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A Primer of Assyriology   By: (1845-1933)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: CLAY CYLINDER OF TIGLATH PILESER I.]

Present Day Primers

Primer of Assyriology

BY

A. H. SAYCE, LL.D.

PROFESSOR OF ASSYRIOLOGY, OXFORD AUTHOR OF 'FRESH LIGHT FROM THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS' 'ASSYRIA, ITS PRINCES, PRIESTS, AND PEOPLE,' ETC.

WITH SEVEN ILLUSTRATIONS

THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY 56 PATERNOSTER ROW AND 65 ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD

First Edition, September, 1894.

CONTENTS

PAGE

CHAPTER I

THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE

Geography Population and Language The Chaldaeans The Kassi Natural Products Canals Architecture Asphalt and Naphtha Character of the Babylonians and Assyrians 7

CHAPTER II

THE DISCOVERY AND DECIPHERMENT OF THE INSCRIPTIONS

The Site of Babylon The Site of Nineveh Excavations The Decipherment of the Inscriptions The Decipherment tested Sumerian Vannic Other Languages The origin of the Cuneiform Syllabary Simplification of the Syllabary 18

CHAPTER III

BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN HISTORY

Different States in Babylonia The first Empire The monuments of Tello Chronology The United Monarchy The rise of Assyria Babylon a sacred city Tiglath pileser I The First Assyrian Empire The Second Assyrian Empire The Babylonian Empire Cyrus and the Fall of Babylon Belshazzar Decay of Babylon 42

CHAPTER IV

RELIGION

The religions of Babylonia and Assyria Differences between Babylonian and Assyrian religion Sumerian religion Shamanistic Two centres of Babylonian religion Semitic influence The goddess Istar Bel Merodach Other deities Sacred books and ritual The Priests The Temples Astro theology Sacrifices and offerings The Sabbath Monotheistic tendency The future life Cosmology 80

CHAPTER V

BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN LITERATURE

Aids to the reading of the texts The libraries Varieties of literature The texts autotypes Astronomy Mathematics Medicine and law History and mythology The Chaldaean epic and the Deluge Epic of the Creation 95

CHAPTER VI

SOCIAL LIFE

The Contract tablets Married Life Burial Slavery Lowness of Wages Property Taxes Prices Usury The Army Navy The Bureaucracy 109

APPENDIX

Assyrian Measures of Length Measures of Capacity Measures of Weight and Coinage The Months of the Year 118

Babylonian Kings Assyrian Kings High Priests of Assur Kings of Assyria 120

Synchronisms between Assyrian and Biblical History 125

The Principal Deities of Babylonia and Assyria 126

A PRIMER OF ASSYRIOLOGY

CHAPTER I

THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE

Geography. The civilizations of Babylonia and Assyria grew up on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. The Tigris was called Idikna and Idikla in the Sumerian or primitive language of Babylonia, from which the Semites formed the name Idiklat, by means of the feminine suffix t . In later times the name was shortened into Diklat, and finally assimilated by the Persians to the word Tigra, which in their language signified 'an arrow.' It is from Tigra that the classical name Tigris is derived. In Genesis (ii. 14), however, the ancient name Idikla, there written Hiddekel, is still preserved. The Euphrates was called Pura nun, or 'great water,' in Sumerian, and was frequently known as simply the Pura or 'Water,' just as the Nile is known to day to the modern Egyptians as simply 'the Sea.' Hence it is often spoken of in the Bible as 'the River,' without the addition of any other name. From Pura came the Semitic Purat, with the Semitic suffix t ; and Purat, the Perath of the Old Testament, was changed by the Persians into Ufratu, with a play upon their own word u 'good.' The Persian Ufratu is the Greek Euphrates.

The alluvial plain of Babylonia was the gift of the two great rivers... Continue reading book >>




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