The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 577 pages of information about The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7).
times, it seems most reasonable to suppose that the bulk of the manufactured goods consumed in the country would be of home growth.  Hence we may fairly assume that the vases, jars, bronzes, glass bottles, carved ornaments in ivory and mother-of-pearl, engraved gems, bells, dishes, earrings, arms, working implements, etc., which have been found at Nimrud, Khorsabad, and Koyunjik, are mainly the handiwork of the Assyrians.  It has been conjectured that the rich garments represented as worn by the kings and others were the product of Babylon, always famous for its tissues; but even this is uncertain; and they are perhaps as likely to have been of home manufacture.  At any rate the bulk of the ornaments, utensils, etc’., may be regarded as native products.  They are almost invariably of elegant form, and indicate a considerable knowledge of metallurgy and other arts as well as a refined taste.  Among them are some which anticipate inventions believed till lately to have been modern.  Transparent glass (which, however, was known also in ancient Egypt) is one of these; but the most remarkable of all is the lens discovered at Nimrud, of the use of which as a magnifying agent there is abundant proof.  If it be borne in mind, in addition to all this, that the buildings of the Assyrians show them to have been well acquainted with the principle of the arch, that they constructed tunnels, aqueducts, and drains, that they knew the use of the pulley, the lever, and the roller, that they understood the arts of inlaying, enamelling, and overlaying with metals, and that they cut gems with the greatest skill and finish, it will be apparent that their civilization equalled that of almost any ancient country, and that it did not fall immeasurably behind the boasted achievements of the moderns.  With much that was barbaric still attaching to them, with a rude and inartificial government, savage passions, a debasing religion, and a general tendency to materialism, they were, towards the close of their empire, in all the ordinary arts and appliances of life, very nearly on a par with ourselves; and thus their history furnishes a warning—­which the records of nations constantly repeat—­that the greatest material prosperity may co-exist with the decline—­and herald the downfall—­of a kingdom.


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ABULPHARAGIUS, Chronicon Syriacum, ed.  J. Bruno, Lipsim, 1789. 
Agathangelus, Historia Regni Tiridatis, in C. Muller’s Fragm.  Hist. 
     Gr. vol. v.,Parisiis, 1870. 
Agathias, in the Corpus Script.  Hist.  Byz. of B. G. Niebuhr, Bonnm, 1828. 
Ammianus Marcellinus, ed.  Gronovius, Lugd. 

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The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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