George Rawlinson.

The seven great monarchies of the ancient eastern world: or, The history, geography and antiquities of Chaldæa, Assyria, Babylon, Media, Persia, Parthia, and Sassanian or New Persian empire (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryGeorge RawlinsonThe seven great monarchies of the ancient eastern world: or, The history, geography and antiquities of Chaldæa, Assyria, Babylon, Media, Persia, Parthia, and Sassanian or New Persian empire (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 75)
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The history of Antiquity requires from time to time to be re-
written. Historical knowledge continually extends, in part
from the advance of critical science, which teaches us little by
little the true value of ancient authors, but also, and more es-
pecially, from the new discoveries which the enterprise of
travellers and the patient toil of students are continually
bringing to hght, whereby the stock of our infomiation as to
the condition of the ancient world receives constant augmen-
tation. The extremest scepticism cannot deny that recent re-
searches in Mesopotamia and the adjacent countries have re-
covered a series of "monuments" belonging to very early
times, capable of throwing considerable light on the Antiquities
of the nations which produced them. The author of these vol-
umes beheves that, together with these remains, the languages
of the ancient nations have been to a large extent recovered,
and that a vast mass of written historical matter of a very
high value is thereby added to the materials at the Historian's
disposal. This is, clearly, not the place where so difficult and
complicated a subject can be properly argued. The author is
himself content with the judgment of " experts," and be-
lieves it would be as difficult to impose a fabricated language
on Professor Lassen of Bonn and Professor Max Miiller of Ox-
ford, as to pahn off a fictitious for a reiil anunal form on Pro-
fessor Owen of London. The best linguists in Europe have ac-
cepted the decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions as a
thing actually accomplished. Until some good linguist, hav
ing carefully examined into the matter, declares liimself of ;i
contrary opinion, the author cannot think that any serious
doubt rests on the subject. ^

The present volumes aim at accomplishing for the Five Na-

• Some writers allow that the Persian cuneiform iuscriptions have been
fully deciphered and interpreted, but appear to doubt the interpi-etation of the
Assyrian records. (See Edinburcjh RevifJC for July, 1S(W, Art HI., p. 108.) Are
they aware that the Persian inscriptions ai-e accompanied in almost every instance
by an Assyrian transcript, and that .\s,syrian interpretation thus follows upon Per
Bian, without involving any additional " i,'uess-worl£ " f


tions of which they treat what Movers and Kenrick have ac-
comphshed for Phoenicia, or (still more exactly) what Wilkinson
has accomplished for Ancient Egypt. Assuming the interpre-
tation of the historical inscriptions as, in general, sufficiently
ascertained, and the various ancient remains as assigned on suf-
ficient grounds to certain peoples and epochs, they seek to unite
with our previous knowledge of the five nations, whether de-
rived from Biblical or classical sources, the new information
obtained from modern discovery. They address themselves in
a great measure to the eye ; and it is hoped that even those
who doubt the certainty of the linguistic discoveries in which
the author believes, will admit the advantage of illustrating
the life of the ancient peoples by representations of their pro-
ductions. Unfortunately, the materials of this kind which re-
cent explorations have brought to light are very unequally
spread among the several nations of which it is proposed to
treat, and even where they are most copious, fall short of the
abundance of Egypt. Still in every case there is some illustra-
tion possible ; and in one — Assyria — both the " Arts" and the
"Manners" of the people admit of being illustrated very
largely from the remains still extant.^

The Author is bound to express his obligations to the follow-
ing writers, from whose published works he has drawn freely :
MM. Botta and Flandin, Mr. Layard, Mr. James Fergusson,
Mr. Loftus, Mr. Cullimore, and Mr. Birch. He is glad to take
this occasion of acknowledging himself also greatly beholden
to the constant help of his brother, Sir Hem-y Rawlinson, and
to the liberality of Mr. Vaux, of the British Museum. The lat-
ter gentleman kindly placed at his disposal, for the purposes
of the present work, the entire series of unpublished drawings
made by the artists who accompanied Mr. Loftus in the last
Mesopotamian Expedition, besides securing him undisturbed
access to the Museum sculptures, thus enabling him to enrich
the present volume with a large niunber of most interesting
Illustrations never previously given to the public. In the sub-
joined list these illustrations are carefully distinguished fi-om
such as, in one shape or another, have appeared previously.

Oxford, September, 1862.

* See Cliapters VI. and VII. of the Second Monarcliy.


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

OiroRD, Novewiber, 1870.


The following work is intended, in part, as a continuation
of the ancient History of the East, akeady treated by the Au-
thor at some length in his " Five Great Monarchies"; but it is
also, and more expressly, intended as a supplement to the
ancient History of the West, as that history is ordinarily pi-e-
sented to moderns under its two recognized divisions of
"Histories of Greece " and " Histories of Rome." Especially,
it seemed to the writer that the picture of the world during
the Roman period, commonly put before students in
"Histories of Rome," was defective, not to say false, in its
omission to recognize the real position of Parthia during the
three most interesting centuries of that period, as a counter-
poise to the power of Rome, a second figure in the picture not
much inferior to the first, a rival state dividing with Rome the
attention of mankind and the sovereignty of the known earth.
"Writers of Roman history have been too much in the habit of
representing the later Repubhc and early Empire as, practi-
cally, a Universal Monarchy, a Power unchecked, imbalanced,
having no other Umits than those of the civilized world, en-
grossing consequently the whole attention of all thinking men,
and free to act exactly as it pleased without any regard to
opinion beyond its own borders. One of the most popular' en-
larges on the idea — an idea quite inconsistent with the fact —
that for the man who provoked the hostUity of the ruler of Rome
there was no refuge upon the whole face of the earth but some
wUd and barbarous region, where refinement was unknown,
and Ufe would not have been worth having. To the present
writer the truth seems to be that Rome never was in the posi-
tion supposed — that from first to last, from the time of Pompey's
Eastern Conquests to the Fall of the Empire, there was always
in the world a Second Power, civilized or semi-civilized, which
in a true sense balanced Rome,' acted as a counterpoise and a
check, had to be consulted or considered, held a place in all


men's thoughts, and finally furnished a not intolerable refuge
to such as had provoked Kome's master beyond forgiveness.
This Power for nearly three centuries (B.C. 64— A. D. 225) was
Parthia, after which it was Persia under the Sassanian kings.
In the hope of gradually vindicating to Parthia her true place
in the Avorld's history, the Author has in his "Manual of
Ancient History " (published by the Delegates of the Clarendon
Press) i^laced the Parthians alongside of the Romans, and
treated of their liistory at a moderate length. But it has
seemed to him that something more was requisite. He could
not expect that students would be able to give Parthia her
proper place in their thoughts unless her history were collected
and put forth in a readable form with some fulness. He has,
therefore, employed most of his leisiire during the last two
years in writing the present Avork, which he commends to
students of the later Greek and Roman periods as supplemental
to the modern Greek and Roman histories in which those
periods are commonly studied.

The Parthian Chronology depends very much upon coins.
In preparing this portion of his work the Author has been
greatly indebted to aid kindly rendered him by M. R. Stuart
Poole and Mr. Gardiner of the British Museum. The repre-
sentations of coins in the work have been, with one exception,
taken by the Author from the originals in the National Collec-
tion. For the illustrations of Parthian architecture and art he
is indebted to the published works of Mr. Ains worth, Mr, Ross,
the late Mr. Loftus, and MM. Flandin and Coste, He feels also
bound to express his obligations to the late Mr. Lindsay, the
numismatic portion of whose work on Parthia' he has found
of much service.

Canterbury, December, 1872.


Tins work completes the Ancient History of the East, to
vvlii(.-h the author has devoted his main attention during the
last eighteen years. It is a sequel to his "Parthians," pub-
lished in 1873 ; and carries down the History of Western Asia
from the third century of our era to the middle of the seventh.
So far as the present writer is aware, no European author has
previously treated this period from the Oriental stand-point,
in any work aspiring to be more than a mere sketch or out-
line. Very many such sketches have been published; but
they have been scanty in the extreme, and the greater num-
ber of thom have been based on the authority of a single class
of writers. It has been the present author's aim to combine
the various classes of authorities which are now accessible to
the historical student, and to give their due weight to each of
them. The labors of M. C. Miiller, of the Abbe Gregoire
Kabaragy Garabed, and of M. J. St. Martin have opened to
us the stores of ancient Armenian litem tiu-e, which were pre-
viously a sealed volume to all but a small class of students.
The early Arab historians have been translated or analyzed
by Kosegarten, Zotenberg, M. Jules Mohl, and others. The
coinage of the Sassanians has been elaborately— almost ex-
hfUistively— treated by Mordtmann and Thomas. Mr. Fergus-
son has applied his acute and practised powers to the elucida-
tion of the Sassanian architecture. By combining the results
thus obtained with the old sources of information — the clas-
sical, especially the Bj-'zantine writers- it has become possible
to compose a history of the Sassanian Empire which is at once
consecutive, and not absolutely meagi'e. How the author has
performed his task, he must leave it to the ]niblic to judge ;
he will only ventin-e to say that he has spared no labor, but
has gone carefully through the entire series of the Byzantine
writers who treat of the time, besides availing himself of the
various modern works to which reference has been made


above. If he has been sometimes obliged to draw conclusions
from his authorities other than those drawn by Gibbon, and
has deemed it right, in the interests of historic truth, to ex-
press occasionally his dissent from that writer's views, he
must not be thought blind to the many and gi-eat excellencies
which render the "Decline and Fall" one of the best, if not
the best, of our histories. The mistakes of a writer less emi-
nent and less popular might have been left unnoticed without
ill results. Those of an historian generally regarded as an
authority from whom there is no appeal could not be so lightly

The author begs to acknowledge his great obligations, espe-
cially, to the following living writers: M. Patkanian, M. Jules
Mohl, Dr. Haug, Herr Spiegel, Herr Windischmann, Herr
Mordtmann, Canon Tristram, Mr. James Fergusson, and Mr,
E. Thomas. He is also largely beholden to the works of M,
Texier and of MM. Flandin and Coste for the illustrations,
which he has been able to give, of Sassanian sculpture and
architecture. The photogi-aphic illustrations of the newly-
discovered palace at Mashita are due to the liberality of Mr.
R. C. Johnson (the amateur artist who accompanied Canon
Tristram in his exploration of the "Land of Moab"), who, with
Canon Tristram's kind consent, has allowed them to appear in
the present volume. The numismatic illustrations are chiefly
derived from Longperier ; but one or two have been borrowed
from other sources. For his frontispiece the author is in-
debted to his brother, Sir Henry RawHnson, who has per-
mitted it to be taken from an original drawing in his posses-
sion, which he believed to be a truthful representation of the
great Sassanian building.

Cakterbury: December 1875.


» ■ <


C H A L D ^ A.


General View of the Country 1



T'he People 28

Language and Writing 41

Arts and Sciences 48

Manners and Customs 6T

Religion 70

History and Cdronology 07





Desckiption of the Country 120

Climate and Productions 139

The People 151

The Capital 158

Language and Writing 167

Architecture and other Arts 178

Manners and Customs 241


Religion 341

Chronology and History 367

Appendix A 508

" B 613


Map of Mesopotamia and Adjacent Regions To face title.

Map of Media At the end.


1. Plan of Mugheir ruins (after Taylor) 1

2. Ruius of Waika (Erech) (after Loftus) 2

3. Akkerkiif (ufUT Ker Porter) 3

4. Hammau (after Loftus) 3

5. Tel-Ede (ditto) 4

6. Palms (after Oppert) 4

7. Chaldajan reeds, from an Assyrian sculpture (after Layard) 5

8. Wild sow and pigs, from Koyun jik (Layard) 6

9. Ethiopians (after Prichard) 6

10. Cuneiform inscriptions (drawn by the Author, from bricks in the British

Museum) 6, 7

11. Chaldaiun tablet (after Laj-ard) 7

12. Signet-cylinder (after Ker Porter) 7

13. Bowariyeli (after Loftus) 8

14. Mugheir Temple (ditto) 8

15. Ground plan of ditto (ditto) 9

16. Mugheir Temple, restored (by the Author) 9

17. Terra-cotta cone, actual .size (after Loftus) 9

18. Plan and wall of building patterned with cones (after Loftus) 10

19. Oround-plan of chambers excavated at Abu-Shahrein (after Taylor) 10

20. Brick vault at Mugheir (ditto) 11

21. Chaldfi'ftn dish-cover tombs (ditto) 11. 12

22. Clialdican jar-cofflu (ditto) IS

23. Section of drain (ditto) 13

24. Chaldican of the first period (drawn by the Author from vases in the

British Museum) 13

25. Chalda;an vases, drinking-vessels, and amphora of the second period

(ditto) 18

26. Chalda;an lamps of the second period (ditto) 13

27. Seal-cylinder on metal axis (drawn and partly restored by the Author). ... 14

28. Signet-cylinder of King Urukh (after Ker Porter) 14

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

Museum) 14

30. Stone hammer, hatchet, adze, and nail (chiefly after Taylor) 15

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

originals in the British Museum) 15

82. Bronze implements (ditto) 16

33. Flint imiilemeut (after Taylor) 16

34. Ear-rings (drawn by the Author from the originals io the British Museum). 16
86. Leaden pipe and jar (ditto) 17



36. Bronze baiiples (ditto) 17

37. Senkareh table of squares 18

38. Costunie.s of Chalflseans from the cylinders (after CuUimore and Rich) 19

39. SeiTaent symbol (after CuUimore) 19

40. Flaming Sword (ditto) 19

41. Figure of Nin, the Fish-God (Layard) 19

42. Nin's emblem, the Man- Bull (ditto) 19

43. Fish symbols (after CuUimore) 19

44. Bel-Merodach (ditto) 19

45. Nergal's emblem, the Man-Lion (Layard) 20

46. 47. Clay images of Ishtar (after CuUimore and Layard) 21

48. Nebo (drawn by the Author from a statue in the British Museum) 21

49. Signet of Kurri-galzu, King of Babylon (drawn by the author from an im-

pression in the possession of Sir H. Rawlinson) 21

50. The Khabour, from near Arban, looking north (after Layard) 22

51. Koukab (ditto) 22

52. Lake of Khatouniyeh (ditto) 23

53. Colossal lion, near Seruj (after Chesney) . . 23

54. Plan of the ruins of Nimrud (Calah) (reduced by the Author from Captain

Jones's survey) 24

55. Great mound of Nimrud or Oalah (after Layard) 24

56. Hand-swipe, Koyunjik (ditto) 25

57. Assyrian lion, from Nimrud (ditto) 25

58. Ibex, or wild goat, from Nimrud (ditto) 25

59. Wild ass (after Ker Porter) 26

60. Leopard, from Nimrud (aft«r Layard) 26

61. Wild ass, f lom Koyunjik (from an unpublished drawing by Mr. Boutcher in

the British Museum) 26

62. Gazelle, from Nimrud (after Layard) 27

63. Stag and hind, from Koyunjik (from an unpublished drawing by Mr. Bout-

cher in the British Museimi ) 27

64. Fallow deer, from Koyunjik (after Layard) 27

65. Hare and eagles, from Nimrud (ditto) 28

66. Hai-e, from Khorsabad i after Botta) 28

67. Chase of wild ox, from Nimrud (after Layard) 28

68. Vulture, from Nimrud (ditto) 28

69. Vulture feeding on corpse, Koyunjik (ditto) 28

70. Ostrich, from a cylinder (after CuUimore) 29

71. Ostrich, from Nimrud (after Layard) 29

72. Partridges, from Khorsabad (after Botta) 29

73. Unknown birds, Khorsabad (ditto) 29

74. Assyrian garden and fish-pond, Koyunjik (after Layard) 29

75. Bactrian or two-humped camel, from Nimrud (ditto) 30

76. Mesopotamia!! sheep (ditto) 30

77. Loading a camel, Koyunjik (ditto) 30

78. Head of an Assyrian horse, Koyunjik (ditto) 30

79. Assyrian horse, from Nimrud (ditto) 31

80. Mule ridden by two women, Koyunjik (after Layard) 31

81. Loaded mule, Koyvmjik (ditto) 32

82. Cart drawn by mules, Koyunjik (ditto) 32

83. Dog modelled in clay, from the palace of Asshur-bani-pal, Koyimjik,

(drawn by the Author from the original in the British Museum) 32

84. Dog in relief, on a clay tablet (after Layard) 33

85. Assyrian duck, Nimrud (ditto) 33

86. Assyrians, Nimrud (ditto) 33

87. Mesopotamian captives, from an Eg.yptian monument (Wilkinson) 34



88. Limbs of Assyrians, from the sculptures (after Layard) 34

89. Capture of a city, Nimrud (ditto) 35

90. Captives of Sargon, Khorsabad (after Botta) 35

91. Captive women in a cart, Nimrud (Layard) 36

92. Ruins of Nineveh (reduced by the Author from Captain Jones's survey) .... 36

93. Khosr-Su and mound of Nebbi- Yunus (after Layard) 37

94. Gate in the north wall, Nineveh (ditto) 37

95. Outer defences of Nineveh, in their present condition (ditto) 38

96. Assyrian cylinder (after Birch) 89

97. Assyrian seals (after Layard) 39

98. Assyrian clay tablets (ditto) 40

99. Black obelisk, from Nimrud (after Birch) 40

100. Terrace-wall at Khorsabad (after Botta) 41

101. Pavement-slab, from the Northern Palace, Koyunjik (Fergu-sson) 41

102. Mound of Khorsabad (ditto) 42

103 Plan of the Palace of Sargon, Khorsabad (ditto) 42

104. Hall of Esar-haddon's Palace, Nimrud (ditto) 43

105. Plan of the Palace of Sargon, Khorsabad (ditto) 44

106. Remains of I'ropylaeum, or outer gateway.JKhorsabad (Layard) 43

107. King and attendants, Khorsabad (after Botta) 43

108. Plan of palace gateway (ditto) 45

109. King punishing prisoners, Khorsabad (ditto) 45

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

gus.son) 46

111. Sargon in his war-chariot, Khorsabad (after Botta) 45

112. Cornice of temple, Khorsabad (Ferg^usson) 45

113. Armenian louvre (after Botta) 47

114. Armenian buildings, from Koyunjik (Layard) 47

115. Interior of an Assyrian palace, restored (ditto) 48

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

in the British Museum) 47

117. Assyrian altar, from a bas-relief, Khorsabad (after Botta) 47

118. Assyrian temple, Khorsabad (ditto) 49

119. Assyrian temple, from Lord Aberdeen's black stone (after Fergusson) 49

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

British Museum) 49

121. Assyrian temple. North Palace, Koyunjik (ditto) : 49

122. Circular pillar-base, Koyunjik (after La_yard) 51

123. Ba.sement portion of an Assyrian temple. North Palace, Koyunjik (drawn

by the Aut hor from the original in the British Museum) 50

124. Porch of the Cathedral, Trent (from an original sketch made by the

Author) 51

125. Tower of a temple, Koyunjik (after Layard) 52

126. Tower of ditto, restored (by the .Vuthor) 52

127. Tower of great temple at Nimrud (after Layard) 52

128. Basement of temple-tower, Nimrud, north and west sides (ditto) 54

129. Ground-plan of Nimrud Tower (ditto) 54

130. Ground-plans of temples, Nimrud (ditto) 54

131. Entrance to smaller temple. Nimrud (ditto) 55

132. Assyrian village, Koyunjik (ditto) 56

13.3. Village near Aleppo (ditto) 56

134. Assyrian battlemented wall (ditto) 57

135. Masonry and section of platform wall, Khorsabad (after Botta) 67

136. Masonry of town-wall, Khorsabad (ditto) 57

137. Ma.sonry of tower or moat, Khorsabad (ditto) 58

138. Arched drain, North-West Palace, Nimrud (after Layard) 59



139. Arched drain, South-East Palace, Nimrud (ditto) 68

140. False arch (Greek) • 59

141. Assyrian patterns, Nimrud (Layard) 60

142. Ditto (ditto) 60

143. Bases and capitals of pillars (chiefly drawn by the Author from bas-reliefs

in the British Museum) 61

144. Ornamental doorway, North Palace, Koyunjik (from an unpublished draw-

ing'by Mr. Boutcher in the British Museum) 62

145. Water transport of stone for building, Koyunjik (after Layard) C2

146. Assyrian statue from Kileh-Sherghat (ditto) 63

147. Statue of Sardanapalus I., from Nimrud (ditto) 63

148. Clay statuettes of the god Nebo (after Botta) 63

149. Clay statuette of the Fish-God (drawn by the Author from the original in

the British Museum) 64

150. Clay statuette from Khorsabad (after Botto) 64

151. Lion hunt, from Nimrud (after Layard) 64

152. Assyrian seizing a wiid bull, Nimrud (ditto) 65

153. Hawk- headed figure and sphinx, Nimrud (ditto) 65

154. Death of a wild bull, Nimrud (ditto) 65

155. King killing a lion, Nimrud (ditto) 66

156. Trees from Nimrud (ditto) 66

157. Trees from Koyunjik (ditto) 66

158. Groom and horses, Khorsabad (ditto) 67

159.160. Assyrian oxen, Koyunjik (ditto) 67

161. Assyrian goat and sheep, Koyunjik (dittos 68

162. Vine trained on a fir, from the North Palace, Koyunjik (drawn by the

Author from a bas-relief in the British Museum) 68

Online LibraryGeorge RawlinsonThe seven great monarchies of the ancient eastern world: or, The history, geography and antiquities of Chaldæa, Assyria, Babylon, Media, Persia, Parthia, and Sassanian or New Persian empire (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 75)