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Title: Manual of Oriental Antiquities
Author: Babelon, Ernest
Language: English
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                             INCLUDING THE

            =Architecture, Sculpture, and Industrial Arts=


                       PHŒNICIA, AND CARTHAGE._


                            ERNEST BABELON,

      _Librarian of the Department of Medals and Antiques in the
                    Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris._

                             NEW EDITION,

            With Two Hundred and Fifty-five Illustrations.

                     NEW YORK: G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS
                      LONDON: H. GREVEL AND CO.,

_Printed and bound by Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury,


The domain which we are about to traverse in this little work embraces
all the civilisations of the ancient East except that of Egypt. It
includes the Chaldæans, the Assyrians, the Persians before Alexander,
the Hittites of Syria, Cappadocia, and Asia Minor, the Jews, the
Phœnicians, and even Cyprus, ending with the Carthaginians and their
colonies. So vast a field, which, in the monumental work of MM. G.
Perrot and C. Chipiez, occupies four volumes, can only be explored here
in a summary manner, and the author claims no more than to have written
a modest abridgment. It must not be supposed, however, in spite of the
diversity and remoteness from one another of the peoples that we have
just enumerated, that the subject lacks cohesion and unity. If the
reader will have the goodness to follow us to the conclusion, he will
be, on the contrary, struck by the perfect homogeneity of the book and
the connection of all its parts. The picture, so to speak, contains many
figures, but all concur in a common action, and the spectator grasps, at
the first glance, the harmony of the composition.

For, in these old Eastern civilisations which held sway over the world
before Greece and Rome, only two streams of artistic influence are
really to be traced--that which rises in Egypt and that which issues
from Assyria. Often they took a parallel course, side by side, sharing
like brothers the empire of the arts; sometimes they opposed or
obstinately excluded one another; or else they joined forces, mingled
closely with one another, and united their original capacities in a
common fund. But if these varying conditions produced in certain
countries a local and indigenous art which is neither purely Egyptian
nor purely Assyrian, we can always decompose its elements and make a
chemical analysis of it, so to speak; and, when we have restored to
Egypt that which properly belongs to her, and to Assyria all that has
been borrowed from her, we perceive that nothing remains at the bottom
of the crucible. Thus it may be said that, properly speaking, there is
no Persian art, or Hittite art, or Jewish art, or Phœnician or
Carthaginian art; everywhere we find the forms of Egypt or those of
Assyria grouped, mixed, perhaps altered, in proportions which vary
according to time, environment, and political conditions.

Leaving Egypt on one side, it is the Asiatic, or, more strictly, the
Chaldæo-Assyrian stream that we have undertaken to study exclusively. We
see it at its source, almost on the site of that Garden of Eden where
Genesis and the Chaldæan legends place the ancestors of mankind; we
follow it into Assyria, and observe its progress and transformations.
Before long it overflows and passes on all sides beyond the limits of
the basin of the Tigris and Euphrates; on one side, in Persia, it
invades the palaces of Susa and Persepolis; on the other side, among the
Hittites, the Aramæan populations of Syria, and the Jews, it spreads and
divides into many rivulets, until it arrives at the frontier of Egypt
and the heart of Asia Minor. Far from losing itself in the waves of the
Mediterranean, it reaches all the shores of that great lake, Cyprus,
Sicily, Africa, Spain; even passing beyond the Pillars of Hercules.

It seemed to us, then, that it would be a work of interest to draw a
picture of Chaldæo-Assyrian art not only in its native country where it
develops at its ease, but in its many ramifications among the
neighbouring nations where it comes into collision with its rival and is
interpreted by foreigners, until the day when Greece snatches the torch
of the arts from the failing hand of the East. This Asiatic art, as we
shall see, has no cause to be ashamed by the side of the Egyptian art.
Chaldæa possesses a genius as spontaneous as that of Egypt, and the
valley of the Euphrates is not less fertile than that of the Nile. The
ambitions of her architects and sculptors were as high and noble as
those of the artists who flourished at the court of the Pharaohs, and
the staged towers were the equals of the Pyramids. Both nations pursued
an ideal which contains a part of the truth, for in making a building
colossal and imposing by its size, they thought that they attained to
supreme greatness and perfection. The Greeks, through their greater
refinement, did not fall into these excesses. But who will ever be able
to say how much the powerful originality of the Hellenic genius borrowed
from the imperfect models furnished by Egypt and Assyria? Who will ever
be able to define with clearness and precision the kind of influence
which Chaldæo-Assyrian art, in particular, imported by the ships of
Phœnicia into all maritime countries, had on the origin of art in
that younger civilisation of which Athens was the centre?

The ancient peoples of Asia, which form a compact group from the point
of view of the history and development of the arts, are also akin in the
complete destruction which has overtaken their architectural monuments.
As if by a providential chastisement, from the table-land of Iran to the
Pillars of Hercules, at Susa, at Babylon, at Nineveh, as at Jerusalem,
Tyre, Carthage, and Gades, nothing is left of those temples, palaces,
and towers which threw a challenge in the face of Heaven, and which wore
out so many generations of slaves in the building of them. While the
Pyramids still rise opposite to the Parthenon, and our astonishment is
still excited by the imposing ruins of Egypt, Greece and Rome, nothing
remains of the grand monuments which were the pride of the capitals of
Asia. Everywhere we have to dig into the bowels of the earth and uncover
the base of crumbled walls. Everything is reduced to dust like the image
with the feet of clay, and a shroud of ashes covers that world the
material culture of which is to be brought to life again, as far as
possible, in the following pages.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the first English edition, M. Babelon’s work was somewhat enlarged,
and occasionally revised by the translator--Mr. B.T.A. Evetts, then of
the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum. In
the present edition will be found a new chapter by the author on the
recent finds at Susa.




§ 1. ARCHITECTURE                                                      3
§ 2. STATUES AND BAS-RELIEFS                                          22
§ 3. MINOR SCULPTURE AND THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS                          35
§ 4. ENGRAVED SEALS                                                   44



§ 1. THE PRINCIPLES OF BUILDING                                       52
§ 2. PALACES                                                          66
§ 3. TEMPLES AND STAGED TOWERS                                        72
§ 4. TOWNS AND THEIR FORTIFICATIONS                                   79



§ 1. STATUES, STELÆ, OBELISKS                                         85
§ 2. BAS-RELIEFS                                                      91
§ 3. PAINTING AND ENAMELLING                                         114



§ 1. CERAMICS                                                        121
§ 2. METALS                                                          125
§ 3. WOOD AND IVORY                                                  134
§ 4. LEATHER AND TEXTILES                                            138
§ 5. ORNAMENTS AND SEALS                                             142



§ 1. CIVIL ARCHITECTURE                                              147
§ 2. SCULPTURE                                                       159
§ 3. PAINTING AND ENAMELLING                                         167
§ 4. RELIGIOUS AND SEPULCHRAL MONUMENTS                              172
§ 5. ENGRAVED STONES AND ORNAMENTS                                   180



§ 1. HITTITE MONUMENTS IN SYRIA                                      186
§ 2. HITTITE MONUMENTS IN CAPPADOCIA                                 191
§ 3. HITTITE MONUMENTS IN ASIA MINOR                                 199



§ 1. THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM                                         205
§ 2. THE DECORATION AND FURNITURE OF THE TEMPLE                      223
§ 3. CIVIL ARCHITECTURE                                              230
§ 4. TOMBS                                                           233



§ 1. TEMPLES                                                         239
§ 2. CIVIL ARCHITECTURE                                              246
§ 3. TOMBS                                                           253
§ 4. PHŒNICIAN SCULPTURE                                             262
§ 5. CYPRIOTE SCULPTURE                                              269
§ 6. PHŒNICIAN AND CYPRIOTE POTTERY                                  277
§ 7. PHŒNICIAN GLASS                                                 283
§ 8. BRONZES AND ORNAMENTS                                           288
§ 9. ENGRAVED STONES                                                 294



§ 1. M. DE MORGAN’S MISSION IN SUSIANA                               299
§ 3. THE PRINCIPLES OF BUILDING                                      313
§ 4. STONE SCULPTURE                                                 316
§ 5. BRONZE METAL-WORK                                               326
§ 6. JEWELLERY AND THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS                               331


  FIGURE                                                              PAGE

   1. Brick from Tello                                                   5
   2. Plan of the palace at Tello                                        9
   3. Section of pillar                                                 10
   4. Corbelled vaulting at Mugheir                                     14
   5. Socket for pivot of door from Tello                               18
   6. Terra-cotta cone from Tello                                       18
   7. Drainage pipe at Mugheir                                          20
   8. Foundation cylinder from Khorsabad                                22
   9. Bas-relief from Tello                                             23
  10. Bas-relief from Tello                                             24
  11. The Vulture Stela                                                 25
  12. The Vulture Stela                                                 25
  13. The Vulture Stela                                                 26
  14. Chaldæan head                                                     27
  15. Chaldæan head                                                     27
  16. Chaldæan statue                                                   28
  17. Chaldæan statue                                                   29
  18. Foot of Chaldæan vase                                             31
  19. Bas-relief from Tello                                             32
  20. Bas-relief from Tello                                             32
  21. The “Caillou Michaux”                                             34
  22. Stela of Marduk-nadin-akhi                                        34
  23. Chaldæan statuette in bronze                                      35
  24. Chaldæan statuette                                                36
  25. Canephoros of Kudurmapuk                                          37
  26. Chaldæan statuette in bronze                                      38
  27. Chaldæan statuette in terra-cotta                                 40
  28. Chaldæan statuette in alabaster                                   42
  29. Bas-relief on the tablet of the god Samas                         42
  30. Chaldæan head in steatite                                         43
  31. Chaldæan cylinder                                                 45
  32. Chaldæan cylinder                                                 46
  33. Chaldæan cylinder                                                 46
  34. Cylinder of Sargani                                               47
  35. Chaldæan cylinder                                                 48
  36. Tomb at Warka                                                     51
  37. Masonry at Khorsabad                                              53
  38. Section of wall at Khorsabad                                      53
  39. Vaulted and domed houses                                          56
  40. Vaulted drain                                                     57
  41. Vaulted drain at Khorsabad                                        58
  42. Vaulted drain at Khorsabad. Slope of the bricks                   59
  43. Façade with pilasters                                             62
  44. Base of column                                                    62
  45. Assyrian capital                                                  63
  46. Capital of Sassanian period from Warka                            62
  47. Shrine with columns                                               64
  48. Base of small column                                              65
  49. Plan of Dur-Sarrukin                                              67
  50. Plan of the palace of Sargon                                      68
  51. South-eastern façade of the palace of Sargon                      69
  52. Birds’-eye view of the palace of Sargon                           71
  53. The staged tower of Khorsabad                                     75
  54. Temple of the god Haldia                                          77
  55. Walls of Babylon                                                  80
  56. Chaldæan plan of a fortress                                       81
  57. Assyrian plan of a fortress                                       82
  58. Siege of a fortress                                               83
  59. Plan of a gate at Khorsabad                                       84
  60. Gate of Khorsabad                                                 84
  61. Statue of Assur-nasir-pal                                         86
  62. Statue in the hareem at Khorsabad                                 87
  63. Stela of Samsi-Rammanu                                            88
  64. Stela of Assurbanipal                                             89
  65. Obelisk of Shalmaneser                                            89
  66. Assur-nasir-pal sacrificing a bull                                91
  67. Genius with the beak of an eagle                                  92
  68. Two-winged genius                                                 92
  69. Four-winged genius, Khorsabad                                     93
  70. Winged and human-headed lion                                      94
  71. Front face of a winged bull                                       95
  72. Battle scene                                                      96
  73. The Assyrian army in a mountainous country                        97
  74. Siege of a fortress                                               98
  75. Navigation scene                                                  99
  76. Eunuchs                                                          101
  77. Assurbanipal and his queen                                       102
  78. Jewish type from a bas-relief from the palace of Sennacherib     103
  79. Assurbanipal in his chariot                                      102
  80. Sargon                                                           105
  81. Wounded lioness                                                  107
  82. Slaves carrying a lion and birds. Bas-relief                     108
  83. Envoy bringing apes as tribute                                   109
  84. Fragment of threshold, Kouyunjik                                 111
  85. Slaves dragging a winged bull                                    112
  86. Deer-hunt. Bas-relief                                            113
  87. Painting on plaster, Nimroud                                     115
  88. Portion of an enamelled archivolt at Khorsabad                   116
  89. Enamelled brick, Nimroud                                         117
  90. Izdubar. Terra-cotta                                             122
  91. Head of a monster. Terra-cotta                                   122
  92. Tablet with figure of boar in relief                             123
  93. The Divine Mother. Terra-cotta                                   124
  94. Istar. Terra-cotta                                               124
  95. Gates of Balawat                                                 126
  96. Fragment of metal band of Balawat gates                          127
  97. Bronze dish, Nimroud                                             128
  98. Assyrian archers                                                 128
  99. Various forms of the Assyrian helmet                             128
  100. Bronze lion                                                     129
  101. Bronze siren                                                    129
  102. Bronze siren                                                    130
  103. The demon of the south-west wind                                130
  104. Bronze plaque                                                   131
  105. Bronze plaque                                                   132
  106. Standard in a bas-relief from Khorsabad                         133
  107. Foot of a piece of furniture                                    133
  108. Tent serving as the royal stable                                136
  109. Sennacherib’s throne. Bas-relief                                136
  110. Assyrian chariot                                                137
  111. Ivory plaque                                                    137
  112. Assur-nasir-pal offering a libation                             139
  113. Richly caparisoned horse and rider                              140
  114. Assyrian deities carried in procession                          142
  115. Archaic Assyrian cylinder                                       144
  116. Assyrian cylinder                                               145
  117. Assyrian cylinder                                               145
  118. Assyrian cylinder                                               145
  119. Median cylinder                                                 146
  120. Platform of the palace of Cyrus                                 149
  121. Basement at Persepolis                                          150
  122. Gate and windows of the palace of Darius                        151
  123. Persepolitan capital                                            153
  124. Plan of the Apadâna of Artaxerxes                               154
  125. Susian capital restored                                         155
  126. Base of a column                                                156
  127. Façade of the Apadâna of Artaxerxes                             157
  128. Cyrus. Bas-relief                                               160
  129. Bas-relief at Persepolis                                        161
  130. Bas-relief at Persepolis                                        162
  131. Bas-relief from Persepolis                                      163
  132. Bas-relief at Persepolis                                        164
  133. Bas-relief at Persepolis                                        165
  134. Portico at Persepolis                                           166
  135. The lion frieze                                                 168
  136. Susian archer                                                   169
  137. Polychrome decoration of the palace of Artaxerxes               171
  138. The tower of Jur. Restoration                                   173
  139. The Gabr-i-Madar-i-Soleiman                                     176
  140. Tomb of Cambyses I.                                             177
  141. Façade of tomb at Nakhsh-i-Rustam                               178
  142. Cylinder of Darius                                              181
  143. Persian cylinder                                                182
  144. Persian seal                                                    182
  145. Seal of Artaxerxes                                              182
  146. Persian seal. Conical                                           182
  147. Persian seal                                                    183
  148. De Luynes’ bas-relief                                           184
  149. The lion of Marash                                              186
  150. Stela from Birejik                                              187
  151. Fragments of sculpture from Carchemish                          188
  152. Bas-relief at Rum-Qalah                                         189
  153. Stela at Marash                                                 189
  154. The sphinx of Euyuk                                             192
  155. Rock sculptures at Iasili-Kaïa                                  193
  156. Rock sculptures at Iasili-Kaïa                                  194
  157. Rock sculptures at Iasili-Kaïa                                  194
  158. Rock sculpture at Iasili-Kaïa                                   195
  159. Rock sculpture of Iasili-Kaïa                                   195
  160. Rock sculpture of Iasili-Kaïa                                   196
  161. Tomb of Gherdek-Kaïasi                                          196
  162. Sculpture at Iasili-Kaïa                                        198
  163. Rock sculptures at Ghiaur Kalesi                                199
  164. Rock sculpture at Ibriz                                         200
  165. Rock sculpture at Nymphio                                       201
  166. Boss of Tarkudimme                                              203
  167. Hittite cylinder                                                203
  168. Site of the Temple on Mount Moriah                              206
  169. Plan of Herod’s restoration                                     211
  170. The Jews’ Wailing-place                                         213
  171. The western door. Present state                                 215
  172. Interior view of the Double Gate                                216
  173. Plan of Herod’s Temple                                          218
  174. Bird’s-eye view of Herod’s Temple                               219
  175. The Altar of Burnt-offerings                                    221
  176. Egyptian naos and cherubim                                      225
  177. Egyptian ark and naos                                           225
  178. Egyptian table of offerings                                     226
  179. Seven-branched candlestick                                      226
  180. Capital of the bronze columns                                   227
  181. The brazen sea                                                  228
  182. Movable basin                                                   229
  183. The tomb of Abraham at Hebron                                   233
  184. Absalom’s tomb                                                  234
  185. Sepulchral chamber at Medaïn Salih                              235
  186. The monolith of Siloam                                          236
  187. Tomb in the valley of Hinnom                                    237
  188. Shrine at Ain el-Hayât                                          240
  189. Coin of Paphos                                                  241
  190. Plan of the Giganteja                                           244
  191. Roman wall at Byrsa                                             245
  192. Terra-cotta house                                               248
  193. Plan of the harbours at Carthage                                250
  194. Jetty of Thapsus                                                252
  195. Tomb at Amrith. Plan                                            253
  196. Tomb at Amrith. Section                                         253
  197. Sepulchral chamber at Amrith                                    254
  198. Mighzal at Amrith                                               254
  199. The Burj el-Bezzâk                                              255
  200. Chamber of the Burj el-Bezzâk                                   255
  201. The Burj el-Bezzâk. Restoration                                 255
  202. Section of a tomb at Saïda                                      256
  203. Entrance of a tomb at Gebal                                     256
  204. The sarcophagus of Eshmunazar                                   257
  205. Sarcophagus in human form                                       258
  206. Tomb at Amathus                                                 260
  207. Sepulchral chamber at Amathus                                   260
  208. Plan of a tomb at Carthage                                      261
  209. Phœnician slab at Amrith                                        263
  210. Cypriote statue                                                 265
  211. Votive stela from Carthage                                      266
  212. Stela from Lilybæum                                             267
  213. Stela of Hadrumetum                                             268
  214. Colossal head from Athieno                                      270
  215. The colossus of Amathus                                         272
  216. The priest with the dove                                        273
  217. Bas-relief of Heracles and Eurytion                             274
  218. Sarcophagus from Amathus                                        275
  219. Phœnician chariot in terra-cotta                                277
  220. Pygmy in terra-cotta                                            278
  221. Pygmy in terra-cotta                                            278
  222. Terra-cotta head from sarcophagus                               279
  223. Astarte. Phœnician terra-cotta                                  279
  224. Terra-cotta from Cyprus                                         280
  225. Cypriote terra-cotta                                            280
  226. Cypriote terra-cotta                                            281
  227. Cypriote terra-cotta                                            281
  228. Mask from Carthage                                              282
  229. Terra-cotta mask from Carthage                                  282
  230. Transparent glass vase bearing name of Sargon                   285
  231. Phœnician glass                                                 287
  232. Glass vase from Jerusalem                                       288
  233. Patera from Palestrina                                          289
  234. Dish from Dali                                                  290
  235. Handle of a bronze crater                                       291
  236. Phœnician gold ornament                                         292
  237. Phœnician earrings                                              293
  238. Cylinder in the De Clercq collection                            294
  239. Cylinder in the British Museum                                  295
  240. Scarabæoid seal                                                 297
  241. Scarabæoid seal                                                 297
  242. Bone cylinder, showing the earliest stage of cuneiform writing  305
  243. Fragment of an Elamite tablet inscribed with arithmetical
       calculations                                                    306
  244. Cylinder showing giants, lions, and bulls, glazed pottery       307
  245. Brick Column. Susa                                              315
  246. Triumphal stela of Naram-Sin                                    318
  247. Fragment of bas-relief representing figure of Negrito type      323
  248. Stela of Hammurabi, on which his code of laws is engraved       324
  249. Kudurru (unfinished), Kassite period                            325
  250. Bronze bas-relief fragment                                      328
  251. Bronze statuette. Temple of Shushinak                           331
  252. Gold and silver statuettes                                      332
  253. Silver mask. Elamite period                                     333
  254. Head-dress. Elamite period                                      334
  255. Figure of a woman, ivory                                        335




The extensive region of Western Asia to which the Greeks gave the name
of Mesopotamia was already, at the period which lies farthest back among
the memories of mankind, the centre of a mighty civilisation rivalling
that of Egypt, and disputing with the latter the glory of having formed
the cradle of the arts in the ancient East. Babylon and Nineveh were by
turns, according to the course of political events, the intellectual
hearth at which the bold and original genius was kindled, which marks
the artistic productions of Chaldæa and Assyria, and the reflection of
which is shown in the monuments of Persia, Judæa, Phœnicia, and
Carthage, the island of Cyprus, and the Hittite races. Yet it is neither
in the capital of Chaldæa nor in that of Assyria that the oldest traces
have hitherto been found of this great civilisation, extinct now for
twenty-four centuries; it is not among the ruins of these famous cities
that we can hear, as it were, an echo of the first wailings of the
genius of plastic art, observe its groping efforts, touch with our
finger its rudest attempts. In the country, formerly so fertile, called
Lower Chaldæa, where, according to the popular tradition preserved by
Berosus, the fish-god Oannes taught men in the beginning “all that
serves to soften life,” the traveller comes, almost at every step, upon
artificial mounds known as _tells_, concealing under a veil of dust the
remains of cities which yield in point of antiquity neither to Babylon
nor Nineveh; and it is there that modern archæologists have had the good
fortune to disinter ruins far more ancient than those of the palaces of
Sargon, Assurbânipal, or Nebuchadnezzar. Though a number of tumuli
remain unexplored, and, as we may conjecture, future excavations will
afford much new matter for science, nevertheless a brilliant light has
already been thrown by numerous and important discoveries on the
oriental origin of art and on the degree of material culture reached by
the nation which founded Babel and the other Chaldæan towns of Genesis.
The ruins of Abu Habbah, identified with the two Sipparas (Sepharvaim,
that of the god Samas and that of the goddess Anunit), have yielded to
our curiosity several monuments of the highest interest; those of Abu
Shahrein (Eridu), Senkereh (Larsa), Mugheir (Ur, the native city of
Abraham), the great necropolis of Warka (Uruk, the Erech of the Bible),
are sites which have all furnished already an important harvest of
remains belonging to the most distant ages, incomplete as their
exploration has been. But the extensive and methodical excavations
undertaken from 1877 to 1881 by M. E. de Sarzec at Tello (Tell Loh) have
enriched the Louvre with a collection of monuments unique in the museums
of Europe, and enable us to give, at the present time, an exact and
precise account of the character of Chaldæan architecture and sculpture
long before Nineveh and Babylon had succeeded in imposing their
supremacy upon these regions. Tello, fifteen hours north of Mugheir,
twelve hours east of Warka, seems to represent the ancient Sirpurla.[1]
Its ruins, which cover a space of four miles and a quarter, consist of a
series of mounds at a short distance from the course of an ancient canal
dug by the hand of man, the Shatt el Hai, which starts from the
Euphrates and flows into the Tigris twelve hours below Bagdad. The
principal tell contained the substructures of a palace which was, two or
three thousand years before our era, the dwelling of a prince named,
according to Assyriologists, Gudea. Hither we must especially transport
ourselves, as well as to the mounds of Mugheir, Warka, and Abu Shahrein,
where the English explorers Loftus and Taylor made some excavations with
good results. The narrative of these excavations and the monuments which
they have yielded to our museums, will help us to determine the peculiar
features of an essentially self-made art, born spontaneously on the soil
where it flourished, and apparently in no degree borrowed from its


One of the fundamental characters of Chaldæo-Assyrian architecture is
the exclusive use of bricks as the constructive material. This is
required by the very nature of the soil of Mesopotamia, in which
building-stone and wood suitable for carpenters’ work are entirely
wanting, while the clay is thick, adhesive, and peculiarly adapted for
fashioning in the mould and baking in the kiln. Accordingly, while the
modern inhabitants of the country continue to make bricks, their
manufacture is already recorded in the biblical reminiscences of the
Tower of Babel: “Go to,” say the men who would build a tower that should
reach to Heaven, “let us make brick and burn them thoroughly: and they
had brick for stone and slime had they for mortar.”[2] The prophet Nahum
informs us of the method of brick-making: “Draw thee waters,” he says,”
... go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brick-kiln.”[3]
There were two kinds of bricks. The unbaked brick is a square of whitish
clay, mixed with fine straw and simply dried in the sun when it comes
out of the mould; it was generally from 8 in. to 1 ft. square by 4 in.
thick. The month in which the heat of summer first becomes intolerable
in these regions, namely the month of Sivan (May-June) was called “the
brick month,” or that in which the clay cakes were submitted to the
action of the sun. To judge by what is done in Egypt at the present day,
one workman could by himself make from one thousand to fifteen hundred
bricks a day. The baked brick was subjected to the action of fire in
proper kilns, like those of our modern brickyards; it acquired, through
the baking, a reddish colour, and was less sensible than the crude brick
to the decomposing action of damp; it was also more limited in its
dimensions, in order that the heat might penetrate the internal
substance of the mass, without danger of calcination on the surface. On
one side of every brick, baked or unbaked, the name and official titles
of the reigning prince were stamped by means of a matrix or a die used
as a seal; thus, at Tello most of the bricks were marked with the name
of Gudea, and at Babylon bricks of Nebuchadnezzar are found by hundreds
of thousands.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Brick from Tello (Louvre).]

While describing the construction of the fortifications at Babylon,
Herodotus shows the process followed by the Chaldæans in building a
wall: “As they dug the moat, they made bricks of the earth taken out of
the trench, and when they had made a certain number of bricks they baked
them in kilns. Then, using boiling bitumen as mortar, and inserting mats
of woven reeds at every thirtieth course of bricks, they built first the
borders of the moat, and next the wall itself in the same way.”[4]
Mesopotamia possesses abundant wells of bitumen, notably at Hit and at
Kalah Shergat; as for the tall reeds which still grow in abundance in
the marshes of Lower Chaldæa, their employment in building had the
effect of giving more solidity and cohesion to the courses of bricks.
For walls less carefully constructed, or for partition-walls in the
interior of the houses, a simple mortar of clay was used instead of
bitumen. In great structures, such as Birs Nimroud at Babylon, the
bricks are bound together by mortar made of lime, solid enough to stand
all tests. The ruins of Mugheir have revealed the use of a mixture of
ashes and lime, which is still employed by the natives, and called by
them _sharûr_.

The necessarily limited size of bricks baked in kilns or dried in the
sun must have helped to bring about a speedier disintegration of the
structures, and have been a serious obstacle to the erection of walls of
a height to be compared, for instance, with that of the Egyptian
temples. At certain seasons of the year in Mesopotamia the rain falls in
torrents, and, filtering through walls in bad repair, would soon open
cracks and bring about the ruin of the structure. In these lowlands
furrowed with watercourses, the crude brick of the foundations often on
this account ran the risk of returning to its condition of clayey mud
without consistency. Greek tradition relates that the Medes and
Chaldæans saw a part of the walls of Nineveh fall of themselves, when
they prolonged a blockade which forced the besieged to admit the waters
of the Tigris during many weeks into the moats beneath the ramparts. The
cuneiform inscriptions themselves, while the empire founded by
Nebuchadnezzar was flourishing, often point out temples and palaces
falling to ruin, which the kings strive without ceasing to repair or

The old sanctuaries of primitive Chaldæa, E-saggil, E-zida, the Temple
of the Great Light, E-parra, E-anna, E-ulbar, and others consecrated to
Sin, to Samas, to Nana, to Bel Marduk, to Nebo, are restored at great
expense by Nabonidus, the last King of Babylon, who sets himself the
task of recalling in his inscriptions the material difficulties of this
work worthy of a pious antiquarian. Let no one be surprised after this
at the striking contrast between the ruins of Mesopotamia, and those of
Egypt as we now see them. In the valley of the Nile building-stone
abounds, and the architect has only to make his choice among the various
qualities of material. Accordingly he hews out gigantic monoliths,
erects imposingly majestic pylons, rears to an aerial height forests of
pillars which seem to uphold the sky, plants in the middle of the desert
those massive Pyramids which will defy to the end of time even the most
determined of Vandals. On the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, on the
contrary, there is now nothing but the uniform plain of the desert,
broken here and there by mounds of _débris_ covered with sand; here it
may be said with truth that the very ruins have perished. Only in
thought can the archæologist reconstruct vast buildings in accordance
with the vast material buried in disorder in the mud. The use of bricks
in building has been, to a greater extent than political events, the
auxiliary of Jehovah’s wrath against Nineveh and Babylon.

If the nature of the soil forced the Mesopotamian architect to build
with bricks, the neighbourhood of rivers and canals for irrigation and
the want of outlet for the water obliged him at the same time to have
recourse to an expedient peculiar to Chaldæo-Assyrian architecture. He
had to raise the actual dwelling on an artificial terrace removed from
the level of a soil impregnated with unwholesome damp. This platform or
basement of unbaked brick on which the building was placed is met with
everywhere, not only at Nineveh and Babylon, but from the beginning in
the substructures of Mugheir, Tello, Warka, and Abu Shahrein. In the
palace of the _patesi_ Gudea, the mass forms a sort of immense pedestal
39 ft. high, and nearly 655 ft. at the base; at the present day the
sides form in relation to the plain a slope of 164 ft. Formerly the
platform was mounted by a gentle slope intended for horses and chariots,
and by one or more flights of steps which broke the outline of the
terrace. The stone staircases by which the terrace of the palaces of
Persepolis is ascended, are still in place; in Chaldæa and Assyria,
where they were built of brick, they have almost everywhere disappeared.
However, Taylor discovered two on the side of the platform of the palace
of Abu Shahrein; one has only twelve steps 2 ft. broad; but the other
was a monumental staircase of stone, 16 ft. broad, with a slope of more
than 65 ft.

The edifice which surmounts the platform at Tello is of bricks cemented
together with bitumen; its exterior walls are 5 ft. 10 in. thick, and
form a parallelogram 173 ft. long and 101 ft. broad. Like the palaces of
Warka and Mugheir, its orientation is according to the Assyrian
custom--that is to say, the angles are turned towards the cardinal
points, not the sides as in the Egyptian monuments. The two longer sides
bulge slightly towards the middle, thus describing two opposite
elliptical curves--a peculiarity which gives to the plan of the edifice
something of the appearance of

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Plan of the palace at Tello (after Heuzey).]

a barrel, or of two trapeziums joined at the base. The outer surface of
the walls is not everywhere uniform and flat; the adjacent sides of the
northern angle are ornamented by projections alternately curved and
rectilineal--a system of decoration which has also been observed at
Warka, among the ruins of the temple called Wuswas, and is found later
in the Assyrian monuments. The great north-eastern façade exhibits in
the middle, besides the outward swell of which we have spoken, a
projection 3 ft. 3 in. thick and 18 ft. long. The wings of this
projection are formed of square pilasters and half-columns 1 ft. 7 in.
in diameter, which recall the clustered pillars of our cathedrals, and
form one of the most interesting peculiarities of the primitive
architecture of Chaldæa. Taylor[5] and

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Section of pillar (after Heuzey).]

Loftus[6] had already remarked, at Abu Shahrein and Warka respectively,
pillars and half-columns of brick-work; M. de Sarzec has found the same
architectural features in one of the secondary mounds of Tello, which he
calls the _tell of pillars_,[7] and which seems to represent the ruins
of the temple of the god Nin Girsu. Two of these pillars, which measured
6 ft. in thickness, and were separated by a space of 6½ ft., still
consisted of twenty-four courses of bricks. “Each pillar,” says M. de
Sarzec, “is formed of a cluster of four round columns close together,
and built entirely of brickwork.... If one of the four round columns is
taken to pieces it is found that every alternate course is formed of a
circular brick in the centre, round which radiate eight triangular
bricks grooved at their interior angle, and rounded on the outer
surface, so that they describe by their union a complete circle. In the
next course the circle is composed, on the contrary, of eight triangular
bricks ending in a point, which are united at the centre of the column,
and of six other curved bricks which enclose the first eight. The space
between the four circles thus formed is filled up with two large bricks
hollowed out in the form of an arc of a circle, which fit exactly into
it. These curious pillars, thus ingeniously constructed, recall the
Egyptian order, modelled upon vegetable forms, which imitates four
lotus-stalks in a bouquet; they show how skilfully the Chaldæans could
dispense with the stone column. The base consisted of a square mass of
bricks forming a pedestal projecting on all sides 2 ft. 11 in. beyond
the shaft. The whole group was covered with a thick bed of plaster.”[8]

Yet, whatever skill was displayed in the manufacture of these specially
moulded bricks, round, triangular, or forming a section of a circle,
pillars of this construction could not, like the Egyptian column, show
sufficient solidity to support a heavy mass; they would soon have bent
under the burden. Accordingly they could only be employed exceptionally
and almost entirely for decoration, whether to support the roof of a
grand staircase or to shelter the _cella_ in which a deity delivered his

The defective side of Chaldæan architecture, therefore, consists in the
lack of stone supports rising proudly into space like the Egyptian
column, and upholding on their bold heads, quite as well as the thickest
walls, the foot of the arch, the architraves, the roof, the upper
terraces or the upper stories of the building. But the proof that the
architects would have hewn columns of stone, if nature had furnished
them with the necessary material, is just this ingenious artifice by
which they succeeded in replacing them; and moreover they did not
hesitate to employ small columns of wood or metal in the construction
of small buildings, such as the shrines of their gods. A stela of King
Nabu-ablu-iddin (about B.C. 900), found at Abu Habbah, represents the
shrine of the god Samas, supported by small wooden pillars, covered with
plates of bronze overlapping each other so as to resemble the trunk of a
palm tree (see fig. 29). The base and the capital are alike; they are
composed of a double volute shaped like a lotus-flower, approaching
somewhat the Ionic capital; in short, the Chaldæans knew how to make use
of the column in minor architecture.

One doorway at least was opened in each façade of the palace of Tello,
but these openings were not on the axis of the structure, nor even
symmetrical. The principal side (the north-east) had two entrances; the
largest, nearly in the middle of the swell, had an opening 3 ft. 11 in.
broad. It was constructed at a later period--that is to say, at the time
near the Christian era when the Græco-Parthian kings of Characene
conceived the idea of restoring Tello and installing themselves there.
Like the Arab houses of our day, the outer walls of the palace of Gudea
show no other openings; there are neither windows nor lights of any
sort, admitting the air and the day, and looking out over the country or
the town.

Let us now penetrate into the interior of the Chaldæan edifice, of which
the blind and dumb walls leave in our imagination an impression of gloom
and cold uniformity. The walls seem never to have exhibited the smallest
architectural decoration; they are entirely bare, and only characterised
from time to time by depressions and projections; no traces of
mouldings, of plinths, of cornices, and of those devices to which the
architects of all countries have recourse in order to break the lines of
the walls, and to call forth effects of light and shade. It must be
supposed that the interior decoration of the palace consisted entirely
of colouring and hanging draperies. The thickness of the wall varies
from 8 ft. 6 in. to 2 ft. 7 in. All the partitions cut one another at
right angles, forming thirty-six square or rectangular chambers; the
largest measures 39 ft. 4 in. by 12 ft. 2 in., and the smallest 10 ft.
11 in. by 9 ft. 9 in. The disproportion which exists, especially in the
state saloon, between the length and breadth, the extreme thickness of
the walls, even of those which are the least important in the structure,
form essential peculiarities to which we shall draw attention later in
the Assyrian edifices. At Nineveh it has been proved that it is the
thrust of the semicircular vaulting, which roofs the chambers, that has
forced the architect to bring the parallel walls near to one another and
to give them an enormous thickness. Are we, in the absence of palpable
proof, to draw the same conclusion with regard to the palaces of old
Chaldæa? Are we authorised to assert that the vault was known three
thousand years before our era? In a word, how were the halls of Gudea’s
building covered? Was it everywhere by means of transverse rafters
supporting a floor and a terrace? or was it oftener by a bricked vault?
As far as we have read M. de Sarzec’s narrative, or M. Heuzey’s studies
on the excavations of Tello, we have found no direct answer to this
question. Perhaps the present state of the ruins or the successive
alterations to which the primitive structure has been subjected do not
allow a categorical solution of the problem to be given. However,
important indications authorise us to believe that the Chaldæans of the
time of Gudea already understood the vault and used it for roofing their
houses. In several parts even of the palace of Tello, M. de Sarzec found
small vaulted passages, 3 ft. 3 in. high and 1 ft. 11 in.[9] thick, in a
perfect state of preservation; in one of the secondary mounds he brought
to light a small vaulted drain which carried the sewage of the town far
away into the plain. Taylor found, in an underground chamber of the
necropolis at Mugheir, the most primitive kind of vault that has ever
been known--that called the corbelled vault. In this false vault the
courses of bricks ascend in parallel rows on each side until they meet
one another, every fresh course projecting perceptibly beyond that
beneath it, until the opposite courses touch and form one.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Corbelled vaulting at Mugheir (after Taylor).]

It was, then, as it seems, the Chaldæans who invented the vault;[10] the
want of timber compelled them in early times to contrive to defend
themselves at once against the heavy rains and the ardour of a torrid
sun; the creation of the vault was in their case instinctive and
spontaneous. They raised, two or three thousand years before our era,
vaults and domes like those which are built to this day by the rudest
masons at Mosoul or Bagdad. No doubt the present state of the Chaldæan
ruins and the insufficient explorations which have been undertaken among
them do not enable us to say whether these Proto-Chaldæans knew every
kind of vault, as the Assyrians did in the age of the Sargonids, or the
Babylonians at the epoch of Nebuchadnezzar; but the remarkable
perfection observed in their monumental structures, and in the very
manufacture of the bricks, are so many arguments in favour of the
inference that the palaces and houses of the Chaldæans in the time of
Gudea were surmounted, for the most part, by semicircular vaults or by
cupolas, as were later, according to Strabo,[11] the houses of the
Babylonians. The vaults supported a terrace formed of clay; this layer
of earth would be less thick over rooms roofed only with a ceiling of
palm-beams and reed-matting. The ascent was by staircases, an example of
which seems to have been found in the palace at Tello.[12]

While clearing away the material accumulated between the courts A and B,
the workmen employed by the French explorer came into contact (at the
point H) with a structure of baked brickwork, which proves that the
Chaldæans at the remotest epoch had already invented one of the most
interesting and characteristic elements of their architecture--the
_zikkurat_ or staged tower. The lower layers in the palace of Gudea
alone exist, and are composed of two solid masses in stages one above
the other. In its present condition the upper terrace is a mass 26 ft.
square, 13 ft. less on all sides than the lower stage; perhaps there
still exists a third and lower step, which has not been reached by the
soundings, which are imperfect at this point. The _zikkurat_ of Tello
was not in any case so lofty or so important a structure as those of the
Ninevite palaces or those represented by the ruins of Babil or Birs
Nimroud at Babylon. It was even much less considerable than that which
Taylor observed at Abu Shahrein, and which was equally old. These towers
always had, from the first, seven stages, each painted of a different
colour, and connected with the worship of the sun (Samas), the moon
(Sin), and the five planets of the astronomical system of the Chaldæans.

The disposition of the royal apartments showed a striking analogy with
that which we shall meet with again later in the palaces of Nineveh;
there were the convenience and comfort which we find in the palaces of
modern oriental sovereigns. To the Chaldæans again we must give the
credit of having invented that architectural arrangement which springs
from the necessities of oriental life, and is so well fitted to its
needs that for four thousand years it has never varied. There were in
the palace of Gudea three interior courts (A, B, C, fig. 2), round each
of which the rooms radiated, and from which they received air and light.
Each of these three groups had its own entrance, and communicated with
the next group only by a single passage easy to guard or to close. The
group of chambers situated in the northern angle (C) was especially
isolated and removed from the others; it was the hareem or women’s
apartments. At the eastern angle (B) were the rooms composing the
seraglio or _selamlik_--that is to say, the part of the palace
inhabited by the king and his officers; there was the saloon for
official receptions, of which we have given the dimensions. This part of
the royal dwelling communicated on one side with a state courtyard,
measuring 55 ft. 8 in. by 68 ft. 9 in., and on the other with the
outside by means of a smaller room serving as an antechamber; beside the
door opening on the façade, boxes or recesses had been arranged in which
the guards were posted. The third group of chambers, on the south-east
(A), formed the _Khan_--that is to say, the dependencies of the palace,
the kitchens, the slaves’ lodgings, and the stables.

All the rooms were paved with bricks; they very rarely led into one
another, and had an opening looking on to the court. The largest of the
doorways, that which opened into the state saloon, was of the unusual
breadth of 6 ft. 6 in.; it was probably a folding door. Under each of
the principal doors there was a great threshold of marble or alabaster,
sometimes covered with an inscription and placed on a bed of bitumen and
crushed bricks; under this concrete, finally, cylinders of precious
stone and talismanic amulets were generally found.

The leaves of the door turned on pivots, the point of which rested in a
cavity hollowed out for this purpose in a great block of diorite. M. de
Sarzec brought to the Louvre a large number of these natural blocks,
which were found buried in the pavement so as only to rise an inch or
two above the surface. On the smooth surface of each of them it is seen
that the socket, hollowed out in the form of a conical cup, has
undergone an incessant friction; round the hole an inscription,
sometimes circular, was engraved (fig. 5). To prevent the wooden pivot
of the doors from wearing out too rapidly, it was enveloped in a metal
sheath, which took the form of a funnel, and which was fixed to the wood
by means of nails. One of these bronze cups has been found at Tello,
still in place on the socket.[13]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--Socket for pivot of door, from Tello (Louvre).]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--Terra-cotta cone from Tello (Louvre).]

The discoveries of Loftus and Taylor show us how the façades and the
rooms of the Chaldæan palaces were decorated. The principal façade of
the buildings at Abu Shahrein and Warka had a mural decoration of a kind
as primitive as it was singular.[14] First it was plastered with a thick
layer of clay stucco; then, before this plaster was completely dry,
cones of baked clay were buried in it, like metal nails. Only the head
of these cones is visible on the surface of the wall. While the stem is
plunged into the thick clay and sticks there unseen. To the heads of
these cones, disposed at regular distances, and acting perhaps also as
talismans, various colours are applied; they are black, red, white, or
yellow. Moreover, each head is separated from its neighbours by coloured
geometrical lines, so that it became to the eye the centre of a lozenge
or a square.

If the interior of the rooms was lined in monochrome with white stucco,
or with fresco painting, nothing of this decoration is left. But we have
in sufficiently large quantities, although always much mutilated, the
remains of another more original system of wall decoration, of which the
Chaldæans are the inventors--that is to say, enamelled bricks. By
applying a coloured paste, which the fire would vitrify, to one of the
surfaces of the bricks before baking, a glaze or enamel was produced,
closely united to the clay and immovably solid. It was again necessity
and their ungrateful climate which induced the Chaldæans to have
recourse to this ingenious method. They were in great need of a remedy
for the want of stone and a means of preventing the heavy rains from
spoiling the colours applied to the walls. They succeeded so perfectly
in this that even at the present day the brilliancy of these glazed
tiles is not affected. The colours with which they are painted are of
the simplest, and vary little; they are blue, white, black, yellow and
red. Unfortunately, those fine fragments which have been brought to our
museums are only so far interesting that they teach us the technical
methods of a manufacture which involves that of opaque glass; even those
which are least mutilated contain at the most a few floral designs or
portions of the figures of animals, and moreover these last are not
older than the epoch of Nebuchadnezzar.

The trenches dug among the massive terraces of Chaldæa have revealed
other curious details of construction. We know, for instance, what steps
were taken to prevent the sewage of the houses or the rain-water which
fell upon them from filtering through the platforms of crude brick on
which the buildings stood; a rapid disintegration would have followed.
They, therefore, planned a complete system of water-channels and
drainage. In one of the mounds at Tello, M. de Sarzec found a series of
cylindrical pipes or tubes of baked clay, fitted into one another, and
forming together a conduit for the water.[15]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--Drainage pipe at Mugheir (after Loftus).]

But the place where this method has been carried out with peculiarly
ingenious skill is the necropolis at Mugheir. The top of the platform,
in the body of which the tombs are sunk, is covered with a brick
pavement laid with special care, in which every chink is filled up with
bitumen. Under this upper crust the coffins are ranged in order, one
above the other, each one being placed separately in a small chamber. At
intervals brick tubes are met with, fitted into one another and forming
a sort of immense flue hidden in the structure. The lower extremity of
the pipes opened into a drain; the upper end, on a level with the
surface of the pavement of the terrace, was furnished with a cap pierced
with an infinite number of small holes like a skimmer. Through these the
rain-water was carried off, and this system of drainage was so
wonderfully well understood and carried out, that it has remained intact
to our own day, and, according to Loftus, the tombs have been so well
preserved that they are found perfectly dry, including the bodies and
their furniture. We shall see the Assyrians take similar precautions to
preserve the terraces of the Ninevite palaces from the percolation of

The construction of a temple or palace was the occasion of a religious
ceremony analogous to that which we call the laying of the first stone.
In a hollow formed in the foundation-wall a cylinder of baked clay was
deposited (fig. 8), on which an inscription was written describing the
erection of the building and setting forth the piety and great deeds of
the prince; this cylinder was accompanied by various talismanic objects:
cones and statuettes of bronze and baked clay, cylindrical seals, votive
tablets, sometimes of silver or gold. Among the foundations of the
palace of Gudea, M. de Sarzec found four of these cavities in the wall
measuring 1 ft. 1 in. by 10 in. by 4 in.; they still contained the
cylinders and amulets deposited there.

Hiding-places of the same kind have been observed at Senkereh, at
Mugheir, and among the ruins of almost all the Chaldæan and Assyrian
buildings. The Assyrians themselves, when they wished to restore an old
ruined temple, took pains first to find out the hiding-place of the
foundation-cylinder or _timmennu_.

The last king of Babylon, Nabonidus, relates in one of the official
inscriptions of his reign how he happened to find the _timmennu_ of the
earliest builders of the temple of the Sun at Larsa. King Kurigalzu
(about B.C. 1350), and later Esarhaddon (B.C. 680-667), and
Nebuchadnezzar himself, had repaired this venerated sanctuary, and
sought vainly for the hiding-place of the talismans. “Then I, Nabonidus,
inspired by my piety towards the goddess Istar of Agade, my sovereign,
caused an excavation to be made. The gods Samas and Rammanu granted me
their constant favour, and I found the foundation-cylinder of the temple
of E-Ulbar.” It bore the name of the king Sagasaltias (about b.c. 1500).
After reading the inscription, Nabonidus restored it to its place and
himself made another cylinder to record his researches and his own
works; he deposited it in the foundation by the side of the ancient
cylinder. Modern explorers, no doubt also favoured by Samas and Rammanu,
found in a sufficiently good state of preservation the mysterious
hiding-places and the precious objects which had been piously placed
there 550 years before our era.[16]

[Illustration: Fig. 8.--Foundation-cylinder from Khorsabad (Louvre).]


The discoveries of M. de Sarzec at Tello, and those of other explorers
in Chaldæa, allow us to go back almost to the origin of sculpture in
Western Asia. Our museums possess, in fact, bas-reliefs and statues
belonging to a rudimentary stage of art, the remote age of which is
still attested by the archaic inscriptions which accompany them, and
these most ancient

[Illustration: Fig. 9.--Bas-relief from Tello (Louvre).]

monuments are followed, as in the case of Egypt and Greece, by other
statues and bas-reliefs which, descending a chronological scale across
the ages, represent the graduated phases of artistic progress in Chaldæa
before the Ninevite supremacy was imposed upon this country. Among the
fragments of sculpture at Tello, that which M. Heuzey considers most
primitive, and which should be placed at the head of the productions of
oriental sculpture, is a bas-relief of greyish limestone, 10 in. broad
and 5 in. high. Four figures alone remain of the complicated scene which
decorated this stone panel. One of them is seated, with the profile
turned to the left; it is a beardless man rather than a woman, and his
face is half covered by an exaggerated eye seen from the front as in
children’s drawings. His hair consists of two long tresses falling to
his shoulders, and almost to be mistaken for the lappets of the high
tiara with which he is crowned. This tiara seems to be adorned with two
bulls’ horns. The bust is draped with a large shawl which leaves the
right shoulder bare. The hand, raised to a level with the face, looks
like a simple fork; it holds a cup, as if the scene represented a
libation, and in fact we still see a part of the deity to whom the
offering is directed. On the right a bearded man with square shoulders,
crowned with a low cap, dressed in a large robe without folds, holds in
his right hand a sort of club, with which he seems to deliver a blow
upon the head of his companion, whom he seizes by the hand. It will be
seen that the explanation of this picture is exceedingly doubtful; but
looking from the point of view of the history of art, we must recognise
in it without hesitation a fragment which comes down from remote
antiquity. The relief is low, the outline of the figures is timid and
uncertain, the details are disproportioned, as if the rude chisel which
carved them had been held in the unskilful hands of a child; the design
is full of elementary mistakes, though limestone is soft and easily

[Illustration: Fig. 10. Bas-relief from Tello (Louvre).]

A more advanced art marks the fragment of a bas-relief which M. Heuzey
called “the Eagle and Lion Tablet,” and which is dated by an inscription
mentioning the king Ur-Nina (B.C. 2500). An eagle is seen here with
outspread wings standing upon a lion. The sculpture is equally flat and
without modelling, but the graceful outline of the figures is clearly
chiselled, and with a surer hand; the extremities of the wing feathers
of the eagle are indented, the body of the lion is remarkably correct in
outline, except the head, which still remains barbarous.

A third stage of Chaldæan sculpture may be represented by the “Vulture
Stela,” on which the names of two kings have been read, one of whom is
the son of Ur-Nina. The three fragments of this limestone stela are
carved on both sides. On one of them a flock of vultures carry away
human remains in their flight--heads, hands, and arms. The human heads
denote an art which has left the gropings of childhood behind: they are
entirely shaved, the nose is always aquiline, the eye of an exaggerated
size and triangular. The vultures, more rudely drawn, are nevertheless
well characterised by their long curved beak and their claws of
exaggerated length; the markings of the feathers and wings are brought
out. On another fragment of the same stela it seems that we witness the
construction of a sepulchral tumulus.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.--The Vulture Stela (Louvre).]

[Illustration: Fig. 12.--The Vulture Stela (Louvre).]

Men dressed in a short tunic, fringed, and tightened at the waist, carry
on their heads wicker baskets, probably containing earth to cover the
pile of corpses heaped one upon the other in symmetrical and alternate
rows. The third piece of the same monument seems to represent a scene of
carnage. As for the back of the stela, it is less ornamented; however,
on one of the fragments (fig. 13), a pole surmounted by an eagle with
outspread wings is seen, and then a large human head, incomplete but
highly interesting; it exhibits, from an anatomical point of view, the
same character as the smaller heads which we have just considered; but
its head-dress is a most curious feature,--a sort of tiara decorated
with bulls’ horns. “By an archaic conventionality,” observes M. Heuzey,
“these two horns are seen in profile, curved forwards and backwards; but
in reality they were attached to the sides of the cap.... The cap is
also surmounted by a crest of four large feathers, in the middle of
which rises a cone decorated with a quaint head also crowned by a
crescent; this little decorative head, drawn in full face, has an
exceedingly long and broad nose without any sign of a mouth, so that it
may be doubted whether it be the head of a man or of an animal.”[17] The
same tiara is found with unimportant modifications on Assyrian cylinders
and bas-reliefs, in which it forms the head-dress of deities or
pontiffs. The artistic superiority of the bas-reliefs of the Vulture
Stela over the monuments quoted previously is abundantly evident, and
already allows us a foretaste of the sober and vigorous art revealed to
us by the large statues found in the palace of Gudea.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.--The Vulture Stela (Louvre).]

It was in the most spacious court of the palace that M. de Sarzec found
assembled nearly all the Chaldæan statues which he had transported to
the museum of the Louvre. To the number of ten, they are of blackish
diorite with a bluish tinge; all are headless and bear inscriptions in
the name of Gudea or of Ur-Bau. At the moment of discovery they were
lying on the slabs of the court-yard,--on one side those which represent
upright figures, on the other the seated statues. A separate head,
appearing to belong to one of the statues, was also found in the same
courtyard. The other heads were unearthed elsewhere, and it is
impossible to say whether they had been removed from the headless
statues that we know. All these heads, though exhibiting common
characteristics, are distinguished from one another by peculiarities
which disclose the surprising skill and the fecundity of the Chaldæan
genius at this remote epoch. The man’s head (fig. 14) found in the great
courtyard is of life-size, the hair and beard completely shaven, as in
certain Egyptian statues. The eyebrows form an exaggerated projection
above enormous eyes; the skull is remarkably elongated; the mutilated
nose alone prevents us from having the complete type of the Chaldæan
race, with its hard features and thick, sensual lips.

[Illustration: Fig. 14.--Chaldæan head (Louvre).]

[Illustration: Fig. 15.--Chaldæan head (Louvre).]

In a neighbouring tell M. de Sarzec found another head of the same size
and of an equally interesting type. It is less severe in aspect than the
preceding one, but carved with equal skill. The face is round and
almost smiling, the chin broad and powerful, the nose flat. The very
original head-dress is composed of a woollen cap fitting closely to the
head, and furnished with a thick border, which, turning up, forms a sort
of crown; the meshes of the woollen tissue are conventionally marked by
a number of symmetrical rolls. Even at the present day in Lower Chaldæa
the Christian priests of the Chaldæan rite envelop their heads in a
turban of black stuff, which allows of a similar arrangement.[18]

[Illustration: Fig. 16.--Chaldæan statue (Louvre).]

As for the headless statues whether seated or standing, they have all
the same characteristics, exhibit an identical type, and are
incontestably of the same school of sculpture. Here is a personage
seated on a sort of stool not fully carved out; he recalls involuntarily
the Greek statues of the sacred way of the Branchidæ at Miletus, and is
in the same religious attitude. A cloak without sleeves is crossed over
his breast and thrown back over his shoulder; a handsome fringe,

[Illustration: Fig. 17.--Chaldæan statue (Louvre).]

carved, falls over the whole depth in front; the hands are clasped on
the breast in the oriental posture of meditation and devotion; the bare
feet are chiselled with an attention to detail never to be surpassed in
later times, even by the Ninevite artists. On the knees of the personage
lies a tablet intended to receive an inscription or a design. In fact,
another statue like this, though of smaller proportions, holds on its
knees a similar tablet, on which the plan of a fortress with its
bastions and posterns is engraved in outline, just as an architect of
the present day would draw it. A graduated rule, that is to say, one
subdivided into fractions of unequal but proportional length, 10¾ in.
long, is carved in relief beside the plan, for which it serves as a
scale; finally, at the side lies the style with which the architect
engraved his design (see fig. 53). The standing statues answer almost to
the same description; they also are bare-footed, with the hands crossed
upon the breast but the arrangement of the long shawl, which seems to
form the only garment of all these personages, becomes more
intelligible. The Arab still drapes himself in the same fashion in his
burnoos,--that garment, at once so simple and so dignified, of the
shepherd of the desert. It is a piece of woollen stuff, the borders of
which are adorned with a fringe; it is folded in two, and wrapped round
the body obliquely, so that it covers one arm and leaves the other bare;
the upper corner, held fast by wrapping the garment once round, is
enough to keep the whole in place. We shall find this large shawl again
on the Ninevite bas-reliefs, just as we shall observe the persistence
and exaggeration of this sober and nervous style, which, as early as the
Proto-Chaldæan epoch, lays too much stress on the muscles, and lingers
with an excessive fondness over anatomical details.

The Chaldæan statues were intended to be seen all round, and not laid
flat against a wall; they are completely finished behind as well as in
front. Compared with the statues found in the temples of Cyprus, for
instance, they show us that the artist has sought to spare neither his
time nor his trouble. Amid this sobriety of treatment and this
uniformity of attitudes we feel that Chaldæan art is already far from
the hesitation and incorrectness of the first age; the chisel attacks
the hardest stone with vigour and success; the artist’s hand is
experienced and sure of itself. This archaic art is above all realistic,
and aims at a precise and even affected following of nature. The bare
shoulder is modelled and copied with surprising truth, the hands and
feet are studied even to the knuckles, the nails, the wrinkles of the
skin. At the same time the figures are thick-set and, it may be said,
far too short--a fact which contributes to increase the impression of
strength and muscular energy produced by an attentive observation of

The suppleness of the Chaldæan genius at the time of Gudea appears again
in a singular monument of the De Sarzec collection, which may be taken
to be the foot of a vase rather than the base of a small column (fig.
18). Small figures in high relief, nude, and seated on the ground, lean
against a cylindrical stem. The best preserved figure has an oval face
of rare refinement, and of a type entirely foreign to that of the large
statues; with his beard cut in a point, and his head covered with a
woollen turban, he looks straight in front of him with a smiling aspect;
in all Assyrian sculpture no countenance of such originality could
perhaps be found. We do not know what is the meaning of these little
figures crouched round this sort of basin. They seem to hold the place
of the winged bulls and lions or other fantastic genii, whom Assyrian
art will soon multiply everywhere in the capacity of architectural
supports or ornaments.

[Illustration: Fig. 18.--Foot of Chaldæan vase (Louvre).]

In front of the palace at Tello stood a large stone basin decorated with
sculpture, some fragments of which have come down to us. This monolithic
trough, 8 ft. 2 in. long by 1 ft, 7½ in. broad, served, perhaps, to
water the camels and the flocks which halted at the gate of Gudea’s
dwelling; or rather, on account of its rich ornamentation, may we
believe that it was a basin consecrated to the service of the temple,
like the brazen sea in the Temple of Jerusalem, or the vase of Amathus?
However it may be, there were,

[Illustration: Fig. 19.--Bas-relief from Tello (after Heuzey).]

[Illustration: Fig. 20.--Bas-relief from Tello (_Rev. arch._, t. i.,
1887, p. 265).]

on its two longer surfaces, in low relief, women with arms outstretched,
holding magic vases, from which two jets of liquid gushed, on each side
of an ear of corn, a graceful symbol of the proverbial fertility of
Mesopotamia, enclosed by the sacred streams of the Tigris and Euphrates,
which were adored under the name of Naharaim, the two rivers _par
excellence_. The fragment reproduced here (fig. 19) shows us that the
Proto-Chaldæans already gave to flowing water the conventional form of
undulating lines (see also fig. 34); the woman is drawn with surprising
truth.[19] The same technical skill is remarked in a bas-relief from
Tello, which represents a bearded personage, in full face, with a
costume in which M. Heuzey has recognised the fleecy stuff called
_kaunakes_ by the Greeks. Observe the delicacy with which the Chaldæan
artists treated the costume and the beard. It may almost be said that
Mesopotamian art has no further progress to make, and that it already
shows its full proportions at the fabulously remote epoch represented by
the antiquities of Tello.

There is less modelling in the figures which adorn the upper part of the
_Caillou Michaux_; the relief upon it is dry and flat, and the drawing
affects a hieratic stiffness which would suggest an epoch of decadence,
or at least a time when Chaldæan art was arrested in its upward march.
This monument, dated in the reign of Marduk-nadin-akhi, King of Babylon
about B.C. 1120, was perhaps a stone rolled down by the waters of the
river, which was made into a sacred object; the cuneiform inscription
contains the donation of a landed estate, settled as a dowry.[20] The
curious figures, under the protection of which this contract is placed,
show us, as they do in many cylinders, that at this epoch Chaldæan
mythology was turned to profit by the artists, who knew how to unite
human to animal forms without falling into monstrosity or deformity, and
to give symbolical figures to the stars and to the invisible genii
conceived by their wild imagination. The drawing of these strange
figures is not unskilful; they inspire terror without degenerating into
the caricature and grotesque forms which mark the images of the gods
among barbarous peoples. Chaldæan art is as learned as the secrets of
its mythology are complicated. Examine, for instance, this winged goat

[Illustration: Fig. 21.--The _Caillou Michaux_ (Cabinet des Médailles).]

[Illustration: Fig. 22.--Stela of Maduk-nadin-akhi (British Museum).]

lying before an altar; the angular outlines of its horns are rendered
with truth, the muscles of its legs, perhaps badly placed anatomically,
are analysed in their smallest details, and the movement of this animal,
which is making an effort to rise, is very natural, though lacking in
life and suppleness. We shall recognise the same characters of dryness
and rudeness in the black basalt stela of the same king,
Marduk-nadin-akhi. Here, as in the _Caillou Michaux_, the relief is
flat, nothing supple, graceful, or amiable; the Chaldæan genius cannot
smile. Of those ample garments of the Oriental, those draperies with
which the Greek artist will be able to produce so powerful an effect,
the Chaldæan artist is satisfied with scratching in outline, so to
speak, the folds and fringes; he makes heavy embroidered copes of them,
like those of Catholic priests. But, in compensation, he looks at these
embroideries through a magnifying glass, and excels in analysing and
reproducing the richness of the tissue, the innumerable and complicated
forms of the design. We can henceforth foresee that the sculptor, losing
sight of synthesis so as to place his ideal exclusively in the
infinitely little, will never rid himself of the narrow formula in which
he so early imprisoned his talent. All his figures in statuary or in the
bas-reliefs, so highly finished in detail, show as a whole a hieratic
and conventional stiffness, which will unhappily descend as a heritage
to the Assyrian artist.

[Illustration: Fig. 23.--Chaldæan statuette in bronze (Louvre).]


The Chaldæans could work in bronze as skilfully as in stone. M. de
Sarzec has collected some bronze figures which, compared with other
monuments already secured, allow us to fix some precise landmarks in the
gradual development of the art of casting and chiselling metals in
Chaldæa. A certain statuette of a man or woman (fig. 23) may be
considered the most rudimentary attempt.[21] It has simply the shape of
a cylindrical stem, the upper part of which is furnished with two arms
and a human head like the _xoana_ of the Greeks. This head, surmounted
by small horns, is strangely barbarous; it recalls the art of the men of
the bronze age and the most rustic of the Cypriote terra-cottas.
Progress is manifest in other

[Illustration: Fig. 24.--Chaldæan statuette (Louvre).]

bronzes--separated, perhaps, from the former by several hundred years.
These are statuettes which, instead of being fixed on a base, end in a
reversed and much elongated cone, which must have served to plunge them
into a soft matter such as mortar. One represents a recumbent bull, the
other (fig. 24) a kneeling man holding in his hands the base of the
cone; he is bearded and covered with the tiara with several pairs of
horns, reserved for gods and genii. A third, lastly, is a woman carrying
a basket on her head, whose body has remarkably the appearance of an
elongated ingot. This canephoros, whose female form is only indicated by
the breasts and the width of the hips, leads us naturally to speak of
another canephoros (fig. 25), found at Afaj on the Euphrates, bearing
the name of the king Kudurmapuk (B.C. 2000). It may be seen by this
statuette that the art of working in bronze followed closely the
progress of sculpture in stone. Though the head and arms are still the
work of half-trained artists, the head is very remarkable; the arch of
the eyebrows and the eyes are treated as in the large diorite statues;
the hair is completely shaved. The same characters are observed in a
remarkable figure of a bearded priest, wearing a tiara of moderate
height, dressed in a long tunic with flounced fringes.[22] Here is a
mutilated statuette from Tello (fig. 26); it is a god standing on a
crouching lion; the head of the roaring beast has a ferocious and
natural expression, but the god’s robe is cylindrical, without amplitude
and without modelling, and the artist has tried in vain to conceal this
stiffness, which betrays his impotence, by engraving the fringes and
rosettes of the drapery. Remark that the long hairs of the lion are
treated like the woollen shag of the priest’s cap which we examined just
now (fig. 15). The animal has very small wings; his forelegs are those
of a bull, his hind-legs end in lion’s claws; the study of nature here
is perfect, but in those conventional lines which are meant to express
the swell of the muscles, we feel the tendency to exaggeration and
trivial rudeness which we remarked in the statues.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.--Canephoros of Kudurmapuk (Louvre).]

In one of the smaller mounds at Tello, M. de Sarzec discovered a
fragment of a large bronze statue. “It was,” he says, “a life-sized
bull’s horn, of bronze plating mounted on a wooden frame, but the wood
was carbonised by the action of fire.”[23][24] He had also found a
sword, which was stolen and destroyed by an Arab. But we can cite
another weapon of the same kind in the possession of Colonel Hanbury;
the blade, curved like a scythe, and triangular, bears a votive
inscription in the name of the Assyrian king Rammannirari, the son of
Pudil (B.C. 1300). The curious peculiarity of this weapon is that on one
of its surfaces a small recumbent deer is to be seen engraved, and this
is the maker’s mark: from this time onward the jealousy of craftsmen
comes into play and declares itself by the same measures as in our day.

[Illustration: Fig. 26.--Chaldæan statuette in bronze (Louvre).]

Surprising as the phenomenon is at first sight, Chaldæan pottery was far
from following the progress of sculpture. The excavations of Tello have
enriched the museum of the Louvre with five hundred terra-cotta cones,
bearing the name of Gudea and Ur-Bau, but these are only industrial
products, without artistic character, and belonging to the brick
manufacture. The necropoles of Warka and Mugheir, where we might have
expected to meet with works of art, as in the tombs of Greece or
Etruria, have only furnished coarse vases which bear witness to the
complete inferiority of pottery among the Chaldæo-Assyrians. They are
all singularly barbarous and rustic, whether they come from the archaic
tombs of Warka and Mugheir, or issue from the ruins of the palaces
where, nevertheless, the art of sculpture soars and displays itself in
its perfect development. Assyrian pottery, even that of the best epoch,
resembles, sometimes so much as to be mistaken for it, the most archaic
pottery of Greece proper and the Islands of the Ægean. But here it is
only the beginning of art, the first effort of the potter who before
long will fashion masterpieces; there, on the contrary, these vulgar
kitchen receptacles form the whole art, and represent at once the start
and the finish.

This neglect of ceramics by the Chaldæo-Assyrian artists results from
geological and climatic causes analogous to those which, as we shall
see, developed sculpture in bas-relief to the detriment of sculpture in
the round. It is especially owing to the bad quality of the clay in
Mesopotamia, which, though quite fit to be turned into square bricks,
has not a fine enough grain for the purpose of fashioning from it the
fragile frame of a broad crater, or of a slim amphora, and still less
for the purpose of lending itself to all the details of face and drapery
in graceful and slender figurines like those of Tanagra, Cyme, or

The cohesion of the Mesopotamian clay is so imperfect that the
Babylonian terra-cottas which have come down to us crumble almost at the
first touch, in spite of the process of baking to which they have been
subjected. It is observed that, to give some consistency to the body of
the vases and to prevent cracks, the potter has been obliged to mix the
clayey paste with chopped straw. It was impossible then to make the
sides thin, or to fashion them with art; consequently it would not have
been natural to decorate with rich and careful painting vases which
could only be heavy and coarse. It was enough to trace out geometrical
designs, bands of colour, ovals, symmetrical festoons round the neck of
the amphoræ; nothing in this sort of decoration has been borrowed from
the animal or vegetable world or from history, of which the artist
could, however, make so wonderful a use in the decoration of metal
vases, or of knicknacks in ivory, wood, or stone.

The Chaldæan terra-cotta figurines, however coarse they may be, are not
entirely divested of interest for the history of art and mythology, and
M. Heuzey has been able to appreciate them with delicacy from this point
of view.[25]

[Illustration: Fig. 27.--Chaldæan statuette in terra-cotta.]

The statuettes collected in great quantities by Loftus, at Warka, are of
solid clay, and were manufactured in a mould in one piece; the back is
flat and modelled with the hand. The clay is of a greenish grey, or
sometimes brown; it is well baked and very hard. The attitude of these
grotesque little figures offers singularly striking analogies to the
terra-cotta figurines of the first Egyptian dynasty; they are men in
long robes, with their beards cut in the Assyrian fashion, women dressed
in tight tunics and wearing falling head-dresses like the Egyptian
figurines; their hands are clasped on their breast in the religious
attitude which we know already from the Tello statues. It is, however,
very difficult to give the precise date of these figurines, which,
perhaps, for the most part, are not anterior to the time of
Nebuchadnezzar. Besides, we shall return to them later on. It is enough
for the moment to observe how little varied and meagre was the theme
worked out by the Chaldæan modellers in clay, at a time when sculpture
and the other arts were nevertheless already most flourishing.

The monuments which we have just reviewed allow us to appreciate the
degree of prosperity and perfection attained side by side with the
higher branches of art by various industries in Chaldæa, such as
tapestry, weaving, and the embroidery of stuffs. The stela of
Marduk-nadin-akhi, for example (fig. 22), bears witness to the wonderful
skill of the women of the royal hareem, or of the men employed in the
workshop, whence issued that robe with golden fringe, covered with
elegant designs and precious stones set in the web of the tissue, that
tiara adorned with feathers and wide-open daisies, those sandals, the
broad lozenge-shaped stitches of which can be counted.

M. Heuzey[26] has demonstrated that the stuff called _kaunakes_
(καυνἁκης) by the Greeks, who gave this name to a Babylonian garment,
goes back at least as far as the epoch of Gudea. The representation of
this woollen tissue shows several series of tufts arranged in rows one
above the other; the principle of the manufacture of the _kaunakes_ is
the same as that of plush or velvet, only the woollen pile is longer and
arranged less closely. This sort of material, invented by the Chaldæans,
continued to be made by the Assyrians and Persians; in this way the
Greeks came to know it, and Aristophanes speaks of it in his comedy of
the _Wasps_. Garments made of _kaunakes_ are frequently met with on the
Chaldæan monuments, especially on the cylinders, where they have been
mistaken for robes of a gathered and gauffered material. They are worn
both by women and by men, as is proved by the bearded personage whom we
reproduced above (fig. 20), and a female statuette in alabaster which
shows all the characteristics of Chaldæan art contemporary with the
monuments of Tello (fig. 28).

[Illustration: Fig. 28.--Chaldæan statuette in alabaster.]

[Illustration: Fig. 29.--Bas-relief of the tablet of the god Samas
(British Museum).]

The tablet of the god Samas (fig. 29), found at Abu-Habbah (Sepharvaim),
and dated in the reign of the Babylonian king Nabupal-iddin (B.C. 850),
shows together the two principal Chaldæan garments--that made of
kaunakes, and that of a plain material, open in front, which we shall
often meet with again in Assyria. Moreover, this bas-relief, if it is
closely studied, throws a remarkable light on the different industries
in wood, iron, stone and wearing material. The tabernacle in which the
god Samas is seated on his throne seems to be an iron niche, the upper
part being curved to imitate a shallow vault; in the front of the shrine
there are small pillars of wood or iron; the stem is covered with scales
in imitation of the trunk of the palm-tree, and made, no doubt, of
plates of metal laid over it; for base and capital there are volutes
something like the Ionic capital. The solar disk, the symbol of the god,
is supported by cords held in the hands of two genii, who seem to play a
purely ornamental and decorative part. The throne of the god, and the
table on which the radiated disk is placed, are elegantly sculptured
pieces of furniture, and reveal a civilisation which strives after the
highest refinement in its luxuries.

[Illustration: Fig. 30.--Chaldæan head in steatite (Louvre).]

As for ornaments of precious metal, none have yet been found in Chaldæa,
though we know that from the most distant ages gold and silver flowed
into Babylon and the towns of Chaldæa as well as into Egypt. The
goldsmith’s art must have been on a par with that of the seal-engraver,
the monuments of which are so numerous, as we shall now see. To these
branches of art belongs a small head in steatite, carved in the round
and forming the gem of the Tello collection; better than anything else,
this head, treated in so realistic and, at the same time, so highly
finished a manner, brings us into contact, so to speak, with the
brilliant superiority of the Chaldæan artist when he devotes himself to
these secondary forms of art, which at the present day require the use
of the magnifying-glass, and in which we are at a loss whether to admire
most the patience of the artist, the steadiness of his hand, or the
delicacy of his talent.


Though we do not yet possess more than a limited number of pieces of
sculpture and statues, those imposing witnesses of Chaldæan art in the
time of Gudea or Hammurabi, we can at least supply this want by the
numerous and varied productions of the seal-engraver’s art. The
Chaldæans invented the carving of precious stones, and no people ever
made a more constant use of those cylinders, cones and seals of every
form, on which are seen, engraved in lines fine and deep, the same
images which monumental sculpture drew upon the walls of temples and
palaces. These stones carved in intaglio, whether hæmatite, porphyry,
chalcedony, marbles or onyx of every variety, were worn round the neck,
on the finger, on the wrist, or fastened to the garment; they were at
the same time prophylactic amulets against sickness or witchcraft, and
seals with which impressions were made at the end of public or private

The most ancient of the Chaldæan cylinders reveals to our eyes the very
origin of seal-engraving, the first attempts to carve the round, ovoid,
or cylindrical gems of the necklaces of the stone age. The burin and the
puncheon, handled for the first time, do not yet trace out more than
zigzags, lozenges, straight and semicircular lines crossing one another.
Soon attempts are made to trace buildings, figures of animals, antelopes
feeding (fig. 31), or fish. The joints and swells of the quadrupeds’
bodies are represented by round holes, the limbs by simple strokes.

[Illustration: Fig. 31.--Chaldæan cylinder (De Clercq collection).]

Soon, with greater mastery over his instruments, the artist--for we may
now give him this name--will seek to reproduce on the cylinders the
human figure, and then that of the divine beings or the heroes begotten
of popular fancy, whose image is to increase the talismanic virtue of
the stone. There are monsters standing on their hind-legs, struggling
with one another, and giants killing lions or human-faced quadrupeds. M.
Menant has remarked that the figures of animals are always represented
in profile, while the human figures, with long beards, are in full face
even when the body is in profile. There are double-faced genii,
quadrupeds with a single head and two bodies. One of the most remarkable
cylinders of this primitive epoch is, without contradiction, that of the
rich De Clercq collection, the design of which we give here (fig. 32).
Men and various animals are here seen: a goat with wavy horns browsing
on the leaf of a tree; a rhinoceros, antelopes, bulls, fish, an eagle,
and some trees; two demons subduing fantastic animals, scorpions, and
palm-trees. We think of the biblical scene of Adam and Eve in the
earthly paradise surrounded by all the living beings in creation.

[Illustration: Fig. 32.--Chaldæan cylinder (De Clercq.)]

Fresh progress is marked by the appearance of inscriptions at the sides
of the figured scenes. Every possessor of a cylinder makes a point of
having his name or that of a favourite deity engraved upon it.
Accordingly the names of several _patesis_, who governed Chaldæan towns
three or four thousand years before our era, have been found upon
cylinders. The cylinder on which M. Oppert read the name of Asrinilu,
_patesi_ of Umalnaru (fig. 33), represents an episode in the Chaldæan
epic. The hero Izdubar, with curly beard and hair, seizes with each hand
by a hind-leg two lions hanging head downwards. The scene is completed
by trees, an antelope, a small human figure, a lion-headed scorpion, a
human-headed bull. What is here especially striking is the archaism of
the cuneiform signs, formed of strokes, which cross one another, but
have not yet the form of wedges, which they are to assume later, and
also the modelling and suppleness of most of the figures; the instrument
is no longer felt through the work.

[Illustration: Fig. 33.--Chaldæan cylinder (De Clercq).]

[Illustration: Fig. 34.--Cylinder of Sargani (De Clercq).]

Chaldæan seal-engraving reaches its apogee with another cylinder of the
De Clercq collection, which has the advantage of being dated, at least
relatively: it bears the name of Sargani or Sargon the First, king of
Agade, about 3800 years before our era. M. Menant mentions it as marking
an important stage in the history of art. The picture, which is very
simple, is composed of two symmetrical scenes: Izdubar, with one knee on
the ground, on the bank of a river, holds with both hands the sacred
ampulla, from which a double jet of water escapes, and at which a bull
with long striated horns comes to drink.[28] Here the artist possesses
all the secrets of his art: never, at any epoch, will he be able to
reproduce with greater delicacy and truth the powerful muscles of the
bull and the giant. And as it must certainly be admitted that monumental
sculpture advances as rapidly as seal-engraving, I do not know which
should astonish us most--the degree of perfection to which the Chaldæans
had carried the plastic arts, or the prodigiously distant epoch to which
such monuments transport us.

A cylinder in the museum at New York (fig. 35), which from the
characters of the writing seems almost contemporary with that of Sargon
the First, is executed with a still greater perfection. The play and
graceful suppleness of the muscles of the bull and the lion are rendered
with the precision which the direct study of nature brings, and with the
ease which betrays an artist who can overcome technical difficulties.

[Illustration: Fig. 35.--Chaldæan cylinder (New York Museum, after

If all Chaldæan cylinders could be classed chronologically and by
schools, epochs of perfection or of decadence would no doubt be
observed, and also greater activity in some artistic centres than in
others, the choice of subjects being modified from town to town and from
age to age. In the present state of our knowledge we can only hazard
conjectures with regard to this. M. Menant looks upon the cylinders
which represent the goddess Istar holding her child upon her knees and
receiving the homage of the faithful, as issuing from the workshops of
Uruk (Erech); it is the prototype of the divine mother whose worship is
to spread even into Greece. At Ur cylinders of very different types, but
of a dry execution, which is rather a mark of decadence than of
archaism, were manufactured: there are scenes of worship or initiation
into mysteries, and sacrifices, among which that of the kid is the most
frequent. On certain monuments M. Menant recognises a representation of
human sacrifices: the most marked scene of this kind shows us a
sacrificer, who, raising his right hand, brandishes a dagger over a
kneeling child, whom he seems to prepare to slay, in the presence of a
pontiff and of the statue of the god. One of the commonest figures on
Chaldæan cylinders is that of the goddess Istar, sometimes decked with
rich ornaments, sometimes entirely naked, in full face, with her hands
clasping her breasts: this last type, profusely reproduced by the
modellers in clay, was perpetuated all over the East up to the time of
the Greek and Roman supremacies.



Assyria, because she lies nearer to the mountains than Chaldæa, and
because the use of stone, without ever being exclusive, was more
frequent in northern than in southern Mesopotamia, has left us important
ruins which have already been partly explored, and which allow us to
reconstruct the forms of her architecture, without material gaps, from
the ninth to the seventh century before our era. In temples, palaces,
staged towers, and fortresses, the art of building is revealed to our
eyes by means of the excavations of which Nineveh and its environs have
been the object. But nothing is left of private architecture, and the
same must be said of sepulchral architecture, or rather this latter did
not exist in Assyria, which has only yielded to our explorers a few jars
filled with bones. The corpses were generally carried away into Lower
Chaldæa, which continued to be for long ages a sort of _Campo Santo_, or
vast cemetery at the service of the inhabitants of all Mesopotamia. Down
to the present day, the Persians, even of the most distant provinces,
make a point of having their dead buried at Nejef and Kerbela, near the
mosque of Ali, the great saint of the Shiite Mussulmans. This
traditional superstition is turned to profit by a company of carriers,
who annually transport more than ten thousand corpses. The necropolis
of Mugheir and the surrounding tells belongs therefore both to Chaldæa
and to Assyria; corpses are piled up there by hundreds of thousands, but
beyond the system of drainage, organised in order to catch the
rain-water, it offers nothing of great interest. There were no
sepulchral monuments; and as for the tombs themselves, they are
generally little brick structures with nothing remarkable about them;
the furniture consisting of terra-cotta vases and figurines, amulets and
cylinders, is of the most wretched description.

[Illustration: Fig. 36.--Tomb at Warka (after Taylor).]

The principal buildings of Assyria, which have been methodically and
almost completely explored, are those of Khorsabad, some leagues to the
north of Nineveh, and those of Kouyunjik and Nimroud. Several hillocks
in which a collection of important structures would with equal certainty
be found, such as the hill of Nebi Yunus, where Arab tradition fixes the
tomb of the prophet Jonah, and Arvil on the site of Arbela, have not yet
been tested by the explorer’s pick; others, such as the artificial
mounds of Kalah Shergat, Balawat, and Karamles, have only been
incompletely explored, and though epigraphic material, extremely
valuable for history, and bas-reliefs of the highest artistic interest,
have been extracted from them, from the architectural point of view at
least their imperfect excavation teaches us nothing new.

The Babylonian buildings of the epoch of Nebuchadnezzar and Nabonidus
must have resembled the Ninevite palaces and temples in form and
architectural arrangement; but up to the present time we can only speak
of them by conjecture, or according to the inexact descriptions of Greek
travellers, and we cannot regret too much that the enormous Babylonian
tells, such as those called the Kasr or Palace, Tell Amran, Babil and
Birs Nimroud have yielded hardly anything yet of their archæological
treasures. We must, then, for the present, confine ourselves to the
description of the ruins of Khorsabad, Nimroud, and Kouyunjik, in order
to reconstruct the principal forms of Mesopotamian architecture at the
most splendid period of the Ninevite empire.


The limestone which is furnished in abundance by the lowest spurs of the
mountains of Kurdistan enabled the architects of Nineveh not to employ
brick exclusively, and sometimes to erect walls of trimmed ashlar. They
used limestone especially for the basements of the buildings, which were
more particularly exposed to the action of damp, so fatal to crude
brick; they also had recourse to it for the construction of the ramparts
of the royal palaces. But even here, on account of the dearness of the
materials, which it was necessary to seek at a distance and to spend
much time in hewing, stone is only employed for the outer facing of the
wall; the builders use it sparingly, and are as niggardly of it as they
are prodigal of brick. Accordingly, the walls which enclose the terrace
of Sargon’s palace at Khorsabad are only of stone on the surface; the
interior, or rather the nucleus of the structure, is of brick. The
blocks on their external and visible surface are of variable length, but
are placed upon one another in very regular courses of equal height and
with crossed joints. Headers penetrate like wedges into the mass of the
terrace to ease the layers of brick and bind them to the stone
structure. In the lower courses of the rampart of the palace at
Khorsabad there are regularly hewn blocks from 8 ft. 2 in. to 9 ft. 10
in. square; the blocks diminish in volume in proportion to the nearness
of the layers to the summit of the rampart, which was 59 ft. high,
including the battlements, which formed a parapet all round the terrace.

[Illustration: Fig. 37.--Masonry at Khorsabad (after Place).]

[Illustration: Fig. 38.--Section of wall at Khorsabad (after Place).]

The interior or exterior walls of the building which stood upon this
gigantic base had no need to fear the infiltration of water or the
attacks of enemies: their solidity might be lessened without
inconvenience, by economising the stone. As a matter of fact, they are
of brick, baked or crude, and stone is scarcely employed in them except
for the lining and paving of a few rooms. In that case great slabs of
limestone or gypsum are set upright as a plinth against the lower part
of the wall, to preserve it from corrosion; they are adjusted end to
end by the edge, and it was sufficient, in order to fix them, to pour
between their posterior surface and the wall mortar which often only
imperfectly adhered: the outer and only visible surface of these slabs
was decorated with bas-reliefs which served for the adornment of the
halls. As for the walls themselves, they were straight and perpendicular
in contrast to those of the Egyptian buildings, which, seen from
without, seem to lean inwards, and give to the whole building the
appearance of a truncated pyramid. The Assyrian walls rise vertically,
even when they enclose vaulted chambers, or when they form part of
staged pyramids; each stage forms a perpendicular terrace, not a sloping

It has been observed that the partitions which separate the halls
sometimes look like one block set up on end; the joints and the courses
of the brickwork cannot be detected, to such an extent have the
constructing materials been soldered together in a perfect amalgam of
beaten clay. This peculiarity, noticed by Victor Place at Khorsabad, can
only be explained by admitting that the bricks were employed in the
building while they were still saturated with water, and before the
process of drying was finished. Their natural dampness, added to that of
the clayey mortar which bound them to one another, has formed a sort of
muddy paste which must have taken years to harden, but which was
particularly effective against the disintegration of the wall, since it
became in this way entirely homogeneous. It was the extraordinary
thickness of these walls which prevented them from giving way under
their own weight, and even allowed them to uphold those heavy beds of
clay which form the vaults and terraces of the houses. They thus
protected the halls most effectively from the ardent heat of the sun. At
the present day the inhabitants of Bagdad and Mosoul take refuge, during
summer, in their _sirdab_, a half-underground room with extremely thick
brick walls, the single opening of which looks to the north. The people
of Nineveh and Babylon, subject to the same climatic conditions,
certainly acted in the same manner. As for the princes, they had, to
defend them against the sun, walls from 13 ft. to 26 ft. thick, and
vaultings as enormous as the walls. Nevertheless, the mode of building
with clay which we have just noticed was very defective; this is the
weak side of Ninevite and Babylonian buildings, and we understand why
the kings are unceasingly obliged, as they relate in their inscriptions,
to repair or rebuild walls which crumble under the dissolving action of
water from the sky.

The unusual thickness of the walls, the long, narrow form of all the
chambers, are also justified by the employment of the vault as the
essential element of the Assyrian buildings. V. Place unearthed at
Khorsabad a great doorway surmounted by a semicircular arch. The sides
of the doorway, as well as the arch itself, are of brick; there are
three rows of voussoirs one above the other, forming as it were three
concentric door-frames half-fitting into one another. All the voussoirs,
which have issued from a single mould, have a slightly trapezoidal
shape, like the stone voussoirs of our most carefully built edifices.
The height of the doorway, under the keystone, is 19 ft. 8 in., and the
breadth 11 ft. At other points, Place recognised that the enormous
accumulation of materials which filled up the halls could only come from
the falling in of the clay vaults. Some blocks still, at the time of the
excavations, formed an arch, sometimes several yards in diameter, solid
enough to serve as shelter for the shepherds of the neighbourhood; they
were, on the concave side, covered with carefully laid stucco, or with
paintings in fresco--a circumstance which proves positively that these
blocks are sections of crumbled vaults.

[Illustration: Fig. 39.--Vaulted and domed houses (after Layard).]

The square chambers were surmounted by a dome; there are in the palace
of Sargon two of these rooms as much as 44½ ft. square. In a bas-relief
discovered at Kouyunjik (fig. 39) a group of houses figures, among which
some are surmounted by hemispherical cupolas, others by elongated domes
in the form of sugar-loaves. The houses of Babylon were vaulted, as
Strabo tells us. The Mesopotamian palaces of the Achæmenid, Parthian, or
Sassanian epoch, the halls of which are surmounted by domes which
scarcely yield in boldness to those of St. Sophia, evidently only handed
on the Assyro-Chaldæan tradition which is also represented before our
eyes by the modern houses of Mosoul, Bagdad and southern Persia. The
technical methods of contemporary masons also do not fail to make known
to us what steps their ancestors of the time of Sargon or
Nebuchadnezzar took to supply the want of wood, and in consequence to do
without a previous arched framework: travellers tell us that they have
observed the commonest workmen of the country erecting their
hemispherical or elliptical cupolas by layers in rings, laid one above
the other, and narrowing in proportion to their nearness to the
keystone; it is the same principle as that of the corbelled vaulting.

[Illustration: Fig. 40.--Vaulted drain (after Layard).]

The place where it has been possible to observe the employment of the
vault in the architecture of the Assyrian palaces, is in the very bowels
of the basements of these edifices. A vast corridor, surmounted by a
semicircular vaulting, was discovered by the English explorers, in the
flanks of the mound of Nimroud; the lower courses are of enormous slabs
of stone, all the rest is brick. In the scientific system of drains
which carried off the sewage of the palace of Sargon, Place
distinguished every kind of vaulting: the pointed or ogival vault, the
semicircular vault, the flat-arched vault, the shallow vault, the
elliptical vault.

Never, at any point in their history, did the Egyptians

[Illustration: Fig. 41.--Vaulted drain at Khorsabad (after Place).]

or the Romans push the application of the vault to an equal degree of
perfection. In most of the halls of Sargon’s palace a slab pierced with
a hole was remarked in the middle of the bricks which form the pavement:
this was the orifice of a vertical conduit opening into a vaulted drain
concealed in the terrace. One of these drains had an ogival vaulting,
the description of which we will borrow from MM. Perrot and Chipiez.[29]
“The bricks composing it are trapezoidal in shape, two of their sides
being slightly rounded--the one concave, the other convex. The radius of
this curve varies with each brick, being governed by its destined place
in the vault. These bricks go therefore in pairs, and as there are four
courses of bricks on each side of the vault, four separate and different
moulds would be required, besides a fifth, of which we shall presently
have to speak. The four narrow sides of these bricks differ sensibly
from one another. The two curved faces, being at different distances
from the centre, are of unequal lengths; while, as the lower oblique
edge is some inches below the upper in the curve, these two edges have
different directions. In their disinclination to use stone voussoirs the
Assyrian builders here found themselves compelled to mould bricks of
very complicated form, and the way in which they accomplished their task
speaks volumes for their skill.” The two upper voussoirs meeting and
touching one another by one of their corners, the triangular space left
empty between their edges was filled up either by wedge-shaped bricks or
by mortar. The drain which we have just given as an example is 4 ft. 7
in. high under the keystone and 3 ft. 8 in. broad; the explorers were
able to follow it to a length of 216 feet. To facilitate its
construction the architect conceived the ingenious idea of building it
upon an inclined plane--that is to say, that all the rows of voussoirs,
instead of being perpendicular, lean considerably backwards, and are
supported one upon the other; this system, which did not at all affect
the solidity of the vaulting, allowed the builders to do without
circular wooden frames.

[Illustration: Fig. 42.--Vaulted drain at Khorsabad. Slope of the bricks
(after Place).]

So much technical skill devoted to the construction of simple
subterranean conduits makes us particularly regret that the deplorable
quality of the material did not allow the vaults and domes of the
palaces to exist till our day. However, there were not only vaulted
halls in the Ninevite buildings; a certain number of them were covered
by flat roofs formed of beams of palm-wood, poplar-wood or cedar-wood,
which supported light terraces. The bas-relief at Kouyunjik which we
cited above shows us flat roofs side by side with parabolic and
spheroidal cupolas. Nevertheless, what we said about the use of stone in
the Ninevite structures we can repeat here on the subject of timber.
Nineveh, not being too remote from the wooded mountains of Armenia,
Kurdistan and Masius, where forests of pines, beeches, and oaks grow,
did not deprive herself of the use of these woods in her structures; she
had panelled halls in her palaces, and, at the apogee of her power, when
thousands and thousands of slaves placed their strength at the service
of her monarchs, she had the timber of the Amanus and the Lebanon
transported into her buildings. The king Assur-nasir-pal (B.C. 882-857)
relates in one of his inscriptions that he had an enormous quantity of
pines, cedars, and oaks cut down in the Amanus and the Lebanon in order
to have them carried to Nineveh, and to employ them in the construction
of his palace and the temples of his favourite gods. Other princes, such
as Sargon, Sennacherib, Assurbanipal and Nebuchadnezzar, make the same
boast of having utilised, in the buildings which they erected or
repaired, beams brought from the Amanus and the Lebanon. “I caused the
tallest cedars of Lebanon,” says Nebuchadnezzar, “to be brought to
Babylon; the sanctuary of E-Kua, in which the god Marduk dwells, was
freshly covered with beams of cedar-wood.”[30] This is the wood of
resinous nature, “the odour of which is good,” add the inscriptions. At
the British Museum fragments of a cedar beam, collected among the ruins
of Assur-nasir-pal’s palace at Nimroud, are preserved. Who will ever be
able to say what efforts and how many human lives were required to
transport these gigantic rafters across a rough country without any
roads for traffic, from the Lebanon as far as the banks of the Tigris
and Euphrates? Accordingly it may be affirmed that the use of wood was
always exceptional in the Chaldæo-Assyrian structures; it was never
introduced except as an exotic element, of which the monarchs boast on
account of its rarity. The climate and the nature of the Mesopotamian
soil were better suited by thick vaultings, which, then as at the
present day, never ceased to be the rule there.

Quite as little as the Chaldæans, and for the same motives, did the
Assyrians make a frequent and regular use of the column as an element of
their architecture. Victor Place notices, like the explorers of Lower
Chaldæa, several façades in the palace of Sargon adorned with pilasters
and half-columns of brick, projecting beyond the plane of the walls, and
having no object except to relieve the monotony of the structure.
Perhaps, too, these half-columns, which are found in groups of seven,
had, like the two famous pillars in the Temple of Solomon, a mystical
and symbolical meaning, the number seven playing an essential part among
the mythological conceptions of the Chaldæo-Assyrians. Elsewhere a few
bases of columns and a few monolithic capitals have been found, which
prove that the Assyrians used stone supports for monumental porches, as
we ascertained in the palace of Tello. A fragment of a bas-relief
preserved at the British Museum, and coming from the palace of
Assurbanipal, shows us (fig. 43) the façade of a great building adorned
with a projecting roof, supported by four pilasters and four columns.
The base of these columns rests on the back of gigantic lions, which
seem to advance to meet one another, two and two. On the back of the
lion the architect has placed a coussinet, surmounted by a torus and by
the stem of the column. In the ruins of the palace of Kouyunjik, four
bases of columns were found still in place, and seeming to belong to a
covered gallery; there were also two small winged bulls with human
heads, crowned with the tiara, and supporting on their back a spheroidal
base decorated with geometrical designs in relief. At Nimroud Sir A. H.
Layard noticed also two crouching sphinxes bearing bases of columns
(fig. 44); according to the same architectural principle the foot of the
arches rested upon the gigantic bulls which flanked the chief entrances
of the palaces.

[Illustration: Fig. 43.--Façade with pilasters (from bas-relief in
British Museum representing Babylon).]

[Illustration: Fig. 44.--Base of column (after Layard).]

The stem of the columns was probably of wood, painted or covered with a
metallic envelope. Round the inner courtyards there were, as in the
courts of oriental palaces in our own day, porticoes formed of cedar
beams resting on bases analogous to those which we have just noticed.
Strabo[31] reminds us that in Babylon beams of palm-wood were used in
the construction of houses: “They are careful,” he says, “to wrap round
each palm-wood pillar with rush-cords, which are then covered with
several coats of paint.” Things were not done quite in this way in the
houses of the rich and in princely residences. A fragment of a cedar
beam of the size of a man was discovered at Khorsabad. It was still
overlaid with a plating of bronze decorated with designs in _repoussé_,
which imitate the bark of a palm-trunk.

[Illustration: Fig. 45.--Assyrian capital (after Place, _Ninive et
l’Assyrie_, pl. 35).]

[Illustration: Fig. 46.--Capital of Sassanian period from Warka (British

An enormous block of limestone, 39 ft. 3 in. high, brought to light at
Khorsabad, comprises an entire capital and a part of the stem at the
same time (fig. 45); it is almost the only Assyrian capital known. It
affects the spheroidal form, and its convex part is decorated with a
double line of curved festoons in relief; there was a similar ornament,
no doubt, at the base. Several capitals from Warka are also preserved at
the British Museum, but they were found among ruins of the Sassanian
epoch. Nevertheless the resemblance which some of them bear to the
architectural features of the bas-reliefs is so close that they are
probably representatives of a style inherited from a former period. They
are of that form, so well known in the sculptures, which has the
character of the Ionic order, and was probably its original.

[Illustration: Fig. 47.--Shrine with columns (Botta, _Les Monuments de
Ninive_, pl. 114).]

In imitation of their southern neighbours the Assyrians used the column
especially in chapels of little importance, in which the supports had no
vault or terrace to uphold. Bas-reliefs from Khorsabad and Kouyunjik
represent sanctuaries the roof of which is supported by small columns
with a base and a capital, which partake at once of the Ionic and of the
Doric order of the Greeks (fig. 47). These little structures recall the
Chaldæan shrine of the god Samas (fig. 29). An object which appears to
be the base of a small column exists in the Nimroud Gallery of the
British Museum. It is of sandstone, and, to judge from its size, it must
have formed part of a small chapel or shrine, such as we see in the
sculptures. The ornamental design upon it is partly similar to that of
the large capital figured above, but presents some variations from it.
There is a small hole into which the pillar was doubtless fastened by a
peg or metal dowel.

The Assyrian palace, like Arab houses, developed itself entirely in
area, and not in height; there was rarely a second story on the
platform. Nevertheless such a second story exists sometimes; it is then
open at the sides, and the roof is supported by small columns. These
columns, of wood rather than of stone or brick, form a gallery over the
façade, and they are adorned at their upper extremity with a double
volute as a capital. Bas-reliefs show us houses thus surmounted by a
colonnade, which supports a light, flat roof of wooden beams. At the
present day, houses in Kurdistan are still built on the same lines, and
show an identical arrangement in two stories; the lower without windows,
the upper open at the sides.

[Illustration: Fig. 48.--Base of small column (British Museum).]

In a word, the Assyrians, like the Chaldæans, not having at their
disposal building-stone in great abundance, were obliged to construct
their edifices almost exclusively of brick, the capabilities of which
they tried to the utmost. The result of this was that they never had
those halls of columns which are the triumph of Egyptian architecture.
However thick one may suppose pillars of brick, or columns formed of
bricks moulded in the shape of segments of a circle, to be, these
supports will never offer the same guarantee of solidity as the stone
column. Wherever a heavy burden, such as a vault or a terrace, had to be
supported, great walls were raised of an extraordinary thickness, which
it would have been imprudent to pierce with windows capable of
diminishing its resistance. Air and light only penetrated into the
apartments by the doors; often, too, an opening was contrived at the
summit of the vault or dome, formed of a cylindrical pipe of burnt clay
carried through the entire thickness of the structure.


The town of Dur-Sarrukin (the Fortress of Sargon) stood three leagues
north of Nineveh, on the Khaswer, one of the branches of the Tigris,
where the Kurdish village of Khorsabad has been built. Discovered in
1843 by E. Botta, French Consul at Mosoul, it was almost completely
excavated by this illustrious explorer and his successor, Victor Place,
and it is from Khorsabad that most of the Assyrian monuments in the
Louvre come. It was the custom that each of the Ninevite monarchs should
have a special palace built at some distance from the great Assyrian
capital, and this became the royal residence round which stood the
dwellings of the court-officers, the guards, the servants, and all
persons who depended upon the prince or lived at his expense.
Dur-Sarrukin was built by Sargon, the father of Sennacherib, about the
year 710 before our era. The palace and the town which was annexed to
it formed a group of structures contained within a fortified enclosure
(fig. 49) the plan of which was a square of 5905 feet.

[Illustration: Fig. 49.--Plan of Dur-Sarrukin (after Place, pl. 2).]

The wall of circumvallation, the angles of which pointed to the four
quarters of the heavens, as in the Chaldæan buildings, was crowned with
battlements and pierced by eight gates protected by towers.

The king’s palace (fig. 50) stood almost in the middle of the
north-eastern façade, and a part of its structure which projected beyond
the ramparts had the appearance of an enormous bastion. The structure of
this palace was supported by a platform which formed an acropolis nearly
twenty-five acres in area. The mass of clay which had to be brought to
raise the terrace and the walls of the palace has been estimated at
48,233,000 cubic feet. The platform overlooked the town, and was reached
by staircases, destroyed at the present day, but which must have been
analogous to the monumental staircase which formed the ascent to the
palace of Sennacherib, and

[Illustration: Fig. 50.--Plan of the palace of Sargon (after Place, pl.

the traces of which Sir A. H. Layard recognised. As at Tello, a gentle
ascent on an inclined plane was formed for the passage of vehicles. The
royal apartments built upon the terrace comprised no less than two
hundred and nine more or less spacious rooms, the walls of which, laid
bare by Botta and Place, are still sometimes twenty-six feet high and
always reach at least ten feet in the parts most demolished. It was not
easy to determine the destination of these different halls. However, by
comparison with the

[Illustration: Fig. 51.--South-eastern façade of the palace of Sargon
(restoration by Place, pl. 20).]

present Turkish and Persian palaces, in which an analogous arrangement
has been perpetuated, with the same usages, the following parts have
been distinguished at Dur-Sarrukin as in the palace of Tello: the
_seraglio_, that is to say, the reception-rooms and the dwelling-rooms
of the prince and the men attached to his person; the _hareem_, or
apartments of the women and their children; the _khan_, or the residence
of the slaves, the kitchens, the stables, and the offices. The
_seraglio_, the most luxurious and most highly decorated part, included
ten courts and more than sixty rooms, adorned with those bas-reliefs in
stone which are now the glory of the Louvre. They were paved with square
bricks fixed in bitumen. Where the ground was not to be covered with
carpet, as before the door, there was a stone pavement in which the
designs, skilfully carved in relief, imitated those of the carpets
themselves. To the buildings of the seraglio, situated on the
north-east, is attached the staged tower of which we shall speak farther
on. The principal court of the seraglio had an area of 3,202 square
feet, and eight doors formed a means of communication between it and the
rooms of this part of the palace; most of these openings are flanked
with colossal lions or bulls supporting the feet of semicircular arches.
The _hareem_, which occupied, on the south, a surface of more than
94,726 square feet, formed a group of structures communicating with the
rest of the palace by two doors only. It was, with its lofty blind
walls, a sort of prison in the very bosom of the fortress. Within, there
were several courts and isolated suites of rooms, in which the
apartments of the women were separately arranged. The walls of the
principal court must have been decorated with true Asiatic luxury, for
the foot of these walls, when they were laid bare about fifty years ago,
was still covered with a lining of enamelled bricks representing animals
and mythological scenes. It was here that the shaft of a column was
found, of wood covered with a bronze sheath, so that it is not rash to
affirm that this court was furnished with a portico all round, and
perhaps even with an upper story with open sides. The _khan_, situated
towards the eastern angle of the structure, occupied an even larger
space than the _hareem_; the treasury or _bit kutalli_, the cellars,
granaries, and storehouse of domestic utensils, have been distinctly
recognized, as well as magazines of objects of all sorts, carried off as
plunder by Sargon in his expeditions, and weapons of the chase and of
war: in the very stables, the presence of iron rings fixed in the wall
has been ascertained, to which horses and camels were attached: lastly,
the small but numerous rooms of the servants and slaves have been
excavated. Ctesias brings the number of persons attached to the service
of the palace of the

[Illustration: Fig. 52.--Bird’s-eye view of the palace of Sargon at
Khorsabad (restoration by Place, pl. 18 _bis_).]

kings of Persia up to fifteen thousand: it may easily be supposed that
an equal number of hands was employed at the court of the haughty king
of Nineveh.

The palace of Sargon, the best-preserved of Assyrian edifices, and that
of which the excavation was directed with the greatest consistency and
method, deserved to be taken as the most perfect type of the Ninevite
palaces. The researches of the English explorers, Sir A. H. Layard, Sir
H. Rawlinson, G. Smith, and H. Rassam, have procured, it is true, for
the British Museum the incomparable galleries of Assyrian monuments
known as those of Nimroud and Kouyunjik from the name of the principal
tells explored; they have made known the site of the royal residences of
Assur-nasir-pal, Shalmaneser, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, Assur-bani-pal,
and exhumed the fine sculptures which decorated their halls; but from
the architectural point of view these excavations teach us nothing
remarkable and original, or rather they only confirm what we know of the
art of building among the Assyrians from the study of Khorsabad; the
elements and principles of building show themselves to be identical
throughout, and, save for secondary modifications and variable
proportions, it may be said that the arrangement and adornment of
Assyrian palaces were everywhere the same, and issued from an uniform
type created in Chaldæa, which was never remarkably modified.


It was also in Chaldæa, as we have seen, that those towers in stages
(_zikkurat_) were invented, painted in bright and varied colours, which
constitute one of the original features of Mesopotamian architecture. If
the staged towers of Mugheir, Tello and Abu Shahrein, are too much
destroyed for us to be able to restore their different steps except in
thought, we are sure, nevertheless, that these old Chaldæan edifices
were similar to the towers the lower stories of which were excavated at
Kouyunjik, Nimroud, Khorsabad, and finally at Babylon, where stood, from
the remotest antiquity, the two famous temples called E-saggil and
E-zida and where Nebuchadnezzar built, according to the testimony of his
inscriptions, the famous Tower of the Seven Lights. Who can say whether
this architectural form was not inspired by the sight of the pyramids in
steps of the Nile valley? In any case the Greek historians agree in
affirming that the staged towers were of a height comparable to that of
the loftiest Egyptian pyramids, and the mass of the mounds of débris
which represent the ruins of these towers is a sure warrant of this
assertion. Birs-Nimroud at Babylon is still, at the present day, 235
feet high, and it has certainly lost at least half of its primitive
height. The ruin of Babil is still 130 feet high. What European monument
is there, even if built of hewn stone, which, after crumbling in upon
itself, would reach 130 feet after thirty centuries of ruin and decay?
It is improbable, then, that Strabo deserves to be taxed with
exaggeration when he assigns the height of a stadium of 591 ft. 9 in.,
to the temple of Bel at Babylon. Herodotus describes the same building
in the following manner: “This temple is square, and each side is two
stadia in length (1,183 ft. 6 in.). In the centre is a massive tower, of
one stadium in length and breadth; on this tower stands another tower,
and another again upon this, and so on up to eight. A spiral staircase
has been built outside leading round all the towers. Towards the middle
of the ascent there is a room, and there are seats upon which visitors
rest; upon the last tower stands a large shrine, in which is a large bed
with rich coverings, and near it a golden table.” Modern excavations
enable us to affirm that this description is exact in all points, and
that all the staged towers of Assyria and Chaldæa were constructed upon
the same principle.

The _zikkurat_ of the palace at Khorsabad, placed to the east of the
seraglio buildings, has still at the present day three complete steps
and the beginning of a fourth; the first describes on the ground a
square of 141 ft. each way; each stage is 20 feet high, which gives us
reason to believe that the structure was as high as it was broad at the
base--a peculiarity already noted by Herodotus and Strabo in the temple
of Bel. The stages laid bare by the French excavations were still partly
coloured by means of enamelled stucco, the lowest stage white, the
second black, the third reddish purple, the fourth blue. Among the ruins
of the tower were found numerous fragments of enamelled bricks, coloured
vermilion, silver grey and gold, which proves that the tower had seven
stages of different colours. It has been remarked that Herodotus (i.
98), gives to the fortress of Ecbatana, in Media, the arrangement of a
gigantic tower in stages, the colours of which are similar to those of
the _zikkurat_ of Khorsabad. There were, according to him, seven
concentric enclosures, the most spacious being as large as Athens, while
the battlements of each enclosure rose higher than those outside them.
“The battlements of the first wall are of white stone; those of the
second of black stone; those of the fourth blue; those of the fifth
vermilion.... The two last walls are plated, the one with silver, the
other with gold.”

[Illustration: Fig. 53.--The staged tower of Khorsabad (restoration by
V. Place).]

The explorers of Mugheir thought that they recognised, in spite of the
bad state of the ruins, that the _zikkurat_ of Ur was constructed in
such a way that the stages did not rise exactly in the middle of the
square platform of the lower stage which served as their base; they were
nearer to one of the sides, so that they present on one side much
narrower terraces than on the other three. This observation is confirmed
by a bas-relief in the British Museum, unfortunately very rough, in
which, however, we distinguish clearly the greater width of the terraces
on one side and their corresponding narrowness on the other. On the
other hand the slope of each terrace proves that it ascended like a
screw, and that there was no staircase cut in each of the stages to put
them in communication with each other. This is, moreover, what is
observed at Khorsabad: the ascent to the summit of the ruins of the
fourth stage is by a quadrangular sloping path which mounts gently as it
winds round in a spiral form.

Diodorus Siculus informs us that the top of the staged towers was
occupied by statues, for which the zikkurat would only form a sort of
pedestal: “At the summit of the ascent,” he says, “Semiramis placed
three golden statues wrought with the hammer.” These statues were
perhaps in the interior of the sanctuary which generally crowned the
building; everything makes it probable also that little chapels were
constructed at each stage in the thickness of the structure, and that
each of them was consecrated to the stellar deity of whom the colour of
the stage was emblematic. The chapel on the summit was covered by a
gilded cupola, which glittered under the glorious sunlight of the pure
eastern sky, and dazzled all beholders. Nebuchadnezzar relates in his
inscriptions that he overlaid the dome of the sanctuary of Bel Marduk
“with plates of wrought gold so that it shone like the day.” Does not
Herodotus tell us that the last stage of the citadel of Ecbatana was
gilded? Finally, Taylor picked up among the ruins on the summit of the
_zikkurat_ at Abu Shahrein, a large quantity of thin plates of gold,
still furnished with the gilded nails, which had served to fix them to
the walls.

Besides these sanctuaries erected on the top of staged towers, in which
the priests passed the night in watching the courses of the stars, there
were other temples not provided with similar basements. Thus, on a
bas-relief from the palace of Sargon, we see a representation of the
pillage of the temple of the god Haldia at Musasir, in Armenia (fig.
54). This sanctuary, built upon a terrace like that of a palace, has a
façade decorated with a triangular pediment, like a Greek temple.
Instead of a portico with columns to support the pediment, there are
thick pilasters to the number of six, adorned at intervals with
projecting horizontal lines, and with disks, which are seen upon the
façade also, and may be taken for votive bucklers. Between the two
middle pilasters is the door of the temple, the opening of which is
enclosed by an architrave in stone; on each side of the door and of the
same height as it, are two colossal genii in human form, carved in stone
and holding lances, the points of which rise even higher than the
pillars; behind them are lions; lastly, some distance in front of the
door, two gigantic basins, probably of bronze, resting on tripods,
recall the great vessel found before the façade of the palace of Tello,
the brazen sea in the temple of Solomon, the vase from the temple of
Amathus: they were basins for lustral water.

[Illustration: Fig. 54.--Temple of the god Haldia (after a bas-relief at
Khorsabad, Botta, pl. 141).]

The description given by Herodotus and the author of Bel and the Dragon
of the famous temple of Bel-Marduk, in Babylon, acquaints us somewhat
closely with the interior arrangement of the chapel which crowned the
_zikkurat_. There was nothing, Herodotus relates, in the way of
furniture but a bed and a golden table; the walls were panelled with
plates of gold, silver, and ivory. The evidence of the Greek historian
is confirmed by the text of the cuneiform inscriptions: “I conceived the
idea,” says Nebuchadnezzar, “of restoring E-saggil, the temple of
Marduk. I had the tallest cedars brought from Lebanon; the sanctuary of
E-kua, in which the god dwells, was covered with cedar beams and
overlaid with gold and silver.” Elsewhere relating the construction of
the tower of Borsippa, where stood the temple of E-zida consecrated to
the god Nebo, the same prince expresses himself as follows: “In the
middle of Borsippa I rebuilt E-zida, the eternal house. I raised it to
the highest degree of magnificence with gold, silver, other metals,
stone, enamelled bricks, beams of pine and cedar wood. I covered with
gold the wood of Nebo’s resting-place. The posts of the door of oracles
were plated with silver. I encrusted with ivory the posts, the threshold
and the lintel of the door of the resting-place. I covered with silver
the cedar posts of the door of the women’s chamber.” On the golden table
in the temple of Marduk, Nebuchadnezzar lays, as he recounts himself,
offerings of every kind: honey, cream, milk, refined oil; to draw upon
himself heavenly blessings he pours out great draughts of the wine of
different countries into the goblet of Marduk, and Zarpanit the
Babylonian Astarte.[32]


In his description of Babylon, as Nebuchadnezzar and the kings of his
dynasty made it, Herodotus expresses himself as follows: “This city,
situated in a vast plain, forms a perfect square of which each side is
120 stadia long, so that the circumference is 480 stadia.” Pausanias
says that Babylon was the greatest city that the sun had ever seen in
his course; Aristotle seems to compare it to the Peloponnese in
size.[33] Classical authors also assign to the walls of the Chaldæan
capital a height of 200 royal cubits (342 ft.) and a thickness of 85 ft.
They are said to be pierced by a hundred gates, flanked by two hundred
and fifty towers and protected by a large moat, into which the waters of
the Euphrates were turned. The exactness of these descriptions, which at
first might seem hyperbolical, has been confirmed, as far as the
thickness of the walls is concerned, by the excavations at Khorsabad,
the ramparts of which are 78 ft. and even 90 ft. thick where they are
furnished with bastions. The extent of the city itself was verified on
the spot between 1852 and 1854 by the French expedition to Mesopotamia.
The great enclosure of Babylon, that is to say, the enlarged Babylon of
Nebuchadnezzar, according to M. Oppert, is 199 square miles in
area--that is to say, seven times the extent of the fortified enclosure

[Illustration: Fig. 55.--Walls of Babylon (British Museum).]

Paris. A raised road, 196 ft. broad, ran along the interior of this
rampart, and separated it from the interior wall, itself four times as
long as the circumference of Paris; the two concentric walls bear in the
cuneiform texts the names of Imgur Bel and Nimitti Bel. A view of the
walls of Babylon seems to be given in one of the bas-reliefs from
Kouyunjik, which represent the campaign of Assurbanipal against his
brother Samas-sum-ukin, king of Babylon (B.C. 651-648). Nebuchadnezzar
says that his own father Nabopolassar began to build the walls, and that
he himself finished them; but this does not mean that the earlier city,
called by Herodotus the Royal City, was not surrounded, as in the
bas-relief, by a double wall like the later. Diodorus says that
Semiramis surrounded the western part of the city with three walls, and
two of these are identified by M. Oppert.[34] Fifty principal streets,
twenty-five of which were parallel to the Euphrates, and twenty-five at
right angles to it, leading to the hundred gates, divided the city into
regular squares; a single bridge, formed of wooden planks resting on
stone piles, was thrown across the Euphrates, which cut the city in two
diagonally. The limits of the wall of Nineveh are not yet exactly known;
but the testimony of the Bible gives us reason to believe that this city
scarcely yielded in point of size to Babylon. The best mode of
reconciling the statements of modern explorers with those of the Book of
Jonah and the historian Ctesias, is, perhaps, to adopt the suggestion of
Schrader,[35] and to suppose that “the Great City” of Genesis x. 12 was
a group composed of the four towns there enumerated, of which Nineveh
proper was the chief, and gave its name to the whole group.

[Illustration: Fig. 56.--Chaldæan plan of a fortress.]

In the absence of textual evidence, the very sculptures of the Assyrians
place before our eyes numerous fortresses in plan or in a bird’s-eye
view. One of the statues from Tello represents the patesi Gudea as an
architect, holding on his knees a tablet on which is carved in outline
the plan of a stronghold (fig. 56). There are six gates flanked by
towers, and the walls are surmounted by battlements. In all the
bas-reliefs in which sieges are represented, the fortress is seen to be
composed of several concentric walls supported by towers of greater
elevation than the rampart from which they project, and surmounted by
denticulated battlements (figs. 58 and 74), which stand out on corbels
beyond the perpendicular surface of the wall.

[Illustration: Fig. 57.--Assyrian plan of a fortress (from a bas-relief
in the British Museum).]

Might we not imagine ourselves in presence of a naïve miniature of the
middle ages, representing the siege of a feudal castle, when we examine
in the galleries of our museums these Assyrian bas-reliefs, on which are
carved the sieges of fortresses, which to defend themselves against
battering-rams, arrows, and projectiles of all sorts, are provided with
redans and round towers, battlemented pierced with loopholes, and
furnished with a system of defence which looks like _ourdeys_ and
machicolations? As in the middle ages, a gate is never opened in the
wall of a fortified enclosure without being provided with a drawbridge,
sheltered by two strong towers, and defended by a projecting structure
composed of another rampart and two new bastions. The gate is the weak
point; it is the flaw in the cuirass, the natural breach by which the
enemy might enter: every system of defence is there ingeniously
accumulated, and the walls are thicker at that point. These tall towers,
these thick walls were guarded by bodies

[Illustration: Fig. 58.--Siege of a fortress (from a bas-relief in the
British Museum).]

of soldiers always on the look-out, who found here a pleasant shade to
protect them from a scorching sun, to which even the inhabitants of the
city found their way when they met to discuss their affairs or to
converse upon the news of the day. On each side of these long passages
recesses were made, and even actual halls for the guards. Several of the
dramas related in the Biblical books are developed in such places, under
such vaults. The present state of one of the entrances of Khorsabad
enables us to ascertain that the custom of assembling at the city gate
goes back to the time of the Chaldæo-Assyrians. This gate was still
surmounted by its semicircular arch decorated with an archivolt in
enamelled bricks. The structure formed a projection of 82 feet from the
wall; built on a rectangular plan, it was itself pierced by an opening
defended by two projecting bastions. After passing through this first
structure, a court was reached which gave access to the opening

[Illustration: Fig. 59.--Plan of a gate at Khorsabad (after Place, pl.

[Illustration: Fig. 60.--Gate of Khorsabad (restoration by Place, pl.

in the rampart proper flanked by two square towers. Through this gate a
second court was reached, separated again from a third court by a new
opening; lastly, the wall at the bottom of this third court had again an
aperture which gave access to the town. Thus it was necessary to pass
successively through four doors to penetrate into Dur-Sarrukin, and a
structure, symmetrical with that on the outside, projected from the wall
into the interior of the fortress. These massive structures formed by
themselves a real stronghold, 22,965 feet square, with vaulted passages
and galleries, the chief of which is not less than 278 ft. long. It is
clear that such buildings, which would invariably serve as
meeting-places, form fresh and cool retreats in countries where the heat
is such that it was impossible to gather in the Forum or in the Agora,
as at Rome or Athens.




The brilliant period of Chaldæan statuary, which reached the apogee of
its development in the monuments of Tello, came to an end with the fall
of the petty principalities which flourished in Lower Mesopotamia before
the Ninevite supremacy. Chaldæan statuary did not emigrate to Assyria
with the other arts, or rather the Assyrians disdained to receive it.
The principal cause which prevented this art from developing among the
Ninevites was the nearness of the alabaster quarries, and the absence of
marble, diorite, porphyry and other kinds of stone which allow of being
carved in the round. Alabaster can only be hewn in thin, flat pieces,
which, for this reason, lend themselves admirably to be carved in
bas-relief, but are unsuitable for statuary. An alabaster statue of
ordinary human proportions would be extremely fragile, and would run the
risk of crumbling away in flakes, at any rate in the thinnest parts,
such as the feet and hands. On the other hand, the abundance of
alabaster in the neighbourhood of Nineveh caused the Assyrians to
dispense with the importation from distant countries, at great cost, of
blocks of diorite and porphyry like those which the Chaldæans, who
possessed neither alabaster nor any other stone, were obliged to procure
at any price. At least we must admit that up to the present time the
excavations in Assyria have scarcely yielded to our curiosity anything
that can enable us to assert that statuary flourished in Northern
Mesopotamia. On the contrary, the few Assyrian statues that have come
down to us prove the poverty and neglected condition of this branch of
sculpture. The principal objects that can be cited are two statues of
the god Nebo at the British Museum, a statue of the King Assur-nasir-pal
(B.C. 882-857), and two other figures of priests which took the place of
Caryatids at Khorsabad.

[Illustration: Fig. 61.--Statue of Assur-nasir-pal (British Museum).]

The statue of Assur-nasir-pal represents this king dressed in a long
robe without folds and devoid of ornament, which almost gives him the
appearance of a cylindrical Terminus. His beard and hair lie close to
his head and neck, and in each part it is evident that the artist,
through want of skill or on account of the difficulties he felt in
dealing with the block which he had to fashion, did not dare to
attribute to the limbs a suppleness and ease that would have damaged
their solidity, nor to give to the beard and the delicate parts of his
work a finish which would have run the risk of splitting the stone.

The fringes of the robe are only indicated by slight strokes of the
burin; the arms are united to the bust, and so are the sceptre and the
crook which the monarch holds in his hands.

[Illustration: Fig. 62.--Statue in the hareem at Khorsabad (after

The Atlantes found in front of the enamelled walls of the hareem at
Khorsabad seem to have been employed in the structure as true columns;
on their head-dress they support a square plinth which bears witness to
their architectural function; their figures are of more than human
stature. From the sacred vase which they press reverently to their
breast, and which we have already seen in Chaldæa, flow four streams,
which recall the four rivers of Paradise in Genesis; two of these liquid
jets fall directly upon their feet, while the two others, rising over
their shoulders, fall down their back to their feet in slightly
undulating bands.[36]

The scenes upon the bas-reliefs in the interior of the palace chambers
sometimes represent processions in which deities, standing or seated,
are carried upon litters by priests or slaves (fig. 114): so there were
statues at Nineveh. It is doubtful, however, whether these discoveries
give any other impression of Assyrian statuary than that which we have

[Illustration: Fig. 63.--Stela of Samsi-Rammanu (British Museum).]

Instead of statues, the Assyrians often erected stelæ and obelisks--a
kind of monument which holds, so to speak, the middle place between
statues and bas-reliefs. Among the stelæ the most finished type is that
of King Samsi-Rammanu III. (B.C. 822--809). It is a monolith of slightly
trapezoidal form, rounded in the upper part. The sides are covered with
a cuneiform inscription which relates year by year the military exploits
of the prince. On the anterior surface, surrounded by a border which
forms a frame, the king, in high relief and seen in profile, stands in
adoration before the planetary symbols. It is clear at the first glance
that the artist has been bolder than he would have been in dealing with
a statue in the round. The feet and arms are freer and not held so
closely to the figure; far from treating the details of the costume
roughly, he takes pleasure, on the contrary, in laying exaggerated
stress upon them.

In the British Museum are small stelæ of a later date, bearing figures
of Assur-bani-pal (B.C. 668-666). They show the king holding a basket
upon his head, in the same attitude as the early Canephorœ of Chaldæa
(see above, p. 37, fig. 25).

[Illustration: Fig. 64.--Stela of Assur-bani-pal (British Museum).]

[Illustration: Fig. 65.--Obelisk of Shalmaneser (British Museum).]

Assyrian obelisks, which have nothing in common with the gigantic
Egyptian monoliths to which this name is given, are, like the stelæ,
large boundary stones set up in honour of the exploits of some prince,
sometimes on the very field of battle, or on the ruins of a conquered
town. The most complete and best preserved of these monuments is the
obelisk of Shalmaneser III. (B.C. 857-822) found at Nimroud. This is a
monolith scarcely more than 6½ feet high; it is a square pillar,
slightly pyramidal in form. The upper part is arranged in steps which
recede from one another on all sides; the summit forms a platform, and
has nothing to surmount it: perhaps a statuette of the king or his
favourite deity formerly stood there. The four faces of the obelisk are
covered with inscriptions and bas-reliefs arranged in rows one above the
other. The lower part, which is entirely bare, must have been buried up
to a certain point in the ground.

As we see, the stelæ and obelisks, which take the place of statues, are
in a technical point of view derived from the bas-reliefs. If any
Assyrian statues are brought us by future discoveries, they will always
be few in number, and poor and timid in style; there is nothing among
them to be compared to the Chaldæan statues, and above all nothing to be
placed side by side with the innumerable Egyptian statues, the style of
which sometimes almost attains to the perfection of Greek art; Assyria
also was destined to approach this ideal, but only in bas-relief.

Such was the logical consequence of the natural difference of the
environments in which the empires of Egypt and Assyria, those two poles
around which the whole of the ancient East gravitates, were evolved. On
the banks of the Nile, stone suited for sculpture exists in profusion,
and as there was abundant material in the hands of the artist, he was
able to devote himself to incessant experiments, essays and trials,
which, progressively repeated from generation to generation, only
stopped at the threshold of Greek art. In Mesopotamia there was little
or no stone to carve; it was only rarely and at great expense that
precious blocks were brought with much trouble from a long distance, and
these were too dear and too scarce to allow of numerous experiments.


To conceal the poverty of the material of their brick or clay
structures, the Assyrians, as we have said, conceived the idea of lining
the walls with thin slabs of limestone or gypseous alabaster of a
yellowish shade, which they extracted at small expense from the
neighbouring mountains of Nineveh. These slabs could be sculptured and
polished with marvellous ease.

[Illustration: Fig. 66.--Assur-nasir-pal sacrificing a bull (Bas-relief
in the British Museum).]

The most ancient bas-reliefs that the excavations in Assyria have
brought to light come from the palace of Assur-nasir-pal (B.C. 882-857)
at Calah (Nimroud). What a distance there is between this epoch and that
of the ruins of Tello! But from the reign of this prince to the fall of
Nineveh, towards the end of the seventh century--that is to say, during
three centuries--there is an abundance of documents for the history of
sculpture; they have been disinterred principally from the palaces of
Assur-nasir-pal, Shalmaneser, Samsi-Rammanu, Rammanu-nirari,
Tiglath-Pileser, Sargon, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal,--palaces
which these princes had built in order to immortalise their fame, and
the walls of which they covered with the scenes of their valour and the
narrative of their exploits.

[Illustration: Fig. 67.--Genius with the beak of an eagle (Bas-relief at
the Louvre).]

[Illustration: Fig. 68.--Two-winged genius (Bas-relief at the British

Besides the interior walls of the chambers, no bas-reliefs were found in
the palaces except on the principal façade. These sculptures on the
façade have peculiar characteristics upon which we must lay stress. In
the first place, they are exclusively devoted to religious and
mythological subjects: not the smallest allusion is found to the
exploits of the prince. They represent especially divine heroes, winged
genii with human bodies and eagles’ claws and beaks, winged lions and
bulls which guard the royal residence and defend the approaches to it,
whether against evil spirits or against

[Illustration: Fig. 69.--Four-winged genius, Khorsabad (Louvre, 9 ft. 10
in. high).]

foreign invasion. Accordingly the figures in these exterior sculptures
are of colossal proportions, as it is fitting for gods and heroes. There
was also a reason drawn from the laws of perspective in this enlargement
of the figures, since the façade of the palace was intended to be seen
at a greater distance. The winged bulls at the Louvre, which come from
Khorsabad, are from 13 ft. to 16 ft. high. The groups which represent
Izdubar, the Assyrian Hercules, strangling a lion under his arm, are as
much as 19½ ft. The Assyrians multiplied their winged bulls at the
entrance of the doors. Twenty-six pairs of them were found in the palace
of Sargon, and as many as ten in a single façade of the palace of
Sennacherib. Assyrian texts speak of them as _kirubi_ (cherubim?) or
_sedi_ (genii). The considerable projection of their figures from the
walls makes them partake of the bas-relief and of the statue in the
round at the same time. Some of these bulls have a relief of about 8
in.; placed at the corner of the doors to support the archivolt, they
seemed, like Atlas upholding the world, to bear upon their heads the
whole mass of the building. Carved on two sides, they are like statues
half-buried in the thickness of the wall. They were generally arranged
in fours, two being on the plane of the wall, facing one another on each
side of the door, and the other two facing the visitor as he entered,
while their heads stood out from the façade and their hinder parts
remained inside the passage. The visitor arriving from without saw
before him at once the bodies of the first two in profile and the full
face of the two others. Before the building or within the doorway he
still saw at the same time full faces and bodies in profile. By an
illusion, he seemed to behold continually, and in every position, the
whole of a bearded monster, with his thick mane on his chest, his neck
furnished with tufts of hair, his legs, in which the muscles, speaking
emblems of material strength, are powerfully marked, his wings formed of
rows of plumes, and reaching, like gigantic fans, as high as the

[Illustration: Fig. 70.--Winged and human-headed lion (British Museum).]

Except in the palace of Sennacherib, these winged bulls, in order that
the illusion may be more complete, are represented with five legs; two
hind legs and three fore legs, of which two are straight and one is
bent. The object of this trick was always to show four legs, whatever
might be the position of the spectator. In fact, standing before the
beast, the spectator sees his two fore legs; on the side, one of these
two being no longer visible, the artist has replaced it by a third which
is seen in profile in the background. This quaint device of the Assyrian
sculptor is never met with in Egypt.

[Illustration: Fig. 71.--Front face of a winged bull from Khorsabad

The philosophical idea expressed in these bulls and lions, these
impassible and majestic sentinels, is that of physical strength, calm
and sure of itself; it is the conception of the Egyptian sphinxes and of
the Græco-Roman Hercules in repose, with a half-smile upon his face.
Only, while in the Greek Hercules the human element alone comes in, and
in the Egyptian Sphinx there are only two elements, the man and the
lion, four, and even more, are found in the Assyrian _Kirubu_: the man,
the bull, the lion, and the eagle. The artist’s chief merit is that he
was able to give fair proportions to this fantastic beast, and to
combine these various elements which he borrowed from nature, so as to
create a figure of harmonious forms, in which nothing shocks the taste,
and the expression of which is noble, majestic, and natural. To us,
though we are the children of another civilisation, nothing seems
grotesque or deformed in these fine and vigorous creations of the
Assyrian genius, which could, as skilfully as the Egyptian genius,
associate the human form with the animal form in the symbolic
representation of deity and of supernatural beings. It is on the banks
of the Tigris that we find the prototypes of the Loves, the Centaurs,
the Chimæras, the Sphinxes, the Gryphons, the Pegasi, the Hippocampi of
Greek art.

[Illustration: Fig. 72.--Battle scene (Bas-relief from Nimroud, British

It has been calculated that the series of bas-reliefs from the halls of
Sargon’s palace at Khorsabad, placed end to end, would form a line a
mile and a half long. Those who have visited the British Museum will
remember the Nimroud and Kouyunjik galleries, and the Assyrian Basement,
each one of which is larger than the Assyrian gallery at the Louvre.
What a quantity of material for writing the history of Assyrian
sculpture during three centuries is here in our hands! In the interval
between every campaign, that is to say, between two springtides, the
king had bas-reliefs sculptured to exhibit before men’s eyes his prowess
in the chase or in war, and the manifold episodes of official life.
Taken as a whole, the sculptures in the interior of the palaces are
always in honour of the prince. Everything is for the king, who
symbolizes the life of his whole people; he does everything, and nothing
is accomplished except by his hands or by his orders; nowhere is the
ferocious egotism of Eastern monarchs more conspicuous than in these
bas-reliefs. Egyptian sculptures often contain scenes of civil life from
which the Pharaoh is excluded: agricultural labour, games, festivals,
public markets, and many other episodes in the existence of the ancient
Egyptian Fellaheen. In Assyria we find nothing of this sort; the
speaking walls repeat, without a moment’s pause, the warlike chronicle
of the kings.

[Illustration: Fig. 73.--The Assyrian army in a mountainous country
(Bas-relief from Nimroud, British Museum).]

This exclusively official side of the Ninevite sculptures compelled art
to confine itself to abstract types, created once for all, which,
multiplied to satiety, produce a certain fatigue in our minds. There is
no more

[Illustration: Fig. 74.--Siege of a fortress (Bas-relief from Khorsabad,

proportion or scale in the Assyrian bas-reliefs than among the Egyptians
or the Chinese; perspective is absent, or rather the artists made vain
efforts to calculate and reproduce its effects. Men are taller than the
chariots that they mount and the horses which draw them; they even
overtop the fortresses that they besiege. As in Egypt, the king is
always represented as taller than his ministers, and in general the
Assyrians are taller than their enemies. Greek heroes, in classical art,
are also often taller than the warriors who surround them; the same
facts have been remarked in Chinese art. The practice is naïve, but it
is common to all arts and easily explained by the absence of
perspective. At the present day, when our artists can at their pleasure
arrange several planes in their pictures, and produce distances and
backgrounds in the scenes which they wish to render, they are satisfied
to make the important scene stand out and place the principal actors in
the foreground. Before perspective was understood and many planes could
thus be created, there was no means of bringing out the principal actors
except the device of a disproportionate enlargement.

Generally speaking, the Assyrian artist shows a fondness for picturesque
spots, mountains, and rivers. But he renders them with the strangest
errors in the relative proportions of the objects: for instance, the
fish among the waves are as large as the boats; the birds in the forests
are as large as the trees or the hunters; the vultures on the field of
battle are as big as the horses.

[Illustration: Fig. 75.--Navigation scene (Bas-relief from Khorsabad,

When the artist wishes to reproduce the human countenance, he always
places the eye in full, even when the face is in profile. When the
sculptor is obliged to represent his figures in full face, or in any
other attitude than the simple profile, he is much embarrassed, and
shows his hesitation and his incapacity; unable to foreshorten the
feet, he draws them entirely in profile, while the whole of the upper
portion of the body is in full face--an error which gives an appearance
of dislocation to the figure. He turns the heads round as if they were
put on the wrong way; the hands present the same deformity: it might
sometimes be supposed that the artist has put them on backwards.

The principal efforts of the sculptor were aimed at the head, the legs,
and the arms. He makes the muscles stand out enormously, while they are
not always in their proper anatomical position. Bold curves form the
outline of the knee-cap and mark the leg-muscles and the biceps; the
feet and hands are not only clearly carved out, but chiselled to an
excessive depth. The Assyrians scarcely knew more than two types of the
human head, which they constantly reproduce: the bearded head and the
beardless head. An attempt may be made, however, to establish more exact
definitions and distinctions. The bearded head may wear its hair curled
in very short ringlets, or else the beard and the hair may be twisted in
parallel and symmetrical tresses: this last form is reserved for figures
of gods, heroes, kings, the chief functionaries of the court, and
soldiers. The beardless heads must be recognised as the type set apart
to represent eunuchs. These personages, some of whom played an important
part at court, like the Kislar-Agha, or chief of the black eunuchs at
Constantinople, are characterised by their fleshy and sensual

Among the works of Chaldæan and Egyptian art there are faces which
belong to old men, to young men, and to children. In Assyria it may be
said that the faces never change, or rather three or four fixed types
are exclusively met with: kings, officers, slaves, and even gods, have
all the same physiognomy, which belongs to the age between youth and
maturity. When children are met with, they have a prematurely old
appearance, and their stature alone distinguishes them. The Ninevite
artists rarely represented women, and when they did so proved their
absolute inexperience. Their veiled women have vulgar features, from
which all ideas of physical beauty are banished. Examine the scene in
which King Assurbanipal and one of his wives are drinking from goblets
(fig. 77). The face of the queen is almost masculine in appearance; even
her hair is dressed like that of men; she wears a peculiar diadem, and
is draped in sumptuous robes, embroidered and enriched with jewels.

[Illustration: Fig. 76.--Eunuchs (Bas-relief from Khorsabad, Louvre).]

The Assyrian sculptor had not the skill to draw a true portrait and to
study individual likeness, except perhaps in certain royal heads.[37]
Nor had he the skill

[Illustration: Fig. 77.--Assurbanipal and his queen (Bas-relief from
Kouyunjik, British Museum).]

to give to the types which he created the least expression, betraying
any motion whatever of joy or sadness: his figures remain impassive,
whether taking part in joyous banquets, in the excitement of hunting, in
battle, or even amidst the most atrocious tortures. The countenance of
the Assyrian is always imperturbable, never laughs and never weeps; the
gestures of his arms alone are designed to express and interpret his
impressions. The hand raised and drawn back to the height of the nape of
the neck is a sign of introduction or of an appeal; the hand raised in
front of the mouth is a sign of mourning and of violent grief; the
hands held in such a way that one grasps the wrist of the other, make a
gesture which implies an acknowledgment of servitude and absolute
submission, due only to the sovereign or to the gods. Assyrians are
sometimes seen in the act of prayer, raising one hand as high as the
face, while the other hangs loosely by the side; but some adopt the
Christian posture in prayer, raising their two hands and pressing the
palms against one another.

[Illustration: Fig. 78.--Jewish type, from a bas-relief from the palace
of Sennacherib (British Museum).]

As the bas-reliefs of the Ninevite palaces are specially devoted to the
representation of the military campaigns of the kings against foreign
nations, the artist has often been led to draw men or women of distant
countries, distinguished from the Assyrians by their national costume or
by certain ethnographical characteristics. It is sometimes possible to
understand these distinctions between Assyrians and foreigners in the
sculptures: for instance, the Jewish type could scarcely be better
expressed at the present day than it is in the figure of one of the
captives coming to make their submission to King Sennacherib in his camp
before the walls of Lachish (fig. 78).

Moreover, with regard to the human form, the scope of Assyrian sculpture
was greatly limited in

[Illustration: Fig. 79.--Assurbanipal in his chariot (Bas-relief from
Kouyunjik, Louvre).]

consequence of the false modesty of the East, which was in existence in
ancient times as it is in our own day among the Arabs, and prevented
the artist from studying the human frame in the nude and in the living
model. The Assyrian, like the Arab, is always draped in his thick
burnoos, and this fashion, observed with religious strictness,
contributed to no small extent to the sudden arrest of the progress of
art. The long linen tunic, garnished with embroideries, only allows the
head, feet and fore-arm to be seen; the working dress of the slaves, or
sometimes the tunic of the soldiers, descends no further than the knee;
the large fringed shawl, when it is worn, envelops the body like the
Arab burnoos and the Roman toga.

[Illustration: Fig. 80.--Sargon (Bas-relief from Khorsabad, Louvre).]

The Assyrian, therefore, in consequence of a Semitic prejudice, could
never express natural and ideal beauty: herein lies his inferiority in
comparison with the Egyptian sculptor; we know from thousands of
examples how the artists of Thebes or Memphis treated the human torso,
and several of their statues and even of their bas-reliefs are
masterpieces. Rarely has the Ninevite sculptor ventured to represent the
human form in the state of nudity, except in the case of the goddess
Istar, and in that of a few figures of slaves or of corpses lying on the
battle-field; and these exceptional cases betray his complete want of

He tried to remedy the defect which we have just indicated by striving
after perfection in details. No art has treated with greater
complaisance and refinement all the features of the costume, not
forgetting a single tress of the hair or a single fringe in the drapery.
Here is, for instance, a bas-relief from Khorsabad (fig. 80), which
represents Sargon attended by an eunuch. Observe with what inimitable
perfection the embroidery of the tiara, of the mantle decorated with
rosettes, and of the robe with its elegant diaper pattern is rendered;
the silky softness of the fringes in the eunuch’s dress is almost to be
felt. The hands and feet, beard and hair, of the two figures, are
treated with the delicacy of a cameo. Secondary matters thus assume an
exaggerated importance detrimental to the effect of the whole; the
muscles are so strongly marked that they become monstrous; the relative
proportions of the different parts of the body are no longer conformed
to nature. In this respect again Assyrian sculpture remains greatly
inferior to its rival on the banks of the Nile. It cannot be too often
repeated that the minute study of detail and devotion to the infinitely
little ruined Assyrian art by helping to make it forget the general
features of the work; the sculptor, led astray by this false object,
looked at his figures too closely, omitting to improve their proportions
and to give them more suppleness, life, and movement; even when most
finished, they always give us an impression of geometrical stiffness.

[Illustration: Fig. 81.--Wounded lioness (Bas-relief from Kouyunjik,
British Museum).]

If the direct study of bodily forms was neglected by the Assyrian artist
in the case of human beings, it was not so in the case of animals.
Accordingly Ninevite sculpture shows itself to far greater advantage in
the representation of the animals of different kinds found in
Mesopotamia. In this province it may claim a considerable superiority
over Egyptian art, and reaches, in the time of Assurbanipal, that is to
say, at the moment before the fall of Nineveh, a degree of perfection
which may sustain comparison with the finest creations of Hellenic art.
Its masterpiece is the figure of a lioness succumbing to the shafts of
the hunters, from the palace of Assurbanipal at Kouyunjik. Her spinal
column is broken by an arrow which pierces it through; the blood gushes
in streams from the wound, but though on the point of expiring, the
savage beast makes a heroic effort to raise herself upon her forelegs
and to utter a last roar. In order to render this dramatic attitude with
so much truth, the artists must often have followed the royal hunting
expeditions and witnessed terrible scenes in the deserts where the wild
beasts had their haunts. Other bas-reliefs show us, with an almost
equally successful execution, lions springing on to the royal chariot,
dashing boldly towards the boats which plough the waters of the river,
or, on the other hand, lying carelessly asleep on the plain, and lazily
stretching out their limbs, the modelling of which is free and truthful.

[Illustration: Fig. 82.--Slaves carrying a lion and birds. Bas-relief
from Khorsabad (after Place).]

Next to the lion, the Assyrian artist takes the greatest pleasure in
representing the horse. In one scene it is the wild horse, starting and
bounding as he is caught by the lasso of the hunters; in another it is
the war-horse, dashing at full gallop towards the enemy, and ridden by a
warrior who draws his bow or brandishes his lance; or again it is the
draught-horse, harnessed to the royal chariot, trampling corpses under
his feet, or drawing the heavy waggons in which the booty from the
enemy’s country is transported into Assyria. Such was the skill of the
artist, that naturalists have been able to decide from the study of the
bas-reliefs what breeds of horses were produced in Assyria. The dog, the
goat and the sheep, the ibex and the wild boar, the bison and the wild
ass, the deer and the gazelle, the camel and the dromedary, are also
among the animals which frequently occur in the bas-reliefs designed to
perpetuate the memory of particularly successful hunting expeditions,
or of the capture of herds belonging to a vanquished people. The artist
took pleasure in placing them in the most fanciful attitudes, sometimes
with the happiest effect. It was also his delight to introduce in
procession the figures of foreign animals, sent to the King of Assyria
by tributary nations, such as the elephant, the ape, and the rhinoceros.
But the rarity of such animals in Mesopotamia explains the peculiar
clumsiness of the Assyrian sculptor in the reproduction of them. Here
are apes treated with an almost grotesque _naïveté_; they look like men
disguised in the skins of animals, and trying to walk on all fours (fig.

[Illustration: Fig. 83.--Envoy bringing apes as tribute (Bas-relief from
Nimroud, British Museum).]

Among birds we find the eagle, the vulture and the gerfalcon hovering
heavily and ungracefully over the battlefields, though the anatomical
details of these birds are sometimes executed with skill.[38] The
ostrich, a sacred bird, appears on cylinders and among the embroidered
designs on official robes. Locusts, that plague of the whole East,
figure in the character of offerings to the gods, and, no doubt,
represent legions of evil spirits. In the rivers eels, crabs, and fish
are placed. In the field, on the mountains, or on the river-banks we
find palms and trees of every species, onions, ears of corn,
lotus-flowers, vines, marsh-plants. But if the scrupulous imitation of
nature sometimes leaves nothing to be desired in these sculptured forms,
ignorance of the laws of perspective has forced the artist to employ
devices of childish simplicity. Thus, to indicate that trees grow on
each side of a stream, he has placed them upright on the further bank,
and stem downwards on the nearer.

In the same way, when he wishes, for instance, to show us what passes
within the enclosure of a fortress (see fig. 57), he is reduced to
display it on the ground with the bastions and battlements in profile
around it, turned outward like the points of a coronet; at the same time
he arranges all his scenes within this enclosure in divisions one above
the other, without regard for the laws of proportion, and without even
taking the trouble to contain himself, as he has done with regard to the
enclosure, within the spaces marked out by radii starting from the
centre. By a further neglect of perspective, in the representation of an
ox or other horned animal, he places the horn in profile projecting
forwards from the head.

Besides the bas-reliefs which were displayed upon the walls of the
palace-chambers, there were secondary pieces of sculpture in which the
originality of the Assyrian genius comes to light. A notable example is
found in the decoration of the thresholds of the palaces, which were
carved in such a way that they looked like rich carpets. One of the most
remarkable of these is a large slab of gypsum found at Kouyunjik, (fig.
84), in which the lotus or tulip-flower is combined with rosettes, open
daisies and geometrical designs most harmonious in effect; nothing more
elegant in decorative sculpture has ever been conceived.

To sum up, Assyrian sculpture triumphs in the bas-relief, and in the
patient and minute labour of ornamental design. If the work of the
Ninevite chisel is compared to that of the Greeks in the archaic period,
down to the appearance of the Æginetan school, a surprising affinity
will be observed between them. The stela of Aristion, that primitive
Athenian bas-relief, known under the incorrect name of the _Warrior of
Marathon_, looks, at first sight, as if it had been taken from the walls
of Sargon’s or Sennacherib’s palace. At Khorsabad a cippus, acquired by
Victor Place, is adorned with parallel flutings terminating in a
hemisphere of elegant palmettes; it presents the appearance of a Greek

[Illustration: Fig. 84.--Fragment of threshold, Kouyunjik (British

If we compare the sculpture of Kouyunjik, Nimroud, Khorsabad and Kalah
Shergat with one another, we observe, beneath the general uniformity
that we have indicated, differences important enough to enable us to
characterise the progress of art during the three centuries before the
fall of Nineveh, and not simply

[Illustration: Fig. 85.--Slaves dragging a winged bull. Bas-relief from
Kouyunjik (British Museum).]

the result of the varying talent of the artists. We seem to be able to
distinguish in Assyrian art, as we learn to know it in the bas-reliefs,
three periods or three successive developments. Under Assur-nasir-pal
the figures are already bold and powerful, but thick-set, and they
appear in small numbers in the scenes represented; their motions are
sober, but full of truth. The artist has the singular habit, only
observed in Assyrian art, of covering a portion of his figures with long
inscriptions explaining the scenes which he intends to portray (see fig.
83); we have already seen that the Chaldæan statues of Gudea are covered
with inscriptions, and Herodotus’ statement[40] that the figures of
“Sesostris” in Ionia, doubtless the Hittite figures described below,
bore inscriptions across their breasts is probably based on a confusion
with the Assyrian figures in Syria and elsewhere. Under Sargon and
Sennacherib, the sculptors became more experienced and more ambitious.
In their works the figures are far more numerous, and concur more
visibly in a common action; they have more life and movement; the scenes
representing battles, hunting expeditions, the worship of the gods, or
slaves engaged in public works are more varied; the gestures of the
figures are more marked and more energetic, the muscles of the legs and
arms more deeply outlined; lastly, the human forms are no longer covered
with inscriptions; these are placed at the side, as explanatory legends.

[Illustration: Fig. 86.--Deer hunt. Bas-relief from Khorsabad (after

In the time of Assurbanipal, a more natural art, and one which conformed
more to the true principles of sculpture in bas-relief, came into being.
Instead of giants, we find on the contrary small figures forming a
series of pictures, containing the greatest variety of scene, and full
of freshness and action. This art reaches its apogee in the figure of
the lioness which we have cited (fig. 81). It must be added that all the
parts of the same bas-relief are seldom sculptured by the same artist,
and that figures of very unequal merit are met with. The master’s chisel
reserved for itself the principal personages, the royal train and the
officers who surrounded it; the disciples worked at the secondary
portions, the corpses of the enemy, the processions of prisoners, the
background of the landscape. Matters were not managed differently with
regard to the sculptures of the Parthenon.


The bricks which composed the structure of the walls in Chaldæan or
Assyrian edifices were nowhere visible. Above the slabs sculptured in
bas-relief and under the spring of the vaults a white stucco was
applied, made of plaster and lime, like that still used by the Orientals
to coat their houses; this custom explains the phrase “whited
sepulchres” in the Gospels. It was doubtless on a plaster of this nature
that the mysterious hand of which the Book of Daniel speaks traced out
Belshazzar’s sentence of condemnation on the night of the ill-famed
banquet: the sacred writer says that the hand wrote “on the plaster of
the wall.” This stucco was often decorated with paintings in distemper,
at any rate in the principal chambers, above the line of the

Modern explorers have collected some fragments of these frescoes or
decorative paintings; at Warka, among the ruins of the temple called
Wuswas, Loftus acquired some which belong to the remotest Chaldæan
period. At Khorsabad, V. Place found on some pieces of stucco elegant
rosettes formed by the application and juxtaposition of very decided
colours: white, yellow, green, red, and black. One of the most
remarkable examples of this painting is a border of bulls painted white
on a yellow ground, their form being relieved by a broad black outline
(fig. 87). Above is a row of blue battlements; below festoons of many
colours. The effect is harmonious, though the tints are flat, and in
spite of the absence of all modelling in the figures.[41]

[Illustration: Fig. 87.--Painting on plaster, Nimroud (after Layard).]

The application of stucco of different colours is particularly
conspicuous in the construction of the staged towers, the terraces of
which are, beginning from the lowest, white, black, red, yellow,
vermilion, silver and gold. In the interior of the chambers, to avoid
the disagreeable contrast between the uniform whiteness of the stone
bas-reliefs and the brilliancy of the many-coloured paintings, the
fashion was to colour the figures in the bas-reliefs themselves. Some
traces of colouring may still be recognised in the sculptures preserved
in our museums, and though it is true that they are being gradually
effaced, they were quite evident when the slabs were disinterred. The
beard, hair, weapons, and even the face and costume of the figures were
coloured in a similar manner to the paintings on plaster, so that this
painted stucco seemed to be the continuation of the bas-reliefs. There
are, for instance, evident traces of vermilion paint[42] on the figures
of demons in the Assyrian basement of the British Museum. The Assyrians
obeyed the same laws of æsthetics as the mediæval artists, who applied
polychrome colouring to their marble or stone statues, to bring them
into perfect harmony with the rich decoration which filled their
cathedrals from the floor to the keystone of the vault.

[Illustration: Fig. 88.--Portion of an enamelled archivolt at Khorsabad
(after V. Place).]

Enamelled brick played the same part as painting in fresco, only it was
more solid and was better able to resist the action of damp. In Chaldæa,
where it rains oftener than in Assyria, greater use has been made of
enamelled brick than in the latter country. The Ninevite artists
scarcely ever employed this method of decoration, except round the
principal doorways and to make an elegant border for the archivolt. The
bricks of brilliant colours, which are conspicuous from a distance, are
ornamented with floral designs and rosettes in exquisite taste. In
Sargon’s palace

[Illustration: Fig. 89.--Enamelled brick, Nimroud (after Layard).]

V. Place found nearly all the bricks of the archivolt of a door. Between
two borders of white rosettes is a broad frieze containing winged genii
and symbolical animals bearing the same attributes as the similar
figures in the bas-reliefs (fig. 88). On the lower plinth of the chief
door of the hareem there figured on the enamelled bricks a lion, an
eagle, a bull, and a plough; at the turn of the angle stood the king. At
Nimroud most remarkable enamelled fragments were also discovered
depicting portions of soldiers, weapons and chariots, and even parts of
inscriptions. On a single brick, found by Layard, a king is seen
offering a libation and attended by two warriors (fig. 89). But in
general each figure was made up of a large number of bricks, since the
restricted dimensions of a baked brick did not allow more than a part of
the subject to be placed upon it. The design was executed and the
vitrifiable colours applied before the baking; the artist had to
apportion to each brick the different parts of a figure in such a manner
that when they were put together there might be perfect agreement in the
lines which had to join; the marks to indicate their position, set on
the backs of the tiles, made this operation, which required great
technical skill, much easier. At Babylon, where enamelled brick played a
far greater part in the decoration of buildings than at Nineveh, the
device was adopted, in order to replace coloured sculpture in stone, of
stamping bricks with figures or parts of figures in relief. Imagine a
slab of soft clay several square yards in size; on the surface of this
the whole picture was modelled in relief as it might have been carved on
stone. When this operation was finished, the slab of clay was cut into
rectangular pieces of the size of ordinary bricks. These pieces,
provided with a mark to indicate their position, were then separately
coated with colour and varnish, and afterwards baked. Subsequently they
were joined together with bitumen, which formed a strong mortar, and in
this work of reconstructing the design the workman was guided by the
position-marks. This was the first origin of the mosaics in relief made
by the Greeks and Romans. The Achæmenid palaces of Susa were decorated
by the same methods, and Persian artists imitated the Babylonians in
their execution of the great brick bas-reliefs with which the expedition
conducted by M. Dieulafoy has enriched the Louvre.

Unfortunately only unimportant fragments of bricks modelled in relief
have been, down to the present time, brought to Europe. Travellers pick
up hundreds of fragments of flat enamelled bricks like those at Nineveh
on every mound which covers the ruins of Chaldæa. Those which have been
deposited in our museums represent floral designs, rosettes, genii,
animals, and human figures. Only skilfully directed excavations could
bring to light complete pictures and scenes analogous to those
displayed upon the walls of the Ninevite and Susian palaces. Diodorus,
following Ctesias, relates that at Babylon, on the walls of the palace
built by Nebuchadnezzar, but which he attributes to Semiramis, there
were scenes of every sort painted on brick. “Animals of every kind,” he
says, “were here to be seen, copied according to all the rules of art
with regard both to form and colour. The whole represented the hunting
of various animals, the dimensions of which exceeded four cubits. In the
midst was Semiramis on horseback, hurling a javelin at a panther, and
beside her, her husband Ninus striking with his lance a lion which he is
attacking at close quarters.” Berosus is no doubt speaking of enamelled
bricks in his description of the paintings in the Temple of Bel, in
which were seen “marvellous monsters of every sort presenting the
greatest variety of forms.” Lastly, the prophet Ezekiel, who lived at
Babylon, says, speaking of Jerusalem: “she saw men pourtrayed upon the
wall, the images of the Chaldæans pourtrayed with vermilion, girded with
girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all
of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of

The art of enamelling brick, handed down by the Babylonians to the
Persians of the Achæmenid period, long remained flourishing in the East.
The decoration of the mosques of Broussa, Tabriz, and Ispahan, which
excites the admiration of every traveller, is based on the same
principles as that of the Ninevite, Babylonian, and Susian palaces.
Only, instead of figures of living beings, which the Koran does not
tolerate, the enamelled tiles bear religious inscriptions in ornamental
Cufic characters, and elegant designs of flowers and trees. Every one
has had the opportunity of seeing specimens from the workshops which
were still flourishing in the last century in Asia Minor, and the
productions of which adorn the palaces and the richest mosques
of the Mussulman world. This art is directly derived from the
Chaldæo-Assyrians, and it is interesting to observe that their
successors, down to our own times, have not made the smallest progress
in it.




The causes which impeded the development of pottery in primitive Chaldæa
had the same unhappy influence on Assyrian pottery and on Chaldæan
pottery in the age of Nebuchadnezzar. Though a few terra-cottas are
fashioned with a certain elegance and present graceful features, their
walls are always extremely thick, on account of the friable nature of
the clay, and the types created by the modeller are totally wanting in
variety. Botta found under the pavement of the courtyards at Khorsabad
little cavities containing, besides cylinders and other amulets,
terra-cotta statuettes of talismanic character, intended to conjure and
drive away the infernal powers. “These statuettes,” says M. Heuzey, “are
designed with a remarkably sure hand, in grey clay, which is almost
crude, and pitted with small holes, as if it had been mixed with chopped
straw or hay, according to the process followed in the manufacture of
bricks.”[43] The example which we reproduce represents the hero Izdubar,
so often drawn upon the bas-reliefs and cylinders as he is here, that
is to say, with curled beard and long hair in ringlets. His countenance
is expressive, and shows signs of careful work. The same praise must be
given to the head of a fantastic animal, also found at Khorsabad (fig.
91); this head, in whitish clay, is covered with a glaze of a fine
bluish green, resembling, and perhaps imitated from, Egyptian pottery; a
similar figure of a monster roaring at winged genii appears among the
bronze monuments; in both cases the art is realistic, and has rendered
ugliness and ferocity with all the force of ideal expression.

[Illustration: Fig. 90.--Izdubar. Terra-cotta (Louvre).]

[Illustration: Fig. 91--Head of a monster. Terra-cotta (Louvre).]

The terra-cotta vases discovered during the excavations in Assyria no
doubt denote a real progress when compared with Chaldæan ceramics; but
they are still nothing but heavy amphoræ, with or without handles, with
a more or less elongated neck and a more or less broadened body, and
they could never be compared to any but the most archaic productions of
Greece. They are sometimes decorated with brown or yellowish paintings,
or with designs in relief, representing floral scrolls, geometrical
lines or diapers, but never with anything that reflects the beauty of
the Ninevite sculptures. Among them all there are no vases which formed
part of the luxuries of a refined civilisation, as the Greek vases did;
neither in Assyria nor in Chaldæa have any clay vessels been discovered
except vulgar jars and pots. This is, perhaps, the place to notice
fragments of two small circular vases of steatite or soapstone
discovered at Nimroud and Sherif Khan, near Kouyunjik. They are probably
of the age of the Sargonids, and are dedicated to certain deities. The
thin walls give these vessels almost the appearance of porcelain, of
which Layard supposed them to be, and the figures carved upon them in
relief, give them an artistic character which the Assyrians could never
impart to their pottery. One of the fragments is engraved by Layard.[44]

[Illustration: Fig. 92.--Tablet with figure of boar in relief (British

At Babylon, whither the seat of government was transferred after the
fall of Nineveh, the modellers seem to have made a great artistic
effort. Mr. Rassam obtained from the ruins of the southern capital a
small terra-cotta tablet, 1¾ in. by 2¾ in., on which the figure of a
boar, such as lived among the reeds and marshes of Mesopotamia, is
modelled in relief. The forms of the animal are here reproduced with all
the excellence of the later Assyrian artists, by Azaru, of the tribe
Esaggilai (doubtless connected with the great Chaldæan Temple), whose
name inscribed on the back adds to the interest of the little work.
Solid figurines have

[Illustration: Fig. 93.--The Divine Mother. Terra-cotta (Louvre).]

[Illustration: Fig. 94.--Istar. Terra-cotta (Louvre).]

been found in Chaldæa, like those in Assyria, moulded on one side only
in greenish clay, forming remarkable examples of Babylonian art. The
chronological position of these figurines is, however, difficult to
determine, but they seem to us to be, perhaps, contemporary with
Nebuchadnezzar. They represent priests or gods, standing upright in
their long robes, with their hands clasped in the attitude of respect;
women dressed in fringed garments, carrying a vase upon their breast;
nude goddesses, standing upright, and suckling the divine child. One of
these last (fig. 93) is, says M. Heuzey, “A purely Asiatic type, the
rather full forms of which are modelled with charming truth and rare
delicacy; I do not fear to describe it as a little wonder of its
kind.”[45] Another and commoner example is the goddess Istar, nude and
holding her hands against her breasts, adorned with bracelets and
necklaces, with her hair elaborately dressed: this naturalism and
immodest freedom in the representation of Istar form a contrast with the
ordinary habit of Chaldæo-Assyrian art. This series of figurines is
chronologically terminated by the statuettes of the Achæmenid or
Parthian epoch, modelled of the same clay, but showing all the
characteristics of decadence. The forms are less carefully studied;
sometimes Istar, the goddess of Erech, is represented in these figurines
of terra-cotta or alabaster, half-reclining on a banqueting couch, like
that described by Herodotus in the temple of Bel-Marduk at Babylon; her
head is often crowned with the crescent, her proper symbol, in the
centre of which a garnet or other sparkling stone is set. In short,
these coarse images of the voluptuous goddess condemn at once the art
and the manners of the people who produced them.


The art of working in metals, which was already so highly developed
among the primitive Chaldæans, reached its apogee under the Sargonids.
We find statuettes, bas-reliefs in repoussé, vases and utensils of every
sort, weapons and ornaments, so that there is no use of the precious
metals, or of iron and bronze, to which they were not put by the
industry of Ninevite craftsmen. Among the ruins of Sargon’s palace,
objects of iron and bronze, such as hooks, rings, chains, pickaxes,
hammers, plough-shares, weapons, fragments of chariots, and tools of all
sorts, were picked up. From the strictly artistic point of view, we
have already described the wooden pillars plated with overlapping scales
of bronze, so as to imitate the bark of the palm tree.

[Illustration: Fig. 95.--Gates of Balawat. Restoration.]

The most important of the Assyrian monuments in bronze hitherto
discovered is the famous decoration of the gates of the palace of
Shalmaneser III. (857-822), at Balawat. It consists of metal bands, 9
in. broad, decorated in repoussé with reliefs representing the campaigns
of Shalmaneser. They were fixed horizontally, at intervals, on wooden
gates, which may have been quite 7 or 8 yards high; the scenes are
reproduced upon them with the same ease and the same details as on the
limestone slabs: battles, landscapes, trees, rivers and mountains are to
be seen; the figures, however, are treated more roughly, and the muscles
are marked with less precision and delicacy. Each band (fig. 96) is
divided into two compartments by a row of rosettes, imitating the heads
of nails. “Taking them all in all,” says M. Perrot, “these bronze
reliefs are among the works which do most honour to Assyrian art.”[46]

[Illustration: Fig. 96.--Fragment of metal band of Balawat gates
(British Museum).]

The perfection of the work in certain Assyrian bronze vessels makes
these monuments real masterpieces. Pateræ found at Nineveh, sometimes
incrusted with gold and silver, present on their inner surface, in an
exquisite style, concentric zones of rosettes and symmetrical festoons
of figures engraved in outline or standing out in relief (fig. 97).
Symbols are encountered

[Illustration: Fig. 97.--Bronze dish, Nimroud (British Museum).]

[Illustration: Fig. 98.--Assyrian archers. (Bas-relief in British

[Illustration: Fig. 99.--Various forms of the Assyrian helmet.]

which have evidently been borrowed from Egypt, such as the winged
scarabæus and the figures of Hathor and Bes. Similar in form, in the
metal of which they are composed, in the gold and silver incrustations,
and even in the choice of subjects, to the Phœnician vessels from
Cyprus (figs. 233 and 234), the pateræ of Nineveh are not, for the most
part, of Assyrian manufacture; they were brought thither by Phœnician
commerce, and were probably fashioned in the workshops of Tyre or Sidon,
where the artistic traditions of Egypt and Assyria were united. The
glass found among the Assyrian ruins was also probably of Phœnician
manufacture, as it will be seen in the chapter on Phœnician art. Much
more exclusively Assyrian are the bronze seals which the bas-reliefs
show us in the hands of priests or genii. We find among them lions’
heads, flowers and elegant rosettes on the bottom, on the border, or at
the point at which the handles are attached.

[Illustration: Fig. 100.--Bronze lion (Louvre).]

[Illustration: Fig. 101.--Bronze siren.]

The equipment of an Assyrian soldier consists of a bow and arrows, a
lance or javelin, a club, a sword, a dagger, a helmet, a coat of mail,
and a buckler; the battering-rams which sap the walls had a metal
carapace and head. Might it not be imagined that these Assyrian
soldiers, wearing the conical helmet, and entirely covered, with the

[Illustration: Fig. 102.--Bronze siren.]

[Illustration: Fig. 103.--The demon of the South-west wind. Bronze

of their arms, nose and eyes, with a long coat of iron mail, were
mediæval knights? The shape of the Assyrian helmet varies according to
the time, and perhaps also according to military rank. There is the
helmet formed of a conical basin, without ornament, the helmet provided
with cheek-pieces, as among the Greeks, the helmet decorated with an
elegant crest bearing an aigrette of feathers or of horsehair. But the
essential form is always that of a hemispherical basin, covering the
head, but leaving the face bare. A votive shield, preserved at the
British Museum, has, like those represented in the bas-reliefs, the form
of a large round disk, convex in its central part; this metal disk, 34
in. in diameter, is decorated like the pateræ with a central rosette and
several concentric zones containing lions and bulls in relief.

The preceding examples prove the existence of a manufacture of metals
which had reached a high degree of perfection, and was in possession of
all the technical methods. Accordingly, we believe that the scanty
number of statues or statuettes in bronze of human beings or of Assyrian
deities must be attributed to an unfortunate chance. They must have been
produced in large numbers, as in ancient Chaldæa, and a good proof of
this is the large cow’s head disinterred near Bagdad and preserved at
the British Museum[47]; another example is the statuette of a lion found
at Khorsabad (fig. 100); this has, doubtless, serious defects, such as a
singular disproportion between the head and the body, between the fore
legs and the hind legs; but what truth of expression in the muzzle with
its gaping mouth, and in those powerful claws!

[Illustration: Fig. 104.--Bronze plaque. De Clercq collection.]

A statuette in M. de Vogüé’s collection, found at Van, represents a sort
of siren which seems to have acted as an ornament attached to a vessel
or a piece of furniture (figs. 101 and 102). The oriental appearance of
the head, the hair in ringlets, the large eyes, the bracelets upon the
outstretched arms behind the wings, and the artistically marked
feathers, make of this little monument one of the most precious relics
of the art of working in bronze among the Assyrians. A similar figure is
preserved in the British Museum, and in this instance the loose ring by
which the vessel was held is still in place.

[Illustration: Fig. 105.--Bronze plaque. De Clercq collection (other

The Louvre possesses the figure of a monster with four wings which
represents the demon of the south-west wind, as the cuneiform
inscription upon it teaches us (fig. 103). Nothing can be imagined more
hideous and more expressive than the head with its glaring eyes, roaring
throat, horned brows, crooked fingers and fleshless body with lion’s
claws. It leads us naturally to cite a bronze plaque from the collection
of M. de Clercq, in which M. Clermont-Ganneau has recognised a
representation of the Assyrian hell. One

[Illustration: Fig. 106.--Standard in a bas-relief from Khorsabad

[Illustration: Fig. 107.--Foot of a piece of furniture. De Vogüé

side (fig. 104) is occupied by a monster with four wings and eagle’s
claws, looking over the top of the plaque; on the other side (fig. 105)
the monster’s head is seen, and under it scenes arranged in four rows:
first the symbolical figures of the stars, then a procession of seven
creatures dressed in long robes and having the heads of various animals:
these are the heavenly genii called Igigis. Below this we witness a
funeral scene: two creatures with human bodies combined with the head
and body of a fish, like the god Oannes, stand by a bed on which a
corpse is laid out, swathed in its mummy-clothes; near them stand two
monsters like the demons which appear in a battle scene belonging to
the campaigns of Assur-nasir-pal, and, of larger size, on the walls of
Assurbanipal’s palace; they face one another in the same attitude here
as there, and seem to be disputing or quarrelling. The lowest row shows
a stream of water in which are fish. In a boat is a kneeling horse; on
his back is a monster holding serpents in his hands; lion-cubs are
springing forwards towards him; another monster stands on the brink of
the water; in the background are trees and fragments of different kinds,
looking like the remains of a banquet. There is some artistic merit in
several portions of this curious scene. The monster on the other side is
boldly designed, and his form is vigorous and supple.

In the chiselling of a royal standard (fig. 106), the artist really
attained to the highest technical skill: the bulls’ heads and the lions’
heads arranged along the pole are masterpieces of taste, and might be
proposed as models at the present day. In the palaces fragments of
thrones have been found formed of bronze plating. One of the most
remarkable pieces, found at Van, belongs to M. de Vogüé (fig. 107); the
deep sculpture in the claws of the crouching lion reminds the spectator
of a bronze statuette from Tello (fig. 26).


No people of antiquity carried as far as the Chaldæo-Assyrians their
taste for elegant furniture, which is as delicately sculptured among
them as the most precious bronze utensils. We shall never know,
doubtless, except through the testimony of literature, what that carved
wood-work was, and what those ceilings of cedar were, to which the
prophets of Israel allude with such jealous enthusiasm, and which the
kings boast of having had executed, speaking to us in their inscriptions
of palaces in which “the gates are of ebony, with fittings of silver
plating and polished iron, the pillars of cypress-wood, the posts of
cedar carved by skilful craftsmen, and coated with plates of wrought
metal.” But the bas-reliefs place before our eyes wooden furniture in
which the superiority of the Assyrian genius is conspicuous, and which
reveal to us a people gorged with wealth, among whom luxury in furniture
holds an important place. The animal and vegetable kingdoms are turned
to profit by the craftsmen with astonishing skill in the decoration of
the tables, stools, beds, tripods, umbrellas and fly-flaps. At every
opportunity lions’ heads and claws, goats, panthers and bulls occur,
fancifully arranged, but always in perfect harmony and excellent taste;
flowers, festoons, undulating and interlacing lines, rosettes and
geometrical figures are all found in endless variety and in perfect
equilibrium; nowhere has such work been better done, neither in Egypt
nor in Greece.

The bas-relief (fig. 77), which represents Assurbanipal drinking with
one of his wives, shows us some of the furniture of a royal palace. The
prince reclines upon a divan, the queen sitting upon a chair, with a
stool under her feet; before them is a table. Are not the sculptured
couch, the table with its feet carved in the form of lions’ claws, and
the chair, lavishly decorated with sculpture and ivory ornaments, as
rich and as skilful in workmanship as any such objects to be found in
European drawing-rooms? Another bas-relief (fig. 108) shows a tent
erected in the open plain during a military expedition; it is simply the
stables, as it seems. Notice the elegance of the wooden pillars, the
shafts of which are decorated with geometrical designs, and terminate in
floral ornaments on which slender kids, ready to spring, are poised.
Wood formed the framework of these chairs, coffers, and shrines, but
disappeared more or less completely under the bronze or gold plating,
the incrustations of ivory, coloured glass, lapis lazuli, and brilliant
stones, or, lastly, the embroidered rugs and the carpets. In the camp
before Lachish, Sennacherib sits upon a throne, the sides of which are
composed of three rows of figures, raising their arms to sustain the
bars of the chair.

[Illustration: Fig. 108.--Tent serving as the royal stable (Bas-relief
in British Museum).]

[Illustration: Fig. 109.--Sennacherib’s throne. Bas-relief (British

Wood was the essential part of the structure of the chariots, the wheels
of which have spokes turned in the lathe, and the body of which is of
woven wicker-work, while the pole, describing a graceful curve, ends in
an elegant horse’s head or in the head of a deer, a bull, a lion or a
swan. The very weapons, lances, daggers and bows have shafts, hilts, and
handles carved into figures of animals, crouching, sleeping, springing
or folded in two, similar to the figures drawn and carved by the
mediæval decorators.

[Illustration: Fig. 110.--Assyrian chariot (from a bas-relief).]

These objects, however, are not always of wood; oftenest, perhaps, they
are of bone or ivory, as it is proved by the ivory tablets and the
toilette articles, such as combs and pins, which the excavations have
brought to light.[48]

[Illustration: Fig. 111.--Ivory plaque (British Museum).]

But side by side with these knick-knacks in the Ninevite style, there
are others which, though found in Mesopotamia, seem to be of foreign
origin. Witness to this is borne by an ivory plaque found at Nimroud,
which was certainly part of the incrustation of a piece of furniture
(fig. 111). The relief is clear, the work highly finished; the figure,
which holds in its hand a large lotus-stalk, has woolly hair like an
Ethiopian, and bears the Egyptian Uræus on its brow. Another tablet
from Nimroud represents the head of a woman, whose hair is arranged in
Egyptian fashion. She is enclosed in a frame which resembles a window
with a balustrade, the capitals of which, original in style, seem to
have been coloured. An ivory statuette of the goddess Istar, found at
Nimroud, has the same heavy coiffure in successive rolls, and resting
upon the shoulders; here we have again the Egyptian style with an
exaggerated naturalism proper only to the Phœnicians. We may conclude
that these ivories were fashioned, like the bronze dishes, in the
workshops of Phœnicia. Thence caravans transported all these small
objects as far as Nineveh; we know that the merchants of Tyre and Sidon
had numerous stores in the very heart of Mesopotamia. Phœnician
commerce was the great vehicle by which Egyptian and Assyrian art was
carried abroad.


The art of embroidery and tapestry, which we have seen so highly
developed in primitive Chaldæa, and a most remarkable example of which
was furnished us in the costume of Marduk-nadin-akhi, did not cease to
flourish during the whole existence of the Ninevite empire, and was more
prosperous than ever at Babylon in the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Can robes
of greater richness be imagined than these worn by Assur-nasir-pal,
Sargon, Sennacherib, or Assurbanipal? Are there, even at the present
day, any embroideries or tapestries of more wonderful delicacy or in
more exquisite taste? Assyrian stuffs are celebrated throughout the

[Illustration: Fig. 112.--Assur-nasir-pal[49] offering a libation
(Bas-relief in the British Museum).]

world for the beauty of their varied tints, and above all for the
marvellous embroideries which the chisel of the Assyrian sculptor has so
delicately reproduced? All this decoration, in which we find figures in
adoration before the sacred tree or the symbol of the supreme deity,
genii struggling with lions, fights between animals, the mystical
pinecone, flowers, and a hundred other varied designs elegantly and
symmetrically arranged, reveals extraordinary manual skill. History,
mythology, botany, and real or fanciful zoology are turned to profit
with inimitable perfection, and we are forced to take everything
literally that has been related by ancient authors about the tapestries
which adorned the palace-chambers. In the banqueting-hall of Ahasuerus,
king of Persia, there were, according to the

[Illustration: Fig. 113.--Richly caparisoned horse and rider (Bas-relief
in the Louvre).]

Book of Esther, white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of
fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble. In the
description of a picture portraying the adventures of Themistocles,
Philostratus the Elder also speaks of the various subjects embroidered
by the Babylonians upon their stuffs, and of the golden threads
skilfully mingled with the tissue; we have seen that the Babylonian
stuff called _kaunakes_, and characterised by rows of long fringes, was
still celebrated among the Persians and the Greeks. Pliny, the natural
historian, claims for the tapestry-weavers of Babylon the honour of
having been superior to all their rivals in other countries in the art
of harmonising colours and representing figures. “In fact,” says M. E.
Müntz, “the words, Babylonian tapestries,--_Babylonica peristromata_,
recur constantly in the Latin poets, who are never satisfied with
praising them. Roman connoisseurs bought such hangings for their weight
in gold. Metellus Scipio spent 800,000 sesterces in _triclinaria
Babylonica_. Nero paid, for the same stuffs, an even higher price:
4,000,000 sesterces.”[50]

Thus the East, which remains to our days the classical land of
embroidery and tapestry, has only perpetuated the traditions bequeathed
to her by Nineveh and Babylon when they ceased to exist.

The industries of saddle-making and working in leather, which are still
so flourishing among the Turks, Persians, and Arabs, can be traced back,
according to tradition, to the Assyrians who raised them to the dignity
of an art. Notice the harness of the king’s chariot horses. The leather
straps, embroidered with red and yellow threads, form variegated
trimmings. Sometimes a leather band, crossing the chest and fastened on
the withers, is decorated with a double row of tassels, and finished off
by bells. Another embroidered band descends from the top of the head,
and sustains under the jaw a tassel formed of three tufts, one above the
other, also adorned with bells. Above the head rises a superb plume with
a triple crest. The head-piece is adorned with rosettes, and above the
horse’s eyes there is a band formed of overlapping scales, joined to the
head-stall by a double tassel. Everything, including even the strap
which holds the bit, and that passed under the nostrils, is relieved by
rosettes and brilliant trimmings, and probably also by metal disks,
perhaps of gold and silver.


The excavations in Chaldæa and Assyria have, down to this day, scarcely
furnished us with any ornaments of gold or silver. However, we know from
the inscriptions that these metals occupied the first rank, and were
abundantly employed in the ornaments of the Ninevites and Babylonians.
The tombs of primitive Chaldæa contained bronze bracelets and ear-rings
of the simplest form. These are circular rings, sometimes thinner at the
two ends, which are both pointed. At Khorsabad Botta found necklaces
formed of precious stones pierced with holes, which were spheroidal in
form or elongated like olives; these balls of marble, jasper,
chalcedony, amethyst, lapis lazuli, were sometimes mixed with cylinders
or other seals of conical shape. At Kouyunjik a necklace was discovered,
formed of little golden balls alternating with little cylinders of the
same metal. A bronze bracelet at the Louvre has lions’ heads at the two

[Illustration: Fig. 114.--Assyrian deities carried in procession.
Bas-relief (after Layard).]

But we learn more from the bas-reliefs about the taste for ornament
among the Assyrians, and about the goldsmiths’ work at Nineveh and
Babylon. Kings and genii wear necklaces, ear-rings, diadems, and
bracelets. Their forms are always elegant and present great variety. The
diadems are circles, perhaps of gold, broader in the middle, and
generally decorated with a rosette, in the centre of which a glittering
gem was doubtless conspicuous. Deities carried in procession wear high
tiaras also surmounted by a rosette, the essential element of which is a
precious stone. Bracelets are worn above the elbow and on the fore-arm;
these are circular disks, sometimes closed and decorated with rosettes,
at other times ending in two lions’, deers’, rams’, or serpents’ heads;
some are twisted two or three times round the arm. Among the ornaments
which hang from the necklace, the cross, of that form which we call the
Maltese cross, must be cited; the same symbol, which reminds us of the
Egyptian _crux ansata_, is also found in the ear-rings (fig. 63).

As for seal-engraving, its abundant examples do not surpass in artistic
merit the Chaldæan work which we have already described. Assyrian
cylinders, that is to say, those which were especially manufactured at
Nineveh, are distinguished from those of Babylon and Chaldæa by a drier
and more commercial style of work.[51] Inscriptions are rarer, and
engraved in Ninevite characters: the myths represented by the engravers
are the same as at Babylon, but the figures have a more modern
appearance: for instance, the winged bulls with human heads, and the
genii with eagle’s beaks and four wings, are copied from the bas-reliefs
in the palaces of Khorsabad, Nimroud and Kouyunjik. The Assyrian
cylinders of the archaic epoch present the technical characteristics
that we have already indicated in Chaldæa: the joints of the limbs are
rendered by means of a drill producing small hemispherical holes, and
the rest of the body is executed with another instrument which hollowed
out parallel lines. These peculiarities are clearly distinguished on a
fine cylinder which we give after M. Menant (fig. 115): it represents
three figures who seem to sacrifice upon a tripod to the sun, the moon,
and the seven planets.

[Illustration: Fig. 115.--Archaic Assyrian cylinder (after Menant).]

[Illustration: Fig. 116.--Assyrian cylinder. De Clercq collection (after

The cylinders of the Sargonid epoch prove a progress parallel to that of
Chaldæan glyptics; the traces left by the action of the saw and the
drill have disappeared to make room for the modelling of the figures,
which sometimes reach a degree of suppleness true to nature. We will
cite as examples a cylinder of the De Clercq collection, representing
two genii in adoration before the sacred tree (fig. 116), and a cylinder
in the British Museum (fig. 117) on which the god Rammanu is seen, armed
with a bow and arrows, standing upon a crouching lion and receiving the
homage of a pontiff. The two cylinders are very fine: on the first,
extreme exactness is to be noticed in the details of the costume, and
great delicacy in the features of the two genii. On the second, on the
contrary, the forms have a freer and easier pose, and the scene has more
life; the palm is remarkable for truth; the ibexes, above all, are
absolutely pure in design; the modelling of their thighs and flanks
reminds us of the lions on the Chaldæan cylinder which we admired before
(see fig. 35); it also reminds us of the famous lioness among the
sculptures of Assurbanipal’s palace (fig. 81), which is probably
contemporary with it. Assyrian glyptics has produced nothing more highly
finished; like sculpture on a larger scale, it excels in the rendering
of animal forms.

[Illustration: Fig. 117.--Assyrian cylinder. De Clercq collection (after

[Illustration: Fig. 118.--Assyrian cylinder. De Clercq collection (after



[Illustration: Fig. 119.--Median cylinder (after Menant).]

The most ancient[52] monuments of Persia date from no earlier period
than the reign of Cyrus (B.C. 549-529). If any Persian art existed in
the previous epoch, when the country was no more than a satrapy of the
Median empire, its traces have not yet been found. Median art is
scarcely known at all, except by a cylindrical seal at the British
Museum, bearing a Medic inscription, upon which a rider is seen fighting
with a lion: the rider’s high tiara is characteristic, but the lion is
copied from a Ninevite cylinder (fig. 119). No doubt this monument would
not be enough by itself to prove that Median art was tributary to
Assyrian art; but the description given us by Herodotus of the fortress
of Ecbatana confirms the hypothesis. On the other hand, it is natural to
suppose that the Persians, who were the vassals and consequently the
political and religious heirs of the Medes, should have borrowed from
the latter certain artistic traditions, if Median art had any
originality of its own. Now, while a threefold foreign influence--that
of the Chaldæo-Assyrians, the Egyptians, and the Ionic Greeks, is
conspicuous in Persian works of art, there is nothing that can be
referred to Media.

The monuments of the Achæmenid dynasty are gathered together upon three
principal sites, the ruins of which have been explored in a fairly
complete manner: Susa, where the Achæmenids, including Darius and his
successors, erected their palaces at the spot on which the old capital
of Elam, destroyed by Assurbanipal, formerly stood; Persepolis, the
imposing remains of which form two groups, called at the present day
Takht-i-Jemshid and Nakhsh-i-Rustam; lastly, the pile of ruins at
Meshed-Murgab and Madar-i-Soleiman, two Persian villages in the valley
of the Polvar, on the road from Ispahan to Shiraz, where, without doubt,
the ancient city of Pasargadæ must have been.


When Cyrus had his new capital, Pasargadæ, built in the valley of the
Polvar, he had completed the destruction of the kingdom of Crœsus,
finished the conquest of Asia Minor, and made himself master of Babylon.
The precise date of the monuments of Meshed-Murgab is fixed by the
cuneiform inscriptions, which, while they are all composed in honour of
Cyrus, are written in three versions, Persian, Medic, and Assyrian, and
consequently we cannot place them earlier than the conquest of Chaldæa
in B.C. 538. In his victorious expeditions through regions remote from
the table-land of Fars, his native country, such as Mesopotamia, Lydia,
and the coasts of Asia Minor, Cyrus had the opportunity of observing
monuments which must have astonished him by their architecture, and
palaces which seemed to him far finer than those inhabited hitherto by
his ancestors, princes of proverbial austerity and simplicity. He
conceived the idea of constructing for himself a royal residence as
sumptuous as those of Crœsus and Nabonidus, and of importing into the
heart of Persia the architecture of Babylon and the Hellenic
architecture of Asia Minor. His military successes assisted him
wonderfully in this undertaking. The prisoners of war whom he captured
at Babylon and in the Greek cities of Ionia became the workmen who built
his palaces; and he allured the architects, whom he could not carry away
by force, by loading them with wealth and honours. The successors of
Cyrus continued, like him, to appeal to the artists of Greece, whose
voluntary exile from their native country has often been remarked by
historians. Pliny, for instance, cites a worker in bronze, Telephanes of
Phocæa, who passed among his contemporaries as a worthy rival of
Polycletus, Myron, and Pythagoras, and whom the kings of Persia, Darius
and Xerxes, attracted to their court, where he exercised his craft
during the greater part of his career.[53]

The structures begun by Cyrus at Pasargadæ, which were never finished on
account of his death, which abruptly ended the work, receive their
inspiration both from Greek and Assyrian art; there is nothing to be
referred to the architectural types of Egypt, not yet invaded by the
Persian conquerors. The palaces stand upon platforms like those of
Nineveh and Babylon; but these substructures follow the Greek method of

[Illustration: Fig. 120.--Platform of the palace of Cyrus (after

The monument called by the modern Persians _Takht-i-Madar-i-Soleiman_
(“throne of the mother of Solomon”) is nothing more than the platform of
Cyrus’ palace (fig. 120). It is a structure built of large stones, in
which mortar is replaced by iron clamps. The facings are seldom trimmed,
but only rough hewn, and surrounded by a double moulding like rusticated
stonework with marginal draftings. The courses are alternate rows of
headers and stretchers. The nucleus of the structure is a mass of blocks
arranged in horizontal layers, always level with the facing courses. M.
Dieulafoy[54] observes that the Lydians practised this method of
building from the eighth century before our era. The Assyrians did not
proceed in the same manner. At Khorsabad, for instance, no clamps bind
the stones of the facing to one another; the wall is straight and
absolutely vertical, while in the Takht-i-Madar-i-Soleiman the upper
courses recede from one another like steps, in order to give greater
thickness to the base. Over the greater part of the facing, position
marks have been detected, carved upon them by the stone-cutters, in
order to know the place of each hewn stone. These marks are conventional
signs, which do not belong, it is true, to any alphabet, but which--a
matter worthy of remark--are the same as those discovered in Greek

[Illustration: Fig. 121.--Basement at Persepolis (after Flandin and
Coste, _Perse ancienne_).]

The palaces of Persepolis were erected by Darius and Xerxes only fifty
years after those at Pasargadæ; but in this short interval Egypt had
been conquered by Cambyses; and after that event the monuments of the
Pharaohs were destined, for the same reason as those of Assyria and Asia
Minor, to exercise a direct influence upon Persian art. The latter,
however, could never fuse these heterogeneous elements together and
assimilate them to its own character, but could only group them in a
hybrid style. The buildings of Persepolis are still standing to a
considerable extent, and its ruins, rising in the midst of a vast
amphitheatre of grey marble rocks, are an object of enthusiastic
admiration to all travellers. The palaces rest upon a platform built on
the model of that of Takht-i-Madar-i-Soleiman. The outer coating of this
basement is formed of carefully trimmed ashlar, and the blocks, fitted
together without mortar, are fixed by iron clamps. Better preserved

[Illustration: Fig. 122.--Gate and windows of the palace of Darius
(after Dieulafoy).]

than the ruins of Pasargadæ, those of Persepolis enable us to
reconstruct more perfectly the principal forms of Achæmenid
architecture. The platform of the Persepolitan palaces was ascended by a
flight of a hundred and eleven steps, broad enough to be mounted by ten
men abreast; a gently inclined roadway, formed on one side of the
platform, enabled carriages to reach the summit: here we have precisely,
except in point of material and manner of construction, the platform of
the Assyrian palaces. The summit of the terrace was crowned, as at
Khorsabad, with a row of battlements. The peculiarity of the artificial
mound called Takht-i-Jemshid by the Persians is that it is only an
immense basement supporting three other terraces of smaller area upon
it. These terraces are of unequal height, and communicate with one
another; they are reached by stone staircases. The grand staircase,
leading to the second platform, is adorned with a colonnade and flanked
by gigantic human-headed bulls, similar to those at Nineveh. Upon the
highest of these three platforms were built four palaces, upon the walls
of which the names of Darius, Xerxes and Artaxerxes Ochus have been

In the buildings at Persepolis and Susa, the doorways and window-frames
take the form of a rectangular parallelogram, and in their architectural
decoration, besides the traditional influence of Chaldæa and Assyria,
the new exotic element, that we have indicated above, may be recognised;
it is the intrusion of Pharaonic art. The doors, framed in three
Græco-Ionian architraves, projecting one beyond the other, are
surmounted, as well as the windows, by an Egyptian ornament above a line
of alternate ovals and disks. In the thickness of the doorway sculptures
in relief, copied from those of the Chaldæo-Assyrian palaces, show us
the king in close combat with a lion or fantastic animal, or else the
king sitting on his throne rendering justice at his palace gate, or
again the prince solemnly advancing, surrounded by his officers and
dressed in his ceremonial robes.

M. Dieulafoy[55] recognised that the greater number of the windows were
condemned to lessen the air and light in the interior of the rooms;
these windows filled up by a thinner wall, formed, on the exterior,
niches which broke the uniformity of the façade. Doors, windows,
staircases and the pilasters arranged at the corners, are of white
limestone or of grey porphyry with blue veins; but the walls in which
these architectural features occur are of baked brick coated with
enamelled tiles.

[Illustration: Fig. 123.--Persepolitan capital (after Dieulafoy).]

The architecture of the Achæmenid palaces includes the pier and the
column as the supports of the structure. Among the ruins of Pasargadæ at
present only three piers and one column, the height of which still
exceeds 36 feet, are standing. But at Persepolis and at Susa, the
Persepolitan capital, with all its elegance and

[Illustration: Fig. 124.--Plan of the _Apadâna_ of Artaxerxes (after

originality, has been studied in all its varieties. It is found in every
part, but notably in the great state saloon or _apadâna_ of the palaces.
It is thirteen times as high as its diameter at the base: its slender
form reveals the imitation in stone of an original structure supported
by light trunks of trees. The apadâna of the palace of Xerxes at
Persepolis, situated on the middle platform, covered an area of nearly
an acre and a quarter, and its roof was sustained by a hundred columns.
Before the anterior façade rose a portico guarded by two gigantic bulls
with human heads, partly built into the structure like those in the
Assyrian edifices. The apadâna of the palace of Artaxerxes at Susa (fig.
124) was of no less gigantic proportions, and had a double portico on
three of its sides; it covers an area of an acre and a half. The columns
are not less than 18 feet 4 inches in diameter; slightly conical in
shape, they are composed of long cylindrical drums, placed end to end,
the base and capital being separated from the shaft. Two varieties may
be distinguished.[56] The simplest type is to be seen in the interior
halls of the palace of Xerxes at Persepolis. The base is formed of two
tori placed one above the other on a square pedestal; the shaft is
decorated all round with forty-eight flutings; the capital includes a
series of ornaments borrowed from the architecture of Egypt; it is

[Illustration: Fig. 125.--Susian capital restored (Louvre).]

developed in a succession of bells and inverted volutes, above which two
bulls’ heads are arranged, even with the intercolumniations; this is the
bicephalic capital, characteristic of the Achæmenid architecture, which
has never been employed except in Persia. Other columns differ, but only
in the base, from that which we have just described; the double torus
supporting the shaft is sometimes placed, not on a square pedestal, but
on a cylindrical drum, decorated with twenty-four vertical lines and
growing gradually broader in the lower part, so as to present the form
of a much elongated ogee or of a bell. At Susa, instead of lines, the
ornament of the base is sometimes formed of elegant inverted foliage
(fig. 126). The comparative study of the Achæmenid column, together with
the monuments of Egypt and Greece, has led M. Dieulafoy to conclude that
the outlines of the Persepolitan column are Egyptian, but that its
structure is composed of Græco-Ionian elements. These volutes, strings
of ovals, and tori at the base, had already become classical in the
Hellenic world long before Cyrus, since they are found everywhere, at
Mycenæ, Segesta and Selinus, in Attica and in Ionia: here again we are
forced to recognise that the architect, even when he copies motives
derived from Egypt or Assyria, is imbued with the principles of Hellenic

[Illustration: Fig. 126.--Base of a column (after Dieulafoy).]

Besides columns, the Persepolitan and Susian palaces had pilasters
placed at the extremities of the porticoes, as continuations of the
façades. In the façades of the palace of Darius at Persepolis two square
pilasters of porphyry are seen, so perfectly preserved that in the upper
part they still have holes, cut to receive the ends of the entablature.
They would suffice to prove, if any proof were wanting, that in these
structures, the columns, which are placed at long intervals and are
tall and slender, did not support stone but wooden architraves. These
were enormous beams which formed a line even with the tops of the
columns, and, running from capital to capital, and placed in grooves
contrived with this object, contributed to give homogeneity and solidity
to the structure. Upon these great beams the rafters of the roof were
arranged, and then a flat ceiling supporting neither a terrace nor a
second story.

[Illustration: Fig. 127.--Façade of the _Apadâna_ of Artaxerxes
(restoration by M. Dieulafoy).]

It is important not to lose sight of the fact that the palaces, the
elements of which we have just described, constitute an official kind of
architecture implanted in Persia by the “kings of kings” who were
pleased with the monuments that they had observed in Egypt, Assyria, and
Asia Minor. Springing from the caprice of sovereigns, this foreign
architecture never took root in the country, and was not required by the
nature of the ground and the necessities of existence on the mountainous
table-land of Persia; it disappeared with the Achæmenid dynasty. But by
the side of this conventional architecture there was that created by the
natives of the country, because it had been imposed upon them as a
condition of life. As well as the people of Chaldæa and Assyria, the
Persians must have known how to build vaulted houses, alone capable of
protecting them from the rays of a too ardent sun; they also built, at
least in the cantons of Susiana, houses with terraces, supported by palm
beams and trellis-work arranged over the rooms which were narrow like
passages. Strabo tells us this while speaking of Susiana: “To protect
the rooms from the excessive heat, the roofs are covered with two
cubits’ depth of earth; the weight of this earth obliges the people to
build all the houses long and narrow, because, although the beams must
not be very long, nevertheless the rooms must be spacious; otherwise the
people would be stifled.” Even at the present day, since the climatic
conditions of the country have not changed, the method of building
houses is the same as that practised by the ancient inhabitants of Iran.
Travellers find houses, according to the wealth of the owner, surmounted
by vaults, domes, and terraces, wonderfully suited to local
requirements. It is, then, quite certain that the Iranians in the time
of the Achæmenids knew the vault and the cupola as well as their
neighbours on the banks of the Tigris.

But have the vaults and domes of Persia, more fortunate than those which
rose above the Mesopotamian edifices, come down to us, at least in a few
instances? M. Dieulafoy believes so. The ruins held to be of the
Sassanian epoch at Sarvistan, Firuzabad, and Ferashbad, would date, in
his opinion, from the Achæmenid period. A certain reserve, however, is
required, from the chronological point of view, in speaking of these
monuments in which the traveller can still see brick cupolas supported
by pendentives,[57] these cupolas being 97 ft. high and 49 ft. in
diameter, semicircular vaults, pointed vaults nearly similar to those of
our Gothic churches of the thirteenth century--in short, all the
elements of Sassanian and Byzantine architecture. On the other hand, the
decoration of these buildings seems to have been remarkably poor; at
Sarvistan the interior columns are heavy and badly hewn, the cornice
placed at the foot of the vaulting is composed of nothing but a serrated
ornament; the interior walls must have been coated with red paint; the
exterior walls were smooth, and even the façade showed no decoration
except groups of half-columns buried in the masonry. Not the smallest
trace has been remarked among these ruins of bricks, whether enamelled
or bearing figures in relief, or of those slabs imitating the wall
sculptures of Assyria which were such characteristic elements of
Achæmenid art. The same reflections are applicable to the monument of
Firuzabad, the architectural decoration of which has preserved, perhaps
only by tradition, elements of Persepolitan origin.


In sculpture, even more than in architecture, the triple influence,
Chaldæo-Assyrian, Egyptian and Græco-Ionian, which is dominant among the
works of the Achæmenids, is to be traced. Like the

[Illustration: Fig. 128.--Cyrus. Bas-relief (after Dieulafoy).]

sculptures of Ninevite palaces, those of Pasargadæ and Persepolis are in
low relief, the figures being always placed in profile, and arranged for
the purpose of lining the lower portion of the walls. In the execution,
however, the chisel of a Greek artist is felt, or at least of one who
has studied under Greek masters. M.L. Heuzey[58] reminds us that an
archaic Greek school existed in Thessaly, which was remarkably
flourishing, and the productions of which, such as the bas-relief known
under the name of the Exaltation of the Flower, were closely analogous
in the details and the finish of the work to the Persepolitan and Susian
sculptures; there are the same draperies with broad flat folds, and the
same methods of treatment in the muscles of the face and limbs. The most
ancient Persian sculpture known is the famous bas-relief in which the
full-length portrait of Cyrus himself has been preserved for us (fig.
128). Cyrus, of Iranian origin, has a face like that of an European; he
has nothing in common with Egyptian and Assyrian faces; the top of his
head is bald or shaved, his beard is slightly curled, his hair is short
and matted. But everything else in this royal figure is of foreign
importation. His head is crowned with a triple disk surrounded by Uræi,
in the fashion of Egyptian deities; the king is furnished with wings,
like the genii of Assyria and Chaldæa, and these wings, with rows of
well-marked feathers, are like those of the Ninevite monsters. Even the
border of the robe is decorated with a broad Assyrian fringe; finally,
the king holds in his right hand a statuette, the headdress of which is
surmounted by the Egyptian Uræus.

[Illustration: Fig. 129.--Bas-relief at Persepolis (after Flandin and

After the portrait of Cyrus in chronological order

[Illustration: Fig. 130.--Bas-relief at Persepolis (after Flandin and

come the bas-reliefs of Persepolis. These are sometimes episodes in the
Chaldæo-Assyrian epic of Izdubar, which, imitated not only in Persia but
also in the Greek world, gave birth to the legends of Heracles and
Theseus, so often represented on archaic Greek monuments. In other
bas-reliefs the court-officers walk in procession with the tributary
satraps, or else (fig. 129) the “king of kings” himself, calm and
impassive like a Colossus whom nothing can terrify, plunges his dagger,
without moving a muscle

[Illustration: Fig. 131--Bas-relief from Persepolis (after Flandin and

of his face, into the heart of a lion, a bull or a fantastic animal,
which rises erect upon its hind legs, ready to devour him. Do not the
exaggerated muscles of the beast betray a servile copy of the Assyrian
monsters? Elsewhere, on the wall which borders the staircase of the
palace of Darius, a lion devours a bull (fig. 130); he bites him on the
thigh, and furiously digs his powerful claws into his haunches. Though
the lifelike attitude of the two animals strikes us, it reminds us, at
the same time, of the Chaldæo-Assyrian cylinders in which a similar
subject is reproduced. Farther on, on the same wall of the staircase,
servants appear to mount the stairs, with their hands loaded with
presents of all kinds which they are about to offer to the “king of
kings”; Assyrian sculptures contain analogous scenes. The same must be
said of the bas-relief of the central door

[Illustration: Fig. 132.--Bas-relief at Persepolis (after Flandin and

of Darius’ palace, in which the prince is seen attended by two servants,
one holding the umbrella and the other the fly-flap (see fig. 122); how
many times this subject is repeated on the Ninevite walls, with the same
naïve representation of the king, like a Greek hero, as of colossal
stature in comparison with the persons of his suite, in order to exhibit
his superiority and strength! On one of the walls of the apadâna of
Xerxes’ palace, the prince sitting on a high throne, with a canopy above
his head and his feet upon a footstool, is seen surrounded by his
guards. He is receiving a personage of high rank, doubtless a satrap,
who is bringing on his shoulder the tribute of his

[Illustration: Fig. 133.--Bas-relief at Persepolis (after Flandin and

province. In the compartments below rows of Persian soldiers are drawn
up in line, probably those that composed the famous guard of the
_Immortals_; they carry lances, bows and quivers, and have swords at
their sides. The throne is of a truly Assyrian form. “The canopy, made
of woven stuff,” says M. Dieulafoy,[59] “is decorated with a very
curious design. Each strip is composed of two similar bands heavily
embroidered. A band covered with rosettes is followed by a band adorned
with bulls like those which decorate the cornice of the royal tombs; in
the centre appears the winged emblem of Ahura-Mazda. The lower band ends
in a trimming covered with rosettes, and a thick fringe; round patches
adorn the angles. The position of the winged emblems on the top give
this piece of drapery the appearance of an Egyptian tent, but the
procession of bulls, the trimmings, the fringes, and the rich embroidery
are of Assyrian origin.”

[Illustration: Fig. 134.--Portico at Persepolis (after Flandin and

The symbolic figure of Ormuzd, with his winged disk, is a reproduction
of the similar divine figure so often seen hovering over the king and
his soldiers on the Assyrian bas-reliefs. Scenes of most significant
cruelty also passed from Chaldæo-Assyrian sculpture into Persian
sculpture. On the bas-relief which Darius caused to be carved upon the
rock of Behistun, to recount his exploits to distant posterity, the king
is holding his bow as Sennacherib does, and placing his foot on the
breast of a prisoner who holds out his hands in supplication, while nine
other kings stand bound with chains, with their hands behind their
backs and cords around their necks[60].

Like the porticoes of Ninevite palaces, those of Persepolis are
garnished with human-headed bulls; the latter have preserved the walking
attitudes, the curled hair, and often even the high tiara decorated with
rosettes and feathers, which characterise their elder brothers on the
banks of the Tigris. Only, while the Assyrian bulls are sometimes placed
even with the surface of the façade and facing one another in the
doorway, the Persepolitan bulls, on the contrary, are always placed
parallel on each side of the opening and look outwards, facing the
terrace. Finally, in the sculpture of these gigantic monsters the
Persian artist shows himself superior to the Assyrian artist: while
preserving the animals in the same hieratic posture, he has had the
skill to soften the modelling of the limbs, and to give to the wings a
more elegant and graceful curve; the bulls have only four legs instead
of five; their flanks are more supple and plumper; the horns, emblems of
strength, which surround the head of the Ninevite monsters, are
suppressed; the anatomical forms and the respective proportions of the
different parts of the body are more closely studied; we have here
Assyrian art interpreted by artists formed in the school of the Greeks.


The art of enamelling brick, invented by the Chaldæans, did not perish
with Babylon. The Achæmenids

[Illustration: Fig. 135.--The lion frieze; restoration by M. Dieulafoy

adopted it, and seem to have brought it to perfection; the same is true,
as it seems, of that ingenious and delicate process which consisted of
stamping scenes in relief upon bricks, a number of which thus formed an
enamelled frieze, intended to replace the sculptured slabs of Nineveh.
It was at Susa that this system of decoration seems to have reached its
ideal perfection; at any rate, it is only among the ruins of this
capital that we can study it in detail, thanks to the discoveries of M.
Dieulafoy, which add a new chapter to the history of art. It has been
possible to reconstruct at the Louvre two entire friezes disinterred at
Susa before the façade of the apadâna of the palace of Artaxerxes
Mnemon. That of the lions (fig. 135) is composed of bricks in relief, 1
ft. 2 in. long by 7 in. high and 9 in. thick. The lions, nine in number,
are each 11 ft. 3 in. long by 5 ft. 6 in. high. The ground, on which the
figures stand out, is a flat surface of a turquoise-blue colour; the
lions, which are, for the most part, of a greyish-white colour, have
certain parts of their body, for instance the mane, of a watery greenish
blue; and others, for instance the swell of the muscles, of a deep
yellow. They are treated in the Assyrian manner, to such an extent that,
if it were not for the relief, they would exactly resemble the enamelled
lions on flat bricks at Khorsabad. As at Nineveh, the muscles are
exaggerated, the head and forepart of the lion too small. The procession
of wild beasts is framed in several lines of elegant symmetrical
designs: rows of chevrons, of Egyptian palmettes, and of Assyrian

[Illustration: Fig. 136.--Susian archer (Louvre).]

The frieze of the archers (fig. 136) represents a procession of warriors
in relief, like those on the marble slabs of Persepolis; this is the
most wonderful specimen of polychrome Persian enamelling. The materials
of which the composition is formed, instead of being, as in the lion
frieze, baked bricks in the form of elongated parallelopipeds, are
little squares, of which each side is 1 ft. 1 in. long, and 3 in. thick,
made of artificial concrete, which combines the whiteness of plaster
with the resistance of limestone. The soldiers are represented in
profile and on the march. They carry on the left shoulder a bow coloured
yellow, and a quiver of reddish brown. They hold in their hands a pike,
the shaft of which ends in a silver knob. Their tunics, the colour of
which alternates from one figure to another, is golden yellow or white;
the shape of it is the same for all,--narrow, open at the side, with
very broad gathered sleeves; it falls to the ankles and shows a certain
variety of ornament; the stuff is spangled sometimes with green or blue
daisies, sometimes with designs in the form of lozenges; the border is
embroidered. A greenish turban, twisted into rolls, is placed on the
head of these oriental soldiers, who wear bracelets, ear-rings, and
yellow or sky-blue leather boots; their beard and hair are dressed in
ringlets, in the Assyrian fashion. This is doubtless the rich costume
which provoked the declamations of Greek rhetoricians against the
effeminacy and corruption of the Persians. According to the testimony of
Herodotus (vii. 83), the twisted turban on the hair, the golden
ornaments, and the silver knob on the javelin, were the distinctive
marks of the thousand knights and the ten thousand immortals who formed
the escort of the “king of kings.” There can be no doubt, then, that we
are in presence of a group of this famous troop of janissaries, whom the
Achæmenpi monarchs recruited in great part from among the blacks of
India; a certain number of the figures on the frieze acquired by M.
Dieulafoy actually have a skin coloured of a deep brown.

[Illustration: Fig. 137.--Polychrome decoration of the palace of
Artaxerxes (Louvre).]

It is observed, from a technical point of view, that all the figures of
one frieze came out of the same mould, and that they are exact
repetitions one of another, though variously coloured. The vitreous coat
is transparent and iridescent, like the enamel on porcelain; the gamut
of the colours is poor: blue, green, yellow, black, and white. These
decided tints must, on account of their brilliancy, have produced a
striking effect; and under the hot sun of Susiana, the portico walls of
Artaxerxes’ palace sparkled more marvellously than even the richly
decorated tiles of Mussulman mosques and palaces. The interior of the
apadâna seems to have been simply coloured by means of a red monochrome
stucco, almost completely concealed, however, by the rich carpets and
embroidered draperies with which the walls of all the chambers were


Ormuzd (Ahura-Mazda), the great deity of the Persians, was not to have,
according to the regulations in the Avesta, either temples or statues.
The conception of the supreme and only God, perfect in all things, was
too vast to suggest any shelter for him except the vault of heaven in
which he dwelt. Herodotus did not fail to observe this characteristic of
Mazdeism and this absence of temples among the Persians: “The custom of
the Persians,” he says, “is not to raise statues, temples and altars to
the gods; on the contrary, they treat those who do so as madmen: in my
opinion, this is because they do not believe, like the Greeks, that the
gods have a human form.” However, Ormuzd is often represented on the
monuments of the Achæmenid dynasty; he has the form of a man crowned
with the tiara and enclosed in a winged disk (fig. 141). This is
exactly, except in the modifications brought about by the progress of
art, the figure of the deity in the Assyrian monuments.[61] Thus this
symbol, borrowed from Mesopotamia, is a transgression of the precepts
of the Avesta, and an act of tolerance which only penetrated into the
monumental sculpture of palaces and tombs, and into the glyptic art. The
only symbol admitted by the Avesta is the all-purifying flame. Hence the
cultus of the sacred fire and the fire-altars, called pyrea or
_atesh-gahs_, erected in the open air on heights. The atesh-gahs are the
only monuments which represent the religious architecture of the
Persians. Their remains are numerous, but they do not present many
features of archæological interest. Several of them are seen at a short
distance from Nakhsh-i-Rustam which seem to be earlier than the time of
Cyrus. On a platform reached on all sides by a few steps, an altar is
erected in the form of a truncated pyramid, with four sides. At the
corners small columns, attached to the structure, support semicircular
arches, which sustain the stone slab on which the sacred fire was

[Illustration: Fig. 138.--The tower of Jur. Restoration by M.

After the conquest of Asia the Achæmenids generally gave to the
fire-altars the form of Græco-Lycian chapels. In the sculptures of a
royal tomb at Nakhsh-i-Rustam we see a king in adoration before Ormuzd,
and a fire-altar, which has the form of a square block of masonry with
projections in imitation of pilasters, supporting an entablature formed
of three steps one above the other; the highest, larger than the other
two, forms the platform on which the fire is lighted (fig. 141).[62]

The architectural influence of Assyria is manifest in the construction
of certain fire-altars. Near Firuzabad are the ruins of Jur,
particularly interesting on account of the remains of an _atesh-gah_
ninety-one feet high, described by travellers, and apparently a copy of
the staged towers (_zikkurat_) of Chaldæa and Assyria, a type of which,
the most complete in existence, is here handed down to us. M. Dieulafoy
remarks that the atesh-gah at Jur resembles the minaret of the mosque of
Ibn Tûlûn, one of the oldest Mussulman edifices. Thus types of religious
architecture invented by the Chaldæans exercised their influence even on
the modern art of the East.[63]

The funeral rites imposed by the Avesta had another consequence--that of
creating a kind of architecture unknown in any country besides Persia.
Human corpses might neither be committed directly to the ground, nor
burnt, nor thrown into the river, for this would have caused pollution
to water, earth, and fire. Cities of the dead had been established in
remote and deserted spots: these were tall round towers called
_dakhmas_, built of masonry, and showing no architectural ornament even
round the top. These towers supported a wooden trellis-work on which the
corpses were laid; birds of prey came and tore these abandoned bodies to
pieces: they often carried off separate limbs to a distance, where wild
beasts devoured what was left of them. That which remained in the
charnel-house was buried, but previously covered with wax to avoid all
direct contact with the ground. Herodotus has preserved a reminiscence
of these distressing practices. “The corpse of a Persian” he says, “is
not buried until it has been torn to pieces by dogs or birds of prey....
The Persians cover the dead body with wax, after which they inter it.”
There is still at the present day in Persia a certain number of ruins of
the sepulchral towers of the Mazdeans, and one of the best known is not
far from Teheran.

But the dakhmas only served for popular burials; for the Achæmenid
kings, at any rate, broke the Mazdean law, which perhaps itself made in
practice an exception in favour of the royal family. The tombs of the
Achæmenid princes can be divided, from the architectural point of view,
into two large classes, according as they are or are not anterior to the
conquest of Egypt. The former are conceived according to the style and
plan of Græco-Ionian tombs, the latter according to the Egyptian

In the valley of Polvar-Rud, two and a half miles to the south of
Takht-i-Madar-i-Soleiman, stands a small rectangular edifice, the
probable burying-place of Mandane, the mother of Cyrus; the Persians
call it Gabr-i-Madar-i-Soleiman, “tomb of the mother of Solomon” (fig.
139). The archaic Greek character of this monument is striking.
Constructed of large blocks in regular courses, without mortar, the
stones being cut and fitted with the greatest exactness, it is provided
with a triangular pediment, the only one ever observed in a monument of
ancient Persia; it is reached by six steps running all round the little
building. The roof is formed of flat slabs, sloping on each side
according to the inclination of the pediment. Round the roof is a
cornice composed of a reversed ogee enclosed within two fillets, an
architectural decoration found repeated round the door, the double frame
of which is copied from that of the Greek buildings in the Ionian style.
The inner chamber measures scarcely six square yards. Round
Gabr-i-Madar-i-Soleiman was a courtyard surrounded by a portico; the
chapel was not exactly in the centre of the courtyard, but stood at the
bottom of it; so that an open space was left in front.

[Illustration: Fig. 139.--The Gabr-i-Madar-i-Soleiman (after

Not far from this is the tomb of Cambyses the First, the father of
Cyrus. It is so dilapidated that only one façade is almost intact; this
is enough, however, to enable us to compare it with another tomb at
Nakhsh-i-Rustam in a good state of preservation. Both of them were
square towers, constructed of fine and regular masonry, the mortar being
replaced by iron clamps. The tower, solid at the base, contains in its
upper part a chamber, the ceiling of which is formed of large slabs
fitted together; a staircase built outside gave access to a small door.
The exterior façade is furnished on its four sides with false windows;
the idea has even been adopted of building the back of these niches of
black basalt, in order to give them the appearance of true apertures.
The summit of the edifice is composed of a cornice adorned with a row of

When to all these details we add the rustication of the stones and the
position-marks found on the blocks, it will be recognised that the
architect and workmen came from Asia Minor and copied in servile fashion
the sepulchral structures of that country. The architectural form of
these towers reminds us of the Lycian tombs at Telmessus, Antiphellus,
Aperlæ, and Myra, and above all of the celebrated Harpy tomb at Xanthus.

[Illustration: Fig. 140.--Tomb of Cambyses I. (Restoration by M.

The descriptions given by Strabo (x. 3, 7), and Arrian (vi. 29),
following Aristobulus, of the tomb of Cyrus, enable us to assert that it
was like the square towers of Meshed-Murgab and Nakhsh-i-Rustam: “The
tomb stood in the middle of the king’s gardens; it was surrounded by
trees, running water and soft turf. It was a square tower, low enough to
be hidden under the thick trees which surrounded it. The base was solid
and composed of large cubical blocks. In the upper part was the
sepulchral chamber, covered with a stone roof. It was entered by a
narrow door. Aristobulus saw in it a golden couch, a table with cups
for libations, a gilded tub for washing and bathing, and a quantity of
garments and ornaments. There was a communication, by means of an inner
staircase, with the chamber in which lived the priests who guarded the
tomb.” It is not permissible, then, to doubt that, in the time of Cyrus,
the kings of Persia had tombs built like those of Lycia, and that the
towers which we have described preserve for us specimens of them.

[Illustration: Fig. 141.--Façade of tomb at Nakhsh-i-Rustam (after
Flandin and Coste, _Perse ancienne_).]

But after the conquest of Egypt, Darius, who, as we saw, admired the
monuments in the valley of the Nile, resolved to have a sepulchral cave
hewn for himself, in the form of a speos, in the side of the rock, and
analogous to the sepulchral hypogæa of the Pharaohs. His successors
acted like him. The caverns of Darius and the princes of his dynasty,
which are to be seen in the rocks of Nakhsh-i-Rustam and
Takht-i-Jemshid, near Persepolis, differ in all points from the tombs of
Cambyses I. and Cyrus: while the latter are square towers of masonry,
those of the second Achæmenid dynasty are cut out side by side in the
vertical wall of the mountain, and the façade, like that of the hypogæa
at Beni-Hassan, is decorated with bas-reliefs. To reach these chambers
it was necessary in the time of the Achæmenids, as in our own day, to be
hoisted by ropes to a level with the aperture. The exterior sculptures
are interesting. A colonnade with bicephalic capitals supports an
architrave, the frieze of which is adorned with a procession of lions
and surmounted with bas-reliefs. Two rows of soldiers fully armed raise
their hands to sustain a sort of platform, the borders of which are
decorated with two symbolical figures of lions provided with bulls’
horns. These Persian warriors remind the spectator of the Assyrian
soldiers who form the decoration of Sennacherib’s throne. On the
platform stands Darius on a pedestal in steps, dressed in the _persis_
described by Herodotus, crowned with the _cidaris_, resting the end of
his bow on the ground and stretching out his hand. Opposite him is a
lighted fire-altar and the image of Ormuzd. Round this bas-relief and
serving as its frame stand the figures of the satraps who helped Darius
to slay Gaumates. The door of the cave is opened in the central
intercolumniation. The interior of the chambers was as severe as
possible; the roof is hewn into the form of a vault; in obedience to the
law of Ormuzd there is no trace anywhere of painting or inscription. The
cavities for the sarcophagi are formed in the side walls, as in the
sepulchral caverns of Egypt, Palestine, and Phœnicia.


The glyptic art and the jewellery of the Persians maintain nobly and
without any sign of decadence the artistic traditions of Chaldæa and
Assyria. Assurbanipal and Nebuchadnezzar, when they made expeditions
into the most distant provinces of Persia, Media, and Armenia, had
spread through all these countries the productions of Assyrian industry
and the taste for luxury and works of art; their artists recruited their
disciples there: like Alexander, they carried the torch of civilisation
everywhere by their arms, and when the Achæmenids took up their
residence at Susa and Ecbatana, they found the inhabitants profoundly
impregnated with Chaldæo-Assyrian ideas and customs. To as high a degree
as the Babylonians, the Persians love full dress and ornaments: each
citizen of distinction has his cylinder or his seal hung from his neck;
he is covered with bracelets, rings, necklaces; his tiara is decorated
with pearls and sparkling stones; his tunic, delicately embroidered, is
encrusted with gems. In his house he displays a luxury in furniture
which, handed on to the Parthians, will astonish the Romans and
Byzantines: cups of gold and silver enriched with crystal and coloured
glass, and adorned with figures in relief; chairs, couches and tables
overlaid with silver, gold, and carved ivory. In short, everything
begotten of the passion for luxury among the Chaldæans in the matter of
tapestry, embroidery, and goldsmiths’ work, is also found among the

Only, the Persians were not servile imitators; they could give an
original turn to the productions of their industry, even when they
copied the Assyrians. There is in their cylinders and their seals a dry
and nervous execution which characterises them as distinctly as the
bulls of Persepolis are distinguished from the Ninevite monsters. It
goes without saying also that the inscriptions and the details of
costume give an absolutely precise character to the classification of
the productions of the glyptic art under the Achæmenids. Here is, for
instance, the cylinder of Darius, preserved at the British Museum. The
whole scene is evidently copied from Assyrian seals, but the figure of
the rampant lion and those of the horses are quite different in
treatment from Ninevite art; the denticulated tiara of the prince, the
disk of Ormuzd hovering in the air, and finally the inscription traced
with mathematical regularity, complete the proofs of Persian origin in
this fine cylinder.

[Illustration: Fig. 142.--Cylinder of Darius (after J. Menant).]

As we remove ourselves chronologically from the origin of the art, more
perceptible modifications are introduced into the _technique_, and new
foreign influences are revealed in Persian work. A cylinder (fig. 143),
which belongs to a Russian collector, represents a scene which might be
supposed to be imitated from the bas-relief at Behistun. Darius is here
seen slaying with his lance a kneeling enemy, whose head-dress is

[Illustration: Fig. 143.--Persian cylinder (after J. Menant).]

[Illustration: Fig. 144.--Persian seal. Conical.]

[Illustration: Fig. 145.--Seal of Artaxerxes (Louvre).]

[Illustration: Fig. 146.--Persian seal. Conical.]

The special distinctions of the productions of the gem-engraver’s art
under the Achæmenid dynasty are the sobriety and exactness of the work
and the conventional character of the figured scenes; besides this, in
consequence of the influence of Egypt and Phœnicia, the fashion
spreads more and more of substituting for cylinders conical, rhomboidal
or spherical stones, flattened on one side, in order to form a field for
the engraving. On these cones of chalcedony or agate the most common
subjects are: the “king of kings” standing or kneeling, crowned with the
denticulated tiara or

[Illustration: Fig. 147.--Persian seal (Cabinet des médailles).]

cidaris, and drawing his bow--a type analogous to that of the coins
known under the name of Daries; the king stabbing a lion which stands
erect before him; a pontiff before the fire-altar, adoring Ormuzd;
sphinxes and gryphons which remind us of the Assyrian _kirubu_. An opal
seal (fig. 145) obtained at Susa by M. Dieulafoy, shows two sphinxes
crowned with the tiara of Upper Egypt in adoration before the winged
disk of Ormuzd; in the centre, in a little medallion, is the portrait of
the Achæmenid prince, no doubt Artaxerxes Mnemon. The delicate execution
of the royal portrait is striking, and the elegant forms of the sphinxes
are no less worthy of remark. As among the Assyro-Chaldæans, it is in
the representation of animals--lions, deer, antelopes, sphinxes, and
gryphons--that the genius of the Persian engraver reveals its full
strength. The winged and horned gryphon found on an engraved gem (fig.
147) is significantly analogous to a small limestone bas-relief in the
De Luynes collection (fig. 148) which shows in what fashion Persian art
interpreted the Assyrian _kirubu_, and the modifications which it
required. The monster has the body and fore paws of a lion; his hind
legs, armed with powerful claws, are those of an eagle; he has the ears
of an ox and the horns of a wild goat; his eye, face, and half-open beak
belong to the falcon; a bristling mane adorns a neck proudly arched like
that of a horse; he has a lion’s tail; his great wings with well-marked
feathers resemble in their development those of the Persepolitan bulls.
We know nothing in Persian art superior to this figure, the symbol of
strength and power, in which so many discordant elements are combined
with so fortunate a harmony.[64] At Susa and Persepolis, as at Nineveh
and Babylon, minor sculpture was not inferior to sculpture on a grand
scale, and the style of the engraver sometimes produced as noble and as
striking effects as the chisel of the statuary: the copy did not yield
to the model.

[Illustration: Fig. 148.--De Luynes’ bas-relief (Cabinet des



The name of Hittites (Khatti, Kheta) appears simultaneously in the
Bible, the hieroglyphic documents, and the cuneiform texts. It is given
to populations of different origin who inhabited Syria from the
Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, and also Cappadocia and the greater
part of Asia Minor from the mountains of Armenia to the banks of the
Halys and the Hermus. But the country which was particularly the centre
of the Hittite dominions, and in which they established a homogeneous
and lasting empire, is Northern Syria, that is to say, the territory
which extends from the great bend of the Euphrates to the Orontes, and
from the limits of the Aramæan oases of Palmyra and Damascus to the
mountains of the Taurus. On the Euphrates they built the fortress of
Carchemish (Jerablus), which remained like a threatening challenge in
the face of Nineveh until the day when, about the year B.C. 710, the
Assyrians gained possession of it; on the Orontes their chief towns were
Kadesh and Hamath. It is among the ruins of these cities or in the
neighbouring country, including Cilicia, a geographical appendage of
Syria, and also among the sparsely scattered ruins of Cappadocia and
Asia Minor, that the remains of Hittite civilisation have recently been
discovered, and that the works of its peculiar art have been found which
we are about to describe in a few words.


[Illustration: Fig. 149.--The lion of Marash (after Wright, pl. 27).]

The Hittite art of Syria is derived from Assyrian art; it has nothing
original either in the conception of its forms or in its technical
execution. To characterise it in one word, we might call it Assyrian art
interpreted by barbarians. In all its manifestations it is inferior to
its model, like the works of the barbarians who copied Greek and Roman
art. In imitation of the Assyrians, the Hittites confined themselves
almost exclusively to sculpture in bas-relief. At Marash, on the Pyramus
in Cilicia, it is true, a fragmentary torso has been obtained; but this
is almost the only example of a Hittite statue in the round that we can
cite. This figure, of coarse workmanship, is dressed in a fringed cloak
like that which is to be seen everywhere on the walls of Ninevite

The bulls and other winged monsters, placed at the entrance of Assyrian
and Persian palaces, which keep the mean between statuary and the
bas-relief, also find their parallel among the Hittites. There is at the
Imperial Museum at Constantinople a basalt lion, found at Marash, the
head and neck of which are completely disengaged from the stone block;
the fore paws are even with the front surface of the wall, and the body
of the beast is continued round the corner. Thus it is sculptured on two
sides in imitation of the Ninevite bulls, and the extent of servility in
the copy is finally proved by an inscription in Hittite hieroglyphs
covering the fore paws, in accordance with the singular fashion observed
at Nineveh.

[Illustration: Fig. 150.--Stela from Birejik (British Museum).]

Assyrian influence is even more obviously conspicuous at Carchemish, a
fact to which witness is borne by two figures standing on a crouching
lion, which remind us of the rock sculptures of Sennacherib at Bavian
and Malthaiyah.[67] Is not a pseudo-Assyrian style also to be detected
in this figure[68] (fig. 150) surmounted by the winged disk, with his
tunic open in front? However, his cylindrical tiara, his twisted hair,
and the peculiar disks which he holds in his two hands, are features
which the artist did not copy from Mesopotamia.

Like the Babylonian Istar, the Hittite Astarte is represented standing,
in full face and entirely nude; she holds her breasts with the same
indecent gesture, the first example of which belongs to the plastic art
of Chaldæa. Nevertheless Astarte is winged and crowned with a conical
tiara which are peculiarities of Hittite symbolism. The priestess
performing adoration before her is veiled, like the figures of Assyrian

[Illustration: Fig. 151.--Fragments of sculpture from Carchemish (from
the _Graphic_, Dec. 1880).]

Sculptures in debased imitation of the Ninevite reliefs were ranged on a
series of slabs in the Hittite palaces, as at Khorsabad or Kouyunjik. At
Sinjerli, M. O. Puchstein found still in place, that is to say, lining
the lower portion of the wall of an edifice, a complete set of
bas-reliefs representing a deer hunt, a man struggling with a fantastic
genius, and a train of prisoners of war.[69] In another tell in the
same region, three slabs placed end to end contain a scene from a lion
hunt; the king is in his chariot with his charioteer, and draws his bow.
Everything here--the form of the chariot, the harness of the horses, the
costume of the prince covered with his coat of mail--betrays a copy of
Ninevite sculpture. Even the lion, the anatomical forms of which are
learnedly reproduced, brings to our memory the hunting expeditions of
Assurbanipal. But at the same time the inferiority of the imitator is
conspicuous in the arrangement of the scene, which lacks life and
movement: the lion allows the javelins to be thrust into his eye and
haunches in the most benevolent manner. What a difference from the
vigour and litheness of the terrible beasts which bound roaring around
the hunters, true sons of Nimrod!

[Illustration: Fig. 152.--Bas-relief at Rum-Qalah (_Gazette archéol._

When we leave the regions which lie near the Euphrates, the imitation of
Assyria, though equally perceptible, is, perhaps, less servile and more
free; a larger number of original elements enter into the composition of
the scenes. At Rum-Qalah a bas-relief represents a bearded personage,
wearing a cap, and dressed in a long tunic, drawn apart as if in
imitation of the form of the drooping wings of Assyrian genii. At his
girdle he carries a dagger; in his left hand is a sort of lyre, in his
right a palm-branch; the handle of a leathern bag is passed over his
arm. The coarseness of the workmanship makes the imitation itself almost
unrecognisable. On a basalt stela at Marash (fig. 153) two women,
sitting on chairs with backs, are separated by a table similar to those
that we have seen in Assyria; the costume of these women has also much
analogy to the Ninevite garments; however, their high tiara, under their
long veil, seems to be indigenous. The same characteristics of imperfect
and coarse imitation are to be observed in other pieces of sculpture
from the same place; the only features which are particularly original
are the expression of the faces, the diadem, and the arrangement of the
hair: the spectator feels that he is on the confines of a territory
which is already coming under the direct influence of the Hellenic art
of Asia Minor.[70]

[Illustration: Fig. 153.--Stela at Marash (after Hirschfeld).]

According to these examples, two groups of clearly distinguished Hittite
monuments may be established in Syria itself: those of Carchemish and
the region of the Euphrates, which are colourless copies of Assyrian
works; and those of western Syria and especially of Cilicia, which,
though also derived from Ninevite art, separate themselves from it to a
greater extent, are ruder, and contain elements at once more original
and more barbarous. As peculiar characteristics of the Hittites, we will
point out the diadem, the high cap of the women, to which a long veil is
fitted, and, above all, the shoes with turned-up points. These shoes,
worn by men and women, have been described as the chief mark of the
Hittite monuments; however, it must not be forgotten that these shoes
are still worn, in our own day, not only in Syria but throughout Asia
Minor, by the most various races.


A canton of ancient Cappadocia, the Pteria of Herodotus, on the Halys,
where the first meeting between Cyrus and Crœsus took place, contains
a considerable number of Hittite ruins which have been particularly
explored by MM. Perrot and Guillaume, and form a group by themselves in
the history of oriental art. The village of Boghaz-Keui, the ancient
capital of the Pterians has still, besides its fortifications 3¾ miles
in circumference, bas-reliefs carved upon rocks which are called
Iasili-Kaïa, “the inscribed stone,” and remains of buildings not
completely indistinguishable. The royal palace, almost rased to the
level of the ground, is a parallelogram 136 ft. by 185 ft. In the blocks
which compose the wall, holes are observed for iron clamps, as in the
Achæmenid edifices; as in the latter also, the stones are large but
irregular; the upper portion of the wall was of brick-work, as at
Nineveh and Persepolis; lastly, the palace of Boghaz-Keui was built on
an artificial terrace. In the arrangement of the rooms, details peculiar
to princely residences in all oriental countries are to be recognised.
The principal door forms an independent structure, to be compared to
that of the palace at Khorsabad: it is 58 ft. high; two lions’ heads,
original in style, project on each side of the aperture, above
monolithic doorposts.

[Illustration: Fig. 154.--The sphinx of Euyuk (from Perrot and

The palace of Euyuk, as well as that of Boghaz-Keui, presents striking
features of resemblance to those of Nineveh; its terrace, 812 ft.
square, still rises to the height of 39 ft. The corners are turned
towards the four cardinal points. The principal doorway is 11 ft.
broad,[71] and on each side stand two sphinxes, in place of the
human-headed bulls. Next to these, all along the façade, was a series of
bas-reliefs, the arrangement of which was the same as that upon the
façades of Khorsabad and Kouyunjik; only, the sphinx, which is not
Assyrian, discloses another foreign influence--that of Egypt.
Cappadocian art was able to interpret the Egyptian type, and, on this
occasion, did not limit itself to a dull copy. “In Egypt,” observes M.
Perrot, “the sphinx, to whatever variety of the type it belongs, is
always represented in the reclining posture, never standing as here:
instead of being treated as a bas-relief and placed in front of the
doorway, it is sculptured in the round and set on both sides of the
entrance, perpendicular to the path, towards the axis of which it
looks.”[72] Besides, in the sphinxes on the banks of the Nile, the
extremities of the hair, on each side of the head, fall straight without
forming the curls which we see here. At Euyuk, the Egyptian sphinx is
treated in the Assyrian style; the place which it occupies on the sides
of the doorway, and the position of its paws, turn it into a sort of
compromise between Egypt and Assyria, which vied with one another in
this land of Cappadocia, in artistic influence as in political

[Illustration: Fig. 155.--Rock sculptures at Iasili-Kaïa (after Perrot
and Guillaume).]

This double tendency is also observed at Iasili-Kaïa. Here a rectangular
chamber has been found 81 ft. by 37½ ft., hewn in the rock on three
sides; the walls are covered with bas-reliefs forming a plinth.

[Illustration: Fig. 156.--Rock sculptures at Iasili-Kaïa (after Perrot
and Guillaume).]

[Illustration: Fig. 157.--Rock sculptures at Iasili-Kaïa (after Perrot
and Guillaume).]

Another smaller chamber and a corridor contain similar sculptures; the
height of the figures varies from 4 ft. 6 in. to 2 ft. 3 in. Two
processions of figures go round the larger chamber and meet one another:
on the right, women dressed in long robes with trains, their hair
falling upon their shoulders, wearing a round tiara like the women at
Marash; on the left the men, with the conical cap assigned by Herodotus
to the Cimmerians, and a short tunic reaching no lower than the knees in
front, but longer behind. In each group the figures grow larger in
proportion to their nearness to the centre. Many of them are not human
beings, but winged genii, satyrs with goats’ feet, dog-headed monsters.
Nearly all hold in their hands sceptres, curved staves, two-edged
hatchets; some stand upon quadrupeds. Two are seen perched upon a
two-headed eagle; another, accompanied by a kid, stands on the
shoulders of two porters.

[Illustration: Fig. 158.--Rock sculpture at Iasili-Kaïa (Perrot and

[Illustration: Fig. 159.--Rock sculpture of Iasili-Kaïa (after Perrot
and Guillaume).]

Close to the entrance of this vast hall, a separate relief represents a
giant standing on two mountains. This personage holds in his right hand
a shrine, and in his left hand has a sort of long staff, the lower end
of which is curved like a crosier; he wears a hemispherical skull-cap,
and is dressed in a long robe open at the side. The shrine which this
deity holds is provided with two Ionic columns supporting the winged
disk; beneath the disk is a figure between two bulls seen in full face.
At some distance a group of two figures is observed. One of them, of
colossal proportions, is found elsewhere standing upon a quadruped.
Here, he wears a highly decorated conical tiara, and is armed with a
sword and clothed in a short tunic. He stretches out his right hand as
if to carry or to seize a child standing before him. The second figure,
protected by the deity, who passes his left arm round his neck and
holds his hand, is the same as he whom we noticed just before.

The sculptures which decorate the walls of the vestibule in the palace
of Euyuk have so great an analogy to those of Iasili-Kaïa that it is
impossible not to recognise their common style and origin. We observe
among them a woman, seated upon a throne, with her hair flowing down
upon her shoulders, decorated with a necklace and bracelets, who reminds
us of the Assyrian queen sharing the banquet of Assurbanipal; she raises
a goblet to her lips, and holds a flower in her hand.

[Illustration: Fig. 160.--Rock sculpture of Iasili-Kaïa (after Perrot
and Guillaume).]

[Illustration: Fig. 161.--Tomb of Gherdek-Kaïasi (after Perrot and

All these scenes are priestly and religious, and not, as in Assyria,
devoted to the glory of the king and to the memory of his warlike
exploits. They refer to the worship of the god Mên or of the goddess Mâ
or Enio, the Cappadocian name of Anaïtis or Astarte, whose rites Strabo
describes as performed in the two towns of Comana.

To this Cappadocian civilisation, again, purely oriental and anterior to
Greek influence as it is, the sculpture of tombs observed at
Gherdek-Kaïasi, near Boghaz-Keui and Euyuk, must be referred. The
principal of these caves hewn in the rock, like those of Phœnicia and
Nakhsh-i-Rustam, has a façade adorned with a portico with three low
colonnades, the style of which closely resembles the Greek Doric order
(fig. 161). At the extremities of this portico are the doors of two
chambers intended to contain sarcophagi. Both of them have windows
opened in the wall of rock; the sepulchral couches are hewn in the wall
like alcoves. There is something in these monuments which partakes of
the character both of the Phrygian tombs and of those of
Nakhsh-i-Rustam; and perhaps they are not anterior to the destruction of
Pteria by Crœsus in B.C. 549.

To sum up: we must conclude, with M. Perrot,[73] that the monuments of
Boghaz-Keui and Euyuk, witnesses of primitive Cappadocian civilisation,
underwent Assyrian influence as well as those of Northern Syria. The
palaces look like “a reduced copy of the great royal edifices on the
banks of the Tigris and Euphrates.” The winged figures, the monsters
with eagles’ and lions’ heads, are Assyrian, and so are the deities
borne on the backs of different quadrupeds, the flowers in the hands of
the figures and the winged disk, the symbol of the deity. Various
elements of the Cappadocian sculptures seem, upon no less evidence, to
have been borrowed from Egypt, Persia, and even from the Greeks of Asia
Minor, but this is exceptional. In any case there is nothing original
and individual in this Hittite art of Pteria, except the eagle with two
heads (fig. 162), which is evidently connected with the most ancient
Asiatic worship, and suggests reminiscences of the Sirens; except also
the long curved _lituus_, the robe cut in the form of a chasuble, the
peaked tiara, the pointed shoes; details of dress more interesting for
the history of costume than for that of art.

[Illustration: Fig. 162.--Sculpture at Iasili-Kaïa.]

The connection of the sculptures of Pteria with those of Hittite Syria
is quite clear; there are the same hieroglyphs, the same short tunic,
the same long robe, the same shoes, the same peaked tiara, and the same
round skull-cap. The female garments are almost identical at Marash and
Iasili-Kaïa; the deities have similar attributes; the lion and the bull
are the animals which both regions prefer to represent. We must conclude
that the same semi-barbarous race, powerless to free itself, whether in
art or politics, from the yoke of Egypt and Assyria, inhabited both the
slopes of the Taurus; we will now examine how far this Hittite race
extended its branches towards the west, and what monuments it left in
Asia Minor beyond the Halys.


To the north of the Taurus and beyond the Halys, the monuments belonging
to Hittite civilisation are, as in Cappadocia, bas-reliefs carved on the
sides of rocks or not.

[Illustration: Fig. 163.--Rock sculptures at Ghiaur-Kalesi (after Perrot
and Guillaume, pl. x.).]

At Kalaba, near Ancyra, in Galatia, M. Perrot discovered a large slab (4
ft. 4 in. by 2 ft. 6 in.) on which is carved a lion, analogous in style
to those which we have met in Syria or in Cappadocia.[74] A nine hours’
journey south-west of Ancyra, among the ruins called Ghiaur-Kalesi, the
same scholar found two large figures, cut this time on the side of the
rock. These are warriors, like several of those at Boghaz-Keui; both
wear a conical helmet or tiara, to which a piece of stuff is attached
behind, which covers the nape of the neck; they are clothed in a short
tunic, drawn in at the waist by a sash; their feet are shod with curved

The sculpture at Ibriz, in Lycaonia, consists of an inscription in
Hittite hieroglyphs and two colossal figures, one 19 ft. 9 in. high, the
other 11 ft. 9 in. A priest is standing in adoration before his deity.
The god holds in his left hand an ear of corn, and in his right hand the
branches of a vine which grows from the ground behind him. His tiara is
provided with several pairs of horns, and his beard and hair are curled
in the Assyrian fashion. The pontiff is thoroughly Assyrian in
appearance and costume; his robe edged with fringes is decorated with
square or lozenge-shaped designs, which remind us of the tunic of
Marduk-nadin-akhi (fig. 22), and also of the ornaments of the
Phrygo-Hellenic tomb called that of Midas.

[Illustration: Fig. 164.--Rock sculpture at Ibriz (from Wright, _Empire
of the Hittites_).]

The ruins of Eflatoun, in Lycaonia, scarcely consist of anything more at
the present day than the façade of a ruined edifice; it is adorned with
a bas-relief in which the winged solar disk is to be distinguished, the
symbol of the deity in Egypt and in Assyria; below are two other smaller
disks; then come two rows of figures with their arms raised above their
head, as if to support an entablature.

[Illustration: Fig. 165.--Rock sculpture at Nymphio (_Revue arch._, t.
xiii, 1866).]

Hittite monuments grow more rare as we leave Cilicia, Lycaonia,
Cappadocia and Phrygia to penetrate into more western regions. However,
fresh monuments are met with every day in Lydia and even on the coast of
Ionia, accompanied by hieroglyphs which do not allow us to doubt of the
origin of the people who carved them on the rocks. Herodotus attributed
to Sesostris two Hittite bas-reliefs, near Smyrna, which are to be seen
at the present day. One, at the village of Nymphio, on the side of a
rock which overhangs a branch of the river Hermus, rises at least 162
ft. above the ravine. In a niche, 8 ft. high, a warrior is seen wearing
the conical tiara and clothed in a short tunic; he carries a lance and a
bow; he is shod with the pointed boots. The second monument alluded to
by Herodotus has been lately discovered by M. Humann; it is less well
preserved, and represents an almost exactly similar warrior.[75]
Besides traces of Hittite inscriptions, the style of these rock
sculptures, the costume and attitude of the figures connect them
inevitably with the bas-reliefs of Cilicia, Lycaonia, Cappadocia and
Syria; there is the same indistinct outline and the same lack of
modelling. Wherever the Hittite people went, they remained feeble
imitators; the works of art which they have left us can be referred to
two or three types, copied from Assyrian and sometimes from Egyptian
sculpture, but always much inferior to the model.

Less mediocre is the manufacture of models in serpentine which have come
down to us, and which were employed by Hittite or Lydo-Phrygian
goldsmiths in making metal ornaments or talismanic figures. The two most
curious of these matrices are that which is preserved in the Cabinet de
Médailles under the name of _Baphomet_, and another, found a few years
ago near Thyatira in Mæonia.[76] The latter, which is 3½ in. high by 4½
in. broad and ½ in. thick, shows us a naked woman, with her hands upon
her breasts like the Babylonian Istar; next a man, perhaps Bel-Marduk,
clothed in the Chaldæan robe with a series of fringes one above the
other. Farther on there is a lion with a ring, intended to hang the
ornament when it came out of the mould; a sort of altar; and, finally,
the planetary symbols found on a large number of Assyrian monuments.

In the glyptic art, Hittite engravers surpassed themselves, and showed
themselves worthy of their Ninevite masters. Far be it from us to treat
with disdain the seal-impressions on terra-cotta, the seals of precious
stone and the cylinders, the inscriptions and figures upon which have
only recently attracted the attention of archæologists. The silver seal,
now lost, of the king Tarkudimme, bears a bilingual inscription in
Hittite hieroglyphs and in Assyrian cuneiform. A cylinder at the Louvre,
found at Aïdin, in Lydia, shows a scene of presentation to a deity (fig.
167). Three figures walk in the same direction, with their hand upon
their mouth, carrying the curved sceptre which we noticed in the rock
sculptures of Iasili-Kaïa; a large table, supported by two lions, is
laden with offerings. Then comes an Assyrian genius with two faces, a
deity sitting upon a throne, and some secondary figures. M. Heuzey[77]
has observed that though the subject is almost entirely Assyrian, there
is, nevertheless, a national element in it; this is the decorative part
of the cylinder. The ornamental design occupies, indeed, a considerable
place on the surface; it is composed of a double border of interlacing
lines and symmetrical scrolls, which are never met with except in
monuments of the Hittite glyptic art.

[Illustration: Fig. 166.--Boss of Tarkudimme (after Wright).]

[Illustration: Fig. 167.--Hittite cylinder (Louvre).]



Palestine, which unites Syria to Egypt, was inhabited by numerous
Semitic and Canaanitish tribes which have left us very meagre remains of
their art. Like that of the Hittites, this art drew its inspiration both
from Assyria and Egypt, though it never did more than imperfectly
imitate them. Pharaonic influence is, however, more deeply to be felt
here than among the Hittites, since Palestine was nearer to the valley
of the Nile. The most important inhabitants of this region were the
Jews, and in spite of the poverty of our archæological documents,
numerous scholars have, for three centuries, taken a special interest in
the works of this people who played so extraordinary a part on the stage
of the world. It must be added that almost all these researches have
been concentrated upon the exploration of the Temple of Jerusalem and
its furniture, which in fact were the highest effort of Jewish art; and
though the monuments themselves are no longer in our hands or before our
eyes, there is not a single edifice in all oriental or classical
antiquity of which we possess written descriptions so circumstantial and
so numerous. A hundred restorations of the Temple, taking these as their
basis, have been attempted; the least complicated system, and that which
has obtained the greatest scientific credit, is that of M. de Vogüé. We
will correct and complete it by means of the more recent researches of
English explorers. Accordingly, all the art of Palestine being
concentrated in the Temple of Jerusalem and its furniture, we shall only
speak incidentally of the few other ruins anterior to the Macedonian
epoch that have been remarked, whether in Judæa or among other nations
of southern Syria, and even among the Nabatæan Arabs.


The city of Jerusalem occupies at the present day the southern extremity
of a plateau bounded on the east by the Valley of Kedron, and on the
west and south by the Valley of Hinnom. This plateau is cut in two from
north to south by a ravine called the Tyropœon Valley, so that it
forms two hills--one on the east, Mount Moriah, the southern extremity
of which, called Ophel, was Sion or the city of David; the other on the
west, of much larger extent, to which the name of Sion is improperly
given at the present day, and to which the city began to extend only
under the kings of Judah. When Solomon ascended the throne, Jerusalem
consisted only of Sion or the city of David--that is to say, the narrow
hill of Ophel, between the Kedron and Tyropœon valleys. Mount Moriah,
on the north, was given up to cultivation, and a rich man of Jerusalem,
Araunah, possessed some ground there, with a threshing-floor on which
camels and oxen trod out the corn at the time of harvest. David had
bought the field of Araunah in order to build upon it the Temple of the
true God, and before beginning the construction he had erected an altar
on the threshing-floor in order that sacrifice might at once be offered
to Jehovah. The materials were collected in great part before the work
began; architects, workmen and artists recruited at Tyre, thanks to the
assistance of King Hiram, hastened to the spot, and the building began
in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign (B.C. 1013).

[Illustration: Fig. 168.--Site of the Temple on Mount Moriah.[78]]

The summit of Mount Moriah, the centre of which formed the
threshing-floor of Araunah, had to be levelled in order to serve as the
site of the structure of the temple. In one place the hollows had to be
filled, in another the ridges had to be cut away. The central crest was
therefore surrounded by an immense quadrangular rockwork bounded by
Cyclopean walls of the height of the truncated summit. These supporting
walls, extraordinarily thick, formed of enormous blocks fastened by
iron clamps, were also embanked on the outside at the base, and all the
empty spaces and interstices between the interior wall and the living
rock were filled up with a nucleus of rockwork, so as to form on the
upper part a square platform. A F G L is the threshing-floor thus
surrounded. At the north-western angle--that is to say, A B C D--it was
necessary not to construct a supporting rampart and fill up the
declivity of the mount, but, on the contrary, to cut away the natural
rock into the form of an angle, so that at this point the enclosure of
the temple was bounded by a natural wall rising perpendicularly to the
height of 26 ft. A trench dug by the English explorers at the
north-eastern angle B L K proved that at this point, on the contrary,
the artificial rockwork of the temple basement must have reached the
colossal height of 123 feet. On the south, at E F G H, a labyrinth of
vaults and corridors, supporting a mass of collected material, was
contrived in the substructure, which at the south-eastern angle, at the
point G, forms at the present day a terrace 45 ft. high; and yet the
accumulated rubbish causes the foot of the wall to be more than 65 ft.
below the present surface of the ground! By the system of levelling
which we have described an irregular quadrilateral was obtained, the
eastern and southern sides of which are 1520 ft. and 1611 ft. long, and
the northern and southern side 1017 ft. and 921 ft.

As Mount Moriah extended in a northern direction beyond the temple
enclosure, the platform was on this side accessible to all comers. To
remedy this inconvenience, and turn the new structure into an isolated
citadel as well as a temple, a broad trench was hewn in the rock on the
north-east, A B; and on the north-west, B L, a gigantic moat called
Birket-Israîl, which at the present day, though filled up to the extent
of two-thirds, is still 104 ft. broad and 65 ft. deep. “Thus,” concludes
M. de Vogüé, “we have a large quadrilateral excavated on the north,
supported on the south by vaulted substructures, and surrounded on three
sides by terraces and on the fourth side by a broad moat. Such is the
entirely homogeneous whole of the Haram esh-Sherif; such almost it has
existed for long centuries, for successive destructions and rebuildings
have little altered the primitive plan.”[79] We shall see directly, in
the company of the same scholar, that this immense pedestal, the work of
Solomon, was only modified and enlarged by Herod on one of its sides.

However, the platform thus prepared was not quite level with the natural
crest of rock which crowns Moriah. The culminating point of this rock,
called Sakhra, still rose 16 ft. above the terrace. Instead of sapping
this peak of chalky limestone and removing it, it was taken as the level
of a second platform above the first, but concentric with it and much
smaller. This is the upper terrace which at the present day supports the
domed building improperly called the Mosque of Omar, which would better
be designated by its true name, _Kubbet es-Sakhra_, “Dome of the Rock.”
According to M. de Vogüé, the threshing-floor of Araunah, on which David
set up the altar of Jehovah, was a little to the north of the Sakhra,
where later the altar of burnt-offerings was placed.

After building the platform, Solomon occupied himself with the
structure properly so called. The temple, or more plainly, the house of
Jehovah, was to be enclosed in two concentric courts. Solomon had only
time to finish the first court,--that which immediately surrounded the
edifice, and then the eastern side of the second; this was not completed
till long after his death, in the reign of Manasseh. As soon as the
interior building was ready, Solomon resolved to devote it to the
worship of God, without waiting for the completion of the second court.
He celebrated the solemn dedication of the temple only seven years after
the laying of the first stone of the substructure. The Bible has
bequeathed to us the description of the interior magnificence of this
sanctuary, built and decorated by Phœnician workmen, and of the works
of art collected within it by the most sumptuous of Jewish monarchs. The
architecture and the interior ornaments were all Egyptian in style, like
the Phœnician temples themselves. But nothing is left of the building
of Solomon except the cisterns and the eastern side of the second court.
This court is decorated with a portico, under which Solomon had the
royal throne placed on which he sat when he was present at public
ceremonies; it was still called, even after Herod, the Porch of Solomon.

Under the kings of Judah there were numerous works of enlargement and
restoration; but all was destroyed in B.C. 588, when Jerusalem was taken
by the Chaldæans. Nebuzar-adan, Nebuchadnezzar’s lieutenant, caused the
temple to be set on fire, and all was over with the legendary
magnificence of the son of David.

Fifty-two years later the Jews who had been taken captive to Babylon
were set free by Cyrus, and their leader Zerubbabel at once undertook
to restore the temple of the true God. The work, hindered by the
jealousy of the Samaritans, was not finished till B.C. 516. Sufficiently
similar in plan to that of Solomon, the new temple was less beautiful
and less grand in its proportions; the old men wept when they remembered
the former house. In the course of centuries the new temple underwent
many modifications, at least in its exterior, although the original plan
was not upset to any considerable extent. For instance, in the time of
the Maccabees, the exterior enclosure was extended on the north, and at
the north-eastern angle the fortress named _Baris_ was built, which
Herod altered in later times and which became the famous tower of
Antonia. However the temple of Zerubbabel lasted for nearly five
centuries without being destroyed, and had the good fortune, rare in the
ancient East, to pass through the period of Seleucid rule and the Roman
conquest under Pompey, without being either pillaged or demolished.
Herod, a man of Idumæan race, appointed king of the Jews by the Romans,
conceived the project of making himself popular among his people by
rebuilding the temple in all the splendour which Solomon had originally
bestowed upon it. In the first place, he brought all his efforts to bear
upon the enclosure, which he resolved to enlarge; he doubled it,
according to Josephus. Instead of four stadia in circumference it grew
to six, preserving its former length on the smallest side, so that in
fact it became geometrically double in area. This enlargement took place
on the south, towards Ophel, so that the actual edifice of the temple,
instead of standing in the middle of its peribolus, was removed to the
north. The tower of Baris or Antonia continued to form the northern
boundary. In the annexed figure, A B C D is the ancient peribolus, T the
temple, and C D E F the square portion added by Herod.

[Illustration: Fig. 169.]

“In order to carry out this plan,” says M. de Vogüé, “Herod had the
ancient terraces rased to the ground and rebuilt, as well as the
colonnades which crowned them. Only he respected and enclosed the
eastern colonnade called the Porch of Solomon and its fine supporting
wall. This is the only part of the former temple that he seems to have
preserved: all the rest was destroyed in order to be born again,
restored to youth, and enlarged; the inner sanctuary was demolished to
its foundations.”[80] The work undertaken by Herod began about the year
B.C. 18. Ten thousand workmen were employed upon it under the direction
of a thousand priests, who alone might work with their hands in the Holy
Place and the Holy of Holies. Eighteen months were enough to raise the
inner building, but eight years were required to rebuild the court and
the colonnades. The accessory structures were not finished till the year
64 after Christ, in the reign of Nero; at this date the work was
occupying eighteen thousand workmen.

The foregoing historical considerations compel us to conclude, with M.
de Vogüé, that the Haram-esh-Sherif represents the very enclosure
enlarged by Herod. In fact, the southern side of the Haram is 919 ft.
long, the circumference is 5,006 ft., which, with the addition of 508
ft. for the projection formed by the tower of Antonia, make 5,514
ft.--that is to say, six times the length of the southern side. Besides,
Herod could not develop the enclosure on the north on account of the
tower of Baris and the gigantic moat _Birket-Israîl_, which bounded it
on that side, nor on the east on account of the abrupt declivity which
forms the side of the valley of Kedron, nor on the west where the
Tyropœon valley is. The enlargement could only take place on the
south, and, moreover, as the ground was sloping, it was necessary, in
order to remove the declivity, to proceed as Solomon had done: that is
to say, to construct an immense artificial platform, supported on three
sides by high terraces. The great substructures of the Haram esh-Sherif
are the remains of Herod’s gigantic work. If since the time of that
prince the structure of the temple has been several times overthrown
from top to bottom and continually rebuilt, these successive
restorations have not altered the original plan of the substructure; the
fragments of wall which remained in place served as bases for the new
edifices. The consequence of this is that in these walls different
layers of masonry are perceived one above the other like geological
strata, the original Herodian courses being naturally the lowest.

The most ancient masonry visible, the lowest, is formed of the largest
blocks; the courses are from a yard to two yards high; the length of the
blocks varies between 7½ yds. and 2½ ft. One block is to be observed at
the south-eastern angle which is 13 yards long. Each layer recedes 2
in. from that beneath it; the stones, carefully trimmed, are laid
without mortar. These large blocks are marginal-drafted--that is to say,
each stone is, as it were, bounded by a groove which marks the courses
and the joints. Besides the groove, each block is framed in a chiselled
band smooth but not deep, which forms a second frame, carved within the
groove round the surface of the hewn block. The lower masonry of the
temple is, then, drafted and chiselled at the edge; besides, at
intervals, the surface of the blocks is provided with projecting tenons,
no doubt contrived to facilitate the placing of them. The best preserved
portion of this masonry is the Heit el Maghreby, “the western wall,”
where the Jews come every Friday to weep over the destruction of
Jerusalem and to await the Messiah; it is the Wailing-place. Recent
English excavations, carried 107 ft. below the present surface of the
ground, have proved that this masonry is to be found all round the
enclosure of the Haram.

[Illustration: Fig 170.--The Jews’ Wailing-place (after M. de Vogüé).]

The system of construction immediately above the drafted blocks is
characterised by Roman masonry formed of smooth stones without grooves,
their outer surface being carefully fluted by means of a chisel with
very fine teeth. The blocks, about a yard square, are laid with
sharp-edged joints. This system is especially remarked on the western
and southern sides. The following systems, in the order of their
position one above the other, do not deserve to be described; they are
relatively modern and belong to all epochs, but chiefly to the Saracenic

Not far from the Wailing-place, 39 ft. from the south-eastern corner, is
the celebrated beginning of the bridge which united the temple to the
city, crossing over the Tyropœon; it belongs to the first system of
the substructure, and forms part of it. The English excavations have
brought one of the piers to light; they have shown that the roadway of
the bridge is 295 ft. long, and that the breadth of each arch amounts to
16 yards. While digging at the foot of the pier a pavement was
discovered which no doubt represents the street which passed along there
before Herod’s epoch, or rather even before the destruction of the
Temple by the Chaldæans. Some foundation is formed for this conjecture
by the fact that when the English broke up this pavement and dug lower
still they found the extrados of a vault: this was nothing less than the
arch of another bridge of colossal masonry, which in the course of
centuries had been buried under masses of rubbish: Herod, and perhaps
Zerubbabel before him, built over the ruins without even trying to clear
away the bridge. Who knows whether this arch, called _Robinson’s arch_,
from the excavator’s name, is not the remains of a bridge erected by

In the mass of substructure beneath the Haram, the existence of vaults
and of a network of corridors of drafted masonry has been proved, and
these must, from the character of the work, be contemporary with Herod.
On the platform, two cisterns are seen which probably date from
Solomon’s time, if they are not even earlier, though it must be admitted
that they have been subjected to successive restorations. One is under
the rock Sakhra, the other in front of the mosque of El Aksa: the
latter, especially, which is the largest, is a superb artificial grotto,
upheld by pilasters contrived in the side of the rock. The descent into
that under the rock Sakhra is by a flight of fifteen steps; in the
centre is a well which by means of a subterranean canal opens into the
valley of Kedron, and was perhaps used by Araunah the Jebusite.

[Illustration: Fig. 171.--The western door. Present state (after M. de

The outer enclosure built by Herod was pierced by several gates giving
access to the terrace, which are still partly preserved. They are
subterranean with regard to the platform; their threshold was of course
on a level with the ground outside, and they opened on the staircases
formed in the thickness of the terrace. At the present day, as the
ground outside has been raised by rubbish of all kinds, Herod’s doorways
are filled up either entirely or partly. The _Western Gate_ (fig. 171),
near the Wailing-place, is at the present day buried to the extent of
two-thirds. It is surmounted by a great monolithic lintel 16 ft. long,
and its structure belongs to the Herodian system of masonry, but it has
undergone subsequent alterations within.

The two most important of the ancient gates are on the southern side;
they are called the _Double Gate_ and the _Triple Gate_, on account of
the number of their arches.

[Illustration: Fig. 172.--Interior View of the Double Gate.]

The two arched apertures of the Double Gate give access to a large
vestibule, the vaulting of which is supported by an enormous central
column; here the hottest hours of the day might be passed in comfort.
From this vestibule there is an ascent to the upper platform by two
parallel flights of steps separated by a row of pillars. There is
nothing left of the time of Herod but the two outer jambs of the door,
the middle pier, two monolithic lintels similar to those of the Western
Gate, and, lastly, the central column of the vestibule. This column is
squat, for it is only four of its own diameters in height; it has no
base. Its capital, which broadens into the form of a basket, is
decorated with acanthus leaves in very low relief all round.

The _Triple Gate_, also situated on the southern side of the Haram, 67
yards from the Double Gate, is similar to the latter, except that
instead of two arches it has three; besides this, a triple sloping
corridor led to the upper platform.

The _Golden Gate_,[81] opened in the eastern side of the enclosure, was
in its original form similar to the Double Gate and the Triple Gate;
and, like them, it is about 6½ yds. below the level of the platform to
which it gave access; nothing is left of the first structure except the
two monolithic jambs 10 ft. and 13½ ft. high, which seem to be even
earlier than Herod’s building. On the north, there was only one
entrance, on a level with the platform, which communicated with the
outside by a bridge thrown across the great moat.

Now that we have arrived at the terrace we are going to pass through the
different parts of the buildings. They are commanded by the tower of
Antonia, which was built by the Asmonæan kings, under the name of Baris,
and enlarged and embellished by Herod; it occupied the north-eastern
angle of the structure. Its base was a scarped rock, the flanks of which
had been cut away by human hands; its outer wall of enclosure was three
cubits thick. An enormous trench cut in the rock isolated the fortress
on the north, and four turrets flanked the outer curtains at the angles.
Two flights of steps led straight down from the fortress into the outer
court of the Temple.

[Illustration: Fig. 173.--Plan of Herod’s temple (after M. de

The great outer court was on three of its sides surrounded by a double
portico--that is to say, by two rows of columns of the Doric order, 25
cubits high; the roof, upheld by this double portico, which was 30
cubits broad, rested upon the outer wall. Or the south, instead of a
portico there was a _basilica_, that is to say, “a building with three
naves of unequal height, supported by columns.” The aisles were 32 ft.
broad and 50 ft. high; the central nave was 48 ft. broad and 100 ft.
high. There were 41 columns in each row, which gave 754 ft. for the
whole length of the basilica. The central nave was supported by three
rows of Corinthian columns, and there were columns attached to the side
walls which corresponded to each row. The building had a panelled
ceiling of carved wood. The basilica opened on the bridge which cut the
valley of the Tyropœon, and its axis was in a straight line with the
axis of the bridge.

[Illustration: Fig. 174.--Bird’s-eye view of Herod’s Temple (Restoration
by M. de Vogüé).]

Such was the court of the Gentiles, accessible to all visitors. A
barrier, only three cubits high, prevented profane intruders from
penetrating into the enclosure reserved for the Israelites, which was
contained within that of the Gentiles. M. de Vogüé thinks that this low
wall of separation, on the southern side, must have corresponded to the
boundary of the outer enclosure of the ancient temple of Solomon.

The enclosure reserved for the Israelites included the _women’s court_
and the _men’s court_, or that _of Israel_. From the Gentiles’ court
access was obtained to the women’s court by a flight of fourteen steps.
This court had, at its four angles, square chambers which served for the
stores of the Temple, for the ablutions and other pious exercises; there
was also the Treasury chamber, in which the specie was kept which was
coined for the exclusive use of the temple. Between these chambers rose
porticoes. On the inner side, the women’s court was separated from the
court of Israel by a series of buildings which opened on the court of
Israel, and the entrance into this court was by three gates, each
provided with porches and five steps. The principal gate, celebrated
under the name of the _Gate of Nicanor_, on account of its fine
architectural proportions and the richness of its construction, was a
folding gate of Corinthian bronze: twenty men were needed to open and
shut it; before it was a semicircular flight of fifteen steps.

The court of Israel, reserved for the men who had accomplished certain
acts of purification, was 11 cubits broad. The chambers which surrounded
it on three sides were used as appendages to Divine worship; their
façade was provided with porches. Each of them was consecrated to a
special service: the skins of victims were salted and washed in them,
musical instruments, salt, the perpetual fire, and wood were kept in
them; the hall in which the Sanhedrim held its sessions was one of them.

A step one cubit broad, which the priests alone might cross, separated
the court of Israel from the court of the priests, and, in the middle
of this court, the temple properly so called and the altar of burnt
offerings stood. “The altar of burnt offerings was formed of three
stages of rough-hewn stone, each stage a cubit less on all sides than
that beneath it; the base formed a square of 32 cubits; the total height
was 15 cubits high; the ascent was by an incline situated on the south,
30 cubits long; two smaller staircases led to the intermediate platform.
On the upper surface the sacrificial fire burnt, and at the four corners
were horns on which the blood was sprinkled and libations of wine and
water were poured. A conduit situated at the southern corner of the
altar received these liquids, and carried them off into the subterranean
drains, and thence into the valley of Kedron.”[83] At the north of the
altar of burnt offerings six rows of iron rings were seen fixed to the
ground in order to fasten the animals to them; there were also eight
small columns to which the victims were suspended that they might be cut
to pieces and flayed, and eight tables upon which the flesh was placed.

[Illustration: Fig. 175.--The Altar of Burnt-offerings (Restoration).]

The temple properly so-called, which stood 22 cubits to the west of the
altar of burnt offerings, was built on a terrace six cubits high,
mounted by a flight of twelve steps. There was thus a difference of 27½
ft. between the level of the temple platform and the court of the
Gentiles. As for the architectural arrangement of the building, it was
similar to that of Solomon. The anterior pylon was 100 cubits high and
20 deep; at each extremity there were chambers in which the sacred
knives were kept, which were used for slaying the victims. The Holy
Place or _Hekal_, and the Holy of Holies or _Debir_, only separated by a
veil, were both 60 cubits high, 30 broad, and together 65 cubits long
measured from outside. “A series of thirty chambers and three stories
was attached to the sanctuary, as in the ancient temple, for a length of
15 cubits, measured without, and this gave to the sanctuary outside the
appearance of a basilica. The whole edifice was roofed with terraces, on
which gilded points were fixed to drive away the birds.”[84]

The Jewish Temple was one of the grandest architectural works that the
genius of the ancients produced. The successive enclosures raised one
above the other, and crowned by the gigantic pylons of the sanctuary,
built of white marble, were the result of an inspiration of genius that
has never been realised except in this instance, and all antiquity had
but one voice to proclaim its imposing majesty. “When the rays of the
rising sun struck upon the metal plates which covered the doors and roof
of the sanctuary, when they illuminated the gilding on the façade, and
the gigantic golden vine which spread its tendrils over the white marble
of the pronaos, the spectator’s eyes were dazzled, and he was forced to
turn them away, and the stranger who perceived the temple in the
distance thought he saw a mountain covered with glittering snow.”[85]

Such was the temple of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, restored by
Herod, in which many of the scenes of the Gospels took place, and which
was destined for so dramatic and mournful a fate. At once a public
market, a house of prayer, and a fortress, it was condemned to be the
tomb of Jewish nationality. Besieged and taken by the Romans, after a
resistance unique in the annals of antiquity for its heroic desperation,
it succumbed before the violence of Titus, and was profaned by Roman
legionaries with torches and pickaxes in their hands. The echo of its
fall, solemnly marked in the pages of human destiny, still resounds
among us, for it was the overthrow of antiquity, and the irreparable
destruction of the old civilisation of the East.


The house of the Eternal was adorned with unheard-of splendour; precious
woods, gold, silver, ivory and gems--nothing was spared by this people,
jealous for the honour of their God; the accessories also of the worship
of Jehovah, sacred vessels, knives, basins and utensils of every kind
were works of art in which the chiseller and the metal-founder had each
emulated the other’s skill. But the artists who decorated the former
temple, let us not forget it, were Phœnicians. Now, the Phœnicians
always confined themselves to the imitation of Egypt and Assyria; their
technique has a hybrid character, which is, like Syria itself from a
geographical point of view, a sort of compromise between Asia and Egypt.
On these principles of criticism alone can we attempt to restore the
decoration and furniture of Solomon’s temple.

The veil hung between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, and
concealing the latter from sight, was a large piece of silk, on which
the skilful hand of Eastern embroideresses had represented the image of
the world; the four colours which entered into its composition were the
symbols of the elements: purple represented the sea, saffron fire,
hyacinth air, byssus earth. The inner walls were panelled with carved
planks of cedar. In the Holy Place these wood-carvings represented
colocynths and open flowers; in the Holy of Holies, palm-trees and
fantastic animals or cherubim were mixed with the flowers. This
decoration was relieved by plates of gold fixed on the wood with nails
of the same metal. The Ark of the Covenant, in the Holy of Holies, was
sheltered under the wings of two immense cherubim of wood overlaid with
plates of gold. The different parts of these monstrous figures were
borrowed from the animal world, like those of the winged bulls in the
Ninevite palaces. According to the Bible, the cherubim are winged and
have bulls’ feet; they draw Jehovah in his chariot or carry Him upon
their back, like the Assyrian deities. Each cherub has at the same time
a human face and a lion’s face. They form a silent procession upon the
cedar panels, the leaves of the olive-wood doors, and the veil before
the Holy of Holies, alternating with palms and colocynths, which, at
Jerusalem, are substituted for the Egyptian lotus.

[Illustration: Fig. 176.--Egyptian naos and cherubim (M. de Vogüé, p.

In the Holy of Holies there were two colossal statues of cherubs, 10
cubits high, overlaid with gold, which guarded the Ark of the Covenant.
Each cherub had two gigantic wings, one outspread and drooped over the
ark which it overshadowed, the other symmetrically outspread in the
opposite direction and raised towards the ceiling. M. de Vogüé
ingeniously compares with this description the Egyptian representations
of two figures with long wings, kneeling on each side of the symbolic
scarabæus or the solar disk supported by uræi, which they cover with
their wings.

[Illustration: Fig. 177.--Egyptian ark and naos (from an Egyptian

The Ark of the Covenant itself resembled those _naoi_ or _bari_ which we
see carried by Egyptian priests upon their shoulders. It was of
acacia-wood (_shittim_), covered with plates of gold both inside and
outside. It was about 1¾ yards long, 2 ft. 8 in. broad and high. The lid
was called the Throne of Jehovah. The ark contained the two tables of
stone upon which the law of Sinai was engraved.

[Illustration: Fig. 178.--Egyptian table of offerings (M. de Vogüé, p.

In the Holy Place was the altar of incense, on which incense was burnt
in honour of Jehovah; this was probably a sort of tripod, surmounted by
a bowl with a lighted brazier. There was also the table of shew-bread
and the seven-branched candlesticks. The table, on which twelve loaves
were placed every week, was undoubtedly analogous to the tables of
offerings to the gods so often represented in Egyptian bas-reliefs, with
loaves piled upon wine-pitchers; furniture of the same kind also seems
to be spoken of in the cuneiform inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzer. The
bas-relief on the Arch of Titus at Rome represents Jewish captives
carrying on their shoulders the furniture of their ruined temple, and
among this spoil figures the table of shew-bread such as it was in
Herod’s Temple, under the form of a square cippus.

[Illustration: Fig. 179.--Seven-branched candlestick (M. de Vogüé, p.

The seven-branched candlesticks, ten in number, had a peculiar form,
also revealed to us by the Arch of Titus and some other monuments. On
the base with two steps a central stem is fixed, to which six branches
are fitted, three on each side, arranged in the shape of a fan. Each of
the seven branches is adorned with three flowers and a socket. On the
base, fantastic animals are seen in relief. Hiram-Abi, the famous worker
in metals from Tyre, in Solomon’s pay, also “made lamps and tongs of
gold, and bowls and snuffers and basons and spoons and censers of pure
gold,”[86] shovels and goblets of bronze. The candlesticks and other
treasures of the Temple, carried away to Rome by Titus, were seized by
Genseric during the sack of the city by the Vandals (A.D. 455). They
were removed to Carthage, but, on the conquest of the Vandals by
Belisarius, were taken in triumph to Constantinople. The Jews petitioned
the Emperor Justinian to restore these treasures to the Holy City, to
which they rightfully belonged, and he is said to have ordered that they
should be sent to one of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem, but we
hear no more of their fate in the pages of history.[87]

[Illustration: Fig. 180.--Capital of the bronze columns. (Restoration by
M. de Vogüé).]

In the court of the priests, before the vestibule of the Temple, there
were two separate bronze columns, reminding us of Egyptian obelisks,
named Jachin and Boaz. The restoration of these two columns, marvels of
Phœnician art, and invested in the eyes of the Jews with a talismanic
power, has often been attempted. They were hollow, and their metal walls
were 3⅓ in. thick. “Their capital, 5 cubits high, had the form of
fleur-de-lis, the lower part of which, swelling outwards, was covered
with a reticulated ornament enclosed within two rows of
pomegranates.”[88] The total height of each column was 41 ft., the
diameter of the shaft was 6 ft. 5⅓ in., the pomegranates, 200 in number,
formed a double collar round each capital.

In the court of the priests, near the altar of burnt-offerings, which
was itself covered with bronze, the famous _brazen sea_ was placed, a
great reservoir from which the priests drew water to purify themselves
before the sacrifice. This bronze basin, which resembled the calyx of a
tulip, was five cubits high (8 ft. 7 in.), and ten cubits (17 ft. 2 in.)
in diameter; its exterior was decorated with two rows of colocynths in
relief: the wall was 3⅓ ft. thick, as in the bronze columns; it
contained at least 8,800 gallons. Instead of feet, the brazen sea was
upheld by twelve bronze figures of oxen, in groups of three, which, in
accordance with the proportion of the basin, must have been larger than

[Illustration: Fig. 181.--The brazen sea. (Restoration.)]

This gigantic basin was fixed and immovable; for the purpose of drawing
water, wheeled basins had been constructed, ten in number, also of
bronze, into which the water intended for ceremonial purposes was
poured. Each had four wheels, like a chariot; the wheels supported a
square box, above which was placed the cylindrical basin, large enough
to contain from 150 to 170 gallons. The walls of the receptacle and of
the box which supported it were decorated with palms, colocynths, oxen
and winged lions in relief.

[Illustration: Fig. 182.--Movable basin. (Restoration.)]

Such were the principal features of the temple furniture; smaller
utensils, knives, pincers, tongs, dishes, are scarcely known to us. An
exact idea of them can, however, be formed by an examination of the
products of Egyptian and Assyrian industry, especially of the dishes,
vases, and utensils found among the substructures of the Phœnician
temples in the island of Cyprus.

Various passages in the Bible enumerate the ornaments of the priests,
such as the _ephod_, which, in certain cases, signifies the liturgical
vestment; in others a sort of sacred casket, containing two talismanic
cubes, called _urim_ and _thummim_. The priestly costume of Aaron is an
embroidered garment in which gems are set, according to the Book of
Exodus. As early as the period of Genesis, we see the children of Israel
making use of seals of precious stone, precisely as their neighbours the
Egyptians and Chaldæans did. A certain number of gems carved in intaglio
have come down to us which bear names apparently Jewish: Shebaniah,
Nathanyahu, Hananyahu, Obadyahu. These seals for the most part only bear
the name of their possessor; they have neither ornament nor symbol.


The temple of Jerusalem, in which the national life of the Jews was
concentrated, was also, as we have said, the summary of their art and
industry. In vain have many archæologists, during the last sixty years,
made efforts to discover in Palestine, or in the other regions of
southern Syria, and even in the heart of Arabia, traces of an art which
might have flourished in these regions before the arrival of the Greeks
and Romans. Travellers have indeed observed at Ala-Safat, at Jebel-Musa,
in the land of Moab, on the Bahr-el-Huleh in Galilee, near Hesban, and
in many other places, dolmens and upright stones, analogous to those in
Africa, in Brittany, and on Salisbury Plain, and remains of walls of
Cyclopean masonry, no doubt built by those giants, the Rephaim and the
Anakim, who, as the Bible tells us, were the first inhabitants of these
regions. Certain circles of great blocks, like those of Minyeh and Deir
Ghuzaleh in the land of Moab, may have marked the bounds of sacred
enclosures, temples in the open air, that is to say, of those _bâmoth_,
or “high places” of which the Scriptures so often speak. But these
barbaric remains, like the borders of certain wells at which, perhaps,
the flocks of the patriarchs slaked their thirst, have little interest
for the history of art. No idea can be formed of civil architecture
except by imaginary restorations. Solomon’s palace, which communicated
with the temple and was situated to the south, upon Ophel, was
demolished and rebuilt twenty times with incessant modifications, until
its final ruin. The principal building, standing in the middle of a
spacious court, enclosed by supporting walls which bounded the hill like
the temple-enclosure, was called the _House of Lebanon_, after the place
whence the timber was brought of which it was partly constructed. It was
100 cubits long, 50 broad and 30 high; its walls were built of large
blocks; forty-five cedar columns were counted in it, divided into three
rows, and supporting architraves of the same sweet-smelling wood.[89]
This edifice was used as an arsenal: like the monarchs of Nineveh, the
kings of Judah had a magazine of weapons in their palace.

Behind were the royal apartments, consisting of a hall of columns, and
another room panelled with cedar, called the _throne-room_; in front of
the former stood a porch 50 cubits long by 30 broad. There were also
the _selamlik_ and the _hareem_, arranged as in all oriental palaces.
The offices communicated with the city by means of the _Horse Gate_; the
_Upper Gate_ gave access to the temple-enclosure. This is the extent of
our information upon the subject of Solomon’s palace.

The palace of Hyrcanus, at Arak el-Emir, and the fortifications of
Jerusalem and of the Tower of Antonia, are purely Græco-Roman, and do
not come within the sphere of our work. However, the English explorers
discovered by their soundings on the slope of Ophel, above Kedron, a
fortified wall which presents several kinds of masonry one above the
other; the lowest masonry is perhaps earlier than the rebuilding of the
ramparts by Nehemiah after the Babylonian captivity: in this case it
would date, if not from the reigns of David and Solomon, at least from
the time of Jotham and Manasseh. The base of the quadrangular bastions
is formed of very regular courses, sometimes rusticated; the blocks are
8 ft. long by 3 ft. 3 in. high; the marginal draft is even found in
places. This tradition of bevelled masonry has been already noticed in
the Herodian substructure of the Temple; it is also to be seen in the
wall of Hebron (fig. 183).

In a country which generally lacks drinking water, the building of
cisterns is a matter of importance, and this is the case in Judæa. One
of the most remarkable works of this kind is that which carries the
waters of the Fountain of the Virgin to the Pool of Siloam. In the
tunnel an inscription has been found which enables us to fix the date of
the work about the reign of King Hezekiah, and teaches us by what
methods this subterranean canal, 1,750 ft. long, was successfully hewn
in the rock. Two bands of workmen attacked the mountain on both sides at
once, and the miners, after numerous windings, which increased the
labour and the length of the tunnel, at last struck “pick against pick,”
says the inscription, “and heard one another shout” on each side of the
barrier. Thus the water was carried along a passage not more than 2 ft.
broad and of a height which varies from 1 ft. 5½ in. to 14 ft. 7½ in.
But bold as this work may appear in the hands of Jewish engineers, who
possessed neither compass nor exact geometrical instruments, it teaches
us nothing from the point of view of art, any more than the aqueducts
hewn in the rock which are found in other parts of Palestine.

[Illustration: Fig. 183.--The tomb of Abraham at Hebron (after Vogüé, p.


Palestine and the north-east of Arabia are covered with sepulchral
monuments, but there are few which date from the pre-Hellenic epoch.
Abraham bought a cave called Machpelah from the Hittites of Hebron for
400 shekels of silver, and was buried there, as well as

[Illustration: Fig. 184.--Absalom’s tomb (after F. de Saulcy, _Voyage
autour de la Mer Morte_).]

the other patriarchs of his race. The site of the cave is at the present
day covered by a mosque, and in the crypt of this mosque the bodies of
the patriarchs are supposed to lie. Now, the wall of the crypt, a superb
piece of masonry of imposing appearance, is incontestably contemporary
with Herod; there is the same marginal draft that we have studied in the
enclosure of the temple built by that prince. The tomb called Absalom’s
is also a small building not earlier than the time of the Seleucids, and
if it preserves, like the Palestinian structures of the same epoch, a
few architectural reminiscences of Phœnician art, it has columns,
capitals, and mouldings which are entirely Greek. We need not,
therefore, occupy ourselves with these monuments, or with the tomb of
the Maccabees at Modin, or with the not less celebrated _hypogæa_ known
under the name of _Kebûr-el-Melûk_, or “Tombs of the Kings,” _Tomb of
Jehoshaphat_, of _Saint James_, with its Doric portico, or _Tomb of
Zacharias_: sepulchral chambers which are visited by pilgrims in the
neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and the date of which Saulcy has in vain
tried to place even farther back than the Babylonian captivity. The tomb
of Joshua, among the ruins known under the name of Khirbet-Tibneh,
north-west of Jifneh (Gophna), does not seem to be more ancient.

In Arabia, at Medaïn Salih, several tombs have been observed hewn in the
rock, the façade and inner arrangement of which are identical with those
of the Palestinian caves. There are Greek columns, pediments and
mouldings mixed with a few traditional motives, the original birthplace
of which is in Assyria or on the banks of the Nile; cavities for
sarcophagi are arranged around the chambers as in the Jewish tombs. The
inscriptions obtained at Medaïn Salih prove that these burying-places
were formed during the first eighty years of our era.

[Illustration: Fig. 185.--Sepulchral chamber at Medaïn Salih. (Doughty,
_Doc. Epigr. du nord de l’Arabie._)]

However, at the village of Siloam, near Jerusalem, there is a tomb,
known under the name of the _Egyptian Monolith_, which seems to be far
earlier than all those of which we have spoken; there are some who would
even assign it to the epoch of Solomon. This trapezoidal monolith,
Egyptian in style, is 13 ft. high, and the platform measures 19 ft. 10
in. by 17 ft. 10 in. The door which looks westward gives access to a
square ante-chamber which leads into a room 8 ft. long on each side. The
ceiling of the chamber is slightly convex, like many Egyptian hypogæa;
two large niches are contrived in the walls. Outside, the monument is
provided with an Egyptian cornice. All tends to demonstrate that this
tomb is earlier than the Babylonian captivity, in spite of the
architectural alterations to which it has been subjected at a relatively
modern period. Besides, to whatever date the sepulchral caves of
Palestine belong, they are all conceived in accordance with the same
traditional type, which is also that of Phœnicia, and which we shall
find at Carthage; there is always a speos hewn in the rock, a façade
with Egyptian, Assyrian, or Greek ornaments, according to the date, then
a vestibule giving admission through a low, narrow doorway into a
sepulchral chamber.

[Illustration: Fig. 186.--The monolith of Siloam (after Saulcy, _Voyage
autour de la Mer Morte_).]

From this chamber the visitor penetrates through one of several
apertures into other rooms; and round these more or less numerous
chambers the cavities for sarcophagi are cut. Thus the cave of Machpelah
at Hebron must have been arranged as early as the time of Abraham, and
in the same fashion, without doubt, the sepulchral cavern was formed in
which the ashes of the kings of Jerusalem were deposited. The discovery
of the hypogæum containing the sarcophagi of the princes of the house of
David would doubtless be more important for epigraphy than for
archæology properly so called. It would only confirm the verdict
pronounced upon Jewish art: that it is entirely wanting in variety and
originality in every instance except in the Temple of Jerusalem.

[Illustration: Fig. 187.--Tomb in the valley of Hinnom (after Saulcy).]



The Phœnicians, established on the coast of northern Syria, were not
simply the agents of commerce; they also carried the art of the great
Asiatic civilisations to all the coasts upon which they set up their
factories, and among all the races with whom they formed relations of
business. Their manufactured products have no more marked originality
than those of the Jews and Canaanites: a mixture of Egyptian and
Assyrian art is observed in them. These two powerful foreign factors, if
they had been brought into action by an ingenious and enquiring people,
would no doubt have begotten a new art which would have summed them up
and absorbed them, by combining them with the peculiar inventions of the
national genius: this was the case in Greece, for example. But the
Phœnicians, exclusively occupied with business, were content to seek
sometimes from Assyria and sometimes from Egypt the elements of a
bastard industry, in which the exotic forms are so little disguised and
so imperfectly fused that it is as easy as possible to detect them.

If ancient authors and epigraphic texts attest the importance of the
Phœnician factories in Greece, Italy, Sicily, Gaul, Spain, and
Africa, none of the great nations of antiquity has left fewer material
traces than this of its industrial and artistic life. In Syria, Cyprus,
Malta, and Carthage we have great trouble in finding vestiges of the
structures raised by the Phœnician architects, or statues or
ornaments which can be attributed to the craftsmen of this nation: the
historian of art is obliged to glean in any direction that he can the
poor waifs and strays which he considers, in spite of himself, as
extremely precious, but which he would often disdain if they came from
Assyria or Egypt. Cyprus, partly inhabited by a Hellenic population and
thrown by nature like a bridge between Asia and Greece, scarcely forms
an exception to this rule, although it offers by itself alone a larger
material for oriental archæology than all the other Phœnician
countries put together.


Before the introduction of Egyptian and Assyrian influence into Syria,
the Semitic and Canaanitish races of this country held the high places
(_bâmoth_) in veneration. On the highest summit of the mountains, in
spots which recalled ancient memories, on peaks that had been struck by
lightning, stone altars were raised and victims were immolated upon
them; the surrounding forest became a sacred grove. In the same way our
Celtic ancestors erected their dolmens.

Soon, under Egyptian influence, the Phœnicians began to construct
temples. The _maabed_ (temple) of Amrith[90] is still an Egyptian temple
on a small scale; as in the latter, there is a _cella_ or tabernacle of
stone, within which the divine image was contained. It is composed of
slabs erected on three sides. One side remained open, and was only
closed by a curtain. The monolithic slab of the roof is adorned on its
four edges with a light border with mouldings, and projects like eaves
above the door; in the interior it is cut in a semicircular form, so
that it presents the appearance of a shallow vault. The rock which forms
the base has been isolated from the mountain by sapping, and thus the
chapel, including this natural pedestal, reaches 22 feet in height. At
the edge of the surrounding court were certain structures, doubtless a
colonnade bordering the sacred enclosure; but this has disappeared.

The _maabed_ of Amrith is the most important remaining representative of
the temples of Phœnicia. At Ain el-Hayât, however, two shrines have
been discovered similar to that of Amrith; one (fig. 188) tolerably well
preserved, consists of a monolithic _cella_, resting on a substructure
of large blocks; the whole is 17½ ft. high. Above the door a row of
Egyptian uræi is seen; the ceiling within is perceptibly cut into the
form of a vault on which two pairs of wings, surrounding the Egyptian
solar disk, are sculptured in relief.

[Illustration: Fig. 188.--Shrine at Ain el-Hayât (Renan, _Mission de

The famous temples of Melkarth at Tyre, and of Astarte at Sidon and at
Gebal (Byblos), which excited the admiration of ancient travellers, are
no longer known except in memory. The _maabed_ of Amrith alone gives us
some idea of their architectural arrangement; they consisted of courts,
in the centre of which rose the shrine of the deity built upon a
platform. The Phœnician and Canaanitish temple showed therefore a
strong resemblance to the temple of Jerusalem and also to the great
mosque of Mecca,--the only monument which perpetuates this architectural
type among us.

[Illustration: Fig. 189.--Coin of Paphos]

Nothing but a few fragments is now left of the temples built by the
Phœnicians in Cyprus. The great prosperity of this island under the
Romans and in the middle ages is the direct cause of the destruction of
the monuments of an earlier age. The superb cathedrals of Famagusta and
Nicosia, the fine churches built under the Lusignan dynasty, the
formidable ramparts constructed by the Venetians, rose at the expense of
ancient buildings, the materials of which were turned to profit as
stone-quarries. The celebrated sanctuary of Astarte at Paphos, for
instance, is only known to us by the conventional representation of it
upon coins belonging to the Roman period. We are able to distinguish in
this figure a court surrounded by a balustrade, and beyond the court a
structure which reminds us of the pylons of Egyptian temples: it is a
gigantic gate between two towers, provided with a large aperture through
which we perceive the sacred stone, flanked by two candelabra; above
hover the star and crescent. The roof, on which doves are resting, was
supported by columns forming a portico. Tacitus, who relates the visit
of Titus to the temple of Paphos, says that the goddess was represented
in it under “the form of a circular block, rising in the form of a cone,
gradually diminishing from the base to the summit.” This description
corresponds with the stone which the medals show us. According to the
excavations carried on by P. di Cesnola on the site of the temple, the
building was almost 220 ft. long by 164 ft. broad; the peribolus
measured 688 ft. by 540 ft.; the principal gate, perhaps that which
figures on the coin, had an aperture more than 16 ft. broad.

The temple of Golgoi (Athieno), the ruins of which were disinterred by
Cesnola, was a rectangular building constructed of bricks dried in the
sun; the substructure alone was of stone. On the north and on the east
were doors with wooden frames. Within, wooden pillars, surmounted by
stone capitals, supported the roof, formed of pieces of wood placed
close together, on which mats and reeds were arranged with a thick layer
of beaten earth. The exterior of the temple, coated with white
rough-cast, must have been of a most modest appearance. The interior, on
the contrary, was laden with the richest ornaments. In the middle of the
enclosure a tall cone of grey stone was found, a yard high, which must
have been the sacred stone of the goddess, and reminds us of the image
at Paphos described by Tacitus. Round the mystic cone, a whole
population of stone statues painted in brilliant colours, set in a line
along the walls or ranged in files in the centre of the building,
formed, as at Tello, the dumb train of worshippers of the goddess.
Votive offerings were hung on the walls above a row of bas-reliefs,
analogous to those of the Assyrian palaces. Stone lamps in the form of
shrines, fastened to the walls, lighted up this curious scene.

In the temple of Curium, Cesnola ascertained the existence of a crypt to
which a staircase gave access; it was composed of four subterranean
chambers cut in the form of apses in the rock and communicating with one
another by doors and a passage. These chambers are about 22½ ft. long on
each side, and 13 ft. high; it was here that the famous treasure of
Curium was found, consisting of the plate of the temple, and of votive
offerings made to the deity.

The recent excavations which we have shortly described, though they have
scarcely brought more than substructures to light, yet enable us to
describe the Cypriote temples with some exactness. While those of
Phœnicia are built on heights, reminding us of the primitive
high-places, the sanctuaries of Cyprus are generally in the plain, in
the midst of fertile fields, like the temples of Egypt. The shrine of
the deity was under the open sky like the Greek temples; around, and at
a greater or less distance, rose a gallery covered with a roof supported
within by colonnades forming a portico, and without resting upon the
wall of enclosure.

A Phœnician inscription of the fourth century before Christ relates
the erection of several temples to various deities, notably to the god
Sadambaal and to the goddess Astarte in the island of Gaulos (Gozo). The
remains of these sanctuaries are still in existence: they are called the
_Giganteja_, or “Giant’s dwelling,” and consist of two neighbouring
enclosures not communicating with one another. Constructed of irregular
masonry, formed of enormous blocks, they are parallel, and their gates
open on the same façade; though one is larger than the other they both
follow the same interior arrangement. Each is composed of two oval or
elliptical chambers next to one another, and communicating by a narrow
passage; the farther chamber contains also a semicircular apse. The
great temple is 119 feet long from the entrance to the bottom of the
apse; its greatest breadth is 75 feet. The area is uncovered; in one of
these enclosures a conical stone has been discovered analogous to those
in the temples of Phœnicia and Cyprus.

[Illustration: Fig. 190.--Plan of the Giganteja. (_Nouv. Annales de
l’Institut arch. de Rome_, 1832, pl. ii.)]

At Malta, ruins of temples have been discovered constructed on the same
principles as the Giganteja of Gozo. The _Hagiar Kim_, “stones of
adoration,” near the village of Casat Crendi, presents identical
architectural features, with the enormous blocks of its irregular
masonry. The plan, however, is a little more complicated: it is a series
of seven ellipsoid chambers built next to one another.

Not a single stone is left above ground of the temples raised by the
Phœnicians in Sicily, Sardinia, Spain,

[Illustration: Fig. 191.--Roman wall at Byrsa (Boulé, _Fouilles à

and even Carthage, The famous sanctuary of Astarte, which stood on the
scarped peak which overlooks Eryx, in Sicily, has perished; so has the
temple of Baal-Hammon at Marsala (Lilybæum) and the Sardo-Phœnician
sanctuaries of Baal-Samaim, Astarte, Eshmun, and Baal-Hammon indicated
by the Punic inscriptions discovered at Sulci. The temple of Melkarth,
at Gades, so much resorted to in the time of Strabo has left no traces.
It is in vain that the name of the powerful city of Carthage and of the
illustrious men whom she brought forth excite our enthusiastic
curiosity; to no purpose has the site upon which she was built become
French soil: the Romans respected nothing in the city of their most
formidable enemies. The destruction which followed Scipio’s conquest, in
the year 146 before our era, was systematic, and extended to the very
foundation of the walls. What did escape was altered and transformed for
the profit of the Roman colony which rose upon the Punic ruins, and
which was itself upon two occasions the object of a savage demolition.
There is, therefore, nothing Phœnician to be expected from the
archæological excavations at Carthage from the architectural point of
view; except mutilated inscriptions, almost all that is discovered is
Roman, Christian, or Byzantine. The Chapel of Saint Louis, near which
Boulé undertook his excavations, stands on the site of the famous temple
of Eshmun in the middle of the acropolis of Byrsa; on the neighbouring
hill was the temple of Tanit, whom the Romans called _Virgo
cœlestis_; between Byrsa and the harbour, beside the forum, in the
neighbourhood of which I carried on some excavations with M.S. Reinach
in 1884, rose the temple of Baal-Hammon. To these topographical
indications the memorials of the sanctuaries of Hannibal’s city are


If hardly anything is left of the Phœnician temples on all the shores
of the Mediterranean, it must be admitted that the state of the case is
almost the same with regard to civil monuments. The position of the
formidable ramparts of Tyre, which held conquerors of cities like
Sargon, Nebuchadnezzar, and Alexander so long in check, can with
difficulty be recognised at a single point: it is probably marked by a
submarine wall of enormous blocks, bonded with a concrete in which lime
is mixed with crushed bricks; these walls, according to Arrian, were 147
ft. high.

The enclosure of Banias (Balaneum), between Tortosa and Latakieh, is
still partly standing; but is it of Phœnician or of Pelasgic origin?
It extends to a length of about 1,970 ft.; the wall, pierced by three
gates, from 26 ft. to 32½ ft. broad, is built of blocks of grey
limestone of irregular form, which are neither trimmed nor cemented. It
is from 16 ft. to 26 ft. thick, and, in places, is still as much as 32½
ft. high. Broken lines, recesses and projections seem to announce the
approaching appearance of bastions and towers in the art of
fortification. The Pelasgic walls of Eubœa, Tiryns and Sipylus
present analogous features.

What remains of the substructures of the walls of Aradus, Berytus, and
Sidon, indicates the employment of large and fine blocks irregularly
laid. In the Carthaginian ramparts of Eryx, in Sicily, the stones bear
Phœnician letters which acted as position marks for the masons, but
this fortified enclosure does not date from an earlier period than the
fourth century, and the Punic architects must have imitated their
neighbours the Greeks. The walls of Carthage, which roused the
astonishment of the ancients, were from six to seven leagues in
circumference; they consisted, at least at certain points, of three
concentric walls, arranged in steps in consequence of the declivity of
the ground. Nothing is left of them except a sort of talus at intervals,
which serves as the boundary of cultivated fields. Constructed of hewn
stone, they were, according to the statements of ancient writers, 77 ft.
high and 34 ft. thick; the towers were still higher and stronger.

Since temples and ramparts have always been constructed in the most
solid form, and that most capable of resisting the attacks of time and
of men, if very little of these is left there is a much stronger reason
why hardly anything should remain of civil monuments and private houses.
In the soft limestone of the Phœnician coast the primitive
inhabitants hewed out their dwellings like Troglodytes. In later times,
by the aid of civilisation, the tombs alone were opened in the sides of
the mountains, and the living cut out enormous blocks of stone with
their picks, in which they hewed doors and chambers. At Amrith there is
a monolithic house cut in this fashion, which M. Renan considers as the
type of the genus. It is 98 ft. square and 71 ft. high; the walls are 2
ft. 7 in. thick; in the interior three chambers are divided by thin
partitions contrived during the hollowing of the rock. Sometimes only
the lower part of the walls have been hewn in the rock, which thus only
forms a monolithic plinth one or several yards high, and completed to
the roof by light masonry.

At Cyprus traces of structures which could be attributed to the period
of Phœnician dominion are sought in vain. The only monuments which
give some idea of the civil architecture of this famous island are
models of houses in terra-cotta, found at Dali and preserved at the
Louvre (7¾ in. high). The most remarkable of these little buildings has
a door guarded by a sphinx. At the two windows appear the heads of
women; on each side of the door, columns with capitals in the form of
lotus-flowers support a projecting roof. But of what architectural value
can such a toy, modelled in so coarse a manner, be?

[Illustration: Fig. 192.--Terra-cotta house. (Louvre.)]

The poverty of monuments is even more absolute in the case of Carthage
and the western basin of the Mediterranean. What travellers who visit
the site of the old city admire above everything are the unheard-of
efforts made by the ancients to catch the water from the sky and store
it in vast covered basins, or else to bring water from springs at great
distances. Nowhere throughout the East, where there has always been the
greatest anxiety to provide water--not at Jerusalem, where the Siloam
aqueduct was tunnelled, nor at Tyre, where the aqueduct was dug which
brought the waters of Ras el-Ain into the city--are such grand traces
left of the works undertaken with this useful object. Only the gigantic
viaduct which goes for several leagues to bring the waters of Mount
Zaghouan to Carthage, does not date, as it is at the present day, from
an earlier period than the reign of Hadrian; and the same must be said
of those immense vaulted cisterns, near Byrsa, in which a whole Arab
village lodges at the present day, and in which tourists take drives: it
has never been possible to say exactly how much is anterior to the
period at which the Roman colony was founded. The Carthaginians, two
hundred years before our era, certainly knew the vault and the dome, the
natural and primordial elements of oriental architecture, as well as the
Romans. The walls, vaults, and domes of the cisterns of Carthage are of
a mediocre stone, furnished by the quarries of Zaghouan: small irregular
blocks are buried in a very thick mortar of lime, so excellent that it
unites with the stone and gives to the whole structure the homogeneous
character of one single immense block. The Byzantine ruins which cover
the plain of Carthage are built with equally bad materials and an
equally good cement.

We must now enquire whether any trace remains of the constructions which
the Phœnicians must have

[Illustration: Fig. 193.--Plan of the harbours at Carthage (after Daux,
_Emporia phéniciens_).]

undertaken in order to establish or maintain those ports on the
Mediterranean coasts in which their vessels found a sure refuge. These
works must have shown the most characteristic side of the art of
building among this nation of merchants. However, they have perished
almost entirely like the rest, or else they are still buried under the
sand. Tyre and Sidon had two harbours, of which only the site is now to
be distinguished. The two harbours at Carthage, the commercial harbour
and the cothon or military harbour, are still there, but three-quarters
of them are covered with sand, and they no longer contain more than a
pool of shallow water. Lengthy and costly excavations, of which those
undertaken at Utica may give some idea, could alone tell us what they
formerly were. At present we can only confirm the exactness of Appian’s
description when he says: “The harbours of Carthage were constructed in
such a way that ships passed from one into the other; on the side of the
sea they had only one entrance, 70 ft. broad, which was closed by iron
chains. The first harbour, intended for merchant vessels, was furnished
with numerous and various mooring-cables. In the middle of the second
there was an island; round this island, as on all the edges of the
basin, were large quays. The quays presented a series of docks which
could contain a hundred and twenty vessels. Above the docks, storehouses
had been constructed for the rigging. Before each dock rose two columns
of the Ionic order, which gave to the circuit of the harbour and the
island the appearance of a portico. In the island a pavilion had been
built for the admiral, from which trumpet-signals sounded, and orders
were transmitted by the herald, and in which the admiral kept his
look-out. The island was situated near the mouth; its surface had a
perceptible elevation above the plane of the water, so that the admiral
might see all that passed on the sea without those who were coming from
the open being able to distinguish what was being done within the
harbour. Even the merchants who found shelter in the first basin could
not see the arsenals in the second; a double wall separated them from
it, and a special entrance gave them admission into the town without
having to pass through the military harbour.” Go at the present day to
Carthage, and you will observe with astonishment the modest extent of
these two reservoirs, which formed the harbour of the great African
city. They are parallel to the sea, from which a narrow strip of land
separates them; the admiral’s island is still in the centre of the
cothon, which is circular in form, and communicates by a narrow canal
with the merchant harbour; the latter forms a large rectangle, and opens
into the Mediterranean by a mouth a few yards wide. The Carthaginian
vessels were scarcely larger than our fishing-smacks. The jetty which
sheltered them on their entrance into the harbour of Carthage has left a
trace marked by large blocks, which at certain points reach the level
of the sea. The two harbours of Utica were not more spacious: one was
only 328 ft. by 108 ft., the other 780 ft. by 327 ft.

[Illustration: Fig. 194.--Jetty of Thapsus. (Restoration by Daux,
_Emporia phéniciens_.)]

Of all the Phœnician towns, that which has preserved the most
remarkable remains of its ancient jetty is Thapsus (Dimas), on the
eastern coast of Tunis. The mole which, though dilapidated, still rises
8 ft. above the waves, is 850 ft. long, and its breadth is 35 ft. The
peculiarity of its construction is that it is pierced by a series of
small passages, arranged in three rows: their object was to deaden the
violence of the shock of the waves, by allowing them to pass through the
openings. Here again it is uncertain whether we are looking at a work
exclusively Phœnician, Roman, or Byzantine.


[Illustration: Fig. 195.--Tomb at Amrith. Plan (after Renan).]

[Illustration: Fig. 196.--Tomb at Amrith. Section (after Renan).]

The most important of the monuments discovered in Phœnicia are the
tombs. Nearly all are hewn in the rock, and are, as in Judæa and Arabia,
great caves in which the sarcophagi of an entire family were deposited.
The necropolis of Marath (Amrith), explored by M. Renan, furnished
specimens of tombs which seem to be the most ancient, the most spacious,
and hewn with the greatest skill. The descent into them is by a shaft,
as in Egypt, and notches are cut in the wall of the rock into which the
hands and feet must be inserted; but in the more recent tombs a flight
of steps is substituted for the shaft. At the bottom a low door is found
on two sides, leading into a larger or smaller number of rectangular
chambers. These rooms communicate with one another by means of passages
in which a few steps are generally found, so that the most distant
chambers are at a lower level than the others. Sometimes there are even
two stories of chambers; in the partition of rock which forms the
intermediate ceiling a shaft is pierced by which they are entered from
above. The sarcophagi are ranged round the walls, or placed in niches or
cavities for coffins, hollowed out on the sides: once filled, these
niches were closed by a large slab, on which an inscription might be
written in honour of the dead. The necropoles of Tyre and Adlun present
the same types of sepulchral caves.

[Illustration: Fig. 197.--Sepulchral chamber at Amrith (after Renan).]

[Illustration: Fig. 198.--Mighzal at Amrith (Restoration by M. Renan).]

Now, may we ask, what was the outer aspect of a Phœnician necropolis
in which the tombs were thus hidden under the ground? Often, especially
when the tombs were those of rich men, a stela or cippus of small size
appeared above them, and marked the position of the cave and the opening
of the shaft. Tombstones of this kind, either monoliths or constructed
of masonry, are scattered over the plain of Amrith; they are called on
the spot _meghazil_ (in the singular, _mighzal_); one of them (fig. 198)
is described by M. Renan as “a master-piece of proportion, elegance, and
majesty”: it is 32½ ft. high, and consists of a base from which four
lions project, two cylindrical drums placed one above the other and
decorated with denticulated sculpture, and, finally, a small
hemispherical dome carved in the block.

[Illustration: Fig. 199.--The Burj el-Bezzâk. Section (after Renan).]

[Illustration: Fig. 200.--Chamber of the Burj el-Bezzâk (after Renan).]

A sepulchral monument at Amrith, the Burj el-Bezzâk, is entirely
distinguished from caves and structures of the form which we have just
described; it rises above the ground, like an ordinary house, and is
built, without mortar, of regular masonry, with blocks 16 ft. long. It
terminated formerly in a pyramidal roof, and its full height was 52½ ft.
In the interior, there are only two chambers one above the other, each
communicating with the outside by a narrow aperture. Round the walls of
these chambers there were numerous niches for coffins, separated one
from another by partitions.

[Illustration: Fig. 201.--The Burj el-Bezzâk. Restoration. (Renan,
_Mission de Phénicie_.)]

The necropolis of Sidon, which is more considerable than that of Amrith,
presents the same peculiarities: the caves are constructed in the same
manner; only at the present day no _meghazil_ are any longer to be seen
near the orifice of the shaft. In the poorest caves the corpses were
laid upon the ground or deposited in graves; in other sepulchres
cavities for coffins are hewn out all round the chambers; in the
richest, finally, the bodies were placed in sarcophagi buried in the
floor of the chamber. The hypogæa of Gebal differ from the type observed
at Sidon, Tyre, and Amrith, by the peculiarity that the descent into
them is neither by a shaft nor by a staircase; the aperture is formed in
the vertical side of the mountain, and is sometimes surmounted by a
pediment and a few decorative mouldings (fig. 203).

[Illustration: Fig. 202.--Section of a tomb at Saïda (after Renan).]

[Illustration: Fig. 203.--Entrance of a tomb at Gebal (after Renan).]

Of all the sarcophagi found in the Phœnician necropoles, perhaps not
one can be attributed to an earlier date than the reign of Cyrus. The
simplest are

[Illustration: Fig. 204.--The sarcophagus of Eshmunazar. (Louvre.)]

large monolithic troughs, provided with a convex or triangular lid. Some
of them are decorated with garlands, foliage, and chaplets; the corners
of the lid are sometimes provided with acroteria. The only ones which
have a real artistic interest are the sarcophagi in the form of human
figures, or rather of mummy-cases, the head of the dead person, and
sometimes the arms also, being carved in relief on the lid. These
sepulchral urns were coloured in imitation of the wooden sarcophagi of
the Egyptians, which they copy in their form; while the carved work of
the faces shows us that Assyrian influence was dominant in Phœnicia
long after the disappearance of Nineveh. The sarcophagi of Tabnit and
Eshmunazar, which only date from the year B.C. 350, disclose to us a
remarkable peculiarity in the means adopted by the Phœnicians,
merchants and navigators before all things, in order to furnish the
tombs of their dead with stone coffins. These peculiar monuments, of
black amphibolite, issue from the Egyptian quarries of Hammamat near
Cosseir, and they originally contained Egyptian mummies. Phœnician
sailors stole them or bought them for money; the ashes which they
contained were thrown to the four winds, the hieroglyphic inscriptions
and the Egyptian scenes, carved or painted upon the plaster which
covered the stone, were entirely or partly removed and replaced by the
epitaphs of Tabnit and Eshmunazar. A considerable number of Phœnician
sarcophagi are thus borrowed coffins, and by no means the work of
indigenous artists.

[Illustration: Fig. 205.--Sarcophagus in human form. (Louvre.)]

Sarcophagi in the form of the human figure have been discovered in
nearly all the countries in which the Phœnicians established their
factories, in Cyprus, Sicily, and Malta, and they everywhere present the
same characteristics: only the head of the dead man is in relief. At
Saïda, a sarcophagus was found in which the arms are carved beside the
body; the sleeve of the garment ends above the elbow, and the left hand
holds an alabastron. In the museum at Palermo a sarcophagus is preserved
which came from Solus, the lid of which has the form of a true reclining
statue like a mediæval tomb: it is a woman clothed in a long peplos over
a short tunic, the sleeves of which end at the shoulder; the left hand
also holds a vase for perfume.[91] Besides stone sarcophagi, leaden and
terra-cotta troughs have been found in the necropoles of the Syrian
coast, and also coffins of cedar-wood, decorated with metal ornaments,
generally bronze lions’ heads.

The sepulchral chambers of Phœnicia contain mortuary furniture not
without interest. It consists of _alabastra_ of glass, terra-cotta and
alabaster, standing against the wall; and of idols in terra-cotta,
representing Baal-Hammon sitting between two rams, the god Bes, of
Egyptian origin, the god Pygmæus, Astarte sitting or standing with a
dove in her hand, and, lastly, terra-cotta chariots holding one or two
figures, with two or four horses harnessed to them. Besides these
objects of Phœnician manufacture, amulets and statuettes, imported
from Egypt, are found. The body of the deceased was enveloped in bands;
the mouth and eyes were often covered with gold leaf, and rich men often
placed a complete mask, formed of gold leaf, in which all the features
of the face are marked: it is thus seen to what an extent Egyptian
habits were implanted in Phœnicia. Lamps, amphoræ, amulets and
ornaments are also found in the tombs of the Syrian coast. Women were
buried with their necklaces, their rings, their bracelets, their
ear-rings, their metal mirror, their pyxes for cosmetics and perfumes,
and their toilet articles. Rings, provided with engraved stones which
served as seals, are also found; nowhere, except in Cyprus, have weapons
been discovered in the tombs of this nation of merchants.

In the Cypriote necropolis at Dali (Idalion) there are often at the side
of the corpses pieces of pottery with geometrical decorations, bronze
weapons, gold ornaments, metal dishes with figures engraved on the
inner side, statuettes of Astarte, of warriors, of chariots and of
riders similar to those on the Phœnician coast.

Among the tombs at Amathus which are Phœnician and date from the
fourth century, there are some constructed of fine regular masonry, with
a door framed in a fillet, and a flat roof, or one with a double slope
like those of our houses. These tombs sometimes contain several
chambers, along the walls of which the sarcophagi were set in a row,
sometimes in the human form, sometimes with a triangular lid.

[Illustration: Fig. 206.--Tomb at Amathus (after Cesnola, _Cyprus_).]

The Phoenician tombs found in Malta, in Sicily and in Sardinia, present
the same arrangement as those on the coasts of Syria and Cyprus: the
descent into the cave is by a sunken shaft or by a flight of steps, and
the chambers resemble those that we have described. At Caralis and at
Tharras pyramidal cippi have been found _in situ_, above ground, which
marked the position of the burial-places, as we have already seen in
Phœnicia: in these tombs the furniture is imported from Egypt,
Etruria and Asia.

[Illustration: Fig. 207.--Sepulchral chamber at Amathus (after Cesnola,

The necropolis of Mehdia, on the eastern coast of Tunis, contains
tombs, the descent into which is by shafts as at Aradus. The tombs of
Thina (Thenæ) near Sfax, those of Carthage on the hill near the town
called Jebel Kawi, have all been violated in antiquity or by the Arabs.
Constructed on an uniform plan, they consist of a rectangular chamber,
the descent into which is by a flight of steps. All round this room, the
orifices of the coffin-niches are seen like the mouths of ovens. The
staircase may have as many as ten steps; the chamber is 6½ ft. high,
from 19½ ft. to 21 ft. long, and 9½ ft. broad. The walls are coated with
a white stucco which sometimes was adorned with figures in relief; the
fragmentary subjects which I was able to detect seemed to me to be Greek
and perhaps Roman in style.

[Illustration: Fig. 208.--Plan of a tomb at Carthage (Boulé, _Fouilles à

To sum up, the Phœnician tomb represented only two types: the erect
tomb above ground, and the subterranean tomb. The first was monolithic,
or built like a house; the second was either on a level with its
entrance in the side of the rock, or else it was reached from above by
means of a shaft or a staircase. Both contained a greater or smaller
number of chambers according to the number of corpses to be buried in
it. These bodies were, save in rare exceptions, placed in sarcophagi
sometimes deposited in cavities contrived in the wall of the chamber,
sometimes in ditches hewn out in the floor, sometimes simply deposited
along the walls. The mortuary furniture varied according to the wealth
of the families; it included, together with amulets and figures of
deities, all the toilet articles and ornaments used by the deceased
during his earthly existence.


Phœnicia, it must not be forgotten, was by turns subjected to the
yoke of the Egyptians and Assyrians, who introduced into it, with their
garrisons, their art, their customs, their industries and all that
characterised the peculiar genius of their civilisation. The conquerors
were the masters of the Phœnician artists, and the few objects which
came from the hands of the latter were inspired by Egypt or Assyria; it
is only from the time of Alexander that a third element, Greek art,
begins to reveal its action in Syria.

The field of study offered by Phœnician sculpture is remarkably
limited: it consists of the bas-reliefs of certain sarcophagi, of votive
stelæ and of meagre fragments of stone statues. The sarcophagi in human
form, of which we have already spoken, though not of an earlier date
than the Hellenic epoch, show us very clearly the Egyptian and Assyrian
influences at work in Syria. If the form of the troughs is Egyptian, if
the finest of them have actually been imported from Egypt, the
sculptures with which they are decorated are altogether Assyrian. The
symmetrically undulating curls of the beard are like those of the
Ninevite colossi; only it is to be observed that the artist can handle
his chisel like a Greek. From the time of the Seleucids, the physiognomy
of these heads which stand out in high relief on the lid of the
sepulchral trough, grows more and more Hellenic, and is modified in
accordance with Greek models; so that if a chronological classification
of all these monuments is undertaken, the most ancient would be those in
which Egyptian and Assyrian influence is most marked; the most recent
are those in which the Greek style finally prevailed.

[Illustration: Fig. 209.--Phœnician slab at Amrith (after Renan).]

In the rare fragments of buildings anterior to the Macedonian epoch,
observed in Phœnicia, the elements of decorative sculpture are
borrowed from Egypt and Assyria: nowhere has an original motive of
indigenous inspiration been found. The gate of a structure described by
M. Renan at Umm el-Awamid has a lintel on which two small figures of
Egyptian appearance are sculptured in adoration before the winged disk
supported by uræi.[92] The Phœnicians imported this solar globe, even
more ancient in Egypt than in Assyria, into every coast. It is found in
Cyprus, Malta, Sardinia and Carthage, where it is carved on the votive
stelæ of Tanit and Baal-Hammon. The sphinx is also one of the principal
elements of Phœnician sculptures: not only its form, but even its
posture, is copied from the sphinxes of the Egyptian temples; it
reclines on a pedestal, and has upon its head the pshent and the uræus;
but it has more than the Pharaonic sphinx--namely, wings borrowed from
the Assyrian and Persian genii. Other fragments of architecture show us
the motives of their decoration,--rosettes, palmettes, guilloches and
denticulated designs of Assyria.

Astarte, on the stela of the king of Gebal, Jehaw-melek, has the
costume, attitude, and attributes of the Egyptian Isis, while the king,
standing before her, resembles the Ninevite monarchs in adoration before
their favourite deities, or Darius and Xerxes on the bas-reliefs of
Persepolis. A stela at Amrith represents a deity standing on a lion, an
Assyrian subject already reproduced in Hittite bas-reliefs; a still
greater similarity is seen in the lion’s cub held by the figure as by
the hero Izdubar, and the energetic modelling of his limbs bears witness
that the artist was educated at the school of Nineveh. And yet the god’s
head-dress, and the winged disk placed above his head, are Egyptian in

The study of sculpture in the round leads to the same conclusions. The
Phœnician _patœci_, images of the god _Pumai_ (a word from which
_Pygmy_ and _Pygmalion_ are derived), were only copies of the Egyptian
gods Bes or the embryo Ptah: this type of ugliness united to strength
was carved in wood at the bows of the ships, in order to terrify the
enemy. While statues found in Phœnicia are clothed with the Egyptian
shenti, lions forming the doorposts at Umm el-Awamid are only half
sculptured in the round: the head, fore-quarters and front paws are the
only parts carved. Nothing could more directly recall the lions of the
Assyrian palaces.

If the Chaldæans, as early as the time of Gudea, were accustomed to
erect in their temples statues of kings, of pontiffs, or even of private
individuals, whose image thus remained always present before the eyes of
the deity, the Phœnicians took care not to renounce this habit. M.
Renan relates that in an underground chamber near the maabed of Amrith a
considerable number of fragments of white limestone statues was
discovered; they were also found at Cyprus (fig. 210). These statues are
iconic in character; they are portraits of the “masters of the
sacrifices,” as the Phœnician texts call the devotees who had
themselves represented in the very act of accomplishing their vows, in
order that the deity might not forget them. The archaic statues lately
found on the Acropolis at Athens seem also to have, if not the same
iconic character, at any rate the same symbolic meaning.

[Illustration: Fig. 210.--Cypriote statue (New York Museum).]

Carthage, which was a city of warriors as well as of merchants, had
despoiled all the towns that she had conquered of their artistic wealth,
in order to adorn her temples and palaces. This systematic depredation
was so great a scandal in antiquity that when Scipio took possession of
Rome’s haughty rival, he invited the inhabitants of the Sicilian towns
to come and point out their artistic property, and resume their
ownership of it; all that was not reclaimed was carried away to Rome,
and a nation of statues was seen passing along in procession behind the
triumphal car. Besides these Græco-Roman works, the fruit of pillage,
which adorned the public places of Carthage, there were those which were
the work of the Greek artists whom Carthage was pleased to summon to her
bosom; there were also those of Carthaginian craftsmen educated at the
school of the Greeks: these last alone interest us here, and the scanty
specimens which exist of them confirm us in the opinion that the
Carthaginians were not more artistic than the Phœnicians.

[Illustration: Fig. 211.--Votive stela from Carthage. (_Corpus inscript.

These monuments consist almost exclusively of votive stelæ anterior to
the taking of Carthage by the Romans in B.C. 146. These boundary stones,
from 11¾ in. to 19½ in. long by about 5¾ in. broad, were intended to be
fixed in the ground, and therefore the lower part is still in the rough;
the upper part, trimmed on its four sides, is particularly well smoothed
on one of its larger faces; on this side alone is found a votive
inscription addressed to the goddess Tanit, the Punic Astarte, and to
Baal-Hammon. Above the inscription various symbols are represented in
engraved lines, rarely in relief. The stela terminates in an imitation
of a gabled roof, often provided with two acroteria. The decoration of
these Punic stelæ is, however, still Greek, as is proved by the design
of the acroteria, ovals, triglyphs, volutes, pediments, and even Ionic
columns which figure in it. The symbols, carved in the most barbarous
fashion by workmen who could not claim the title of artists, are
borrowed from the Punic religion and from the fauna and flora of Africa.
The commonest is the open hand, raised towards the sky and generally set
at the point of the gable; the Arab still paints it in black on the
white lime with which he plasters his house: it averts the evil eye. We
find also the Egyptian uræus; the solar disk with the crescent, a symbol
of Tanit; the ram, the symbol of Baal-Hammon; the caduceus, the horse,
the elephant, the bull, the rabbit, fish, the palm, the rudder, the
anchor, the hatchet, the lotus-flower, vases of various shapes, ships
and fruit. We also meet with the Divine Mother holding her child in her
arms; a young child standing or crouching with an apple in its hand; or
a funeral banquet, as on Greek stelæ.

[Illustration: Fig. 212.--Stela from Lilybæum. (_Corpus inscript.

The great female deity of the Carthaginian Pantheon, Tanit, is found not
only under the form of a human figure, but very often under that of a
symbol difficult to describe. It is a sort of triangular mannikin (fig.
212), the traditional and degenerate representation of a sacred stone;
this triangle is furnished with protuberances in its upper part, and
resembles to some extent a man clothed in a long robe, who straddles his
legs and raises his outstretched arms to heaven: this sacred cone with
arms corresponds well enough to the description by Tacitus of the
Paphian Aphrodite. The supreme Trinity, consisting of Baal-Hammon, Tanit
and Eshmun, is also frequently symbolised by three cippi of unequal
height, placed side by side, and joined on a common base. This symbol is
also represented on the stelæ at Hadrumetum and Lilybæum; the cippi are
broader at the base than at the summit, and the middle one is surmounted
by the solar disk and the reversed crescent. Sometimes a fire-altar
served by a pontiff burns at the feet of this symbolical figure (fig.

[Illustration: Fig. 213.--Stela of Hadrumetum. (_Gazette arch._, 1884,
pl. vii.)]

One of the most interesting Punic stelæ that can be cited was found at
Hadrumetum (fig. 213). An image of two columns is seen upon it,
supporting a complicated entablature. The base of the columns is very
elegant, and resembles a large vase from which acanthus leaves emerge;
from the middle of this tuft of leaves a fluted stem rises, the upper
part of which is fashioned like a woman’s bust. This woman is seen in
full face, and holds her hands clasped upon her breast, which is also
adorned with the round disk and the crescent; she has a similar disk
upon her head. In the entablature a row of lotus-flowers, a winged disk
supported by two uræi, and a row of uræi seen in full face and with
heads erect are distinguished; everything in this monument is oriental,
or, rather, Egyptian. Even in Sardinia and the Balearic Islands the
votive stelæ of Tanit and Baal-Hammon enable us to follow the track of
the preponderating influence of Egyptian art in Carthaginian symbolism.


If the very vestiges of Cypriote architecture have disappeared, it is
not so with the works of the sculptor. The quarter of a century which
has just passed has seen disinterred as if by enchantment from the
bowels of the great eastern island, and then transported into the chief
museums of Constantinople, Paris, London, Berlin, and especially New
York, hundreds of stone statues and thousands of terra-cotta figurines
of strange appearance, with picturesque head-dresses and with
foolishly-smiling visages, which form a group apart in the history of
art, since they are neither purely Asiatic nor purely Greek. Save in
rare exceptions, the monuments of Cypriote sculpture were not imported
from abroad; they are the work of that mixed race of Greeks and
Asiatics, which, by means of the Phœnician ships, was in constant
relation with Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor.

The productions of Cypriote sculpture which seem to be the most ancient
remind us of the figures in the Assyrian bas-reliefs; the costume is
the same: a conical cap, a curled beard, a long tunic, and a short cloak
passed over the shoulder. However, there are essential differences: the
muscles are far from being expressed with the same vigour; no figure
wears that long beard like a regular screw, which is so characteristic
of Ninevite sculpture. We feel that the Cypriote artist works at a
distance from a model which he only sees with the eye of memory, or else
that he imitates at second-hand, and is compelled to interpret a
Phœnician work which is itself only an interpretation of an Assyrian
prototype. The most ancient statues discovered in the temple of Golgoi
may date back from the epoch at which the Assyrian conqueror Sargon
erected at Citium (Larnaca) the triumphant stela on which he relates
that his vessels have vanquished Cyprus. They are of all sizes. There is
a colossal head 2 ft. 9½ in. high (fig. 214). It wears a conical helmet;
the eyes are prominent, the nose is straight and regular, the mouth
small but full-lipped, the cheek-bones projecting; the beard is composed
of long parallel tresses slightly curled at the end. This fine head,
more than half oriental, may be considered as the type of its kind.

[Illustration: Fig. 214.--Colossal head from Athieno. (New York

After the overthrow of the Sargonid dynasty, Cyprus was given up to
Egyptian influence, which reigned there during the period which extends
from the fall of Nineveh, at the end of the seventh century B.C., to the
Achæmenid dynasty. But here again the imitation is only partial, and not
as servile as in Phœnicia. We find Egyptian fashion modified in
Cyprus by the taste of a foreign race. The figures are half-nude instead
of being entirely draped; they have no garment except the shenti, tied
round the waist and adorned with uræi; the bust is bare; the arms are
bare, but adorned with bracelets and held close to the body; the
headdress is the Egyptian _pshent_ scarcely modified; the hair, cut
straight and falling in compact masses behind the beardless head,
reminds us of the _Klaft_.[94]

During the same period, but especially under the Persian dominion, we
witness the interpenetration of the two influences--that of Egypt and
that of Assyria--in Cypriote art: it is the marriage of the two styles,
the union of the two streams. In the statues at Athieno, for instance,
the head is Assyrian in the features of the face, the curled beard and
the headdress formed of a peaked cap, but all the rest is Egyptian: the
nude torso, the necklace, the shenti round the waist quaintly loaded
with ornaments, the symbolical meaning of which the artist no longer
understands. A striking example of this hybrid style is the famous
colossus of Amathus, which is 13 ft. 11½ in. high and 6½ ft. broad
across the shoulders. He is a Hercules who offers a mixture of the
athletic proportions of the Assyrian Izdubar, with the type of ugliness
symbolized in the god Bes. He has short horns, a low forehead, large
ears; his hair and beard are treated in the Assyrian manner; he has a
lion’s skin round his waist; in his two powerful hands, pressed against
his breast, he holds the hind paws of a lioness. Is he not the giant
Izdubar, whom Assyrian artists so often took pleasure in representing?
On the other hand, his tattooed arms, his hairy skin, his lion’s skin
fastened round his body, his bestial and Silenus-like face, his legs
like the paws of a wild beast, are all copied from those figures of the
god Bes, which the excavations in the Nile valley bring to light by
hundreds. At the same time the artist handles his chisel as a Greek
might. The limbs are plump and rounded: no more of those exaggerated
muscles which characterise Assyrian art; nothing Eastern in the
insignificant features of the face. We have already, in certain points,
the Hellenic Heracles, with whom the Cypriote god is soon to be

[Illustration: Fig. 215.--The colossus of Amathus. (_Gazette arch._,
1879, pl. xxi.)]

In fact, the third element which comes into Cypriote sculpture is the
Greek element, with all its

[Illustration: Fig. 216.--The priest with the dove. (New York Museum.)]

methods, as the colonies on the coast of Asia Minor understood them as
early as the sixth century. In the year B.C. 500 Cyprus made an alliance
with the cities of Ionia; and Cimon’s expedition in B.C. 450 determined
the definite preponderance of Hellenic civilisation in that island. The
statues in which Greek inspiration is recognised have something original
which distinguished them at first sight (fig. 210). The physiognomy
recalls that forced smile which has been called the _Æginetan smile_;
the heads are freed from those conical head-dresses so dear to oriental
art, which Greek art repudiated in order to replace them by a diadem or
a high crown; the hair is no longer in ringlets and scarcely forms a row
of flat curls to frame the forehead; the play of the drapery is quite
different from that which comes from Nineveh, and reveals a good taste
which is quite charming. In short, the Cypriote monuments, which
correspond to this description, only form a branch of Greek archaic art,
and we must no longer treat of them in a book devoted to the East. Let
us only cite, as an example, the famous statue of the priest with the
dove, which seems to date from the Græco-Persian period. It is a
colossal statue 8 ft. high, representing a man holding in his hands a
cup and a pigeon. His head-dress consists of a hemispherical cap which
terminates in the head of an animal; three tresses of hair, a
characteristic sign of Greek archaism, fall symmetrically from the back
of his head on the front of each shoulder. The rows of curls in the
beard which covers his mouth and chin are visibly imitated from the
Assyrian fashion of dressing the hair. The fringes and draperies of the
garment still remind us, indeed, as well as the square form of the
shoulders and breast, of the statues of Tello; but how much more ample
and harmoniously arranged they are! We have here Greek taste still
imprisoned in the hieratic formula bequeathed to it by the East.

[Illustration: Fig. 217.--Bas-relief of Heracles and Eurytion.
(_Colonna-Ceccaldi, Monum. antiques de Cypre_, pl. v.)]

To the same Græcizing art belong all those iconic statues from the
temples of Golgoi and Amathus, which, instead of the peaked cap or of
the pshent, wear on their heads garlands of foliage or of narcissus,
more or less high and more or less rich, but infinite in their variety.
Like the statues found in Phœnicia to which we alluded above, they
are portraits of priests, priestesses, or other personages who offer to
the god for perpetuity the object which they hold in their hand: a
flower, a fruit, a branch, a patera, a pyx, an alabastron, a bull’s head
or a pigeon.

Few bas-reliefs have been noticed in Cyprus. However, a colossal statue
of Heracles in the Græcizing style, found at Golgoi, had a pedestal
decorated with a most remarkable bas-relief, reminding us of those in
the Ninevite palaces. The ground is painted red to make the figures
stand out; the relief is low and flat, the anatomical details of the
figures are carefully studied and exaggerated in the Assyrian manner.
The scene represents Heracles driving away the herds of Geryon, a
subject which seems to be of Tyrian origin. Heracles, nude, with the
lion’s skin on his back, was probably holding his bow, which has
disappeared as well as his head; like the giant Izdubar, he is of
colossal stature; before him is the dog Orthros, with three heads,
already pierced by an arrow shot at him by Heracles; Eurytion flees with
his herds; his beard and hair are treated in the Assyrian manner. He
carries a whole tree, with which he was no doubt lashing his oxen; this
tree is treated like those that figure on the walls of Nineveh.

[Illustration: Fig. 218.--Sarcophagus from Amathus. (New York Museum.)]

Certain Cypriote sarcophagi are also decorated with Greek subjects,
treated in the oriental manner: the birth of Chrysaor, who issues from
the neck of Medusa, for instance, is seen; banqueting scenes and bull or
boar hunts are found. A picture represented on the principal side of a
sarcophagus from Amathus (fig. 218) is copied in servile fashion from
the sculptures of Assyria and Egypt; there are rows of pearls,
lotus-flowers and daisies; a climbing plant is even to be remarked here
like the sacred tree on the Ninevite bas-reliefs. One of the figures
holds the Asiatic umbrella, and the tassels of the horses are Assyrian.
However, the figures of the cortège are Greek in style, attitude and
costume. On the smaller sides are two oriental subjects: at one end four
figures of Astarte in full face, of the type reproduced in profusion in
Chaldæa and Phœnicia; at the other four figures of the god Pygmæus,
who is made up, as we have seen, of Bes and Izdubar together.

In two words, Cypriote sculpture, fruitful as it is, lacks variety, like
Egyptian sculpture and Assyrian sculpture, its two mistresses. It lives
only by borrowing, and has invented nothing. What characterises the
stone statues which it produced is immobility and hieratic stiffness,
together with finish in the details and decoration. They have no
features which proceed from a realistic study of nature. It has been
remarked that these statues, intended to be set in rows along the inner
walls of the temples, are scarcely at all modelled behind, and are
flattened as if they had been carved out of slabs of insufficient
thickness; moreover, though broad in the chest, they are narrow in the
hips and feet; the legs are pressed closely together, so that they have
to some degree the appearance of reversed cones. Cypriote art has no
originality except in the Hellenic element, which it assimilates; the
Cypriote artist is a Greek who has served his apprenticeship among the


The triple influence that we have remarked in Phœnician and Cypriote
sculpture is observed no less clearly in pottery. In the seventh century
Assyria carried on the artistic education of Phœnicia; then it was
Egypt till the end of the sixth; finally Greece enters into the lists in
her turn, bringing her peculiar genius which, especially in Cyprus,
joins hands with its two elder brothers. The Phœnicians, then, learnt
first of all from the Assyrians and Egyptians how to model clay, and to
fashion of it figures and vases of every form.

[Illustration: Fig. 219.--Phœnician chariot in terra-cotta.

In the list of terra-cottas from Phœnicia which depend upon Ninevite
art, and which were found at Amrith (Marathus), chariots holding four
warriors and drawn by two or four horses hold the first rank. The
figures, generally bearded, and wearing the conical cap, present in
their features the purest Semitic type, like certain Babylonian
terra-cottas; the harness of the horses shows the minute detail of the
Ninevite equipages. Besides these chariots, figurines have been obtained
from the Phœnician necropoles, which represent Astarte, nude,
standing upright, carrying her hand to her breast, or else sitting and
clothed in a long robe down to her feet without folds; she often wears
a high calathos of Asiatic origin, which has been observed on the head
of captives in the Assyrian bas-reliefs.

[Illustration: Fig. 220.--Pygmy in terra-cotta. (Louvre.)]

We know that ceramics was never highly developed in Assyria and Chaldæa;
accordingly, as soon as Egyptian influence could show itself in the
political sphere in Phœnicia, the pseudo-Egyptian style was not slow
to replace the pseudo-Assyrian style in ceramics. The figurines of the
new school, fashioned like the preceding ones in orange-red clay,
represent women standing or sitting, sometimes suckling a child, holding
a fan, a pigeon, or the lunar disk. The Phœnicians even learned from
the Egyptians to coat their statuettes with green or blue enamel,
analogous to that which is called Egyptian faïence, so that it is
sometimes difficult to say whether the enamelled statuettes found in the
tombs of Phœnicia are imported from Egypt or are works of native
industry. In their course of servile imitation Phœnician craftsmen
have reproduced even the hieroglyphic characters, which they distorted
because they did not understand the sense of them.

[Illustration: Fig. 221.--Pygmy in terra-cotta. (Louvre.)]

The type most frequently copied by the Phœnicians is the grotesque
god Bes or the embryo god Ptah, whom they turned into the god Pygmæus,
called Patæcus by Herodotus. This large-headed and bandy-legged dwarf,
of repulsive obesity, the type of deformity and ugliness, is met with
everywhere in Phœnician pottery.

[Illustration: Fig. 222.--Terra-cotta head from sarcophagus. (Louvre.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 223.--Astarte. Phœnician terra-cotta. (Louvre.)]

The pseudo-Hellenic or Græcizing style has furnished numerous
terra-cotta monuments in Phœnicia, as is attested by the large head
found in the necropolis of Amrith, which is nothing less than part of
the lid of a sarcophagus in human form. The head is vulgar, and has
neither an Egyptian nor an Assyrian appearance; it was inspired by Greek
art, but to some extent followed oriental tradition. Among the
Phœnician statuettes which may be referred to Greek archaic art there
are figurines of Aphrodite standing upright, clothed in a long tunic,
the folds of which the goddess grasps in one hand, while she holds a
pigeon in the other. Tresses of hair fall over the breast on each side
of the head. On other occasions the costume of these women is composed
of a long robe and a mantle fastened by a brooch on the shoulder; they
hold their arms close to the sides of the body.

[Illustration: Fig. 224.--Terra-cotta from Cyprus. (Louvre.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 225.--Cypriote terra-cotta. (Louvre.)]

The clay of Cyprus lends itself better than that of Phœnicia to
moulding and to baking, therefore in very early times it could be
utilised for this purpose; and a considerable number of its productions
take us back to a very primitive stage of art. The most ancient of the
Cypriote figurines follow oriental and Asiatic traditions. They
represent Astarte, the goddess of fecundity; they are modelled with the
thumb, with lines traced with a point, and bands of black or red for all
their ornament. “The head is almost formless,” says M. Perrot;[95] “a
curved, beak-like nose, a pair of large round eyes, and monstrous ears
may be distinguished, each of the latter pierced with two holes at the
place of attachment of the heavy elaborate earrings worn by Phœnician
and Babylonian women. The arms are bent round horizontally, so that the
hands lie either on the chest or the stomach.... The extreme width of
the hips seems to give a promise of maternity. The scratches on the clay
may be meant to represent a loin-cloth. The legs are held tightly
closed; they taper rapidly downwards, and end in feet scarcely large
enough to give stability.” To the same period belong those vases in the
form of animals or human heads, those strange statuettes of
foot-soldiers, of riders covered with speckled armour, and of
war-chariots, which one might suppose to be modelled by children.
Cypriote figurines are so numerous, however, that they can be arranged
in a scale so as to mark without gaps the gradual stages in the progress
of the art.

[Illustration: Fig. 226.--Cypriote terra-cotta. (Louvre.)]

In Cyprus the grotesque god Pygmæus, whom we noticed in Phœnicia, is
often met with, and he offers the same characteristics here as on the
coast. We have always the mixture of the pseudo-Egyptian and
pseudo-Assyrian styles combined in different degrees with the archaic
Greek style. We will cite, following M. Heuzey, some statuettes of women
with their hair dressed in Egyptian fashion, and marked by the gesture
of the divine mother, holding her hand to her breast, and by the gesture
of the goddess of generation (fig. 227); this last, which reminds us of
the Aphrodite of Cnidos, is not found in purely oriental art. Here we
catch in the very act the fusion of Asiatic traditions with Hellenic
ideas. Such was the skill of Cypriote artists in pottery that they
manufactured terra-cotta statues of life-size; in this case they have
all the characteristics that we noticed in statuary.

[Illustration: Fig. 227.--Cypriote terra-cotta. (Louvre.)]

Phœnician vessels carried far away into the whole basin of the
Mediterranean the products of Phœnician, Rhodian, and Cypriote
pottery. At Corinth, for instance, a small aryballus in the form of a
helmeted head, of pseudo-Egyptian style and of Phœnician
workmanship, was found. The helmet covers the whole head, except the
eyes, nose, and mouth. There is an Egyptian cartouche containing the
name of the king Uahabra (Apries), B.C. 599--569.

[Illustration: Fig. 228.--Mask from Carthage. (Louvre.)]

On the site of Carthage, a large mask in terra-cotta coloured
reddish-brown was disinterred, which recalls at once the mask of Amrith
and the lids of the Egyptian sarcophagi in human form (fig. 228). The
hair is dressed in Egyptian fashion, the ears pierced to receive rings,
and the cheeks marked with a groove at the natural limit of the beard.
The modelling alone is rather Assyrian, and shows signs of Asiatic
softness. In the excavations near the harbours I obtained one of the
most remarkable examples of Punic pottery that can be cited (fig. 229).
The cheerful smile of this head of Astarte gives it a strong family
likeness to the head of Tanit on Carthaginian coins, and even to the
archaic heads of Athena on the most ancient tetradrachms of Athens.

[Illustration: Fig. 229.--Terra-cotta mask from Carthage. (_Cabinet des

The terra-cottas found at Tharras and at Sulci in Sardinia, present the
same types and the same hybrid character as those of all Phœnician
countries. Even the Chaldæan goddess has been observed among them,
nude, in full face, holding her hands to her breast, and sometimes
disguised in an Egyptian head-dress; figures of Pygmies, and of Astarte
sitting on a throne, holding a pigeon or a lunar disk, have also been

Thus, from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, wherever the
Phœnicians established their factories, they carried with them their
hybrid art, in which the fusion of the elements is not sufficiently
marked to prevent those that are borrowed from being recognised. The
dissection and analysis of each of the products of Phœnician art,
both in the terra-cottas and in sculpture, enable us to restore to
Assyria, Egypt, and Greece what belongs to each of them; this work done,
nothing is left which is the property of the Phœnicians except the


According to Pliny’s testimony the invention of glass has long been
attributed to the Phœnicians. The following is a translation of his
account: “In that part of Syria which is called Phœnicia, and which
lies next to Judæa, a marsh named Cendevia exists at the foot of Mount
Carmel. It is regarded as the source of the river Belus (Nahr-Halu),
which, after a course of five miles, falls into the Mediterranean not
far from the colony of Ptolemais. The waters of this river flow slowly;
they are deep, muddy and unhealthy, but religious rites have made them
sacred. The Belus only deposits sand at its mouth; and this sand,
formerly unfit for any use, becomes white and pure as soon as the waves
of the sea have rolled and washed it. The bank measures at the most
five hundred paces, and yet for many centuries this small space has
sufficed for the manufacture of glass. It is related that
nitre-merchants, alighting on this shore, were about to prepare their
meal, when they perceived that there were no stones to support the pots.
They ran in all directions without finding any, and then in despair they
took the blocks of nitre with which the vessels were laden and made an
impromptu furnace. But scarcely was the fire lighted, when the salt
melting mixed with the sand, and streams of a transparent liquid,
unknown till then, were seen to flow. Such was the origin of glass.”[96]

It is easy enough to recognise the kernel of historical truth contained
in the fable echoed by Pliny. The Phœnician merchants having lighted
their fire by chance in the cavity of a rock which concentrated the
heat, obtained a commencement of vitrification of nitric salt: in this
no doubt the invention of the Phœnicians consisted. They had
discovered white transparent glass, while before them the Egyptians and
the Assyrians only knew an opaque glass produced by the combustion of
certain plants.

Opaque glass, or rather glass paste, seems to be of Egyptian origin. The
vitreous substance serves as a varnish to terra-cotta from the time of
the first dynasty, and it is found thus employed on the posts of the
sepulchral door of the step-pyramid at Sakkara. In later times it is
applied as a glaze to scarabæi, sepulchral figurines, and paintings.
Soon it was perceived that this material had consistency enough to be
used by itself: “From that time,” says M. Frœhner, “the manufacture
of what we call glass-ware, that is to say, of small ornaments, beads,
armlets, and figurines of opaque glass, isochrome, or of several
colours, was invented; it did not stop here, and commerce spread its
products everywhere.”[97] The invention of glass-blowing soon followed:
the oldest coloured glass vase known bears the name of Thothmes III.
(Eighteenth Dynasty). White glass appears in Egypt much later; bottles
of transparent glass, preserved at the British Museum, are of the
Twenty-sixth Dynasty.

[Illustration: Fig. 230.--Transparent glass vase bearing name of Sargon.
(British Museum.)]

In Chaldæa and Assyria, the progress must have been the same as in
Egypt; the vitreous substance was employed at first as varnish on
bricks, statuettes and vases; then opaque glass and finally transparent
glass were arrived at gradually, perhaps under the influence of Egypt.
Assyrian objects of vitreous paste, such as rings, necklace-beads, small
vases, are not rare in our museums; but transparent white glass seems to
have been imported from Phœnicia, and never used to more than a
limited extent in Mesopotamia. The celebrated transparent glass vase of
Sargon (B.C. 722-705) at the British Museum is well known: in spite of
its cuneiform inscription, it is Phœnician in style and matter, so
that we are obliged to suppose that it was executed in the workshops of
Sidon at the time when Sargon was master of the country. “This vase,”
says M. Frœhner, “is the prototype of the unguent-flasks of which we
have so many specimens in alabaster (_alabastra_) of Egyptian and
Phœnician manufacture. Very heavy in form, and consequently of a very
archaic style, it resembles a purse; its walls are thick, and two square
appendages form the handles. The technical process followed in its
manufacture is no less primitive, for it was not blown; the workman took
a piece of cooled glass; then with a lathe he rounded the body and
hollowed out the interior, exactly as if he were working in alabaster.
To put it in its true place, we must remember that the Phœnicians
were the first to produce white glass of this purity of tone.”

But before chance taught them to utilise the fine sand on the banks of
the Belus and to manufacture from it that fine transparent glass so much
vaunted by ancient authors, the Phœnicians had borrowed from their
neighbours the Egyptians and Assyrians the art of employing vitrifiable
matter as enamel. At Rhodes, Salzmann discovered enamelled vases of
Phœnician origin; the geographer Scylax informs us, on the other
hand, that Phœnician merchants exported objects of vitreous paste,
that is to say, amulets and necklace beads, even beyond the pillars of
Hercules. The necropoles of Cyprus have furnished some glasses with
thick walls, slightly transparent, which were certainly manufactured in
the workshops of Tyre or Sidon. M. G. Rey brought from Phœnicia to
the Louvre an idol of vitreous paste in the form of a cone placed
between two quadrupeds; but the most interesting Phœnician monument
in vitreous paste that we can cite is the necklace from Tharras in
Sardinia. It is formed of forty beads, two cylinders, four bulls’
heads, and a large grotesque mask of Pygmæus (Louvre).

[Illustration: Fig. 231.--Phœnician glass. (Louvre.)]

From the foregoing facts, it results that though the Phœnicians had
for many ages a monopoly of the glass-manufacture, they cannot be
considered as its inventors. They only made admirable use of the
material placed by nature in their hands. The wonderful properties of
the sand of the Belus are vaunted not only by Pliny but by Josephus and
Tacitus. The glass manufactured by the Phœnicians was purer and
clearer than that of Egypt, and consequently more sought after; not only
alabastra and amphoriskoi, worthy of mediæval Venetian artists, issued
from their workshops, but also false gems of coloured vitreous paste,
imitating precious stones so as to be mistaken for them; hence the
prosperity and reputation of the manufactures of Tyre and Sidon. Lucian
says of the complexion of a beautiful young girl that it is more
diaphanous than the glass of Sidon.[98]

This last city was the centre of the Phœnician glass manufacture from
the remotest antiquity to the Roman period; but remains of ancient
furnaces, glass fragments of various colours, and scoriæ, have been
found at Tyre, which attest the existence there also of important

A fine glass flask, moulded and decorated with fruit, found at
Jerusalem, has been attributed to the age of the independence of Judæa;
but it may well be not earlier than the Græco-Roman period, like the
ornaments of vitreous paste found in the tombs of the kings by Saulcy.
These objects, as well as flakes of greenish glass, found in Palestine,
probably came from the workshops of Hebron or Aleppo, which are in
activity to the present day, and produce before our eyes vases which
imitate the ancient specimens to perfection.

[Illustration: Fig. 232.--Glass vase from Jerusalem. (Louvre.)]

The glass-workers of Tyre and Sidon signed their works at the
Græco-Roman period, like their colleagues the potters. Those of Sidon
added the name of the workshop to their own; the Greek or Latin stamp
placed in relief on the thumb-rest or handles had the double advantage
of giving the name of the manufacturer and of presenting a rough
surface, which made it easier to hold the vase. The best known of the
Sidonian glass-workers, Artas, lived in the first century of our era;
the productions of his workshops are found with his mark in all the
countries bordering upon the Mediterranean.


One of the most original sides of Phœnician art consists of the
manufacture of bronze, silver or gold dishes, on which various subjects
in Assyro-Egyptian style are

[Illustration: Fig. 233.--Patera from Palestrina. (Kircher Museum,

chiselled, engraved, or even hammered in _repoussé_. The skill of the
Tyrian and Sidonian artists in this branch of art was celebrated from
the highest antiquity. Solomon appeals to them for the furniture of
Jehovah’s Temple; in Homer, Achilles offers as a prize for the races, in
the games organised for the funeral of Patroclus, “a crater of chiselled
silver, holding six measures, and without rival on earth for beauty:
skilful Sidonian craftsmen made it;” elsewhere the poet speaks of a
silver crater, the work of Hephaistos, which a king of Sidon gives to
Menelaus. The Phœnician dishes found at Nimroud (fig. 92), in Cyprus,
and at some points of the Mediterranean coasts, are specimens of those
goldsmiths’ works which astonished Homer’s Greeks. They are pateræ
without feet, shallow and hemispherical, such as those seen in the hands
of the Assyrians in the bas-reliefs of Nineveh. The figures which
decorate them are on the inner surface, and arranged in concentric
zones. Engraved or hammered in _repoussé_, these subjects seem sometimes
to represent, not trivial figures nor images of deities, but, on the
contrary, genre pictures, and scenes like those in the Egyptian
paintings. Thus the subject which decorates the silver-gilt patera (fig.
233) discovered in 1876 at Palestrina, the ancient Præneste, in Latium,
has been ingeniously explained by M. Clermont-Ganneau.[99] In the
concentric zone bordered by a long serpent a small drama is developed in
relief in a series of successive phases; it might be called “A Hunting
Day, or Piety Rewarded. An oriental play in two acts and nine tableaux.”
We see: (1) the hero leaving his house in his war-chariot; (2) he
alights to shoot a deer; (3) capture of the deer; (4) halt in a wood
after the hunt; the horses are unharnessed; (5) preparations for the
meal, in which the deer is to be eaten; (6) an ape attacks the hero,
who, fortunately, is protected by a winged deity; (7) the ape is pursued
and thrown down by the horses; (8) the hunter kills the savage beast;
(9) triumphal entry into the house. The interpretation would be complete
if a mythical name could be given to the hero of the drama.

[Illustration: Fig. 234.--Dish from Dali. (Louvre.)]

Hunting scenes of the same kind, but not so easy to explain, decorate a
silver dish from Cære in Etruria, of the same manufacture as the pateræ
of Phœnicia, or Cyprus. On one of the silver dishes from Dali
(Idalion) possessed by the Louvre, there is a lion hunt; on the patera
from Amathus there is the siege of a fortress.

[Illustration: Fig. 235--Handle of a bronze crater. (New York Museum.)]

The treasury of Curium furnished Cesnola with a large number of these
pateræ in silver or electrum, on which appeared engraved subjects of the
same inspiration and the same style: figures with four wings, struggling
with a lion; Astarte with her hand upon her breast, beside hideous
patæci, Isis-Hathor, Egyptian sphinxes and sparrow-hawks; hunts,
battles, religious sacrifices. Everywhere on these monuments, which, as
the Homeric poems show us, were so greatly sought for by the Greeks of
the heroic age, and imported by Sidonian merchants, we find copies of
the usual designs on the Egyptian and Assyrian monuments, an unconscious
mixture of hybrid scenes, which have nothing original except this quaint
amalgam itself, even more striking here than in the other manifestations
of Phœnician and Cypriote art. If we had a larger number of these
curious dishes, we should find, no doubt, that the motives are little
varied, often repeated, even in subjects as interesting as the Hunting
Day, and that the effort of imagination here made by the Phœnician
artist has been little inventive. Fortunately for the reputation of
Phœnician and Cypriote goldsmiths, other monuments show that their
metallurgy was not limited to these interesting pateræ. Thus, for
instance, Cesnola brought from his excavations in Cyprus a fragment of a
large bronze crater, the handles of which are decorated in the most
original fashion. We here find lions standing on their hind legs holding
œnochoæ, and clothed in fishes’ scales, like the god Anu in
Assyro-Chaldæan symbolism.

[Illustration: Fig. 236.--Phœnician gold ornament.]

In Cypriote furniture and ornaments we observe the same characteristics
of a hybrid art. There are little silver vases chiselled in the Assyrian
style with rare elegance, handles of sceptres, and other precious
utensils like those of Nineveh. Certain ornaments, intended for women’s
head-dresses, are of exquisite workmanship; so are the ear-rings, the
necklaces of gold, gems and glass; with figures of lions, rams, deer,
masks with curled beards in the Assyrian fashion, heads of Isis-Hathor
and lotus-flowers. Some of these necklaces and bracelets end in lions’
or serpents’ heads, and form models which Greek artists needed only to
copy, for they are masterpieces in their kind. We have seen that the
Ninevite excavations brought to light ivory tablets carved by
Phœnician artists, and imported into Mesopotamia by commerce: plaques
of the same style have been obtained from Phœnicia itself: they were
ornaments of precious caskets. These products of Phœnician industry
were imported into all the coasts of the Mediterranean; and, at
Palestrina, in Latium, an ivory tablet was found, on which a vessel
manned by rowers is engraved, similar to those in the Egyptian
paintings. Ostrich-eggs, found in Etruria, arranged to serve as vases,
are adorned with engraved figures, the Phœnician character of which
could scarcely be disputed: there are zones of warriors on foot, on
horseback, and in their war-chariots; files of animals, fights of lions
with bulls in semi-Egyptian style; the frame of these scenes is borrowed
from Assyria; the whole is relieved by iridescent colours.[100]

[Illustration: Fig. 237.--Phœnician ear-rings.]

If we had in Phœnicia bas-reliefs like those of Assyria, and
paintings like those of Egypt, we should be able to give some account of
those brilliant stuffs of dyed purple, described by classical antiquity
with so much enthusiasm. It was to the Tyrian god, Melkarth, that
tradition assigned the invention of this dye, obtained, as it is well
known, from the juice of a marine shell, the _murex_, which is found
especially on the coast of Phœnicia. We can only affirm, according to
literary testimony, that the workshops of Tyre and Sidon produced stuffs
in abundance, the colour of which, as the ancients remarked, instead of
being altered and deteriorated by a bright light, was only rendered more
vivid and brilliant by it.


[Illustration: Fig. 238.--Cylinder in the De Clerq collection (after

The glyptic art, through the multiplicity of its productions, is one of
the principal elements of Phœnician archæology, and teaches us more
than the miserable fragments which remain of pottery or sculpture. Here,
more clearly than in the other branches of art, we find imitation of
Egypt and Assyria taken for granted, as a witness of the poverty of
invention of the Phœnician intellect. Two cylinders exist in the De
Clercq collection which bear a cuneiform inscription by the side of
Egyptian figures. That which we give as an example (fig. 238), after M.
Menant,[101] is the seal of “Annipi, son of Addume the Sidonian.” Thus
the owner of the cylinder is a Phœnician; he has inscribed his name
in Assyrian beside the god Set,[102] Reseph, the warrior god, and Horus
with the hawk’s head. The style of the inscription, like that of the
figures, betrays, however, the unskilful hand of the Sidonian imitator.

[Illustration: Fig. 239.--Cylinder at the British Museum (after

We possess, on the other hand, cylinders on which the figures are purely
Assyrian, while the inscription is in Phœnician or Aramaic
characters. This one at the British Museum is the “seal of Akadban, son
of Gebrod the eunuch, worshipper of Hadad” (fig. 239). The style of the
figures and the details of the costume are so clearly Assyrian that this
monument discloses to us the plagiaristic method to which the idle
imagination of the Phœnicians had recourse. These merchants found it
simpler and speedier to appropriate Assyrian or Persian cylinders,
satisfied with having their names engraved upon them. They did not blush
to wear during their life the ornaments of other nations, until their
ashes should rest in sarcophagi stolen from the Egyptians.

However, in Cyprus, they tried to engrave cylinders for themselves. The
recent excavations have disinterred a large quantity of them, and, by
the side of cylinders brought from the continent by commerce, some have
been found which were certainly manufactured in the island. But what
astonishes us in these monuments is their extreme barbarism; the design
is most summary, the figures are scarcely sketched, and the chisel has
only made rough scratches on the jasper, the hæmatite, or the
chalcedony. And even the figures of men or animals, the trees and the
geometrical ornaments with which the Cypriote cylinders are covered, are
copied by unskilful workmen from the productions of the Assyro-Persian
or Egyptian glyptic art.

After all, Phœnician cylinders are rare enough. Practical before
everything, the merchants of Tyre and Carthage preferred flat seals of
multiple form to cylinders, the use of which was difficult; they
manufactured scarabæi, scarabœoids, ellipsoids, cones, octagonal
conoids, these last especially in the Aramæo-Persian period, and lastly
bezels for rings. Among the numerous gems which have come down to us,
and which must be attributed either to the Phœnicians themselves or
to the Aramæan populations of Syria, some have still preserved their
mounting: a ring in the form of a horse-shoe enabled the owner to turn
the stone on its axis and to hang it from a necklace. The inscription of
one or two lines, when it exists, gives the name of the owner, his
father’s name, and sometimes his quality. The subjects, naturally more
limited than those of the cylinders, are always of Egyptian, Persian, or
Assyro-Chaldæan inspiration. There are, for instance, the winged and
radiated disk, deer, lions, bulls, sphinxes, gryphons, the divine bust
in a winged disk, a pontiff sacrificing at an altar, or in adoration
before the pyreum. The Louvre possesses a scarabæoid of red agate
acquired in Mesopotamia by M. de Sarzec; a god is seen upon it, holding
a serpent in each hand, like the Egyptian Horus; he has four wings, and
bears on his head the solar disk supported by two horns. The name,
Baalnathan, indicates that its owner was probably an Ammonite or a
Moabite. It may be admitted, with M. de Vogüé,[103] that among the
Phœnician, Aramæan and Jewish intagli, those in which Egyptian
influence appears exclusive are the most ancient, that is to say,
anterior to the Assyrian rule in Syria.

[Illustration: Fig. 240.--Scarabæoid seal.]

[Illustration: Fig. 241.--Scarabæoid seal (after Menant).]

From the seventh century B.C. the action of Assyria appears in the
Aramæo-Phœnician glyptic art, sometimes allied to the Egyptian
influence, sometimes exclusive as on a scarabæus in the museum at
Vienna, bearing the name of Akhotmelek, wife of Josuah, on which a deity
is seen sitting on a throne and receiving a libation from a standing
pontiff (fig. 240). A fine scarabæus in green jasper at the British
Museum (fig. 241), with the name, in Phœnician characters, of _Hodo,
the scribe_, shows a principal scene inspired by an Assyrian cylinder,
while on the field the Egyptian _crux ansata_ figures, and the
scarabæoidal form of the gem is certainly of Pharaonic origin.

In this hybrid coupling of Egyptian to Assyrian art the least trained
observer can discern what belongs to each of the two constituent
elements. The position of the outstretched wings, one raised, the other
lowered, before and not behind the figures, the uræi, the pshent, the
shenti, the hawk-headed gods, the lotus-flower, the sphinx, and the
_crux ansata_, properly belong to Egypt. The long-fringed robe of the
priests, the curled hair and beard, the cylindrical tiara, the
fire-altar, the sacred tree, and the lions are, besides other features,
the property of Assyria and Chaldæa. The writing alone is Aramaic or
Phœnician. At the Achæmenid epoch, seals are found in Phœnicia,
the workmanship of which shows signs of Persian influence; sometimes
even the legend, although Aramæan, gives us a Persian name.

From the fourth century B.C., lastly, the glyptic art, following the
same laws as the other branches of art, is rapidly invaded by the Greek
genius. Engraved stones with Cypriote or Phœnician legends show
subjects incontestably interpreted by Greek artists, even when the
incidents are oriental; at last we find Greek subjects, so that the
oriental influence is only shown by the legend, which still remains
Phœnician. We are then arrived at the age of Alexander, and the
ancient civilisations of the East have ceased to live.




The progress of oriental archæology leads us from one surprise to
another. Year after year discoveries are made in rapid succession, which
we watch with breathless interest as they transform and elucidate some
chapter in the history of those primitive civilizations from which our
own is in part derived. Following the discoveries made in Chaldæa,
Assyria, and Phœnicia, another region of the East now takes its turn
in throwing light on the past--the country of Elam, or Susiana, a region
hitherto almost unknown to us, although in the earliest ages of the
world it played an important part.

The ruins of Susa, situated at the north of Ahwaz, form a number of
immense tells which cover an extent of four and a half to six square
miles on both banks of the river Kerkha. The plain, which is dominated
by these majestic mounds as far as the banks of the Karún, stretches far
to the north, where it is bounded by the Bakhtiyari mountains. Southward
it extends to the _Shatt al Arab_ and Lower Chaldæa.

What new material may we draw from this ancient soil of Elam, to provide
food for our chimæra-like appetite for universal knowledge; a soil where
countless generations of human beings lie buried, piled on each other
like so many geological stratifications, and surrounded by all the
appurtenances of their earthly existence? The Greeks have merely
transmitted to us baseless fables concerning the history of Elam.
Ignoring all local traditions, the writers of the Macedonian period
related that the mythical founder of this region was Memnon, son of
Tithonus, and of Aurora; that he led a body of black warriors to the aid
of Troy when besieged by the Greeks, and was slain in a duel by
Achilles. Eos, or Aurora, wept for her son, and according to a pretty
fiction it is the tears of this inconsolable mother which form the
morning dew. Classical antiquity was cradled in such poetic stories of
the mysterious regions of the rising sun, without any attempt to
discover the actual facts. It is the Bible alone that has preserved the
name of one of the kings of Susa, Chedorlaomer, a contemporary of

In the present day, however, the power of deciphering the Chaldæan
cuneiform texts has rendered us acquainted with isolated episodes of the
political relations between the Elamites and the Babylonians and

In 1810 Macdonald Kinnear and Monteith accompanied General Malcolm on
his mission to the Shah of Persia; in 1826 Sir Henry Rawlinson, and
later again Sir A. H. Layard, visited the tells of Susa, and copied
several inscriptions which had been laid bare by the heavy rains. As the
monuments emerged from the rubbish, it became evident that only
excavation could compel the mounds of Susa to yield the secrets they

These excavations were commenced in 1851 by Sir Kenneth Loftus and
Colonel Williams, who cleared the wells of the palace of Darius I., son
of Hystaspes. The researches were then abandoned, and it was only in
1885 that the French Government commissioned M. Dieulafoy to carry on
the work begun by Loftus. He laid bare the _Apadana_ of Artaxerxes, and
deposited in the Louvre Museum the magnificent Achæmenid fragments
described in Chapter V. of this volume (p. 146 _et seq_). But various
remains and fragments of inscriptions of an age far more remote showed
that merely the surface of the ruins had been touched, and that it would
be necessary to undertake systematic excavations of greater depth. A
diplomatic treaty signed May 12th, 1895, renewed and confirmed in Paris
in 1900 by the Shah of Persia, accorded to France the exclusive right to
carry out archæological excavations over the whole extent of the Persian
Empire. M. Jacques de Morgan was appointed Delegate-General of
Antiquities in Persia, with a special mission to carry on the researches
at Susiana.

After encountering difficulties of every kind, M. de Morgan, accompanied
by a number of colleagues, among whom we must mention one of the most
eminent of contemporary Assyriologists, Père V. Scheil, arrived at the
site of the ruins of Susa on the 16th of December, 1897, and commenced
work there. The first results sent to Paris formed a special exhibition
at the Grand Palais des Champs Elysées, in the spring of 1901, and
occasioned great surprise and admiration. These remains consist of
immense numbers of inscribed bricks, of bas-reliefs, of stelæ covered
with cuneiform writing of most archaic appearance, and of works of art
of a style hitherto unknown. Thus, in beginning the publication of these
monuments, and the translation of the texts, M. Scheil could write
without exaggeration or hyperbole: “It is here that the history of the
country of Elam begins”; and he then proceeds to deal with those great
problems of history, of which the solution had become the question of
the moment.

What were the earliest civilizations of the East, and to what period do
they carry us back? To what ethnic groups do the Elamites belong? What
connection is there between Elam, Anzan, and Susa, the three names given
in the original texts to Susiana? Did there actually exist in that
country a combination of institutions, political or religious, of a
distinctive and independent character? What languages and what races of
mankind met in that region which adjoins the land of the Semites, the
Arians, and perhaps the Turanians?

These are questions of deep moment, and they have obtained from the
early excavating campaigns a hesitating and partial reply, which does
not satisfy our thirst for the whole truth regarding the origins of the
earliest civilizations. “The proto-archaic texts,” says M. Scheil
regretfully, “will show how limited is our knowledge both of the
origins, which are continually becoming more remote, and of the primary
factors of civilization, the number of which is steadily increasing.”

We can only give a general sketch of the archæological results obtained
up to July 1905, the date of the inauguration at the Louvre of the
gallery devoted to the objects discovered up to that time. The work is
still proceeding, and we may hope that it will be brought to a
conclusion without interruption. Between January 1, 1897 and April 15,
1905 M. de Morgan has dug more than 280,000 cubic metres of earth and
débris of all kinds, and he estimates further that it will be necessary
to remove 1,280,000 cubic metres in order to bring the excavations to a
final conclusion. Working at the rate of 35,000 cubic metres yearly, the
archæological excavations at Susa will occupy not less than 35


The researches we have just described, so far as they have been carried
at present, show that many of the mounds of Susa, formed of an
accumulation of débris and covered with a thin layer of sand deposited
by the desert winds, were inhabited from prehistoric times to the Arab
period. The prehistoric remains are found at a depth of over 80 feet,
below the evidences of more advanced civilizations.

After digging through the accumulated remains of forty centuries, the
virgin soil is reached, and here are found worked flints, primitive
pottery, and other objects similar to those found on all prehistoric
sites. Above the level of the worked flints, and the rough, hand-made
pottery, shaped without the aid of the wheel, another civilization is
found, more advanced, although still prehistoric, which produced vases
in sandstone and calcite of various sizes, and--far more important and
fundamental--seals or stamps, proofs of a culture widely removed from
barbarism. These seals are hemispherical in form, and pierced with a
hole for suspension. The base or flat face is decorated with figures of
animals engraved in rudimentary fashion by means of the drill and point.
The most usual subject is a lion, or lion’s head. But nowhere at this
level of the remains has the slightest trace of writing been found. The
dwellings were huts, made either of beaten earth or of crude bricks.

A thick layer of cinders and other unequivocal indications, enable us to
assert that this primitive civilization disappeared owing to the
massacre of the inhabitants and the burning of their dwellings. At this
early period, to which it is impossible to assign even an approximate
date, Susa suffered from some foreign invasion, and the pillagers
installed themselves in place of the indigenous inhabitants, whom they
destroyed. It is, therefore, a new civilization we find above the
remains of the prehistoric people, and which introduces us to the domain
of actual history, the commencement of the Elam-Anzanite period.

It is to this invading race that Susa owes her first written documents.
These inscriptions, although they are in a language almost unknown to
us, are undoubtedly the most important that this period has hitherto

The earliest text known is engraved on a bone cylinder (fig. 242). The
mere appearance of the signs strikes us with the remote antiquity to
which they must be assigned; they are actually hieroglyphs. Among them
apparently there can be distinguished an insect, a double comb, a
quadruped, a bird, some grains of wheat, and a man carrying a double
load on his shoulders. On the lower part of the cylinder two bulls are
depicted, each with his head over a manger.

[Illustration: Fig. 242.--Bone cylinder, showing the earliest stage of
cuneiform writing (Louvre).]

This object, which so far seems to be the sole representative of the
earliest stage of cuneiform writing, and which leads us to question
whether this mode of writing was not invented at Susa, is followed by a
series of clay tablets ranging in size from 2½ to 9 inches at the sides,
and with the principal face covered with writing, of which the signs are
almost cuneiform. Dr. Scheil, however, says of these that apparently “we
have here a system of cuneiform writing other than that of primitive
Chaldæan, or at least the result of an extremely independent evolution,
very different to that which has given us the signs known as the
Babylonian: evidently these signs, instead of being extremely archaic
are linear in character, and geometric rather than hieroglyphic.”

Dr. Scheil recognises that these texts are arithmetical, and he has
already been able to distinguish the elements of Elamite numeration
(fig. 243). Any one studying them from the point of view of workmanship,
will notice, as Dr. Scheil again observes, that the signs are inscribed
with a neatness and certainty that indicate previous long practice on
the part of the scribe. Nowhere can we discern errors or rough work,
such as would be the results of early attempts and experiments. Thus we
arrive at the conclusion that those texts were written by the invaders,
who were already in possession of this system of writing when they
arrived at Susa.

[Illustration: Fig. 243.--Fragment of an Elamite tablet inscribed with
arithmetical calculations (Louvre).]

It is at this period that we first find cylinders covered with
representations of animals, engraved on the surface before the tablets
were baked or dried in the sun. These cylinders are of greenish
enamelled paste and very hard; only a small number has been discovered
at present, but impressions made with some of the objects of this class
agree for the greater part with the clay tablets. We give a reproduction
of one of the most curious of these impressions (fig. 244). Here we can
distinguish giants, leonocephalic and taurocephalic, taming lions and
bulls apparently for amusement. In this instance the style is very
remarkable, and recalls that of certain animals on the finest of the
Chaldæan cylinders.

Of this same civilization there is also a large number of alabaster
vases; these are frequently decorated with incised lines, forming
geometric designs; in some instances these vases have animal forms, such
as ducks, pigs, fish, or seated monkeys, types generally figured in a
summary and rudimentary fashion.

[Illustration: Fig. 244.--Cylinder showing giants, lions, and bulls,
glazed pottery (Louvre).]

Above the proto-Elamite zone the ruins become confused and belong to
different periods. It is obvious that the soil of Susa was constantly
overturned and pillaged. Happily the beacon light of history now begins
to guide our footsteps, and enables us to classify chronologically those
remains, which are discovered in disorder. The written texts, which are
increasingly numerous, from this time are divided into two main classes;
the first written in a Semitic dialect, the second in the Anzanite
language. This shows that in the country of Elam at that remote period
an ethnic dualism existed, which corresponds with the double name for
the capital of Anzan and Susa--a dualism which certain sculptured
representations of the human figure also exhibit from the
anthropological and ethnological point of view. The Anzanite
inscriptions are still only partly decipherable, notwithstanding the
insight shown by Dr. Scheil in commencing a study of them.

As to the inscriptions in the Elamite language, over a thousand have
been brought to the Louvre. They are on slabs of stone, on blocks which
have served as sockets for doors, and yet more are inscribed with a
stylus on bricks.

These have been deciphered by Dr. Scheil; they give the names of the
kings by whose commands the buildings were erected, in which they were
employed. With the help of these clues, and guided by some more explicit
texts and by the information about Susa already afforded us in the
inscriptions of Chaldæa and Assyria, it has been possible to establish
the first landmarks of the history of that powerful Elamite empire,
whose complete annals will shortly provide a new chapter of the history
of the Ancient World.

After the mythical period, in which such kings as Humbaba and Kudur
appear, whose names so far only occur in legendary poems and stories,
the earliest historical texts introduce us to the princes of Elam as
vassals of the Mesopotamian suzerains. Of these the first is called
Ur-iti-Adad, vassal successively of the two kings of Agade,
Sargani-sar-ali, and Naram-Sin, about B.C. 3750. One of his successors,
Karibu-Sa-Susinak, _patesi_ of Susa, _sakkanak_ of Elam, boasts of
having built the temple of the god Sugu “the ancient,” and of having
constructed the canal of Sidur; he is a vassal of Dungi, king of Ur,
and of Gudea, _patesi_ of Sirpurla.

To the rule of the _patesis_ at Elam succeeded that of the _Sukkal-mah_.
This was occasioned by a change in the suzerainty, which from being
Chaldæan now became Elamite.

About B.C. 2280 the king of Susa, Kudur-Nakhunta, effected the conquest
of Mesopotamia and decorated his capital with the spoils of the towns of
Chaldæa; notable among these was the statue of the goddess Nana, which
he caused to be transported from Uruk (Erech) to Susa.

Long after, Hammurabi, king of Babylon, delivered Chaldæa from the
domination of Elam, and one of his successors, Kuri-galsu, even
succeeded in entering Susa as a conqueror. But later again the Susians
gained their revenge; they took Babylon by assault, and carried away the
statue of Bel.

A king of Susa, Shutruk-Nakhunta, boasts of having devastated Chaldæa,
and of having seized the stelæ of Melishikhu; he records that he took
some hundreds of towns, brought back several kings as captives,
and built a large number of temples at Susa. His grandson,
Shilkhak-in-Shushinak, restored these buildings, where the stelæ, the
_kudurru_, and the statues of Chaldæan divinities were placed, with all
the precious objects taken from the towns of the Tigris valley.

The names of about twenty other Susian kings are known; they belong to
two or three different dynasties, and we can trace the existence of
conflicting races in Susa itself. This fact is further shown by the
variety of languages which are found written in cuneiform character.

By turns conquerors and conquered, the Susians passed from the rôle of
oppressors to that of oppressed; raid succeeded to raid, with results as
contradictory as the gusts of wind in a gale. The kings of Nineveh, who
during the twelfth century B.C. became the most powerful rulers of this
part of the world, were the dominating power in Chaldæa and constituted
themselves protectors of the country against the incursions of the
Susians. Under Sargon, king of Assyria (B.C. 722-705) and his successors
there began a mighty struggle, which ended with the ruin of Susa by
Assurbanipal in B.C. 647. We must here recall that strange and tragic
episode of the annals of the Assyrian monarchy.

The king of Nineveh, relating his conquests in the land of Elam, records
that sixteen centuries earlier Kudur-Nakhunta, king of Susa, had invaded
Mesopotamia, and carried away the statues of the Chaldæan gods, more
especially the image of the great goddess Nanâ, which thus remained
prisoner until he, Assurbanipal, went to her rescue: “The King of Elam,
Kudur-Nakhunta placed his hands on the temples of the country of Accad,
and he carried away the statue of the goddess Nana: His days had been
multiplied and his power was very great. The great gods permitted these
things, and for the space of 1635 years this image remained in the power
of the Elamites. That is wherefore I, Assurbanipal, the prince who
adores the great gods, I conquered the land of Elam.... The statue of
the goddess Nana had been in adversity for 1635 years; she had been
carried into captivity in Elam a country which was not consecrated to
her. The goddess with the gods, her fathers, proclaimed my name as
sovereign of the nations, from this time forth, and she entrusted to me
the task of rescuing her statue. She said: _Assibanipal will cause me to
come forth from Elam, a land of the enemy and will establish me again in
the Temple E-anna_. This divine command was pronounced in bygone days,
but it was only those of my own time who explained it. Then I seized the
hands of the statue of the great goddess, and, in order to rejoice her
heart, I caused her to take a direct road to the Temple E-anna. The
first day of the month of Kislev, I caused her to enter into the city of
Uruk, and I reinstated her in the eternal tabernacle of E-anna, the
temple of her choice.”

The Ninevite bas-reliefs, which accompany these curious inscriptions,
effectively represent a procession of Assyrian priests and soldiers,
carrying the reconquered ancient idols on their shoulders with great

At the time of the destruction by Assurbanipal, Elamite Susa contained,
not only the objects of art, the statues and valuable monuments relating
to the history of Elam and the cult of her gods, but also, under the
title of _spolia opima_, all the valuables which had been brought by the
kings of Elam from their expeditions into Chaldæa as trophies of
victory. Assurbanipal recovered the greater part of these objects, and
replaced them in the towns from which they had been taken; the booty was
immense, as he himself records. But much would naturally have been
effectually concealed, and this he would be forced to leave behind at
the time of the sack of the town; he also left a number of objects of
secondary importance, such as certain statues, stelæ, and _kudurru_,
which had originally come from Chaldæa.

Undermining and incendiarism destroyed all that could not be laden on
the backs of the soldiery and animals of the Assyrian army, and thus
Assurbanipal effected the complete ruin of Susa.

This explains the circumstance that a number of monuments and objects of
Chaldæan origin are found in the ruins of Susa among others indigenous
to Elam.

The capital of Elam appears to have been built once more after the
departure of the Assyrians, for a cylinder of Nebuchadnezzar informs us
that this prince built many temples there, as well as at Babylon.

Susa never again really recovered her ancient splendour until the time
of the second dynasty of the Achæmenid kings of Persia. Darius, son of
Hystaspes, made it the capital of his realms, and until the rise of
Alexandria, Susa remained the most important centre of art, and of
Persian civilization (see Chapter V.).

At this period, Susa was once more the theatre of events similar to
those which so many centuries before had agitated her existence. When
the entire East, Susa, as well as Babylon, and even Sardis, had fallen
into the power of the Persian Achæmenids, and when Darius and, later,
Xerxes, invaded Greece in B.C. 492 and 480, the Hellenic sanctuaries
were pillaged in their turn. The Persians carried away their treasures,
statues, and ex-votos across Asia as far as Susa, and there placed them
in their own temples as trophies of their victories. When, in his turn,
Alexander in B.C. 331 invaded the East, as avenger of the Hellenic
race, he laid a heavy hand on the treasures of Susa; in that capital he
discovered the great works of art of Greece, more especially the bronze
statues of the Tyrannicides, Harmodius and Aristogiton, which Xerxes had
carried away from Athens: these the conquering Macedonians were
delighted to restore to the Athenians. The temple of Didyma near
Miletus, like all others, had been pillaged by Darius, and its treasures
carried off. What must have been the astonishment of M. de Morgan when
he discovered in the course of his excavations a huge bronze
knuckle-bone, weighing more than 152 lb. and bearing a Greek inscription
of the seventh century B.C., recording that this singular object was
dedicated by a dweller in Miletus to Apollo Didymæus.

Thus we find an ex-voto from the Temple of Didyma carried to Susa by the
Persians under Darius, and which has now found its way to the banks of
the Seine, an object of astonishment to visitors to the Louvre. This
enormous knuckle-bone is provided with two handles to facilitate
transport. The upper one, worn through by long-continued friction, shows
traces of the iron bar or hook passed through it for its long journey
from Miletus to Susa. Thus history--Proteus with his thousand
forms--repeats itself unceasingly under its many transformations; even
modern times furnish us with numerous episodes similar to those just


Speaking generally, there can be no study of the architecture in
elevation, as the ruins afford no examples of building in stone. We are
forced to confine ourselves to examining the ground plans of the
buildings, the pavements, and the foundations. Everything else has
fallen to pieces, or been reduced to powder. In some of the tells of
Chaldea, however, remains of temples and palaces have been found with
the lower courses still in position.

It is in consequence of this that we have been able to give M. de
Sarzec’s reconstruction of the plan of the palace of Gudea at Tello
(fig. 2, p. 9). The American Archæological Mission has also discovered
at Niffer (Nippur) the lower courses of a _zikkurat_, or staged tower,
in excellent preservation. In this region the building materials were
frequently kiln-baked bricks, and mortar made of bitumen of such
exquisite quality as to render the walls of such consistency that at the
present day it is necessary to use powder to demolish them.

At Susa, so far as investigations have been carried at present, it
appears that crude bricks were usually employed in building, and without
the bitumen mortar, with the result that the walls were easily
demolished, both by the pick-axe of the intentional devastator and by
the corrosive action of the weather. “Thus on all sides,” says M. de
Morgan, “reigns the greatest of confusion of piled-up materials.”

One exception has thus far been found, a small temple of the god
Shushinak, where the plan can be traced, owing to the basement having
been constructed of baked bricks, with revetments of glazed sandstone.
Large numbers of tiles have also been found, enamelled with yellow or
pale green and bearing the name of king Shutruk-Nakhunta. This is the
class of decoration which developed during the Achæmenid period, of
which we have previously given some specimens.[105]

The hiding-places found under the pavement of the temple yielded a
number of votive objects, which are exceedingly interesting and
valuable. Of these we shall speak later; we must now only mention the
brick columns, the principle of which has been studied, and of which we
give a representation (fig. 245).

[Illustration: Fig. 245.--Brick Column, Susa.]

This column is composed of a number of bricks, all of which bear the
name and protocol formula of the royal builder, Shutruk-Nakhunta. Some
of these bricks are square, others round, and others are segments of
circles. The figure here given sufficiently indicates how they are
arranged, and it will be seen that the principle is precisely the same
as in the similar constructions at Tello (see p. 10, fig. 3).

Observations made on the spot show that the column was worked over from
the foundation after its construction, for many bricks with the name of
Shutruk-Nakhunta are reversed, and there are others with names of other
kings. To obtain more precise information on Elamite architecture and
building, we must wait for further discoveries, which will surely not be
long deferred.


The earliest example of the sculptor’s art found by the de Morgan
Mission up to the present time is a Chaldæan stela, transported from
Babylonia to Susa as the result of some victory. It is an obelisk of
black diorite, similar to the statues discovered by M. de Sarzec at
Tello, of pyramidal form with a rectangular base. It measures 4 ft. 3
in. in height. The four faces are covered with cuneiform inscriptions in
a language which is a mixture of Sumerian and Semitic. The writing is
very fine, inscribed with care and delicacy, and the text comprises not
less than 7,600 signs. It refers to a king named Manishtu-Irba, as
purchaser of lands in the neighbourhood of Kis, to the north of
Babylon. This monument is purely epigraphic, and bears no sculptures, at
any rate in its present condition.[106]

Another example dates back to the same period, and is also Chaldæan in
origin. It is a fragment of sandstone pavement (37 × 17½ inches) on
which is sculptured in relief one of those fantastic genii peculiar to
Chaldæan mythology. He has a human head, and is standing, holding with
both hands the boughs of a sacred tree similar to that represented on
the Chaldæan cylinders. The eye is enormous and disproportionate, the
nose prominent and arched, the chin retreating: above the mouth there is
a small drooping moustache, while the beard, formed at first of small
regular curls, divides into a series of straight locks and falls square
over the breast. A striped band, finished with an ornament shaped like
the ear of an animal, forms the head-dress, and from it a heavy coil or
twist of hair falls to the shoulder. There is a pair of immense horns on
the top of the head. The body ends at the loins with animal’s feet and a
lion’s tail. The style and type of this genius recalls in a striking
manner the most archaic of the bas-reliefs of Tello.[107]

On other stone reliefs are unfolded before our eyes a convoy of
prisoners in chains, or again, the episodes of a siege, the immolation
of prisoners, vultures devouring the corpses on a field of battle; on
another there is a figure of a god with long twisted beard, and massive
shoulders, placidly seated on his throne and receiving the homage of the
prince who is under his protection. These scenes, at once expressive
and severely simple, are excellent specimens of primitive Chaldæan art
as revealed to us at Tello. Imported into Susa by conquest, there is
nothing Susian about them.

[Illustration: Fig. 246.--Triumphal stela of Naram-Sin.]

The most interesting of these Chaldæan monuments discovered in the
rubbish of the Elamite capital is undoubtedly the triumphal stela of the
king Naram-Sin (fig. 246), which attracted much attention immediately
after the notification of its discovery by M. de Morgan and Dr. Scheil
in 1898. This stela is sculptured on a block of sandstone, covered with
bas-reliefs and inscriptions. It is 6 ft. 4 in. high and 3 ft. 2 in.
wide; the outline is irregular and the sculptor has utilized the whole
for his composition, without attempting to get rid of the
irregularities, as though the block itself possessed somewhat of a
sacred character and was held inviolate, even before the addition of the
sculptures with which it is decorated.

A primary inscription relates that Naram-Sin, king of Agade in lower
Chaldæa, 4000 B.C. caused this stela to be erected, in order that there
should be engraved on it the account of his warlike deeds against the
people of Lulubi.

But the stela bears a second inscription, added long after the time of
Naram-Sin. This new cuneiform text is not Chaldæan; it is in the
Anzanite language and bears the name of Chutruk-Nakhunta, king of the

Notwithstanding the uncertainty which still attends the interpretation
of Anzanite texts, Dr. Scheil has been able to ascertain that in this
inscription, Chutruk-Nakhunta boasts that he has carried off the stela
of Naram-Sin from the town of Sippara in Chaldæa, after a victory, and
has had it removed to Susa, and caused this inscription to be cut on it,
mentioning his victory and the removal of the stela. Thus this monument,
discovered by M. de Morgan, was originally a trophy of victory of the
Chaldæan king, Naram-Sin, which later became a similar trophy of
Chutruk-Nakhunta, when the Elamites took vengeance on the Chaldæans and
succeeded in invading Chaldæa.

The curious bas-relief which decorated the greater part of the stela,
dates back to primitive times, and represents, not the conquest of the
Elamite kings, but those far earlier victories of the Chaldæan,
Naram-Sin. M. de Morgan thus describes it: “The king, victorious over
the Lulubis and their allies, is pursuing his enemies in the mountains.
At the head of his army he climbs the heights; corpses cover the ground
and roll over the precipices; the vanquished, who have taken refuge in
the forest, are imploring mercy from their conquerors, to escape falling
under their weapons. The stars of heaven, favourable to the armies of
Agade, are illuminating with their glow the glories of Naram-Sin. Such
is the _motif_ that guided the sculptor, and such no doubt was the
leading idea given him by the king. As to the interpretation, the
arrangement of the figures, and grouping of the whole scene, that is the
work of the artist.

“The composition of the bas-relief of Susa is clever in its simplicity.
Only eight armed men are figured, to represent the army of Agade, which
is led by Naram-Sin in person. Two act as scouts in the forest, while
six represent the body of the troops. Three men are falling dead and one
wounded under the blows of the king, to express the carnage wrought on
the foe by the conqueror, and four fugitives are holding up their hands
to figure the submission of the conquered. Two trees remind us by their
shape, of the sparsely wooded forests which cover the mountains of

Such is the summary synthesis of the victories of Naram-Sin, the sight
of which must have struck the imagination of the Chaldæans, reminding
them of the mountainous and wooded country which had been the theatre of
so terrible a slaughter.

The country which forms a setting for this scene is depicted with the
same simplicity we find later in the Chaldæan and Ninevite sculptures,
and may be compared more especially with the Chaldæan work on the
_Vulture Stela_ found by M. de Sarzec at Tello (see pp. 25, 26, figs.
11, 12, 13). An enormous cone, with various undulations surrounding it,
represents the mountainous country that is pervaded by the army of
Naram-Sin. A few trees suggest the forest, superposed registers take the
place of perspective. The figure of the king is colossal, to assert his
superiority--a convention possessed by Chaldæan art, in common with the
art of Egypt and Assyria. His calm attitude indicates that he has gained
the victory without the slightest difficulty. On him, thus figured after
the manner of a Greek hero as a demi-god, the artist has concentrated
his principal efforts; it is he on whom attention must be centred. His
body is well proportioned and well drawn, although stiffened into a
conventional attitude, the eye is large, the nose short, the beard silky
and flowing long over the breast, and the working of the muscles is
powerful and remarkably realistic.

It may be objected that the figure is too narrow, and we should consider
it altogether too slender, were it not that the same defect appears in
the other figures.

“The only defensive armour worn by Naram-Sin,” remarks M. de Morgan, is
a casque. This is a pointed cap, ogive in form, which rests on a band
surrounding the forehead. This band has two pointed pads reaching to the
top of the cap--one in front, the other behind--and is adorned with two
horns, whose curves harmonise with the outline of the head-dress. A
metal screen falls over the nape of the neck, protecting the neck and
shoulders. With his left arm the king is clasping to his breast his bow
and battle-axe, in the right hand he holds an arrow, hesitating as the
suppliants kneel before him, whether to deal one more blow with his

“Naram-Sin fought half naked, wearing only one tight narrow garment,
which affords full value to all the parts of his body.

“The tunic, crossed on the chest, is embroidered at the collar; it is
drawn tightly round the body and knotted at the side. Two long folds
fall below the knee; on the neck is an amulet; heavy bracelets are on
the wrists, and a long girdle round the waist. The legs are bare, and on
the feet are sandals with flat soles, similar to those worn at the
present day by many Orientals, fixed on by straps passed between the
toes, and fastened together above the ankle.”

On close examination it will be seen that the two groups of warriors
depicted, the victors and the vanquished, clearly indicate their
distinguishing characteristics, from the ethnical and anthropological
point of view. The first--the conquerors--have the Semitic profile,
while the second--the conquered--have a profile approaching the Negritic
type. Thus, in this carefully sculptured piece of so remote a date, we
find realism, which is most minute in detail, associated with most
fantastic conventions as regards the general arrangement of the
composition--a double characteristic which, as we have repeatedly
maintained, has always remained the original stamp of oriental art.

The ethnic peculiarities of the Negrito race are even more strikingly
indicated on a fragment of bas-relief which represents the bust of some
person, nude, bearded, with a small cord tied round the head (fig. 247).
What living realism there is in this lean body, bony and loose jointed!
What close study of nature in the knitting of the muscles, the crisp
thick beard, the enormous projecting lips, the nose with its distended
cartilages, and the disproportionate eye presented full face! In all
this is there not an amount of character which bespeaks a sincere art,
observant of nature, and capable of rendering it with brutal frankness?

[Illustration: Fig. 247.--Fragment of bas-relief representing figure of
Negrito type.]

The celebrated code of laws of Hammurabi, the most important monument
which up to the present time has been exhumed from the ruins of Susa,
is, also, not of Susian origin (fig. 248). Hammurabi was king of
Babylon, and the stela on which his law is engraved was taken from
Chaldæa. The text itself tells us its origin. It was originally at
Sippara, in the temple of the sun, the god who inspired the precepts
engraved on the monument. Shutruk-Nakhunta caused it to be transported
to Susa after his victorious campaign into Chaldæa. It is a block of
diorite, with a circumference of about 6 feet at the base, and is 7 ft.
3 in. in height. It resembles an enormous ovoid pebble, carefully
polished but not shaped, a characteristic which we have observed in the
stela of Naram-Sin and a large number of Chaldæan monuments, The whole
surface is covered with fine close writing, engraved with most careful
precision. The space at the top of the stela is reserved for
representations in high relief of the god Samas, holding out his hand to
the king, who is standing before him, giving him the stylus, with which
to write his laws. The costume both of god and king is purely Chaldæan.

[Illustration: Fig. 248.--Stela of Hammurabi, on which his code of laws
is engraved.]

Again Chaldæan in origin, although of far later date, is a small diorite
fragment of bas-relief called the _bas-relief of the Spinner_.[108] It
represents a woman sitting on a stool, her legs crossed and feet behind
in the tailor’s attitude. She is holding her spindle with both hands; in
front of her is a fish lying on a table, and behind her a slave is
waving the fly-flap.

The round chubby faces of the figures recall the bas-reliefs of
Khorsabad, which represent the eunuchs of the Ninevite palace.

Among other stone monuments with which the excavations at Susa have
enriched the Louvre Museum, there is a considerable series of large
ovoid diorite blocks, similar to the famous _Caillou Michaux_, which is
figured earlier in the book (page 34, fig. 21). The original name of
these objects is _Kudurru_, which corresponds with the idea of “limit,
boundary.” These are titles of rural properties given to important
personages, or to temples, by the kings of Babylon. In addition to the
inscriptions, which fix our attention, these _kudurru_ are covered with
bas-reliefs of monstrous figures of gods and demons, under whose
supervision the contract is placed, or who would punish those who should
dare to change the object and its inscriptions. Those bas-reliefs, where
the Babylonian divinities are seen accompanied by their totems, are only
of mediocre workmanship, but the figures carved on them are exceedingly
interesting and curious. At the top of these objects there is generally
the figure of the celestial serpent rolled up or outstretched. The
_kudurru_ found at Susa do not differ from those of Chaldæa, and are
undoubtedly imported from that country.

[Illustration: Fig. 249.--Kudurru (unfinished), Kassite period.]

One of the most remarkable is that of Melisihu, king of Babylon.[109]
Another, which deserves special notice, is that of “Nazi-maruttas, king
of Kis, son of Kurig-alzu, descendant of Burna-buryas, king of
Babylon.”[110] By way of a specimen we give here an illustration of one
which offers a special peculiarity--it is unfinished (fig. 249). It will
be seen that the figures are winged. Huntsmen, gods, serpents, lions,
and birds, the usual decorations of the _kudurru_, are well engraved,
but the cuneiform text is absent. The space reserved for it is framed by
two columns, the body of a serpent and a crenellated frieze. It appears,
therefore, that this object must have been seized in Chaldæa by the
Susians, before it had been utilised and consecrated.

From this general sketch of the stone sculptures which so far have been
recovered from the ruins of Susa, one essential fact stands out
prominently; stone-carving was not practised in Susa: all the monuments
hitherto discovered were brought from Chaldæa. They are Chaldæan
sculptures imported into Susa by the victorious Elamites.


Owing to the fact that they lived in a country where stone could not be
obtained without great difficulty, the Susians built their houses,
palaces, and temples with brick: and it was doubtless due to the same
cause that they showed themselves so eager to carry off the stone
statues and bas-reliefs that adorned the Chaldæan cities, and which they
seized by right of conquest, to embellish their own capital. The same
reason will also explain the extraordinary development we find in the
metal-working of the Elamites from the earliest times. With them, bronze
took the place of stone. They made bronze statues, bronze bas-reliefs,
bronze beams, and such was their knowledge and technical dexterity, that
we might almost assert without fear of exaggeration, that bronze
metal-working was as advanced three thousand years before our era, as
it has ever been in modern times.

M. de Morgan brings this to the proof by exhibiting at the Louvre, among
his Susian discoveries, a bronze cylinder 14 ft. 3 in. in length, cast
in one piece, like a cannon of average calibre, and covered over the
whole surface with archaic cuneiform inscriptions, in the name of the
Elamite king, Shilhak-in-Shushinak. Another cylinder of the same class,
but not quite so long, is larger in diameter.

What can have been the purpose of these colossal tubes, which are
cylindrical, except at the ends where they are squared? One of them is
inlaid with small gold studs. It is improbable that they were columns;
it appears more likely that they were placed horizontally as beams, or
railings, intended for the protection of a nation of giants.

Another bronze object not less strange, is a species of altar, or rather
a sacrificial table. This also is made in one single casting, 5 ft. 3
in. long, 27½ in. broad, and 12 in. deep. It is pierced like a stone
sink, to allow liquids to escape, and round the sides it is decorated
with two enormous serpents. There are also five human busts, Atlas-like
figures, who support the altar on their powerful shoulders.
Unfortunately, this colossal object has been mutilated with unusual
fury; it bears many traces of blows from a mallet, and all the
protruding parts have suffered. The five Atlas heads have been broken
off and have disappeared. The victorious pillagers, it appears, only
stopped their vengeance when their strength was exhausted, and when the
enormous metal slab, reduced to a shapeless block without projections,
resisted all their efforts. A large number of other objects found by M.
de Morgan, both in stone and bronze, bear alas! similar traces of the
merciless and brutal hatred displayed by the various races which
disputed the domination of Elam.

In consequence of this treatment, it is impossible to judge the
sacrificial table from the artistic side. For this point of view we must
turn to a bronze bas-relief, dated in the reign of Shutruk-Nakhunta,
which may be considered the earliest artistic monument, well-preserved
in the essential portions, which is also actually Elamite (fig. 250).
This bas-relief is damaged at the sides, and pieces have been violently
broken off, but a fragment still remains, 3 ft. 3 in. in length, and
about 2 ft. in height. The most deeply cut reliefs project about half an
inch. “It consists,” says M. de Morgan, “of three superposed registers;
the upper one is almost completely destroyed, and only enough remains to
enable us to discover the subject depicted on it: these are figures of
human beings and of animals. The middle register is rather more than 16
in. in height, and on it are seven figures 14 in. high, walking towards
the right. The lower register was greatly neglected and merely contains
drawings of birds and trees, worked with the burin....

[Illustration: Fig. 250.--Bronze bas-relief fragment (Louvre).]

“The seven personages in the middle register are all alike. The left
hand is lowered and holds a bow with a double curve, while the right
brandishes a large curved dagger over the head. Behind the right
shoulder the quiver can be seen full of arrows, and the strap worn
across the breast. They wear large head-dresses, below which hangs their
long hair. The beard is worn long, and from their general appearance
they appear to belong to the Semitic races. The tunic which covers the
body is confined at the waist by a belt, and falls below the knees, open
in front. Although they are carefully studied and rendered with
tolerably correct proportions, these figures are far from presenting the
artistic qualities of the sculptures on the stela of Naram-Sin. They are
stiff, too slender, their limbs are lanky, and their feet
disproportionately long.

“Notwithstanding these defects, they are superior to Assyrian work, and
show that the Elamites possessed artistic instincts to which we are not
accustomed among Semitic people of this period.”[111]

The inscriptions accompanying these figures are in the Elamite language;
they are votive, and refer to the building of temples in honour of
various divinities.

Thus, possessing no stone for carving bas-reliefs comparable to those of
Nineveh, the Susians supplied the deficiency by casting gigantic
bas-reliefs in bronze. Their knowledge of metallurgy, which was so
marvellously developed, extended yet further: having no means of
obtaining great blocks of diorite such as were employed by the Chaldæans
for the statue of Gudea at Tello, they demanded of their
bronze-founders, statues of that metal, similar to those of their
neighbours. They succeeded in producing statues more than life-size at
one single casting, in solid bronze.

On entering the _Salle Susienne_ at the Louvre, one’s attention is
immediately drawn to the bronze statue of queen Napir-Asu, wife of king
Untash-Gal, who reigned B.C. 1500. This statue, of which the head
unfortunately is lost, is life-size. With outstretched fingers the queen
crosses her hands over the breast, on her wrists there are quadruple
bracelets, and on the fourth finger of the left hand she is wearing a
ring; the anatomical details of the finger-joints are particularly well
rendered. The costume consists of a long fringed robe that falls to the
feet. The general outline of the skirt is bell-shaped, and is striped
and sprinkled with stars, no doubt intended for spangles worked into the
tissue. The bodice is tight-fitting, and shows the outlines of the
figure; on the shoulder there is a jewelled fibula, and down the length
of the sleeves there are elegant clasps. Finally, a large embroidered
shawl is thrown over the shoulders; one end hangs in a point in front,
like the enormous wing of some bird. It is, indeed, marvellous that such
details could be accurately rendered in a statue of solid bronze,
weighing I know not how many tons.

In addition to these gigantic specimens of Elamite bronze-casting, we
possess a large number of votive statuettes in bronze as well as
utensils of every kind and form. In the foundations of the temple of the
god Shushinak, more especially, a number of bronze statuettes were
discovered. These represent generally figures of men standing, the
hands raised to the body, either holding a bird as though making an
offering to the god, or in other instances in the Chaldæan attitude of
prayer (fig. 251).

[Illustration: Fig. 251.--Bronze statuette. Temple of Shushinak

In the example we give here, the figure is holding a bird with both
hands, the head is completely shaved as in the diorite statues from the
palace of Gudea (see p. 27, fig. 14). In all these instances, the
metal-work of Susa is a copy or imitation of Chaldæan sculpture.


One of the most sensational discoveries effected by the French Mission
in Susa was that of January 22, 1904, when a gold and a silver statuette
were found in perfect preservation and original in style (fig. 252).
That they were votive offerings is shown by their having been found
under the pavement of the Temple of Shushinak with other offerings of
less surpassing interest, among which was a small diorite staff with the
head of a lion in gold filigree, executed with marvellous delicacy. As
it is necessary to make a selection in order to keep within limits, I
must content myself with describing the gold statuette. It is 2½ in. in
height, not including the bronze pedestal on which it is placed. It was
worked over with the burin and punch after being cast, and, as in the
case of the bronze statuettes, the figure recalls the products of
Chaldæan art (compare, for example, fig. 27, p. 40). It represents a man
standing dressed in a garment delicately fringed round the lower edge,
below which the feet are partly visible. His right arm is raised, the
hand outstretched in the attitude of prayer; with the left he is holding
a young bird to his breast, an offering to the god whose protection he
is imploring; again the usual subject of the bronze statuettes. He has a
long beard, his nose is straight and prominent, his eyes
disproportionately large, and the chin is retreating. His abundant hair
is expressed by fine reticulated lines, and on his immense head there is
a tiara, which resembles in form a twisted piece of material. The dress
on the front of the body is sprinkled with small stars; round his waist
is a girdle, and the skirt of his robe is dotted with small holes made
with a punch, which no doubt represent embroideries or gems worked into
the material.

[Illustration: Fig. 252.--Gold and silver statuettes (Louvre).]

The silver statuette found with the gold figure is almost exactly like
it, and is also in perfect preservation. Both are probably figures of
the king who was founder of the temple, and supreme pontiff; he is
bringing to the god the victim to be sacrificed on the occasion of
laying the first stone. We might dwell at length on the want of
proportion in the different parts of these statuettes; the head is too
large, the ears badly placed, the chin too low on the chest. They are
nevertheless exquisite examples of goldsmith’s work, of unusual size,
and essential as illustrating the history of Elamite art.

[Illustration: Fig. 253.--Silver mask. Elamite period (Louvre).]

There is another piece, that would be even more important than these
statuettes had it reached us in a better state of preservation (fig.
253). This is a silver mask in repoussé work, and one hand of the same
metal, which formed part of a statue probably of wood, the nude parts,
the face and hands, being of silver. Numerous silver studs which remain
riveted in position must have been intended to fix the metal to the
wood. The wood has decomposed, and only the oxidised metal remains. The
statue must have been one-third of life-size.

Judging from the features, the head represents a woman of Semitic type;
it may perhaps have been an image of the goddess Nana. The two hands
were closed, holding some objects which have now disappeared, the large
eyes were made of carved ivory, and the pupil, which has also
disappeared, was probably made of some glittering gem. At the same time
that the silver mask was recovered, two head-dresses of glazed sandstone
were found (fig. 254). One of these is in the form of a wig divided into
two parts, one covering the head, the other falling over the neck. The
front of the headpiece is decorated with a projecting gold button in the
centre, and there are also thirty-five gold studs arranged in front; the
back and sides are decorated with silver and brass studs.

[Illustration: Fig. 254.--Head-dress. Elamite period (Louvre).]

The second of these head-dresses is also in glazed sandstone, and is a
kind of cap or turban, shaped like the knob of a stick, and decorated
over the whole surface with nine rows of bronze disks held in place by
nails of the same metal arranged quincunx fashion.[112] This kind of cap
was usual among the Chaldæans, and we find examples both on bas-reliefs
and cylinders.

There are numerous objects in ivory which date back to the primitive
period of the history of Elam. These consist of engraved plaques,
figures of animals, statuettes, and small implements. Of this series we
must call attention to a delightful ivory figure 4¼ in. high, of which
unfortunately the head is missing (fig. 255). It represents a woman
standing, her hands crossed on her breast, as in the Tello statues. Her
costume consists of a long dress reaching to the ankles made in one
piece with only a trimming of braid round the bottom, and a different
pattern of braid on the bosom. It covers the shoulders like a cape,
leaving the fore-arms bare. The modelling of the arm has been studied
with elaborate care. A fringed shawl in narrow pleats is thrown over the
right shoulder above the dress, and falls over the back and the front as
low as the knee. A hole pierced in the neck shows that the head must
have been separate and fixed on; possibly it was of gold, and a deep
groove on the border of the cape at the neck and over the elbow
indicates that it also was of gold.

[Illustration: Fig. 255.--Figure of a woman, ivory (Louvre).]

The lists of objects of all kinds found up to the present time, with the
fine works of art we have been considering, have already filled several
volumes: This means that these industrial objects almost enable us to
evoke the daily life of the ancient inhabitants of Elam. There are
cylinders, some in glazed pottery, others in ivory, hæmatite,
chalcedony, and jasper, which were employed to seal their contracts;
alabaster vases of various shapes; an immense number of small gold,
silver, and bronze rings, and also flat disks in these metals, which may
have been used for money; a dove in lapis-lazuli, studded with gold;
magnificent gold bracelets and others of silver and bronze, often
worked with great delicacy, pins, fibulæ, pendants, beads in glass,
alabaster, lapis-lazuli, and pottery, sometimes incised with geometric
designs: domestic utensils, heads of staves or sceptres, axes, knives,
and various weapons: there is nothing missing of the ordinary outfit of
the subjects of Shutruk-Nakhunta, king of Elam, the great conqueror and

Two horns made of alabaster, bearing inscriptions in the name of this
prince, must have belonged to an enormous bull’s head.[113] There are
numbers of objects of a votive character, which appear to have been
thrown in quantities into the foundations of the temple of Shushinak.
Griffins’ heads in gold, animals’ heads in pottery, lions carved in
agate in the round, bulls’ heads in lapis, pendants in carnelian mounted
in gold, sheets of gold with Anzanite inscriptions. There is ample space
in this new field of archæology for studying these objects, for
classifying and comparing them, and drawing from them all the
information that can be afforded by their examination.

Want of space forbids our dwelling longer on this subject, and for the
same reason we will say nothing about the numerous monuments of the
period of the Persian Achæmenids, nor with yet stronger reason, of the
time of the Parthians, Arsacids, and Sassanians, which does not enter
into the scheme of our present volume. And yet, in bringing this rapid
sketch to a conclusion, we will remark that, of all the discoveries made
by M. de Morgan, that which is perhaps most admired by the public is the
gold jewellery, set with precious stones, which came from the tomb of a
woman of the period of the Persian Achæmenids. It is advisable to
compare it from a technical point of view with the more ancient
jewellery of the Elamite period.

These bracelets, pendants, and gold beads, these multiple rows of the
richest necklaces, bear witness to the extraordinary luxury of the
courts of Darius and Xerxes, and may well dazzle us. Noticeable among
these treasures are pendants formed of minute gold curls, in imitation
of the curled and wavy manes of lions. Here I believe we find an
artistic innovation of striking originality in a form of art bound by
conventions and traditions.

The setting of the gems in gold mounts of marvellous delicacy has not in
any civilisation attained a higher level than in Achæmenian Susa. It is
necessary to use a magnifying glass to examine this minute and delicate
work. Here is the perfection of the goldsmith’s art, and these Persian
jewels of the fifth century B.C. now form a preponderant and essential
factor in the question round which so much controversy rages, of the
origin of cloisonné jewellery.


Absalom, Tomb of, 234.

Abu Habbah, 2, 12, 42.

Abu Shahrein, 2, 3, 10, 18, 73, 76.

Achæmenid dynasty,
  Palaces of, 56, 118, 147 ff.
  jewellery, 337.

Addume, 294.

“Æginetan smile,” 273.

Afaj, 36.

Agade, 47, 308, 319, 320.

Ahasuerus, 139.

Ahura-mazda, 165, 166, 172, 179.

Ain el-Hayât, 240.

  thresholds of, 17.
  statuette of, 42.
  uses of, in Assyrian architecture, 85.
  Phœnician mortuary vases of, 259.
  vases, 307, 335.
  beads, 336.
  horns, 336.

Ala-Safat, 230.

Alexander the Great, 312.

Altar of burnt-offerings, the, 221.
  bronze, 327.

Amanus, 60.

  vase of, 31, 77.
  tombs at, 260.
  colossus of, 271, 272.
  iconic statues from, 274.
  sarcophagus from, 291.
  patera from, 291.

Amethyst, 142.

Ampulla, sacred, on cylinder, 47.

Amrith, 239, 248, 253, 264, 277.

Amulets, 17, 21, 44, 51, 259.

  figures of, on Chaldæan tiles, 19.
  representation of, in Assyrian sculpture, 107, 108, 109.

Annipi, 294.

Antiphellus, 177.

Antonia, Tower of, 210, 211, 212, 218, 232.

Anunit, the goddess, 2.

Anzan, 302.

Anzanite inscription, 304, 307, 319.
  on gold sheets, 336.

“Apadâna” of Persian palaces, 154, 157, 168, 301.

Aperlæ, 177.

Apes, in Assyrian sculpture, 109.

Appian, on harbours of Carthage, 250.

Aradus, 247.

Arak et Emir, 232.

Araunah, 205, 208, 215.

Arbela (see Arvil).

Arch, use of, by Assyrians, 55.
  of Titus, 226.

Archers, frieze of, at Susa, 169, 170.

Architraves, 77, 152.

Archivolt, at Khorsabad, 116.

Aristophanes, 41.

Aristotle, on Babylon, 79.

Ark, Jewish, 224, 225.

Armenia, 76.

Arrangement of rooms in Chaldæan palaces, 16.

Arrian, on tomb of Cyrus, 177.

Artaxerxes Mnemon, 168, 183.

Artaxerxes Ochus, 152.

Arvil, 51.

Asmonæan kings of Judæa, 218.

Asrinilu, 46.

Assurbanipal, 60, 72, 92, 310.
  campaign of, against his brother, 80.
  as canephoros, 89.
  with his wife, 101, 102.
  progress of sculpture in time of, 113.
  furniture of, 135.

Assur-nasir-pal, 60, 61, 72, 91, 92, 138, 139.
  statue of, 86.
  progress of art under, 112.

Astarte, 241, 243, 245, 260, 264, 279.

“Atesh-gahs,” 173, 174.

Athieno, 242, 270, 271.

Attitude of prayer (see GESTURES).

Baal-Hammon, 245, 246, 263, 267, 268, 269.

Baal-Samaim, 245.

Babel, Tower of, 4.

Babil, mound of, 16, 52, 73.

Babylon, 1, 60, 118.
  walls of, 5, 79, 80, 81.
  modelling in clay at, 39, 123.
  buildings at, 52.
  temple of Bel at, 73.
  extent of, 79.

Bagdad, 15.

Bahr-el-Huleh, 230.

Balaneum (see Banias).

Balawat, 51.
  gates of, 126, 127.

Banias, 246.

“Baphomet,” 202.

Baris, Tower of (see ANTONIA).

Basalt stela, 34.

Base of columns, 11, 12, 43, 64, 65.

Basement (see PLATFORM).

Basilica of Herod, 219.

Basin, movable, in Jewish Temple, 229.

Basins before temples, 31, 77.

Basket, mystical, 36, 37, 89.

  Chaldæan, 23-6, 324.
  Assyrian, 54, 91-3, 311.
  Persian, 159-66.
  Hittite, 187-91, 193-202.
  Phœnician, 262-4.
  Carthaginian, 266-9.
  Cypriote, 274-6.
  Elamite, bronze, 327.

  of platform at Khorsabad, 53.
  of walls of Assyrian towns, 81, 82, 110.
  of platform at Persepolis, 152.

Bavian, 187.

Beads, 336.

Bel, the god--
  temple of, at Babylon, 7, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 119, 125.

Bel and the Dragon, Book of, 77.

Belisarius, 227.

Belshazzar, 114.

Belus, the river, 283, 287.

Berosus, 2, 119.

Berytus, 247.

Bes, the god, 259, 264, 271, 272.

Birds, treatment of, in Chaldæan art, 25.
  in Assyrian art, 109.
  offered to the gods, 331, 332.

Birejik, stela from, 187.

Birket-Israîl, 208.

Birs Nimroud, Mound of, 6, 16, 52, 73.

Bit-kutalli, 70.

Bitumen, use of, as mortar, 5, 6, 8, 17, 20, 314.

Boar on Babylonian tablet, 128.

Boaz, the column so-called, 227.

Boghaz-Keui, 191.

Borsippa, 78.

Botta, E., 66, 142.

Boulé, M., 246.

Bracelets, Assyrian, 142, 143.
  Elamite, 335.
  Achæmenian, 337.

“Brazen Sea” in Jewish Temple, 77, 228.

Branchidæ, 28.

Brick column at Susa, 315.

  use of, by Chaldæans, 3-8, 10, 17, 19.
  by Assyrians, 53, 65, 74, 116-20.
  by Persians, 167-72.
  by Hittites, 191.
  by Elamites, 314.

Bronze, 12, 18, 35-7, 63, 70, 125-34, 227-9, 288-92.
  use of, in Susa, 326.
  altar, 327.
  cylinders, 327.
  bas-relief, 327.
  statues, 330.
  knuckle-bone, Temple of Didyma, 313.

  winged and human-headed, 92-6, 154, 167, 224.
  in Assyrian decorative designs, 114, 115.
  in Persian sculpture, 162, 163.
  on Elamite cylinders, 305, 307.

Bulls’ horns on tiara, 23, 26.

Burin, 45, 308.

Burj el-Bezzâk, 255.

Byrsa, 246.

Byzantine architecture, 159.

“Caillou Michaux,” 33, 34, 325.

Calah, 91.

Cambyses I., 176.

Cambyses II., 150.

Candlesticks, Jewish, 226, 227.

Canephoros, 36, 37, 89.

Canopy of Persian throne, 165.

Capitals, 12, 43, 63, 64, 155, 156, 227, 242, 248.

Cap of Chaldæan statue, 28, 334.

Caralis, 260.

Carchemish, 185.

Carthage, 247, 248, 249.

Caryatids, 86, 87, 327.

Casat Crendi, 244.

Cedar-wood, use of, in Assyria and Babylon, 60, 61, 78.

Cemetery, Assyrian, 50.

  Chaldæan, 38-40.
  Assyrian, 121-5.
  Phœnician, 277-9.
  Cypriote, 280-1.
  Carthaginian, 282.

Cesnola, P. di, 242, 243.

Chair, Assyrian, 135.

Chalcedony, 44, 142, 182, 335.

Characene, 12.

Chariots, Assyrian, 136, 137.

Chedorlaomer, 300.

Cherubim, 93, 224.

Cidaris, 179.

Cippi, 111, 260, 268.

  Jewish, 215, 232, 233.
  Carthaginian, 249.

Citium, 270.

Clamps, use of, in building, 149, 150, 191.

Clay, in building, 4, 6, 39, 40, 54, 56.
  tablets, Elamite, 305.

Clercq, M. de, 45, 46, 47.

Clermont-Ganneau, on Phœnician patera, 290.

Cloisonné, 337.

Coffins, at Mugheir, 20.
  Phœnician, 256-9.

Colocynths, 224, 225, 228, 229.

  Chaldæan, 9-12.
  Assyrian, 61-6.
  Persian, 153-6.
  Jewish, 217, 227, 231.
  Cypriote, 241, 242, 248.
  Elamite, 315.

Concrete, 17.

Cone, mystical, 242.

Cones, 18, 21, 36, 38.

Contracts under protection of gods, 326.

Corbelled vault, 14.

  of Chaldæan palaces, 16, 17.
  of Assyrian palaces, 69, 70.
  of Jewish Temple, 218-21.

Crater, 292.

Cross, as Assyrian ornament, 143.

Ctesias, 70, 81, 119.

Cuneiform writing, origin of, 305, 306.

Curium, 243.

  foundation, 21, 22.
  inscribed, 305, 306, 307.
  huge bronze, 327.
  Elamite, 335.
  seals, 335.

Cylindrical seals, 17, 21, 44-9, 142-5, 146, 180-4, 203, 294-8.

Cyrus, 146.
  his portrait, 160.

Dakhmas, 174, 175.

Dali, 259.

Daniel, Book of, 114.

Darius, 150, 152, 301, 312.
  bas-relief of, 166.
  tomb of, 178-80.
  cylindrical seal of, 181.

David, 205, 232.

  of Chaldæan vases, 39, 40.
  of Chaldæan walls, 9, 12.
  of Assyrian vases, 122, 123.
  of Hittite cylinder, 203.
  of Holy Place in Jewish Temple, 224.
  of Phœnician sculpture, 263, 264, 267, 268, 269.

Deir Ghuzaleh, 231.

Demons, 116, 130, 132-4.

Didyma, Temple of, 313.

Dieulafoy, M., 118, 149, 165, 174.

Dimas, 252.

Diodorus Siculus, 76, 80, 119.

Diorite, 17, 26, 316, 323.

Disk, winged, 166, 172, 187, 201, 240, 263, 269, 296.

Disks, metal, used as money (?) 335.

Divan, Assyrian, 135.

Divine Mother, The, 48, 124, 267, 281.

Dolmens, 230, 231.

Domes, 15, 56, 158, 159.

Doors, 17, 152.

“Double Gate” of Jewish Temple, 216, 217.

Dowry, record of, 33.

Drainage, 20, 21, 51, 57-9.

  treatment of, in Chaldæan sculpture, 34, 35.
  treatment of, in Assyrian sculpture, 105.
  treatment of, in Persian sculpture, 161, 165, 166.
  in Cypriote art, 273, 274.

Drill, use of, by Assyrian seal-engravers, 144.

Dungi, 309.

Dur-Sarrukin, 66, 69.

Eagle and Lion Tablet, 24.

E-anna, Temple of, 6, 310, 311.

Ecbatana, 74, 75, 146.

Eflatoun, 200.

Egyptian style,--
  in pateræ from Assyria, 128.
  in ivories from Assyria, 137, 138.
  in Persian architecture, 156.
  sarcophagi in Phœnicia, 257, 258.

E-kua, Temple of, 60, 78.

Elam, 299.

Elam-Anzanite period, 304.

Elephant in Assyrian sculpture, 109.

  Chaldæan, 34, 41.
  Assyrian, 105, 106, 138-41.
  Persian, 172, 180.
  Jewish, 224.

Enamelled bricks, 19, 70, 74, 83, 116-20, 153, 167-72, 336.

Enamelled statuettes in Phœnicia, 278.

Enio, the goddess, 196.

E-parra, Temple of, 6.

Ephod, 230.

Erech, 2, 48, 125, 309.

Eridu, 2.

Eryx, 247.

E-saggil, Temple of, 6, 73, 78.

Esarhaddon, 22, 72, 92.

Eshmun, the god, 245, 246, 268.

Eshmunazar, 257.

Esther, Book of, 140.

E-ulbar, Temple of, 7, 22.

Eunuchs, 100, 324.

Euphrates, 32.

Euyuk, 192.

Ex votos, 312, 336.

“Exaltation of the Flower,” bas-relief of, 160.

Ezekiel, 119.

E-zida, Temple of, 6, 73, 78.

Façade at Abu Shahrein, 18.
  at Warka, 18.
  on bas-relief from Assurbanipal’s palace, 62.
  of temple of god Haldia, 76, 77.
  of Assyrian palaces, 92, 93.
  at Persepolis and Susa, 156, 157.

Ferashbad, 158

Figurines in terra-cotta,--
  from Chaldæa, 40, 41.
  in Assyrian tombs, 51
  from Khorsabad, 121, 122
  from Babylon, 124, 125.
  from Phœnicia and Cyprus, 277-81.

Fire-altars, 173.

Firuzabad, 158, 159.

Flints, worked, 303.

Floral designs--
  on Babylonian tiles, 19, 118.

Flowers, treatment of, in Assyrian sculpture, 110.

Fly-flaps, 135, 164, 324.

  Assyrian representation of, 110.

Foundation-cylinder, 21, 22.

  from Susa, 168-71.

  in Chaldæan drapery, 28, 36, 37, 41, 202.
  in Assyrian drapery, 105, 106.
  in Elamite drapery, 332.

Frœhner, M., on the glass vase of Sargon, 286.

  Chaldæan, 43.
  Assyrian, 134-6.
  of Jewish temple, 223-7.

Gabr-i-Madar-i-Soleiman, 175.

  of Assyrian fortresses, 82-4.
  of Balawat, 126, 127.
  of Jewish Temple, 215-17.

Gaulois, 243.

Gaumates, 179.

  on bricks at Babel, 4.
  on the “Great City,” 81.

  on the “Caillou Michaux,” 33.
  wear tiara with horns, 36.
  on Chaldæan cylindrical seals, 45.
  before temple of Haldia, 77.
  on façades of Assyrian palaces, 92-96.
  identified with cherubim, 93, 224.
  in Persia, 161.
  animal’s feet and tail, 317.

Genseric, 227.

  in Assyrian bas-reliefs, 102, 103.
  Chaldæan attitude of prayer, 331, 332.

Ghiaur-Kalesi, 199.

Giants, 307.

Giganteja, 243.

Glass, 283-8.
  vase of Sargon, 285.
  transparent, invention of, by Phœnicians, 283.
  opaque, origin of, in Egypt, 284.
  manufacture of, at Tyre and Sidon, 287.

Glazed statuettes in Phœnicia, 278.
  sandstone, 314, head-dress, 334.

Glazed tiles,--
  in Chaldæa, 19.
  in Assyria, 116-20.
  in Persia, 167-72.
  in Susa, 314.

  disks as money, 335.
  rings, 335.
  studs, 328, 334.
  statuette, 331.
  filigree, 331.
  settings for gems, 337.
  pendants, 337.

“Golden Gate” of Jewish Temple, 217.

Golgoi, 242.

Gophna, 235.

Gozo, 243.

Græco-Parthian kings, 12.

“Great City,” The, 81.

  artists in Persia, 148, 160.
  influence in Cypriote art, 272, 273, 276, 281.
  influence in Jewish art, 234, 236.

Griffin’s head, 336.

Gudea, 309.
  palace of, at Tello, 3, 8-20.
  cones bearing name of, 38.
  statues of, 26-9.
  plan of fortress upon statue of, 81.
  inscriptions upon statues of, 112.

Gypsum, 53.

Hadrian, 249.

Hadrumetum, 268.

Hæmatite, 44, 334.

Hagiar Kim, 224.

  shaved in Chaldæan statuettes, 36.
  treatment of, in Assyrian sculpture, 100.
  in Persian art, 160, 170.
  in Hittite art, 188, 190, 193, 194, 196, 200.
  in Phœnician art, 262.
  in Cypriote art, 270, 273, 274.
  treatment of, in Elamite art, 329.
  shaved in Elamite statuettes, 331.

Haldia, the god, 76, 77.

Hamath, 185.

Hammurabi, 44, 309, 323.

Hanbury, Col., Chaldæan sword belonging to, 37.

Haram esh-Sherif, 211.

Harbours of Carthage, 250.
  of Tyre and Sidon, 250.
  of Thapsus, 252.
  of Utica, 252.

Hareem of Chaldæan palace, 16.
  of Assyrian palace, 69, 70.
  of Solomon’s palace, 232.

Harness, Assyrian, 141.
  Phœnician, 277.

  Chaldæan, 23, 26, 28, 40, 41, 321.
  of gods and genii, 36, 200, 317.
  Assyrian, 101, 143.
  Median, 146.
  Persian, 170, 179, 181.
  Hittite, 188, 191, 195, 198, 200.
  Cypriote, 270, 271, 273.

Hebron, 232, 233, 234.

“Heit-el-Maghreby,” 213.

Helmets, Assyrian, 128.

Heracles, 274.

Herod, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 214, 223.

Herodian masonry, 212, 213, 215, 216, 232, 234.

  on use of bricks at Babylon, 5.
  on temple of Bel at Babylon, 73, 74, 77, 78.
  on fortress of Ecbatana, 74, 75.
  on the royal city of Babylon, 80.
  on figures of “Sesostris” in Ionia, 112, 201.
  on absence of temples and statues in Persia, 172.
  on treatment of dead by Persians, 175.
  on “_persis_,” 179.

Heuzey, M.,--
  on sculpture at Tello, 23.
  on eagle and lion tablet, 24.
  on “_kaunakes_,” 32, 41.
  on Assyrian statuettes, 121.
  on statuette of the “Divine Mother,” 124.
  on archaic school of art in Thessaly, 160.

Hezekiah, 233.

Hieroglyphs, Elamite, 305.

“High places,” 231, 239.

Hinnom, valley of, 205.

Hiram, 206.

Hiram-Abi, 226.

Hit, 5.

Holy of Holies, 222, 224, 225.

Holy Place, 222, 224, 226.

Horn, bronze, discovered at Tello, 37.

  as ornaments of head-dress, 23, 26, 36, 200, 317, 321.
  of bronze statuette, 35.
  bull’s, alabaster, 336.

Horses in Assyrian sculpture, 108, 141.

Houses, Phœnician and Cypriote, 247, 248.

Humann, M., 201.

Humbaba, 308.

Hyrcanus, palace of, 232.

Iasili-Kaïa, 191, 193-8.

Ibn Tûlûn, mosque of, 174.

Ibriz, 200.

Iconic statues, 265, 274.

Idalion, 259.

Ilu, the god, 172 (note).

“Immortals,” the, 165, 170.

Inscriptions on figures on bas-reliefs, 112.

Ionia, 112.

Ionic capital, 12, 43, 64.

Iron, 43, 125.

Istar, the goddess, 49, 124, 125, 188, 202.

Ivory, 137, 138, 335.

  on Chaldæan cylindrical seals, 46, 47.
  on Assyrian bas-reliefs, 93.
  statuettes of, 121, 122.
  in Persian art, 162.
  compared with colossus of Amathus, 271.

Jachin, columns so called, 227.

James, Saint, tomb of, 234.

Jasper, 335.

Jebel-Musa, 230.

Jehoshaphat, tomb of, 234.

Jerablus, 185.

  extent of, 205.
  glass vase found at, 288.

Jetty of Thapsus, 252.

Jewellery, Achæmenian, 336.

Jews in Assyrian sculpture, 103.

Jifneh, 235.

Joints, treatment of, in Chaldæan seal-engraving, 45.

Jonah, Book of, on size of Nineveh, 81.

Joshua, tomb of, 235.

Jotham, 232.

Jur, 173, 174.

Justinian, 227.

Kadesh, 185.

Kalaba, 199.

Kalah Shergat, 5, 31, 111.

Karamles, 51.

Karibu-sa-Susinak, 308.

Kasr, mound of the, 52.

“Kaunakes,” 32, 41, 42.

Kebûr-el-Melûk, 234.

Kedron, valley of, 205, 212, 221, 232.

Kerbela, 50.

  of palace at Tello, 17.
  of palace at Khorsabad, 69.

Khorsabad, 51, 52, 54, 55, 63, 66-72, 73, 74,
   75, 79, 83, 86, 93, 106, 111, 114, 131, 142, 149, 324.

“Kirubi” identified with cherubim, 93.
  combination of various elements in, 95.
  modification of, in Persian art, 183.

Kis, 317, 326.

“Klaft,” 271.

Kouyunjik, 51, 52, 56, 72, 73, 111.

Kubbet es-Sakhra, 208.

Kudur, 308.

Kudurmapuk, 36.

Kudur-Nakhunta, 309, 310.

Kudurru, 309, 311, 325.

Kurigalzu, 21, 309.

Lachish, 103, 136.

Lagas, 3 (note).

Lapis-lazuli, 142.

Larnaca, 270.

Larsa, 2, 21.

Layard, Sir A. H., 62, 68, 72, 123, 300.

Leather, working in, among Assyrians, 141.

Lebanon, 60, 78.

Limestone, 23, 52, 153.

Lion, 304, 307.
  head in gold filigree, 331.

Lioness in Assyrian bas-relief, 107.

Lions, winged, 92, 94.
  in Hittite art, 186, 187, 189.
  in Assyrian art, 107, 108.

Loftus, Mr., 3, 10, 18, 21, 40, 114.

  in bas-reliefs, 110.
  on ivory plaque from Assyria, 137.
  columns imitating stalks of, 11.
  on sculptured threshold, 110.

Louvre, 26, 303, 313.

Lozenge ornament in Chaldæa, 19, 45.

Lulubi, people of, 319.

Lycian tombs, compared with Persian, 177.

Lydian method of building, 149.

“Maabed,” 239-41.

Maccabees, tomb of the, 234.
  Temple, in time of the, 210.

Machicolations, 82.

Machpelah, 233.

Malta, 244.

Malthaiyah, 187.

Manasseh, 209, 232.

Mandane, tomb of, 175.

Manistu-Irba, 316.

  lion at, 186.
  basalt stela at, 190.

Marble, 44.

Marduk-nadin-akhi, 33, 34, 41.

Marginal drafting,--
  in Persian masonry, 149.
  in Jewish masonry, 213, 232, 234.

Matting used in brickwork, 5.
  to cover the roofs, 15, 242.

M. de Morgan, 301, _et seq._
  on Naram-Sin, 320, 321.

Mecca, mosque of, 241.

Medaïn Salih, 235.

Median art, 146.

Mehdia, 260.

Melisihu, 325.

Memnon, 300.

  on cylindrical seal of Sargon I., 47.
  on seals from Uruk, 48.
  on representation of human sacrifices, 49.

Meshed-Murgab, 147.

  want of stone and timber in, 3, 4.
  quality of clay in, 4, 39.
  quantity of rain in, 6.

Metals in Assyria, 125-34.

Metellus Scipio, 141.

Michaux, the Caillou Michaux, 33, 34, 325.

“Mighzal,” 254.

Miletus, 28.

Minyeh, 231.

Moab, 230, 231.

Models of houses from Cyprus, 248.

Money, probable use of metal disks, 336.

Monolith of Siloam, 235.

Moriah, Mount, 205, 206, 207, 208.

Mortar used in Assyria, 54.
  used in Elam, 314.

Moulds, Hittite, 202.

Mugheir, 2, 3, 6, 8, 14, 20, 21, 38, 51, 73, 75.

Müntz, M., on Babylonian embroidery, 140.

Musasir, 76.

Muscles, treatment of, in Assyrian art, 100.

Myra, 177.

Mythological figures in Chaldæan art, 33.

  restoration of buildings by, 7, 22.
  foundation-cylinder of, 21, 22.
  architecture of time of, 52.

Nabopolassar, 80.

  stela of, 12, 42.

“Naharaim,” 32.

Nahum, on brick-making, 4.

Nakhsh-i-Rustam, 147, 173, 176, 179.

Name, stamped upon bricks, 5, 316.

Nana, the goddess, 7, 309, 310, 333.

Napir-Asu, Queen, 330.

Naram-Sin, 308, 318.
  stela, 319 _et seq._

Nazi-Maruttas, 325.

Nebi Yunus, 51.

Nebo, the god, 7, 86.

Nebuchadnezzar, 41, 79, 119, 209, 226.
  bricks bearing name of, 5.
  architecture of time of, 52.
  brings cedars from Lebanon, 60, 78.
  builds Tower of the Seven Lights, 73.
  restores E-saggil, 78.
  restores E-zida, 78.
  builds walls of Babylon, 80.

Nebuzar-adan, 209.

  at Mugheir, 14, 20, 21, 38.
  at Warka, 38.
  at Marath, 253-5.
  at Sidon, 255, 256.
  at Dali, 259.
  at Amathus, 260.
  at Mehdia, 260.
  at Thina, 261.
  at Tyre, 254.
  at Adlun, 254.
  at Gebal, 256.
  at Caralis, 260.
  at Tharras, 260.
  at Jebel Kawi, 261.

Negritic type, 322.

Nehemiah, 232.

Nejef, 50.

Nero, 141, 211.

Nicanor, Gate of, 220.

Nimroud, 51, 52, 61, 62, 72, 111.

  walls of, 6.
  vaulting at, 13.
  extent of, 81.

Nin Girsu, 10.

Ninus, 119.

Numeration, Elamite, 306.

Nymphio, 201.

Oannes, 2.

Onyx, 44.

Ophel, hill of, 205, 210, 231, 232.

Oppert, 46, 79, 81.

Orientation of Chaldæa buildings, 8.
  of Assyrian buildings, 67.

Ornaments, 142, 143.

Ourdeys, 82.

Ovoid gems, 45.

Painted bricks,--
  Chaldæan, 19.
  Assyrian, 74, 116-20.
  Persian, 167-72.

  on façades of Chaldæan palace, 18, 19.
  on stucco in Assyrian palaces, 56, 114, 115.
  on Assyrian bas-reliefs, 115, 116.
  on Assyrian vases, 122.
  on walls of Persian buildings, 159, 172.
  in Cypriote pottery, 280.

  of Gudea at Tello, 8-22.
  of Sargon at Khorsabad, 67-72.
  of Cyrus at Madar-i-Soleiman, 148-50.
  of Darius at Nakhsh-i-Rustam, 150.
  of Xerxes, 150-8.
  of Artaxerxes, 157.
  of Solomon, 231.

Palestrina, 290, 293.

Palm-wood, use of, in roofing houses, 15, 60, 158.
  pillars of, 63.

Paphos, 241, 242.

Parthians, 12, 56.

Partitions of rooms, 13, 54, 55.

Pasargadæ, 147, 148, 150, 151, 160.

Passages, vaulted, at Tello, 14.

Patæci, 264.

Pateræ, 127, 128, 289, 290.

Patesi, 8, 46, 81, 308.

Pausanias, on size of Babylon, 79.

Pediments, 76, 77, 175, 235, 256, 267.

Pendants, 336, 337.

Pendentives, 159 (note).

  on Assyrian voussoirs, 58, 59.
  on gates of Balawat, 126, 127.
  on Hittite sphinx, 193.
  on Hittite bas-reliefs, 199.
  on Cypriote terra-cottas, 280.

Persepolis, 8, 147, 150, 162.

Persepolitan capital, 153-6.

Persis, 179.

Perspective, ignorance of laws of, among Assyrians, 98, 110.

Philostratus, 140.

Phœnician bronzes in Assyria, 129.
  ivories in Assyria, 138.
  artists employed in Jewish Temple, 224.

Pilasters, 9, 61, 77.

Pillars, 10, 11, 63.
  (see COLUMNS).

Pine-cone in Assyrian art, 111, 139.

Pipes for drainage, 20.

Pivot of door, 17, 18.

Place, M. V., 54, 55, 61, 66, 117.

Plan of Chaldæan fortress, 29, 81.

  of bronze, 131-4.
  of ivory, 137, 138.

Plaster, use of, in Chaldæa, 11, 18.
  in Assyria, 56, 114, 115.
  in Persia, 172.

Platforms of buildings,--
  in Chaldæa, 8.
  in Assyria, 52, 53, 67, 68.
  in Persia, 149-52.
  in Judæa, 207, 208.
  in Susa, 314.

  on Babylonian embroidery, 140.
  on Telephanes, 148.
  on invention of glass, 283.

Porphyry, 44, 153.

Position-marks on masonry, 149.
  on bricks, 117, 118.

Pottery, inferiority of, in Chaldæa, 38, 39.
  prehistoric, Elam, 304.

Præneste, patera from, 289-93.

Prehistoric remains, Susa, 303.

Progress of art in Assyria, 111-13.
  in Cyprus, 270-3.

Pshent, 263-71.

Pteria, 191.

Pudil, 38.

Pygmæus, the god, 259, 276, 279.

Rammanu, the god, 22, 144.

Rammanu-nirari, 38, 92.

Ras el-Ain, 249.

Rassam, Mr. H., 72.

Rawlinson, Sir H., 72, 300.

Renan, M. E., 263, 265.

Reseph, the god, 294.

Rings, 335.

Robinson’s Arch, 214.

Rule, graduated, 29.

Sacrifice, human, 49.

Sadambaal, the god, 243.

Sagasaltias, 22.

Sakhra, 208.

Sakkanak, 308.

Samas, the god, 2, 22, 323, 324.
  shrine of, 12, 42, 43, 64.

Samas-sum-ukin, 80.

Samsi-Rammanu III., 88, 92.

Sandals, 322.

Sandstone, 304, 317.

Sarcophagi, Phœnician, 256-9.

Sargani (see SARGON I.).

Sargani-sar ali, 308.

Sargon I., 47, 48.

Sargon II., 53, 57, 90, 61, 66,
   76, 92, 93, 96, 106, 113, 116, 117, 270, 285.

Sarvistan, 158, 159.

Sarzec, M. de, 2, 10.

Sassanian buildings, 56, 63, 158, 159.

Saulcy, F. de, 235.

Scheil, Père V., 301.
  on inscriptions, 305, 306, 319.

Schrader, E., 81.

Scipio Africanus, 266.

  Chaldæan, 44-9.
  Assyrian, 143-5.
  Median, 146.
  Persian, 180-3.
  Hittite, 203.
  Jewish, 230.
  Phœnician, 294-8.
  Elamite, 304, 335.

Selamlik, 16.

Seleucids, 210, 234.

Semiramis, 76, 80, 119.

Senkereh, 2, 21.

Sennacherib, 60, 66, 67, 72, 92, 93, 103, 113, 139 (note).

Sepharvaim, 2, 42.

Sepulchral architecture in Assyria, 50.
  towers in Persia, 14

Seraglio, 16, 69.

Sesostris, 112, 201.

Set, the god, 294.

Sewage, disposal of, 20.

Shalmaneser III., 72, 89, 126.

“Sharur,” 6.

Shat el-Hai, 3.

“Shenti,” 264.

Shew-bread, 226.

Shilkhak in Shushinak, 309.

Shushinak, Temple of, 314, 330, 331, 336.

Shutruk-Nakhunta, 309, 314, 315, 319, 323, 336.

Sidon, 247, 250, 255, 289.

Sidur canal, 308.

Siloam, 232, 235.

Silver, use of,--
  in Chaldæa and Assyria, 21.
  in Elam, statuette, 332.
    mask, repoussé, 333.
    studs, 334.
    rings, 335.
    disks, 336.

Sin, the god, 16.

Sinjerli, 188.

Sippara, 2, 323.

Sirens, bronze, 129-30.

Sirpurla, 3.

Sivan, 4.

Smith, G., 72.

Sockets for pivot of door, 17, 18, 308.

Solomon, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 215, 219, 221, 224, 232, 235.
  palace of, 231-2.
  porch of, 209, 211.

Solus, 258.

Sophia, church of Saint, 56, 159 (note).

  Persian, 183.
  Hittite, 192, 193.
  Phœnician, 263.

Stables, 17, 69, 70, 136.

Staged towers, 15, 16, 72-6, 174, 314.

Staircases, 8, 67, 151, 152.

Standard, Assyrian, 133, 134.

State saloon in Chaldæan palace, 17.

  from Tello, 26-30.
  of Assur-nasir-pal, 86.
  caryatid, 86, 87.
  iconic, in Cyprus, 265.
  captured by Scipio at Carthage, 266.
  colossal, in Cyprus, 270-272.
  of priest with dove, 273.
  bronze from Elam, 330.

  bronze, from Chaldæa, 35-8.
  of canephoros, 36, 37.
  kneeling, with cone, 36.
  of figure standing upon lion, 37, 38.
  terra-cotta, from Warka, 40.
  alabaster, from Chaldæa, 42.
  terra-cotta from Khorsabad, 121, 122.
  of Izdubar, 122.
  of Istar, 123-25.
  terra-cotta, from Phœnicia and Cyprus, 277-82.
  of Divine Mother, 124, 281.
  from Elam, bronze, 330.
    gold, 332.
    silver, 332.
    ivory, 335.

Steatite, 43, 123.

  the “Vulture Stela,” 24-6, 321.
  of Samsi-Rammanu, 88.
  of Assurbanipal, as canephoros, 89.
  Hittite, from Birejik, 187.
  votive, from Carthage, 266.
  Chaldæan from Elam, 317.
    of Manishtu Irba, 316.
    of Naram-Sin, 319 _et seq._

  want of, in Mesopotamia, 4.
  staircase of, at Abu Shahrein, 8.
  scanty use of, in Assyria, 50, 65.
  facing of, at Khorsabad, 52, 53.
  use of, in Persia, 149.
  want of, in Persia, 326.

Stool, 135.

  on use of vault in Babylonia, 15, 56.
  on use of palmwood pillars at Babylon, 63.
  on height of temple of Bel, 73.
  on tomb of Cyrus, 177.
  on rites of Cappadocian Astarte, 197.

Stucco, 18, 114, 172.

Stuffs manufactured in Chaldæa, 41.
  in Assyria, 105, 138, 139.

Stylus, 308, 324.

Sukkal-mah, 309.

Sulci, 282.

Sumerian language, 316.

Susa, 147, 168.
  Mission in, 299 _et seq._

Susiana, 158.

Sword, Chaldæan, 27.

Tablet, Eagle and Lion, 24.

  votive, 21.
  clay, Elam, 305.

Tabnit, 257.

Tacitus, on temple of Paphos, 242.

Takht-i-Jemshid, 152, 179.

Takht-i-madar-i-Soleiman, 149.

Talisman, 17, 230.

Tanit, the goddess, 246, 263, 267, 268, 269.

Tapestry, 138-40.

Tarkudimme, 203.

Taylor, J. E., 3, 8, 9, 18, 76.

Telephanes of Phocæa, 148.

Tell Amran, 52.

Tello, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 14, 18, 20, 23, 32, 73, 81, 85, 315, 317, 318.

Tells, 2, 10, 300.

Telmessus, 177.

Temple of the Great Light, 6.
  of E-anna, 310.

Temple of Didyma, 313.
  of Shushinak, 314, 330, 331, 336.

Tent, 136.

Terrace (see PLATFORM).

Terra-cotta, 38, 39-41, 51, 121-5, 248, 277.

Thapsus, 252.

Tharras, 260.

Thenæ (see THINA).

Thessaly, archaic school of art in, 160.

Thina, 261.

Thresholds, 110, 111.

  of Sennacherib, 136.
  of Darius, 165.

Thyatira, 202.

  on Tello bas-relief, 23.
  on Vulture Stela, 26.
  on Marduk-nadin-akhi, 41.
  of Sargon, 106.
  on Median cylinder, 146.
  of Persian human-headed bulls, 167.
  of Darius, 181.
  on stela from Birejik, 188.
  of Hittite deity, 195.
  on Elamite statuette, 332.

Tiglath-Pileser, 92.

Tigris, the, 32.

Timber, use of, in Assyria, 60, 61.

“Timmennu,” 21, 22.

Titus, arch of, 226.

  of Mandane, 175.
  of Cambyses I., 176, 177.
  of Cyrus, 177.
  of Darius, 179.

  at Mugheir, 20, 21.
  at Warka, 38.
  in Assyria, 50.
  of Achæmenids, 175-80.
  at Marath, 253-55.
  at Sidon, 255, 256.
  at Dali, 259.
  at Amathus, 260.
  at Mehdia, 260.
  at Thina, 261.
  at Tyre, 254.
  at Adlun, 254.
  at Gebal, 256.
  at Caralis, 260.
  at Tharras, 260.
  at Jebel Kawi, 261.

Totems, with Babylonian deities, 325.

  of Seven Lights, 73.
  staged (see ZIKKURAT).
  of Jur, 173, 174.

Trees, Treatment of, in Assyrian art, 110.

Trinity, Phœnician, 268.

Triple gate of Jewish Temple, 217.

Tulip in Assyrian decorative design, 110.

Tunnel of Siloam, 232, 233.

Turanians, 302.

Types of human figure in Assyrian art, 100-2.
  in Chaldæan art, 321, 322.
  in Elamite art, 329, 333.

Tyre, 249, 287.

Tyropœon, valley of, 205, 212, 214, 219.

Umalnaru, 46.

  Assyrian, 135.
  Persian, 164.

Umm el-Awamid, 263.

Ur, 2, 48, 75.

  on ivory plaque from Assyria, 137.
  in head-dress of Cyrus, 161.
  in Phœnician sculpture, 240, 263.
  on stela of Hadrumetum, 369.

Ur-Bau, 38.

Urim and Thummim, 230.

Ur-iti-Adad, 308.

Ur-Nina, 24.

Uruk, 2, 48, 309.

Utica, 252.

Vandals, seizure of treasures of Jewish temple by, 227.

  Assyrian, 122, 123.
  Chaldæan, 39.
  Elamite, 304, 307, 335.

  at Tello, 14.
  at Mugheir, 14.
  at Babylon in time of Strabo, 15.
  at Khorsabad, 55, 57, 58, 59.
  in drain at Nimroud, 57.
  in Persia, 158, 159.

Veil in Jewish Temple, 224.

Vermilion, use of, in Assyrian art, 116, 119.

Vogüé, M. de, 205.
  on platform of Jewish Temple, 208.
  on Herod’s restoration, 211.
  on Golden Gate, 217 (note).
  on altar of burnt offerings, 221.
  on chambers attached to Temple, 222.
  on appearance of Temple, 222, 223.
  on cherubim, 225.
  on columns before Temple, 227.

Voussoirs, 55, 58, 59.

“Vulture Stela,” 24-6, 321.

  of Chaldæan palace, 12, 13.
  of Assyrian palace, 54-6.
  of Babylon, 79, 80.
  of Nineveh, 81.
  of Khorsabad, 79.
  of Jewish Temple, 212-14.
  of Jerusalem, 232.
  of Banias, 246.
  of Carthage, 247.
  of Eryx, 247.
  of Elam, 314.

Warka, 2, 9, 18, 40, 63, 114.

  Chaldæan, 37, 38.
  Assyrian, 129, 137.

Windows of Persian palaces, 152.

Women, treatment of, in Assyrian art, 101.

  want of, in Chaldæa, 4.
  use of, in Assyria, 60, 134-7.

Woodwork, carved, 134-7.

Wuswas, 9, 10, 114.

Xanthus, 177.

Xerxes, 148, 150, 152, 154, 164.

Zacharias, tomb of, 234.

Zaghouan, 249.

Zarpanit, the goddess, 78.

Zerubbabel, 210, 214.

  in Chaldæa, 15, 16.
  in Assyria, 72-6.
  in Persia, 174.
  in Elam, 314.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Printed and bound by Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury,


 [1] The authority of a syllabary and a bilingual text enables us
 to correct the pronunciation of this name to Lagas. See Pinches in
 _Babylonian and Oriental Record_, vol. iii., p. 24. [Translator’s

 [2] Genesis xi. 3.

 [3] Nahum iii. 14.

 [4] Herodotus i. 179.

 [5] _Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_, vol. xv., p. 406.

 [6] _Travels and Researches in Chaldæa and Susiana_, p. 175.

 [7] _Découvertes en Chaldée_, p. 62.

 [8] See Heuzey, _Un palais chaldéen_, pp. 37-58.

 [9] E. de Sarzec, _Découvertes en Chaldée_, pp. 34, 35.

 [10] See, however, Garstang, _The Third Egyptian Dynasty_, Constable,
 1904, pp. 28-29, plates, v., xiv.

 [11] Strabo xvi. I, 5.

 [12] E. de Sarzec, _op. cit._, p. 37.

 [13] E. de Sarzec, _op. cit._, p. 59.

 [14] Loftus, _Travels and Researches_, pp. 187-189.

 [15] E. de Sarzec, _op. cit._, p. 60.

 [16] M. Babelon’s statement that the cylinder of Sagasaltias was
 found by modern explorers with that of Nabonidus is unfortunately
 inaccurate. Only the records of Nabonidus were discovered. See Taylor,
 _Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_, vol. xv.

 [17] Heuzey, _Gazette Arch._, 1884, p. 195.

 [18] E. de Sarzec, _Découvertes_, p. 61.

 [19] L. Heuzey, _Un palais chaldéen_, pp. 59-117.

 [20] See the translation which I have given of it in Lenormant and
 Babelon, _Histoire ancienne de l’Orient_, vol. v., p. 84.

 [21] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, vol. ii., p. 192 f. [Eng. ed.]

 [22] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, vol. ii., p. 195, fig. 106.

 [23] E. de Sarzec, _Découvertes_, p. 61.

 [24] _Revue archéologique_, 1883 (3e série, t. ii.) pl. xx.

 [25] _Les figurines antiques du Musée du Louvre_, p. 1 ff.

 [26] _Revue archéol., mai-juin, 1887._

 [27] See especially J. Menant, _La Glyptique orientale_, t. i., and L.
 de Clercq, _Catalogue de sa collection_, fasc. 1-3.

 [28] Heuzey, _Un palais chaldéen_, p. 91.

 [29] _History of Art in Assyria and Chaldæa_, vol. i., p. 228 f. [Eng

 [30] Lenormant and Babelon, _Hist. Anc. de l’Orient_, vol. iv., p. 411.

 [31] xvi., 1, 5.

 [32] Lenormant and Babelon, _Hist. anc. de l’Orient_, v. iv., p. 412.

 [33] What Aristotle really says is: “It is not a wall that makes a
 city, for the Peloponnese might be enclosed within a wall. Babylon,
 perhaps, is a city of such sort, and so is any other, the walls of
 which enclose a nation rather than a city. They say that when Babylon
 had been taken for three days part of the inhabitants were unaware of
 the fact.”--Pol. i. 3.

 [34] _Exp. en Mésopotamie_, t. i., p. 194 ff.

 [35] _Cun. Inscr. and the O.T._, vol. i., p. 79.

 [36] Heuzey, _Un Palais Chaldéen_, p. 81.

 [37] Menant, _Remarques sur les portraits des rois assyro-chaldéens_,

 [38] Layard, _Monuments of Nineveh_, vol. i., pl. 26, and _passim_.

 [39] Perrot and Chipiez, _History of Art in Chaldæa and Assyria_, vol.
 i., p. 257.

 [40] Herod. ii. 106

 [41] Perrot and Chipiez, _History of Art in Chaldæa and Assyria_, vol.
 ii., p. 294 ff.

 [42] Cf. Ezekiel xxiii. 14.

 [43] L. Heuzey, _Les Figurines de terre cuite du Musée du Louvre_, p.

 [44] _Nineveh and Babylon_, p. 358.

 [45] Heuzey, _op. cit._, p. 2.

 [46] _History of Art in Chaldæa and Assyria_, vol. ii., p. 217.

 [47] Perrot and Chipiez, _History of Art_, vol. ii., p. 143.

 [48] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, vol. ii., p. 319 ff.

 [49] Wrongly called Sennacherib by M. Babelon.

 [50] E. Müntz, _La Tapisserie_, p. 22.

 [51] See especially J. Menant, _La Glyptique Orientale_, t. ii.

 [52] For the recent discoveries at Susa and discussion of Elamite
 remains, see Chapter IX. of this volume.

 [53] Heuzey, in the _Revue politique et littéraire_, 1886, p. 661.

 [54] _L’art antique de la Perse_, t. i., p. 8.

 [55] _L’art antique de la Perse_, t. ii., p. 37.

 [56] Dieulafoy, _op. cit._, t. ii., p. 80.

 [57] Pendentives are generally held to have been introduced
 into architecture several centuries after our era, and to have
 first appeared in a perfect form in the Church of St. Sophia at
 Constantinople, the dome of which, as Procopius says (_De Ædificiis_,
 Bk. I., c. i.) seems to hang by a golden chain from the sky.

 [58] _Revue politique et littéraire_, 1886, p. 661.

 [59] _Op. cit._, t. iii., p. 186.

 [60] Lenormant and Babelon, _Hist. anc. de l’Orient_, t. vi., p. 18, f.

 [61] The existence of a supreme god, Ilu, among the Assyrian deities
 is not proved, though assumed by M. Babelon, who supposes that the
 winged figure on the Assyrian bas-reliefs is Ilu.

 [62] Coste and Flandin, _La Perse ancienne_, pl. 164.

 [63] Dieulafoy, _L’art antique de la Perse_, t. iv., p. 79.

 [64] Compare Flandin and Coste, _Perse ancienne_, pl. 152.

 [65] See especially W. Wright, _The Empire of the Hittites_,
 8vo, 2nd ed., London, 1886; Perrot and Chipiez, _Hist. de l’art
 dans l’antiquité_, t. iv., pp. 483 to 812; O. Hirschfeld, _Die
 Felsen-reliefs in Kleinasien und das Volk der Hittiter_ (_Abhandlungen
 der Berliner Akademie_, 1886).

 [66] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, t. iv., p. 547.

 [67] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, t. iv., p. 549.

 [68] There is some doubt whether this figure is Hittite at all. It may
 be of Babylonian origin. (See Perrot and Chipiez, _Hist._, t. iv., 550
 f.) The boots are so slightly turned up at the points that they are
 more like those worn by Babylonian kings than the characteristic boots
 of the Hittites. The stela was brought from the castle of Birejik, not
 from the site of Carchemish, as M. Babelon states.

 [69] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, t. iv., p. 534.

 [70] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, t. iv., p. 559.

 [71] Perrot and Guillaume, _Exploration archéol. de la Galatie_, etc.,
 pl. lxv.

 [72] _Hist. de l’art dans l’antiquité,_ t. iv. p. 667.

 [73] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, t. iv., p. 697.

 [74] Perrot and Chipiez, _op cit._, t. iv., p. 713.

 [75] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, t. iv., p. 750.

 [76] S. Reinach, _Rev. Archéol._, 1885 (3 se. t. v.), p. 54, ff.

 [77] _Gazette archéol._, 1887 (t. xiii. p. 60).

 [78] From Wilson and Warren, _The Recovery of Jerusalem_, p. 298

 [79] M. de Vogüé, _Le Temple de Jérusalem_, p. 3.

 [80] M. de Vogüé, _Le Temple de Jérusalem_, pp. 21 and 22.

 [81] This name is at present given to a building which has nothing
 in common with this door of the Temple.--M. de Vogüé, _Le Temple de
 Jérusalem_, p. 12, note.

 [82] A, Ophel.--B, Bridge.--C,
 Tyropœon.--D, Causeway.--E, Tower of Baris
 or Antonia.--F, Portico.--G, Court of the
 Gentiles.--H, Court of the women.--K, Court
 of Israel.--L, Altar of burnt-offerings.--M,
 Court of the priests.--N, Solomon’s porch. O,
 Moat called _Birket Israîl_. PP, Double gate and triple
 gate.--Q, Golden gate.--R, Kedron valley.

 [83] M. de Vogüé, _Le Temple_, p. 56.

 [84] M. de Vogüé, _Le Temple_, p. 37.

 [85] M. de Vogüé, _Le Temple_, p. 58.

 [86] 1 Kings vii. 49-50.

 [87] Procopius, _De Bello Vandalico_, ii., chap. 9; Theophanes,
 _Chronographia_, p. 168, and Georg. Cedrenus, _Hist. Comp._, p. 606
 (Ed. Bonn, 1833)

 [88] M. de Vogüé, _Le Temple_, p. 34; Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._,
 t. iv. p. 315 ff.

 [89] Perrot and Chipiez, _op. cit._, t. iv., p. 463.

 [90] Renan, _Mission de Phénicie_ pl. 10

 [91] See Perrot and Chipiez, _History of Art in Phœnicia and its
 Dependencies_, vol. i., p. 193 [Eng. Ed.].

 [92] Renan, _Mission de Phénicie_, p. 411.

 [93] Perrot and Chipiez, _History of Art in Phœnicia_, vol. ii., p. 12.

 [94] See Perrot and Chipiez, _History of Art in Phœnicia, etc._, vol.
 ii., p. 123

 [95] Perrot and Chipiez, _History of Art in Phœnicia, etc._, vol. ii.,
 p. 148 f.

 [96] Pliny, _Hist. Nat._, xxxvi. 67.

 [97] W. Frœhner, _La Verrerie Antique, Coll. Charvet_, p. 10.

 [98] _Amores_, ch. xxvi.

 [99] _L’imagerie phénicienne et la mythologie iconologique chez les
 Grecs_, part i., 1880.

 [100] See Perrot and Chipiez, _History of Art in Phœnicia, etc._ vol.
 ii. p. 404 f.

 [101] Menant, _La Glyptique orientale_, t. ii.

 [102] The figure representing the god Set has not a hawk’s head, as M.
 Babelon states, following M. Menant. Here, as always, Set has the head
 of a nondescript animal, somewhat resembling an ass!

 [103] _Revue archéol._ t. xxvii. 1868, p. 432 ff.

 [104] In proportion to the amount of the discoveries, the results
 are published, and the monuments reproduced and commented on, in the
 vast publication entitled _Délégation en Perse, Mémories publiès sous
 la direction de M. J. de Morgan, délégué-général_ (quarto, Leroux,
 editeur, Paris). Eight volumes have already appeared, the ninth is in
 the press (November 1905).

 [105] See pp. 168, 169, 171 (figs. 135, 136, 137).

 [106] _Mémoires de la Mission_, vol. i., pl. ix.

 [107] _Mémoires de la Mission_, vol. vii., pl. i., fig. A.

 [108] _Mémoires de la Mission_, vol. i., pl. xi.

 [109] _Mémoires de la Mission_, vol. ii., pl. xxiv.

 [110] _Mémoires de la Mission_, vol. ii., pl. xviii., xix.

 [111] _Mémoires_, vol. i. (1900), pp. 163-164.

 [112] _Mémoires de la Mission_, vol. vii., pl. x.

 [113] _Mémoires de la Mission_, vol. xix, p. 90 and pl. iii.

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

burn them throughly=> burn them thoroughly {pg 4}

represents this king dresse=> represents this king dressed {pg 84}

if it were not for the relief=> if were not for the relief {pg 169}

with unheard-of spendour=> with unheard-of splendour {pg 223}

Memories publiès sous=> Mémories publiès sous {pg 303}

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