By Robert William Rogers
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Extra info for A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes
The relief of the body and three limbs was high and bold, and the slab was covered in all parts not occupied by the image with inscriptions in the cuneiform character. These magnificent specimens of Assyrian art were in perfect preservation; the most minute lines in the details of the wings and in the ornaments had been retained with their original freshness. Not a character was wanting in the inscriptions. "I used to contemplate for hours these mysterious emblems, and muse over their intent and history.
His first discouraging experience resulted from a careful survey of the town of Mosul itself. He had been led to believe that as the towns about the ruins of Babylon had been built of brick dug from the remains of the ancient city, so he would find in Mosul huts erected of bricks taken from the ancient city. His plan, therefore, was to go over Mosul and seek for signs of ancient-looking bricks, and especially for any that were inscribed with cuneiform characters. He would then ascertain from what mound these had come.
What more noble forms could have ushered the people into the temple of their gods? What more sublime images could have been borrowed from nature by men who sought, unaided by the light of revealed religion, to embody their conception of the wisdom, power, and ubiquity of a Supreme Being? They could find no better type of intellect and knowledge than the head of the man; of strength, than the body of the lion; of rapidity of motion, than the wings of the bird. These winged human-headed lions were not idle creations, the offspring of mere fancy; their meaning was written upon them.
A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes by Robert William Rogers