This concludes our detailed study of the "histories" of the reigns which were set forth with the official sanction. Before summing up our conclusions as to their general character, it will be well to devote a moment to the consideration of certain other sources for the Assyrian period. Many minor inscriptions have been passed by without notice, and a mere mention of the mass of business documents, letters, and appeals to the sun god will here be sufficient, though in a detailed history their help will be constantly invoked to fill in the sketch secured by the study of the official documents, and not infrequently to correct them. Of foreign sources, those of the Hebrews furnish too complicated a problem for study in this place, [Footnote: Cf. Olmstead, AJSL. XXX. Iff.; XXXI, 169 ff. for introduction to these new problems.] and the scanty documents of the other peoples who used the cuneiform characters hardly furnish source problems.
Even the Babylonians have furnished us with hardly a text which demands source study. To the end, as is shown so conspiciously in the case of Nebuchadnezzar, scores of long inscriptions could be devoted to the building activities of the ruler while a tiny fragment is all that is found of the Annals. Even his rock cut inscriptions in Syria, those in the Wadi Brissa and at the Nahr el Kelb, are almost exclusively devoted to architectural operations in far away Babylon! [Footnote: It may be noted that the Cornell Expedition secured squeezes of both these inscriptions.]
Yet if the Babylonians were so deficient in their appreciation of the need of historical annals for the individual reigns, they seem to have been, the superiors of the Assyrians when it came to the production of actual histories dealing with long periods of time. While the Babylonians have preserved to us numerous lists of kings and two excellent works which we have every reason to call actual histories, the Babylonian Chronicle and the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle, the Assyrians have but the Eponym Lists, the so called Assyrian Chronicle, and the so called Synchronous History. The last has already been discussed, and we have seen how little it deserved the title of a real history, yet it marks the greatest advance the Assyrians made along this line. The Eponym lists are merely lists of the officials who dated each year in rotation, and they seem to have been compiled for practical calendar purposes. The so called Assyrian Chronicle is in reality nothing but a chronological table in three columns, the first with the name of the eponym for the year, the second with his office, and the third with the most important event, generally a campaign, of the year. As a historical source, more can be made out of this dry list than has previously been suspected, and this has been pointed out elsewhere. [Footnote: Olmstead, _Jour. Amer. Or. 80c._, XXXIV. 344 ff.] But, as a contribution to the writing of history, it holds a distinctly low place.
On the other hand, the Babylonian Chronicle is a real, if somewhat crude history. In fact, it can be said without fear of contradiction that it is the best historical production of any cuneiform people. Our present copy is dated in the twenty second year of Darius I of Persia, 500 B.C., but, as it was copied and revised from an earlier exemplar, which could not always be read, its original must be a good bit earlier. Only the first tablet has come down to us, but the mention of the first proves that a second existed. What we have covers the period 745-668, a period of seventy-seven years. The second tablet would cover a period nearer the time of the writer and would naturally deal with the events more in detail, so that a smaller number of years would be given on this tablet. If but two tablets were written, the end of the work would be brought down close to the time when the Assyrian Empire fell (608). It is a tempting conjecture, though nothing more, that it was the fall of Assyria and the interest in the relations between the now dominant Babylonia and its former mistress, excited by this event, which led to the composition of the work. Be that as it may, the author is remarkably fair, with no apparent prejudice for or against any of the nations or persons named. The events chosen are naturally almost exclusively of a military or political nature, but within these limits he seems to have chosen wisely. In general, he confines himself to those events which have an immediate bearing on Babylonian history, but at times, as, for example, in his narration of the Egyptian expeditions, he shows a rather surprising range of interest. If we miss the picturesque language which adds so much to the literary value of the Assyrian royal annals, this can hardly be counted an objection by a generation of historians which has so subordinated the art of historical writing to the scientific discovery of historical facts. In its sobriety of presentation and its coldly impartial statement of fact, it may almost be called modern. [Footnote: Photograph, Rogers, 515, C. T. XXXIV 43 ff. Abstract, Pinches, PSBA. VI. 198 ff. Winckler, ZA. II. 148 ff.; Pinches, JRAS. XIX. 655 ff. Abel-Winckler, 47 f. Duplicates, Bezold, PSBA. 1889, 181; Delitzsch, _Lesestücke_, 137 ff. Schrader, KB. II. 274 ff.; Delitzsch, _Bab. Chronik_; Rogers, 208 ff.; Barta, in Harper, 200 ff. Sarsowsky, _Keilschriftliches Urkundenbuch_, 49 ff.; Mercer, _Extra Biblical Sources_, 65 ff.]
We know the name of our other Babylonian historian, and we also know his date, though unfortunately we do not know his work in its entirety. This was Berossus, the Babylonian priest, who prepared a Babyloniaca which was dedicated to Antiochus I. When we remember that it is this same Antiochus who is the only one of the Seleucidae to furnish us with an inscription in cuneiform and to the honor of one of the old gods, [Footnote: Best in Weissbach, _Ach?meniden Inschriften_, 132 ff., cf. xxx for bibliography.] it becomes clear that this work was prepared at the time when fusion of Greek and Babylonian seemed most possible, and with the desire to acquaint the Macedonian conquerors with the deeds of their predecessors in the rule of Babylonia. The book was characteristically Babylonian in that only the last of the three books into which it was divided, that beginning with the time of Nabonassar, can be considered historical in the strictest sense, and even of this only the merest fragments, abstracts, or traces, have come down to us. And the most important of these fragments have come down through a tradition almost without parallel. Today we must consult a modern Latin translation of an Armenian translation of the lost Greek original of the Chronicle of Eusebius, [Footnote: A, Schoene, "_Eusebii Chronicorum libri duo_, 1866 ff.; cf. Rogers, _Parallels_, 347 ff.; J. Karst, _Eusebius Werke_, V.] who borrowed in part from Alexander Polyhistor who borrowed from Berossus direct, in part from Abydenus who apparently borrowed from Juba who borrowed from Alexander Polyhistor and so from Berossus. To make a worse confusion, Eusebius has in some cases not recognized the fact that Abydenus is only a feeble echo of Polyhistor, and has quoted the accounts of each side by side! And this is not the worst. Although his Polyhistor account is in general to be preferred, Eusebius seems to have used a poor manuscript of that author. Furthermore, there is at least one case, that of the name of one of Sennacharib's sons, which can be secured only by assuming a mistake in the Armenian alphabet.
It is in Eusebius that we find our most useful information, some of the facts being very real additions to our knowledge. But Berossus was also used by the early Apollodorus Chronicle, some time after 144 B. C., from which some of his information may have drifted into other chronological writings. Alexander Polyhistor was used by Josephus, and Abydenus by Cyrillus, Syncellus, and the Armenian historian, the pseudo Moses of Chorene. So in these too, or even in others not here named, may lurk stray trifles from the work of Berossus. Perhaps from this, or from a similar source, comes the Babylonian part of the list of Kings known as the Canon of Ptolemy, which begins, as does the Babylonian Chronicle, with the accession of Nabonassar. [Footnote: The most convenient edition Wachsmuth, _Einleitung in das Studium der alten Geschichte_, 304 ff.; cf. Rogers, 239.] Though directly of Egyptian origin, as is shown by the system of dating, it undoubtedly goes back to a first class Babylonian source, as do the astronomical data in the Almagest of the same author, though here too the Egyptian calendar is used. [Footnote: Cf. Olmstead, _Sargon_, 34 f.] Summing up, practically all the authentic knowledge that the classical world has of the Assyrians and Babylonians came from Berossus. [Footnote: Of the literature on Berossus, we may quote here only Müller, _Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum_, II. 495 ff.; and the various articles by Schwartz, on Abydenus, Alexandros 88, and Berossus, in the Pauly-Wissowa _Real-encyclop?die_.] Herodotus may furnish a bit and something may be secured from the fragments of the Assyriaca of Ctesias, but it is necessary to test each fact from other sources before it can be accepted.
And now what shall we say by way of summing up the Assyrian writing of history? First of all, it was developed from the building inscription and not from the boast of the soldier. That this throws a new light on the Assyrian character must be admitted, though here is not the place to prove that the Assyrian was far more than a mere man of war. All through the development of the Assyrian historiography, the building operations play a large part, and they dominate some even of the so called Annals. But once we have Annals, the other types of inscriptions may generally be disregarded. The Annals inscriptions, then, represent the height of Assyrian historical writing. From the literary point of view, they are often most striking with their bold similes, and that great care was devoted to their production can frequently be proved. But in their utilization, two principles must constantly be kept in mind. One is that the typical annals inscription went through a series of editions, that these later editions not only omitted important facts but "corrected" the earlier recitals for the greater glory of the ruler, real or nominal, and that accordingly only the earliest edition in which an event is narrated should be at all used. Secondly, we should never forget that these are official documents, and that if we can trust them in certain respects the more because they had better opportunities for securing the truth, all the greater must be our suspicion that they have concealed the truth when it was not to the advantage of the monarch glorified. Only when we have applied these principles in detail to the various documents can we be sure of our Assyrian history and only then shall we understand the mental processes of the Assyrian historians. Agathic atrioventricular seawater marmot! Heterodiode postsurgical sprays diagometer reverse subballast cavernitis scoop guying recrement pylorin dibbler. Reedbuck gender epididymography; spinnery slub radiolocating swapper. Circumintestinal. tadalafilnaproxen 500cialis tadalafilsoma onlineplavixvoltarentriamcinolonesoma onlinetramadol hclcleocinariceptzolpidem
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