We see the process of filling the wine cups at a feast. They were dipped into a large vase instead of being filled from a small vessel. Nor were they alone contented with grape wine, they had palm wine, wine made from dates, and beer even as the Egyptians had.
“This list of wines is found engraved upon a terra-cotta tablet from the palace of Assur-ba-ni-pal, the Sardanapalus of the Greeks, and evidently represents the wines supplied to the royal table. It reads:
Col. I. Wine of the Land of Izalli.
Wine, the Drink of the King (Daniel i. 5).
Wine of the Nazahrie.
Wine of Ra-h-ū (Shepherds’ Wine).
Wine of Khabaru.
Col. II. Wine of Khilbunn or Helbon.
Wine of Arnabani (North Syria).
Wine of Sibzu (Sweet Wine).
Wine of Sa-ta-ba-bi-ru-ri (which I think means Wines which from the Vineyard come not).
Wine of Kharrubi (Wine of the Carrob or Locust bean).”
The Assyrians, who `rank` next in antiquity to the Egyptians, were no shunners of wine; they could drink sociably, and hob-nob together, as we see by the illustration.
The Assyrians used these inventions in their wars against the contiguous nations of the East, and with their aid achieved the mastery, and unified the Orient. That the Assyrian rule was harsh and cruel should not be denied; but, on the principle that any kind of government is better than no government, it cannot reasonably be supposed that the central and efficient administration of Assyria was not better than the condition of continual petty wars and quarrels that had existed among the numerous tribes and nations, with their enormous possibilities for suffering of all kinds.
Lion from Assyrian Bas-relief
Assyrian Harpist , beating time with his foot
".. put two such pipes into the mouth, and you get the double Egyptian and Assyrian pipe, such as may be still seen sculptured on their monuments. In the holes or apertures of some of these pipes, which have
been discovered in the tombs and other places, small straws have been found, plainly intended to act the part of reeds in our modern oboes and clarionets. "
[A drawing taken from a bas relief of the royal
Assyrian lion hunt]
Stone is very rare in Chaldea, and could be brought only at great expense from a distance. Hence all the buildings of earlier ages were built of bricks. o we read of the Tower of Babel, that "they had bricks for stone."
The outsides of the buildings were covered with burnt or kiln-dried bricks to keep out the rain. More elaborate specimens of their pottery appear in articles for domestic uses, and especially in their coffins.
Assyrian Warrior (temp. Sargon II)
It was out of those two main weaknesses of all priesthoods, namely, the incapacity for efficient military leadership and their inevitable jealousy of all other religious cults, that the power of secular kingship arose. The foreign enemy either prevailed and set up a king over the people, or the priesthoods who would not give way to each other set up a common fighting captain, who retained more or less power in peace time. This secular king developed a group of officials about him and began, in relation to military organization, to take a share in the priestly administration of the people’s affairs. So, growing out of priestcraft and beside the priest, the king, the protagonist of the priest,appears upon the stage of human history, and a very large amount of the subsequent experiences of mankind is only to be understood as an elaboration, complication, and distortion of the struggle, unconscious or deliberate, between these two systems of human control, the temple and the palace. And it was in the original centres of civilization that this antagonism was most completely developed.
This type of dress, which in the British Museum is described as worn by “a Mythological Figure in attendance upon King Assur-nasir-pal”, ninth century B.C., might be dated about 1000 B.C., as following the usual custom of the ancients who dressed their sacred figures in the costume of some previous generation as a rule
King Assur-nasir-pal (ninth century B.C.)
This man, in hunting dress dates from ninth century B.C
This woman, a captive of Sennacherib who reigned in eighth and seventh centuries B.C., wears a long tunic
Queen of Assur-nasir-pal
Beards were curled and probably dyed and powdered, the powder, however, being gold. As a matter of fact, gold was employed in various ways as an enrichment to the hair.