From Ninus and Semiramis to Sardanapallus: The 1,300 years ancient Assyrian Empire

In the earliest age, then, the kings of Asia were native-born, and in connection with them no memory is preserved of either a notable deed or a personal name. The first to be handed down by tradition to history and memory for us as one who achieved great deeds is Ninus, king of the Assyrians, and of him we shall now endeavour to give a detailed account. For being by nature a warlike man and emulous of valour, he supplied the strongest of the young men with arms, and by training them for a considerable time he accustomed them to every hardship and all the dangers of war.

[NovoScriptorium: What Diodorus says here is of some importance. He claims that the early kings of Asia were native-born, i.e. indigenous, obviously implying that later on in History the kings of Asia were not indigenous; the peoples of Asia were ruled by foreign kings. We are in darkness whether he refers to Mythology or simply in the historically known Greek and Roman conquests of Asian lands. Another interesting point he makes here is that the Asians had preserved no Tradition/Memory of their oldest kings; their historical memories appear to begin with Ninus and the Assyrian Empire]

Ninus_Rex.jpg

And when now he had collected a notable army, he formed an alliance with Ariaeus, the king of Arabia, a country which in those times seems to have abounded in brave men. Now, in general, this nation is one which loves freedom and under no circumstances submits to a foreign ruler; consequently neither the kings of the Persians at a later time nor those of the Macedonians, though the most powerful of their day, were ever able to enslave this nation.

For Arabia is, in general, a difficult country for a foreign army to campaign in, part of it being desert and part of it waterless and supplied at intervals with wells which are hidden and known only to the natives.

[NovoScriptorium: Here Diodorus provides us with interesting information about Arabia and the Arabs. The close link between Mesopotamia and Arabia appears to be very ancient]

Ninus, however, the king of the Assyrians, taking along the ruler of the Arabians as an ally, made a campaign with a great army against the Babylonians whose country bordered upon his — in those times the present city of Babylon had not yet been founded, but there were other notable cities in Babylonia — and after easily subduing the inhabitants of that region because of their inexperience in the dangers of war, he laid upon them the yearly payment of fixed tributes, but the king of the conquered, whom he took captive along with his children, he put to death.

[NovoScriptorium: Apparently, this is one of the oldest habits of Men; putting other Men down their rule, by force, in order to exploit the labor of others for their own benefit]

Then, invading Armenia in great force and laying waste some of its cities, he struck terror into the inhabitants; consequently their king Barzanes, realizing that he was no match for him in battle, met him with many presents and announced that he would obey his every command.

But Ninus treated him with great magnanimity, and agreed that he should not only continue to rule over Armenia but should also, as his friend, furnish a contingent and supplies for the Assyrian army. And as his power continually increased, he made a campaign against Media.

[NovoScriptorium: Diodorus provides us here with the information that the Armenians are a very old and indigenous people on this side of the World. Moreover, they appear to have had close relations with the Assyrians]

And the king of this country, Pharnus, meeting him in battle with a formidable force, was defeated, and he both lost the larger part of his soldiers, and himself, being taken captive along with his seven sons and wife, was crucified.

Since the undertakings of Ninus were prospering in this way, he was seized with a powerful desire to subdue all of Asia that lies between the Tanaïs and the Nile; for, as a general thing, when men enjoy good fortune, the steady current of their success prompts in them the desire for more. Consequently he made one of his friends satrap of Media, while he himself set about the task of subduing the nations of Asia, and within a period of seventeen years he became master of them all except the Indians and Bactrians.

[NovoScriptorium: It seems that Diodorus ignores the existence of peoples beyond Bactria and India. Evidently, Greed is one of the oldest ‘sports’ among Men]

Now no historian has recorded the battles with each nation or the number of all the peoples conquered, but we shall undertake to run over briefly the most important nations, as given in the account of Ctesias of Cnidus.

[NovoScriptorium: This is interesting, if true. It could either suggest that there haven’t been any historians -or even Writing- among the Asian peoples back in those times, either that recording events was not given any importance at all]

Of the lands which lie on the sea and of the others which border on these, Ninus subdued Egypt and Phoenicia, then Coele-Syria, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and Lycia, and also Caria, Phrygia, and Lydia; moreover, he brought under his sway the Troad, Phrygia on the Hellespont, Propontis, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and all the barbarian nations who inhabit the shores of the Pontus as far as the Tanaïs; he also made himself lord of the lands of the Cadusii, Tapyri, Hyrcanii, Drangi, of the Derbici, Carmanii, Choromnaei, and of the Borcanii, and Parthyaei; and he invaded both Persis and Susiana and Caspiana, as it is called, which is entered by exceedingly narrow passes, known for that reason as the Caspian Gates.

[NovoScriptorium: This is very interesting. Diodorus, based on Ctesias, claims that the Assyrians of Ninus ruled over the lands shown in the map below:

NinusEmpire.png

Archaeological evidence has not proved such a story -at least so far. There are only two possibilities really; either that the whole story is an invention, for a variety of reasons, or that it represents the echo of a very ancient -myhtological- era and there is some core-truth in it. Indeed there has been an Assyrian Empire in History, as archaeological evidence proves, but actually it extended as in the map below:

Neo-Assyrian_Empire

In our opinion, it should not be excluded that the lands not archaeologically evidenced as parts of the Assyrian Empire could very well have been client-states or tributaries]

Many other lesser nations he also brought under his rule, about whom it would be a long task to speak. But since Bactriana was difficult to invade and contained multitudes of warlike men, after much toil and labour in vain he deferred to a later time the war against the Bactriani, and leading his forces back into Assyria selected a place excellently situated for the founding of a great city.

For having accomplished deeds more notable than those of any king before him, he was eager to found a city of such magnitude, that not only would it be the largest of any which then existed in the whole inhabited world, but also that no other ruler of a later time should, if he undertook such a task, find it easy to surpass him.

Accordingly, after honouring the king of the Arabians with gifts and rich spoils from his wars, he dismissed him and his contingent to return to their own country and then, gathering his forces from every quarter and all the necessary material, he founded on the Euphrates river a city which was well fortified with walls, giving it the form of a rectangle. The longer sides of the city were each one hundred and fifty stades in length, and the shorter ninety.

And so, since the total circuit comprised four hundred and eighty stades, he was not disappointed in his hope, since a city its equal, in respect to either the length of its circuit or the magnificence of its walls, was never founded by any man after his time. For the wall had a height of one hundred feet and its width was sufficient for three chariots abreast to drive upon; and the sum total of its towers was one thousand five hundred, and their height was two hundred feet.

He settled in it both Assyrians, who constituted the majority of the population and had the greatest power, and any who wished to come from all other nations. And to the city he gave his own name, Ninus, and he included within the territory of its colonists a large part of the neighbouring country.

[NovoScriptorium: The new city of Ninus was a constructive miracle for its era and, apparently, one of the greatest cities of all Antiquity. The description suits to a cosmopolitan cultural and economic centre similar to many of our modern cities]

Since after the founding of this city Ninus made a campaign against Bactriana, where he married Semiramis, the most renowned of all women of whom we have any record.

Ninus secured the treasures of Bactra, which contained a great amount of both gold and silver, and after settling the affairs of Bactriana disbanded his forces. After this he begat by Semiramis a son Ninyas, and then died, leaving his wife as queen. Semiramis buried Ninus in the precinct of the palace and erected over his tomb a very large mound, nine stades high and ten wide, as Ctesias says.

Consequently, since the city lay on a plain along the Euphrates, the mound was visible for a distance of many stades, like an acropolis; and this mound stands, they say, even to this day, though Ninus was razed to the ground by the Medes when they destroyed the empire of the Assyrians.

[NovoScriptorium: According to the description, Bactria was a rich region, with abundance of gold and silver. But this reference also implies that the Bactrians had knowledge of Metallurgy. The tomb of Ninus appears to have been another of those ancient super-constructions]

Semiramis, whose nature made her eager for great exploits and ambitious to surpass the fame of her predecessor on the throne, set her mind upon founding a city in Babylonia, and after securing the architects of all the world and skilled artisans and making all the other necessary preparations, she gathered together from her entire kingdom two million men to complete the work.

[NovoScriptorium: Before anything else, the social acceptance of a woman-leader is very interesting, for such an ancient epoch. The number of two million workers, architects and artisans working for the construction of the new city is quite impressive]

Taking the Euphrates river into the centre she threw about the city a wall with great towers set at frequent intervals, the wall being three hundred and sixty stades in circumference, as Ctesias of Cnidus says, but according to the account of Cleitarchus and certain of those who at a later time crossed into Asia with Alexander, three hundred and sixty-five stades; and these latter add that it was her desire to make the number of stades the same as the days in the year.

[NovoScriptorium: Ancient Assyrians were obviously believed to have astronomical knowledge such that allowed them to calculate the number of days/year]

Making baked bricks fast in bitumen she built a wall with a height, as Ctesias says, of fifty fathoms, but, as some later writers have recorded, of fifty cubits, and wide enough for more than two chariots abreast to drive upon; and the towers numbered two hundred and fifty, their height and width corresponding to the massive scale of the wall.

In order to expedite the building of these constructions she apportioned a stade to each of her friends, furnishing sufficient material for their task and directing them to complete their work within a year.

[NovoScriptorium: The reference to ‘baked bricks’ indicates good knowledge of material management and, of course, a few other bids of knowledge that could have come from practical -not necessarily scientific- experience]

And when they had finished these assignments with great speed she gratefully accepted their zeal, but she took for herself the construction of a bridge five stades long at the narrowest point of the river, skilfully sinking the piers, which stood twelve feet apart, into its bed. And the stones, which were set firmly together, she bonded with iron cramps, and the joints of the cramps she filled by pouring in lead. Again, before the piers on the side which would receive the current she constructed cutwaters whose sides were rounded to turn off the water and which gradually diminished to the width of the pier, in order that the sharp points of the cutwaters might divide the impetus of the stream, while the rounded sides, yielding to its force, might soften the violence of the river.

This bridge, then, floored as it was with beams of cedar and cypress and with palm logs of exceptional size and having a width of thirty feet, is considered to have been inferior in technical skill to none of the works of Semiramis. And on each side of the river she built an expensive quay of about the same width as the walls and one hundred and sixty stades long.

[NovoScriptorium: This reference informs us that Assyrians had quite good knowledge of Metallurgy, using iron and lead at will]

Semiramis also built two palaces on the very banks of the river, one at each end of the bridge, her intention being that from them she might be able both to look down over the entire city and to hold the keys, as it were, to its most important sections.

And since the Euphrates river passed through the centre of Babylon and flowed in a southerly direction, one palace faced the rising and the other the setting sun, and both had been constructed on a lavish scale. For in the case of the one which faced west she made the length of its first or outer circuit wall sixty stades, fortifying it with lofty walls, which had been built at great cost and were of burned brick. And within this she built a second, circular in form, in the bricks of which, before they were baked, wild animals of every kind had been engraved, and by the ingenious use of colours these figures reproduced the actual appearance of the animals themselves; this circuit wall had a length of forty stades, a width of three hundred bricks, and a height, as Ctesias says, of fifty fathoms; the height of the towers, however, was seventy fathoms.

[NovoScriptorium: The reference to ‘a palace facing the rising sun’ and to ‘a palace facing the setting sun’ most likely implies astronomical knowledge. Of course, city-planning abilities are implied, too. Moreover, their decorative abilities -with the use of vivid designs and colours- are celebrated here. The reference to ‘engraved’ animals implies knowledge of Engraving and, possibly, Sculpture, too]

And she built within these two yet a third circuit wall, which enclosed an acropolis whose circumference was twenty stades in length, but the height and width of the structure surpassed the dimensions of the middle circuit wall. On both the towers and the walls there were again animals of every kind, ingeniously executed by the use of colours as well as by the realistic imitation of the several types; and the whole had been made to represent a hunt, complete in every detail, of all sorts of wild animals, and their size was more than four cubits. Among the animals, moreover, Semiramis had also been portrayed, on horseback and in the act of hurling a javelin at a leopard, and nearby was her husband Ninus, in the act of thrusting his spear into a lion at close quarters. In this wall she also set triple gates, two of which were of bronze and were opened by a mechanical device.

[NovoScriptorium: The reference to ‘bronze’ is a further indication that the Assyrians had knowledge of Metallurgy. The surprising thing is the reference to a ‘mechanical device’ used to open the gates. We are not informed whether this had been an ‘automation’ or not]

Nineveh

Now this palace far surpassed in both size and details of execution the one on the other bank of the river. For the circuit wall of the latter, made of burned brick, was only thirty stades long, and instead of the ingenious portrayal of animals it had bronze statues of Ninus and Semiramis and their officers, and one also of Zeus, whom the Babylonians call Belus; and on it were also portrayed both battle-scenes and hunts of every kind, which filled those who gazed thereon with varied emotions of pleasure.

[NovoScriptorium: This reference directly implies knowledge of Sculpture -and Metallurgy. Additionally, we learn that a statue of Zeus stood among the rest. Diodorus informs us that the Babylonians call Zeus by the name ‘Belus’ (or ‘Belos’). This is a little confusing. Let’s have a necessary look at some ancient sources on ‘Belus’ or ‘Belos’.

Herodotus in his Histories writes:

Now the supremacy which had belonged to the Heracleidai came to the family of Croesus, called Mermnadai, in the following manner: — Candaules, whom the Hellenes call Myrsilos, was ruler of Sardis and a descendant of Alcaios, son of Heracles: for Agron, the son of Ninos, the son of Belos, the son of Alcaios, was the first of the Heracleidai who became king of Sardis, and Candaules the son of Myrsos was the last

Moreover, again from Herodotus:

This wall then which I have mentioned is as it were a cuirass for the town, and another wall runs round within it, not much weaker for defence than the first but enclosing a smaller space. And in each division of the city was a building in the midst, in the one the king’s palace of great extent and strongly fortified round, and in the other the sanctuary of Zeus Belos with bronze gates, and this exists still up to my time and measures two furlongs each way, being of a square shape: and in the midst of the sanctuary is built a solid tower measuring a furlong both in length and in breadth, and on this tower another tower has been erected, and another again upon this, and so on up to the number of eight towers. An ascent to these has been built running outside round about all the towers; and when one reaches about the middle of the ascent one finds a stopping-place and seats to rest upon, on which those who ascend sit down and rest: and on the top of the last tower there is a large temple, and in the temple a large couch is laid, well covered, and by it is placed a golden table: and there is no image there set up nor does any human being spend the night there except only one woman of the natives of the place, whomsoever the god shall choose from all the woman, as say the Chaldeans who are the priests of this god.”

and also:

Now those who served were as follows: — The Persians with this equipment: — about their heads they had soft felt caps called tiaras, and about their body tunics of various colours with sleeves, presenting the appearance of iron scales like those of a fish, and about the legs trousers; and instead of the ordinary shields they had shields of wicker-work, under which hung quivers; and they had short spears and large bows and arrows of reed, and moreover daggers hanging by the right thigh from the girdle: and they acknowledged as their commander Otanes the father of Amestris the wife of Xerxes. Now these were called by the Hellenes in ancient time Kephenes; by themselves however and by their neighbours they were called Artaians: but when Perseus, the son of Danae and Zeus, came to Kepheus the son of Belos and took to wife his daughter Andromeda, there was born to them a son to whom he gave the name Perses, and this son he left behind there, for it chanced that Kepheus had no male offspring: after him therefore this race was named.

From AeschylusSuppliant maidens we read:

CHORUS: Your account agrees with mine in all respects.
KING: So she came to Canobus and to Memphis.
CHORUS: And Zeus begot a son by the touching of his hand.
KING: Who is it then that claims to be the cow’s Zeus-begotten calf?
CHORUS: Epaphus, and truly named from “laying on of hands.”
KING: [And who was begotten of Epaphus? ]
CHORUS: Libya, who reaps the fruit of the largest portion of the earth.
KING: [What offspring, then, did Libya have? ] CHORUS: [Agenor was her first child born.]
KING: And who was his offspring?
CHORUS: Belus, who had two sons and was father of my father here.

From ApollodorusLibrary we read:

Reigning over the Egyptians Epaphus married Memphis, daughter of Nile, founded and named the city of Memphis after her, and begat a daughter Libya, after whom the region of Libya was called. Libya had by Poseidon twin sons, Agenor and Belus. Agenor departed to Phoenicia and reigned there, and there he became the ancestor of the great stock; hence we shall defer our account of him. But Belus remained in Egypt, reigned over the country, and married Anchinoe, daughter of Nile, by whom he had twin sons, Egyptus and Danaus, but according to Euripides, he had also Cepheus and Phineus. Danaus was settled by Belus in Libya, and Egyptus in Arabia; but Egyptus subjugated the country of the Melampods and named it Egypt.

and also:

Having now run over the family of Inachus and described them from Belus down to the Heraclids, we have next to speak of the house of Agenor. For as I have said, Libya had by Poseidon two sons, Belus and Agenor. Now Belus reigned over the Egyptians and begat the aforesaid sons; but Agenor went to Phoenicia, married Telephassa, and begat a daughter Europa and three sons, Cadmus, Phoenix, and Cilix. But some say that Europa was a daughter not of Agenor but of Phoenix.

From all the above it becomes obvious that, despite variations in the narration, Belus/Belos was closely linked to prominent figures of the Greek Mythology, in fact he was one of those. He is also strongly involved in Mythological Greek Genealogies. In no way he is identified as ‘Zeus’ by the rest of the ancient writers. Hence, either Belos/Belus was a deified ancestor -as countless others- or the statue was indeed of Zeus, something that would open another big discussion]

detail-of-relief-depicting-triumph-of-king-ashurbanipal-from-ancient-nineveh-iraq

After this Semiramis picked out the lowest spot in Babylonia and built a square reservoir, which was three hundred stades long on each side; it was constructed of baked brick and bitumen, and had a depth of thirty-five feet.

Then, diverting the river into it, she built an underground passage-way from one palace to the other; and making it of burned brick, she coated the vaulted chambers on both sides with hot bitumen until she had made the thickness of this coating four cubits. The side walls of the passage-way were twenty bricks thick and twelve feet high, exclusive of the barrel-vault, and the width of the passage-way was fifteen feet.

And after this construction had been finished in only seven days she let the river back again into its old channel, and so, since the stream flowed above the passage-way, Semiramis was able to go across from one palace to the other without passing over the river. At each end of the passage-way she also set bronze gates which stood until the time of the Persian rule.

[NovoScriptorium: This is a direct reference to Geotechnical Works, Water Management attempts and Engineering]

After this she built in the centre of the city a temple of Zeus whom, as we have said, the Babylonians call Belus. Now since with regard to this temple the historians are at variance, and since time has caused the structure to fall into ruins, it is impossible to give the exact facts concerning it. But all agree that it was exceedingly high, and that in it the Chaldaeans made their observations of the stars, whose risings and settings could be accurately observed by reason of the height of the structure.

Now the entire building was ingeniously constructed at great expense of bitumen and brick, and at the top of the ascent Semiramis set up three statues of hammered gold, of Zeus, Hera, and Rhea. Of these statues that of Zeus represented him erect and striding forward, and, being forty feet high, weighed a thousand Babylonian talents; that of Rhea showed her seated on a golden throne and was of the same weight as that of Zeus; and at her knees stood two lions, while near by were huge serpents of silver, each one weighing thirty talents.

The statue of Hera was also standing, weighing eight hundred talents, and in her right hand she held a snake by the head and in her left a sceptre studded with precious stones.

A table for all three statues, made of hammered gold, stood before them, forty feet long, fifteen wide, and weighing five hundred talents. Upon it rested two drinking-cups, weighing thirty talents.

And there were censers as well, also two in number but weighing each three hundred talents, and also three gold mixing bowls, of which the one belonging to Zeus weighed twelve hundred Babylonian talents and the other two six hundred each.

[NovoScriptorium: Semiramis built in the centre of the city a temple of Zeus. Before anything, this is a clear indication that Piety & religious Faith were placed to the centre of this ancient people’s life. The Divine is the centre of Living. The description is convincing enough with regards to how much wealth was gathered in this marvellous city. Last but not least, we read that inside the temple there were three statues of Zeus, Hera, and Rhea. Diodorus insists that Zeus = Belus/Belos, but provides us no information about Hera and Rhea. In case the names were exactly these, without a ‘translation’, then another big discussion could begin]

nineveh-relief-prisoners

But all these were later carried off as spoil by the kings of the Persians, while as for the palaces and the other buildings, time has either entirely effaced them or left them in ruins; and in fact of Babylon itself but a small part is inhabited at this time, and most of the area within its walls is given over to agriculture.

[NovoScriptorium: We learn that all those magnificent cities and structures were either entirely effaced or in ruins already in ancient times]

Semiramis founded other cities also along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, in which she established trading-places for the merchants who brought goods from Media, Paraetacenê, and all the neighbouring region. For the Euphrates and Tigris, the most notable, one may say, of all the rivers of Asia after the Nile and Ganges, have their sources in the mountains of Armenia and are two thousand five hundred stades apart at their origin, and after flowing through Media and Paraetacenê they enter Mesopotamia, which they enclose between them, thus giving this name to the country. After this they pass through Babylonia and empty into the Red Sea.

Moreover, since they are great streams and traverse a spacious territory they offer many advantages to men who follow a merchant trade; and it is due to this fact that the regions along their banks are filled with prosperous trading-places which contribute greatly to the fame of Babylonia.

[NovoScriptorium: It had been realized already from the deepest Antiquity how important is Trade and that the leaders of each state should take measures to help commercial life evolve. Additionally, the importance of the existence of big rivers is underlined here]

Semiramis quarried out a stone from the mountains of Armenia which was one hundred and thirty feet long and twenty-five feet wide and thick; and this she hauled by means of many multitudes of yokes of mules and oxen to the river and there loaded it on a raft, on which she brought it down the stream to Babylonia; she then set it up beside the most famous street, an astonishing sight to all who passed by. And this stone is called by some an obelisk from its shape, and they number it among the seven wonders of the world.

[NovoScriptorium: This is a direct reference to a Megalithic monument, an obelisk-monolith]

Although the sights to be seen in Babylonia are many and singular, not the least wonderful is the enormous amount of bitumen which the country produces; so great is the supply of this that it not only suffices for their buildings, which are numerous and large, but the common people also, gathering at the place, draw it out without any restriction, and drying it burn it in place of wood. And countless as is the multitude of men who draw it out, the amount remains undiminished, as if derived from some immense source.

[NovoScriptorium: The territory was well known for its bitumen already from very ancient times. And bitumen is directly related to petroleum as we all know today]

After Semiramis had made an end of her building operations she set forth in the direction of Media with a great force. And when she had arrived at the mountain known as Bagistanus, she encamped near it and laid out a park, which had a circumference of twelve stades and, being situated in the plain, contained a great spring by means of which her plantings could be irrigated.

The Bagistanus mountain is sacred to Zeus and on the side facing the park has sheer cliffs which rise to a height of seventeen stades. The lowest part of these she smoothed off and engraved thereon a likeness of herself with a hundred spearmen at her side. And she also put this inscription on the cliff in Syrian letters: “Semiramis, with the pack-saddles of the beasts of burden in her army, built up a mound from the plain and thereby climbed this precipice, even to this very ridge.”

[NovoScriptorium: We learn here of monuments engraved on natural cliffs that could be possibly categorized as ‘Megalithic’. We also learn of the existence of written language. The letters of this language are named ‘Syrian’. This could either mean that Syrian = Assyrian, or that the Assyrian language borrowed the letters for its writing form from the Syrian language]

Upon arriving at Ecbatana, a city which lies in the plain, she built in it an expensive palace and in every other way gave rather exceptional attention to the region. For since the city had no water supply and there was no spring in its vicinity, she made the whole of it well watered by bringing to it with much hardship and expense an abundance of the purest water.

For at a distance from Ecbatana of about twelve stades is a mountain, which is called Orontes and is unusual for its ruggedness and enormous height, since the ascent, straight to its summit, is twenty-five stades. And since a great lake, which emptied into a river, lay on the other side, she made a cutting through the base of this mountain.

The tunnel was fifteen feet wide and forty feet high; and through it she brought in the river which flowed from the lake, and filled the city with water.

After this she visited Persis and every other country over which she ruled throughout Asia. Everywhere she cut through the mountains and the precipitous cliffs and constructed expensive roads, while on the plains she made mounds, sometimes constructing them as tombs for those of her generals who died, and sometimes founding cities on their tops.

And it was also her custom, whenever she made camp, to build little mounds, upon which setting her tent she could look down upon all the encampment. As a consequence many of the works she built throughout Asia remain to this day and are called Works of Semiramis.

[NovoScriptorium: Here we learn of massive constructions, tunnels, extensive water management works, even lake drainage. All these presuppose vast knowledge and great capability in Construction and Engineering, along with the required Scientific background]

After this she visited all Egypt, and after subduing most of Libya she went also to the oracle of Ammon to inquire of the god regarding her own end.

[NovoScriptorium: Ammon was an Egyptian deity identified with Zeus. Diodorus has informed us that Belos/Belus was also identified with Zeus. Therefore, it is no surprise that an Assyrian went to an non-Assyrian religious institution to ask for advice. Because the deity worshipped was the same, but with an other name]

The rest of the kings also followed his (Note: Ninyas, son of Ninus and Semiramis) example, son succeeding father upon the throne, and reigned for thirty generations down to Sardanapallus; for it was under this ruler that the Empire of the Assyrians fell to the Medes, after it had lasted more than thirteen hundred years, as Ctesias of Cnidus says in his Second Book.

[NovoScriptorium: If we believe this reference, the Assyrian Empire had been one of the most long standing States of all Time]

(Source: “The Library of History”, Book II, by Diodorus Siculus, Loeb Classical Library)

Semiramis-Regina.png

Research-Selection-Comments for NovoScriptorium: Isidoros Aggelos

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