Ancient Texts Tell Tales of War
By Gunner Glam
Studio Brow practices services, like brow threading, which have been around since Egyptian times. We would like to share about newly discovered ancient texts that also go back several thousand years.
According to Live Science, a web site dedicated to all stories scientific, a trove of newly translated texts from the ancient Middle East are revealing accounts of war and the building of pyramid like structures called ziggurats.
The 107 cuneiform texts, most of them previously unpublished, are from the collection of Martin Schøyen, a businessman from Norway.
The texts date from the dawn of written history, about 5,000 years ago, to a time about 2,400 years ago when the Achaemenid Empire (based in Persia) ruled much of the Middle East.
The team’s work appears in the newly published book Cuneiform Royal Inscriptions and Related Texts in the Schøyen Collection.
Among the finds is a haunting, albeit partly lost, inscription in the words of King Nebuchadnezzar II, a ruler of Babylon who built a great ziggurat — massive pyramid like towers built in ancient Mesopotamia — dedicated to the god Marduk about 2,500 years ago.
The inscription was carved onto a stele, a stone slab used for engraving. It includes a drawing of the ziggurat and King Nebuchadnezzar II himself.
There have been scholars who have argued that the structure inspired the biblical story of the Tower of Babel.
In the inscription, Nebuchadnezzar talks about how he got people from all over the world to build the Marduk tower and a second ziggurat at Borsippa.
“I mobilized [all] countries everywhere, [each and] every ruler [who] had been raised to prominence over all the people of the world [as one] loved by Marduk…,” Nebuchadnezzar wrote on the stele.
“I built their structures with bitumen and [baked brick throughout]. I completed them, making [them gleam] bright as the [sun]…” (Translations by Andrew George, a professor at the University of London and editor of the book.)
It wasn’t the only time Nebuchadnezzar made this boast. In addition to this stele, similar writings were previously discovered on a cylinder-shaped tablet noted George.
George points out that the image of Nebuchadnezzar II found on the newly translated stele is one of only four known representations of the biblical king.
“The relief thus yields only the fourth certain representation of Nebuchadnezzar to be discovered; the others are carved on cliff-faces in Lebanon at Wadi Brisa (which has two reliefs) and at Shir es-Sanam,” George writes in the book. “All these outdoor monuments are in very poor condition and their depictions of the king are much less impressive than that on the stele.”
On the stele, a bearded Nebuchadnezzar wears a cone-shaped royal crown with a bracelet or bangle on his right wrist.
In his left hand, he carries a staff as tall as he is and in his right he holds an as-yet-unidentified object. He also wears a robe and what appear to be sandals, common footwear in the ancient world.
George goes on to say that the stele was likely originally placed in a cavity of the Babylon ziggurat before being removed sometime in antiquity.
Conquest of Babylon
Another intriguing inscription, which discusses violence, looting and revenge, dates back about 3,000 years. It was written in the name of Tiglath-pileser I, a king of Assyria. In it, he brags about how he conquered portions of Mesopotamia and rebuilt a palace at a city named Pakute.
One section deals with his conquest of the city of Babylon, defeating a king named Marduk-nadin-ahhe.
“I demolished the palaces of the city of Babylon that belonged to Marduk-nadin-ahhe, the king of the land of Kardunias (and) carried off a great deal of property from his palaces,” Tiglath-pileser wrote.
“Marduk-nadin-ahhe, king of the land of Kardunias, relied on the strength of his troops and his chariots, and he marched after me. He fought with me at the city of Situla, which is upstream of the city of Akkad on the River Tigris, and I dispersed his numerous chariots. I brought about the defeat of his warriors (and) his fighters in that battle. He retreated and went back to his land.”
Grant Frame, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who translated the boastful inscription, writes in the book that the Babylonians may have provoked the Assyrians under the rule of Tiglath-pileser I into attacking them.
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