Discovery of an Assyrian Library 3,500 Years Old.
The Victoria Institute of London held its annual meeting at Adelphi terrace on Ist July. It was announced that family matusrs, consequent on the death of his father, prevented Professor Payee’s presence, and he had chosen the Rev. Dr Wright, author of * The Hxttites,’ to read th& address. It gave an historical description of what has become known in regard to the conquests of Amenophis 111 , as shown by the archives of his palace, which have only lately been discovered, and which the professor went last winter to investigate on the spot before writing the address for the Victoria Institute. Of the tablets and inscriptions he said; “Prom them we learn that in the fifteenth ccntnry before our era—a century before the Exodus —active literary intercourse was going on throughout the civilised worid of Western Asia, between Babylon and Egypt and the smaller States of Palestine, of Syria, of Mesopotamia, and even of Cappadc/ria. And this intercourse was carried on by .means of the Babylonian language and the complicated Babylonian script. This implies that all over the civilised East there were libraries and schools where the Babylonian language and literature were taught and learned. Babylonian appeared to have been asniuclr the language of diplomacy and cultivated society as French has become in modern times, with the difference that whereas it does not take long to learn to read Drench, the cuneifoun syllabary required years oS hard labor and attention before it could be acquired. We can now understand the meaning of the name of the Canaaniliah city which stood near Hebron, and which seems to have been one of the most important of the towns of Southern Palestine. Kirjath-Sepher, or * Book-town,’ must have been the seat of a famous library, consisting mainiy, if uot altogether, as the Tel el-Amarna tablets inform us, of clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform characters. As the city also bore the name of Debir, or * Sanctuary,’ we may conclude that the tablets were stored in its chief temple, like the libraries of Assyria and Babylonia. It may be that they are still lying under the soil, awaiting the day when the spade of the excavator shall restore them to the light. The literary influence of Babylonia ia the ago before the Israelitish conquest of Palestine explains the occurrence of the names of the Babylonian deities among: the inhabitants of the west. Moses died on the summit of Mount Nebo, which received its name from the Babylonian god of literature, to whom the great temple of Borsippa was dedicated ; and Sinai itself, the mountain ‘ of Sin,’ testifies to a worship of the Babylonian Moon-god, Sin, amid the solitudes of the desert. Moloch, or Malik, was a Babylonian divinity like Rimmon, the air god, after whom more than one locality in Palestine was named, and Anat, the wife of Ami, the sky god, gave her name to the Palestinian Anah, as well as to Anathoth.the city of * the Anat-goddesses.’ ” In a careful reading of the tablets Canon Sayce came upon many ancient names and incidents known up to the present only from their appearance in the Bible, All these he carefully described, as well as several references in the tablets to the Hittites. In regard to another point he said; “ Ever since the progress of Egyptology made it clear that Raineses 11. was the Pharaoh of the oppression, it was difficult to understand how such an interval as the whole period of the 18th Dynast y could lie between him and the ‘ new king ’ whose riseseemn to have been followed almost immediately by the servitude and oppression of the Hebrews, The tablets of Tel el-Amarna now show that the difficulty does not exist. Up to the death of Khu-en-Aten the Semite had greater influence than the native in the land of Mizrairn.”
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Discovery of an Assyrian Library 3,500 Years Old., Evening Star, Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement
Discovery of an Assyrian Library 3,500 Years Old. Evening Star, Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement
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