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Ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Assyria Nineveh
Arslan Tash Til Barsip
Iran Palace of Darius
Phoenicia Arabia Palmyra
Syrian coast
Ougarit Byblos




 
Victory Stele Fragment
 
AO 2776
 
Richelieu room 3
 
 
 
This stele illustrates Assyrian cruelty.
 
On the side displaying the inscription, two sovereigns
are facing one another;
 
the one on the right has
his hands bound.
 
On the reverse, the victorious king has his enemy pinned to the ground with his spear, and his axe raised ready to crack open his skull. A23 The Assyrians were a violent, warlike people, known for their barbaric nature. A21 One of their kings, Ashurnasirpal, boasted of having covered a column with the skin of his enemies:
 
“I built a pillar against the city gate and I flayed all the chiefs who had revolted, and I covered the pillar with their skin. Some I walled up within the pillar, some I impaled upon the pillar on stakes. [...] From some I cut off their noses, their ears and their fingers, of many I put out the eyes. I made one pillar of the living and another of heads.”  A22
 
 “Barbarism is like the jungle; it never admits its defeat; it waits patiently for centuries to recover the territory it has lost.”
 
Will Durant
 
The Bible mentions Assyria for the first time in Genesis 2:14 when Moses speaks about Hiddekel (the Tigris) which during his time flowed ‘east of Assyria’. The country took its name from Ashur, son of Shem (Genesis (10:22). Nimrod, grandson of Ham, built Nineveh and Kalah. The city of Nimrud, which evokes the name of its ancient founder, today stands on the site of Kalah. - Genesis 10:11
 
They lived off the spoils of conquests,
a fixed percentage of which was inevitably handed
over to them. This ‘race of pillagers’ was
excessively religious.
The armies marched behind the ensigns of their gods, and Sargon regularly requested the help
of the goddess Ishtar. A24
 

 War was closely associated

with religion. Combat was
the concern of the nation,
and the priests never ceased
instigating war.  
 
 
The Prophets Nahum and Zephaniah predicted the fall of this world power and its capital Nineveh, ‘the city of bloodshed’ (Nahum 3:1). It effectively became “a desolate waste, a waterless region like the wilderness.” (Zephaniah 2:13), proof once more of the infallible accuracy of the prophetic word.  A25
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 





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