Badri Beg, the
Inspector of Antiquities, and held that they were entitled
to keep them as their share of the results of the excavations.
I have been told by native dealers from Baghdad that de
Sarzec knew of the ” find ” of tablets, and that, because
he could not do otherwise, he acquiesced in their view. We
shall never know the truth now ; but all must regret that
the Tall Loh tablets were not kept together and put in some
Museum, where they would be available for reference and
study. A French Assyriologist, in describing Rassam’s
excavations in 1 879-1 882, remarks, ” En Chaldee, comme
en Assyrie, ses travaux ressemblent plus a un pillage qu’a une
fouille scientifique ” (Fossey, Manuel, p. 52) ; and the
excavations of de Sarzec may be rightly described by the
same words. After de Sarzec’s death, further excavations
were carried on at Tall Loh by Captain Du Cros (see Revue
d’Jssyriologie, Paris, 1907).

In 1 88 1 Dieulafoy began to make a systematic examina^
tion of all the monuments of the Achsemenian Period and
later times in Persia, and in 1884 he went to Shush (Susa)
and excavated the palace of Artaxerxes Mnemon, from
which Loftus had recovered two inscriptions in 185 1. His
operations lasted until 1886, and were most successful. He
discovered the now famous ” Frieze of the Archers,” and



a large number of other objects which throw great light on
the artistic skill of the early Persian craftsmen. His
greatest prize was a series of bull-capitals from the Palace
Hill, which are now one of the glories of the Louvre. Like
other excavators, Dieulafoy got into trouble with the
Turkish Customs authorities, who confiscated some fifty-
five cases of antiquities which he had acquired at Shush.
His Government took the matter up ; and when he was
ready to return to Shush to finish his work, he was taken to
the Persian Gulf in a French man-of-war. And when he had
finished his excavations, by a strange coincidence, another
French man-of-war appeared in the Shatt-al-‘ Arab, and
lay off Muhammarah. It was generally reported at Basrah
in 1888 that the crew were anxious to visit the ruins at
Shush, and that a large party of them were given leave to do
so. They arrived at an opportune moment for Dieulafoy,
for he was busily engaged in packing his treasures for
transport to Muhammarah ; and he found their help very
useful, especially as they happened to have brought with
them ropes and certain appliances for lifting heavy objects.
The results of his diggings filled some hundreds of cases ;
but they were all brought down safely to the river and carried
on to the French man-of-war. This time the Customs
authorities raised no objection to the exportation of anti-
quities. A full account of Dieulafoy’s excavations is given
by his wife in her work A Suse : Journal des Fouilles (Paris,
1888); see also Marcel Dieulafoy’s UAcropole de Suse
(Paris, 1893).

But the glory of Dieulafoy’s excavations at Shush was
eclipsed by the splendour of the results obtained by J. de
Morgan (1857-1924), who began to work there in 1897.
De Morgan was a trained engineer and a practical geologist ;
and he had travelled so extensively as a surveyor of mines,
that he could speak most European and many Oriental



languages. He is best known by the splendid work he did
when Director of the Service of Antiquities in Egypt.
Though an engineer and scientist, he was no mean
archaeologist, and we owe entirely to him the recognition
of the fact that in Egypt the Historic Period was preceded,
as in other countries, by a Neolithic and a Palasolithic
Period. His labours are well summarized in V Anthropologic,
Vol. XXIV. p. 467 f., and in the Revue Anthropologique for
July and August 1924. His excavations at Shush were
carried out in the same masterly way as those in Egypt ;
and he reaped a rich harvest of antiquities. The French
Government had acquired from the Shah of Persia, it is
said for .£10,000, the right to excavate anywhere and every-
where in Persia (1895), and to keep all the objects found by
their excavators (1900). De Morgan had plenty of time and
money at his disposal; and as he and his workmen were
protected by a company of Persian soldiers, he was free from
the annoyance and trouble usually caused by the local tribes.
He set to work not by sinking pits and driving trenches
through various parts of the ruins, after the manner of
excavators generally, but by clearing away from the site
untold thousands of tons of debris, and digging right down
to the bottom of the mounds, and even through the founda-
tions of the lowermost buildings in them. He laid bare,
one after the other, the ruins of the various buildings that
formed the ” Citadel Hill,” and was able to construct a
tentative scheme of chronology, which showed that the site
had been occupied by royal buildings for some thousands
of years b.c. He discovered some hundreds of bricks
inscribed in the Old Susian, Sumerian and Semitic languages,
many fragments of pre-Sumerian pottery (which he dated
at 12,000 B.C.), an Obelisk of Manishtusu, the Stele of Naram-
Sin, a large number of Boundary-stones, and, most important
of all, the great stele inscribed with the Code of Laws of



Khammurabi. He published the results of his work in a
series of volumes {Delegation Franc aise en Perse, Paris, 1 900 f .),
with numerous facsimiles, translations, notes, etc. The
great merit of de Morgan’s personal contribution to this
publication is that it contains statements of fact, and no
wild theories. The excavation of Shush is an achievement
of which the French may well be proud. The Government
not only used its power effectively in respect of the Shah,
and provided sufficient money for the enterprise, but with
shrewd foresight selected the best man — in fact, the only
man who was capable of doing the work to be done.

The earliest attempts made by the French to read the
Assyrian and Babylonian characters seem to have been
those of Botta, Longperrier, de Saulcy, and Oppert.
In 1847 Botta prepared his Mimoire sur Vficriture
Cuneiforme, which appeared in Paris in 1848. He drew
up a table of the Assyrian signs most frequently used, with
several variants of each ; and this list was undoubtedly of
value, for, as Rawlinson said, it brought the signs into some
” manageable compass.” Moreover, he seems to have
partly anticipated Hincks’s discovery that the Assyrians
used a syllabary, and not an alphabet like the Persians.
He was able to divide the words with tolerable correctness,
though he could not read them ; and he certainly identified
the determinative for ” land ” or ” country,” and assigned
the correct value (Shar) to the first syllable of the name of
Sargon. The latter fact enabled Longperrier to identify
the king who built the palace at Khorsabad, though neither
Hincks nor Rawlinson accepted the identification until
some years later. These facts are clear from the Lettres of
Botta and those of Longperrier in Rev. Arch., lYieme annee,
pp. 465 and 501, and show that both men were on the right
track. Menant and others claim that de Saulcy played a very
prominent part in deciphering the cuneiform inscriptions



and in translating them ; but to do so is wrong, for his
papers show that he did not understand the character
of the signs. He thought that one part of each sign repre-
sented a consonant and the other a vowel. His friends
claimed that Rawlinson’s Syllabary, published in 1851, was
based upon de Saulcy’s List containing 120 signs and
phonetic values ; but it may be replied that de Saulcy’s
List was based upon Hincks’s List, which was published two
years earlier, and with which de Saulcy was well acquainted.
His papers on the inscriptions at Wan (Van) and the Khorsa-
bad texts prove that he was a hard and careful worker ;
but neither in those nor in his other papers does he show that
he possessed the qualifications of mind necessary for a
decipherer or translator of Oriental texts. For details of
his system of work and its results, see Booth, The Trilingual
Cuneiform Inscriptions (London, 1902, pp. 397-403).

In 1 848-1 850 the only scholar in France who understood
the nature of the problem which decipherers were trying
to solve was Jules Oppert, who, though a Jew born at
Hamburg in 1825, is commonly regarded as a Frenchman.
When only twenty-two years of age he published his Das
Lautsystem des Altpersischen (Berlin, 1847), in which he
showed that his own independent studies had led him to
conclusions about the use of consonants similar to those
which Rawlinson had arrived at in 1842 and published in
1846. A summary of this important work was published
in French in the Rev. Arch., 1848, pp. 1-12, 65-77. Oppert
went to France in 1 847, and earned his living by teaching
German; but he devoted all his free time to continuing
the study of Oriental languages, which he had begun when a
pupil of Lassen at Bonn. His ability attracted the notice
of the older French scholars ; and he was selected to be a
member of the Archaeological Mission to Mesopotamia
directed by Fulgence Fresnel (1795-1855). Oppert


Eugene Burnouf.


Jules Oppee



visited all the important ancient sites in Assyria and Baby-
lonia, worked out a map of Babylon, surveyed the Birs-i-
Nimrud, and at the same time began the genuine, life-long
friendship with Rawlinson which was of great value to
both of these great men. Whilst at Khorsabad with H.
Rassam, he astonished that gentleman by reading at sight
one of the short inscriptions of Sargon II, in which the
king proclaims his name, titles and overlordship of the world.
On his return to France he began to publish his report on
the work accomplished by the Mission ; the first volume of
his Expedition Scientifique de 18 ’51-18 54 appeared in 1856,
and the second in 1859. This work contained a full transla-
tion of the Bihistun Inscription, translations of several of
the texts of the Achaemenian Inscriptions which he edited
in the Journal Asiatique (l%$l-t%$2), a valuable Susian Sylla-
bary, and notes that prove he accepted Rawlinson’s system
of decipherment and his translations, though he suggested
several modifications in details.

In France Oppert’s translations were looked upon with
suspicion, and this was not removed even when, in
i860, the Institut awarded him its prize of 20,000
francs for his work, which ” redounded to the honour
of France.” A few years later, his system, which de
Saulcy and others regarded as nothing more nor less
than that of Rawlinson, was bitterly attacked by Joseph
Arthur, Comte de Gobineau, in his Traite des Ecritures
Cuneiformes (Paris, 1864) ; but Oppert went on working.
He resigned his professorship of Sanskrit in 1869, when he
was appointed Professor of Assyriology in the College
de France; and from that time to the day of his death
in August 1905 he continued to publish books and papers
on the Susian (or Median) inscriptions, and the history,
chronology, metrology, and law of the Assyrians and Baby-
lonians. A mere list of their titles would fill several pages.



He was a master of many languages, and could read and
speak Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Greek, Armenian, and five
or six European languages. He was singularly free from
literary jealousy, and maintained most friendly relations
with the younger scholars who were working on his own
special subject, e.g., Spiegel, Menant, Weissbach and
Bezold, each of whom published a revised edition of some
inscription or group of texts on which he had worked.
But he was a bitter foe to all pretenders to knowledge — and
there were many in all countries in the early days of
Assyriology — on whom he poured out his wrath in many
languages. A valuable list of works by Oppert, the ” Father
of Assyriology in France,” as he has been well called, by
W. Muss-Arnolt, will be found in Delitzsch’s Beitrdge
zur Assyriologie, Bd. II. p. 523 f.

But whilst French scholars in general were suspicious
about Oppert’s translations, Joachim Menant (1 820-1 899),
a distinguished lawyer, was quietly reading all that was
being published on cuneiform decipherment, and testing
the results already obtained by Rawlinson, Hincks, and
others. He was a man of exceptional philological ability,
and he soon came to the conclusion that Rawlinson’s system,
which, oddly enough, he believed to have been borrowed
from de Saulcy, was to be accepted. He adopted it in its
main features in his Inscriptions Assyriennes des briques de
Babylone (Paris, 1859), anc ^ developed his views in an
important work, entitled Les Ventures Cuneiformes, which
appeared in Paris in i860. This was followed by his
Recueil d’ Alphabets (Paris, i860), Expose des SUments de la
Grammaire Assyrienne (Paris, 1868), Elements d’epigraphie
Assyrienne (Paris, 1 869-1 873), Manuel de la Langue Assyrienne
(Paris, 1880), and Les Langues Perdues de la Perse et de VAssyrie
(Paris, 1885-1886). There is no doubt that the acceptance
of Assyriology as a well-founded science in France was



wholly due to the writings of Menant. He did in France
for Assyrian what Delitzsch did in Germany. He pos-
sessed many of the qualities of that scientific translator, as
we may see from his Annates des Rois d’Assyrie (Paris, 1874).
The art of Assyria and Babylonia interested him as much as
the language ; and the descriptions of the cylinder-seals
in his Catalogue of the La Haye Collection (Paris, 1878) and
the Williams Collection {American Jnl. of Archeology,
Baltimore, 1886) prove that he was no ordinary archaeo-
logist, and his treatise, Les Pierres gravies de la Haute
Asie (Paris, 1 883-1 886) is still a very useful work. He was
one of the first to study the law literature of Assyria and
Babylonia ; and he was associated with Oppert in the
publication of Documents Juridiques (Paris, 1877), (His
daughter Delphine inherited much of her father’s linguistic
ability, and wrote a learned work on the Parsees.)

The good work of Menant was followed up by Francois
Lenormant (1837-1883), son of Charles Lenormant, the
well-known archaeologist. He was a good classical scholar,
and studied Greek archaeology and numismatics with great
success; but in 1867 ne turned his whole attention to the
study of the cuneiform inscriptions, with the view of decid-
ing for himself whether their decipherment was a fact or a
fiction. Some have claimed for him the credit of the
discovery of the non-Semitic language then known as
Akkadian ; but its first discoverer was Rawlinson, as I have
shown elsewhere. Lenormant published several articles
and books on this language, among which may be mentioned
Etudes Accadiennes (3 vols., Paris, 1 873-1 879), La Langue
Primitive de la Chaldee et les idiomes Touraniens (Paris,
1875). He showed great boldness and resource in trans-
lating Akkadian (Sumerian), and certainly proved that it
was a language, and not a form of cryptography. Among
his most popular works may be mentioned La Divination



chez les Chaldeens (Paris, 1875) and La Magie chez les
Chaldeens et les origines accadiennes (Paris, 1874). An
English translation of the latter work by W. R. Cooper,
Secretary of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, appeared
in London in 1878 under the title of Chaldean Magic, with
additions by the author and notes by the translator. In
collaboration with E. C. F. Babelon, Lenormant wrote a
Histoire Ancienne de V Orient jusqu’aux guerres midiques
(Paris, 1881-1888), which was a very useful and popular book
for some years. It was the forerunner of Maspero’s Histoire
Ancienne des fewples de V Orient classique (Paris, 1899 ff.).

The publications of French Assyriologists from about
1880 onwards prove beyond all doubt that the belief in the
accuracy of Rawlinson’s system of decipherment was well
established in France long before his death. On the other
hand, there were scholars in France and other countries
who did not accept the name of ” Akkadian,” which he
had proposed for the non-Semitic language spoken by the
people who were masters of Babylonia before the Semites,
and who wished (quite rightly, as we now know), to call it
” Sumerian.” Whilst Oppert, Lenormant, Schrader and
Delitzsch were discussing this point, J. Halevy, a man of
Jewish origin, who was born at Adrianople in 1827, an d who
had travelled extensively in Yaman and Abyssinia, pro-
pounded in 1874 some new and startling views about the
Sumerian language. He set out to prove that Sumerian
was not a language at all, but an ideographic system of writing
which the Assyrians had invented, even as they had invented
their phonetic system of writing. Further, he said that,
even if Sumerian was a language, as many wrongly alleged,
it did not belong to the Turanian family of languages ; for
no Turanian people had ever dwelt in Babylonia, or been in
possession of the country. Thus he denied the existence of
the Sumerian language, and maintained that cuneiform



writing was invented by the ancient Semitic population of
Babylonia. A fierce discussion on the subject broke out,
and Halevy was obliged to modify his statements about the
ideographic character of the signs ; and then he spoke of
them as being ideophonic, and later on allographic, and
again asserted that they were of Semitic origin. All these
views were contested by Oppert and Lenormant, but were
accepted in whole or in part by Guyard, the Arabic scholar,
Pognon and Delitzsch, and rejected by Schrader,
Lehman n and Weissbach, the last-named of whom proved
their incorrectness and, in some cases, absurdity. See his
Zur Lbsung der Sumerischen Frage (Leipzig, 1897), pp. 16,
38. The attacks of Halevy’s opponents and the answers of
himself and his friends continued for many years, and the
literature on the ” Sumerian Question ” has become very
considerable. The reader who wishes to see Halevy’s
theories, views and arguments discussed seriatim and with
admirable clearness and conciseness, should consult Charles
Fossey’s Manuel d’Assyriologie, torn. I. (Paris, 1904), p. 282 ff.
In this excellent work the author marshals his facts, states
his arguments, produces his proofs, and sums up the whole
question temperately and impartially. His arguments are
almost forensic in character ; and his results, deduced with
characteristic French logic, must satisfy every reader that
all Halevy’s views about Sumerian were wrong. Halevy
was a good Semitic scholar, and a man of great learning;
but he was obsessed with the idea that the Semitic peoples
of Babylonia were the direct ancestors of the Jews and the
founders of all civilization in Western Asia, and the inventors
of the writings, literature, science, and the arts and crafts,
which had merely been adopted by later peoples. He would
cordially have accepted the view of the eminent Talmudist
who said that all modern learning was contained in the
Talmudh, and the belief of the chief mullah of Baghdad



who was convinced that all Occidental sciences were to be
found in the Kur’an. Halevy’s heresy gained few supporters
among French Assyriologists generally ; and the good work
begun by Oppert and Lenormant was continued with
increased zeal and success by the younger scholars. The
following (arranged alphabetically) may be specially men-
tioned : —

M. F. Allotte de la Fuye has published several valuable
papers on Sumerian land measures and measures of capacity
in the Revue d’Jssyriologie, and early Sumerian texts.
Arthur Amiaud, as far back as 1881, began to collect
materials for an Assyrian Dictionary ; and a few years
later he published papers on the inscriptions on the statues
of Gudea from Tall Loh and on a Cappadocian tablet. In
conjunction with L. Mechineau he compiled a valuable
work containing comparative tables of the archaic Sumerian
signs with their Babylonian and Assyrian variants {Tableau
compare” des Ventures, Paris, 1902). About the same time
Auguste Aures published his Essai sur le systeme metrique
assyrien (Paris, 1 881-1885), and later contributed papers on
Babylonian measures to the Recueil de Travaux (Paris,
1889, 1893). Philippe Berger dealt with the Code of
Khammurabi in Vol. XX. of the Bibliotheque de Vulgarization
(Paris, 1906). George Bertin compiled grammars of the
Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Median, Vannic and Old
Persian languages (London, 1888), and contributed many
papers on Akkadian (Sumerian) to the Journals of various
learned Societies. He was employed by the Trustees of
the British Museum to copy the Babylonian contract tablets
that were decaying. E. Chantre in 1 893-1 894 collected
a mass of material relating to Cappadocian antiquities in his
Mission en Cappadoce (Paris, 1898). Edouard Cuq discussed
various points of Babylonian Law in the Revue d’Assyriologie
(Paris, 1910-1915). Louis Delaforte specialized in



the study of the seal-cylinder, and compiled most
valuable Catalogues of the great collections of the Louvre
and the Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris, 1910) and the
Musee Guimet (Paris, 1909), and of several smaller col-
lections. His articles on seal-engraving and on the subjects
represented, etc., are learned, and throw much light on the
archaeology of the seal in Western Asia. A. J. Delattre
published several articles on the Tall al-‘Amarnah Letters
(1 891-1893), a work on the historical inscriptions of Nineveh
and Babylon (Paris, 1879), and a survey of the Assyrio-
Babylonian civilization (Louvain, 1900). To Charles
Fossey we owe the important Manuel d’Assyriologie (Paris,
1904), and several volumes of Babylonian and Assyrian
texts, copied chiefly from tablets in the British Museum.
In his study of Assyrian and Babylonian magic he continued
the work begun by Lenormant ; and his La Magie Assyrienne
(Paris, 1902) forms a valuable contribution to our knowledge
of the subject. His Corpus of Omen-texts, of which the
first part appeared in 1905, remains unfinished. H. de
Genouillac has published Sumerian texts and copies of
the tablets of Drehem, and discussed the Stele of Vultures
from Tall Loh, and various points of Sumerian Law. He
conducted excavations at Al-UhSmar, the great mound that
contains the remains of the city of Kish, which some think
was the first city built after the Flood, and is about to publish
an account of the discoveries he made there. Leon Heuzey
studied the art and archaeology of the early Sumerian
sculptures {Monuments et Memoires, Paris, 1900, 1905),
and contributed several papers to the Journals of many
learned Societies and the Revue d’Assyriologie, 1896, 1898,
1906). He published many important facts about the
buildings at Tall Loh, having had access to de Sarzec’s
papers, and a Catalogue of Chaldean sculptures in the
Louvre (Paris, 1904), and successfully treated architectural



matters that lie outside the knowledge of the ordinary
Assyrian philologist. See his Un Palais Chaldeen (Paris, 1888).
Eugene Ledrain translated the great text of Ashurnasirpal
and compiled a Dictionnaire de la langue de Vancienne
Chaldie (Paris, 1898) ; Y. Le Gac published the texts of
the Babylonian tablets in the Musee Lycklama at Cannes
(1894 and 1910) ; and Alfred Loisy compared Babylonian
myths with the early chapters of Genesis (Paris, 1901). A
number of Neo-Babylonian letters were edited by F. Martin
in 1909, and a series of religious texts with translations, etc.,
in 1900. (See E cole des hautes itudes, Fasc. 130.) The name
of Gaston Maspero must be included among the names of
French Assyriologists ; for, though he was not an editor
of cuneiform texts, his Histoire Ancienne des Peuples de
VOrient shows that he was well acquainted with the works
of Assyriologists, and was able to control their results. He
knew how to select his sources of information, and he
frequently had a truer insight into the meaning of an
inscription than its editor ; he rendered splendid service to
Assyriologists in general by admitting their contributions
to the volumes of his Recueil de Travaux. To Leon de
Milloue we owe an interesting little work on the Code
of Khammurabi (Bibliotheque de Vulgarization, torn. 26,
Paris, 1907), and a summary of the Laws of the same
Code (D. Mirande, Paris, 1913). H. Pognon published
the inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar II in the Wadi Brissah
near Lebanon (Paris, 1887), and several notes on Assyrian
lexicography, and was able, by virtue of his position as French
Consul in Baghdad, to render many services to Assyriology.
Charles Virolleaud spent many years in studying the
Assyrian and Babylonian texts that deal with magic ; and
his numerous papers and books have thrown much light on
the subject. His explanation of the system of making
inquiries by means of the liver is ingenious, and his writings


M. Thureau-Dangin.


Father Jean Vincent Scheil.



on Ophiomancie Babylonienne and omens and divination in
general form a valuable supplement to Lenormant’s
Chaldean Magic. His most important work is perhaps
UAstrologie Chaldeenne (Paris, 1903, 1905-1912); unfortu-
nately it remains unfinished.

Most of the French Assyriologists, whose works have
been briefly mentioned above, were scholars who devoted
their energies to the study of special branches of Assyri-
ology, and did not endeavour to deal with the subject
as a whole. But France has not, in recent times, lacked
scholars of the type of Rawlinson and Oppert, and first
and foremost among these stand Jean Vincent Scheil
and Francois Thureau-Dangin. For forty years and more
Father Scheil has been publishing papers and books on
every branch of ancient learning that Assyriology has
made known to us, and, as in his case archaeology and
philology have worked hand in hand, the results which
he has obtained by his researches are specially valuable.
He is no mere arm-chair Assyriologist ; for he has toiled
with the natives in Babylonia, where he spent a whole
winter in excavating a part of the site of Sippar (Abu
Habbah). He worked there on behalf of the Imperial
Ottoman Museum in 1891, and succeeded in finding
more than a thousand tablets. The story of what he did
and the plans of the site which he cleared out are pub-
lished in Vol. I. of the MSmoires of the French Archaeo-
logical Institute (Cairo, 1902). In his papers in the Recueil
de Travaux, the Revue d’Jssyriologie, and Bezold’s Zeit-
schrift fur Assyriologie, he has dealt with the religion,
chronology, history, metrology, grammar, epigraphy, etc.,
of the Babylonians and Assyrians ; and he has translated
every kind of inscription from the Sumerian texts of the time
of Gudea down to those of the Neo-Babylonian contracts.
His Recueil de signes archalques (Paris, 1898), and the



Grammaire Assyrienne (Paris, 1901), which he wrote in
conjunction with Fossey, are very useful works. But his
most important work has been done in connection with
the great French publication, the Delegation en Perse, of
which seventeen volumes have appeared. In many volumes
of these MSmoires he has published the texts from the
antiquities excavated by J. de Morgan at Shush (Susa),
with translations, critical comments and notes. In Vol. VI.
(1905) he gave the texts of nearly two hundred small
tablets inscribed with inventories, lists of rations, etc.,
written in the Anzanite script of Elam. In Vol. XVII.
he has published 490 documents of the same class, and
added a list of the signs ; and though he cannot read them
all, there is evidence in his work that he will soon be able
to do so. The signs on these tablets cannot be identified
with the earlier pictographic and linear signs of the
Sumerians ; and thus it seems that the Proto-Elamitic, or
Anzanite, script was indigenous. In the time of Sargon
of Agade (2700 B.C.), the Anzanites, it is thought, borrowed
the Sumerian phonetic script and used it in inscriptions
on their monuments, and reserved their own native script
for business documents. It is possible that the Anzanite
indigenous script is based upon the writing of a still earlier
period. Though neither Scheil nor anyone else can read
it at present, Scheil seems to have made progress in identi-
fying the signs for numbers ; and he thinks that the Proto-
Elamitic numerical system was purely decimal. Anzanite
epigraphy, history and philology promise to form an
important branch of Assyriology; and it is fortunate for
the science that the inscriptions on the bricks and monu-
ments of Shush have fallen into the devoted and most
capable hands of Father Scheil.

Among his philological triumphs are his translations of
the famous Code of Laws of Khammurabi, the Inscriptions



of Naram-Sin, and the Semitic Inscriptions from Elam.
He was the first to translate the Code {Code des his [droit
prive] de Hammurabi, roi de Babylone vers Van 2000 avant
Jesus-Christ, Paris, 1902) ; and his translation of it has
formed the foundation on which all subsequent trans-
lators, commentators, epitomists and others have based
their researches. It is in every sense of the word a great
work, and is as remarkable in Assyriology as Maspero’s
translation of the Pyramid Texts was in Egyptology.
Equally important for Assyriologists, though of less interest
to the world in general, are Scheil’s translations of the
Semitic texts of Naram-Sin {Inscriptions de Naram-Sin,
Delegation en Perse, torn. VI., Paris, 1913), whose Stele
of Victory was found at Shush (Susa). From the same
place came a series of Elamite historical inscriptions {Textes
£lamites-S£mitiques. Delegation en Perse, Paris, 191 3), many
of which he has translated with conspicuous success. It
is pleasant to note that after so many years spent in strenuous
Oriental studies he finds rest and pleasure in renewing the
classical studies of his boyhood. He has printed for private
circulation a little book of Odes in Latin {Carmina), and a
book of Latin Epigrams {Epigrammatd) which contain
many happy allusions to Babylonian and Assyrian person-
ages, countries, etc. His Epigrams on a Babylonian
cylinder-seal, a Boundary-Stone, an Assyrian duck-weight,
and a paper squeeze of an inscription on a brick,
well illustrate his whimsicality and lightness of touch.
Assyriologists will greatly appreciate his Ode on the
Code of Khammurabi {Carmina, II.) which opens
thus : —

Ex Susiano pulvere proditas,
Leges libellus continet hie sacras
Quas undecim saeclis, Lycurge,
Te prior, Hammurabi coegit.



Terris remotis imperium suum
Quum protulisset, par sibi visus est
Pads labori dictus, idem
Legibus aedificans et armis.

His pleasure in returning to the writing of Latin Odes
is neatly expressed in Ode IV; and his Lament on the
death of his friend J. Etienne Gautier is most touching.
Referring to Gautier’s wort, Archives d’une famille de
Dilbat au temps de la premiere Dynastie de Babylone (Cairo,
1908), he says : —

Gualterus plures titulos peritus
Juris et legit Babyloniorum,
Editis luci tabulis figlinis

Dilbatis urbis.

And all who knew Gautier will endorse Scheil’s opinion

of him as : —

Vir sapiens, facetus,
Strenuus, mitis, probus et modestus.

Thureau-Dangin, joint editor with Scheil of the Revue
d’Assyriologie, was one of the first Assyriologists to devote
himself to the study of the inscriptions on the monuments
at Tall Loh; and as far back as 1892 we find him con-
tributing papers on cylinder A of Gudea to the Zeitschrift
fur Assyriologie (Ed. XVI. ff.). Three years later he
published Part I. of a comprehensive work on all the
cylinders of Gudea, with transcripts of the texts, trans-
lations, commentary, grammar and vocabulary (Paris,
1895). He has discussed in various papers the history of
the dynasty of Agade, and of the kings of the Second
Dynasty, and the length of the rule of the kings of Gutium,
and published many inscriptions that throw much light
on the early Sumerian Period (see Les Inscriptions de
Sumer et d’Akkad, Paris, 1905). The history of the Kassite
Period has also claimed his attention (Journal Asiatique,
Paris, 1908, Vol. II.). He has investigated the system of



land-measuring in use in the Sumerian period, and early
arithmetical fractions, and commercial contracts, and cleared
away many of the difficulties that were inherent in these
subjects. He has examined the cuneiform writing of all
periods with a critical eye and has set forth his results with
admirable clearness in his Recherches sur Vorigine de Vecriture
cuneiforme (Paris, 1 898-1 899). His papers in the Revue
d’dssyriologie have added greatly to the knowledge of
Assyriologists, and have placed in their hands not only
new material of the greatest value, but also accurate trans-
lations of many important inscriptions. His copies of
cuneiform texts are well written, and are free from the
shadings that are so frequently seen in the work of other
editors of texts. It is clear that he always takes the trouble
to find out exactly which sign the scribe wrote on the
tablet before he attempts to copy it. And the deductions
he makes from facts disclosed by the inscriptions are char-
acterized by the unanswerable logic which is always found
in the work — no matter of what kind — of the best French
scholars. His knowledge of Assyriology ranges from the
inscriptions of the kings of Kish (2800 b.c.) to those found
on the tablets containing calculations of the distances
between the fixed stars, which were compiled during the
Seleucid Era. And he is undoubtedly one of the two
best Sumerologists in the world.

Like Thureau-Dangin, Georges Contenau is a diligent
student of Sumerian. He has published several of the
account tablets concerning copper and clothes from Umma,
in Lower Babylonia (Revue d’Assyriologie, Paris, 1915, torn.
XII.), and a considerable number of texts from tablets
found in recent years in Cappadocia. His work on the
Histoire Economique of Umma (Paris, 191 5) well describes
some of the business methods of the Sumerians, which
seem to have been of the same nature both in the south



and in the north of Mesopotamia. Contenau’s essay on
the Naked Babylonian Goddess (Paris, 1914) is a very
interesting study in comparative iconography.


Assyriologists have been so much occupied in dealing
with the results of the great excavations made by the
English and French that the work done in Switzerland has
escaped the notice of many. It was known in a vague way
that there was a collection of Assyrian antiquities at Zurich ;
but until Boissier published his Notes sur quelques Monu-
ments Assyriens a VUniversite de Zurich (Geneva, 1912),
definite information about it was wanting. Some remem-
bered that Oppert had seen a contract tablet in Zurich
which, he wrongly stated, was dated in the reign of Pacorus,
a.d. 81 ; but when it was discovered that the name on
the tablet was that of Xerxes, interest in the collection
subsided. The Zurich Collection was made by Julius
Weber, who was born at Bubikon in 1838 and died at
Zurich in 1906. He lived for some time in Aleppo, but
took up his abode at Baghdad in i860. There he heard
much about the discoveries of Botta and Layard ; and
he determined to carry out excavations on that part of
the site of Nimrud which Layard had left untouched.
He succeeded in uncovering a number of bas-reliefs, bricks,
etc.; and in 1863 he sent home to Zurich his first con-
signment of antiquities. Other gifts of a similar character
followed in subsequent years; and thus Zurich obtained
the nucleus of a good collection of Assyrian remains. The
worthy citizens of Zurich did not appreciate the gifts at
their true value ; but they admired the public-spiritedness
of their fellow-citizen. Oppert lectured to them on the
Collection in 1867 under the auspices of Scheuchzer and
Keller ; and the attitude of the city fathers to it is well



illustrated by an observation made by one of the latter
on that occasion. After hearing Oppert’s fervid and
eloquent discourse, and seeing him reading the inscriptions
off-hand, he remarked, ” Ob alles richtig ist, wissen wir

The arrival of the Weber Collection in Zurich was
the immediate cause of Grivel’s devoting himself to
the study of Assyriology. Joseph Grivel was born at
Chapelle-sur-Oron in 1810 and died at Fribourg in 1876.
He was by profession Registrary of the Court and Notary,
and was appointed Treasurer of the State at Fribourg in
1856. He did not begin to study Oriental languages until
he was thirty-eight years of age; and he published, by
lithography, his first attempt at translating the ” Standard
Inscription” of Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 b.c.) in 1867.
This little work was severely criticized by Gaugengigl in
the Bayerische Zeitung ; but it is clear that this writer
only made Grivel’s paper an excuse for expressing his
contempt for Assyriologists in general, and his doubts and
suspicion concerning their works ; in fact, he made Grivel
a scapegoat. Grivel shows in his work that without teacher
and without books his acute mind had arrived independently
at most of the conclusions concerning cuneiform writing
which are generally accepted by Assyriologists to-day.
After all, he has, as Boissier rightly observes, the merit of
being ” le premier assyriologue Suisse,” and he is therefore
the ” Father of Assyriology ” in Switzerland.

Etienne Combe of Lausanne contributed many articles
to the Revue de I’Histoire des Religions, and was an expert
student of comparative religion ; he also published an
edition of some Arabic inscriptions. His one work which
entitles him to be mentioned as an Assyriologist is his
Histoire du culte de Sin en Babylonie et en Assyrie
(Paris, 1908). In this work he showed that the Moongod



Sin was from time immemorial the paramount god in
Mesopotamia, and supported his arguments with extracts
from the cuneiform inscriptions. I cannot find that he
ever attempted to copy cuneiform texts or to publish

To Alfred Boissier, Oriental traveller and Assyriologist,
we owe many books and pamphlets on several interesting
but difficult branches of Assyrian learning. He travelled
in Cappadocia with Chantre when he went on his second
mission to that country, and he published an account of
his own work there in En Cappadoce : Notes de Voyage
(Geneva, 1897). This book contains autotype illustrations
of the bas-reliefs at Iasili-Kaia, the Citadel of Csesarea,
the Convent of Surp Garabed, and other important build-
ings. He has edited and translated many texts dealing
with divination (Choix de Textes, Geneva, 1 905-1 906), magic
and astrology (Documents Assyriens, Paris, 1 894-1 899), and
written a short but interesting paper on the arts of the seer,
the physiognomist and the palmist {Revue d’Assyriologie, torn.
VIII.). In other papers he has dealt with Assyrian Fables,
the legend of Cain and Abel (Geneva, 1909), the situation
of the “Earthly Paradise” (Geneva, 1906), Assyrian
medical plants, etc. His Notice of the Assyrian monu-
ments in the Zurich Museum is a useful guide for the
visitor; and the biographies of Weber and Grivel which
he includes in it will be read with interest by many Assyri-
ologists. He has written several short but interesting
papers on the less well-known branches of the old science
of divination, to which little attention has been given by
the Assyriologist, e.g., ” Iatromantique, physiognomonie et
palomantique Babyloniennes ” (Revue d’Assyriologie, Paris,
191 1) and Presages fournis par certains insectes (Hilprecht
Ann. Vol., pp. 352-364). One of these insects appears
to have been the praying mantis which, the Book of



the Dead tells us, guided the deceased to the throne of
Osiris. In ” Notes ” and short papers in the Proceedings
of the Soc. Bibl. Arch, he has often called attention to
points that have been entirely overlooked by Assyriologists,
e.g., the two gryphons which George Smith {Assyrian
Discoveries, p. 146) found sculptured on the lintel of a
doorway in the east court of the palace of Sennacherib at
Kuyunjik. See Boissier’s ” Note ” in the Proceedings,
Vol. XIX. (1897), p. 250.


Though Grotefend continued to publish papers on the
cuneiform inscriptions of Persia and Assyria until 1856,
it is quite clear that Oriental scholars in Germany had by
that time begun to doubt the accuracy of his translations
of Assyrian texts, and were inclined to examine with
characteristic thoroughness Rawlinson’s system of decipher-
ment and his translations. Among those who had followed
carefully the writings of Rawlinson, Hincks and Oppert
was Eberhard Schrader (1836-1908), a native of Bruns-
wick, Professor of Theology at Jena and later of Oriental
Languages at Berlin ; and we must regard him as the
” Father of Assyriology ” in Germany. His paper, Die
Basis der Entzifferung der Assyrisch-babylonischen Keilin-
schriften gepriift, in the Zeitschrift d. Deutsch. Morg. Gesell-
schaft (Bd. XXIII., 1869, pp. 337-374), proves that he
accepted Rawlinson’s system. And his transcription, trans-
lation and glossary of the Babylonian text of the trilingual
inscription of Darius I at Bihistun, printed in Vol. XXVI.
of the same work in 1872, make it quite clear that he had
studied the cuneiform inscriptions for several years before
he began to publish the results of his labours. In the same
year he published a complete translation, with translitera-
tion, of the Assyrian text of the Legend of the Descent of



Ishtar into the Underworld (Die Hollenfahrt der Istar,
Giessen, 1874), with a commentary; and this work estab-
lished his reputation as an Assyriologist. Fox Talbot,
Lenormant and George Smith had published translations
of parts of the text; but Schrader’s knowledge of Semitic
languages enabled him to give a connected meaning to the
whole of it. In 1876 he discussed Halevy’s theory that
Sumerian was only a species of cryptic writing invented,
like other cuneiform characters, by the Semites, and not
a language ; and his views coincided on the whole with
those of Rawlinson (see Zeit. D.M.G., Bd. XXIX., pp.
1-52). His work Keilinschriften und Geschichtsforschung
(Giessen, 1878) enhanced his reputation greatly in Germany ;
but the book that gave him world-wide fame was his Die
Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament (Giessen, 1883).
An English translation, made from the second enlarged
German edition, by Owen C. Whitehouse, appeared in
London in 1 885-1 888. In this work Schrader displayed
a wide knowledge of the history of Western Asia and of
the languages spoken there in ancient days ; and it won
consideration and sympathy for the new science of Assyri-
ology throughout Germany. Of his other works and papers
there is no need to make mention here ; but he will be
ever remembered as the founder of that most useful series,
the Keilinschrijtliche Bibliothek. He was a fine example
of the old type of German scholars ; his modesty was as
great as his learning, and of his courtesy and kindness to
me personally, both in Berlin and London, I have most
pleasant recollections.

Side by side with him as one of the pioneers of Assyri-
ology in Germany, though belonging to a younger genera-
tion, must be mentioned Fried rich Delitzsch (1850-
1923). He began his Oriental studies at an early age,
and very soon mastered the fundamentals of Assyrian as



Prof. Dr. Eberhard Schrader. Prof. Dr. Friedrich Deljtzsch.


0^ \*




Prof. Dr. Fritz Hommel. Prof. Dr. Carl Bezold.



then understood. Early in the ‘seventies he became a
Privatdocent, and formed a class for students of Assyrian ;
he prepared for their use a most useful Reading Book
(Assyrische Lesestiicke) with a short Grammar, Glossary and
Syllabary, which went through five editions. He came to
the British Museum in 1877 to collate published texts and
to copy unpublished texts ; yet although he worked hard
then and in subsequent years, he never became an expert
copyist. But he was a good teacher, and he begrudged
neither time nor trouble in helping his German pupils,
and whatever information he had he gave them ; some
of his best work will be found in the books that bear the
names of his pupils as their authors. See Lotz, Die
Inschriften Tiglathpileser’s I, Leipzig, 1880. We may riote
that Delitzsch did not in this case consider that Rawlin-
son’s text needed re-editing. In Wo lag das Parodies?
(Leipzig, 1 881) he grouped together a great deal of valuable
geographical information; but as he had not visited
Mesopotamia at that time, and had not examined the
maps of Taylor, Felix Jones and Trelawney Saunders, the
sites of some of the oldest cities are wrongly placed by him.
In 1887 he began to publish his Assyrisches Worterbuch in
the same format as that of Brugsch’s great Egyptian Diction-
ary. But the time had not come when such an ambitious
enterprise could be undertaken with success, for the simple
reason that hundreds of fragments of syllabaries, lists of
words, and other lexicographical material in the British
Museum were then unpublished. When three parts had
been issued, its publication was discontinued. Delitzsch’s
Assyrisches Handworterbuch (Leipzig, 1896) is most useful,
and is a good example of his careful and painstaking work.
As with his Lesestiicke, so with his Assyrische Grammatik
(Berlin, 1889), which he compiled with the view of helping
the student ; he made no pretence of being an editor of



inscriptions, and his chief aim was to provide his pupils
with what he believed to be accurate texts. Texts pub-
lished for the first time by him are extremely few ; for he
could not trust his own copies. He was led astray by
Halevy’s specious arguments about Sumerian, and for some
years he supported those views ; eventually he came to
the conclusion that Sumerian was a language, and wrote
a book on the principles (Grundzuge) of Sumerian Grammar
(Leipzig, 1914), and compiled a Sumerian Glossary (Leip-
zig, 1914), and published Sumerisch-akkadisch-heUitische
V ocabularjragmente (Berlin, 1914). The last time I saw
him was shortly before the Great War broke out, when
he told me that he was preparing a new edition of his
Handworterbuch ; from a letter which I received from
him a little time before he died I gathered that he had
finished the work. It is to be published shortly. His
death was a great blow to German Assyriology.

Many men who have risen to eminence as specialists in
some branch of Assyriology have been his pupils ; and
among the greatest of these was Carl Bezold (1859-1922),
who was born at Donauworth in Bavaria. When still a
schoolboy he began to study Chinese and Assyrian ; and
Prof. Martin Haug, the distinguished Pehlevi scholar,
directed his work for some years. His university career
began in 1877, and he studied at Munich, Leipzig and
Strassburg. He worked diligently at Arabic, Syriac, and
other Semitic languages under the great Arabist Fleischer,
Delitzsch and Theodor Noldeke, and at the same time
managed to make himself proficient in English, French,
Italian and some of the languages of Northern Europe.
His skill in acquiring languages was very great ; and his
capacity for work was almost incredible. He lived in
London from 1888 to 1894, and was engaged in writing his
Catalogue of the Kuyunjik Collection, and in preparing



an edition of the text of the Tall al-‘Amarnah tablets in the
British Museum. The latter work shows at its best his skill
in deciphering and translating a very difficult class of texts,
which were then wholly new to Assyriologists. His Oriental
Diplomacy (London, 1893) was a most useful supplement to
the official edition of the cuneiform texts. In 1894 he
succeeded his friend Brunnow as Professor of Oriental
Philology at Heidelberg ; and he held this high office until
his death. He edited and translated the Ethiopic text of
the ” Kebra Nagast,” and the Syriac and Arabic texts of
” Ma’arath Gazz& ” with complete success. From 1886 to
1915 he edited the Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie, and founded
in connection with that journal the series Semitistische
Studien (Berlin, 1 894-1900). His knowledge of Assyriology
was encyclopaedic ; and he placed it freely at the disposal
of every serious student for the asking. Those of us at the
British Museum who knew him well discovered that one of
his dearest wishes in life was to compile a great Assyrian
Dictionary, or rather ” Thesaurus,” in size and style like
the Syriac Thesaurus of Payne Smith. But though he
worked steadily at his self-imposed task for many years, and
the Academy of Heidelberg had undertaken to finance the
publication of his Dictionary, death overtook him, and
the great work remained unpublished. It is, however,
satisfactory to know that his Assyriologisches Glossar, which
is based on the larger work, but does not contain references
to texts, is announced for publication this year (1925).
For biographies of Bezold and a list of his works see Enno
Littmann in Zeit. fur Ass., Bd. XXXV., Zimmern in
Z.D.M.G., Bd. II. (New Edition), p. 129, and Boll in the
Sitzungsberichte of the Academy of Heidelberg for 1923.

Fritz Hommel (born 1854), the learned editor and
translator of the Ethiopic Physiologus, and the Arabic version
of the Legend of Barlaam and Yoasaph, and joint editor



with Bezold of the Keilschrift fur Geschichtsforschung for
two years, studied the cuneiform inscriptions under
Delitzsch. He has written many valuable papers on the
Sumerian language and the pre-Semitic civilization of
Babylonia, and on Babylonian astronomy and kindred
subjects. He was one of the first in Germany to collect the
facts from Assyrian and Babylonian sources, and to construct
a connected history of the various ancient peoples of
Western Asia. See his Geschichte des alten Morgenlandes
(Berlin, 191 2), and Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens
(Berlin, 1885). His work on the geography and history of
the Ancient East, now in course of preparation, is eagerly
awaited by Assyriologists and Egyptologists alike.

John Nepomucene Strassmaier, S.J., was born at
Hagenberg in the “Bavarian Forest” on May 13, 1846;
and he died in June 1919. He was a good Chinese scholar, and
had a sound knowledge of Persian, Arabic, and the Semitic
languages generally. In 1875 he became acquainted with
Birch; and for some years he spent his long vacations in
Birch’s private room in the British Museum, studying the
cuneiform inscriptions. Before he came to the Museum,
he had read and studied all the literature bearing on the
decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions, and all the
works of Rawlinson, Hincks, Norris, Oppert, and George
Smith, and was able to translate many of the texts printed
in Rawlinson’s great official publication. He was convinced
that it was a waste of time to compile an Assyrian Dictionary,
or to write a history of the Sumerian and Babylonian civiliza-
tions, whilst so many tens of thousands of tablets in the
British Museum and elsewhere remained unpublished;
and he determined to devote himself to copying texts and
publishing new material. He published the inscriptions
on tablets of Nabopolassar and Smerdis (Zeit.fiir Ass., 1889),
Nebuchadnezzar II (Leipzig, 1889), Nabonidus (Leipzig,


The Rev. Dr. John Nepomuk Strassmaier, S.J.



1889), Cyrus the Great (Leipzig, 1890), Cambyses (Leipzig,
1890), and Darius I (Leipzig, 1 892-1 897), and so made
available to students a very large number of commercial
documents written during the Captivity of the Jews in
Babylon. He collected all the words in the second volume
of Rawlinson’s ” Selection,” and added to these many
hundreds of the words he found in unpublished texts in the
British Museum, and gave them to the world in his Alpha-
betisches V erzeichniss (Leipzig, 1886). This is a volume of
1 1 44 pages quarto; and every page of it was written out
in his beautifully clear writing for the lithographer with his
own hand. He also published many texts in the Proceedings
of the various Oriental Congresses which he attended, and
several very interesting popular articles on Babylonian
Gods, and the Tall al-‘Amarnah Tablets in the Month
for June, August and December, 1879, March 1884,
and August 1892. He was a skilled copyist of cunei-
form texts of all periods, and rendered good service to
astronomers by providing Father Epping, S.J., with copies
of Babylonian lunar observations, texts relating to stars,
etc. (See Epping, Astronomisches aus Babylon, Freiburg,
1889). Epping’s work has been revised by Father F. X.
Kugler, who has shown how the complete Babylonian
theory of astronomy may be reconstructed from his founda-
tions. (See Die Babyloniscbe Mondrechnung, Freiburg,
1900, and Babyloniscbe Zeitrechnung, Miinster, 191 o.) For
about twenty years Strassmaier copied tablets daily in the
Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ; and he must have copied
half the Collection. He was a kindly man, and was always
ready to help beginners, especially when they became
serious students. He copied texts for them, collated their
copies, and construed difficultpassages for them, quite regard-
less of his own work, time or convenience. Bezold’s
Catalogue owes much to his wide knowledge and shrewd



advice. He was easy of access, tolerant and charitable
to the faults of others ; and his counsels always made for
peace. On his theological studies, see Father J. H. Pollen’s
article in the Month for February 1920, pp. 137-144.

Among those in Germany who, following on the lines of
Schrader, Delitzsch and Bezold, have made discoveries and
published and translated unpublished or partly-edited texts,
and have specialized in various branches of Assyriology, may
be mentioned the following. Ludwig Abel helped
Winckler to prepare his edition of the texts of the Tall al-
‘Amarnah Letters. The assistance he rendered to
Winckler has been belittled in some quarters ; but the fact
remains that it was he who copied all the texts that were
published by lithography in Winckler’s Der Thontafelfund
von el-Amarna (Berlin, 1 889-1 890), and there is reason to
believe that Winckler himself never copied one line. This
fact helps to explain why Winckler did not publish the
texts on the tablets which he found by the thousand at
Boghaz Keui in 1906 ; the truth is that he could not copy
them. Abel published a paper on a fragment of a Tall al-
‘Amarnah tablet (Stuck einer Tafel aus dem Fund von el-
Amarna) in Bezold’s Zeitschrift, 1892.

Walter Andrae published works on the Anu-Adad-
Tempel in Assur ; Die Festungswerke von Assur ; and Die
Stelenreihen (Avenues of Stelae) in Assur (Berlin, 1909-1913).
These are issued by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft.
Rudolph Ernst Brunnow compiled a Classified List of all
simple and compound cuneiform ideographs with their Assyro-
Babylonian equivalents and phonetic values (Leyden, 1889),
and a book of Indices to the same (Leyden, 1897), a most
useful and valuable work. He also published Assyrian
Hymns in the Zeit. fur Ass. (Leipzig, 1 889-1 890) ; a
valuable series of articles, ” Correspondance Sumerologique,”
in the Revue SSmitique, 1905, 1913 ; and papers on the



Mitanian Language (Zeit.fiir Ass., 1890), and on Sumerian
{Revue Semitique, 1906- 1907).

Erich Ebeling has published a series of Old Babylonian
Letters (Rev. d’Assyriologie, Paris, 191 3) ; Babylonische
Beschworung (in Hommel’s Festschrift) ; Das Verbum der
El-Jmarna Brief e, Heft 1 and 2, and has collaborated with
Weber in writing the Anmerkungen in the second volume of
Knudtzon’s transliteration and translation of the Tall al-
‘Amarnah Tablets. His most important work is the edition
(in progress) of the religious texts from the tablets found
at Ashur, Keilschrifttexte aus Assur Religiosen Inhalts, of
which about ten parts have already appeared. Joseph
Epping, with the help of copies of lunar calculations,
etc., made by Strassmaier, discussed the Saros-Canon of
the Babylonians, and worked out the calculations for the
years 38 and 79 of the Seleucid Era. His work Astrono-
misches aus Babylon appeared after his death. H. H. Fig-
ulla has edited Der Briefwechsel Belibni’s (Leipzig, 191 2),
Althabylonische Vertrdge (Leipzig, 1924), and Keilschrifttexte
aus Boghazkoi (Leipzig, 1920). E. Forrer has published
the texts of a large number of the Boghaz Keui Tablets (Die
Boghazkoi-Texte in Umschrift (Leipzig, 1922)), a volume of
Keilinschrifttexte(LeiTpzig, 1922), and Hittite Historical Texts
(Geschichtliche lexte aus dem alten Chatti-Reich, Leipzig,
1922). He has also written on Assyrian Chronology and
the Provinces of the Assyrian Kingdom. Friedrich
Hrozny has published several important works on the
Hittites and their languages, and has edited a series of
texts from Boghaz Keui (Uber die V biker und S-prachen des
alten Chatti-Landes, 1920; Die Sfrache der Hethiter, 1917 ;
Hethitische Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazkoi, 1919-1921 ; all
published at Leipzig). He has also proposed a system of
decipherment of the Hittite inscriptions written in cunei-
form. Peter Jensen has written on the Mitanian language,



and on the Cappadocian inscriptions, and has published
Myths and Epics in Assyria and Babylonia (Berlin, 1900),
Das Gilgamesch-Epos in der Weltliteratur (Strassburg,
1906), and Die Kosmologie der Babylonier (Strassburg,
1890). Alfred Jeremias has written many books and
papers on the Babylonian Religion ; his most important
works are Das Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orients
(3rd edition, Leipzig, 1916), and Handbuch der Altoriental-
ischen Geisteskultur (Leipzig, 1913). His paper ” Die sog.
Kedorlomertexte ” SP. III. 2 SP. 158 -f SP. II. 962 (in Hom-
mel’s Festschrift) is of interest. Ernst G. Klauber has
written an important work on the official administrative
classes in Assyria (Civil Service ?), entitled Assyrisches
Beamtentum (Leipzig, 1910), and published a pamphlet
on epistolography (Keilschriftbriefe, Leipzig, 191 1).
Josef Kohler has collaborated with F. E. Peiser in Baby-
lonische Vortrage (Berlin, 1900), and written on the law
documents of the Assyrians (Assyrische Rechtsurkunden,
Leipzig, 1913), and discussed ancient legal methods of
procedure. F. Xaver Kugler has written papers on
Babylonian astronomy, and an interesting book (Sternkunde
und Sterndienst Babel, Miinster, 1907-1910) on the cult of
the stars in Babylon. He has published a series of lunar
calculations copied by Strassmaier. W. Lotz published a
transliteration and translation of the Annals of Tiglath
Pileser I (Die Inschriften Tiglathpileser’s I., Leipzig, 1880).
The commentary contains many valuable notes by Delitzsch.
Bruno Meissner has contributed papers on Babylonian
letters and laws, hunting, falconry, etc., to various journals,
and has written a short Assyrian Grammar (Leipzig, 1907),
a Chrestomathie for beginners (Leyden, 1895), a Supplement
to the existing Assyrian Dictionaries (Leyden, 1898), and
a valuable series of Assyriologische Studien in several volumes
for the Vorderasiatische Gesellschaft. In his Babylonien



und Assyrien (2 vols., Heidelberg, 1 920-1 924) he has given
a summary of all the well-ascertained facts concerning the
civilizations of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians.
He has done for these peoples much the same as Wilkinson
did for the Egyptians in his Manners and Customs of the
Ancient Egyptians. Leopold Messerschmidt has edited a
volume of texts from Ashur (Keilschrifttexte aus Assur
Historischen Inhalts, Leipzig, 1921), and a volume of
Schriftdenkmaler (Leipzig, 1907). F. E. Peiser has edited
law texts in collaboration with Kohler, and written on legal
procedure in Babylonian chronology, the Assyrian characters,
etc. He also published a Sketch of Babylonian Society
(Washington, 1899). Arno Poebel has edited Historical
Texts (1914), Historical and Grammatical Texts (1914), and
Grammatical Texts (1914), for the University of Pennsyl-
vania. He has written on the Sumerian Verb (Zeit. fur
Ass., 1908), and is the author of a Sumerian Grammar
(Grundzuge der Sumerischen Grammatik, 1924). G. A.
Reisner has edited a series of Sumerian-Babylonian hymns
(Berlin, 1896), and written on Babylonian metrology (Berlin,
1896). Paul Schnabel has written on Babylonian chron-
ology (Studien zur Babyhnisch-Assyrischen Chronologie,
Leipzig, 1908), and published an important work on
Berossos (Die Babylonische Chronologie in Berossos’ Baby-
loniaka, Leipzig, 1908). Otto Schroeder has edited a
volume of the historic inscriptions and a volume of mis-
cellaneous texts from Ashur (Keilschrifttexte, 1920, 1922) ;
a volume of El-Amarna tablets, a volume of contracts from
Warka, and a volume of Old Babylonian letters in the series
Schriftdenkmaler (Leipzig, 1907). Arthur Ungnad has
edited Parts 3-9 in the series Schriftdenkmaler, and pub-
lished the text of the Code of Khammurabi (Keilschrift-
texte der Gesetze Hammurafis (Leipzig, 1909) ; a series
of Babylonian Letters of the time of Khammurabi (Leipzig,



191 1); and he has collaborated with H. Gressmann in
Altorientalische Texte (Tubingen, 1908), and with Kohler
in Assyrische Rechtsurkunden (Leipzig, 1913). Translations
of the law documents, contracts, etc. which he published in
Berlin in 1 907-1 909, will be found in Brill’s Semitic Study
Series (Leyden, 1907-1908). Otto Weber has collaborated
with Figulla in a volume of Boghaz Keui texts (Leipzig,
1 919), and written a sketch of the literature of the Baby-
lonians and Assyrians (Leipzig, 1907).’ E. F. Weidner
has specialized in the study of Babylonian Astronomy and
Astrology, and the Calendar, and published the first part of
a Handbuch der Babylonischen Astronomie (Leipzig, 1881).
He announced various discoveries in Babyloniaca (Paris,
1910-1914). In collaboration with Figulla he has pub-
lished two parts of the Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazkoi
(Leipzig, 1 916). His works on chronology include Die
Konige von Assyrien (Leipzig, 1921), Studien zur Assyrisch-
babylonischen Chronologie (Leipzig, 191 7) ; and he has
published a list of the Kings of Babylon and Assyria in
Meissner’s Babylonien und Assyrien (Bd. II. p. 439 ff.).

Hugo Winckler was an indefatigable worker, and pub-
lished books and papers on almost every branch of Assyriology.
He edited the texts of the Tall al-‘Amarnah tablets {Der
Thontafelfund von el-Amarna, Berlin, 1889-1890), and
published complete transcriptions and translations of the
same in German (Berlin, 1896), and in English (New York,
1896). He wrote several articles on the civilization of
Babylonia; and his Geschichte Babyloniens (Leipzig, 1892)
was translated into English by J. A. Craig (New York,
1907). He was somewhat of an erratic genius ; and though
his learning was considerable, his deductions were frequently
unsound, and many of his theories were based on his
imagination. He directed the excavations of the German
Oriental Society at Boghaz Keui, and discovered some



thousands of tablets inscribed in cuneiform, among them
being the draft of the Treaty that the Hittites made with
the Egyptians in the reign of Rameses II. For his account
of his work, see Deutsch. Literaturzeit., 1907, pp. 807-808 ;
Orient. Litt. Bd. IX. (1906), pp. 411, 607-609, 621-634;
Vossische Zeitung, Nov. 9, 1906 ; the Vorlaufige Nachrichten
in the Mitteilungen d. Deut. Orient. Gesellschaft, Bd. XXXV.
(1907), pp. 1-59; and Winckler and Puchstein in the
Smithsonian Report for 1908, pp. 677-696 (with illustra-
tions). H. Zimmern has specialized in the study of Baby-
lonian Hymns and Prayers (Leipzig, 1905, 191 1), and edited
and translated a series of Babylonian Penitential Psalms
(Leipzig, 1885). In connection with these he has written
papers on Babylonian Rhythm and Metre. His Biblische
und Babylonische Urgeschichte (Leipzig, 1901) has been
translated into English by J. Hutchison (London, I901).
He has edited the texts of a series of Cult-Songs, and copied
several Ritual texts. His other writings include papers on
the god Tammuz, the Tall al-‘ Am amah Letters, trans-
lations of the famous Prayer of Gudea, an essay on the
Purim Festival of the Jews, and a work on the Babylonian
Religion {Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Babylonischen Religion,
Leipzig, 1912-1913). He has also collected a mass of material
from Babylonian sources, which he uses in an attempt to
prove that the ” Christusmythe ” is derived from the
legends of Bel-Merodach (Zum Streit um die Christusmythe,
Berlin, 1910). Another important work of his is Keilin-
schriften und Bib el nach ihrem religionsgeschichtlichen
Zusammenhang (Berlin, 1903).

Valuable work on Persian and Susian inscriptions has been
done by F. H. Weissbach and W. Bang in their monograph
Die Altfersischen Keilinschriften (Leipzig, 1893) ; see also
Weissbach’s Die Achaemenidinschriften zweiter Art (Leipzig,
1890). Weissbach has also written on the Sumerian



Question, and on the Grave of Cyrus at Murghab, the
Babylonian Calendar and Chronology, the Achaemenian
Chronology, etc. Edtjard Mahler has discussed the Saros
Canon and Babylonian Chronology in many papers ; Eduard
Meyer has compiled a Geschichte des Alterthwns (Stuttgart,
1 884-1902), and has written on the Sumerians, Babylonians
and Hittites ; W. M. Muller’s Asien und Europa (Leipzig,
1893) contains a mass of useful information on the history
and geography of Western Asia and Egypt ; and mention
must be made of F. Muerdter’s Kurzgefasste Geschichte
(Stuttgart, 1882), which contains a great deal of work by
Delitzsch, and was a most useful book in its day. Karl
Frank has specialized in the study of Assyrian and Baby-
lonian art, and investigated the symbolism of the figures
on boundary-stones, and the iconography of the gods.
F. von Oefele has written papers and pamphlets on the
tablets inscribed with lists of plants used in Babylonian and
Assyrian medicine. The volumes of Der Alte Orient
(Leipzig, 1900-1924) contain a useful series of popular
articles on Oriental Archaeology by numerous experts.

Excavations. — The first German excavations in the East
seem to have been those made in connection with the
German Astronomical Mission that was sent to Persia to
view the transit of Venus in 1874. Stolze, a member of
the mission, which lasted four years, went to Takht-i-
Jamshid (Persepolis) in 1878 and took photographs of all
the monuments at that place, and then went on to take
photographs at Firuz-Abad, Fasa and Darab. He made
a photogrammetric plan of Persepolis, which is given in
the three plans in the second volume of his work, Persepolis;
Die Achaemenidischen Denkmdler (Berlin, 1882). On
the doubtfulness of the value of the photographs, see
Booth, Trilingual Cuneiform Inscription, p. 130. The
Mission was directed by Dr. Andreas, who travelled over



many parts of southern Persia. In 1888, Colonel E. C.
Ross, the British Resident at Bushire, told me of the
existence of a series of mounds at a place called Sams ab ad ( ?),
and said that they covered much ground, and must contain
the remains of a large city. I visited them on March 11
of that year, in company with Captain Butterworth of
the India Marine Service, and was told by Mr. C. J.
Malcolm, who owned the site, that some German archae-
ologist had excavated there by his consent for about two
years, and had found a considerable number of small objects,
and the lower parts of the walls of several large buildings
made of bricks inscribed in cuneiform. He filled about
200 cases, it was said, with the results of his diggings ;
but as his funds were exhausted, and he was unable to
pay the natives for the materials used, he was not allowed
to remove the cases, a large number of which were stored
in Mr. Malcolm’s warehouses. Some of the Persian
notables whom I saw at the Residency said that the name
of the ancient city which was marked by the mounds at
Sams ab ad was given in old Persian Itineraries ; but they
did not know what it was. What became of the cases of
antiquities I know not.

In 1 879-1 880 Professor E. Sachau and certain German
officials visited the principal ruins and ancient sites in
Assyria and Babylonia, ostensibly with the view of making
researches of a geographical character ; but they seized
the opportunity of conversing with the native dealers, and
purchased from them collections of Babylonian tablets
for the Royal Museum in Berlin. In 1887 the mounds
of SurgMl and Al-Hibbah were excavated by Koldewey,
Moritz and Meyer ; and in 1902-1903 the mounds at Farah
were excavated by Koldewey, Andrae and Noldeke.

In 1893 the Germans carried on excavations at Sinjirli,
or Zinjirli, in the Valley of the Kara-Su ; and close to the



gate of a Hittite fort they discovered a large stone stele,
sculptured with a figure of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria
(681-669 B>c > on tne reverse is a long cuneiform inscrip-
tion which was published by Felix von Luschan {Monolith
des Asarhaddon, Berlin, 1893). A monument inscribed in
Phoenician letters and several small objects were found.
On the buildings, see Otto Puchstein, Boghazkoi, die
Bauwerke (Leipzig, 191 2).

In 1897 the German Government decided to undertake
the excavations of ancient sites in Assyria and Babylonia,
and despatched Sachau to Mesopotamia to report on the
sites most suitable. Sachau travelled as far south as the
Hayy River, and visited the scene of every antiquarian
excavation ; and when he returned, he reported favourably
on several of the groups of ruins at Babylon, on the mounds
on the north bank of the river Khabur, near its junction
with the Euphrates, and on Kal’ah Sharkat, i.e. the ” city
of Ashur.” On March 26, 1899, Koldewey began work
at Babylon; and excavations were carried on until 191 2.
Reports of progress made were published from time to
time in the Mitteilungen d. Deutsch. Orient. Gesellschaft ;
and a full account of the discoveries made is given by
Koldewey in his Das Wiedererstehende Babylon (Leipzig,
1913). Other publications of his are Die Hethitische
Inschrift (Leipzig, 1900), Die Pflastersteine von Aibur-
schabu (1901), and Die lemfel von Babylon (191 1). For
the inscriptions, see Weissbach, Babylonische Miscellen
(1903), Schrader’s Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, Vol. III.
(Berlin, 1890), and Langdon, Neubabylonische Konigsin-
schriften (Leipzig, 1912).

In 1902 it was said that His Majesty the Sultan had
given the ruins and site of Kal’ah Sharkat to the German
Emperor William II as a personal gift ; but whether this
be so or not, the Germans began at once to excavate the



site of the ” city of Ashur.” Andrae was the Director
of the work ; and he and his colleagues dug through.layer
after layer of the mound with characteristic thoroughness
and made many important discoveries. They found a
splendid series of historical stone stelae, which were set
up in the ” high street,” or ” street called Straight,” in
honour of kings and high officials, and monuments of its
earliest kings. See Andrae, Die Stelenreihen in Assur
(Leipzig, 1913), Messerschmidt, Keilschrifttexte aus Assur
(Leipzig, 191 1), and Andrae, Die Festungswerke von Assur
(Leipzig, 191 3). A considerable number of inscribed clay
tablets were found, and the publication of the texts in the
volumes of the Deutsch. Orient. Gesellschaft is in progress ;
the editors are H. H. Figulla, E. F. Weidner and O. Weber.
A large consignment of antiquities from the city of Ashur,
and probably from other sites, packed in some hundreds
of cases, was captured at sea during the War by a Portuguese
vessel and taken to Lisbon, where, if rumour be correct,
they were stored in the Customs House, and still are.

In 1906 Hugo Winckxer was despatched on a mission
to Boghaz Keui ; and the excavations he made there
were crowned with extraordinary success. He found
literally thousands of tablets inscribed in cuneiform
characters, some written in a language similar to that on
the tablets of Arzawa (which some consider to be Indo-
European in character), and others in a Semitic dialect.
Among them were fragments of bilingual Hittite-Babylonian
Vocabularies, some of which were published by Delitzsch
in the Abhandlungen of the Berlin Academy for 1914.
All these tablets belong to the period of the last two centuries
of the supremacy of the Hittite kings who reigned at
Boghaz Keui, and come to an end with the downfall of
their power, about 1200 b.c. ( ?). A good description of
Boghaz Keui and the work that has been done there will



be found in Garstang, The Land of the Hittites (London,
1910). This writer identifies the town with Pteria, where,
according to Herodotus (I. 78), a battle between Cyrus
and Croesus was fought. Many scholars would include
Hittite among the Indo-European languages ; and the
arguments in favour of this view are well set forth by F.
Hrozny in Die Losung des Hethitischen Problems in the
Mitteilungen d. Deutsch. Orient. Gesellschaft for Dec. 191 5,
No. 56; Die Sprache der Hethiter (Leipzig, 191 7) ; and
Hethitische Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazkbi in Umschrift mit
Uebersetzung und Kommentar (Leipzig, 1919). For an
excellent summary of the work done in connection with
Hittite decipherment, see the Tableau des Etudes Hittites,
in Contenau’s Elements de Bibliographie Hittite (Paris,

In 1912-1914 Max Freiherr von Oppenheim excavated
the ruins at Tall Halaf. The ship carrying the cases filled
with the results of his labours was captured by the British
and taken into Alexandria, where its whole cargo was sold
in the open market. The cases of antiquities were pur-
chased by a British firm in Alexandria, and were subse-
quently sold to the Trustees of the British Museum, who
have given Oppenheim every facility for writing his mono-
graph on them. It is reported that during the War the
Germans made unauthorized excavations at many places
in Assyria, e.g. Kuyunjik and Samarra, and in Babylonia,
e^g. Warka and Farah, and that the natives employed by
them were permitted to dig without any European super-

In connection with excavations, the exploration of
Armenia by Waldemar Belck and F. F. K. Lehmann-
Haupt in search of cuneiform inscriptions must be men-
tioned. It will be remembered that in 1826 F. E. Schulz,
a Professor of the University of Giessen, was sent by the



French Government to Armenia to study the Van Inscrip-
tions. He arrived at Van (Wan) in July 1827 and in a short
time copied forty-two inscriptions, and later a trilingual
inscription at Elvend, and sent duplicates of his copies to
St. Martin in Paris, who intended to publish them, but
was prevented by death from doing so. Schulz was
murdered by the Kurds in 1829, and his papers passed into
the possession of Burnouf, who published the trilingual
inscription on Mount Elvend and a Van inscription in his
Memoir e sur deux Inscriptions, in 1836. Belck copied
several Van inscriptions in 1891-1892; in 1898 he joined
Lehmann-Haupt, and together they succeeded in collecting
a large number of inscriptions in places where their existence
had never been suspected. In their extensive travels they
found and copied several important Assyrian inscriptions.
The names of the places where they worked are given by
Fossey, Manuel d’Jssyriologie (Paris, 1904), p. 59 f.


The only Italian who seems to have taken any very active
part in the controversies that raged between 1845 and 1855
about the decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions was
Philox£ne Luzzato, who was born at Padua of Jewish
parents in 1829, and died in 1855. He published the first
part of a study of the Assyrian inscriptions entitled Le
Sanscritisnte de la Langue Assyrienne (Padoue, 1849), and
a second, ‘Etudes sur les Inscriptions Assyriennes de Persepolis,
Hamadan, Van, K’horsabad, in 1850. His theory that
Assyrian was an Indo-European language was, of course,
wrong; but he deserves credit for having shown clearly
that twenty-four of the signs in the Susian Version of the
great Bihistun Inscription corresponded with those in the
Babylonian Version. Italian Assyriologists of a later
generation are Bruto Teloni, who compiled a Crestomazia



Jssira, con paradigmi grammaticali (Florence, 1887), and
published a sketch of Assyrian Literature as one of the
Manuali Hoepli (Letter atur a Jssira, Milan, 1903). Gerardo
Meloni published copies of some Assyrian texts in the
British Museum in the Rivista (Rome, 1911) ; and ‘the
Pontificio Istituto Biblico has published Tabulae signorum
cuneijormium in usum scholce, and Textus cuneiformes in
usum scholce (Rome, 1910). Antonius Deimel has edited
a Vocabularium Sumericum ad usum privatum auditorum
(Rome, 1910), and compiled an alphabetical list of
Babylonian gods with the help of R. Panara, I. Patsch
and N. Schneider (Pantheon Babylonicum, Rome, 1914).
He has edited several other works for the Pontificio Istituto
Biblico. Enrico Besta wrote Le Leggi di Hammurabi e
Pantico diritto Babilonese (Torino, 1904) ; Biagio Bruci
wrote Le Leggi di Hammurabi (Venice, 1 902-1 903). E.
Bonavia published The Flora of the Assyrian Monuments
(London, 1894), and wrote several papers on the fruits
and sacred trees of Assyria in the Bab. and Oriental Record,
1888-1890. Giustino Boson contributed papers on the
stones and metals mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions
in the Rivista (Rome, 1913-1916). To the same Journal
(1908) G. Schiaparelli contributed the article / primordi
delV astronomia presso i Babilonesi.

Assyriology in Scandinavia, Finland, etc.

Knut Leonard Tallqvist has edited and translated the
very important series of texts called Maklu, and published
a dictionary of the proper names which are found on
business documents from the time of Shamash-shum-ukin
(668-648 b.c) to Xerxes (485-465 b.c.) (Neubabylonisches
Namenbuch, Helsingfors, 1906). He also edited and trans-
lated a number of Babylonian letters dealing with offerings
(Babylonische Schenkungsbriefe, Helsingfors, 1891), and com-



piled a useful work on Assyrian Personal Names (Leipzig,
1914). H. Holma has edited Assyrian texts from tablets
in the British Museum and written an interesting Etude
sur les Vocabulaires Sumiriens-Accadiens-Hittites de
Delitzsch (Helsingfors, 1916), and discussed the Indo-
European origin of the Hittite Language. His papers
on Lexicography are very valuable. J. A. Knudtzon
published a series of Assyrian Prayers to the Sun-god
{Assyrische Gebete an den Sonnengott, Leipzig, 1893), and
contributed papers to the Zeit. filr Ass. on Semitic
Grammar, the antiquities in Copenhagen, etc. One of
the most important Assyriological books which has appeared
in recent years is his edition in transliteration, with trans-
lation, of the Tall al-‘Amarnah Letters {Die El-Amarna-
Tafeln, Leipzig, 191 5). This great work was unfinished
when he died ; and the Commentary and Vocabulary are
the work of O. Weber and E. Ebeling. Knudtzon was
probably the first to connect the language of the Arzawa
Letters with the Indo-European group of languages.
See his Die zzvei Arzawa-Briefe; Die altesten Urkunden in
Indogerm. Sprache (with remarks by Bugge and Torp,
Leipzig, 1902).


Holland cannot claim as a son any editor or translator
of cuneiform texts on a large scale. Cnoop Koopmans
wrote a dissertation on Sardanapalus (Disputatio historico-
critica de Sardanapalo, Amsterdam, 1819). H. Kuyper
published Assyria. De Assyrisch-Iranische mogendheid (1250-
500 J. v. Chr., Amsterdam, 1856). Franz M. Theodor
Bohl has published an important work on the language
of the Tall al-‘Amarnah Letters and its relation to the
Canaanite dialect (Die Sprache der Amarnabriefe, Leipzig,
1909). Cornelius Petrus Tiele (1830-1902) is famous



throughout the world for his works on Religion and History.
He wrote the article Religions in the ninth edition of the
Encyclopaedia Britannica, and gave the Gifford Lectures at
Edinburgh, 1 896-1 898. His views on the importance of
Assyriology for the student of comparative religion are
given in his Die Assyriologie und ihre Ergebnisse (Leipzig,
1878). His Babylonisch-assyrische Geschichte (Gotha, 1886-
1888) was for many years the standard work on the subject,
and his Geschichte der Religion in Altertum (Gotha, 1896-
1898) is a rich mine of information for all students of the
religions of the Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, and other
ancient Eastern nations. He also wrote a valuable work
on the connection between the religions of the Semites
and the religion of Egypt (Histoire comparSe des Anciennes
Religions de V&gypte et des peuples SSmitiques, Paris, 1882).

Assyriology in America

There is evidence that the Semitic scholars in America
between i860 and 1870 took great interest in the decipher-
ment of the cuneiform inscriptions by Rawlinson, and the
publication of the texts which threw light on Bible History
by him and Norris and George Smith. During the next
ten years this interest increased ; and when George Smith
published the ” Chaldean Account of the Deluge,” it
spread abroad among all the educated classes in America.
Professors in Universities and Theological Colleges were
well acquainted with the works of Schrader, and knew
that Sayce had published an Assyrian Grammar and
Delitzsch a Reading-Book of Assyrian (Lesestiicke) ; and
they felt that it was high time that some of their students
should make themselves experts in the new science of
Assyriology. In some quarters, the older American
scholars were somewhat doubtful about the firmness of
its foundations, and wished for further evidence before


Prof. David Gordon Lyon, the Father of American Assyriolocy.



they accepted the decipherment of the cuneiform inscrip-
tions as an accomplished fact. There was no teacher of
Assyrian in America, and no Professor of Assyrian in
Cambridge or Oxford, for Sayce was not appointed until
1 891 ; but Schrader had established a class for Assyrian,
and Delitzsch, then a Privatdocent, was receiving pupils
at Leipzig, and the Americans who wished to learn
Assyrian were obliged to go to Germany to be taught.
Among the first Americans who became students of
Assyriology in Germany was David Gordon Lyon, who
was born in 1852, at Benton, Alabama; and he is the
” Father of Assyriology ” in America. He studied under
Delitzsch at Leipzig ; and his first work was an edition
of an inscription of Sargon II (722-705 B.C.), with trans-
lation and notes {Keilschrifttexte Sargons, Leipzig, 1883).
This was followed by an Assyrian Manual (Chicago, 1886),
which many students have found to be a clear and useful
introduction to the Assyrian language. He has published
a couple of volumes on the Harvard Excavations in Samaria
(1924), and several papers in the Journal of the American
Oriental Society on the Khammurabi Code, and on Semitic
religions generally. He is an accomplished Oriental scholar ;
and his eminently sound judgment has helped his pupils

With the view of increasing the study of Assyria a in
America, some of the Universities imported Assyriologists
from Germany; and of these the best known were
Hermann Vollrat Hilprecht, born 1859, an ^ Paul
Haupt, born at Gorlitz in Germany in 1858. Hilprecht
published Old Babylonian Inscriptions, chiefly from Nippur
(1910), Mathematical, Metrological and Chronological Texts
from the Temple Library of Nippur (1906), and was joint
editor with A. T. Clay of Business Documents of Marashu
Sons of Nippur (1898). He was one of the original members



of the E. W. Clark Archaeological Mission to Mesopotamia,
and wrote an account of the Excavations in Assyria and
Babylonia (1904), and a description of the excavation of
the temple of Enlil at Nippur {Die Ausgrabungen . . . im
Bel-Tempel %u Nippur, Leipzig, 1903). His work, The
Excavations in Assyria and Babylonia (1904), contains much
valuable matter; but many of his deductions have been
proved to be incorrect. He wrote a popular work entitled
Explorations in Bible Lands during the Nineteenth Century
(1903), which contained important notes by Benzinger,
Hommel, Jensen and Steindorff. A volume of papers
on Assyriology and Archaeology by his ” colleagues,
friends and admirers ” was presented to him on his fiftieth
birthday {Hilprecht Anniversary Volume, Leipzig, 1909).
From the time when the American Mission began to work
at Nuffar (1887), serious differences of opinion on funda-
mental matters connected with the excavations existed
between Hilprecht and John Punnett Peters, the Director
of the Mission, and author of several papers on the Library
and Palace of Nippur and on the excavations in general.
Notwithstanding the great success which attended the
labours of Peters and Haynes, Hilprecht claimed that, as
the Assyriologist to the Mission, he should also be the
Director. He succeeded in making good his contention;
and from 1898 to 1900 he directed the works, with Haynes
as his executive officer. The dispute between Hilprecht
and Peters grew in intensity ; and at length the Board of
Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania set up a Com-
mittee to investigate the claims of the rivals. The Pro-
ceedings of th4s Committee and the supplementary docu-
ments, evidence and statement fill a volume of 357 pages,
which was published at Philadelphia in 1908.

Paul Haupt took no part in the American. excavations
in Mesopotamia. He proceeded to the Ph.D. degree at



Leipzig in 1878, and was appointed Professor of Semitic
Languages in Johns Hopkins University in 1883, which
post, in addition to many other appointments, he has held
ever since. He has edited and translated the text of a
series of Sumerian Family Laws {Familiengesetze, Leipzig,
1879); and published the text of the Babylonian Nim-
rodepos (Leipzig, 1884-1891), together with papers on the
same in Delitzsch’s Beitrage (Leipzig, 1890) ; the Cuneiform
Account of the Deluge (Chicago, 1883), and papers on
passages of the same ; a pamphlet on the Akkadian Language
(Berlin, 1883) ; a paper on the Xllth Tablet of the Nim-
rodepos (in the Beitrage for 1890), etc. He edited the
Polychrome Bibel (1898), and has written on such diverse
subjects as Biblical Love-ditties (1902), Jonah’s Whale
(1907), the Aryan Ancestry of Jesus (1909), the Burning
Bush (1910), Tobias Blindness and Sard’s Hysteria (1921),
and Manna, Nectar and Ambrosia (1922). It is stated that
he has written more than 400 papers on matters relating
to the Bible and Assyriology.

American Excavations in Mesopotamia. — Having
appointed an Assyriologist, Dr. Lyon, to be Hollis Professor
of Theology at Harvard in 1882, and Haupt Professor of
Semitic Languages at Johns Hopkins University in 1883,
the Americans felt that it was high time they began to
make excavations in Mesopotamia, and to form collections
of cuneiform tablets and other antiquities for the use of
the students in their Universities. Thanks to the liberality
of Miss Wolfe, Messrs. Hayes Ward, J. R. S. Sterrett
and J. H. Haynes were despatched to Mesopotamia in
1884 to select a site or sites where the Americans could
begin to work. The Mission seems to have decided that
as all the large ruins in Assyria had been cleared out by
the French and English, they must turn their attention
to Babylonia ; and subsequent events proved it was very



fortunate that they did so. They paid visits to Babylon
and all the sites in the neighbourhood, and then went to
the south and examined the sites that had been excavated
by Loftus and Taylor, and all the mounds that, according
to the natives, contained antiquities. It is surprising that
they did not decide to clear out Abu Habbah, only about
one-third of which had at that time been worked through,
and still more surprising that they did not decide to excavate
the mounds of Al-Uhe’mar, which mark the site of Kish,
where Prof. Langdon has recently made such important
discoveries (see The Times of June 27, 1924, and Jan. 7,
1925). The Mission returned to America and reported;
and finally, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
decided to excavate the mounds called by the natives
Niffar and Nuffar, which mark the site of the ancient city
of Nippur. This great and important city, nearly 100
miles south of Babylon, stood on the banks of the canal
called Shatt an-Nil, which took off from the Euphrates
near Babylon ; and the modern city which was built close
by continued to flourish for some centuries after the
Arabs conquered the Persians and became masters of the
country. Its decay was brought about by the failure of
the Arabs to maintain the old canal system in the

Funds for the work were found without difficulty, Mr.
E. W. Clark, the banker, being one of the most generous
contributors. Peters was made Director of the Expedition ;
and, accompanied by Hilprecht, Harper, J. Dyneley
Prince, and Haynes, he began in 1889 to dig at Niffar
daily. In April he was obliged to stop work because of
the hostility of the Arabs, who went so far as to burn his
camp; but over 2000 tablets had been found, besides
many objects dating from the beginning of the third
millennium B.C. Work was resumed by Peters and Haynes



in 1890, and about 8000 tablets were found. In April
1893 Haynes returned to Niffar, and continued the work
until February 1896. J. A. Meyer, the architect, stayed
with him for a few months ; but the rest of the time he had
no European with him. During this period of more than
thirty-two months Haynes discovered about 20,000 tablets,
and visited many ancient sites which were not, and still
are not, marked on any map, and made a large collection
of miscellaneous antiquities. To live in the open desert in
Babylonia for thirty-two consecutive months is a wonderful
feat of physical endurance, for the midday heats and the
midnight frosts are really terrible things for sapping the
vitality of a man. In 1898 Hilprecht was made Director
of Excavations; and Haynes continued the work, which
he had left unfinished when he returned to America in
1896. He was rewarded by the discovery of the Library
of the temple of Enlil, which contained 23,000 tablets
belonging to the period 2700-2100 B.C. In 1900 he made
an examination of the mounds of Abu Hatab, which mark
the site of Kisarra, and Far ah, the ancient Shuruppak,
and found at the latter place many objects, including a
number of inscribed shells, which prove that the old city
was a flourishing centre, probably before 3000 b.c. From
the excavations at Niffar the University of Pennsylvania
acquired over 50,000 tablets and many miscellaneous
antiquities of all periods. This splendid result was due
chiefly to the devotion and unceasing toil of J. H. Haynes,
whose sole object was to secure antiquities for Philadelphia.
Though neither an Assyriologist nor an expert archaeologist,
for he was only attached to the Expedition as a photo-
grapher, all Assyriologists who study the texts found by
him at Niffar owe him a debt of gratitude. Let us thank
him, and honour his memory. For full accounts of the
work done at Niffar, see Peters, Nippur : the Narrative



of the University of Pennsylvania Expedition to Babylonia
in the years 1888-1890 (New York, 1897, 2 vols.), and
papers by him in the Journal of the American Oriental
Society, 1905, and the American Journal of Archeology,
1895 ; Hilprecht, The Excavations in Assyria and Babylonia
(Philadelphia, 1904). The most important work on Nippur
that has yet appeared is Excavations at Nippur, Plans,
Details and Photographs of the Building, etc., with descriptive
text by Clarence S. Fisher (Philadelphia, 1905-1906).

In 1922 the Trustees of the British Museum and the
Trustees of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania
at Philadelphia made an arrangement to excavate jointly
those parts of the ruins of ” Ur of the Chaldees ”
which had been left untouched by previous excavators
(Taylor in 1854, Haynes in 1891 and Hall in 1919-
1920), and the Sumerian temple at Tall al-‘UbSd dis-
covered by Hall, and other sites. An expedition was
sent out in the autumn of 1922 with C. L. Woolley as
Director, Sidney Smith of the British Museum as Assyri-
ologist, and F. G. Newton, the distinguished architect,
whose recent death in Upper Egypt we all deplore. The
expedition continued the work, with C. J. Gadd of the
British Museum as Assyriologist, in the winter of 1923-1924,
and again in the winter of 1924-1925 with Leon Legrain as
Assyriologist. The scientific journals in which both Hall
and Woolley have published reports on the work are
mentioned elsewhere (see p. 147). Articles on last season’s
work by Legrain will be found in the Journal of the Phila-
delphia Museum for 1924 and in The Times for Jan. 7
and Feb. 4, 1925. It is greatly to be wished that the
British Museum published a Journal in which its Assyri-
ologists could tell us something about the inscriptions, and
give translations of the most important of them.

In 1903 the University of Chicago decided to excavate



the mounds at Bismaya (spelling doubtful), in Babylonia,
which mark the site of the ancient city of Adab. Edgar
James Banks (born 1866), American Consul at Baghdad
1 897-1 898, was appointed to carry out the work; and he
began to dig in December 1903, and continued his excava-
tions throughout the year 1904 ; he has published an account
of his work in Bismya : or, The Lost City of Adab ; A story
of excavation among the ruins of the oldest of the buried cities
of Babylonia (New York, 191 2). Banks has published
articles on ” The Bismya Temple, Stone and Terra-cotta
Vases from Bismya,” and ” The Oldest Statue in the World,”
in the American Journal of Semitic Languages, 1904- 1906;
but I cannot find that any publication of the inscriptions
which he found at that place has been issued. The ” oldest
(sic) statue in the world ” is the standing figure of Esar,
King of Adab, which Hamdi Bey showed me in the Museum
at Constantinople in 1906, It is not by any means the
oldest statue in the world, for it cannot be older than
the dynasty of Ur-Nina (3000-2700 B.C.). Many other
early, important antiquities must have been found with
this statue, and it is high time that they were described
and published, especially the ” several thousand inscribed
objects (tablets?) from 4500 to 2800 B.C.,” which are
mentioned in Banks’s biography, given in Who’s Who
in America, Vol. XIII. p. 303. Banks has published a
selection of Babylonian Hymns from the Berlin Collection
(1897), The Bible and the Spade (1913), and ” several
hundred articles on archaeology,” etc.

By the end of the nineteenth century there were collec-
tions of Babylonian tablets in many institutions in America ;
for from 1884 onwards the dealers in Baghdad and London
have regarded the American market for antiquities as more
important than the British. The largest collection was
of course in Philadelphia, in the Museum of the University



of Pennsylvania ; for it included more than 50,000 tablets
from Niffar, and the collections bought from Shemtob
and Khabbaza and other dealers in London and Baghdad
(see Peters, Nippur, Vol. I. p. 297). The Trustees of the
University of Pennsylvania have pursued a policy similar
to that of the Trustees of the British Museum ; they
undertook excavations for scientific purposes, and they
bought collections of tablets in the open market whenever
there was an opportunity. As soon as the results of their
Niffar excavations arrived in America, they and the Director
of their Museum in Philadelphia decided to publish the
texts of the most important documents as quickly as possible,
so that students, not only in America but all over the
world, might have new material upon which to work.
Their first editor was H. V. Hilprecht, who published two
parts of Old Babylonian Inscriptions in 1 893-1 896, which
are now out of print. His work was delayed through his
desire to translate the texts which he was publishing;
this he found to be impossible, for at that time no man
living could do so. To this day Assyriologists publish
texts, the meanings of parts of which are unknown to them.
Hilprecht’s work was followed almost yearly by a volume
of texts edited by some scholar; and the twenty-five
volumes of cuneiform texts which have appeared since
1904 form a Babylonian Library which no Assyriologist
can do without.

The Assyriologists who edited the volumes were : G. A.
Barton (N.S. Vol. IX., No. 1) ; E. Chiera (N.S. Vol. VIII.,
Nos. 1 and 2 ; Vol. XL, Nos. 1-3) ; A. T. Clay (A. Vols.
VIII., X., XIV, XV., N.S. Vol. II., Nos. 1 and 2) ; H. V.
Hilprecht (A. Vols. L, XX.) ; Hilprecht and Clay
(A, Vol. IX.) ; W. J. Hinke, S. Langdon (N.S. Vols.
X., XII., No. i) ; L. Legrain (N.S. Vol. XIII.) ; H. F.
Lutz (N.S. Vol. I., No. 2) ; J. A. Montgomery (N.S.


Dr. George Byron Gordon, Director of the Museum
at Philadelphia of the University of Pennsylvania.



Vol. III.) ; D. W. Myhrman (A. Vol. III., N.S. Vol. L,
No. 1) ; A. Poebel (A. Vol. VI., No. 2, N.S. Vol. IV.,
No. 1, Vol. V, Vol. VI., No. 1) ; H. Radau (A. Vols.
XVII. and XXIX). ; H. Ranke (A. Vol. VI., Pt. 1), and
A. Ungnad (N.S. Vol. VII.).

The present Director of the Philadelphia Museum,
George Byron Gordon (born 1870), is a Doctor of
Science of Harvard aud a trained anthropologist, and was
the Director of the University of Harvard Expedition to
Central America, 1 896-1 900. He has published authorita-
tive works on the Prehistoric Ruins of Copan (1896), The
Caverns of Cop an (1898), and The Hieroglyphic Stairway at
Copan (1902), The Serpent Motive in Ancient Art (1906),
the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel (191 3), a study on
Baalbek (191 9), and works on the Walls of Constantinople
(1921) and Ancient London (1923). He was appointed
Director of the Philadelphia Museum in 1910, and has
continued the good work of publishing cuneiform texts
begun by his predecessor. This was not interrupted
during the Great War, for volumes appeared in 1 91 4,
1915, 1916, 1917 and 1919. He has taken an active part
in arranging for the joint Pennsylvania and British Museum
Expedition to Mesopotamia ; and his understanding, fore-
sight, tact and sympathy have contributed largely to its

Among the earliest American Assyriologists who published
original work must be mentioned : —

Robert Francis Harper (died Aug. 5, 1914) who will
be best remembered as the editor of the great collection
of the Assyrian and Babylonian Letters, of the Kuyunjik
Collection of the British Museum (Chicago, 1 892-1914,
Vols. I .-XIV.). The British Museum authorities placed
the whole collection of letters at his disposal, and for
many years he copied and recopied the texts of them with



extraordinary zeal and diligence ; and his edition of them
is the largest text publication carried out by any one
American scholar. He intended to publish translations
of the letters with copious notes; but death struck him
down when he was reading the proofs of Vol. XIII. It is
very satisfactory to know that the translations have been
made by his friend and pupil, Prof. Leroy Waterman,
whose work is now in the press. A set of plates illustrating
the palaeography of Babylonian and Assyrian letters of
all periods is to accompany the translations. Harper also
edited the text of the Code of Hammurabi, King of Babylon,
about 22 50 B.C. (Chicago, 1904). He also wrote several
papers on Assyriological matters, some of them in collabora-
tion with A. H. Godbey, who assisted in autographing the
text of the Code.

Robert William Rogers (born 1864) has published
inscriptions of Esarhaddon (1889) and Sennacherib (1893),
with translations ; Lectures on the Religion of Babylonia
and Assyria (1908) ; Outlines of the History of Early
Babylonia (1895), and many works of a theological character.
His Cuneiform Parallels (New York, 191 2) is an instructive
book; but his most important work is his History of
Babylon and Assyria (New York, 1915), which has reached
its sixth edition. It is well planned, and the facts are
stated clearly ; its tone is moderate, and unproven theories
are dealt with fairly. The History of Assyria, by A. T.
Olmstead (New York, 1923), contains, naturally, much
newer information, and many additional facts (especially
those derived from Waterman’s translations of Assyrian
letters), which are not to be found in the work of Rogers.
The success of Rogers’s History is probably due to its
literary style, which has made it acceptable to readers
generally, both in America and England. A good Appendix
would enable it to continue to hold the position which



it has held for many years as the standard American work
on the history of Babylonia and Assyria.

Samuel Alden Smith, a pupil of Delitzsch, had consider-
able skill in copying cuneiform texts ; and he worked steadily
for several months in the British Museum. He published
Miscellaneous Assyrian Texts (Leipzig, 1887), and some
Assyrian Letters in the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical
Archaeology, and in the Verhandlungen of the Seventh
Oriental Congress (1888). Delitzsch availed himself of his
services in collating many texts, but refused to regard his
Thesis as deserving the Ph.D. degree. Smith’s chagrin and
disappointment were great; and he avenged himself by
writing hostile criticism on the three parts of Delitzsch’s
Worterbuch, entitled Why that Dictionary ought not to -have
been Published. He left England vowing that he would
never again look at an Assyrian text ; this was unfortunate,
for he had learned to copy with very considerable accuracy.

Albert Tobias Clay (born 1866) was appointed Laffan
Professor of Assyrian and Babylonian Literature at Yale
University in 1910. He and Hilprecht edited Business
Documents of Murashu Sons of Nippur (1898); and Clay
was sole editor of a volume of the documents of the same
firm in 1904, and of two volumes of the Temple Archives
of Nippur (1906), and of a volume of Legal and Commercial
Transactions (1908). He has also edited volumes of texts
from tablets in the Pierpont Morgan Collection, and
miscellaneous Babylonian inscriptions in the Yale Collection.
He has written on the Legend of the Flood, on an old
Version of the Gilgamish Epic, the Origin of Biblical
Traditions, the inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar, Naram-
Sin (1914), etc. He has rendered great and good service
to Assyriology by his publication of texts. His work
Amurru : the Home of the Northern Semites (Philadelphia,
1909), shows research and learning; and in my opinion



he is correct in his view that the religion of Israel is not of
Babylonian origin. The similarities in the beliefs held by
both Hebrews and Babylonians are due to the fact that
such beliefs were common to all the Semitic peoples of
antiquity ; and Clay has made a gallant stand against the
assertions of Continental scholars to the contrary. But
few Assyriologists will, I think, accept his view that
Babylonian legends written in Babylonian were derived
from Hebrew originals. This is not the place to discuss
his theories on the Amurru Question seriatim ; and the
reader is referred, for a clear and honest statement of his
views, to his paper The Antiquity of Amorite Civilization
(New Haven, Conn., 1924, privately printed). This
pamphlet contains an Answer to Prof. Barton’s criticism
of his work which was read before the American Oriental
Society. It shows that the views of these two scholars
differ fundamentally, and that the deductions made by
each from the facts derived from the cuneiform inscriptions
are in most cases absolutely contradictory. It is clear
from it that Clay’s scholarly equipment and his mastery
of facts are superior to those of his opponent.

Leroy Waterman (born 1875) was appointed Professor
of Semitics in the University of Michigan in 1915. He
has published Some Kouy&njik Letters and related Texts
(Chicago, 1912), and an interesting series of Business
Documents of the Hammurabi Period (Chicago, 191 3). He
assisted F. R. Harper in preparing the manuscript of some
of the later volumes of his Assyrian Letters, and collated
texts and verified passages when his health began to fail.
After Harper’s death he edited Vol. XIV. of Assyrian
Letters ; and he has spent several years in translating the
letters that Harper published. His translations of these
will appear in his Correspondence of the Assyrian Kings,
as one of the volumes of the Humanistic Studies of the


! *:









University of Michigan. With characteristic kindness he
lent the manuscript of this work to Olmstead, who rightly
says, in the preface to his History of Assyria, “To no
other scholar does the book owe so much.” Waterman’s
work is of a solid and enduring type.

Other American Assyriologists and writers on Assyriology,
the names being arranged alphabetically, are : —

Cyrus Adler (born 1863) has written several articles
on Oriental archaeology and on Babylonian eschatology.
G. A. Barton (born 1859) has edited texts for the Phila-
delphia Museum (1915), catalogued the Tall-Loh tablets
in the Haverford Library (1907), discussed the Blau sculp-
tured tablets in the British Museum, and written several
papers on Babylonian and Assyrian Archaeology. He has
published Archeology and the Bible (Philadelphia, 1916),
and a useful work on The Origin and Development of
Babylonian Writing (Leipzig, 191 3), the Religion of Israel,
and a valuable work on Semitic Origins. Lester Breidner
has published papers on Assyrian syntax. Francis Brown
has dealt with the use of Assyriology in Old Testament
study {Assyriology, New York, 1885). Edward Chiera
has edited texts from Niffar and compiled lists of personal
names. J. A. Craig has edited Religious Texts (Leipzig,
1 895-1 897), and Astrological- Astronomical Texts (Leipzig,
1899), from tablets in the British Museum. A. H. Godbey
has written papers on the Code of Khammurabi and the
script in which it is written; and he assisted Harper in
preparing his edition of the text. Clifton Daggett
Gray (born 1874) has published a series of Shamash Religious
Texts (Chicago, 1901) from tablets in the British Museum
Collection. W. J. Hinke (born 1871, naturalized 1897)
has edited a Boundary-Stone of Nebuchadnezzar I from
Nippur (1907), and a series of Kudurru Inscriptions (Leyden,
191 1). The American lady, Mary Inda Hussey, has



edited and translated two important volumes of Sumerian
texts, and a series of Sumerian- Babylonian Hymns (1907),
and compiled a short Supplement to Brunnow’s Classified
List (1901). Morris Jastrow edited few texts, but wrote
voluminously on Sumerian Myths, Babylonian omens
and magic, Assyrian History in relation to the Bible,
Hebrew Legends, etc. His most important book was
The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (Boston, 1898) ;
his supplementary work, Bildermappe mit 273 Abbildungen
(Giessen, 191 2), is a very useful and interesting compilation.
Christopher Johnston wrote several short papers on
Assyrian fables, letters, lexicography, etc. D. D. Lucken-
bill (born 1881) has written several short papers on
Babylonian and Assyrian subjects, Babylonian letters,
Babylonian temples and their women, and has published
a Corpus of the Inscriptions of Sennacherib (1924). Kerr
Duncan Macmillan (born 1871) has published a series
of texts bearing on the Religion of Babylonia and Assyria
(Leipzig, 1906). Theophilus James Meek (born 1881)
has edited and translated Cuneiform Bilingual Hymns,
etc. (Leipzig, 191 3), a Hymn to Ishtar (Chicago, 1910),
and Old Babylonian Documents in the R.F.H. Collection
(Chicago, 1917). James Alan Montgomery (born 1866)
has published Aramaic Incantation Texts from Nippur
(Philadelphia, 1913). The American lady, Mary Williams
Montgomery, edited some letters of the time of Khammu-
rabi (Leipzig, 1901). W. Muss-Arnolt has compiled an
Assyrian-English-German Dictionary (1906, two vols.),
and made many useful contributions to Assyrian Lexico-
graphy. D. W. Myhrman has published Babylonian
Hymns and Prayers (Philadelphia, 191 1), and edited the
spells and incantations against the Devil-woman Labartu
(Leipzig, 1902). Albert Ten Eyck Olmstead (born
1880) has written Assyrian Historiography (Columbia,



1916), the Assyrian Chronicle (New Haven, 1915), Western
Asia in the Days of S argon (1908), and a History of Assyria
(1923). Ira Maurice Price (born 1856), a great Hebrew
scholar, has published papers on cylinder-seals, Assyrian
writing, etc. His most important work is his edition of
the texts of the Gudea cylinders A and B, with translations,
etc. {The Great Cylinder Inscriptions, Leipzig, 1899).
John Dyneley Prince (born 1868) has published a large
number of papers on Assyrian subjects, chiefly of a religious
character. Hugo Radau has edited a volume of Sumerian
Hymns and Prayers to the God Nin-ib (Philadelphia, 191 1) ;
a selection of Sumerian Texts from Nippur (1909) ; Letters
to Kassite Kings (Philadelphia, 1908) ; and written Early
Babylonian History down to the End of the IV th Dynasty
of Ur (New York, 1900). J. H. Stevenson has published
a series of Assyrian and Babylonian Contracts, with Aramaic
Reference Notes (New York, 1902). Olaf Alfred Toffteen
compiled a Geographical List to Harper’s Letters, Vols. I.-
VIII. (Chicago, 1905), and has written Researches in Assyrian
and Babylonian Geography (Chicago, 1908), etc. F. A.
Vanderburgh has published a series of Sumerian Hymns,
with translations, etc. (New York, 1908), Tammuz Lamenta-
tions (Chicago, 191 1), a Hymn to Bel (New Haven, 1909),
etc. William Hayes Ward has rendered signal services
to Babylonian and Assyrian Archaeology. He was a pro-
minent member of the Wolfe Expedition to Mesopotamia,
and, according to statements made to me by natives in
Baghdad, acquired a valuable collection of tablets for the
Philadelphia Museum. Though not an Assyriologist in
the philological sense of the word, he has written several
very useful papers on Babylonian and Hittite cylinder-
seals and gems, and on many subjects about which the
student of the cuneiform inscriptions does not usually
trouble himself. He has devoted his time and money to



the investigation of the archaeological problems of all the
branches of Assyriology; and American Assyriologists
owe much to his shrewdness and energy.

The Americans began their excavations in Babylonia in
1889, and in about thirty-five years they have succeeded in
providing the Museums of many of their Universities with
large collections of Babylonian tablets, and in publishing
many volumes of cuneiform texts. They were fortunate
in having Babylonia for the field of their labours, because
it enabled them to acquire whole libraries of tablets formed
by the earliest known inhabitants of the country, viz. the
Sumerians and Babylonians. They have established Pro-
fessors of Assyriology in many of their Universities and
Colleges, and have provided them in abundance with rich
and varied material for their personal study, and the
instruction of their pupils. Would-be students of Assyri-
ology have now no need to leave America for tuition or
for material on which to work. All this has been made
possible by the generous gifts and benefactions of wealthy
citizens, who have endowed the Universities and Directors
of Archaeological Missions with funds adequate for the
performance of their works in a satisfactory manner. The
Americans learnt their first lesson in Assyrian from the
Germans ; but they have developed their studies on their
own native lines. The Trustees of the great American
Universities have employed in their work methods that
closely resemble those of the Trustees of the British
Museum ; and this was to be expected. But they have
worked faster and on a bigger scale than their British
colleagues because, unlike them, they were not hampered
at every turn by the want of money.




The volumes of Rawlinson’s Selection from the Cuneiform
Inscriptions of Western Asia were admirable storehouses of
texts ; but when two of them had appeared, students of
the history and languages of Egypt and Assyria and the
neighbouring countries felt acutely the want of an organ in
which they could publish translations of texts, and papers
on the Archaeology of the Near East. There were two
learned Societies whose Councils might have printed com-
munications of the kind in their Journals, viz. the Royal
Asiatic Society, and the Society of Antiquaries of London.
But the former \ as supposed to deal primarily with the
history of India, Persia and China ; and the latter was more
interested in British antiquities and ecclesiology than in
the recently deciphered inscriptions of Assyria, Babylonia
and Egypt. Apart from these facts, the methods of publica-
tion followed by each Society were slow and antiquated ;
and it was no uncommon thing for two and even three years
to elapse between the reading of a paper before either
Society and its publication. The Syro-Phcenician Society,
whose Journal might have served the purposes of a home for
the papers of students of Egyptian and Assyrian, for want
of funds had come to an end, though many papers suitable
for its publications were available. The need for a new
Society was keenly felt ; and Birch consulted with Rawlinson
and Fox Talbot about the formation of one. They wel-
comed warmly Birch’s suggestion as to the character and
scope of his proposed Society and promised to assist him
with their advice and money. Birch then invited a number
of gentlemen interested in the history and languages of the
Near East to meet him in the private rooms of Mr. Joseph
Bonomi at the Soane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields on the



1 8th of November, 1870, and laid his views before them.
They were approved unanimously ; and it was resolved to
convene a Meeting at the rooms of the Royal Society of
Literature on the 9th of December, and to place them
before the public. At this Meeting it was proposed to
found a Society to investigate the Archaeology, Chronology,
Geography and History of Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, Palestine
and neighbouring countries, and to record discoveries in
them. The title to be given to the new Society was the
subject of a keen discussion ; but when Birch proposed
that it should be called ” The Society of Biblical Arch-
aeology,” those present at the meeting saw that, with his
usual shrewdness, he had solved the problem, and accepted
his suggestion without further argument. The invention
of this title was a stroke of genius ; for it appealed not only
to philologists, but to theologians of all shades of thought.
A strong Committee or Council was elected from among
those present ; and so the Society of Biblical Archaeology,
with-W. R. Cooper as Secretary, came into being. Then
Birch set to work to obtain papers for the first volume of
its Transactions, which appeared in December 1872; and
among the contributors of papers were Fox Talbot, Sayce,
George Smith, and de Saulcy, the Assyriologists ; Birch,
Chabas and Eisenlohr, the Egyptologists; the Rabbi
Schiller Szinessy ; S. Drach, the astronomer ; Hamilton
Lang, the excavator of Cyprus ; J. W. Bosanquet, Biblical
chronologer ; W. Simpson, the topographer of Jerusalem ;
and B. G. Jenkins, an authority on the Moabite Stone.
In succeeding volumes of the Transactions many valuable
papers were published, including those by George Smith
on the Legends of the Creation and the Flood ; and the
languages treated of included Assyrian, Egyptian, Coptic,
Hebrew, Phoenician, Palmyrene, and Himyaritic, the texts
being printed in Oriental types. Birch acted as the general



editor, and was assisted by W. R. Cooper, the Secretary.
Birch read through every paper before sending it to the
printer, and insisted that any criticism of one scholar by
another should be expressed in temperate language. The
discussions at the monthly meetings in Conduit Street were
sometimes extremely lively, and chronologers and philolo-
gists, and Jews and Christians, said hard things about each
other without let or hindrance ; . but none of these appeared
in their papers when published. Birch was strictly just to
every contributor but himself. The Society grew and
flourished, members enrolled themselves in scores, and the
Transactions were held to possess an almost official authority,
thanks both to Birch’s position and his learning and

In November 1878 W. R. Cooper died at Ventnor,
and W. H. Rylands succeeded him as Secretary. A year
or two later, contributors to the Transactions of the
Society complained that the publication of their papers
was unduly delayed ; and the Council decided to publish
all short papers offered to them in Proceedings, which were
to be issued monthly, and the longer communications were
to be reserved for the Transactions. Little by little the
numbers of the Proceedings increased in size, and the tenth
volume contained as many as 578 pages ; the cost of printing
the Transactions and Proceedings strained the resources of the
Society considerably. The expenses of the Society increased
in other directions also. New rooms were rented in Hart
Street, Bloomsbury, and an honorarium was paid to the
Secretary annually ; the first Secretary, W. R. Cooper, had
served without payment. After the death of Birch in
December 1885, the editorship of the Proceedings was con-
ducted less carefully ; and writers of papers, e.g.. Ball and
Bezold, were allowed to attack each other in its pages. An
immediate result was that several of the most frequent



contributors ceased to write papers for the Society; and
the scientific value of its publications was lessened, though
their bulk increased, and the cost of printing them also.
The Council added to the honorarium of the Secretary
from time to time ; and at length it was found that it and
the rent of the rooms, and minor expenses, such as fire, light,
cleaning, postage, etc., absorbed more than two-thirds of
the income of the Society, which was also considerably in
debt to the printers. Some members of the Council gave
special donations earmarked for certain purposes, and others
paid for the printing of their own contributions to the
Proceedings and Transactions, but it was clear that other
steps would have to be taken to set the Society on a sound
financial basis, especially as the number of candidates for
admission to the Society was decreasing.

When matters were thus, Dr. W. L. Nash, a good business
man, took over the Secretaryship ; and under his skilful
handling the Society paid its debt to the printers, and
managed to publish its Proceedings for several years. The
Society removed to less expensive rooms in Great Russell
Street, and Dr. Nash controlled the expenditure with a
firm hand ; his service was given gratuitously. But not even
he could restore the Society to the flourishing condition
which it enjoyed during the last years of Birch’s life. The
contributors who had supplied the papers which made it a
power in the world of Oriental archaeology were either dead
or alienated. At length, when Dr. Nash was far advanced
in years, some members of the Council, feelirig that it was
impossible to resuscitate the Society, and knowing that they
had no funds wherewith to pay a new Secretary, even if a
suitable man could be found, proposed that application
should be made to the Royal Asiatic Society for union with
it. The proposal was carried; and in due course the
Society of Biblical Archaeology was absorbed into the



Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and its
members were admitted into the older Society under a
special arrangement as to their subscriptions. The Society
of Biblical Archeology published nine volumes of Trans-
actions and forty volumes of Proceedings ; and the length
of its life was fifty years. During that period it did more to
promote and stimulate the interest of the general public
in the archaeology and history of ” Bible Lands ” than any
other Learned Society in the country. Its miscellaneous
papers were welcomed by a large circle of readers of all
kinds ; and many specialists found its volumes to be real
mines of information. Its decease is to be regretted,
especially by Assyriologists, for it has left them without a
publication in which their particular science would always
receive special recognition.


The reader has now before him all the principal facts that
I have been able to collect about the beginnings of Assyrio-
logy, together with a short general account of its establish-
ment as a science. Those who take the trouble to examine
the facts will see that, whilst many scholars between 1780
and 1836 worked at the decipherment of the cuneiform
inscriptions, both trilingual and unilingual, copied and
published by Niebuhr, Rawlinson alone worked at the
trilingual inscription of Darius I at Bihistun, for the simple
reason that, between 1837 and 1846, he alone had a copy
of it. And it is clear that his claim to be the first to decipher
and translate the inscription— which is all that he himself
ever claimed in respect of cuneiform decipherment — is just.
The science of Assyriology is still young ; but it is difficult
to realize that about sixty-five years ago it did not exist.
The amount of information about the peoples and countries



of Western Asia in ancient days which it has placed at our|
disposal is enormous; and it has opened up sources ol
information, the existence of which was never dreamed of
by the ablest scholars. And it has revealed to us the fact
that Anzanites, Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Mitan-
ians, Hittites, Cappadocians, and the peoples of Syria all
used a system of writing, the fundamental element of which
is the wedge.

From the time of Niebuhr until about 1850 the decipher-
ment of the cuneiform inscriptions was a subject in which
Academies and other learned bodies, and individual scholars,
took a profound interest ; but the public in general, even
the well-informed portion of it, cared very little about the
matter. In the ‘forties, when the news of the discoveries
of Botta and Layard was given to the world, public opinion
began to rouse itself, because Longperrier showed (1845)
that the palaces excavated by Botta were built by Sargon,
and Hincks deciphered (1849) the names of Sennacherib and
Esarhaddon in inscriptions which Layard had brought home
from Nineveh. People began to say, ” Is it possible that
these Assyrian sculptures can tell us about Sargon, who
besieged Ashdod (Isaiah xx. 1), and Sennacherib, who was
murdered by his sons (2 Kings xix. 37), and Esarhaddon,
who succeeded him ? ” When Rawlinson, a little later
(1851), published the fact that he and Hincks had identified
the names of Menahem (2 Kings xv. 14), King of Samaria,
and ” Jehu, the son of Omri,” and that he had read an
account of the capture of Hezekiah and his city of Jerusalem
by Sennacherib in an inscription copied from a colossal
” bull ” at Nineveh, scholars and the unlettered alike
clamoured for fuller information. In the decipherment
pure and simple, and in the discussions by experts of
philological minutiae, they took no interest ; but when the
translations of the Assyrian monuments were able to tell



them facts about Bible personages, or supply information
which would supplement the Bible narrative, Assyriology
assumed a vital importance in their eyes. The works of
Layard and Vaux were read eagerly by all classes, and the
public thirsted for more books of their kind; but alas,
there was no one to write them. Hincks never attempted
to write popular works on Assyriology ; and Rawlinson and
Norris were far too busy in preparing cuneiform texts for
publication to summarize their results for popular con-

But among the thousands of readers of Layard’s work was
one who was destined, some twenty years later, to rouse the
interest of the public in Assyriology to a very high pitch
of excitement, and to prove once and for all its importance
for the study of the Bible. This reader was George Smith,
who devoured the contents of every book and paper on any
and every branch of the new science that he could lay his
hands on ; and the mainspring of his eagerness to study it
was his fervent desire to know more about the historical
books of the Old Testament. When he entered the service
of the Trustees of the British Museum, he very soon made
himself master of the art of copying texts and of as much
Semitic philology as was necessary to enable him to read
and translate the inscriptions. He then began to search
for texts relating to the kings of Assyria mentioned in the
Bible, and he copied all he found. He spent several years
in copying and translating the Annals of Ashurbanipal,
whose name is mentioned once under the form of ” Asnap-
per ” in the Bible (Ezra iv. 10), because they contained new
and authentic information about a king of whom Biblical
scholars knew very little. In seeking historical texts, he
found the fragments of the Gilgamish Legends, among them
being the Assyrian story of the Flood ; but it was not until
all the fragments of the tablets were cleaned that he was



able to construct anything like a connected narrative. The
news of Smith’s discovery of the Story of the Flood leaked
out ; and to satisfy the demands of the Press and the public
generally Birch arranged for him to read a paper on the
subject before the Society of Biblical Archaeology (see
above, p. 1 12). It was not Smith’s great philological triumph,
or admiration for his skill as a decipherer or translator, that
drew the crowd to the meeting, but their intense desire to
find out what new light the tablets from Nineveh had thrown
on the Bible. Similarly, it was not admiration for the
science of Assyriology that induced the proprietors of the
Daily Telegraph to spend one thousand guineas on excava-
tions at Nineveh, but their eagerness to obtain from that
city yet more information about events described in the
Bible. The name of Nineveh itself appealed to the imagina-
tion of Christians and Jews alike ; and many people expected
Smith to bring back among his- treasures a tablet contain-
ing an account of Jonah’s mission to the city which contained
” more than six score thousand persons ” who could not
” discern between their right hand and their left.”

The interest in Assyriology stirred up by Smith’s ” Chal-
dean Genesis ” and his other works has grown rather than
diminished; and to-day Assyriologists are searching the
cuneiform texts eagerly, in the hope of finding information
and parallels that will illustrate or supplement the Bible

In England and France the study of Assyriology pro-
ceeded along the lines normally followed by students of an
Oriental language which was new to them. They collected
and published material, translated texts, verified and re-
verified their conclusions, and collected facts carefully, and
did not attempt to generalize or to formulate systems in
which to fit all their facts. The best scholars in both
countries devoted themselves to consolidating the founda-



tions of the new science, for though they were certain in
their own minds that Assyrian was a Semitic language, and
that it would be invaluable for the comparative study of
Semitic languages, many Semitic scholars who were not
Assyriologists doubted these facts. In 1878 the head of a
college at Cambridge said that Assyrian was a ” pagan
language which no one could read.” And even our greatest
English Semitic scholar, Professor William Wright, when
lecturing in 1882 on the Comparative Grammar of the
Semitic Languages, always prefaced any comparison which
he was going to make between Hebrew and Assyrian, or
Syriac and Assyrian, with the words, ” if we may trust the
Assyriologists.” Though, for several years after Oppert
published his Expedition en Misopotamie, many people in
France did not believe his translations to be accurate, when
once Menant had published his works, no scholars of
importance doubted that the cuneiform inscriptions could
be read and translated. In England every person com-
petent to judge regarded Sumerian, or “Akkadian,” as it
was then called, as a non-Semitic language, and believed,
as Rawlinson had said, that it was the language of a people
who inhabited southern Mesopotamia before the Semitic
Babylonians. In France only one scholar disputed this fact,
viz. Joseph Halevy, who, to describe his views shortly, main-
tained that Sumerian was not a language at all, but a system
of writing invented by the Semites in Babylonia. And he
laughed to scorn the idea that any non-Semitic people
ever occupied Babylonia before the Semites. His views
did not impede the general progress of Assyriology, though
they certainly did give occasion to the enemies of the new
science to blaspheme. But, in judging his contention that
Sumerian was a Semitic invention, we must always remember
his racial prejudice, and that he was proud to proclaim that
his remote ancestors were kinsmen of the Hebrew Patriarchs



whose home was Babylonia, and that they were the founders
of all civilization in Mesopotamia.

Now no historian of a new science has ever been able to
show that it has always followed an unimpeded course ; for
there have always been periods of setbacks, and places where
its professors have made it to take a wrong turning. There
is no doubt that Assyriologists have made some serious
mistakes ; but fortunately their science has not suffered
greatly through them, and it is possible that, had these
mistakes not been made, the great advance that has taken
place in Assyriology would never have been possible. Experi-
ence has shown over and over again that when men with
preconceived notions go to work at a new science they are
usually able to find material to support them.

The particular mistakes that the early Assyriologists made
arose from a bias in their minds. Assyriology was for them
not so much a science as a weapon in controversies about
the Bible. The facts of Assyriology were used as arguments
for or against what is called the ” Higher Criticism of the
Old Testament.” This resulted in certain details being
given a significance that they did not possess. A whole
series of such malversations could be found, more especially
in those works that attempted to prove that the monuments
of Assyria and Babylonia verified the historicity of Hebrew
tradition in every particular. 1 A typical example of such a
malversation may be found in the ingenuity that attempted
to show the existence of the names of Chedorlaomer and
Arioch in the cuneiform inscriptions of about 2000 or 2100
B.C. Had the Bible passage (Gen. xiv. 1) not been in the
mind of the copyist of the inscriptions in the British Museum
(SP. 3. 2), 2 no such name would have been found; for it

1 E.g. Sayce, The Archeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions (London, 1907).
The Higher Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments (London, 1904).

2 A photograph of the tablet was published by the British Museum (1895),
but is now out of print.



does not exist. Nor would the name which was clearly
Arad Sin, or Warad Sin, have been twisted into Ariaku
(Arioch). The finding of the name of Chedorlaomer under
the form of Ku-dur-nu-uh-ga-mar (which, as King showed, 1
is the name Inuhsamar), in a tablet at Constantinople, was
due to a similar cause, i.e. a misreading of the cuneiform

This atmosphere was especially noticeable in England;
and many worthy men were of opinion that a large number
of Biblical parallels could be found if sought for in the
cuneiform inscriptions. One wealthy student of ancient
Chronology, a banker, paid a young Assyriologist in 1 873-1 876
a retaining fee to search for such parallels ; and many were
found, according to the statements of the searcher. He
said he had discovered in the Kuyunjik Collection a descrip-
tion of Paradise (including the Tree of Knowledge and the
Serpent), and the Fall of Man, and an account of Cain and
Abel, and of the overthrow of the Tower of Babel, etc.
And Mr. Basil Cooper, a Press correspondent, used to visit
the Museum every week to obtain for his paper information
of any Biblical parallel that had been discovered since his
last visit. The publication of these imaginary parallels
did, and still does, a vast amount of harm, because the state-
ments are repeated in popular works, and the public is very
easily misled.

But such errors as those mentioned above are, after all,
only errors concerning detail, and are generally of small
importance. Much more dangerous is the invention of a
system which undertakes to explain much ancient history
and much ancient religion, and to supply, as it were, a
universal key which shall unlock all the secrets of the
ancient Eastern world. These systems, which are chiefly
of German origin, take the form of magnifying the influence
1 Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi, Vol. I. p. xxxvi.



of Babylonia, and asserting a common origin for most
ancient religious practices. This system-making was
introduced into Assyriology when the wise oversight and
guidance of Rawlinson had diminished, and men without
his wide knowledge and understanding, who had created
a reputation by parading on every occasion the corrections
they had made in details of his work, thought themselves
in a position to theorize about general matters, of which
they possessed very little understanding. These systems
generally take Four forms.

The First system would derive all Hebrew language,
and nearly all Hebrew religion, from Babylonia. 1 What
the system overlooked was the fact that Hebrew, instead of
being a development of the first millennium B.C., was at
least iooo or 1500 years older, that is to say, the form of it
now known to Assyriologists as West Semitic was in exist-
ence in Southern Syria and Palestine as long as Akkadian
was in Babylonia. And there is no possibility whatever
that Akkadian was the mother tongue; but there is the
possibility that Akkadian and West Semitic were related by
a linguistic genealogy which we cannot at present elucidate.
The West Semitic language was always different from the
East Semitic ; and the difference is well illustrated by the
later Hebrew and Syriac. And the theory was no more
fortunate in the matter of religion.

The base of the bitter Babel und Bibel controversy
which distracted Germany for a time rests upon a mis-
understanding. Whilst the lecture on Babel und Bibel
was being written, I sent, at the writer’s request, casts and
photographs which he wished to reproduce as illustrations,
and in due course he sent me a copy of the lecture delivered

1 See Delitzsch’s Prolegomena ; Babel und Bibel (Leipzig, 1902) ; Ztoeiter
Vortrag uber Babel und Bibel (Stuttgart, 1 903) ; Philologischi Forderungen
(Leipzig, 1917) ; Grosse Enttauschmg, and other works.



before the Deutsch. Orient. Gesellschaft and the German
Emperor (Jan. 13, 1902), which was repeated by command
before the Emperor and his Court on Feb. 1, 1902.
Assyriologists and many other people read the lecture and
considered that it contained nothing new, except the
expression of the lecturer’s personal views about the relation-
ship which he believed to exist between the Babylonian
Religion and the Religion of Israel. Folk who were practical-
minded thought that the repetition of the lecture before
the Emperor had been arranged under the most august
auspices, in order to make the public realize how important
it was, both from the political and archaeological points of
view, for their country to make excavations in Mesopo-
tamia, and also to induce wealthy men in Berlin and other
parts of the country to contribute generously to the funds
of the Deutsch. Orient. Gesellschaft.

It was well known that our knowledge of historical events
mentioned in the Bible had been corroborated by the
inscriptions and sculptured reliefs which had been already
excavated in Assyria and Babylonia ; and the lecturer
summarized all these with admirable skill. He also showed
clearly what Assyriologists and every one who had read the
official Guides to the Babylonian and Assyrian Collections
in the British Museum knew well, that the Hebrews, like
other Semitic peoples, were acquainted with legends,
traditions, myths and folk-lore, etc., of the Babylonians.
But when deductions were made from the facts set forth,
they were often wrong, as Bezold, one of the lecturer’s
first pupils, pointed out; and it seems that it was these
deductions that stirred up the storm of protests that broke
out immediately.

These protests took the form both of criticisms and
personal attacks, which remained unanswered, because the
writer had gone on a mission to Babylon in connection



with the Deutsch. Orient. Gesellschaft. He arrived in
Mosul on April 27, and left Basrah on Aug. 23, 1902. On
his return he was commanded to give another lecture
before the German Emperor and his Court ; and it was
delivered on Jan. 12, 1903. When it was printed the
storm of protests broke out afresh ; and the public became
alarmed at the beliefs which the lecturer was thought to
hold, and had expressed before the Emperor, who himself
wrote a letter on the subject, the text of which appeared in
The Times of Feb. 25, 1903. This is not the place to
discuss Delitzsch’s views on Babylonian monotheism ; or
the meaning of ” goal ” which he gave to the name ” El,”
i.e. God, or his remarks on Revelation in the Holy Scrip-
tures. But, judging by what he has written, he entirely-
misunderstood the nature of the Religion of Israel. And
he failed to recognize its spiritual character and its sub-
limity, and the lofty and exalted conception of God which
formed its fundamental characteristic. Babylonian
literature contains many ideas and expressions similar
to those found in the Hebrew Psalms and the writings
in other Books of the Bible; but the underlying ideas and
meanings are different. And the relation of the Babylonian
to his chief god was, in my opinion, wholly different from
that which existed between the Hebrew and Yahweh.
There is at present no evidence, and no reason for thinking,
that a Babylonian could ever have written a composition
comparable to Psalm XC. Delitzsch’s own attitude
towards the Hebrew Scriptures is thus expressed : ” Ich
fur meine Person lebe des Glaubens, dass das althebraische
Schrifttum, auch wenn es seinen Charakter als ‘ offenbarter,’
oder von ‘ offenbartem ‘ Geist durchwehter Schriften
verliert, dennoch seine hohe Bedeutung immer behaupten
wird, insonderheit als ein einzigartiges Denkmal eines
grossen, bis in unsre Zeit hineinragenden religionsgeschicht-



lichen Prozesses” (Babel und Bibel, Zweiter Fortrag,
p. 38) ;

This passage seems to have been meant to imply that
the Hebrew Religion was a development of the ancient
Babylonian Religion, and that it was part of a religious
development, just as the Christian Religion may be con-
sidered as a development of the Judaic Religion. The
fallacy is a very considerable one. The parallels which
were established between Pagan Religion and the Hebrew
Religion depended on the comparison of mere details with
essentials. It is impossible to find in Babylonian texts
even a germ of the spirit of the Prophets of Israel. And it
would be as easy to show that Roman Catholicism sprang
out of Roman Paganism, because certain details of pagan
Roman belief survived locally, as to demonstrate that the
Jewish Religion was merely a natural development of the
Babylonian Religion. The Babel und Bibel controversy
served no useful purpose in Assyriology, but it gained for
certain scholars a kind of notoriety.

The second system we have to consider is of a less
pretentious and more serious nature. There are those who
would have us believe that the history of Our Lord Christ
is only a version of the Myth of Bel-Marduk of Babylon.
As this matter is one that will interest many people besides
Assyriologists, a few details must be given here. It is
known from a number of Assyrian texts which were found at
KaPah Sharkat and have been published by Ebeling (see
Texte ausAssur Religiosen Inhalts, 1915-1917 and 1 920-1922)
and translated by Zimmern (see Zum Babylonischen Neujahrs-
fest Erster Beitrag, Leipzig, 1906, and Zweiter Beitrag zum
Babylonischen Neujahrsfest, Leipzig, 19 18), that during the
New Year Festival a kind of miracle play was performed
at Babylon. During this play the Story of the Creation was
recited in the temple, and the king played the part of the



god> and a priest that of the god Nabu ; and
in certain places the audience also took part in the pro^
ceedings. Marduk, the son of Ea, did battle on behalf of
the gods against Tiamat and her champion Kingu ; the
former he slew, and used her hide to form heaven and earth,
and the latter he rendered helpless by a fiery dart from his
eye. Marduk then fixed the stations of the moon and stars,
and planned to make twofold the ways of the gods. As
the result of a suggestion by Ea that a god should be
sacrificed to consolidate the new order of things, Marduk
called the gods into council, and Kingu was sacrificed
because he was the cause of the war which had taken place ;
and Ea moulded man out of his blood. The gods built
Babylon as a reward for Marduk; and when the temple
Esagila had been built by the Anunnaki, the gods in full
council bestowed upon Marduk the Fifty Names. During
his fight with Kingu, Marduk took from him the dup shi^
mati, or ” Tablet of Destinies,” which had been given to
him by Tiamat ; but it seems that it was stolen from Mar-
duk by Zu, and without it he could not govern heaven and

What exactly happened then to Marduk is not known, for
there is a gap in the text at this point in the narrative;
but the next thing known is that the great god was in the
” Mountain,” i.e. grave, in a place where there was neither
sun nor light, and where he was guarded by twin watch-
men. Whilst Marduk was imprisoned in the grave, every-
thing in Babylon fell into confusion. A goddess (Beltis)
appealed to Sin (Moon-god) and Shamash (Sun-god) to
restore B61, i.e. Marduk, to life, and then went to the grave
and descended into it to save him. But these gods were
powerless to bring Marduk out of the tomb, where he seems
to have been held fast by the influence of Zu, who was
in possession of the dup shimati which he had stolen from



Marduk. 1 The god Anshar sent out Enurta to capture
Zu ; and when this had been done, the gods were able to
break through into the grave where Marduk was, and bring
him out. (For a full summary of Marduk’s history, see
Sidney Smith’s admirable article in Jnl. Eg. Arch., Vol.
VIII, pp. 41-44.)

According to Zimmern, the history of Christ, as told in
the New Testament, is nothing but a repetition of the
Myth of Bel- Marduk of Babylon. His method is to draw
up a long series of parallel details in the last part of the
story of Bel-Marduk, and in the narrative of the death and
resurrection of Our Lord. Thus he would compare Beltis
with the Virgin Mary, the prison with a guard over it in
which Bel-Marduk was fettered with the grave of Our
Lord and its watchers, and so forth. Now this method of
comparison is notoriously unsafe. It is quite possible to
prove by this method that historical characters like Louis
XIV or Napoleon were mere reflections of a myth. It is
unwise and unscientific to use this kind of comparison until
it is established that both the stories in question are entirely
mythical. This of course cannot be done ; and it is difficult
to see what particular service such a list of parallels renders.
It would be easy to draw up an even longer list of parallels
between the Osiris story and Christian belief. It is more
suitable to compare the two gods Bel-Marduk and Osiris
and their stories than Bel-Marduk and Christ, until such
time as Prof. Zimmern’s particular views about Christ can
be proved against the weight of the documentary evidence.

It is surprising to find an Assyriologist of such eminence
as Zimmern identifying the history of Christ with the
Myths of Bel-Marduk and Ashur, seeing that the Myth
of Osiris would have served his purpose far better. Osiris,

1 Zu actually stole the tablet from Enlil, with whom, presumably, Marduk
is here identified.



like Bel-Marduk, was the son of the god of the abyss of
heaven, and held an exalted position among the gods, and
was King of kings, Lord of lords, and prince of gods and
men. He established creation, and his sovereignty was
certified by a decree [passed] in the Chamber of Records,
which was inscribed on a tablet of iron (teb-t ent ba-t) by
the order of Ptah-Tanen ” (Book of the Dead, Chap.
CLXXXIII, lines 14 and 15). The tablet of iron is probably
the equivalent of the ” tablet of destinies.” Like B&1~
Marduk, Osiris possessed many names. Osiris was killed
by the machinations of Set, and went down into the Other
World. His wife Isis is the equivalent of Beltis, and each
goddess went to the grave of her lord ; Isis, assisted by
Thoth, the Scribe-god, effected the resurrection of Osiris,
and Beltis, with the help of Nabu, the Scribe-god, brought
about the release of Bel-Marduk from the grave. The
gods in council investigated the charges made against Osiris
by Set, and Thoth having shown that Osiris was innocent
and Set a liar, they established Osiris once and for all as
god of the Underworld. The capture of Zu by Enurta,
who was sent to do this by Anshar, is the equivalent of the
punishment of Set in the Myth of Osiris. And there is
good reason for thinking that Asari, one of the names of
the god Ashur= Osiris ; and if this be so, the cult of Osiris
must have originated in Northern Syria, and made its
way down the Euphrates to Babylon and southward into

A fantastic theory was promulgated by Peter Jensen,
who wrote a very interesting book entitled Assyrische-
babylonische My then and Efen (Berlin, 1890), in which he
translated all the then known tablets and fragments on
which were inscribed mythical texts, and in his treatment of
them displayed great learning. Some years later he
published Das Gilgamesch-Epos in der Weltliteratur (Strass-



burg, 1906), and in it he expounded his theory that the
Legend of Gilgamish and his Exploits and Travels, as narrated
in the Babylonian and Assyrian tablets, is the foundation of
the myths and folk-stories, not only of all the Semitic
nations, but also of the peoples of India, and of the Greeks,
Romans, and other Western nations. According to the
Twelve Tablets, Gilgamish was a wise and learned king ;
and it seems that he reigned at Erech before the conquest
of Mesopotamia by the Semites. Two-thirds of him were
god, and one-third was man. He made a bosom friend of
the mighty hunter Enkidu; and together they slew
Khumbaba^the guardian of the cedar forest, and the terrible
Bull of heaven, which Anu had created to destroy Gil-
gamish. After the death of Enkidu, which Gilgamish
lamented bitterly, Gilgamish started on his travels to find
Uta-Napishtim, in order to learn from him the secret of
immortality. Though he found Uta-Napishtim and con-
versed with him, he failed to obtain from him the informa-
tion he wanted, and returned to Erech. He then appealed
to the god Ea, who instructed Nergal to allow the spirit
of Enkidu to visit the earth and converse with Gilgamish ;
but when Enkidu appeared, ” like a breath of wind,” the
information that he gave to Gilgamish was incomplete, and
left the king unsatisfied.

Jensen’s view of the Gilgamish Epic is that it represents
a story told about the stars, that it deals with the move-
ments of a planet in its conjunction with fixed stars, and
that the whole story can only be understood in reference to
its astrological significance. This interpretation, though
not certainly established, is very possible. Jensen proceeds

1 According to Sidney Smith, Khumbaba may have been a volcano
spirit. In any case, his face was not that of a human being ; and it came
to be thought of and represented as a single line, twisted about after the
manner of the entrails. See Liverpool Annals of Archeology, Vol. X, ” The
Face of Humbaba.”



to examine the stories told of various characters in the
Old Testament, e.g. Joshua, Saul, David, and others, in
the light of the Gilgamish Epic. For this purpose he
employs the system of parallelisms, the fallibility of which
has already been noted. In no single case is Jensen able
to compare the whole story of Gilgamish with the whole
story of any one of these characters. At the most he can
only point to certain coincidences in detail, sometimes of a
very natural character ; and sometimes the resemblance is
of such a general description as to be useless. His final
result is to reduce Israelitish History to a series of repetitions
of the Gilgamish Epic, due, in his opinion, to different
tribal versions. So far does his theory lead him that he is
actually inclined to doubt the historicity of Ahab and his
time. This conclusion is a sufficient condemnation of the
method. The analyses which he devoted to certain Greek
and Indian myths are a form of intellectual acrobatics
which leads to no more satisfactory result.

A similar kind of effort to show that all ancient peoples
derived a cosmological theory from the Babylonians has
been made by a school of Assyriologists in Germany ; and
their theory is generally described as ” Pan-Babylonismus.”
In the first millennium before Christ, as is now well known,
Babylonian religion was predominantly astral. Starting
from this basis of fact, certain scholars assumed that this
astral religion had a much closer relationship to astronomical
fact than is really the case. Babylonian knowledge of
astronomy remained extraordinarily limited until the end
of the fourth and beginning of the third century b.c. ;
and it is extremely doubtful whether the Babylonians ever
discovered the precession of the Equinoxes on their own
account. They did people the heavens with all sorts of
divine and mythical beings, and inanimate objects, in a
way that has persisted, with certain modifications in their



names, down to our own time. The Pan-Babylonists
assume that in the third millennium B.C. Babylonian
religion was already predominantly astral, and that the
priests were acquainted with several of the systems of
astronomical theory. The cosmology which they are
supposed to have constructed is then assumed to be the
basis of some similar details in the cosmological systems of
the Egyptians, the Hebrews, and the Greeks ; and it is
argued that, since the Babylonians alone understood the
scientific basis of the theory, they must have been the
originators of the system from which these other nations
borrowed. It will be seen that the argument depends
upon two main contentions : 1. That the early Babylonian
astrology had a real basis of scientific knowledge ; 2. That
other peoples were so deeply affected by Babylonian
astrology that a vital part of their religious belief was
modified by it. Neither of these contentions has any
justification in fact. Innumerable detailed arguments,
especially upon the astronomical side, have been brought
forward to make them credible ; but these same arguments,
when examined by the astronomer-Assyriologist Kugler,
have invariably proved erroneous. See his Im Bannkreis
Babels, and also Auf den Trummerhaujeln des Panbabylon-
ismus. On historical grounds the theorists have been no
more fortunate ; and the great mass of literature that is
concerned with the pros and cons of the argument reveals
the extent of error in detail inherent in the theory.

A typical example of this is afforded by Winckler in
respect of a non-existent country called ” Musri.” Assyri-
ologists have known for a very long time that there are two
countries called ” Musri ” mentioned in the cuneiform
inscriptions. One ” Musri ” was Egypt, the other was a
land either in Northern Syria or east of the Tigris. Winckler
said that all the mentions of the ” Musri ” which is Egypt



that are found in the inscriptions of Tiglath Pileser III
and of Sargon and Sennacherib refer, not to Egypt, but to
another country of the same name, which, according to
him, existed in Northern Arabia (see Altorientalische
Forschungen, Leipzig, 1893, p. 24 ff.). He considered
this Arabian ” Musri ” to be a part of Dr. Glaser’s hypo^
thetical ” Minaean Empire ” ; and his views helped to
support Cheyne’s theory of the existence of a Jerakhmeelite
kingdom in Palestine. Winckler based his arguments on
statements in the Assyrian inscriptions ; but when the
original texts were examined, they failed to support his
contention. He was careless in copying the texts, and
hasty in his conclusions, owing to the bias of his theory.
The reader will find an examination of his theory in the
Preface to my History of Egypt, Vol. VI (London, 1902)
with references to the texts ; and the arguments there set
forth by me have since been adopted by Eduard Meyer.

Both Winckler and Cheynej who adopted his theory,
rejected all consideration of historical and geographical
probabilities, and were prepared to admit that there was
wholesale corruption in the Hebrew text of the Old Testa-
ment. The ” Musri ” theory brought great discredit on
Assyriology for a time ; but it has now passed into the
limbo of impossible theories, and only exists as a memory.

The reader is now in a position to judge of the nature
and credibility of systems promulgated by Assyriologists
in Germany, and to understand the kind of handicap that
has been imposed by them on the growth of Assyriology.
Labour, which should have been spent on the two chief
requisites of the young science, viz., I. the decipherment
and interpretation of new texts ; 2. the compilation of
sign-lists, dictionaries and general studies on the original
texts that would aid scholars, was diverted to serve con-
troversial purposes. And none of these controversies



advanced knowledge to any considerable extent. Above
all, many came to the study of new texts with false and
unreliable conceptions, and found in the texts confirmation
of their opinions, which did not really exist. Indeed, it is
possible that some of these systems have wrought permanent
injury. Thus scholars who do not believe in ” Pan-
Babylonismus ” have been led, by a natural bias, to
underrate astrological influence in the Babylonian
religion. And many who recognized it have been chary
of drawing natural and legitimate inferences because
of their possible misuse in the hands of others. It is to
be hoped that in the future Assyriology may be free from
this kind of incubus.

Some of the intellectual errors which have retarded the
progress of Assyriology have been described above ; it
cannot be concealed that considerable harm has been done
to the science by the faults of the temperaments of indi-
viduals. Between 1871 and 1883, when studying in
Birch’s Department, I had the honour of being introduced
by him and Wright to many Continental scholars who were
men of great learning and wide reading, and were withal
modest and self-effacing. As an official between 1883
and 1924 I came as a matter of duty into contact with all
the scholars who visited the Department to study. In the
course of this period as a spectator, I observed the damage
which may be done by a lack of courtesy or an overweening
pride in matters of science. The kind of damage to which
I refer takes various forms. When a scholar visits another
country to do scientific work, with the opinion that he
alone is competent to deal with his subject, he may be
misled into actions which are in themselves contemptible.
An instance of this may be noted in the case of a scholar
who came to study in the British Museum, to verify readings
and to collate passages in important literary texts. He



came to the Museum with a long list of queries, which
necessitated the examination of hundreds of tablets. It
was noticed by the official in charge of the Students’ Roo»
that he worked through his queries with great rapidity,
and also that when he found a character too difficult to
decipher, he would try to make it clearer by using his
penknife to scrape out the wedges, and to make the character
look like what he thought it ought to be. He was promptly
stopped doing this, and admonished ; but very soon after
he was caught repeating his scraping of the characters,
which he called ” clearing,” and was warned that a repetition
of this offence would be followed by his exclusion from the
Students’ Room. A day or so later he was seen ” clearing ”
the text on a tablet belonging to the Gilgamish Epic;
and when it was taken from him it was found that he had
entirely ” cleared ” away portions of the text with his
penknife ; and the breaks made by him in the surface of
the tablet are plainly visible to the present day. The
matter was reported to the Director, who sent for the
offender; and when he asked him why he had mutilated
our tablets, the answer was, ” If I cannot pick the tablets
with my knife to clean them, what is the good of my coming
to the Museum ? ” He expressed no regret ; and the
Director excluded him from the Students’ Room, and
notified His Excellency the German Ambassador that he
had done so. When the other tablets that had been issued
for the student’s use were examined, it was found that
many of them bore marks of his pen-knife, which had been
used in such a way that it was impossible for anyone to
say what characters had been ” cleared ” away.

No one except, perhaps, the offender himself would be
prepared to admit that such conduct can at any time be
said to advance science. But his behaviour arose from a
attitude that came to be very common among certain



students. In the British Museum authorized students are
given facilities and accommodation which are equalled by
very few public institutions and excelled by none. Only
a false estimate of one’s own individual importance could
lead to the kind of request submitted by a Professor who
asked to be provided with a room to himself, because he
could not work satisfactorily in a room with other people.
He added naively that he did not wish the other students,
who happened to be of his own nationality, to know what
he was doing. When, in a previous year, the same gentle-
man was told that space for students was limited, and that,
if he wished to secure a seat, he must appear in the room
before 11 a.m., he replied that it was not convenient for
him to come before 2 o’clock ; and at that time he arrived.
When he was told that the only seat for a student was
occupied by a gentleman who was doing work for the
trustees, he said, ” You must turn him out. I am an
envoy of the Saxon Government.” Finding that his orders
were not carried out by the official in charge, he went to
a fellow-countryman who was an Assistant in the Museum,
and induced him to lay a formal complaint before the
Director, to the effect that an envoy of the Saxon Govern-
ment was being obstructed in his mission. The Director
upheld the ruling of the Keeper of the Department ; and
the Assistant returned to his room an angry man.

All the students who came to copy in the Museum in
the ‘eighties and ‘nineties were convinced that the Collections
of tablets contained a number of important texts belonging
to the Gilgamish Legend ; and they employed much guile
and flattery in trying to persuade the officials to let them
have these hypothetical documents to copy. When asked
if, supposing the Collections contained such texts, they
would be kept locked up in cupboards, and not published
by the Museum, each would answer, almost in the same



words, ” Yes, because you have no one here who can read
them; for George Smith is dead.” Nothing would
persuade them that such tablets did not exist ; and some
of them spent much time in peering through the glass doors
of the presses to try and read the tablets in them.

One scholar, whose conduct in the Students’ Room was,
to say the least of it, highly eccentric and discourteous
towards the officials, went so far as to send one of the
Attendants to the Keeper to ask for the keys of the presses
to be sent to him, so that he might see what was inside
them. At first the Keeper took no notice of the request ;
but when it was repeated two or three times, he went to
the Students’ Room and interviewed the applicant for the
keys. The student admitted that he had sent for the keys
because he wanted to know what tablets were in the presses,
and then said words to this effect : ” I am sent by the
Prussian Government to copy tablets, and I will have tablets
to copy ; not those which you give me, which are no use,
but tablets that have interest. You here cannot read
them — you only pretend to do so ; but I can read them ;
and if you do not give me what I want, I will apply to the
German Ambassador. Give me the tablets. I will tell
you what they say; and then you can write it in your
books, and it will make you a reputation.”

The advantages offered to students by the British Museum
have sometimes been used for purposes other than study,
as the following shows. In the spring of 1914 a German,
who styled himself ” Doctor,” came to the Museum ; and
as he brought introductions from prominent officials in
Berlin, he was permitted to use the Students’ Room, and
the tablets he asked for were given out for him to copy.
But it soon became evident that he knew nothing about
tablets or copying, and that his Assyriological knowledge
was extremely limited. He held the tablets upside down,



and by his careless handling he dropped and broke a tablet,
and was indignant when the officials urged him to take
more care. It was soon evident that copying cuneiform
texts was not his chief object in coming to the Museum ;
for he engaged any and every member of the staff in con-
versation, and his thirst for information about their
positions and work, and about the staff and the collections
in the other Departments of the Museum, was insatiable.
He openly abused the Trustees and their servants, espe-
cially the Orientalists and archaeologists of the Museum,
and said the usual things about the superiority of German
scholarship. An American student took up the cudgels
on behalf of the English ; and their arguments became so
heated and noisy that the staff had to interfere. Many men
of foreign appearance visited him ; and he and they would
prowl about the galleries and rooms until closing time,
when they were with difficulty got out of the Museum.
He was not seen at the Museum after August 4, 1914,
and creditors who came for his address in order to go and
collect their debts declared that he was a spy, and said that
he left his rooms or house on the evening of the 4th, and
did not return.

When an Institution like the British Museum places its
resources at the disposal of the student, at the expense of
the British nation (and this expense is often not incon-
siderable), it should entail on the student responsibility.
This must, of course, always be implicit, and subject to
conditions; but clearly the copying of Assyrian texts
should always imply the intention to publish them at no
distant date. Otherwise national resources are being used
entirely for the benefit of private individuals. Certain
scholars seem to think that they are entitled to these
privileges without such responsibility; and it cannot be
too much regretted that in numbers of books published



in Germany reference is made to private copies of texts
which have remained unpublished so long as thirty years !
The instance given will sufficiently illustrate the abuse
of privileges granted by the British Museum.

The limited space in which both the staff of the Depart-
ment and the students had to work during the transfer
of the Collections from the ground floor to the upper
floor in 1 882-1 883 caused inconvenience to both; and it
enabled one student to carry out a very ” slim ” pro-
ceeding. The cases containing the antiquities that
Rassam had excavated at Abu Habbah were brought up,
one by one, to the space partitioned off from the portion
of the First Egyptian Room to which the public were
admitted, and unpacked there. One of the cases contained
the now famous white Boundary-Stone of Ritti-Marduk
(B.M. No. 90,858) ; and a student was there when it was
being examined by Birch, who ordered that the long
Babylonian text on it should be reserved for publication
in the new volume of Cuneiform Inscriptions, which
Rawlinson was editing for the official publication of the
Trustees. The student saw the Stone, and was, seemingly,
only interested in it to a small degree. But, watching his
opportunity, he managed, unknown to the staff, to get
a paper ” squeeze ” made of the inscription, and took it
away when he had finished the work he had come to do.
He made a transcript of the inscription and a translation,
and in the autumn following published both, with facsimiles
of the figures of the gods, etc. 1 In later years he boasted
openly of the clever way in which he had hoodwinked
the staff; and when the dishonourable character of his
behaviour was pointed out to him, he maintained that he

1 Hilprecht, Freibrief Nebukadnezars I Konigs von Babylonien, c. II 30
V, Chr. Zumtrsten Mai verdjfentlicbt, wnschrieben und ubersetzt (Leipzig,



had acted solely in the interest of science. And he went
on to say that nobody in the Museum could read the
inscription, that Rawlinson’s knowledge of cuneiform was
antiquated and obsolete, and that but for himself the
Stone would have been kept hidden for years. It will
be remembered that Eisenlohr behaved in much the same
way when Birch was preparing an edition of the Rhind
Mathematical Papyrus. He borrowed the facsimiles of
the hieratic text from Birch, ostensibly to study in the
evenings and on Sundays during his stay in London ; but
as a matter of fact he made tracings of them, and, on his
return to Germany, reproduced them by lithography, and
published them before Birch’s official edition could appear.
In the case of the publication of Nebuchadnezzar’s
Charter to Ritti-Marduk, it was only the priority of publica-
tion that was filched from the Trustees of the British
Museum ; but the works of several of their servants have
been plagiarized, as the following examples will show.
From King’s work, Babylonian Magic and Sorcery (London,
1896), Delitzsch republished one of the most important
of the Prayers of the Lifting of the Hand without acknow-
ledging the source. Delitzsch, who stated that he had
heard in Russell Square a supernatural voice which assured
him that he was to be George Smith’s successor, was allowed
to examine Smith’s private note-books and papers, which
were brought to the Museum after his death in 1876;
but he omitted to state in his books whence he had derived
the facts that he quoted. For interesting remarks on his
plagiarisms from his fellow-countrymen, see Winckler and
Peiser in the Zeitschrift fur Jssyriologie, Bd. VII., p. 182.
Another Professor of Assyriology called on King in the
British Museum and showed him a fantastic scheme of
Babylonian chronology, which he had recently published.
King explained to him where the scheme was hopelessly





wrong, and lent him his own private copies of several
important chronological texts in order to help him; bu%
when the corrected scheme was published a few months
later, it was not accompanied by any mention of the copies,
of texts, or of King’s assistance. Some years ago a young
German Assyriologist published an elementary book oa
Assyrian Grammar ; but he borrowed so largely from King’s
First Stefs in Assyrian without acknowledgment that I felt
obliged to write to the Athenceum and point out that
whole pages had been copied from the English book.

In 1902 R. Campbell Thompson discovered the Legend
of the Worm on a fragment of a tablet (No. 55)54-7) m the
British Museum, and published the text of it in Cuneiform
Texts (London, 1903), Part XVII, PI. 50. The Legend
states that in primaeval times the Worm went weeping into
the presence of Shamash and Ea, and asked what its food
was to be, and begged for permission from these gods to
” devour the blood of the teeth and to destroy the strength
of their gums.” The gods agreed ; and the Babylonians
believed that toothache was caused by the gnawing of a
worm in the fangs of the teeth. This discovery excited
great interest, and was much talked about by experts and
others ; and it was well known among Assyriologists that
Thompson was writing a book on the Devils and Evil
Spirits of Babylonia, and that he was going to publish
translations of all the tablets of a similar character that he
could find. In spite of this, Prof. Meissner made a trans-
lation from Thompson’s copy of the text, and published
it in a periodical, as if the discovery was his own. The
result is that in German books Meissner is quoted as the
discoverer of the ” toothache tablet,” and Thompson is
not mentioned.

Another British Museum official, Sidney Smith, published
for the first time the text of a very important cylinder of



Sennacherib, with a transliteration in English letters, a
translation, and notes, in The First Campaign of Sennacherib,
King of Assyria, 705-681 b.c. (London, 1921). This text
contains a great deal of new information, and describes
the tactics of Sennacherib’s campaign in Babylonia, 702-
703 b.c, and furnishes data which are of great value geo-
graphically. The copying of the text was difficult owing
to the abrasions on the cylinder ; but Smith succeeded in
making a good copy. A certain German Assyriologist read
the book, and then reprinted Smith’s text, with a few
alterations which he was able to make from Smith’s own
translation and notes.

Another example may be given of this practice. In
1923 C. J. Gadd published officially for the Trustees a
tablet inscribed with a Chronicle dealing with the last
years of Assyrian History. The very important readings
to be found on this tablet are not always quite clear, owing
to the damaged state of the surface of the tablet; but
only those who have actually seen the tablet can possibly
be in a position to add anything to what Gadd has said in
his work ‘The Fall of Nineveh (London, 1923). A young
student, 1 who has never published any original material,
has taken the opportunity to republish the transliteration
and to add a German translation of this tablet, on the
ground that the errors made by Gadd in his translation
would lead to false historical conclusions. The new
translation depends on imaginary readings which find no
support in the actual text on the tablet ; and it contains
versions which are inaccurate of very well-known Akkadian
phrases. These ” corrections ” of Gadd’s work are the
” scientific ” excuse for an action which is wholly unjusti-
fiable. The practical result of such actions is that English
Assyriology, which can well afford to ignore such breaches
1 Julius Lewy, Forschungen zur alien Geschichte (M.V.A.G., 1925).



of good manners, is greatly handicapped in the matter of
publication. No publisher is willing to accept the responsi-
bility or to incur the expense of printing a costly book,
when it is almost certain that the essential parts of it wiU
be plagiarized and reprinted by cheaper labour. In cases
where the author bears the expense of publication, which
often happens in England, the hardship is even greater.

Experience shows that it is only when the English of
French scholar has copied and printed a text, and added
a translation of it and pointed out, if not explained, the
philological difficulties in it, that the German Assyriologists
consider it to be in a fit state for them to work at. They
correct the mistakes which are inevitable in every editio
frinceps ; and the German edition of the text is the only
one that is quoted throughout Germany. If any Assyri-
ologist will give the time and take the trouble to collate
a text published by a German for the first time, he will
find that there are in it at least as many mistakes as, and
probably more than, there are in a text of similar length
and difficulty that is published for the first time by an
Englishman. This statement is not intended to detract
in any way from the value of German work on the minutiae
of grammar or on points of philology, which are often
of the greatest importance, or the German faculty for
elaboration and patient research, which is beyond all
praise ; but German Assyriologists were never good copyists.
Many of them who came to the British Museum to copy
texts had never handled a tablet before they sat down in
the Students’ Room ; and one and all of them underrated
the difficulties of copying accurately. Good eyesight and
neatness are not all that is required by the copyist ; he
should have a knowledge of the cuneiform inscriptions
and of cognate Semitic dialects, and should have in his head
a sort of apparatus criticus. German Assyriology has



always been hampered by the lack of good copyists and
of the understanding of the importance of copying. The
important tablets which Winckler found at Boghaz Keui
in 1 906-1 907 remained unpublished for seven or eight years
because no German could copy them. The extracts from
them translated by Winckler proved conclusively that they
contained historical information of the highest value;
but it was not until 191 6 that Figalla and Weidner published
any of them. Had English or French Assyriologists done
as Winckler did, and quoted cuneiform documents without
adding the original text, the Germans would have called
heaven and earth to observe the unscientific and unscholarly
character of their proceedings. It may be added that
when Winckler’s translations of unpublished texts are
compared with the originals, they will not bear comparison
with the translations of George Smith and other early
English Assyriologists, whose work is decried in Germany
as unscientific.

It is a curious fact, but the German Assyriologists with
whom I came in contact in the British Museum showed,
by their talk and behaviour, that they believed that the
science of Assyriology was founded by the Germans, and
that they had taught the rest of the world how to decipher
and translate the cuneiform inscriptions ; whilst the exact
opposite of this is the truth. Schrader founded himself
on Rawlinson, and Delitzsch on Rawlinson and George
Smith. And as for excavations in Assyria and Babylonia,
many shrewd observers have remarked that Germany only
began to excavate seriously in those countries when she
began to dream of creating the German Oriental Empire,
which was to be reached by way of the Baghdad Railway.
Many German Assyriologists believe (and they have followers
in other countries) that Grotefend, the Hanoverian, was
the first to decipher the cuneiform inscriptions. But, as



Grotefend did not. The only other early Assyriologists who
have enjoyed a measure of Rawlinson’s natural ability for
deciphering texts were Hincks and Norris; and the only
other Assyriologist who was capable of perceiving the
meaning of a cuneiform inscription almost at a glance was
George Smith. German and other writers claim that the
works of Rask, Lassen and Westergaard were the sources
of Rawlinson’s success ; but Rawlinson had done his work
before he saw them or even knew of their existence. And
these three scholars were Scandinavians, and not Germans ;
Assyriology in its early stages owed much to Denmark,
and very little to Germany. We may note, too, that
the three greatest Assyriologists in Germany, Strassmaier,
Hommel, and Bezold, were Bavarians.

In the preceding pages sufficient has been said to prove
the importance of Assyriology. On it rests the foundation
of a great deal of ancient history. It supplies unrivalled
material for the study of early religion ; and it has already
revealed a world of social organization and material well-
being at a very early period, of which the evidences else-
where are partial and of doubtful explanation. Henceforth
Assyriology must be reckoned as a necessary branch of
humane learning ; and in those scholastic institutions which
are devoted to such subjects, Assyriology should be adequately
represented. This fact is recognized on the Continent
and in America, where Schools of Assyriology with a proper
teaching staff may be found at numerous important Colleges
and Universities. In England alone, its birthplace, the
science has been neglected. There are only two Professorial
Chairs in England ; and these are inadequately endowed.
A subject which offers a wide and profitable field of research,
the results of which affect the study of the Old Testament,
the Classics, and Archseology generally, is neglected in all
post-graduate work, even at the Universities where it is



recognized. This seems to me to be a grave deficiency la
our educational system. There is no reason why a sound
school of English Assyriology should not be attended by
the same success that has followed Egyptological research.
This would only be possible with the support, both moral
and material, of the existing learned institutions; and it
is to them that we must look for some improvement in
this direction.



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Babylonian Historical Texts. London, 1924.

Cappadocian Texts (in Brit. Mus. Cuneiform Texts).

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Spiegel, F., Die Altpersischen Keilinschriften im Grundtexte mit Ueber-

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Stolze, F., Die achdmenidischen und sassanidischen Denkmdler. Berlin,




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Strassmaier, J. N., Alphabetisches Verzeichniss. Leipzig, 1882 S.

Inschriften von Nabonidus. Leipzig, 1889.

Inscbriften von Nabuchodonosor. Leipzig, 1889.

Struys (Strauss), J. J., Les Voyages deJ.S. Amsterdam, 1681.
Sykes, P. Molesworth, fen Thousand Miles in Persia. London, 1902.
A History oj Persia. 2 vols. London, 1921.

Taylor, J. E., ” Notes on the Ruins of Mugeyer ” (J.R.A.S., 1855).

— — ” Notes on Abu Shahrein and Tel-el-Lahm ” (Ibid.).

Teixeira, Pedro, Travels of, edited by Sinclair, W. F., and Ferguson, D.

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Teloni, B., Letteratura Assira. Milan, 1903.
Thevenot, J. de, Les Six Voyages. Utrecht, 1712.
Thompson, R. C, ” Excavations at Abu Shahrain ” (Archaologia, vol. LXX).

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Assyrian Medical Texts. Oxford, 1923.

The Assyrian Herbal. 1924.

Thureau-Dangin, F., Recherches sur I’origine de Vecriture cuneiforme. Paris,

” La chronologie des Dynasties de Sumer et d’Accad ” (in Rev. d’Ass. t

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Tiele, C. P., Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens. Gotha, 1886.
Tiglath Pileser I., His inscription as translated by Rawlinson, Fox Talbot,

Hincks and Oppert. London, Royal Asiatic Society, 1857.
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Vaux, W. S. W., Nineveh and Persepolis. London, 1851.
Virolleaud, C, UAstrologie Chaldeenne. Paris, 1908 f.

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Weidner, E. F., The King-List in Meissner’s Babylonien, vol. II.

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Weissbach, F. H., Die achamenideninschriften zweiter Art. Leipzig, 1891.
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Die Denkmdler und Inschriften an der Miindung des Nahr-el-Kelb.

Berlin, 1922.



Weissbach, F. H., “Geschichte der Entzifferung und Erklarung der
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Westergaard, N. L., ” Zur Entzifferung der Achamenidischen Keilschrift ”
(Z.D.M.G., Bd. VI, 1844).

Om den anden eller den sakiske Art of Akhtemenidernes Kileskrift.

Copenhagen, 1854.
Wigram, W. A., and T. A., Cradle of Mankind. London, 1914.
Winckler, H., History of Babylonia and Assyria, translated by J. A. Craig.

New York, 1907.
Witsen, N., Description of Tartary. Amsterdam, 1692-1705.
Woolley, C. L., Carchemish (Part II). London, 1921.

” Excavations at Ur of the Chaldees ” (Jnl. of the Society of Antiquaries,

1923, pp. 24, 25), and see his articles in the Museum Journal,
published by the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, at
Philadelphia, 1924, 1925.

Xenophon, Cyropadia, Didot’s edition. Translation by J. S. Watson.

YAKdT, ed. Wustenfeld.

Yule, H., The Book ofSer Marco Polo. London, 1903,

Zehnpfund, R., ” Babylonien in seinen wichtigsten Ruinenstatten ” (in Der

Alte Orient, XI).
Die Wiederentdeckung”Nineves. Leipzig, 1903.



1. Bibliotheca Orientalias. Berlin, 1887 ff.
Contenau, G., Elements de Bibliographie Hittite, 1921.
Fossey, C, Manuel, 1904.

Pratt, Ida A., Assyria and Babylonia. New York, 1918.
Weidner, E. F., Die Assyriologie, IQ14-1922. Leipzig, 1922.

2. American Journal of Archtsology.
Orientalistische L iteraturzeitung.
Revue d’ ‘Assyriologie.
Zeitschriftfur Assyriologie.

3. For Bibliographical Articles see : —
Brockelmann in Zeit. Deut. Morg. Gesell, 1907-1909.
Combe in Revue de Vhistoire des Religions, 1909 ff.
Condamin, Recherches de Science Religieuse, 1909 ff.
Fossey in Journal Asiatique, 1906-1909.
Gressmann in Theolog. Jahresbericht, 1908 ff.

Hogg in Review of Theology and Philosophy.



Lehman n-Haupt in Jahresherichte der Geschichtswissenschaft.
Maynard in Journal of the Society for Oriental Research.
Meloni in Rivista degli Studi Orientali.
Teloni in Rivista degli Studi Orientali.

See also the carefully classified Biographical Lists in the Cambridge
Ancient History, vols. I— III.





‘Abbas, Shah, 13, 18

*Abd AllSh, Sulfan, 70

Abel, L., 230

Aberdeen, Lord, 23

Abu JJabbah, 115, 118, 132I, 199,

288; tablets from, 167, 249.
Abu Shahren (Eridu), 86, 88, 145
Abyssinia, 210
Achaemenes, 48
Achsemenians, 15
Adab, 251
Adad, 84

Adad Nirari I, 115
Adar, temple of, 82
Adler, Cyrus, 257
Agade, 142, 218
Agum-Kakrime, 126
Ahab, 280

Ahuramazda, 7, 8, 24, 30
*Akar-Kuf, 60-61, 62
Akkad, 142

Akkadian, 98, 209, 210, 269, 272
Akkadians, 98
Al-Basrah, 62, 197
Al-Birs, 88
Aleppo, 117, 118, 220
Alexander the Great, 2, 3, 5, 20, 58, 64
Alexander, son of A. the Great, 59
Alexandretta, 122
Al-Hathr, 72
Al-Hibbah, 237
Alliterative Texts, 191
Allotte de la Fuye, M. F., 212
Alphabet, 97; the Persian of Nie-

buhr, 22
Alphabetic characters, 22
Alphabetische Verzeichniss, 229
Alte Orient, Der, 236
Alwand (Elvend), 10, 29, 32
Al-Uhemar (Kish), 65, 73. 213
American Arch. Mission, 145
Amiaud, A., 182, 212
*Amran ibn *Ali, mound of, at

Babylon, 72 . .

Amsterdam, 63; Persian antiquities

at, 20


Amurru, land of, 255

Amurru Question, the, 256

Ancestor worship, 127

Andrae, Dr. W., 230, 237, 239

Angel, P., 18

Angora, 179

Anshar, 277

” Anticas,” the trade in, 118

Antioch, 13

Antiochus, cylinder of, 126

Antiochus Epiphanes, 4

Antiquities, destruction of, 24

Anu-Adad, temple of, 230

Anu, Sky-god, 84, 279

Anunnaki, 276

Anzan, script of, 216

Anzanites, 216, 266

Apostles, the Twelve, 30

Arabia, 21, 61, 282

Arad Sin, 271

Arakha, 8

Araxes, 2

Arbaces, 31

Arbela, 131

Archaic Classes, 186

Archers, Frieze of the, 202

Architecture at Persepolis, 14

Ardish, 130

Ariaku, 271

Ariaramnes, 48, 49

Arik-den-ilu, 132

Arioch, 270

Aristobulos, 5, n

Armenia, 240, 241

Arnold, Sir E., 120, 130

Arrian, quoted, 5, 11, 58

Arrow-headed writing, I

Arsaces, 40

Arsames, 48, 49

Arses, 3

Art, Babylonian and Assyrian, 236

Artabanus, 48

Artavarduya, 49

Artaxerxes I, 7

Artaxerxes II, 3, 202

Artaxerxes III, 24

Arundel, Lord, 17






Arwand, 10

Arzawa, letters of, 239, 243
Ashdod, 266

Ashur, city of, 82, 84; Fortress of,
230 ; Library of, 231 ; Texts from,

Ashurbanipal, 69, 81, 82, no, 116,

158, 267; prism of, 125
Ashurnasirpal, 68, 83, 101, 214, 221
Asia Minor, 181
Asnapper, 267
Asoka, King, 96
Assyria, 49

Assyrian Excavation Fund, 87
Assyrian, Norris’s Dictionary, 96;

litters, 11 ; Transcripts into, 101 ;

Writing, 12, 173
Assyriologisches Glossar, 227
Assyriology, its importance, 295
Assyriology in America, 244; in

France, 184; in Germany, 223;

in Holland, 243 ; in Italy, 241 ;

in Scandinavia, 242; in Switzer-
land, 220
Astrologers, 179

Astrology, 222, 281 ; Chaldean, 215
Astronomy, 228, 232; Babylonian,

» l85
Astyages, 5

Alhenasus, n

Athura, 49

Atrina, 8, 49

Auguries, 181

Auramazda, 49

Aurant, 32

Aures, A., 212

Avenue of Stelae, 230

Avesta, 45

Baalbek, 253

Ba’ashika, 70

Ba’azani, 70

Babelon, E. C. F., 210

Babel und Bibel, 178, 272

Babil, 29, 61, 72

Babirush, 49

Babylon, 4, 8, 49, 58, 148, 179.

bricks from, 15; captured by

Cyrus, 127; Oppert’s map of, 88

Rich at, 26
Babylonia, 10, 173, 210, 211, 272^

early travellers in, 58ff. ; Smith’s

History of, no; Society in, 233
Babyloniaca, 234
Babylonian, Chronicle in, 127;

Version of Bihistun Inscription,

73 ; writing, 173
Babylonians, 60
Bactrians, 40


Badger, C. P., 68

Badri Beg, 202

Bagabigna, 49

Baghdad, 25, 145, 154, 220

Bagistana, 7

Bagisianus Mons, 7

Bahistun, 7

Bakdada, 101

Bakshish, 114

Balaam, 194

Balawat, 131

Balbi, G., 60

Ball, C. J., 188

Ball and Bezold Controversy, 263

Bandamir, 2

Bandar ‘Abbas, 16

Bang, W., 235

Bankes, E. T., 251

Barbaro, G., 12, 29

Barlaam and Yoasaph, 227

Barthelemy, Abb6, 26, 62

Barton, G. A., 252, 256, 257

Basileus, in

Basrah (Al-Basrah), 25, 71, 83, 177

Bavian, inscription at, 71, 175

Beauchamps, J., 26, 62, 72, 135, 196

Beer, E. E. F., 46, 51

Bel, death and resurrection of, 195;

his temple at Babylon, 55
Belck, W., 240
Bglibni, 231
Bellino Cylinder, 27, 28
Bellino, K., 27, 32
Bel Marduk, Myth of, 275
B61 Merodach, 235
Beltis, 276, 277
Belus, 61
Bembo, A., 29
Benjamin of Tudela, 58, 59
Berger, P., 212
Berosus, 12, 233
Bertin, G., 167, 212
Besta, 242
Bezold, C, 155, 208, 226fl., 273, 295;

his Catalogue, 160S.
Bibliotheque Nationale, 213
Bihistan, Bihistun, 76. ; Rock of,

2gf., 160, 175 ; inscriptions copied

by Rawlinson, 34, 35
Bilingual Lists, 178
Bir, or Blr Edjik, 117, 122
Birch, S., 83, 90, 107, 108, no, 112,

119, 149, 150, 157, 223, 261, 268,

Birs-i-Nimrud, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 88,

113. 207
Bism&ya, 251
Btsutun, 7
Bitumen, 15






Black Obelisk, 74, 76, 91

Black Stone of Nebuchadnezzar II, 95

Blundell, H. Weld, 65

Boghaz Keui, 230, 231, 234, 239, 293

Bohl, F. M. T., 243

Boissier, A., 220S.

Boll, F., 227

Bombay, 21, 25, 71

Bonavia, E., 242

Bond, Sir E. A., 160

Bonomi, J., 107, 113, 261

Book of the Dead, 222

Booth quoted, 14, 32, 40, 46, 63, 75,

206, 294
Borneo, 186
Bornu, 96
Borsippa, 58, 59, 88
Bosanquet, J. W., no, 113, 121, 262
Boscawen, W. St. Chad, 120
Boson, G., 242
Bosporus, 46
Botta, P. E., 29, 44, 67, 196, 205,

266 ; edits texts, 89
Boundary Stones, 90, 173, 204
Bowler the lithographer, 92, 95, 100,

102, 155, 171
Bowls, divining, 72, 151
Breasted, H., 143
Breidner, L., 257
Bricks, 173; Babylonian, 26; in

Europe, 63; inscriptions on, 100
Brickwork, vitrified, 61
British Museum, publications of, 94 ;

excavations, 71
Bronze, cleaning of, 151
Bronze, doorstep, 135; gates, 132
Broussa, 6g

Brown, F., 39, 192, 257
Bruci, B., 242
Briinnow, R. E., 227, 230
Brydges, Sir H. T., 95
Bubikon, 220
Buckingham, J. S., 28, 65
Buddhism, 188
Bull capitals at Shush, 203
Bull of heaven, 279
Bulls, inlaid, 146; man-headed and

winged, 70
Bunsen, E. de, 121
Burdens, John de, 59, 60
Burnouf, E., 22, 44, 45. 5°. 75- 77>

241, 294; his ” Memoir,” 51
Burst, Biirsip, 88
Bur Sin, 174
Bushire, 28, 30, 237
Butterworth, Captain, 237


Cain and Abel, 222, 271


Calah (Nimrud), 29, 68

Calculations, lunar, 232

Calendar, Babylonian, 234

Cambyses, 48, 49, 229

Camden Society, 149

Canning, Stratford (Lord Stratford

de Redcliffe), 29, 68, 80
Cantlie, Sir J., 176
Capacity, measures of, 212
Cappadocia, 49, 222; tablets from,

212, 219; texts, 182, 232; writing

of, 173
Cappadocians, 266
Captivity, 229

Carchemish, 117, 122, 123, 130, 179
Cartwright, J., 13
Castle of Nineveh, 62
Casts of Persian bas-reliefs, 24
Chabas, F., 262
Chahelminar, 19
Chaldean Letters, n
Chantre, E., 182, 212, 222
Chapelle sur Oron, 221
Chardin, J., 18, 20, 26
Chatti, 231

Chatto and Windus, Messrs., 176
Chedorlaomer, 270, 271
Cheyne, T. K., 282
Chiera, E., 252, 257
Chihil Manare, 2
Chilam Balam, 253
Childers, 113
China, 58, 188
Chinese and Sumerian, 189
Chorasmis, 49
Christus Myth, 235
Chronicles, Early, 175
Chronology, 231 ; Acha?menian, 236;

Babylonian, 184
Chumayel, 253
Citadel Hill, 204
Citadel of Babylon, 62 ; of Caesarea,

222 ; of Persepolis, 2
Citrantakhma, 8
Civilization, Sumerian, 193
Civil Service, the Assyrian, 232
Clark, E. W., 246, 248
Clay as writing material, 99
Clay, A. T., 252, 255
Clayton, Captain, 136
Clothes, lists of, 219
Code of Khammurabi, 190
Codes, Jewish, 194
Coffee first brought to France, 18
Coffins, glazed, 87; Parthian, 72
Combe, Etienne, 221
Conder, Col., 187
Cones, 173
Constantinople, 69, 117, 253






Contenau, G., 182, 187, zig

Contracts, 219; tablet at Zurich, 220

Convent of Surp Garabed, 222

Cook, Canon, 113

Cooper, Basil, 271

Cooper, W. R., 210, 262

Copan, 253

Copper, animals in, 146

Cosmology, 281

Cowley, A., 187

Coxe, W. H., 105

Craig, J. A., 192, 234, 257

Creation, Epic of, 193, 195; Story of ,

127; Tablet of, 158, 175, 192
Croesus, 240
Cross at Bihistun, 30
Ctesiphon, 101
Cult Songs, 235
Cuneata?, 12
Cuneiform, 20; line first copied, 14,

15; inscriptions inlaid in gold, 17;

oldest known, 146; type cut, 54
Cuneiform Parallels, 254
Cuneiform Texts, publication of,

89ft, l65ff.
Cuq, E., 212
Curzon, Lord, 13

Cylinder seals, 146,209; casts of, 153
Cylinders, 148; barrel, 90; baked

clay, 26
Cypriote inscriptions, in
Cyprus, 262
Cyriadis, 13
Cyrus, 5, 48, 229, 240; cylinder of,

126; grave of, 236; identification

of name of, 23; throne of, 2; Tomb

of, 5, 11, 23, 28
Cyrus River, 2

Daiches, Dr. S., 193

Dailam, 139

Daily Telegraph Collection, 162, 268

Daily Telegraph and G. Smith, 113

Dam, the Great, 13

Damascus, 123

Daniel, Book of, 121

Darab, 236

Dara Killisa, 131

Darius I, 2, 6, 7, 20, 47, 160, 179, 223,
229, 265; at Bosporus, 46; his
inscriptions at Bihistun, 8ff . ;
palace of , 2 ; tomb of, 25

Darius II, 7

Darius III, 3

Daulier des Landes, A., 17, 19

David, 280

Davis, Nathan, 158

Deborah, Song of, 194

de Goeje, 7


Deimel, A., 99, 242
Delaporte, L., 2i2f.
Delattre, A. J., 213
Delitzsch, F., 98, 119, 178, 209, 210,

224, 255, 273a., 289, 293
Delia Valle, P., 14, 60, 61
Deluge Tablet, 112, 126, 152, 158
Dennefeld, 181

Deposit, crystalline, on Tablets, 148
D6r, 132, 139; excavations at, 141,

Derenbourg, E., 192
Deutsch, E., 113

Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft, 274
Devil Texts, 179
Devonshire, Duke of, 190
Dickson, W. K., 25, 123, 124
Dictionary, Sumerian, 193
Dieulafoy, M. (at Shush), 202
Dijon, 25

Diodorus quoted, 2, 6, II, 14, 65
Diogenes Laertius, n
Divination, 179, 210, 222
Dog Omens, 194
Donausworth, 226
Doomsday Book, the Assyrian, 190
Doubleday the repairer, 134, 148, 149
Dozy, R., 12
Drach, S., 262
Drehem, 213
Driver, G. R., 195
Du Cros, 202
Dujel, 13

Duperron, A. H. A., 22, 45
Dur Kurigalzu, 60
Dyaks, 188
Dynasties of Sumer and Akkad, 184

Ea, 276

Earthly Paradise, 222

East India Company, 31, 63, 71;

publications of, 95
Ebeling, E., 180, 231
Ecbatana, 4, n
Egibi tablets, 12 1
Egypt, 21, 49, 181
Eisenlohr, Dr., 262, 289
El, 294

Elam, 173, 216; inscriptions of, 217
El-Amarna, 233
Eldred, J., 60

Elephantine, papyri from, 194
Ellenborough, Lord, 34
Elliot, Sir H., 130
Elvend, Mount, 10, 29, 32, 45, 47 48,

91, 241
Eneberg, Dr., 116
Enkidu, 279
Enlil, 246






Entemena, 198

Enurta, 277

Epigraphs, 8, 9 ; Pehlevi and Persian,

Epistolography, 232

Eponym Canon, 116

Epping, Father, 229, 231

Equinoxes, 280

Era, Seleucid, 219, 231

Erech, 86, 279

Eregli, 129

Eridu, 86, 88, 177

E. Sag. Ila, 59, 64

Esarhaddon, ioi, 183, 196, 238, 266

Euphrates, 49, 61, 64, 118

Eusebius, 12

Evagoras, 111

Eyes, stone, 146

Ezekiel, 194

Fables, Assyrian, 222

Falconry, 232

Fall of Nineveh, 195, 271

Fall, the, 193

Fallujah, 117

Family Laws, 247

Farah, 237

Fars, 4

Fasa, 23^ 236

Federigo, C, 60

Figueroa, G. de Silva, 3, 14

Figulla, H. H., 231, 234, 293

Firuz-Abad, 236

Fischer, Dr., 192

Fissher, C. S., 250

Fitch, R., 60

Flandin and Coste, 56

Fleischer, Prof., 226

Flemming, J., 28

Flood, the, 193, 213, 255, 268

Flora, Assyrian, 242

Flower, S., 19

Fool’s Cap, 8

Forbes, Major F. A. C. Leith, 10

Forrer, E., 231

Fortress of Babylon, 88

Forty Minarets, 2

Fossey, C, 192, 198, 211, 213

Foundation Cones, 182

Foundation tablets, 172

Fractions, 219

Frada, 8

Frank, K., 236

Franks, Sir A. W., 149, 158

Fravartish, 49

Frederic V of Denmark, 21

Fresnel, F., 206

Fribourg, 221

Fulah, 96


Gadd, C. J., 98, 146, 174, 184, 250,

Ganj Namah, 32
Gardane, A. L. de, 30
Gardane, C, 30
Garden of Eden, 179
Garstang, J., 240
Gates of Shalmaneser, 151
Gate sockets, 172
Gaugengig], 221
Gaumata, 8

Genesis, 214; Chaldean, r66
Genouillac, H. de, 65, 213
Gezer Calendar, 194
Ghazni, 34
Gifiard, H., 113
Gilgamish Epic, 127, 194, 232, 253,

279, 284
Girdle wall, threefold, 14
Giuntini the formatore, 24
Gladstone, W. E., 113
Glaser, Dr., 282
Glass, 72
Goa, 13

Gobineau, J. A. Comte de, 207
Godby, A. H., 254, 257
Goddess, the naked, 220
Gordon, Hon. Mrs., 158
Gordon, Dr., 253
Gottheil, R. J. H., 192
Gouvea, A. de, 13
Grammar, Sumerian, 193, 233
Gray, C. D., 257
Great Hall of Xerxes, 24
Greek and Assyrian, 46
Greeks, 11
Grelot, G. J., 18
Gressmann, H., 233f,
Grivel, J., 221
Grote, Mr., 93
Grotefend, G. F., 22, 23, 27, 33, 4lff.,

75, 91, 223I, 293, 294
Gryphons, 223

Gudea, 198, 212, 259; prayer of, 235
Guinea, 188
Gutium, 218
Guyard, S., 211

HAfiz PAshA, 70

Hagenberg, 228

Haldita, 49

Halevy, J., 98, 210, 224, 26g

Hall, H. R., 250 ; his excavations, 145

Hamadan, 7, 32

Hamdi, O., Bey, 140, 164, 251

Hamitic language, 98

Hammer, J. von, 28, 64

Handcock, P. S. P., 174, 181






Hanging Garden, 62, 63, 135

Harper, R. F., 253

Harrison & Sons, 54

Haug, Martin, 226

Haupt, P., 246

Haussa, 96

Haynes, J. H., 79, 246, 247

Hayy River, 235

Hebrew, 72, 151 ; language, 272

Hebrews, 256

Heidelberg, 229

Herakleides 196

Herat, 33

Herbert, Sir T., 16

Herodotus quoted, 11, 46, 48, 49, 65,

Hester, Mr., 34
Heuzey, L., 213
Hezekiah, 266

Hibbert Lectures by Sayce, 186
Higher Criticism, 270
Hillah, 26, 61, 63, 66, 132
Hilprecht, H. V., 245, 288
Himyaritic inscriptions, 158
Hincks, E., 8, 53, 57, 74, 77fi., 295;

Syllabary of, 90; and Tiglath

Pileser inscription, 93
Hinna, 125
Hinke, W. J., 257
Hittite decipherment, 231; writing,

Hittites, 231, 266; monuments, 123
Hittitology, 179
Holma, H., 243
Holtzmann, A., 52.
Hommel, F„ 98, 227, 295; his

Festschrift, 231
Homophones, 91
Horses, language of, 69
Houghton, W., 83
Hrozny, F., 231
Hulwan, 7, 9
Hunting, 232
Hussey, Miss M. I., 257
Hyde, T., 19, 39
Hymns, Assyrian, 230
Hystaspes, 42, 47, 48

IaSILI-KaIA, 222

Iatromantique, 222

Ibn al-Athir, 60

Ibn Hawkal, 7, 12

Ibrahim al-Khalil, 88, 134

Iconography, 220, 236

Idalium, 1 11; bronze tablet of , m

Ideogram, 74

Ikisji, 119

Han Dashlart, 130

Imgig, 146


Immortal Guards, the, 24

Incantations, 178

India, 6, 22, 279

Inscriptions, trilingual, 22

Inuhsamar, 271

Irbil, 131

Isaac, Mr., 92

Isfahan, 15

Isfendiar, 6

Ishtar, 192 ; Descent of, 223

Isis, 278

Isma’H Pasha, 70

Israel, 31 ; religion of, 252

I§takhr, 4, 7, 12, 28

Itineraries, Persian, 237

Ivories, Assyrian, 151

Jackson, Prof. W., 37

Jacquet, E. V. S., 46, 51

Jamshid, 2, 25, 43

Jankowski the lithographer, 171

Jan Nama, 25

Jarabis, 122

Jarrah, 71

Jastrow, M., 258

Java, 188

Jehu, 266

Jena, 223

Jenkins, B. J., 262

Jensen, P., 187, 231, 278ft,

Jeremias, A., 232

Jerusalem, 266

Jews, 88, 136, 137; in Babylon, 194,

Job, Book of, 194
Johns, C. H. W., i8gff.
Johnson, C, 258
Jonah, 135, 247; tomb of, 66
Jones, Felix, 34, 53, 225
Joshua, 280
Jumjumah, 64, 134, 139

Kabujiya, 49

Kal’ah Sharkat, 82, 92, 132, 148, 172,

238 ; excavations at, 84f ,
Kal’at al-Nunya, 62
Kampfer, E., 12, igff., 21, 26
Kandahar, 33
Kapur di Giri, 96
Kara K6sh, 71
Karamlis, 70
Kara-Su, 237
Karkdk, 131

Kasr, the, 26, 61, 64, 72, 88
Kassite Period, 218
Katapatuka, 49
Kebra Nagast, 227
Kedorlaomer, 232
Keilinschriftliche Bibliotheh, 224






Keller of Zurich, 220
Keppel, G. T., 30
Khabbaza, 252
Kh&bur, 238

Khammurabi, 175 ; Code of, 190, 194,
204, 205, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218,

233. 245. 254. 257
Khanah-i-Dara, 2
Khian, King, 115
Khorsabad, 67, 68, 71, 76, 79, 89,

141, 196, 207; winged bulls of, 85
Khumbaba, 279
Khurasan Road, 7
Khusrau Parwiz, 8
Kidaris, 13
Kin, 63
Killyleagh, 90

King, L. W., 37, 99, 143, 174, 289
King and Thompson, 9, 56, 164, 175
King List, no, 146, 234
King of kings, 41, 42, 43
Kingu, 276

Kinneir, Sir J., 30, 32, 79
Kiritli Oglu, 69, 80
Kirmanshah, 7, 32, 33, 47, 50
Kisarra, 249

Kish, 65, 73, 193, 213, 219
Kitchener, Life of, 195
Kitium, in
Klauber, E. G., 232
Knudtzon, J. A., 243
Kohler, J., 232, 233, 234
Koindsjug, 62

Koldewey, R., 59, 63. ’35. 237
Koopman, C, 243
Koster, A., 183
Kuechler, F., 181
Kufah, 63

Kugler, F. X., 229, 232, 281
Kiih-i-Rahamat, 2
Kur, 2, 5
Kur’an, 212

Kurdistan, 195 ; Rich in, 65
Kurds, 195, 281
Kurlil, statue of, 146
Kurnah, 86
Kurush, 49
Kuthah, 134
Kuyper, H. 243
Kuyunjik, 29, 37, 62, 65, 66, 67ft.. 8o,

148, 152, 196; Smith at, 114;

Catalogue, 157ft., 226

Labartu, 258
Lachish, 166
Lacouperie, T. de, 189
Lagash, 198, 199
Laing, Mr., 150
Land measures, 212


Lane Poole, 34

Lang, Hamilton, 262

Langdon, S,. 8, 65, 98, 192, 248, 252

Larissa, 68

Larsa, 86, 97

Lassen, C, 22, 44, 45, 55, 56, 294

Lassen and Rawlinson, 51

Law, Babylonian, 212; Sumerian,

Layard, A. H., 27, 29, 44, 65, 67, 107,

151, 266; at Babylon, 72; at

Constantinople and Mosul, 68, 69;

edits texts, 89; his excavations,

Lebanon, 214

Le Brun, C. de L’Aia, 20, 2j
Ledrain, E., 214
Leedes, W., 60
Leeper, A. W. A., 174, 182
Le Gac, Y., 214

Legends of Egypt and Babylonia, 177
Legrain, Leon, 147, 252
Lehmann-Haupt, F. F. K., 21 1, 240
Lenorniant, C, 209
Lenormant, F., 58, 98, 109, 209!, 211
Lesestiicke, 225
Le Strange, G., 8
Letters, Kuyunjik, 253
Letters, the Tall al-‘Amarnah, 213
Levant Company, Cemetery of, 119
Levi, 31
Lewy, J., 291
Lime burners, 12
Lion, eagle, 146; heads of, 146;

hunting of the, 81, 166; relief of,

24; weight, 115
Lisbon, antiquities at, 239
Lists of year names, 168
Literature, Babylonian and Assyrian,

186, 234
Little Red Hill, 65
Littmann, E., 227
Liver, divination by, 214; model of

sheep’s, 168
Loftus, W. K., 86ff., 145, 197, 202;

at Kuyunjik, 87
Loisy, A., 214

Longperrier, A, de, 205, 266
Lotz, W., 225, 232
Louvre, 198
Lowy, Dr. A., 121
Luckenbill, D. D., 144, 258
Ludingworth, 21
Lunar calculations, 231
Luschan, F. von, 238
Lutz, H. F., 252
Luynes, Due de, n 1
Luzzato, P., 241
Lynch Bros., 138


3 i6 INDEX


Lyon, Dr. G., 157, 245

Ma’arath GA2zi, 227

Mace heads, 172

Macmillan, K. D., 258

Magic, 178, 213, 214; Chaldean, 210;

Semitic, 179
Magush, 49
MaijmMlyah, 132
Maklu, 242
Mai- Amir, 186
Malcolm, C. J., 237
Malcolm, Sir J., 101
Mandaltic, 72, 151
Mandelslo, J. A. de, 17, 19
Mandeville, J. de, 59
Manishtusu, 204
Mantis, praying, 222
Mardin, 25
Marduk, 276
Maria, F. V., 62
Martin, F., 214
Martiya, 8

Mashad-i-Madar-i-Suleym&n, 5
Masiid ‘All, 63
Masjid IJus6n, 63
Maspero, G., 210, 214
Matheson, Mr., 121
Mechineau, L., 212
Media, 11

Median, 40 ; Vernon, 57
Medical Texts, 179
Medicine, 178; Assyrian, 236

Medos, 2

Meek, T. J., 258

Meissner, B., 169 179, 232, 290

Melek Ta’us, 195

Melekyathan, 11 1

Meloni, G., 242

” Memoirs ” on Babylon, 64

Memorial tablets, 172

Menahem, 266

Menant, J., 58, 75, 205, 208, 269,

Menant, Delphine, 209

Merodach, 127

Mesannipadda, 146

Mesilim, 198

Mesopotamia, 15, 60, 151, 220

Messerschmidt, L., 233

Metre, 235

Metrology, 233

Meyer, E., 236

Meyer, J. A,, 249

Michaux, A., 101

Midrash, 194

Mildenhall, 13

Millou6, L., 214

Milman, Dean, 93

Minaan Empire, 282


Miracle, 10

Miriadis, 13

Mismari, 12

Mitani, language of, 231

Mitannians, 266

Mitiord, Mr., 68

Mithras, 75

Moabite Stone, 262

Mohl, J., 67, 75, 197

Monotheism, 274

Montgomery, J. A., 252, 258

Montgomery, M. W., 258

Month names, 127

Monuments, destruction of, 17

Moon-god, 84, 221

Mordtmann, A. D., 58, 186

Morelli, 30

Morgan, M. J. de, 56, 146, 216; at

Shush, 203
Morgan, Pierpont, 190, 255
Morier, J. J., 5, 23, 28, 32
Moritz, 237
Mosul, 25, 26, 27, 62, 66, 82, 113, 154.

Mother-of-pearl, 146

Mother of Solomon, 5

Mudraya, 49

Muhammarah, 203

Mukayyar, 84, 86, 88, 145, 197

Muk&ibah, 64

Miiller, Max, 106

Muller, W. M., 236

Muntafiks, 200

Munter, F. C. C, 40, 51

Murashu Sons, 255

Miirdter, F., 236

Murghab, 5, 23, 25, 28, 52, 236

Musee Guimet, 213

Musee Lycklama, 214

Museum, Imperial Ottoman, 215

Museum of Zurich, 222

Musri Theory, the, 281

Muss-Arnolt, W., 208, 258

Myhrman, W., 253, 258

Myths and Epics, 232

Nabi YtfNis, 12, 27, 29, 65, 66, 67,

136, 196
Nabonidus, 101, 228
Nabopolassar, 228
Nabii (Nebo), 88, 278; statue of, 82;

temple of, 58
Nabu-apal-iddina, 126
Nail -writing, 12
Naksh-i-Rajab, 25, 28
Naljsh-i-Rustam, 6, 12, 13, 14, 16,

19,25,41.52,57 „ , .
Nardm Sin, 217, 255; Stele of, 204
Nash, Dr. W, L., 264






Nebuchadnezzar I, 126, 288; II, 66,
74, 189, 214, 228, 294 ; Black Stone
of, 95 ; cylinder of, 88 ; doorstep of ,
135; Prison House of , 62

Nembrothe, 60

Nergal, 279

Neriglissar, 101

Nestorians, 188

Newberrie, J., 60

Newton, G. T., 106

Newton, F. G., 250

New Year Festival, 275

Nidintu Bel, 8

Niebuhr, K., 13, 21, 39, 42, 62f., 91,
265, 294

Niffar, 248, 252

Nifier, 79

Nimrod, 60, 61

Nimrud (Calah), 29, 68, 82, 132, 151,
220; excavations at, 70; Library
at, 82 ; Smith at, 114

Nineveh, 11, 28, 58, 62, 66, 166, 179,
266,268; Fall of, 184; Library of,
82; tablets of, 148

Ninkharsag, 146

Nippur, 86, 248

Noah, 25

Noldeke, T. ( 4, 226

Norris, E., 50, 53, 74, 77, 92, 96ff.,
15 2 . x 55i 26 7> 295; editor of texts,
89; his Ass. Diet., 103; trans-
lates Susian Version, 58, 94

Nufiar, 79, 86

Obelisks, 90, 130

Odoricus, Beatus, 59

Oefele, F. von, 181, 236

Oelschlager, 17

Oil Magic, 194

Old Persian language, 47

Old Shlraz, 17

Old Susian language, 204

Olearius, 17

Olivier, G. A., 30, 63

Olmstead, A, T., 254, 257, 258

Omens, 181, 184, 213

Omri, 266

Ophiomancy, 215

Oppenheim, M. F. von, 240

Oppert, J., 58, 59, 109, 205, 2o6f„

211, 220, 269; his Expedition, 88
Oppert and Smith, 112, 113
Oppert and Tiglath Pileser, 93
Oracles of Esarhaddon, 191
Oriental Diplomacy, 227
Orontes, Mount, 10, 32
Osiris, 223; story of, 277
Ostrakon, 194
Otter, J., 30


Ouseley, Sir Gore, 23, 26, 28
Ouseley, W., 23
Outram, Sir J., 87

Pacords, 220

Padua, 241

Paganism, Roman, 275

Palace of Persepohs, 3

Palaeography, 162

Palestine, 21, 25, 222

Palomantique, 222

Panara, R., 242

Pan Babylonismus, 280

Paradise, 193, 271

Parsees, 22

Parsi, 40

Parsons, Dr., 119

Parthian, 40

Parwiz, 8

Pasargadae, 5, 6, 12

Passover, 194

Patsch, I., 242

Peek, Sir H., 127

Pehlevi, 40, 44, 224; casts of inscrip-
tions, 92

Peiser, F. E., 187, 232, 233

P6reti<5, M., 115

Persepolis, i, 4, 12, 13, 17, 30, 236

Persia, 2, 49

Persian antiquities, 23; cuneiform,

Persis, 2

Peters, J. P., 79, 246

Phillips, Sir T., 101

Phoenician, 1 1 1 ; inscriptions, 158

Phraortes, 38

Phylactery, 3

Physiognomonie, 222

Physiologus, 227

Pictograph, 83

Pillars, 146

Pinches, T. G., 59, 125I, 174, 182;
works of, 127

Place, V., 79, 84, 85

Place and Rassam, 81

Plants, lists of, 236

Poebel, A., 233, 253

Pognon, H., 211, 214

Pollen, Father J. H„ 230

Polvar, 2

Polychrome Bible, 247

Polyphones, 91

Pontificio Istituto, 242

Portents, 178

Porter, Sir R. K., 25, 28, 30L, 65

Pottery,* 1 46 ; pre-Sumerian, 204

Prayers, 289

Presages, 222

Price, J. M., 259






Prince, J. D., 192, 248, ‘259

Prisms, 90, 148 ; of Tiglath Pileser, 84

Promptorium Parvulorum, 149

Prophets of Israel, 275

Proto-Elamite, 216

Provinces, Assyrian, 231

Psalms, Sumenan, 193

Pseudo Smerdis, 9

Ptah Tanen, 278

Pteria, 240

Puchstein, O., 235, 238

Pulvar, 2, 6

Purchas, quoted, 3, 12

Purim, 235

Pythagoras, in

Radau, H., 253, 259

Rameses II, 235

Ranke, H., 253

Rask, R., 14, 44, 51, 294

Rassam, C, 72, 79, 83

Rassam, H., 72, 79, 80, 85, 114, 130,

198, 207
Rassam, N., 12, 132, 141
Rauwolf, 60, 61
Rawlinson, H. C, 31, 44, 261, 265;

Consul-General, 52; editor and

translator of texts, 73, 89; his

” Memoir,” 52ff. ; his system of

decipherment, 476.
Rawlinson and Place, 85
Rawlinson and Tiglath Pileser, 93
Ready, A., 151
Ready, C, 151

Ready, R. C. W„ ii2ff„ 132, 149
Ready, T., 151
Records of the Past, 186
Reeds and bitumen, 15
Reisner, G. A., 233
Reliefs in copper, etc., 146
Religion, Babylonian, 232, 273;

Israelite, 273
Renouf, P., 16
Reports of magicians, 179
Reynolds, Dr., 136
linages, 10
Rhind Papyrus, 289
Rhythm, Babylonian, 235
Rich, C. J., 25Q., 64, 196; his

Collection, 26, 29
RittiMarduk, 288; Charter of, 126
Ritual Texts, 235
Robertson of Basrah, 198
Rodwell, J. M., 113
Rogers, R. W., 254
Roman Catholicism, 275
Rome, 63 ; Babylonian bricks in, 20
Ross, Col. E. C, 237
Ross, Mr., 71


Rost, Dr. R„ 160
Roth, Herr, in
Rothenburg, 27
Russell, Lord J., 86
Rustam, 6
Rylands, W. H„ 263

Sachau, E., 137, 237

Sacy, SUvestre de, 41, 50, 92, 294

Saint Albert, E. de, 61

Saint Martin, J. A., 44, 51, 241

Sajistan, 6

Samaria, 266

Samarra, 240

Samsabad, 237

Samson, 13

Samsun, 69

Sangarah (Sankarah), 86, 148

Sanhedrin, 12

Sanskrit, 51, 53, 105

Sapor I, 13

Sardanapalus, n

Sargon I of Agade, 216

Sargon II, 67, 101, 196, 207

Saros Canon, 231

Sarzec, E. de, 135, 197

Sasaniyan, 7

Sassanian sculptures, 8

Saul, 280

Saulcy, A. de, 58, 75, 76, 205, 262;
his List, 206

Saunders, T., 225

Savile, Lord, 24

Sayce, A. H., 58, 98, 120, 182, 185Q.,

Scarab, 147

Scaraboid, 146

Scheil, J. V., 192, 215ft.

Scheuchzer of Zurich, 220

Schiaparelli, G., 242

Schiller Szinessy, 262

Schipano, M., 14

Schnabel, P., 233

Schneider, N., 242

Schrader, E., 210, 223, 293

Schroeder, O., 233

Schulz, F. E., 240

Schweich Lectures, 177, 190

Seager, C, 121

Seal amulets, 147

Seal cylinders, 168, 213

Seals, 149

Seer, the, 222

Semiramis, 7

Semitic Study Series, 234

Semitistische Studien, 227

Sennacherib, 12, 27, 66, 71, 101, 116,
132, 158, 166, 196, 266, 291 ; cam-
paign of, 185 ; prism of, 173






Serpent in Paradise, 271

Shabdlz, Queen, 8

Shadhurwan, 13

Shahpur, 13

Shalmaneser III, 31, 83, 132, 151

Shamash, 143 ; texts of, 257

Shamash-shum-ukin, 242

Shamshi Adad, 84, 101

Sharpe, S., no

Shaft al-‘Arab, 86, 203

Shaft al-Hayy, 134, 197

Shell, 146

Shem, 25

Shdmtob, J. M., 252

Shiraz, 2, 4, 13, 14, 25, 28

Shirin, 8

Shuruppak, 249

Shush, 33, 79, 146, 202

Shushtar, 13, 33

Sickles, clay, 87

Sign List, Smith’s, in

Signs, ideographic, ideophonic, and

allographic, 211
Siloam inscription, 187
Simpson, W., 262
Sin, Moon-god, cult of, 221
Sinjar, 69, 118
Sinjirli, 237
Sippar, 133, 215
Sippar Yakhruru, 142
Skene, J. H., Vice-Consul, 117, 119,

Skunka, 8, 9, 31
Smerdis, 8, 228
Smith, Sir C. H., 24
Smith, George, 89, io6ff., 152, 155, 162,

223, 224, 262, 267; death of, 119
Smith, R. M., 25
Smith, Sidney, 59, 174, 176, 182ft.,

250, 270
Smith, S. A., 255
Soane Museum, 261
Society of Biblical Archaeology, 261
Solomon, 25
Spiegel, F., 208
Springs at Bihistun, 9
Squeezes, paper, 36, 37, 90, 108
Stags, copper, 146
Stairway at Persepolis, 24
StamMl, 140
Standard Inscription, 221
Stangoras, 11 1
Stanley, Dean, 113
Star cult, 232
Statues, Sumerian, 173
Stele of Vultures, 198, 213
Sterrett, J. R. S., 247
Stevenson, J. H., 259
Stewart and Vidal, 32


Stolze, F., 3, 236

Stolze and Noldeke, 25

Story, J., 60

Strabo quoted, 2, 5, 11, 61, 65

Strassmaier, J. N., 119, 159. 228f., 295

Strauss, J. J., 18

Strong, S. A., 190, 191

Strays, J. J., 18

Students’ Room in Brit. Mus., 154

Sudan, 181

Sumer, 98

Sumer and Akkad, 98

Sumerian, 98, 146, 173; and Chinese,
189; Glossary, 226; Reading
Book, 184; Hymns, 184; Picto-
graphs, 99; Question, 210, 211,236

Sun-god, 134, 143; Tablet, 126, 136

Surghul, 237

Surp Garabed, 222

Susa, 4, 33, 79, 86, 146

Susiana, 8

Susian Texts, 186; Version, 57

Switzerland, 220L

Sykes, Sir Percy, 11, 13

Syllabary, Assyrian, 97, 205;
Cypriote, in; Susian, 207

Syllabaries, 74, 178 ; of Hincks, Raw-
linson and de Saulcy, 75

Syllabic system, 76

Symbolism, 236

Synchronous History, 102, 185

Syntax, Sumerian, 193

Syria, 21, 25, 266

Syriac, 72, 1 51

Syrian characters, 7, 1 1

Syro-Phoenician Society, 261

System-making in archaeology, 272

Tablet of Destinies, 276

Tablets, 26; baked and unbaked,

148; cleaning of, 1473.; storage

of, 156
Tablets of accounts, 219
Takht-i-Jamshid, 1, 3, 6, 12, 13, 15,

16, 17, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30,

39, 46. 49. 52. 236
Takht-i-kai-Khusrau, 2
Talbot, H. Fox, 28, 113, 224, 261
Talbot and Tiglath Pileser I, 92
Talbotype, 92
Tall al- Amarnah, 213; Letters of,

167, 168, 229, 230, 231, 234;

edition of, 227
Tall al-Lahm, 88
Tall al-‘UbSd, 185; excavations at,

i45ff., 250
Tall Balawat, 127, 132
Tall Halaf , 240
Tall Ibrahim, 139






Tall Loh, 134, 212; excavations at,

197 ; tablets of, 201
Tallqvist, K. L., 242
Tall Sifr, 197

Talmudh, 12, 194, 195, 211
Tammuz, 192, 235; Hymns to, 127
Targums, 194
TarkondSmos, 186
Tarsus, 12

Tavernier, J. B., 17, 18
Taylor, Consul-General, 33, 34
Taylor, Vice-Consul of Basrah, 84, 88,

145. 197. 225
Teheran, 30, 33, 89
Teispes, 48, 49
Teloni, B., 241
Temenu, 2
Temple of B61, 62; of Mother of

Solomon, 23, 28
Temples, Sumerian, 146
Ten Tribes, the 31
Tetragrammaton, 194
Thais, the courtesan, 3
Themistocles, n
Thesaurus, Assyrian, 227
Thevenot, J. de. 3, 18
Thoma Brothers, the, 138
Thompson, R. C, 37, 143, 145, 164,

174. 175. 178, 187, 290
Thoth, 278

Three-cornered characters, 14
Throne of Cyrus, 2
Throne of Jamshld, 2
Thureau-Dangin, F., 182, 193, 193,

2I4f., 2l8f.
Tiamat, 276
Tiele, C. P., 243f.
” Tiger,” a ship, 60
Tiglath Pileser I, 101, 225, 232 ; his

inscription, 79, 92f.
Tiglath Pileser III, 282
Tigris, 62, 65
Tirmait, 130
Tobit, 247
Toff teen, U. A., 259
Tomb of Belus, 61
Tomb of Jonah, 66
Tombs of Persian Kings, 3
Tonietti at Birs-i-Nimrud, 88
Toothache Tablet, 290
Tour of Babiloyne, 60
Tower of Babel, 58, 60, 61, 64, 271
Tower of Birs-i-Nimrud, 88
Tower of Nimrod, 61
Treasure Rock, 32
Treaty, Egyptian and Hittite, 235
Tree of Knowledge, 179, 271
Tripoli, 181
Trubner, N., no


Tukulti Ninip I, 175
Tustar, 13

Tweedie, Col. W. ( 137
Tychsen, O. G., 39
Types, Babylonian, 127

UfraAtu, 49

Umma, 219

Underworld, 224

Ungnad, A., 233, 253

Ur of the Chaldees, 86, 88, 177, 185;

excavations at, 250
Ur-Nina, 198, 251
Uta-Napishtim, 279
Utrecht, 20
Uvaja, 49

Vahyazdata, 8

Valerian, Emperor, 13

Valley Church, 136

V4n (Wan), 45, 130; inscriptions of,

75. 241
Vanderburgh, F. A., 259
Van Ess, J., 177
Vases, stone, 173
Vaux, W. S. W., 36, 77, 103, 107, 150,

Virolleaud, C, 214
Vitrification, 64
Vocabularies, Hittite-Bab., 239

WAdi Brissah, 214

Wallis, G. H., 25

Wan, 45 ff., 130, 136, 154, 175, 206;

inscriptions of, 186
Wantage, Lady, 192
Warad Sin, 271
Ward, W. Hayes, 247, 259
Warka, 86, 148, 233
Warner, P. Lee, 176
Waterman, Leroy, 254, 256
Way, A., 149
Weber, J., 220
Weber, O., 231, 234
Wedge, the, in writing, 99
Wedge writing, 12
Weidner, E. F., 234, 293
Weights, 173

Weissbach, F. H., 58, 208, 211, 235
Weld Blundell, Sir H., 24, 193
Westergaard, N. L., 52, 57, 295
Whewell, Dr., 93
White, Sir W., 140
Whitehouse, O. C, 224
Wilkinson, Sir G., 93, 233
Williams, Monier, 106
Wilson, Prof. H., 93
Winckler, H„ 178, 230, 234, 239, 281,

289, 293






Window Inscription, 20
Winged Disk, 8
Witch doctors, 182
Witsen, N., 19
Wolfe Expedition, 259
Wolfe, Miss, 247
Woolley, C. L„ 145, 254
Worm, Legend of the, 290
Wright, W., 161, 283
Writing, cuneiform, 74, 99
Wiistenfeld, F., 7

Xerxes, 2, 7, 20, 24, 28, 47, 59, 220
Xenophon, 68

Ya^na, 22, 45, 51
Yakut, 7, 8, 10, 12, 88


Yaman, 210
Yara, 71
Yazidi Bird, 195

Zend, 22, 40, 44, 47, 51, 53. i°5
Zend Avesta, 22, 45, 46

Zikkurat of Babil, 58

Zikkurat of Birs-i-Nimrud (Borsippa),

59. 88
Zikkurat of Dur Kurigalzu, 60
Zikkurat of Nimrud, 82
Zikkurat of Sippar, 134
Zikkurat of Ur, 250
Zimmern, H., 192, 235, 277
Zoroaster, 6
Zu, 276
Zurich, Antiquities at, 220



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