ON THE MAMMALIA OF THE ASSYRIAN SCULPTURES
By Rev. William Houghton, M.A., F.L.S.
Read 11th March, 1876.
[Extracted from TSBA vol. 5 (1877), pp. 33-64, 319-83.]
Part I.—Domestic Mammalia.
The subject which I have undertaken to treat of is one of considerable interest,
though by no means devoid of difficulties in that part of it which relates to
the wild animals, for names of animals do not always give us a clear intimation
as to the animals themselves. There are three ways in which animals may be
represented: 1st, by pictorial or sculptural representation; 2nd, by
description; and 3rd, by picture and description combined. In the first case,
the pictorial or sculptural representation may be either (1) so true to nature
as to point out at once the animal intended, though the picture alone would tell
us nothing as to the name by which such and such an animal was known to the
engraver or painter; or (2) the figure may be so badly executed, either from
want of skill in the sculptor, or from the fact that he was drawing from
indistinct recollection of some animal he had seen, or from a description given
to him by some other person, as to leave considerable doubt what creature is
intended, unless the animal is represented with some very striking peculiarity
which we know it to possess.
2. Passing from representation by figures of the animals themselves, we come to that afforded by description, and here again the description may be so graphic as to point out at once the animal, or it may be so meagre as to throw little light on the matter, or the mere name alone may exist and we may be completely in the dark.
3. In the third instance, that, namely, of pictorial representation and
description combined, we have the undoubted clue both as to the animal and its
name. An animal may be described by many words, and in cases of nearly allied
species where resemblances are close, minute description is generally necessary
for the purpose of identification, or by few words, or, sometimes, even by one,
when the name expresses some peculiar habit or character of the animal. How, for
instance, could the little active animal of our woods and plantations, that
springs from tree to tree, be better described than by its Greek name [Greek]
"shadow-tail"? or what more descriptive name than '"flitter mouse" could be
found for one of the commonest species of our British bats? Similarly rhinoceros
and porcupine tell their own story. Let me now apply these remarks to the
animals of the Assyrian monuments. There are numerous instances of
representation by figures on marble slabs, terra cotta tablets, bronze dishes,
&c.: sheep, goats, wild-goats, ibexes, oxen, both domesticated and wild; camels,
both the one-humped Arabian and the double-humped Bactrian species; stags, both
the Platycerine and non-Platycerine type, gazelles, hares, dogs, lions, horses,
and wild asses, monkeys, &c. In nearly all these instances the pictorial
representations are so good—nay, in several, so artistic—as to speak for
themselves, and declare what they are; at the same time occasionally we meet
with badly executed forms of animal life, bearing no general resemblance to any
known animal, such, for instance, as the bull-like beast of the Black Obelisk,
which, however, by the occurrence of the characteristic horn, though placed far
too high up on the head, can proclaim itself to be no other animal than the
Of representation of animals by description—if by that term we mean anything pretending to stand on a zoological basis—the monuments, so far as I believe is known at present, afford us no instance. There may have been Assyrian Aristotles who wrote on natural history subjects. May future excavations lead to the discovery of such interesting relics! It is true there are bilingual tablets containing the names of animals, trees, stones, &c., but the [p.35] scribe who executed them had no other purpose in mind than to represent the Assyrian names side by side with their Accadian equivalents. The zoological, botanical, and mineralogical tablets were merely part and parcel of Assurbanipal's grand idea, that is, the publication of a complete comparative dictionary and grammar of the Assyrian and Accadian languages; a certain order more or less corresponding to a natural order was for convenience sake observed. But, as I said just now, a single well-chosen name may itself furnish a clue to, or at once declare the animal intended. Names given to animals from the sounds they utter, are often certain indications of the animals for which they stand, "a moo," "a meou," a "bow-wow," "cuckoo," all speak for themselves; but such a mode of naming animals by onomatopoeia would often prove fallacious; for instance, the peculiar sound which the stag gives forth at a certain period of the year sounds more like the voice of some fierce carnivore than a deer.
Names given to animals from the countries from which they came often indicate the animal, and give us, moreover, interesting information. Now this method of naming animals prevailed much amongst the Accadian inhabitants of the Babylonian plains; the "horse," for instance, was [cuneiform] imiru kur-ra, i.e., "the animal from the east," Armenia and Media; the "wolf" was [cuneiform] num-ma, i.e., (the animal from) "the high-lands," i.e., Elam; the camel was [cuneiform] u-ah-ha, i.e., "the animal from the sea." At first sight, perhaps, this description may appear erroneous, camels being creatures of the plains and deserts rather than of the sea. Nevertheless the name is perfectly correct, for the sea is the Persian Gulf, across which the Accadian inhabitants of the Mesopotamian Valley first brought the camel from his original home in Arabia. Or a name may be given to some animal from some characteristic habit, and the identification thereby rendered probable; thus one of the Assyrian names for "a wolf" was [cuneiform] a-ci-luv, i.e., "the eater"; similar is the meaning of the [p.36] Accadian word [cuneiform] "the eating beast," a term proverbially characteristic of the greedy, devouring, "ravening wolf."1
Passing now to the third division, the method of representing animals by combination of figure and description—the most certain of all methods —we find no instance of it amongst the Assyrian records. The ancient Egyptians frequently made use of this excellent method in their hieroglyphic system. What, for instance, can be more clear than the following combinations. [glyphs] ba, "a ram"; [glyphs] mu, "a cat" [glyphs] sesh, "a bird's nest''? each word being followed by its determinative affix, that affix being a correct representation of the animal whose name, phonetically spelt, precedes it.
I have already said that the animals sculptured or otherwise figured on the Assyrian monuments for the most part speak for themselves, at least up to a certain point—a "goat" is "a goat" generically considered; but if we wish to be more accurate, and to become acquainted with the particular kinds or species of goats known to the Assyrians and the Accadians, we must ascertain, if possible, what species of the family Gapreae are now known, or likely to be found, or to have once existed in Assyria and the bordering countries; what is the geographical range of the various species; and how far do they in nature resemble the figures on the monuments. Questions such as these must be asked in all cases. But we have not only to identify the various species figured, we have also to determine the names by which they were called. What aids, then, can we call in to assist us in our attempts to identify the names of the animals?
If the word be an Assyrian one. we may expect to find a similar word in Hebrew or Arabic, or some other cognate Semitic language; if we find that the unknown Assyrian name corresponds with the known name in one of the sister [p.37] languages, there is generally fair reason, amounting in some cases to absolute certainty, for inferring that identity of word implies identity of signification. Two or three instances will be sufficient to demonstrate my meaning; such names as these are of frequent occurrence on the inscriptions, dabu, calbu, gammalu, alpu, tseni (collectively), zebu; now all these correspond with the well-ascertained Hebrew names, dob, celeb, gdmdl, eleph, tson, zt'eb, being the names of "a bear," "a dog," "a camel," "an ox," "sheep," "a wolf," respectively. In these cases, even if other evidence were absent (which is not the case), there is sufficient proof to establish, beyond a shadow of doubt, the identity of the Assyrian and the Hebrew animal-names. A clue to identification is occasionally afforded us in the context, by some expression or simile, as in the following passage (W.A.I. I, pi. xxxix, line 77):—
cima ar-me a- na suk- ti sa- qu tsi - ru - us -su- un e - li
like arme upon the high cliffs, over them I ascended.
Clearly here some gregarious wild sheep or goat, or caprine antelope (chamois),
is intended by the word arme, a word which, in the absence of other evidence,
might perhaps have remained entirely unknown. What more definite animal is
intended may be considered when we come to treat of the wild animals known to
Sometimes the juxtaposition of the name of some unknown animal with ascertained names of animals found in similar places may serve to put us on the right track. Again, the derivation of the Assyrian word—though this point really refers itself to the corresponding word in the Hebrew or other cognate tongue—is always a matter for consideration. Next to the establishment of the meaning of an Assyrian animal-name with a Hebrew or other Semitic animal-name, [p.38] comes in importance the Accadian equivalent of the Assyrian word in the bilingual list. When Assurbanipal's scribe came to the zoological portion of his great dictionary, following his plan he gave in parallel columns the names of various animals. On the light hand of the tablet is the Assyrian name: directly facing that name on the left hand is the corresponding Accadian word; thus, opposite the Assyrian name zibu there stands to the left the Accadian word num-ma, the first being the Semitic-Assyrian, the second the Turanian Accadian name of the "wolf." Now the Accadian word often gives a clue where the Assyrian fails, for that language is very full and precise in its compound words; the whole idea embodied in the word is absolutely seen to exist in it; there are no indications of what philologists happily express by "phonetic decay." To give two or three illustrations, the sign [cuneiform] means "a house," and [cuneiform] "great": the compound [cuneiform] (u-gal) is "great house" or "palace"; [cuneiform] (an), amongst other kindred meanings denotes "the heaven." and [cuneiform] (mi) "black"; the compound word [cuneiform] (an-mi) stands for "an eclipse" (lit. "black heaven"); [cuneiform] (w) = "increase"; [cuneiform] (ku) = "eating," the compound word denoting "famine"; but to come more immediately to words bearing directly on the subject of my paper, [cuneiform] (lik or lig) means "a dog," and [cuneiform] (makh) is "great," hence [cuneiform], lik-makh stands for one of the strongest and fiercest of wild animals, "the lion''; the dog is [cuneiform] (lik-cu), literally the "serving" or domestic beast from cu "to serve."2
Now. if in the bilingual animal-lists we could always get such definite help as in these instances just given, difficulties of identification would be considerably reduced, and in many cases absolutely removed. But, unfortunately, the tablets are often much broken; the Accadian equivalent of the Assyrian animal-name is often altogether lost, and on the other hand, sometimes, the Accadian is preserved to us, whilst the Assyrian equivalent has been obliterated.
Before I proceed to the consideration of the various mammals mentioned or
figured on the monuments, I should desire to make a few remarks on the bilingual
list of animals printed in Rawlinson's "Inscriptions" (vol. ii, pi. vi), because
by a careful examination of that list I think we shall be able to discover to
some extent the order which the writer of the tablet had in view, and thus, by
looking at the names of the animals as far as possible from his standpoint, we
shall be able to secure some little though not invaluable help towards the
determination of these animals.
In columns A and B we find to the right the Assyrian word [cuneiform] Kir-ru (Heb. כר) "a sheep" or "lamb,'' opposite which is the ordinary Accadian word for sheep, [cuneiform]; then follows in the Assyrian column the sign [cuneiform] meaning "ditto," opposite which, in the Accadian column, is the sign [cuneiform] gar, "food"; hence I conclude that "sheep as food," alias "mutton," is intended; in the third line we have [cuneiform] "ditto," and the syllable [cuneiform] num, "high-land," probably "mountain sheep" being intended. The fourth and fifth lines by the sign [cuneiform], meaning "ditto," also refer to sheep, in the Assyrian column, but I do not see what are the meanings of the Accadian equivalents of [cuneiform] (guk-kii) and [cuneiform] (gik). In the first five fines the scribe gives various Accadian words, all referring to the Assyrian kir-ru, "sheep."3 The sixth and seventh lines by the two thick lines which enclose them appear to contain words which refer to the same animal; in the sixth line there is the word [cuneiform] (nis-dwi-nu); in the seventh, [cuneiform] du-ma-mu, both probably denoting some stealthy prowling beast of prey, as a leopard or a lynx; the Accadian equivalent opposite nis-dhi-nu is juk-tu,4 same word as in the fourth line; the Accadian equivalent to du-ma-mu I can make nothing of. In the eighth line the Assyrian word [cuneiform] na-adh-ru occurs; the corresponding Accadian column is somewhat broken, but the word [cuneiform] (se-ga) [p.40] "good," plainly appears. Now all the remaining lines on columns A and B contain words which evidently refer to "dogs": and there can be no doubt that the Assyrian word na-dha-ru in the eighth line means the "protecting" or "defending'' dog, which in the Accadian column is called "good," or "useful." Let us cast back. Beginning with "sheep" we see after a few lines, which also refer to "sleep," that the scribe's mind reverts to some stealthy beast of prey in the word nisdhinu (Heb. שטן), "to lie in wait"); immediately afterwards he thinks of the protecting dog, and here is a natural sequence of ideas: the sheep suggests the sheep's enemy, some prowling species of Felidae, and this, again, suggests the shepherd's friend, the sheep's protector, the dog. And now the scribe keeps to this latter animal and enumerates various kinds of dogs: water dogs, greyhounds, hounds that hunt in packs, old and decrepit dogs, savage dogs, dogs of different colours, bitches with whelps, &c.
A similar order may be seen in columns C and D; here in the top line to the right the scribe starts with the Assyrian word zi-bu ([cuneiform]) "wolf," opposite which is the Accadian synonym [cuneiform] (nu-um-ma) the animal from the "high-lands." Next in the Assyrian column is the sign [cuneiform] "ditto," "wolf" again; opposite to this is the Accadian [cuneiform] lik-bi-cu "the devouring beast." In the third line we have [cuneiform] (a-ci-luv) as the Assyrian, and lik-bu-cu again as the corresponding Accadian word, both meaning "the devourer." In the fourth line occurs the Assyrian bi-ib-ba ([cuneiform]) with the Accadian lu-bat ([cuneiform]), which, I think, probably means "a sheep." Next in the fifth line comes a-tu-du, "'he-goat"; then follows names of the goat, sheep (ram), deer in a general sense, perhaps fallow deer, red deer, antelope, gazelle. A kind of zoological method may certainly be seen here, for all the animals from the fourth line to the seventeenth are ruminants, but in the eighteenth line the "hare" is mentioned in the Assyrian column by the word [cuneiform] (wirna-bu), in [p.41] the Accadian by the expression [cuneiform] (ca-zin-na), which means "face of the desert." The zoological order from ruminants to the rodents has certainly been broken; but the transition from the light swift little antelope of the desert (gazelle) to the swift "hare" was quite natural, and no doubt the scribe's mind thus reverted to the latter animal; this supposition has especial force if we consider that the species of hare intended is the Lepus Sinaiticus, an animal of the plains and deserts rather than the woodlands. After the hare come, in line nineteen, bears, and then follow other beasts of prey, indicated by the sign [cuneiform] (sakh) the D.P. of some carnivorous animal in the Accadian column. I cannot at all agree with Dr. F. Delitzsch that the khussu russa of the thirty-first and thirty-second lines (Assyrian column) have anything whatever to do with gazelles either young or old, as he conjectures, especially as the Accadian D.P. [cuneiform] (sakh) occurs opposite the Assyrian words, and, indeed, is seen continuously up to the forty-first line, where the tablet is broken.
Thus what happened in columns A and B has been repeated, though in inverse order, in columns C and D; in A and B the scribe began with "sheep,'' and then went on to the dog, the sheep's protector; in columns C and B he began with "the wolf," the sheep's enemy, and then went on to give the names of sheep, goats, gazelles, and such like ruminants. Then, after starting with the "bear," he continues to speak of carnivorous animals, though it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine what particular animals are denoted by several of the names that follow.
From the above considerations we can see that the scribe observed, in the arrangement of his subject, some degree of zoological order, a fact which we should do well to bear in mind.
In treating of this first part of my subject, the Mammalia of the Assyrian Monuments, it will be convenient to divide it into two sections, viz., (1st) the domestic, (2nd) the wild animals.
I.—The Domestic Mammals.
Those known to or employed by the Assyrians were oxen, sheep, goats, camels (two
species), asses, horses, mules, and dogs.
Cattle.—The cattle represented in the bas-relief on the monuments, or otherwise depicted, show a fine strong breed, generally of one type; they have a hump more or less developed on the shoulder, calling to mind to some extent the bumped Zebu (Bos Indicus) of India. There appear to have been both a long-horned and a short-horned variety, the former being that generally represented; the horns of the former are round and thick at the base, curving forwards, and the whole animal reminds one forcibly of the wild bull or wild ox of Western Asia, not imfrequently represented in hunting scenes on slabs of the time of Assur-natsir-pal. This wild species, the Assyrian rona, is identical with the rem of the Hebrew Bible, mistranslated "unicorn" by the translators of the authorised version, and "buffalo," by most of our modern Assyrian scholars. It is an undoubted bos and no buffalo; but this question must be fully considered when I come to treat of the wild animals. The horns of the short-horned breed are somewhat similar in form to those of the long-horned breed, but much shorter. Both breeds are, doubtless, varieties of the common ox (Bos Taurus), the parent of the numerous races of cattle, whether of home or foreign produce. Cattle formed one of the principal animal-spoils captured by the Assyrians in their wars with other nations, and, judging from the enormous quantities taken, beef must have entered into the Assyrian lists of diet more frequently than is usual in Eastern nations, though perhaps the soldiers after successful campaigns would generally be tie-class of persons who consumed most of the captured food. Representations of killing oxen and sheep, and of the various joints, such as the leg, the loin, and the shoulder, similar to those of modern England, occur on the monuments. Cattle were employed as beasts of draught. Captive women in a cart drawn by oxen is a subject not unfrequently depicted on the monuments. The Hebrews used their cattle [p.43] for ploughing and threshing; so did the old Egyptians. Were they ever so employed by the Assyrians? The Assyrian word for an ox is al-pu [cuneiform] generally represented ideographically by the sign [cuneiform]; the Accadian equivalents are Gut and Mar, which Mr. Sayce thinks must be connected with Guti or Gutium (the country between the Euphrates and Syria), and Akharu, "the West"—the Semitic name of Phoenicia. Considering the custom amongst the Accadians of naming animals from the countries from which they were received, this suggestion seems to be highly probable.
The sheep of the monuments have long curved horns with a fat tail, often turned up at the tip. The domestic varieties of Ovis aries (Lin.) are very numerous; they differ in general form, in the number of their horns, in texture of wool, and even in their habits, for the sheep of Tartary are said to eat bones like a dog. The variety generally figured on the monuments is the same which is found in Palestine and the plains of Belkah; it is the Ovis aries appendiculata, with white body, head and neck black or dark brown, wool thick; tail of moderate length, "with a thin excrescence at the end like a pig's tail," about an inch in length. It is a variety of the broad-tailed sheep (Ovis laticaudatus), the fat tail of which amongst the ancient Hebrews was part "of the sacrifice of the peace-offering made by fire unto Jehovah"; "the fat thereof, and the whole fat tail (אליה), it shall be taken off hard by the back bone" (Lev. iii, 9). Other varieties probably were known to the Assyrians, as the one just mentioned, the Persian sheep and the Bucharian sheep of the Caucasus and Persia. The Assyrian name of sheep is [cuneiform] (tseni), used collectively, being the equivalent of the Hebrew צאן; the Accadian name is [cuneiform], though [cuneiform] lu-lim appears also to designate "a sheep," whence the Assyrians borrowed the word lu-li-mi, this expressing a sheep individually, whereas lit and tseni stand usually for sheep in a collective sense. The ram in Assyrian is [cuneiform] (auv), answering to the Hebrew איל, which has with much reason [p.44] been referred to the root [cuneiform] "to twist," in relation to its twisted horns; in Accadian the ram is expressed by [cuneiform] lu-nit, i.e., "sheep" + "male"; in the list of animals already mentioned, [cuneiform] si-mul, i.e., "horn" "star," which I take to be the zodiacal Aries, stands as the equivalent of the Assyrian ai-luv. As amongst the Hebrews ''rams' skins dyed red" (see Exod. xxv, 5) were in high estimation, so with the Assyrians, whether they prepared them or not. Amongst the spoil which Tiglath-Pileser II received from Zabibie. queen of Arabia, we read of (W.A.I. Ill, 9, 56):—
tseni zicari (aili) pal - cu - ti supati - su- nu ar - ga -man- nu.
Ram's skins their wool of purple.
The Accadian [cuneiform] lu-bat, which in the list of animals is the equivalent of the Assyrian [cuneiform] (bi-ib-bu), I think must denote "a sheep"; though Mr. Sayce and M. Lenormant consider that "the lynx" is intended. The bi-ib-bu of the Assyrian column certainly looks as if it should be referred to the Hebrew בבא or בבה. "the pupil of the eye"; and in the Astronomical Tablets the planets were called by the Accadians the seven lubat, while Jupiter is especially called lubat and bibbu (see Sayce, Astron. and Astrol., Bib. Arch. Trans. III. 1(57). The syllable lu in the Accadian dame must be taken into account, and as Dr. F. Delitzsch has remarked, points rather to "a sheep." Again, the expression "star of the flocks,"
mul D.P. lu zum sib zi an - na
shepherd of the heavenly flock
seems to favour this interpretation. The expression "stars like sheep" also
occurs in the Creation Tablets. The eye [p.45] of the sheep, like the eye of most animals in health, is bright, though perhaps
this animal would hardly he especially marked out as possessing great brilliancy
in this respect; and we still have to explain the Accadian second syllable bat.
I may mention that lubat in the bilingual list is
identified with lulimu, and that word with sar "king," or "leader," from the
idea of the ram or he-goat taking the lead of the flock. So amongst the Hebrews.
(Cf. Jer. v, 8, Zech. x, 3, Isa. xiv, 9.)
Goats.—The domesticated goat of the monuments has high horns curving backwards, or nearly erect; in the former they divaricate, in the latter they are nearly parallel. Of the goat there are perhaps as many varieties as the sheep. All the numerous varieties of the domestic goat are probably descended from the paseng, or Copra phagrus, a species common all through Asia Minor, Persia, extending even into Scinde and must have been well known to the Assyrians. The ordinary Assyrian word for a goat was, until lately, supposed to be [cuneiform] ca-ra-nu (generally represented by the ideogram [cuneiform], i.e., "a horned animal," of which gis-din was supposed to be the Accadian equivalent; but on this point Mr. Sayce writes to me, "I have been convinced that this must be given up, and caranu and carunnu regarded only as 'vine' and 'wine.'" A tablet has been found giving a list of carani; they are called [cuneiform] ges-mes, "trees" and the "wine of Helbon" figures among them. Delitzsch points out that the Accadian ges-din = "tree of life," i.e., "vine." For the wine of Helbon see Ezek. xxvii. 18. This idea of caranu being "a vine" or "wine" suits the epigraph accompanying the bas-relief representing Assurbanipal pouring a libation over some dead lions he had killed in the chase "an offering over them I presented":
carana ak - ka e - li su- un
wine I offered over them;
the very thing the king is represented doing. The he-goat was called [cuneiform]
a-tu-du, which answers to the [p.46] Hebrew
עתוד. In the bilingual list of animals (Accadian column) we
certain expression [cuneiform] which, it is explained, is to be pronounced
[cuneiform] mu-na. In another place (W.A.I. II. 4, 662) a-tu-du is explained in
Accadian by the word [cuneiform] si-ik-ka, which means "horn raising," and well
expresses the high-horned animal represented on the monuments. I think there is
little doubt also that the Assyrian word [cuneiform] sap-pa-ru, which answers to
the Hebrew or Chaldean צפיר tsaper, "a he-goat " (see Daniel viii, 58), is
another name for this animal, not only because it agrees with the Chaldee, but
also because it occurs just under the atudu—the scribe still keeping to words
denoting sheep and goats—and because it is explained by the same Accadian word
which was used for atudu with the addition merely of the syllable [cuneiform]
bur, which perhaps here denotes "strength"; the sapparu may thus denote either
a large and strong specimen of the domestic he-goat, or the male Paseng or wild
Capra agagrus, which perhaps mixed and crossed at times with the domestic
The flesh of the goat, especially of young animals, was no doubt eaten, and its milk used as food. Goat skins were employed for various purposes; after removing the head and legs, the skin was prepared—perhaps steeped in tannin—and filled with air. It served as a swimming buoy or bladder; or a number together would serve to float rafts, &c. On the monuments may be seen representations of Assyrian fishermen sitting in the water cross-legged, each on one of these inflated skins, with fishing line and baited hook, and fish around them; on the bas-reliefs representing the campaigns of Assur-natsir-pal (circ. B.C. 884), figures of fugitives swimming to a fortress are seen, each one using an inflated goat-skin as a buoy.
Camels.—Both the Arabian and two-humped Bactrian camels are represented on the monuments. The former species (Camelus Arabicus) is fairly enough depicted. It was [p.47] used chiefly by the Arabians, though other nations employed it. Frequent mention of camels as part of spoil occurs in the Assyrian records. In Assurbanipal's expedition against Vaiteh king of the Aribi (Arabia), an immense number of camels with other spoil was captured.
alpi tseni imiri D.P. gam- mali a- me- In - tu is - lu - lu -u- ni ina la me- ni
Oxen, sheep, asses, camels, men, they had taken as spoil without number.
Again, "camels like sheep I distributed and caused to over flow to the men of
Assyria." Some idea of the great numbers captured in this Arabian war may be
formed from the fact that after the war camels were sold in Nineveh for half a
shekel of silver a head (see Smith's Assurbanipal, p. 274).
The Bactrian camel is also fairly enough represented, though it occurs only on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser II (circ. B.C. 850). The whole inscription on this monument, now in the British Museum, has recently been translated by Mr. Sayce. It is a valuable addition to the many already valuable translations contained in that excellent publication, Records of the Past (vol. v, p. 61). Accompanying the sculptures are epigraphs recording the nature of the articles received by the Assyrian monarch as tribute from conquered nations. Bactrian camels were part of the tribute of "Su'a, of the country of the Guzanians." The presence of more than one hump on a camel no doubt excited the curiosity of the Assyrians, and the scribe generally takes care to record the fact of the animal possessing two humps; thus of the tribute of Su'a we read, "camels, of which two are their backs, I received." The same animals also formed part of the tribute of the Eastern Muzri in Armenia, Shalmaneser received, with other things, as the tribute of A'su king of Gozan, "two camels which have two humps," and from [p.48] A3ahu king of Gilzan or Guzan. seven double-humped camels. In these two places, instead of the ordinary word for camel, [cuneiform] a-ab-ba in Accadian, or [cuneiform] gam-mal in Assyrian, we have the word var-ra-tu or par-rd-tu, thus:—
7 par- ra - te sa 2 gu - un - gu - li - pi si - na am - khar
Seven beasts with their two humps I received.
The female camel, when distinguished from the male, was called anakatu [cuneiform] as the following passage:—
D.P. a-ab-ba - ti (D.P. of female) a - na - ka - a - te a - di D.P. ba - ac ca - ri si - na
Camels camels together with their young ones.
There can be no doubt that this Assyrian word, like the ordinary one for camel (gam-ma-hi)
is, with the one-humped animal itself, of Arabian origin, nakat being the
modern Arabic name of the female. A similar word, inka occurs in the Talmud.
The Ass.—The domestic ass, though frequently mentioned in the Assyrian records, is nowhere represented on the monuments, which fact is a matter of regret to the zoologist who would desire to see what kind of an animal the domestic ass was in its own native land in the time, say of Assur-natsir-pal, more than 2,500 years ago. This useful animal must have been known to the Assyrians from the earliest times; and no [p.49] doubt in the genial warmth of its native land the Assyrian ass must have been a far superior animal to those we are in the habit of seeing in this country. Indeed, we know that in our day the ass in many parts of the East is, as a matter of fact, a far superior animal. Of the white ass of Baghdad, Mr. Layard—a name never to be mentioned without feelings of pride and gratitude by every student of Assyrian history—Museo Britannico teste!—of this white ass of Baghdad Mr. Layard thus writes:—"The white ass of Baghdad is much esteemed in the East. Some are of considerable size, and when fancifully dyed with henna, their tails and ears bright red, and their bodies spotted, like an heraldic talbot, with the same colour, they bear the chief priests and the men of the law, as they appear to have done from the earliest times" (Judg. v, 10).5 The domestic ass of Assyria is probably descended from the wild ass of the Mesopotamian plains, the parent of the various races wheresoever found. The wild ass of the monuments—of which I hope to speak more fully when I treat, on another occasion, of the wild animals generally—more closely resembles the horse type than the domestic animal of modern days, or the wild ass of Western Asia, of Syria, or Africa. The absence of any figure of the domestic ass on the monuments prevents us from ascertaining how far this equine appearance is due to fact or to want of skill in the sculptor. The ass was known to and used as a beast of burden by the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia, doubtless before the horse; for the usual determinative prefix to denote a beast of burden such as the horse, mule, camel, is itself, without any adjunct, the representative of the ass, thus we have seen that the camel, for instance, is thus represented—
[cuneiform] and the horse [cuneiform]
D.P., a - ah - ba D.P.. kur - ra
the first character informs us that some "beast of burden" is before us. In the
first instance, it is the animal from "the sea," i.e., as we have seen, "the
camel"; in the latter it is [p.50] the animal from "the east," namely, "the horse"; but the same sign or
determinative prefix, itself, without any explanation, is the word for "ass,"
which, in the Assyrian word, would be read 'imiru, the equivalent of the Hebrew
חמור (chamor). I now proceed to say a few words on
The Horse.—These animals are represented more frequently than any other on the Assyrian monuments; they are depicted with much spirit and truth to nature. As the Assyrian monarchs were frequently at war with other nations, or, when not engaged in war, were amusing themselves with field sports, such as lion-hunting, the chase of the wild bull, wild ass, and other animals, the horse was an animal constantly in request, while the frequency of the horse on the monuments, and the care bestowed on its appearance, as manifested by the mane, tail, and other decorations, show what a pride and interest they took in their horses. The figures on the monuments present us with an animal of noble form; the head is small, so are the ears, the eye often fiery—so far as can be expressed in cold marble—and full of life; forehand good, as would be expected in entire animals; muscles largely developed, pasterns of moderate length. The whole animal was more fitted for war-purposes than for those requiring speed; in the chase of the wild ass—one of the swiftest quadrupeds in existence—the Assyrian horse must, one would suppose, have been left far behind. Horses were used in war as chariot-horses, either yoked four abreast or two, or as cavalry, which must have been a powerful and effective branch of the Assyrian army hi countries tolerably free from hills and woods. Horses are not represented drawing carts or carrying baggage of any kind, and it may, I think, be affirmed that they were not used for these purposes, for which mules and asses were employed. The horses of the Assyrian army were a terror to the Jews. Nahum has in a few words graphically described the tumult of the Assyrian battle-field. "The noise of a whip and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses and of the jumping chariots. The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear, and there is a multitude of slain and a great number of carcases; and [p.51] there is no end of their corpses; upon their corpses they stumble" (iii, 2-3).
Horses trained to the yoke [cuneiform] susi niri, are often expressly mentioned. There is a peculiar word in the inscription of Esarhaddon (W.A.I. I, pl. 46, line 53, col. iv) which seems to stand for some kind of horse,
D.P. mur - ni - va - ci
See also line 26, same column, and col. vi, 46. Mr. Norris reads the word
kharnizki. The reading above is that of Mr. Sayce, who does not know to what the
word is to be traced.
We have already seen that the Accadian name of the horse, 'imiru kur-ra, "animal from the east," gives us the interesting information that these ancient inhabitants of the Mesopotamian plains obtained their horses from some country or countries eastward to them. Armenia and Media appear to be the original home of the horse, so far as we are able to trace back its history. The Jewish prophet Ezekiel, who wrote of events which happened in his own time, mentions the importation of horses from Armenia to Tyre:—"They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules" (Ezek. xxvii, 14). Classical writers bear similar testimony to the excellent qualities as well as to the great numbers of the horses of Armenia and Media. At this day the pastures on the plains and mountains in Armenia sustain fine breeds of horses.
The Assyrian name of the horse was su-su, the Hebrew סוס (sus), a name which, by some writers, has been referred to Susa, the Persian capital; similarly the Hebrew parash is thought to be connected with מרש, or Fars, the ancient name of Persia. Egypt was celebrated for its horses; the [p.52] Hebrews in the time of Solomon and of the Jewish kings imported horses from Egypt into their land; but the horse was not known to the Egyptians in the earliest times; to them, as to the Arcadians, most probably it was an animal from the east. Armenia and Media furnishing the supply. The modern horse of the Euphrates Valley is a finely bred Arab.6
The Mule.—Of this—in many countries very useful animal—I need say but little. The mule of the Assyrian monuments represents an animal of excellent breed, and far superior to the animals we see in this country. This was to be expected, because not only was the climate more congenial to one of its parents, the ass, but because mules were in more request, and more attention would be paid to their breeding. This animal was used for riding, drawing carts, carrying nets on its back for deer hunting, &c.; and no doubt for the conveyance of baggage in war. They are often mentioned amongst the spoil of conquered nations, and must have been bred in large numbers. The mule is represented in the inscriptions by the Accadian expression—[cuneiform].
Dogs.—We have next to consider the dogs as known to, or used by, the ancient Assyrians. Though the monuments do not introduce us to more than two varieties of the dog, (1), the large and powerful mastiff-like animal used in the chase of the lion, wild bull, wild ass, &c, and (2), the greyhound, used in coursing the hare, other breeds were doubtless known to the inhabitants of Assyria. In the bilingual list to which I have so often referred, the word [cuneiform] na-adh-ru, "the protecting" dog, occurs immediately after nisdhinu and dumamu. These two latter names I [p.53] take to mean some stealthy beast of prey, and an enemy to the flocks. In the Accadian column we have as the equivalents of the Assyrian nadhru the words [cuneiform] (se-ga) "good," and [cuneiform] (lik-ka-gab-a), which probably means "the mouth-opening dog"; then follows the Assyrian [cuneiform] ca-bi-luv from ככב "tie" or "chain up," represented by the same Accadian lik-ka-gab-a. I think that nadhru and cab-bi-luv both stand for some strong dog which was used both as a "watch-dog" to guard the house, and as a shepherd's dog to guard the flocks. The idea embodied in the Assyrian and Accadian words cab-bi-luv and lik-ka-gab-a, "the chained-up mouth-opening dog," answers well to a house-dog; similarly the notion conveyed by the Assyrian and Accadian words nadhru and se-ga, "the good protecting dog," is quite descriptive of the same kind of dog when used as a sheep-dog. The ordinary Assyrian word for "a dog" is [cuneiform] (cal-bu), Hebrew כלב; then in the list follow the words [cuneiform] (mi-ra-nu), [cuneiform] tur Accad., "a young male dog"; [cuneiform] ca-lab e-lam-ti, "dog of Elam"; [cuneiform] ca-lab pa-ra-si, "the swift dog," or "greyhound," from [cuneiform], "to spread out the feet"; [cuneiform] calab me, "water-dog"; [cuneiform] ur-tsi, "of the earth," perhaps some small burrow-entering dog; [cuneiform] calab samas, "dog of the sun," in Accadian mul-lik-an-ud (see W.A.I. II, 49, 63a), "dog-star"; then in lines 22 to 24 in the Accadian column dogs of different colours are mentioned, as [cuneiform] dir, "grey,'' [cuneiform] nu, "red," [cuneiform] ara, "yellow," for which no Assyrian equivalents occur in the list;7 then follows [cuneiform] su-mn, represented by [cuneiform] bat in the Accadian column; after this we have [cuneiform] cal-bu se-gu, which [p.54] M. Lenormant translates "decrepit" ([cuneiform] bat in the Accadian), and Dr. Delitszch "mad" ("toller hund"); perhaps an ownerless dog, or "one wandering about without a master" (from שגה, "to stray," "to err," "wander"), as Delitzsch also conjectures, is intended. In the 27th line we read [cuneiform] lim-nu in the Assyrian, and [cuneiform] kiul in the Accadian column, each denoting a "bad " or "savage" dog. Hunting dogs, or dogs that hunt in packs, follow next. [cuneiform] tsa-i-du (Heb. ציד "prey taken in hunting"), represented by the Accadian [cuneiform], "the dog that hunts in a pack"; next follows [cuneiform] ca-lab il-la-ti, "dog of power,"8 from אלל = אול and אלה "to be thick," "strong," or "powerful," perhaps the large kind of mastiff used in lion-hunting, &c. The Accadian column is here broken. The scribe now in direct order gives the names of [cuneiform] cal-hu-tuv, the feminine of calbu, denoting any female dog; [cuneiform] ne-es-tuv "the wife-dog" [cuneiform] a-lid-tuv "the bringing-forth dog" (ילד); [cuneiform] mvrna-sik-tuv, the female dog "kissing" or licking (its young ones) (נשק) [cuneiform] na dhir-tuv, the dog "protecting" its young ones; na-dhir-tuv is the fem. part, from [cuneiform] na-dha-ru "to protect." It will be seen that the scribe has here kept to a natural and regular order, beginning with the ordinary name of the female; he represents her as being in a situation to become a mother, then as a mother, as a mother licking or fondling her puppies, and finally as guarding or protecting them. This being the case, am inclined to think that all the words in columns A and B from the 8th line to the end denote dogs proper, and not other dog-like animals; thus the ca-lab mee means "a water-dog" (canis aquaticus) and not "a seal" or "a beaver." By the calab Samas "sun-dog," [p.55] if any real dog be intended, I think a dog fond of "sunning" itself is meant, a habit common to most dogs, which are fond of basking for a time in the hottest sun, and not the jackal (canis aureus); but perhaps the expression is only astro-mythological, as Mr. Sayce reminds me. The dog was used by the Assyrians as a house-dog, as a protector of the flocks against wild beasts, and in the chase; but it is rather in this latter capacity that we have direct evidence of its employment, being thus represented in bas-relief on the monuments, and mentioned in the historical records.
In the writings of those classical authors of ancient Greece and Rome who have treated of dogs and field sports, the canes venatici were divided into three divisions:—1. The pugnaces or bellicosi, "pugnacious dogs of war"; 2. The nare sagaces, "keen-nosed scent-dogs"; and 3. The pedibus celeres, or "swift-footed dogs" that ran on sight of the game. This triple division is alluded to by Gratius in verse:—
"Canum quibus audacia prreceps,
Venandique sagax virtus, viresque sequendi"—
and by Seneca in sober prose:
"In cane sagacitas prima est si investigare debet
feras; cursus si consequi, audacia si mordere et invadere." (Ep. lxxvi.)
"In the dog sagacity is the most important quality if it has to pursue, boldness if it is required to bite and attack."
Whether the Assyrians ever employed large savage dogs in war, as some other ancient nations used to do, I am unable to say. "The people of Colophon and Castabala," says Pliny, "kept troops of dogs for war purposes, and these used to fight in the front rank and never retreat; they were the most faithful auxiliaries, and yet demanded no payment." (Nat. Hist, viii, 61.) The horsemen of Magnesia in the Ephesian war were accompanied to the battle-field each with a war-hound, the dogs in a body attacking the enemy, being backed now by the foot soldiers, now by the cavalry, and thus rendering great assistance. Ælian, who tells us of these Magnetian war-hounds, also tells us a story of a certain dog ([Greek]) who rendered so great assistance to his [p.56] master at the battle of Marathon as to be honoured with an effigy on the same tablet with his lord. (De Nat. An., vii, 38.) The powerful dogs of the Assyrians were certainly capable of being used as war-dogs, but as to any such actual employment, the Assyrian records hitherto, I believe, are silent. The dog figured in bas-relief on the sculptures was chiefly used in the chase of the wild bull ([cuneiform] ri-mu, ideographically), the lion, wild ass, perhaps the wild boar, if this animal was hunted by the Assyrians, the bear, and other savage carnivores, whose capture required strength and courage. It was evidently a mastiff. The figures, as a rule, are admirably depicted on the monuments with considerable skill and artistic power. The Assyrian mastiff was probably a breed allied to the Indian dog known to Alexander, mentioned by Herodotus, Aristotle, Xenophon, Strabo, and other Greek writers, by Pliny and Solinus amongst the Latins. According to Aristotle (Hist. Anim. viii, 21 and 8) the belief prevalent in his time as to the Indian dog was that it was the produce of a female dog and a male tiger! Ælian (Nat. An., viii, 1) repeats the story. If there is any truth in the story Ælian tells of the Indian dog that seized a lion in the presence of Alexander, and suffered first his tail to be cut off, then the four legs, one after the other, then the head (which still retained hold of the lion!), these dogs must have had the pertinacity of the British bull-dog. It is this Indian dog which is connected with the story Ctesias, Pollux, Strabo, and others tell us of the race of the Cynamolgi, a barbarous tribe in the south of Ethiopia, who reared these great powerful dogs, which they used in the destruction of herds of wild cattle. From the summer to mid-winter these people are said to have fed themselves and their huge dogs on this wild beef; but the rest of the year they lived on dog milk—hence their name—which they collected in a pail, and which they drink, adds Ælian, "as we the milk of sheep and goats." There is a figure in terra cotta of a large mast in the British Museum, which resembles the dogs of Assurbanipal's hunt, whose models in clay I will speak of by and by. This slab was found, [p.57] I believe, at Nimroud, and is labelled the Thibetan dog. It is this breed, of which, doubtless, there were several varieties, which Oppian seems to refer to in the following words:—"But others are impetuous, possessed with staunch courage, such as will attack noble wild bulls, and will rush upon and destroy savage wild boars, such as fear not strong (well-fed) lions, their kings ; they are of a large size like lofty hills, somewhat truncated in the muzzle, and the space between the eyebrows shakes with loose skin beneath; their fiery eyes shine with bright-eyed vision, the skin is hairy, body strong, back broad; they are not swift, but have immense courage, marvellous strength, pluck and spirit undaunted." (Cyneget I, 413-23.) The general description suits the Thibetan mastiff tolerably well, while the mention of the folding skin of the eyebrow is quite characteristic.9 The high mountain herd of Asia is said to be black, or very dark, partially tanned about the face and legs, but there appears to have been a race of dogs allied to this mastiff-breed, which was fawn or ochre coloured, with a dark muzzle like the ordinary British mastiff of the present day. Such, perhaps, was the dog of the Assyrian monuments. It is the same or a closely allied breed as the Indian, Albanian, Iberian, and Hyrcanian dog of classical authors, for it is difficult to trace any real difference between them. All these countries [p.58] are near the Caspian sea. According to Pliny (Nat. Hist. viii, 40) Alexander received as a present from the king of Albania a dog, "inusitatse magnitudinis," of unusual size, though the Roman historian does not tell us where the dog came from; most probably it would be from Albania, whose dogs were celebrated. Strabo, speaking of the excellent qualities of the Albanian dogs, calls Alexander's dog an Indian one, perhaps India being the country from which this powerful race of mastiff originally came. It was this breed of dog which Marco Polo noticed and described as nearly the size of asses. In his time (13th century A.D.) they were used in capture of certain wild cattle. The Assyrian sculptures represent this powerful mastiff, either as a lime-hound, led with a cord round the neck by an attendant, or as hunting in a pack. On one of the marble slabs in the British Museum there is a representation of a number of these dogs pulling down a wild ass. Unless the wild ass had been previously wounded these dogs could seldom have been able to catch one of the swiftest of quadrupeds, the wild ass. These dogs would run chiefly by sight, not possessing a very acute sense of smell, though, doubtless, they used their noses in tracking out wounded game in the forests. From an inscription on one of the five clay models of dogs belonging to Assurbanipal's hunting kennel, found at Koyunjik, and now in the British Museum, there is reason to conclude that the pack did not always run mute. The inscription runs thus:—
e -par tal - lie e - bu- us napakha
dust of (his) going, making a noise
(נבח to bark), or, as we should say in modern sporting phrase, "giving tongue.'' The first part of the inscription gives us quite a picture of one of these large muscular mastiffs, scattering the sand and dust in his impetuous course.
The inscriptions on the other four dogs are as follows:—
mu - se - tsu - u linnute da - an ri - its - six
causing to come forth evil judge of his running.
(רוע), or the syllable [cuneiform], in the second word may be read gis, and the whole word be referred to the Hebrew word רגש "to rage tumultuously," "to be wrathful"; the inscription would then mean "judge of his wrath," but the other reading seems preferable, the idea implied being perhaps that of a cunning runner, as we say in the coursing field, "running sly."
mu - na - si - cu ga - ri su ca - sid ai - bi
biting his enemies capturing enemies.
These names doubtless were intended to express the character of the dogs rather than their actual names, for though casid-aibi would give a good ringing sound in the hunting-field, and would probably be recognised by the dog who owned such a name, epar-tallic-ebuus napakha would have been both unintelligible to the dog and too much of a mouthful for the huntsman. This custom of naming dogs, whether by way of describing their qualities or by actually conferring the names, was practised amongst the Egyptians also, and I need only refer to a very interesting paper on the dogs figured on the tablet of Antefaa II, read before this Society by our excellent and learned President, Dr. Birch, and printed in Part I of the 4th Vol. of the Transactions. [p.60] The third dog marked C on that tablet is certainly a mastiff, and bears a strong resemblance to the dogs of the Assyrian sculptures, which probably came originally from India, as has been said. The colour of the Egyptian dog was, Dr. Birch tells us, probably "black." as indicated by the word "kamu," The colours of ancient dogs, as of modern ones, were various, and doubtless so were the tastes of the different sportsmen. Oppian expressly condemns black dogs and white ones:
(Cyneg. I, 426.)
as being "altogether bad," because they cannot well bear the heat of the sun nor the severity of a snowy winter. He thinks those colours of the dogs to be best which most closely resemble the wild beasts they chase, as the tawny wolf, the tiger, the fox and the swift pard, the prevailing-colour of which is buff or tawny. That this was Oppian's favourite colour is clear from the following lines:—
"Such as bear a strong resemblance to corn, of the colour of ripe wheat,"
a colour that suits modern English mastiffs.
Of the nare sagaces, the dogs that run only by scent, the Assyrian monuments hitherto furnish us with no direct instances, though such dogs were probably known to the people. The calab elamti, dog of Elam, is (as we have seen) mentioned in a bilingual list, but I have not been able to make out this dog. Pollux (Onomasticon, v. 37) mentions Elymean dogs amongst [Greek], and says they were used by a nation situated between Bactria and Hyrcania, but tells us nothing more. If, however, what he tells us about Elymean hares, which he calls [Greek], is correct, that they leave a most strong scent in their track, so as almost to madden the dogs, it is not improbable that the Elymean dog ran by scent rather than by sight.
I pass on, therefore, to the pedibus celeres, those dogs of the chase who run only on sight of their game, such as greyhounds. That coursing or hunting hares with greyhounds [p.61] was practised by the Assyrians, is shown by a representation on a bronze dish found at Nimroud, now in the British Museum. The greyhounds of antiquity could scarcely have been so purely bred as those which in this country run for the Waterloo Cup, especially in districts much overgrown with woods, where pure bred dogs—running only by sight—could not keep the game in view. Hence the writers on cynegetics amongst the Greeks and Romans recommend crossing with other breeds. Nevertheless, the greyhounds figured on the rim of the bronze dish in the British Museum indicate a good breed. A hilly country is also unfavourable to coursing, where the greyhound would often lose sight of the hare. Its general structure, the comparative absence of the sense of smell, the large prominent eyes, all show the greyhound was intended for swift running on the open plains, and there, doubtless, it was used by the Assyrians of the Mesopotamian district. Indeed, some naturalists have derived the greyhound from an Asiatic home, "somewhere to the westward of the great Asiatic mountain chains, where the easternmost Bactrian and Persian plains commence, and where the steppes of the Scythic nations spread towards the north." "When we look to the present proofs of this conclusion"—I am quoting the late Lieut.-Col. Hamilton Smith, a very good authority both on dogs and horses—"and assume that where the largest and most energetic breeds of the race exist, there may we look for their original habitation, we then find, to the east of the Indus, the very large greyhounds of the Deccan, to the west of it the powerful Persian breed; and to the north of the Caspian the great rough greyhound of Tartary and Russia; and thence we may infer that they were carried by the migrating colonies westward across the Hellespont, and by earlier Celtic and later Teutonic tribes along the levels of Northern Germany, as far as Britain. The primaeval movement of the first inhabitants of the Lower Nile may be conjectured similarly to have brought this race along with them; and all may have done so when it was already in part domesticated." (Nat. Libr., vol. x; Dogs, p. 163).
It would appear that the Assyrian monarchs occasionally [p.62] kept chained up in confinement some of their most inveterate enemies together with dogs and other carnivorous animals. Vaiteh king of Arabia was served in this way by Assurbanipal. "To satisfy the law of Assur and the great gods my lords, a heavy judgment took him, and in chains I placed him, and with a-ti [cuneiform]) and calbi ([cuneiform]) I bound him, and caused him to be kept in the great gate in the midst of Nineveh." (Smith's Assurbanipal, p. 261.) Similarly Esarhaddon treated some of his prisoners whom he had brought to Nineveh. In front of the great entrance gate of Nineveh (W.A.I. I, pl. xlv. col. 2, lines 4 and and Records of the Past, vol. iii, p. 113):—
it - ti a - si calbi dabi
together with a-si dogs and bears
[I left them to stay for ever.]
What animals these a-si denote I do not know, but I do not think the word can be
identical with the Accadian am-si ( = "ok + horned"), as conjectured by Dr. Delitzsch, the undoubted representative of the Assyrian Amu, because these same
a-si are mentioned together with am-si ("wild bull") on the broken obelisk as
creatures killed in a hunting expedition. Now. were these animals with which
persons were chained living creatures or only stone images or representations?
for in the campaigns of Assurbanipal we read, "the rest of the people alive
among the stone lions and bulls which Sennacherib had thrown ([cuneiform] sedi
alapi) again I in that pit those men in the midst threw." (p. 166.)
Cats.—I do not find any evidence to load us to believe that the domestic cat was known to the Assyrians; there is, indeed, no a priori reason against the supposition that the cat was domesticated by the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia: on the contrary, at first sight, the reasons would rather seem to be in favour of the idea. The cat was in early times domesticated by the Egyptians, and when we consider how, at different times, intercourse existed between [p.63] the Assyrians and Egyptians, and how the former people took pleasure in introducing into their own capitals animals from other countries, the introduction of the domestic cat would seem to be quite probable. Dr. F. Delitzsch, without hesitation, concludes that the domestic cat was known to the Assyrians, and that the names of nistinu and dumamu, which I take to be some wild feline, represent the tame animal. "To the names of cats," he writes, "follow immediately those of dogs; dog and cat, holding a sort of war-footing in our household life, occupy the same position to each other on the monuments of the Assyrian king Assurbanipal (Assyrische Studien, Thiernainen, p. 33). There is no representation of the cat on the sculptures, neither is there any allusion to it in the Records, but we must not lay too much stress on negative evidence. That the Assyrians occasionally received animals from Egypt we have direct evidence in the inscription on the broken obelisk of Sardanapalus now in the British Museum, "a great crocodile scaled [horned] beast of the river, animals of the great sea, the king of Egypt caused to be brought." On what grounds, then, it may be asked, do I think that the domestic cat was unknown to the Assyrians? If we regard the domestic animal of ancient Egypt to be the origin of the animal now universally domesticated, we find that its introduction into some other countries did not take place in early times. To the ancient Greeks and Romans, for instance, the domesticated cat was altogether unknown as an animal kept by them. It is a soothing reflection that the brain-workers of classical antiquity, as they sat up late, burning midnight oil, were never disturbed by the hideous caterwaulings of the domestic cat. No noisy tabbies uttered their piercing shrieks on the tiles of the house-tops when Virgil and Horace composed, or when Demosthenes and Cicero got up their cases for the public assembly or the Forum.
Dr. Rolleston, who a few years ago wrote a very full and interesting paper on the felis domesticus, says:—"I see no reason for supposing that the domestic cat was kept as a tame animal in any other country than Egypt before the Christian era." The felis and aukoipos of classical authors [p.64] was the white-breasted marten (Mustela foina), which the ancients used as their mouse-killer as we the domestic cat. At what time the cat was introduced into Europe from Egypt it would not be an easy matter to determine with any degree of certainty. Professor Rolleston has shown that the domestic cat was in use in Constantinople about the middle of the fourth century. On referring to Ducange, S. V. catta, I find a certain writer of the Life of Gregory of Nazianzen (circ. A.D. 360), saying:—"Nihil in mundo possidebat. praeter unam cattam, quam blandiens crebo, quasi cohabitatricem in suis gremiis refovebat." "He had nothing in the world but one cat, which he used to caress and nurse in his lap as a fellow inhabitant of the house." The domestic cat was known in Italy about the same time, for Palladius recommends both catos and mustelas mansuetas (ferrets) as useful animals against moles. I believe that cats of modern days will not touch a mole. When we consider, then, the late introduction of the domestic cat from Egypt into Europe, one is led to conjecture that the ancient Egyptians, who paid so much attention to these animals, and whose religious scruples were very strong, were averse to the exportation of one of their most favourite animals on these grounds. They cherished the cat alive; they buried and embalmed it at Bupastis and other places when dead. I think it, therefore, improbable that the domestic cat was ever employed by the ancient inhabitants of Assyria.
Note.—I must not conclude this paper without acknowledging my obligations indirectly to Dr. Delitzsch for the useful work he has published on the Assyrian animals of the monuments. Of course his book has been constantly before me, and I have found it very useful, though I do not always agree with his conclusions. To my friend Mr. Sayce I am directly indebted; not only has he been most kind and prompt in answering questions, but he has also read over the whole of my MS. and inserted pencil notes and suggestions when required. Mr. Sayce's readiness to assist students of Assyrian is well known to most here; that readiness is surpassed by nothing except it be by his accurate and extraordinary knowledge and ability.
ON THE MAMMALIA OF THE ASSYRIAN SCULPTURES.
By Rev. William Houghton, M.A., F.L.S.
Read 2nd January, 1877.
Part II.—Wild Animals.
In treating of the wild animals of the Assyrian monuments, whether represented
in sculpture, or merely mentioned by name, we find as a rule much more
difficulty in determining the species than in the case of the domesticated
animals. This arises partly from the fact that the sculptural representations of
some of the wild animals are badly executed, but chiefly from the absence in the
records of any clue to identification beyond that afforded by the name itself. I
proceed, without further preface, to notice the various animals, whether figured
on the sculptures or mentioned in
the records. I will begin with the order
Quadrumana. On the black obelisk of Shalmaneser three figures of monkeys occur, together with that of the Indian elephant. A man is leading a large kind of monkey; another [p.320] man follows leading a similar species, while he has also a smaller monkey on his shoulders. One of the figures is represented without a tail, which has led Mr. Layard to believe that the ouran outan is intended. But none of the anthropoid monkeys, as the orangs, gorillas, chimpanzees, except the long-armed gibbons (Hylobates), occur in India, the country from which the monkeys on the obelisk no doubt came; the native habitat of the orang (Simia satyrus) is Borneo and Sumatra, while the other members of this section are confined to West Africa. The omission of the tail, therefore, must be regarded as accidental, or the tail supposed to be hidden from view by the animal's left leg. These monkeys, an epigraph informs us, were part of the tribute of Muzri of Armenia, a country which would be beyond the northern limit of any of the Quadrumana, whose geographical range begins as a rule about 20° N. latitude. The people of Muzri,10 therefore, must have procured these monkeys from India, whence also they received the elephant. These figures are ridiculously human—the face is that of a man with a fringe of whiskers around it—so are the feet and hands. On another monument, however, this same monkey is far better drawn; the sculptor has been so far successful as to lead us to the identification of this species of monkey, which is most probably the Presbyter entellus or Hoonuman of India, or at any rate one of its allied forms. The Hoonuman is a large monkey with a long tail; it is, and probably long has been held in religious veneration in India, becomes quite tame, frequenting the houses and shops of fruit-sellers, &c. The monkey sitting on the man's shoulders (black obelisk) I take to be merely a smaller individual of the same species. This will explain the placid and contented look of the monkey on the man's shoulders, which was evidently a domesticated individual. Another species of monkey is figured on the obelisk from Nimrud. The head and shoulders are covered with long waving hair. It is probable that this species is the Wanderoo (Macacus silenus), which is now pretty common in some parts of India, as in the Malabar provinces, but not in [p.321] Ceylon, as is often asserted. What other species of the monkey tribe were known to the Assyrians must have been inhabitants of Nubia, Abyssinia, and Southern Arabia, such as the gelada (G. Ruppellii) of Abyssinia, a baboon with dense long hair covering the neck and shoulders, the dog-headed Cynocephalus hamadryas, the only species of quadrumanous animal figured on the Egyptian monuments, as sacred to Thoth, the lord of letters. This baboon is not now found in Egypt, but is a native of Arabia and Abyssinia. I have already referred to the ridiculously human-like character of the monkeys of the monuments; this same idea is embodied in the Assyrian word for a monkey u-du-mu ([cuneiform]); for there can be no doubt that the word u-du-mi ([cuneiform]), which occurs in the plural number amongst the tribute which the people of the Armenian Muzri brought to Shalmaneser, denotes "apes" or "monkeys." The Assyrian word would then be referred to the Hebrew adam אדמ "a man." Of the order Ferae we will take first the cat family.
Felidae. The species which are known to occur in Assyria and Babylonia are the following:—The lion, leopard, cheetah, the chaus (Felis chaus, Giildenst), the lynx (Lyncus pardinus), and the caracal (C. melanotis), or black-eared lynx. The tiger, though probably an inhabitant of Assyria in ancient times, is no longer to be seen there.11
I do not think, however, that the tiger existed in any great numbers in Assyria and the neighbouring lands. Had the Assyrian monarchs Assur-natsir-pal and Assurbanipal seen much of tiger hunting, we should have had most [p.322] probably either some definite allusion to the royal animal in the historical and hunting records, or its form represented in bas-relief on the sculptures. Moreover, the presence of a considerable number of lions in Assyria, Babylonia, &c, in the time of the Assyrian kings just mentioned, is in itself evidence against the supposition that tigers were also numerous. According to the general law of nature, two large species of the same family are seldom found to co-exist in the same area. I think, therefore, that the tiger was only occasionally seen and killed in hunting expeditions. In the inscription of the broken obelisk of Tiglath-Pileser I, which mentions the different animals killed by the Assyrian king in the land of the Hittites and other places, certain wild carnivora are enumerated; these are nimri "leopards," mi-di-ni ([cuneiform]) "tigers" (?) a-li (?) and two strong "bears." There is no doubt that the first word nimri means "leopards"; the following word midini occurring just afterwards would appear to denote some fierce carnivore of an allied species. In the Izdubar legends, Heabani declares that he will come to Erech, bringing a midannu with him in order to make trial of the strength of Izdubar, and to see if he could destroy it.
1. "I will bring to the midst of Erech a tiger,
2. And if he is able he will destroy it.
3. In the desert it is begotten, it has great strength."
(Chald. Acc. Gen., Smith, p. 205.)
"The midannu" says Mr. George Smith, "is mentioned in the Assyrian texts as a
fierce carnivorous animal allied to the lion and leopard; it is called, midannu,
mindinu and mandinu" (p. 205). On the whole, therefore, it is quite
probable that the tiger was known to, and occasionally mentioned by the ancient
Assyrians under one or other of the above names.12
The Lion. As regards this animal everything is perfectly clear. His form is drawn with great accuracy and spirit. Now he is represented as being on the point of springing at [p.323] a horseman; now with spread out feet and exserted claws he holds in his mouth a portion of the body of a horse; now he is shrinking cautiously out of a wooden box or cage in which he had been placed; or he is in the agonies of death, pierced by many arrows, vomiting his life-blood, or vainly endeavouring to extract with his fore paws a shaft that has pierced his eye-ball; now he appears erect on his hind legs, turning his body round, with out-spread paws and fierce aspect, as if indignantly remonstrating with king Assurbanipal, who has seized the royal beast by the tail!
Lions are still found in the Euphrates and Tigris valleys. Mr. Ainsworth, who accompanied Colonel Chesney in the Euphrates Expedition as surgeon and geologist, and who published his Researches in Assyria, Babylonia, and Chaldaea in 1838, speaks of the lion as being met with in the lower part of the Euphrates and Tigris. Footprints were observed at the Khabour; but the lion has been met with as far north as Balis. A more recent traveller, Mr. Layard, says that lions are sometimes found near Kalah Sherghat, and frequently on the banks of the Tigris below Baghdad, rarely above. "On the Euphrates," he adds, "it has been seen, I believe, almost as high as Bir, where the steamers of the first Euphrates expedition, under Colonel Chesney, were launched. In the Sinjar, and on the banks of the Khabour, they are frequently caught by the Arabs. They abound in Khuzistan, the ancient Susiana. I have frequently seen three or four together, and have hunted them with the chiefs of the tribes inhabiting that province." (Nineveh and its Remains, II, p. 48.) Lions abound m the jungles near the rivers in Babylonia. Mr. Layard frequently saw traces of them while excavating at Niffer. The Maidan Arabs kill the lion in the following manner:—"A man having bound his right arm with strips of tamarisk, and holding in his hand a strong piece of the same wood about a foot or more in length, hardened in the fire and sharpened at both ends, will advance boldly into the animal's lair. When the lion springs upon him he forces the wood into the animal's extended jaws, which will then be held open whilst he can despatch the astonished beast at Iris leisure with the pistol that he holds in his left hand." (Nineveh and Babylon, p. 567.)
It was a common tiling for the old Assyrian kings to attack a lion
single-handed, as may be seen on the monuments. Thus Assurbanipal says of
himself, "I, Assurbanipal, king of multitudes, king of Assyria, by my might, on
my two feet, a fierce lion, which I seized behind by the ears, in the service of
Assur and Tstar goddess of war, by spears of my two hands I pierced his body."
Another epigraph states that the same king seized a lion "by his tail" (ina
zumbi [cuneiform])? and threw ropes round him. Lions were hunted by the kings
in chariots or mounted on horses; they
were shot with arrows or pierced with strong spears. At the end of the day's
sport the king ordered his attendants to place the bodies of the lions killed in
the chase side by side. A wooden altar was set up before them, and then the king
poured out of a bowl a libation of wine on the faces of the slain animals in
honour of Assur, Nergal, Istar, or other deities, by whose aid he had been
successful. If the Assyrian kings drew only the actual long bow, and not the
metaphorical one, the number of lions slain by them must have been enormous.
"Under the auspices of my guardian deity Adar, two soss of lions, i.e., 120
([cuneiform]) I slew," says Tiglath-Pileser. In the same paragraph (W.A.I., Vol.
I, pl. xiv, line 80) the king tells us that these 120 lions were slain by him
(and, I suppose, his attendants) on foot, and that 800 more fell to his weapons
as he and his men rode in their chariots. Allowing for much exaggeration, the
numbers slain must have, no doubt, been great, and under the later Assyrian
monarchs, in whom the love of the chase and bold adventure were equally strong,
the introduction of trapped lions took place, and these animals were sought out
in remote jungles, caught in snares of some kind, and conveyed near home in
order to afford sport to the "great king." The weapons employed in the capture
of the lion were a bow and arrows, a strong straight sword for hand encounter,
daggers and spears. When the king hunted in his chariot he was attended by his
charioteer, equipped as for war, some horsemen, of course armed, and sometimes
by a groom leading a spare horse. In the bas-relief representing Assurbanipal
lion-hunting in his chariot—a photograph of [p.325] which lies before me as I write—two quivers full of arrows, each with a small
hand axe, are seen suspended transversely across the right side of the chariot.
A shield with very thick pointed teeth protected the hinder part of the chariot
in case of an attack upon the chariot in the rear. The king is represented in
the act of drawing the bow to its fullest extent, a sword in its sheath hangs
from his left side, while a long and strong spear projects in an upward
direction from the back. Sometimes the king, with a number of attendants would
get into a ship, while beaters would start the game from the coverts on the
other side of the river. Should the lion take to the water and try to escape, he
was attacked and destroyed; his fore and hind legs were corded together, and the
beast was suspended from the hinder part of the boat. It is probable that the
large mastiff of the Assyrian monuments was used in the chase of the lion, but
it is somewhat curious to note that no such actual engagement between dog and
lion is found on the sculptures.
The lion is generally represented on the monuments with great spirit and life-like truthfulness. The figure of a lion in an attitude about to spring upon a horseman, who appears to be armed only with a whip, may even be compared with the best efforts of Landseer himself. The same almost may be said of the lion represented as being turned out of his cage.
Mr. Layard has drawn attention to the fact that the claw or spine-like body at the end of the lion's tail has not escaped the notice of the sculptor. It certainly is represented in a few instances, though the size of the claw is much exaggerated. Some of the ancient classical writers describe the lion as lashing himself with his tail when angry, and it has been supposed that the claw at the end was the instrument which goaded him to rage; the classical writers, however, mention no such claw. Didymus Alexandrinus, a commentator on the Iliad, I believe, was the first to notice this little claw, and drew the conclusion that it was a stimulating organ. Bliimenbach corroborated the Homeric commentator's assertion as to the presence of the claw, but rejected at once his conclusion. At one of the meetings of the Zoological Society, held in 1832, a specimen was exhibited of a claw obtained [p.326] from the tip of a young lion's tail from Barbary. It was noticed first by Mr. G. Bennett, and while handling the tail the claw came off. According to Mr. Woods, who gave much attention to the subject, the claw "was formed of corneous matter like an ordinary nail," sharp at the point, flattened throughout its length, which did not amount to more than ½ of an inch. It appears that this claw is only occasionally present in individuals. The idea of its serving to lash the lion to fury is quite out of the question. As the occurrence is only exceptional, it cannot be supposed that the little claw in question has any functional character. Still it is curious to find that the Assyrian sculptor took notice of the organ, and represented it on the monuments.13 The Assyrian name of the lion was nesu, but in the inscriptions the Accadian name lik-makh ([cuneiform]). "Great beast or dog," is nearly always used. The lion is represented on the monuments as fighting with a wild bull. The lion of the sculptures is the Asiatic animal, which differs in no essential points from its African relative. Three varieties of the Asiatic lion are mentioned, the Bengal, the Persian or Arabian, and the maneless lion of Guzerat. The Persian or Arabian variety is generally distinguishable by the pale isabella colour of its fur; but Ainsworth tells us that a lion from the banks of the Tigris in the possession of Colonel Taylor of Baghdad, was as brown as the Bombay lion.
The Leopard.—This feline is mentioned in the inscriptions, but never represented in bas-relief on the monuments. A very badly executed figure of a leopard attacking the hind quarters of a wild bull, on a clay tablet, was found by Mr. Layard at Nimrud, and figured by him. The leopard was seen by Ainsworth near Mar'ash, and Colonel Chesney enumerates it as being found in the Amanus (Khamanu in Assyrian) and Taurus. It is called nimer by the inhabitants, and this is its Assyrian name ni-im-ru ([cuneiform]), Heb. נמר, as occurring on the monuments. The leopard (Felis leopardus), has a wide geographical range, inhabiting Southern Asia. North, South, and West Africa. Tiglath-Pileser I especially [p.327] mentions nimri as amongst the numerous animals killed or captured alive by him in a hunting expedition (W.A.I., I, p. 28). Leopards were brought, together with other animals, by another Assyrian king, and placed alive in the city of Calah (Layard's Insc. 44, 1. 19). The Felis chaus is stated by Ainsworth to be the most common of the cat tribe in Assyria; this species, which has a very wide geographical range, occurs in many parts of Asia and Africa; it is a savage animal, and was probably known to the ancient Assyrians. The Felis pardina, Temm., the lynx of Turkey and Southern Europe, inhabits Amanus and Taurus; the caracal (Felis caracal, Schreb.), which occurs in South Asia and Africa, Persia, and Arabia, is said by Ainsworth to be an inhabitant of Taurus and Amanus, and to have given a name to one of the villages in the latter named district. Some of the unknown names of animals which are found in the inscriptions very probably refer to these wild felidae, which were no doubt known to the ancient inhabitants of the Assyrian lands.
The cheetah hunting leopard (Felis jubata, Schreb.) is found in Africa and Asia, and doubtless was known to the Assyrians, for in Persia, Palestine, &c, it still occurs: indeed Ainsworth tells us that a maneless variety of this leopard "is not uncommon in the lower districts of Tigris and Euphrates." Dr. Delitzsch (Thiernamen) conjectures that the star of Bi-a-zi ([cuneiform]) on the Astronomical Tablets (W.A.I., II, 49, 45a) may possibly be the "star of the cheetah." He compares the Assyrian word with the Arabic ([Arab.]) faha "a leopard." Of the family Viverridae, Ainsworth mentions the genett (Genetta vulgaris) as having been met with in Taurus and other mountain districts. Some species of ichneumon was also seen. The Asiatic ratel (Mellivora Indica), the sable (Maries zihellina), the pine-marten (Mustela martes, Lin.), the polecat (M. putorius, Lin.), the Samartian weasel (M. Sarmatica, Pall.), of the family Mustelidae, are enumerated amongst the wild animals of Mesopotamia, and were probably known to the ancient inhabitants, though we may never be able to learn by what names they were [p.328] called. A species of otter (Lutra vulgaris?), was seen on the Euphrates, Tigris, Karun, &c.
Canidae.—The striped hyena (H. striata) is very common, (a white variety having been observed by Ainsworth) "in all kinds of countries, sheltering itself behind a wall or a shrub." The wolf is most frequent in Taurus. This is the common Canis lupus, Lin., the black variety of which was seen on the banks of the Sajur. The jackal (Canis aureus, Lin.) is frequent. According to Ainsworth, "it appears to present some differences in Syria, in Euphrates, and in Persia, which have not yet been all determined." Foxes are common; near the Euphrates the species was always Vulpes corsac, but in Taurus it was our common Vulpes vulgaris.
The hyena is not represented on the sculptures, though it is mentioned in the records. In the Chaldean story of the deluge, Hea said to the warrior Elu (Bel), "instead of thee making a deluge, may lions ([cuneiform] nesu) increase, and men be reduced; instead of thee making a deluge, may lig-bar-ra ([cuneiform]) increase and men be reduced." Mr. George Smith renders lig-bar-ra by "leopards"; but Mr. Sayce has pointed out that in the astrological tables lions and lig-bar-ri are again associated, and that this latter Accadian word, lig-barga, is represented in the bilingual lists by the Assyrian word a-khu [cuneiform]. Now we may, with the greatest probability, refer this Assyrian a-khu to a similar word which occurs in the Hebrew Bible, in the plural number, viz., okhim (Isaiah xiii, 21). These okhim are associated with jackals by the Hebrew prophet, and are represented as inhabiting desolate Babylon. The authorised version renders the word "doleful creatures." The Hebrew word is to be referred to a root meaning to "howl" ([Hebrew], "to cry out ah"), and nothing could answer better to the dismally howling hyena. The Accadian name lig-bar-ra may mean "beast ([cuneiform] striped," i.e., "the striped hyena." Thus we have an interesting instance of how the Assyrian, the Hebrew and the Accadian words reciprocally throw light on each other. The wolf is called numma ([cuneiform], i.e., "the animal from the high lands," i.e., Elam, in Accadian, and [p.329] ([cuneiform]) zi-bu ( Heb. זאב) or a-ci-luv, [cuneiform] in Assyrian. I am not aware of the existence of any definite Assyrian word for "the fox" and "the jackal." Probably the same word would express both these kindred animals, as amongst the Hebrews by the word (שועל) shual; I hazard the suggestion that foxes and jackals are denoted by the Assyrian word ([cuneiform]). These a-si are mentioned amongst wild animals that the Assyrian kings hunted, and which they occasionally brought to Nineveh or Calah. With dogs and asi it was a practice to chain up conquered enemies. Etymologically I would refer the word to the Hebrew asah (אסה), an unused root, meaning to "hurt," to "injure" (cf. the noun אסון, "mischief," "injury"). The name "hurtful" or "injurious animals," as applied to jackals and foxes—especially to the former—has reference to the damage these creatures cause to the vines. With this we may compare the similar idea expressed in the Bible, as in Canticles ii, 15, "Take for us the shudlim, the little shudlim, which spoil the vines." The fondness of foxes and jackals for grapes is well known, and as they were doubtless common in Assyria, they would often injure the vines, and thus merit the name of the injurious animals.
Ursidae.—The ordinary Assyrian bear is the Ursus Syriacus, the representative of the common brown bear of Europe (Ursus arctos); but farther north, as in the highlands of Armenia, the Syrian variety would be replaced by the common brown bear. According to Ainsworth bears are not uncommon in Taurus and in the Persian Apennines. There are many varieties of Ursus arctos; Nilsson describes six as being found in Sweden, varying from black and red-brown to the albino or variegated bear. Several varieties were probably known to the Assyrians; bears of different colours are mentioned on the bilingual tablet, plate VI. No bear appears in bas-relief on the monuments, but a very correct delineation of this animal may be seen on a bronze dish from Nimriid, now in the British Museum. The bear is standing erect, feeding on the fruit of some tree. It is frequently mentioned in the inscriptions, and was hunted by the Assyrian monarchs; [p.330] it would be one of the most familiar of the wild animals known to the ancient inhabitants of Elam. The usual Accadian name for a bear is sakh, represented by the character [cuneiform], with which the Assyrian da-bu [cuneiform] Heb. דב dob, is compared in the bilingual tablets. The ideogram ([cuneiform]) sakh also stands as a determinative prefix for any fierce carnivorous animal, and probably in some of the instances which occur on Plate VI, of W.A.I. (vol. ii, col. c, d, lines 25 to 40) the above character has that office. Some of them, however, are extremely difficult to make out, and Dr. Delitzsch has not been, I think, altogether successful. The dam-sakh ([cuneiform]) and the gim-sakh ([cuneiform]) of the Accadian column are both equated with the Assyrian da-bu ([cuneiform]), and denote "the female adult bear"; the Accadian tsi-ikh ([cuneiform]) is the ordinary ideogram phonetically spelt, and this word the Assyrians borrowed under the form sa-khu-u ([cuneiform]), probably "the male bear." The character sakh ([cuneiform]), in line 25, apparently begins to be used as a determinative prefix of some carnivorous or semi-carnivorous animal. Dr. F. Delitzsch identifies the Assyrian kur-ci za-an-rm ([cuneiform]) line with the Arabic karkaddan [Arabic] or karkadan, i.e., "a rhinoceros." The Accadian column is here effaced, but the word tar ([cuneiform]) "little," or "young," appears. If this character were preceded by sakh, then "a young bear " would probably be intended. The sakh maganna ([cuneiform]) in the Accadian column is correlated with the word ma-ak-ka-nu-u ([cuneiform]) in the Assyrian. Dr. F. Delitzsch thinks that the magan or makan may refer to the country so called, that is Egypt, and that the animal intended is the hippopotamus. Lenormant interprets the word to mean "the bear of the peninsula of Sinai" (Magan). The determinative prefix of sakh would lead me to suppose that a bear or bear-like animal is denoted rather than the hippopotamus. The sakh maganna is followed in the [p.331] bilingual list by sakh maganna kuru (Accadian), for which the Assyrian column has ma-ak-ka-nio-u damku, i.e., the bear of "good omen" or "blessed " bear. This most likely refers not to any definite animal, but to the constellation or "star of the bear" ([cuneiform]) cacabu dabi, which, according to its position in the heavens, or its position relative to other constellations, might have been regarded as an omen of good or of misfortune. I can form no conjecture as to the definite meaning of the sakh khus-a ([cuneiform]), Accad. the khu-us-su-u ([cuneiform]) and the ru-us-su-u ([cuneiform]) of the Assyrian columns, but agree with Lenormant that some bear-like animal is signified. The words khussu and russu may mean "beaten out" or "greyish-blue." With the latter signification some variety of the bear may be meant. Dr. Delitzsch referring the names to the Arabic, supposes that a gazelle is the animal denoted; but the determinative prefix of sakh is altogether opposed to such an interpretation. For the sakh uk-a1 ([cuneiform]) of the Accadian column, with which ba-nu-u ([cuneiform]) stands in the Assyrian, Lenormant, interpreting the words to mean "the builder" or "constructor," doubtfully suggests "the beaver." Delitzsch thinks an old or adult male gazelle is intended, from harm "to beget." The mention of the beaver leads me to say a few words on the existence of that animal in Mesopotamia. "The order of Rodentia " writes Ainsworth (Assyria, p. 39), "presents us with the common beaver (Castor Fiber), found by the expedition (Colonel Chesney's) in Euphrates and Khabour." But of the Khabour beavers Mr. Layard thus speaks:—
"The Jebours killed four beavers, and brought three of their young to us alive. They had been driven from their holes by the swollen stream. Mohammed Emin eagerly accepted the musk bags, which are much valued as majouns by the Turks, and consequently fetch a large price in the towns. The Arabs eat the flesh, and it was cooked for us, but proved coarse and tough. The young we kept for [p.332] some days on milk, but they eventually died. Their cry resembled that of a new-born infant. The Khabour beavers appeared to me to differ in several particulars from the American. The tail, instead of being large and broad, was short and pointed. They do not build huts, but burrow in the banks, taking care to make the entrance to their holts below the surface of the stream to avoid detection, and the chambers above out of reach of the ordinary floods. Beavers were formerly found in large numbers on the Khabour, but in consequence of the value attached to the musk bag, they have been hunted almost to extermination by the Arabs. Mohammed Emin assured me that for several years not more than one or two had been seen. Sofuk, the great Shammar Sheikh, used to consider the musk bag of a beaver the most acceptable present he could send to a Turkish Pasha whose friendship he wished to secure." (Nin. and Bab., 296-7.)
The animals described by Mr. Layard appear to belong rather to the musk rat
(Fiber zibethicus) than to the beaver (Castor), but so far as is generally known
at present, there is only one species of musk rat (the Musquash or Ondatra), and
that animal is confined to North America. There is no other allied genus known
to inhabit Western. Asia. It is a pity that Mr. Layard did not bring home some
skins of his animals, which I suspect are new and undescribed. The beaver,
whether we regard the old-world species (Castor fiber) distinct or not from the
American animal (Castor Canadensis), formerly was an inhabitant of the whole of
Europe and Western Asia. It is said to be found in considerable numbers "in the
streams of the Ural mountains and in those of the Caspian Sea, extending into Tartary" (Murray's
Geograph. Dist. Mam., p. 264), and very probably was known to
the Assyrians and neighbouring people; though of course whether this animal is
the (sakh) banu of the bilingual tablet is extremely doubtful. The
([cuneiform]) Accad., and the ap-par-ru-u ([cuneiform]) of the Assyrian column,
with which also the sakh si-khar-ra ([cuneiform]) on the Accadian is identical,
[p.333] are interpreted by Lenormant to denote the wild boar;
ap-pa-ru being supposed to
be the same as the Arabic [Arab.].
Dr. Delitzsch refers the Assyrian word to the Hebrew opher (עפר) "a fawn" or "gazelle." The objection to M. Lenormant's and Schrader's suggestion is that the Arabic word is not truly pure Arabic, but a loan or borrowed Latin word ("aper") in an Arabic dress, like the German eber. The presence of the same determinative prefix sakh, precludes altogether the idea of a fawn or gazelle being intended. My own opinion is that these three words, apparru (Assyrian). sakh-Si-khar-ra, and sakh-mas-luv (Accadian), have reference not to a living animal, but to the constellation of the Great Bear. The scribe who wrote this bilingual tablet was not attempting any zoological system properly so called, he only cared for corresponding words or sentences in the Accadian and Assyrian languages. Now, one of the Accadian words, sakh-mas-luv reminds one of the star Entenamasluv, i.e., the star of "the tip of the tail," and is explained by the Assyrian sir etsen-tsu [cuneiform] memorum causae summae, "tip of the tail." (See Sayce's Astron. and Astrol., Bib. Arch. Trans., Vol. Ill, p. 170.) The other Accadian word, sakh-u-kharra, means "bear," + "horn," + "heaven," clearly having reference to the constellation of the Great Bear, and not to any living bear-like animal.
The sakh-mas-luv and the sakh-li-khar-ra both denote the star η in Ursa Major, the projecting tail being appropriately enough called "horn of heaven," though I am unable to give any ex- [p.334] planation of the corresponding Assyrian word apparru.14 In the next column there follows in the Accadian sakh-nam-en-na-ak-a [cuneiform] with which the Assyrian bit-ru-u or e-ru-u is equated. The Accadian expression means "bear" + "royal crownship" + "making"; if the Assyrian word [cuneiform]. De rea d e-ru-u, it may denote "an eagle." I believe the scribe's mind is still dwelling on the constellation Ursa Major, and that the Accadian expression, "the bear making its crownship," has reference to the evolution of the Great Bear around the polar star. In the Assyrian word eru, or "eagle," the same idea of "crown-making" may be seen in the succession of the spiral curves with which eagles mount up to a great altitude in the air. M. Lenormant appears to think that a captive bear in chains is intended by the sakh-nam-en-na-aka. Dr. F. Delitzsch supposes that the wild ass is the animal denoted, the Assyrian name being read i-ru-u, and referred to the Arabic [Arab.], the Hebrew עיר, "a wild ass's colt," a "wild ass." But to this again, as it seems to me, the D.P. of the Accadian word is opposed.
The word that occupies the next place is sakh-tab-ri-ri-ga ([cuneiform]), in the
Accadian, and cu-za-ai ([cuneiform]) in the Assyrian column. This by Dr. F.
Delitzsch is conjectured to be the "marten-cat" (Marder), the Assyrian name
being referred to a similar name in Syriac, which appears to denote a "small
jumping animal," as "a marten " or "ferret." Castell (Lex. Syriacum, Ed.
Michaelis, p. 783) adds, "animal galliins infestum" "lynx." M. Lenormant gives
no translation. The Accadian expression, which perhaps means "bear" + "the prey"
+ "seizing," appears to refer to the bear forcibly taking food.15 The scribe next
mentions sakh-niga ([cuneiform] to which ma-ru-u ([cuneiform]) answers in the
Assyrian column. I see no reason against taking this as meaning "a young male
bear" in a literal sense. In the next line we have sakh-niga-kuru-ga
([cuneiform]) in the Accadian, and maru dam-ku ([cuneiform]) in the Assyrian
column. The words mean "the young" or "small bear of good omen," and I suspect
are used in an astrological and astronomical sense. After this we come again to
literal bears, as "white," "black," "grey," and "reddish-brown." The tablet is
Of the order Rodentia, porcupines (Hystrix cristata), mole-rats (Spalax typhlus), abundant in the plains of Kurdistan, are known to inhabit Assyria and the neighbouring land, and no doubt were known to the ancient inhabitants, though we are at present ignorant of the names by which they were called. Different species of gerboa are found in the plains, as the Dipus gerboa, D. jaculus, D. sagitta, D. pygmaits, and other undetermined species. Spermophilus citillus, S. marmotta, the marmot, mice numerous and various; rats (Mus decumanus); squirrels—abundant in the woods—are enumerated by Ainsworth as occurring in Assyria. But at present we are ignorant of the Assyrian names of all these animals. The only rodent whose name is ascertained [p.336] is the hare, of which two species are known to occur in Assyrian lands, "the Turkoman hare," which haunts the plains, and the hare of the desert, this latter probably being the Lepus Sinaiticus. The Assyrian name of the hare is an-na-bu ([cuneiform]) the arnebeth (ארנבת) of the Hebrew Scriptures, the arneb ([Arab.]) of the modern Arabs.
Its Accadian name is expressive of its abode, ca-zinnna [cuneiform] "face of the desert." In the bilingual tablet the hare is mentioned after the gazelle, appropriately enough, as another swift animal of the desert. Other species of hare may probably occur in Assyria; the rabbits, which Ainsworth says are rare, must be a modern introduction, for the original home of these animals is Spain and the Balearic islands, and they were not known at all to the ancient Greeks as indigenous animals, nor to the Romans before the time of Varro, who brought specimens from Spain into Italy, where they were seen by Atheneus, A.D. 230, on his journey from Puteoli to Naples. The rabbit, therefore was not known to the ancient inhabitants of Assyria; where it does now occur in Western Asia, it must have been imported. Of the order
Ungidata.—Amongst the Bovidae or ox family we
have the wild bull, figured on the monuments, and very frequently mentioned in
the historical and hunting records. This animal was known to the Assyrians by
the name of rirnu [cuneiform] and in the Accadians by that of am-si
([cuneiform]), i.e. "the horned bull," in allusion to the size of the horns of
the animal. The rhnu is one of the most interesting of the creatures represented
on the monuments, and it helps to establish, beyond a shadow of doubt, the
opinion of those who maintain that the so-called "unicorn" of the Bible is a
two-horned bovine animal of great size and ferocity. The Hebrew name of this
wild bull, so unfortunately translated "unicorn" by the authorised version, is
rim (ראמ), which is identical with the Assyrian
rhnu. The unicorn of our
English Bible owes its origin to the Septuagint and Vulgate versions ([Greek];
and unicornis). In Dent, xxxiii, 17, which contains a portion of Joseph's
blessing, it is [p.337] said, "his horns are like the horns of a
reem." Our translators seeing the
contradiction involved in the expression "horns of the unicorn,"' have rendered
the Hebrew singular noun as if it were a plural-form in the text, though they
give the correct translation in the margin. The two horns of the
reem are the ten thousand of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh, and
represent the two tribes which sprang from one (viz., Joseph), just as two horns
spring from one head. The rem, then, was two-horned; it is almost always
mentioned with bovine animals; it is said to push with its horns. No wild ox at
present exists in Palestine, but there is no reason why, in biblical times, some
great wild species, perhaps allied to the Urus which Cesar saw in the Hercynian
forest, should not have existed in Palestine. It is quite possible that future
investigations in that country may
result in the discovery of the remains of Bos primigenius, Bison prisons, or
some other formidable wild ox. Words to this effect I wrote about fifteen years
ago. Not long after this Dr. Tristram visited Palestine and discovered in bone
breccia of the Lebanon five teeth, four of which were declared by Boyd Dawkins
to belong to Bos primigenius, the other tooth probably to a Bison.
The description of the untameable rem in the Book of Job, "Will the rem (unicorn) be willing to serve thee," &c, should be compared with Caesar's account of the fierce urus, which I believe to be the very animal depicted on the sculptures, and which he saw in the Hercynian forest: "These uri are scarcely less than elephants in size, but in their nature, colour, and form, are bulls. Great is their strength and great their speed, nor do they spare man or beast when once they have caught sight of him. The hunters are most careful to kill those which they take in pitfalls, while the young men exercise themselves by this sort of hunting, and grow hardened by the toil. Those of them who kill most receive great praise when they exhibit in public the horns as trophies of their success. These uri, however, even when they are young, cannot be habituated to man and made tractable. The size and shape of their horns are very different from those of our own oxen." (Caesar, Bell. Gall, vi, 28.)
The Assyrian rimu, which is generally represented by the Accadian
([cuneiform]) has been variously rendered by Assyriologists as "elephant," "wild
boar," "buffalo," "rhinoceros"; the first is Dr. Hincks' translation, the second
Dr. Oppert's, and the third, which, though not strictly correct, is a close
approximation, is that of our own eminent Sir Henry Rawlinson. Mr. Norris also
generally translates the word by "buffalo," though from the expression, "horned
bull," in one place, he doubtfully suggests "a rhinoceros." Other Cuneiform
scholars, as Mr. Fox Talbot, Mr. G. Smith, uniformly render the word by a
"buffalo." Mr. Sayce, correctly, "a wild bull," though in his translation of the
inscription on the black obelisk, by an oversight, he renders "tusks" of wild
bulls instead of "horns."
It is very interesting to find the Assyrian records confirming the accuracy of palaeontologists. Four of the teeth found by Dr. Tristram in bone breccia of Lebanon were, as I have said, identified by Boyd Dawkins as belonging to some gigantic wild ox, most probably the Bos primigenius. Now of the king of the broken obelisk, it is expressly mentioned that he hunted these remi in the very district where their teeth have been found.
"Wild rimi which opposite the land of the Hittites, and at the foot of Lebanon he killed."
In the time of Tiglath-Pileser I, who was probably king of the broken obelisk, these wild bulls must have been somewhat numerous in certain districts; for not only were they often slain in hunting expeditions, but their calves were captured alive and brought to the Royal abode at Calah or Nineveh. In the time of the later Assyrian monarchs these animals became scarce, for no representation of wild bull hunting occurs on the monuments of Assur-bani-pal. The king hunted the wild bull in his chariot, attended by horsemen. Occasionally the wounded animal, with arrows fixed in the body, would make a rush at the chariot, when the monarch would seize him by the horn, and with a short, strong sword pierce the marrow of the cervical vertebra, which would—as in modern Spanish bull fights—instantly bring him to the ground. The wild bull would sometimes fight [p.339] with the lion, as may be seen on a sculpture from Nimrud. The long, strong horns were valued; frequent mention is made of them in the records, as "horns without number I received." We learn from Caesar and Pliny that the large horns of the urus were anxiously sought after for making into cups to be used at splendid entertainments, or for ornaments, the tips being bound with silver. Some such use the Assyrians also no doubt made of them. Their skins also were much prized, frequent mention being made of them. Whether the large and powerful mastiff was used in wild bull hunting does not appear from the monuments, which give no representation of the use of dogs in this chase.
The species of wild cattle hunted by the ancient Assyrian kings is one evidently closely allied to Bos primigenius, the gigantic urus which the Roman armies saw when they penetrated the forests of Belgium and Germany. The wild bull of the sculptures is not a bison but a bos, a genus differs from the genus bison in certain characters, especially in the form and size of the horns; in the bos, the forehead, too, is flat, in the bison it is convex. The horns of the bison are short, those of the Assyrian bull are long and curved. Remains of the Bos primigenius have been found in the alluvial beds of rivers and the newer tertiary deposits of this country; in marl-pits of Scotland, in which country Professor Owen thinks it maintained its ground longest. If the form and size of the horns of Bos primigenius in the British Museum be compared with the sculptured representations of those of the wild bull of the monuments, this similarity will be apparent. The Assyrian wild rimu then is not a bison, neither is it a buffalo. In this latter animal the forehead is even more convex than in the bison, while the horns are very different; so, whether we look at the long-horned (Macrocerus) variety of the wild buffalo (Arue), or the curved-horned (Spirocerus) variety, in neither case does this animal resemble the bull of the monuments. Again, the rimu was hunted in forests and amongst the hills; the wild buffalo is a swamp-loving animal, and, like its domestic relation, loves to wallow in marshes, in which it sometimes lies buried up to the head. The original home of the Indian buffalo appears to have been India, in the [p.340] swampy jungles of which country it found a congenial home. I do not think it occurred west of the Indus in the time of the Assyrians. According to Cuvier, the buffalo, now so much used as a beast of burden in the East and West, was not introduced into Europe before the Middle Ages, though its introduction into Western Asia was probably anterior to that date. No buffalo was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The [Greek] or bubalis of classical authors is clearly some species of antelope, the Alcephalus bubalis of modern zoologists. Considering the weight of evidence, whether pictorial, historical, palaeontological, or etymological, I think there is not the slightest doubt that the rimu ([cuneiform]) the Assyrian language, the am-si ([cuneiform]) of the Accadian, is the rem (ראמ) of the Hebrew Bible, and that the particular species of wild cattle indicated is the Bos primigenius of Boyanus and Cuvier. This animal is figured on the sculptures with much spirit; the strong and thick, long curved horns are well drawn; it is generally, if not always, represented with a hump on the back, reminding one in tins respect of the Indian zebu, but there are no osteological differences between the zebu and the common Bos taurus, with its numerous varieties; and even steps of transition, from the complete absence of the shoulder hump to the well-developed hump in the Indian zebu may be seen in some other breeds, as, for instance, in the thickened shoulder of the Italian breed, which also, in point of colour, somewhat resembles the zebu. I have already mentioned (in Part I, p. 42) that the long-horned variety of the domestic cattle of the Assyrians, both in possessing the hump more or less developed, and in the form of their horns, resemble the wild ox or rimu. Was the Bos primigenius in any way the origin of the Assyrian domestic breed? I think it very probable.
The gigantic living wild ox of the primitive forests of India, the Bos gaur, is a magnificent animal, worthy of being compared with the Bos primigenius, now extinct. I think if could hardly have been known to the Assyrians, as it probably did not occur west of the Indus.
Passing from the Bovidae to the Capridae, or goat family, [p.341] we know that the wild goat (Capra oegagrus, Gm.) is common through Asia Minor and Persia, extending eastward as far as Scinde. It must have been a very well known species, and frequently limited by the Assyrian kings. I am not aware, however, of any representation of this wild goat on the monuments. The species occasionally figured is doubtless the Asiatic ibex, viz., the Capra Sinaitica, Ehrenb., which has a wide geographical range, being found in North Africa Arabia Petrasa, Palestine. Ainsworth mentions the stembock (Capra ibex, Lin.) as occurring in the Taurus. But this species is not found out of Europe. The C. Caucasica, or Bouquetin du Caucase, Cuv., though perhaps for the most part confined to the Caucasus, was probably not unknown to the Assyrians. The species, however, best known would be the C. oegagrus and the C. Sinaitica. There are several Assyrian words which evidently denote goats or wild goats; these are [cuneiform]—arme, in the plural number, a-tu-du, tsap-pa-ru, and ya-e-li. As some of these words have been considered in the first part of my subject, I will merely refer back, and say that I think the arme refers to herds of the Capra oegagrus, that a-tu-du I take to be the ordinary word for the domestic he-goat; the tsap-pa-ru, which in the Accadian is called "the strong horn-raiser," may be the wild he-goat, C. oegagrus, individually, and the ya-eli herds of the Western Asiatic Ibex, C. Sinaitica. It was Dr. Hincks who first suggested that arme meant "wild goats," the Assyrian word being referred to the Syriac arno, "Capra Rupicula," "Hircus Sylvestris," "a wild goat." The Assyrian ya-e-li ([cuneiform]) clearly must be referred to the Hebrew יעל (yael). Properly translated "wild goats" in our version. The Hebrew animal-name is from the root יעל, "to ascend," i.e., "the climbing animal." The Vulgate renders the Hebrew word by "ibexes," and probably this is the exact meaning of the word. Chamois are rock-climbers, and go in herds like the ibex. But though they are found in the Caucasus in very large numbers, as a recent traveller has told us, these caprine antelopes are not found elsewhere in Western Asia. Dr. F. Delitzsch doubtfully suggests "the chamois" to be [p.342] denoted by the Assyrian di-ta-nu ([cuneiform]) ideographically in the Accadian column. He compares a somewhat similar Arabic word as the name of some kind of chamois. Perhaps the chamois was known to the ancient Assyrians, though it is not possible to say by what name.
The best known wild sheep in Assyria is the Caprovis orientalis, Armenian sheep. The true Oris ammon (Lin.) of the Altai has its representative in the O. Arkal of Blasius from the east of the Caspian; it is, however, a much smaller animal. The rass or roosh, Ovis polii, a gigantic species of wild sheep with enormous horns, circularly twisted, which inhabits the plains of Pamer, east of Bokhara, 16,000 feet above the sea level, is called by Blythe the Ovis sculptorum, as though the O. polii were a domesticated variety of O. aries. The rass, however, is a wild sheep; it is mentioned by Marco Polo. Recently another gigantic wild sheep, Thien Shan Ovis, has been obtained by Colonel Gordon's party, which may be distinct from O. polii. If this species was ever known to the Accadians, one would expect a name describing its wonderful horns.
We now leave the goats and sheep and come to the deer family, or Cervidiv. Two species of deer are represented on the monuments: a spotted deer, apparently with horns more or less palmated, and a species which resembles the common stag of Europe (Cervus elaphus, Lin.). Ainsworth says that the fallow deer (Cervus dama) is common in some parts of Taurus, and states a report that the stag (C. elaphus) occurs in the same districts; he also says that the roe-buck (Cervus capreolus) is not uncommon. The spotted deer of the monuments is generally considered to be the fallow deer, which is known to occur in the south of Asia Minor, but it is a question whether the spotted deer of the sculptures may not also include the Cervus Mesopotamicus recently described by Sir Victor Brooke. The figure of a spotted deer without horns amidst reeds appears to represent a young individual, in which case it would be impossible to identify the species, because the young of all deer are spotted, with the exception of the typical Rusine deer, reindeer and elk. There is [p.343] another spotted adult deer, namely, the Cervus axis, with non-palmate horns, but this species does not occur west of Hindostan, and would not have been known to the Assyrians. The figures on the monuments are not drawn with sufficient accuracy for us to determine the exact species of spotted deer. In Sir Victor Brooke's Cervus Mesopotamicus the horns are palmated not far from the base; from the posterior corner of this palm "a strong cylindrical beam" rises, terminating in three well-developed tines. In Cervus dama, the fallow deer, the horns are at first (i.e., near the bur) cylindrical, the upper portion being broadly flattened and palmated. This new deer described by Sir Victor Brooke is closely allied to the Cervus dama, but is clearly a distinct type. A figure of a spotted deer on a Babylonian cylinder, showing horns palmated at the top, would seem to represent the fallow deer rather than the Cervus Mesopotamicus. There is also a bas-relief representing a deity holding a spotted deer in his hands. The horns in this case too are palmated at the top; but the large, oval, regularly arranged spots would rather suggest the Cervus Mesopotamicus. Probably both types or species were known to the Assyrians. The C. Mesopotamicus is found in Khuzistan and Luristan, countries at the north of the Persian gulf.16
The other non-spotted deer of the monuments is no doubt a species closely allied to the Cervus elaphus of Europe, which is known to occur in Asia Minor. Generally speaking, the sculptures show animals with very large horns; a stag on a terra-cotta fragment has the horns enormously developed. A stag, which may be a variety of the Cervus [p.344] elaphus, was seen by Lord Arthur Hay in the mountains of Assyria, the horns of which are described as being larger than those of the wapiti. Then, again, there is the Cervus Wallichii, Cuv., the maral, or Persian deer, an allied species, which has also very large horns. Of the Rusine section the Cervus Caspicus (Brooke, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1874, p. 42), from Talisch, south-west of the Caspian, occurs, whose horns resemble those of Cervus axis. These may all have been known to the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia; the deer figured on the monuments would probably be the Cervus elaphus (Vera), or the C. Wallichii, the general characters of which resemble the common stag of Europe.
By what names were these two species of deer known to the Assyrians and Accadians? In the bilingual tablet we find in the Accadian column the sign dara [cuneiform] which in the Assyrian column is represented by tu-ra-khu ([cuneiform]). I consider both these words to represent "deer" in a general sense, perhaps even including antelopes. The Assyrian word Dr. F. Delitzsch refers to the Arabic erakh, [Arab.] or arkhon, [Arab.] which Freytag gives Bos Mas, juvencus, antilope, the letter t in turakhu being the formative of the noun. Next follow dara-bar ([cuneiform]) and ai-lu ([cuneiform]) in the respective columns. Now har ([cuneiform]), amongst a number of meanings, has that of "striped," "spotted," or "mottled"; hence dara-bar in Accadian is literally translated "the spotted deer," and when we see how plainly the Assyrian sculptor represented the spots on the deer he figured, and how conspicuous these spots are on the animals themselves, whether the species be the fallow deer or Sir V. Brooke's new Mesopotamian species, we see how appropriate is the Accadian name. The Assyrian nila is clearly the Hebrew ayyil (אעל), a "stag," or "hart." The dara-bar-kak ([cuneiform]) with which the Assyrian na-ai-lu ([cuneiform]), another form of ailx, is equated, is "the male spotted deer." Next in the tablet follows, in the Accadian place, dara-klialrkhalrla ([cuneiform]), [p.345] and [cuneiform], or "ditto" (nailu), in the Assyrian. Now khal-khal-la denotes "impetuosity," "violence," "fury-making." The name khal-khal ([cuneiform]) in Assyrian gararu sa me, "violent rushing of waters," is one of the names of the Tigris; so here in dara-khal-khal-la we have a large and dangerous deer, such as Cervus elaphas, or the maral, the males of which, especially at one period of the year, are often savage, and when wounded are formidable opponents. The idea embodied in the Accadian word has often been most admirably represented by the late Sir E. Landseer in well-known pictures. The Assyrian monuments represent the capture of these large deer; men surrounded portions of a forest with large and strong nets, into which the animals were driven, or they were shot with bow and arrow. The dog used in chasing the wild deer was the large mastiff used in hunting the wild asses. In the chase of the dara-khal-khal-la, whether of the large horned variety of the Cervus elaphus or the Persian Maral stag, a powerful dog was necessary, for a stag at bay is a formidable antagonist to any kind of dog. The habit of the stag's taking to water when hard pressed has been noticed by the Assyrian sculptor, and has been depicted on a slab from Koyunjik. The nets used in deer-hunting were of course of strong material, the meshes were large. A portion of forest was enclosed by a net, which was,, secured by poles and pegs, and men outside the net attended to any poles and pegs that might have been loosened by the rush of a terror-stricken stag; beaters inside, probably forming a line as in modern cover shooting, would drive the animals into the nets, where they would be killed by arrows or spears.
The Antelopece or antelope-group is represented in Assyria and neighbouring lands by several species; there is the white antelope (Oryx leucoryx) of North Africa and Egypt, in the capture of which the ancient Egyptians used a particular breed of dog named mahut, which, with the determinative affix of an antelope, means "dog of the white antelope." (Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch., Vol. IV, p. 172.) The Alcephalus bubalis, Addax nasomaculatus, Saiga Tartarica, Gazella dorcas, G. subgutturosa, G. muscatensis, Oryx beatrix, also occur in Western Asia. The only sculptural representation that we [p.346] find on the Assyrian monuments is the gazelle, whose lyrate horns proclaim the species, to be either Gazella dorcas (Vera), or G. subgutturosa. The former species occur in the deserts north of the Persian Gulf; the G. subgutturosa is found in the same localities, and is said to be commoner. The hunted gazelles of the sculptures, though drawn with a good deal of spirit, are too robust and goat-like, the horns are too massive and too long. The animals no doubt are intended for gazelles, though the goat-like form has misled some writers to regard them as ibexes. Although the gazelle is generally considered as an animal of the deserts, it will also frequent rocks. Tristram noticed gazelles on the rocks of Engedi amongst wild goats, and probably the Assyrians would also find the gazelle in similar situations. The favourite mode of hunting the gazelle in the East is by hawk and greyhound. Layard speaks of "the pursuit of the gazelle with the falcon and hound over the boundless plains of Assyria and Babylonia as one of the most exhilarating and graceful of sports, displaying equally the qualities of the horse, the dog, and the bird." (Nin. and Bab., p. 482.) Such a combined method was probably unknown to the ancient inhabitants, who very likely set huntsmen to wait in ambush, and others to drive them within shot. Perhaps also the greyhound was employed in the chase of the gazelle. The bilingual list furnishes us with the Accadian word, or rather ideogram, for a gazelle, which was [cuneiform] (bar). This character is known to possess several meanings, and I do not know what particular one we ought to attach to the gazelle, but the fact that it is the representative of the Assyrian tsabi ([cuneiform]), which is identical with the Hebrew tsebi (צבי) seems to place beyond doubt that [cuneiform] (bar) is the Accadian for "the gazelle." In the following column we have BAR-KAK ([cuneiform]) which we are told to read ([cuneiform]) ni-ta, i.e., "male"; it is represented in the Assyrian column by the word da-as-su ([cuneiform]) with which may be compared the Hebrew dish on (דישון), a species of bounding gazelle or other antelope. Another Accadian word for an antelope [p.347] [cuneiform], amar (?) nita; it is compared with the Assyrian u-za-luv ([cuneiform]) which is identical with the Arabic [Arab.] gazal, our own English word "gazelle." Though perhaps some of the larger antelopes mentioned above were known to the Assyrians in their hunting expeditions, or seen by them in their war marches, the small gazelles alone seem to be mentioned in the bilingual list, and were perhaps the species most familiar to the people. The large antelope-like beast represented on the black obelisk in company with the one-horned rhinoceros, which it equals, or even surpasses, in height and strong build, resembles no existing antelope. Its decidedly lyrate horns remind one of the antelope (Procapra gutturosa, Gray) of Thibet and Mongolia. Probably this animal, and the rhinoceros and the bull with crescent horns, were all drawn from memory.
The Equidae or horse-family are represented on the sculptures by the wild asses alone. The zebras and the quagga are not met with out of the continent of Africa. Three species at least of wild ass have been described. The Equus (Asinus) Hemionus (the kiang, the wild ass of Thibet) is found in herds in the high table-lands of that country at an altitude of 15,000 feet or more above the sea level. The kiang now in the Regent's Park Zoological Gardens has been there since June, 1859, having been brought there by Major Hay (see Proc. Zoolog. Soc, 1859, p. 353). The kiang neighs like a horse. These asses "herd in droves, fly at a trot, stop, and look back" (H. Smith, Equidae, p. 286). Confining themselves to the high plateau of Thibet, these wild asses would not come within the cognizance of the Assyrian people. I pass then to the Equus (Asinus) hemippus, the wild ass of Assyria, which is perhaps not really specifically distinct from the Equus (Asimis) onager, also an inhabitant of the Asiatic deserts. The wild ass of the sculptures has, as I have before observed, p. 49, a more horse-like appearance than the natural wild animal really possesses. The large mastiff was used in the chase of these animals, which were hunted by men on horseback armed with bows and arrows. Stratagem was no doubt employed, for neither the Assyrian horses nor [p.348] dogs would have much chance in the open plain of overtaking an animal so excessively swift. The sculptures represent young ass-foals together with their dams; it is not improbable that they were hunted at this time for the sake of the flesh of the young animals, which the huntsman would find no difficulty in capturing, whilst parental fondness would render the poor mothers a comparatively easy prey. Mr. Layard (Nineveh and its Remains, I, p. 324, note) thus speaks of these wild asses:—
"The reader will remember that Xenophon mentions these beautiful animals, which he must have seen during his march in these very plains. He faithfully describes the country and the animals and birds which inhabit it, as they are to this day, except that the ostrich is not now to be found so far north. 'The country,' says he, 'was a plain throughout, as even as the sea, and full of wormwood; if any other kinds of shrubs or trees grew there, they had all an aromatic smell, but no trees appeared. Of wild creatures, the most numerous were wild asses, and not a few ostriches besides bustards and roe-deer (gazelles), which our horsemen sometimes chased. The asses, when they were pursued, having gained ground of the horses, stood still (for they exceeded them much in speed), and when these came up with them, they did the same thing again, so that our horsemen could take them by no other means but by dividing themselves into relays, and succeeding one another in the chase. The flesh of those that were taken was like that of red deer, but more tender.' (Anab. i, c. 5.) In fleetness they equal the gazelle, but to overtake them is a feat which only one or two of the most celebrated mares have been able to accomplish. The Arabs sometimes catch the foals during the spring and bring them up with milk in their tents. I endeavoured in vain to obtain a pair. They are of rich fawn-colour, almost pink. The Arabs still eat their flesh."
The Elephantiadae. A figure of the Indian elephant (Elephas Indicus) (fairly
enough executed, with the exception of the erect horse-like ears) is found on
the black obelisk of Shalmaneser. The animal forms part of the tribute of the
[p.349] country of the Armenian Muzri. The same epigraph mentions as the other tribute
double-backed camels, an ox of the river Saceya, horses, mules, and apes.
The epigraph is as follows:—
ma - da - tu sa mat Mu - uz - ri D.P. gamali sa su - na - ai tsi - ri si - na al - ap D.P. nahr Sa - ci - e - ya D.P. susi pi - ra - ti ba - zi -a- ti u - du - mi am - khar
The tribute of the country of the Muzri, camels of which double (are) camels their backs, an ox of the river Saceya, horses, mules, elephants (and) apes I received.
The elephant does not now occur in Western Asia, though it may have been found
there formerly, but as apes are mentioned together with elephants, there can be
no doubt, I think, that the Armenian Muzri had themselves received both kinds of
animals from India.
The word in the Assyrian language, which occurs only in the epigraph of the black obelisk, and which is supposed to denote "elephants," is ba-zi-a-ti ([cuneiform]). Mr. Norris writes, "the Heb. בזז would indicate some predaceous animal, or this may be an animal living in muddy and [p.350] marshy places, from \l% possibly the hippopotamus." (Assyr. Dict, i, p 79.) I think there is much reason to believe that elephants are intended, for the animal itself is figured on the monument, and so strange a creature would surely be mentioned by name. If we refer the Assyrian word to the Hebrew בעץ (bazaz), "to take as spoil," "to seize," the idea of "the seizing animal" may well be applied to an elephant, with its prehensile trunk and its finger-like appendage, by means of which it can pick or take hold of the smallest substance.
The Rhinoceros is most probably alluded to by the expression "ox of the river Saceya," alap nahr Sa-ci-e-ya, [cuneiform]. The figure of the one-homed animal, with its bull-like form, as depicted on the obelisk, and its one thick horn standing erect from its forehead, can be intended for nothing else than a rhinoceros. Where the river Sacieya may be I know not. The geographical range of existing Asiatic rhinoceroses corresponds nearly with that of the Indian elephant; and the country from which the latter came would probably be that from which the rhinoceros came, viz., India. It was not an uncommon thing for the ancients to call a large animal "an ox." When the Romans first saw the elephant in the army of Pyrrhus in Lucania, they gave it the name of Bos Luca, "the Lucanian ox," as Lucretius says:—
"Inde boves Lucas turrito corpore tetros
Anguimanos, belli docuerunt viilnera Pceni
Sufferre, et magnas Marti turbare cater vas."
(De Rer. Nat. V. 1301).
"Next the Pœni taught the horrible Lucanian oxen, with towered body and
snake-like hand, to endure the wounds of war and to throw into confusion the
mighty ranks of Mars." With the expression "snake-like hand" I will ask you to
compare the idea implied in the Hebrew word בזז, "to seize," or "take hold
Suidae.—Of this family the common wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the only known inhabitant of Assyrian lands, where it is [p.351] numerous. It is rarely represented on the sculptures, and nowhere as an animal of the chase. On a slab in the British Museum, which contains a deer and two hinds in a thicket, may also be seen, amongst similar tall reeds, a wild sow accompanied by eight or nine little ones, one of which is drawn in the act of sucking. All the figures are executed with spirit and truth. Whether the ancient Assyrian monarchs ever engaged in the exhilarating sport of pig-sticking, as practised in modern India, one cannot say, but no such reference or representation occurs on the monuments, so far as I believe is known at present. The boar of Asia Minor, of which there is a skull in the British Museum, and which Dr. Gray says is "very distinct from the skulls of the wild boars of Germany, is named by Gray, Sus Libycus (Proc. Zoolog. Soc, 1868, p. 31); he also thinks that the wild boar of Palestine may be referred to this species. Perhaps they are both varieties of the common Sus scrofa, which has a very wide geographical range. It is well known that the number of the vertebrae in the hog is subject to variation; similarly the form of the skull may vary in different individuals.
The Hebrew name of the wild boar is (חזיר) khazir, and khanzir in Arabic. No Assyrian word, I believe, is known as yet; one would expect such a word as kha-zi-ru ([cuneiform]).
Of the order Cete, containing the whales and porpoises (the Balanidae Catodontidae and Delphinidae), as known to the old Assyrians, there is very little to say. No figure of a cetaceous mammal occurs on the sculptures, but I think Mr. Fox Talbot is correct in rendering the Assyrian word [cuneiform] (na-khi-ru) by "dolphin." The late Mr. Norris conjecturally translates "a narwhal" (Monodon monosceros), an animal of the Polar Seas, which, though it has been rarely found as far south as the north of Scotland, would be quite out of its element in the Mediterranean Sea.
The king of the broken obelisk is said to have sailed in ships of Arvad, and to have "killed a nakhiru in the Great (or Mediterranean) Sea." The same king received, amongst other tribute from the conquered lands of Tyre, Sidon, [p.352] Phoenicia, and Arvad, "teeth of nakhiri, the produce of the sea." (W.A.I., I. pl. xxv, line 88.)
Seni na -khi- ri bi-nu-ut tehamti ma- da - ta -su-mi am - khar
Teeth of nakhiri the produce of the sea, their tribute I received.
Some marine creature which possessed teeth large enough to have been valued, either for the ivory or for ornaments, as necklaces, perhaps, is clearly denoted. M. Oppert thought that seal-skins are meant. Seals, though occurring in some parts of the Mediterranean, and in the Caspian Seas, would hardly be found near the coast of Phoenicia. The Assyrian word is referred by Mr. Fox Talbot to a Syriac word for "a nostril," and as this organ, or the blow-hole of cetaceans occupies a prominent situation on the upper part of the head, the name would be appropriate enough; the nakhir tehamti means the "nostril animal of the sea." The porpoises and the dolphins generally have small teeth, but in some species they are large enough to have been of value. In early times some species of sperm whale, as the Physeter macrocephalus, might have been found in the Mediterranean. The teeth of the Catodontidae are large and powerful, and of commercial value. These whales and the dolphins are closely allied, and I do not think that the Assyrian name can be better rendered than by "dolphin" or "grampus," leaving the species, whether amongst the Delphinadae or Catodontidae undecided.
Record of a Hunting Expedition of Tiglath-Pileser I. ClRC. B.C. 1120 to 1100.
From a Broken Obelisk in the British Museum. (W.A.I. I, Plate 28.)
D.P. Nin - ip va D.P. Sidu sa idluta ira -mu bu - h - ir tseri u - sa - at - li - mu - su - va ina D.P. elappi sa D.P. Arva- da -a- ya ir - cab na -khi- ra ina tehamti rab-te i - du - uc
Ninip and Nergal, who bravery love the beasts of the field have entrusted to him, and in ships of Arvad he rode; a dolphin in the great sea he slew.
rimi abati su - tu - ru - te ina D.P. A - ra - zi - ki sa pa -an D.P. kha- at - te va ina nir D.P. Lib - na - a - ni i - due
Wild bulls destructive (and) fine in the city of Araziki which (is) opposite the land of the Hittites and at the foot of Lebanon he slew.
mu - ri pal - dhu - te sa rimi u -tsa- ab - bi - ta 6u - gul - la - a - te - su - nu ik - zur rimi (am - si) ina D.P. mitpani su
The young alive of the wild bulls he took; As property of them he collected; the wild bulls with his bow
u - sam - kit rimi pal - dhu - te ii -tsa- ab - bi - ta a - na ala su A-sur lib - la sanie su - si nesi ina lib - bi su
he killed; the wild bulls (which) alive he captured to his city of Asur he brought; two soss (120) of lions with his heart
ic - di itia ki - it - ru -ub mi- id - hi - ti su ina ruqubi su pa - at - tu - te ina niri su ina D.P. pa-ruv-khi i - duo nesi
strong, in the attack of his bravery, in his chariot open, on his feet, with a club he slew: lions
ina D.P. nir h - am - te u - sam - kit khar - sa - a - nu ea - qu - u - tu e - pi - is bu - h ri su - nu ic - bi - u - ni - su ina yumat cu - uts - tsi kkal- pi - e su - ri - pi
with a spear he killed. Forests thick to make (hunt) their game had called him. On days of storms varying (and) of heat;
ina ymat ni - pi - ikli cacabi kak- si - di sa ci -ma em i - tsu - du ina D.P. E -be- ikli
in the days of the rising of the star Cacsidi which is like bronze he had hunted in the country of Ebikh
mat Ura - se mat A - za - mi - ri mat An -kur- na mat Pizi - it - ta mat Pi iz mat Ca - si - ya - ri matani sa mat Asur mat Kha- a- na siddi mat
the country of Urase, Azamiri Incurna Pizitta the country of Pi ... . iz, in the country of Casiyari provinces of the land of Assyria and Khana, the borders of the land of
Lu - la - mi - e va matani sa matati Nai - ri ar - me tu - ra - a - kbi na - a - li
Lulume, and the provinces of the lands of Nairn; wild goats deer spotted stags
ya - e - li iua sa - di - ra - a - te n - te - im - mi - ikh 6u - gul - la - a - te su - nu ik - zur u - sa - lid mar - si - su - nu ci -ma mar
ibexes in herds he took; the property of them he collected, he brought forth; their young ones and the young of sheep he counted;
- si - it D.P. tsi - e - ni im - nu nim - ri mi - di - ni a - si sanie dabi iz - zi
leopards tigers jackals two bears strong
MAL - ZIR - KHUI i - due irairi zin - na (tseri) va tsabi LIG - BAR - Rl (akhi) si - im - kur- ri u - sam - kit bur -khi- is par - ra - te te -se -
he slew, wild asses and gazelles, hyenas he killed; antelopes wild cattle the huntsmen (whom) he sent they had taken;
ni D.P. dam - gari is - pur il - qu - u - ni par- ra - a - te ik - zur u - sa - lid
the wild cattle he collected, he brought together
su - gul - la - a - te su - nu nisi mati su u -se - ib - ri
the property of them; the men of his country we caused to feed;
pa -khum - ta rab - ta nam - su - kha karan nahri u -ma - mi sa tihamti rab-te fermat Mu- uz - ri -e u -se-bi-la nisi mati su u - se - ib - ri
a black great crocodile scaly (beast) of the river; (and) animals of the sea great, the king of Egypt caused to be brought; the men of his country he caused to feed;
si - te - it u -ma -a -me ma- li - di va itsturi same mut -tab- ri sa
(as to) the rest of the animals numerous, and birds of the heaven winged which
ina bu - h - ur tseri ip -se - it qa - ti su sumi su-uu it - ti u -ma- me [matima- da] -a la sadh- ru mi -nu su-nu it - ti
among the beasts of the field (were) the work of his hands, their names with the animals of the country for multitude were not written; their number with those (former)
mi -nu-te an - ni - te [la sadh] - ru e - zib matati ci - sit - ti qa - ti - su kharrani naciri dhaba ina ruqubi su va mar-tsa ina niri sn
numbers were not written; he left the countries the acquisition of his hand; roads strange the good (places) in his chariot and the difficult on his feet
[at] tal - la - en va tab - da - su - nu is - cu - nu su an - na - a - te la sa -
he had marched and their destruction he had effected these not penetrating countries
khi - ir matatu is - tu alu Duban sa (Ac) ca - di - i mat A- khar - ri
from the city Duban of Accad country of the West (Palestine)
1. Sidu, Accadian, "he who marches in front"; a name of Nergal associated with Ninip in hunting expeditions. [cuneiform] (mis-su), Accadian "strength" + "to increase" = idluta, "heroism," "bravery": i-ra-mu, from רחמ, "to love."
cf. Heb. בעיר, "beasts."
2. U-sa-at-li-mu-su, 3rd plur. shaphel, from talamu, to "entrust," "confer," with pronom. suffix; elappi (Accad. ma-mes), "ships"; cf. Chald. "a ship."
3. ircab, 3rd sing, aorist kal from ra-ca-bu, "to ride"; cf. Heb. רכ, to ride, and the Assyrian ruqubu, "a chariot."
Nakhira, "a grampus," "a whale," or "dolphin," or other allied cetacean. Mr. Fox Talbot thus rightly, I think, translates the word, referring it to the Syriac [Syr.], nakhira, "a nostril," in reference to the animal's "blow-hole."
A-ab-ba, Accad. = Assyrian tehamtu, "the sea"; cf. Heb. תחומ.
Rabti, cf. Heb. רב, great, large.
Iduc, "he slew," 3rd sing, aorist fr. dacu, "to smite," "to kill."
4. [cuneiform] rimi, "wild bulls," plur. of [cuneiform], in Accad. am, "a bull," often with the syll. [cuneiform], "a horn," in allusion to the great size and strength of the animal's horns.
[cuneiform] mon. = abatu, "to destroy." See Sayce, Assy. Sam, No. 375. Cf. Heb. "to destroy."
Suturute. Compare Heb. יתר, "to abound," "to be superior."
6. Mu-ri = maru = "a son." Paldhuti, cf. Heb. "to slip away," "to escape." Hence in war "one who has escaped alive." U-tsa-ab-bi-ta, "he took," 3rd sing, pael from tsa-ba-tu ([cuneiform]) "to take'" "seize" with the augment of motion.
7. [cuneiform] Su-gul-la-a-te, "property," "possessions"; cf. Heb. segullah, from "to acquire." Ik-zur, "he collected," from ka-tsa-ru; cf. "to reap," "gather."
8. U-sam-kit, "he caused to kill," 3rd sing, aorist shaphel from ma-ka-tu ([cuneiform]), "to destroy."
10. [cuneiform] ub-la, "he brought," 3rd sing, aorist kal from [cuneiform] abalu, "to bring," with augment of motion. Te-di, "strong," perhaps borrowed from Accadian. Ci-it-rub, from kirib, "the inside," "middle"; cf. the verb [cuneiform] ca-ra-bu, and "to approach" (an ithpeal derivative), "to be near." Mi-id-lu-ti, a form of idlutu, as in line 1, Math m formative. Pat-tu-te, "open"; cf. "to open."
11. [cuneiform] Pa-ru(v)-khi, or bu-ru-khi, "a club"; cf. Heb. בריח.
12. Nir-h-am-te, perhaps allied to the Heb. רמח, "a javelin." Kharsdnu, "a forest." Sa-qu-tu, Accadian saku, "high," "deep."
13. Epis, construct of e-pi-su "to make." Ik-bi-u-ni-su, 3rd plur. from kabu, with conditional suffix ni.
14. Cu-nts-tsi, gen. sing, of cu-uts-tsu ([cuneiform]),"a storm," "thunder"; cf. Arab. [Arab.] kasis. Khalpe. cf. "to pass through," "to change."
Suripi, "heat," from [cuneiform]
sa-ra-pu, "to bum." Mr. Sayce,
however, connects this word with urpati, "rain," "mist."
Nipikh, "to dawn," "to rise."
15. [cuneiform], Accadian mul = Assyrian cacabu, "a star." Kak-sidi, i.e., "making prosperity"; see Sayce's Astron. and Astrol., Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch., Vol. Ill, p. 170.
16. [cuneiform] reads [cuneiform] cu-ma; the expression "like bronze" applied to hot weather answers to our "glaring day." This inclines me to translate suripi (above) by "heat."
I-tsu-du, 3rd sing, aorist kal from [cuneiform] t-sidu, "to hunt"; "game," from צרד, "to take" or "capture game."
17. Matani, plural of main (madtu = madatu) "country"; borrowed from Accadian ma + da; cf. Aram., locus, urbs.
18. Sid-di, "territories,'' "borders"; "a field," "open country," from "to spread out."
20. Ina Sadirdte, "in herds"; Chald. "to place in rows." Utemmikh, 3rd sing, pael from ta-ma-khu, "to take"; "to take hold of."
21. Usalid, 3rd sing, shaphel from a-li-du [cuneiform], "to bring forth."
24. [cuneiform] bit-zir-khui. Some unknown animal, mentioned again in Layard's Inscriptions, 44, 18, in company with "lions." Norris suggests some animal that cries out in the neighbourhood of houses. בית, "a house," and "to cry out." Jackals (?), but the word may be Accadian.
Lniri zinua (tseri), "asses of the desert," "wild asses."
cima sal imiri tseri
like a she-ass of the desert.
25. [cuneiform] si-im-kur-ri.
26. [cuneiform] bur-hhi-is, "antelopes," from "to flee away," in allusion to their swiftness. Compare the Arabic expression ibn barihin, "son of swiftness," "a gazelle." Some large and handsome antelope is probably intended, for the same king ordered stone figures of these burkhis to be made. See Broken Obelisk, W.A.I., II, 18, col. 2.
[cuneiform] "a huntsman"
D.P. dam - gar D.P. dam- ca -ru.
The ideogram which represents this word is [cuneiform]; the outside character [cuneiform], perhaps denotes "a mouth," "an enclosure," "field," &c.; the inside sign [cuneiform], cip, cib, is obscure. The Accadian word is [cuneiform] i-bi-ra. The Assyrian damgar or dam-ca-ru is probably also of Accadian origin. (See W.A.I., II, 7, 34, 35, reverse col. CD.; v. Sayce's Assy. Gram., Syll. No. 50.)
27. Is-pur, "he sent," 3rd sing, aorist kal from [cuneiform] sa-pa-ru, "to send."
Il-qu-ni, "they had taken," 3rd plur. pluperfect from la-qu ([cuneiform]), "to take."
28. Usibri, "caused to feed," 3rd sing, shaphel from ba-ra-hu, [cuneiform] "to feed." Cf. "to cut for food," "to eat."
29. Pa-khum-t a, "black," Heb. פחמ.
Nam-Su-kha, "a crocodile" undoubtedly, as shown some years ago by Mr. Fox Talbot. Herodotus (ii, 69) tells us that the Egyptian name for crocodile was [Greek]. The Egyptian word msah or emsuh, "a crocodile," appears in the Assyrian nam-iu-kha, and the Arabic msah.
Umami, "animals," "creatures." Dr. Delitzsch suggests
uv-av as the reading; cf.
Heb. חיה. Lenormant refers to the Arabic umamu, umam,
subs. masc, "bete sauvage,
grand animal"; cf. Arab. [Arab.], which Freytag renders "reptile terrse noxium,
31. Mut-tab-ri, "winged." Cf. Heb. אבר, "a wing," from "to mount upwards," "to soar."
33. Sadhru, "written," from sa-dha-ru, "to write." 3rd plur. permansive kal.
34. E-zib ([cuneiform]), 3rd sing, aorist kal from e-zi-bu, "to forsake."
Ci-sit-ti, "possession," "acquisition." Ca-sa-du, "to obtain." Arab. [Arab.].
Kharrani, plur. from khar-ran or khar-ra-nu, "a road," ideographically written [cuneiform]; equated in the syllabaries with ur-khu, "path," da-ra-gu, "a road," me-te-qu, "a passage."
Na-ci-ri, "strange," "hostile"; "strange," "foreign." [cuneiform] na-ca-ini, "to be strange"; "to be strange."
35. Dhaba (Accad. khi-ga), "good." Cf. "to be good." Mar-tsu, "difficult."
36. [It-]ta-la-cw-fa], "he had marched," 3rd sing, ittaphal from halacu, "to go."
Is-cu-nu, "he had accomplished," 3rd sing, pluper. aorist from [cuneiform], sa-ca-nil "to establish."
A LIST OF ASSYRIAN AND ACCADIAN WITH THEIR SEMITIC EQUIVALENTS
NAMES OF DOMESTIC AND WILD ANIMALS, GRAPHS, AND TRANSLITERATIONS
[Note: The cuneiform has been omitted.]
|Assyrian Name with Transliteration.||Hebrew or other Semitic
Equivalent with Transliteration
|Accadian Name with Transliteration.||Ideograph.||Animal Denoted.||Zoological Species, Genus, or Family.|
|da - as - su||dishon||BAR KAK (ni - ta)||Antelope||Some springing antelope|
|bur - khi- is||bariakh||Antelope||Oryx leucoryx, or a large/swift species|
|u - du - mu||adam||Ape||Presbyter entellus and Macacus silenus|
|'imiru||khamor||Ass (domestic)||Asinus vulgaris|
|'imiru tseri||'arod, pere||Ass (wild)||A. hemippus|
|da - bu - u||dob||tsi - ikh, sa-khu- u||Bear||Ursus Syriocus, or carnivorous animal generally|
|al - ap||eleph||gut, khar||Bull or domestic cattle||Bos taurus|
|ri - i - mu||re' em||am, am - si||Bull (wild)||Bos primi genius|
|gam- ma - lu||gamal||
D.P- a- ab - ba
|Camel||Camelus Arabicus and C. Bactrianus|
|di - ta - nu||Chamois (?)||Rupicapra tragus|
|tu - ra - khu||Arab. arkhon, irakh||da - ra||Deer||Cervidw, the deer tribe|
|na - khu- ru||Syr. nakhira||Dolphin||Delphiuus or Catodon|
|cal - bu||celeb||lik - cu||Dog||Canis familiaris|
|ba - tsi - a - ti (pl.)||No Semitic equivalent, but possibly it may be referred to bazaz, to seize||Elephant||Elephas Indicus|
|ai - lu||ayyal||dara BAR||Fallow-deer||Cervus dama, or C. Mesopotamicus|
|na - ai - lu||ayyal||dara BAR-KAK||Fallow-deer (male)|
|u -tsa- luv||'azal||Gazelle||Gazella dorcas|
|tsa- bi - i||tsebi||BAR, BAR-KAK||Gazelle||Gazella subgutturosa|
|a - tu - du||atud||mu- na||Goat (he)||Capra liircus (domestic)|
|tsap - pa - ru||tsaphir||nau - na||Goat (he)||C. oegagrus (the paseng.)|
|na - a - li||ael, yeelim||Goat (Ibex)||Capra Sinaitica (Ehrenb.)|
|an - na - bu||arnebheth||ca - zin - na||Hare||Lepus Sinaticus, L. caspius, or other species.|
|su - su||sus||D.P. kur- ra||Horse||Equus caballus|
|a - khu||oach||lik -bar- ra||Hyena||Hycena striata|
|a- si||asah, to injure||Jackal, or Fox||Canis aureus, or Vulpes|
|ni - im - ru||namer||Leopard||Leopardus varius|
|ne - es - su||No Semitic equivalent, but the meaning is certain||lik - makh||Lion||Felis leo|
|du - ma - mu||diramat||Lynx, Tiger, or other feline||Felis horealis and F. caracal, F. tigris|
|pa - ri - e||pere, wild ass||Mule|
|lu - li - mu||lu - lim||Ram||Ovis aries|
|ai - luv||ayil|
|al - ap nahr||Rhinoceros||Rhinoceros unicornis|
|Saceya||Sheep||Ovis aries, collectively a flock of sheep|
|tsi - e - ni||tson||lu, lu -bat||Sheep (wild), or Goats||Caprovis Orientalis, or Capracegagrus|
|ar - me||Syr. arno|
|na - ai - lu||ayyal||dara - hal-klial - la||Stag||Cervus elaphus, or kindred species|
|mi - di - nu||gug|
|man - di - nu||Tiger||Felis tigris, or other prowling feline animal|
|zi - i - bu||zoeb||nu um - ma|
|a - ci - luv||acal, to devour||lik bi - cu||Wolf||Canis lupus|
Since my paper on the Wild Mammalia of the Assyrian Monuments has been at press,
the two handsome volumes on "Eastern Persia" (with an introduction by Sir
Frederick J. Goldsmid, C.B.: Macmillan and Co.,1876) have appeared. The second
volume contains the zoology and geology of the country by Mr. W. T. Blanford,
F.R.S. The fauna of Persia, bordering as that country does on Assyria and the
great Euphrates Valley, may be expected more or less to resemble the fauna of
these lands. I will, therefore, add a few remarks by way of supplement to my
paper, selecting such points as appear to me to be of interest, as throwing
light on the general subject.
It appears that lions are still "very numerous in the reedy swamps bordering the Tigris and Euphrates"; they are found also in the mountains of Fars, which are clothed, from the altitude of 4,000 feet to 8,000 feet with considerable forests of a kind of oak (Quercus cegilopifolia) with very large acorns, which feed a number of wild pigs, whose presence tempts the lion into these oak-clad mountains. The mountebanks of Persia, Major St. John tells us, are often accompanied by a captive lion, trained to eat a joint of mutton off the chest of a boy, who throws himself down on his back. "It is not a pleasant exhibition, the child being generally much alarmed. I once asked a Shiraz luti which took the most threshing to learn his part, the lion or the boy, but a grin was the only answer he vouchsafed" (ii, p. 33). The ancient Egyptians trained the lion to capture prey in the chase; there is no record of a similar employment by the Assyrians, who, however, caught these animals alive and caged them ready for turning out to be hunted.
The tiger is found abundantly in the Caspian provinces of Persia, and in the Caucasus as far as the mouth of the Araxcs. These provinces are covered with dense forests, and in them "the tiger ranges up to an elevation of at [p.377] least 5,000 or 15,000 feet. To the westward it extends as far as the Caucasus and Mount Ararat, being; found not far from Tiilis." Leopards are common everywhere in the mountains of Persia, and the ounce (F. uneia, Shreb.) is said to occur; the wild cat of Europe (F. catns) is believed by Major St. John to be found near Shiraz; the chetah is certainly found in Persia, but there are no particulars as to its distribution; it is said to inhabit the Caspian forests; it is not used for sporting; purposes in Persia. The chaus is common, and is probably found throughout the country; it is the same animal which is known to inhabit Mesopotamia; the caracal is found in Persia and Mesopotamia, the lynx in the Caucasus; jackals and wolves are common in parts of Persia. The wolf of Persia is of a large size, and perhaps is a variety of the Canis lupus. These animals are not common at low elevations, but abound in the highlands; rightly, therefore, did the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia call the wolf by the Accaclian name numma "the animal from the highlands."
There seems to be some doubt as to the species of foxes (Vulpes) occurring in Persia. The V. Persians sp. nov. occurs near Shiraz, Isfahan, etc. Mr. Blanford says, "we know very little of the Persian foxes," and he is not satisfied that the V. corsac, included in the list of Mesopotamian species by Schmarda, really occurs there. The ichneumon of Persia is identical with the small animal of Mesopotamia (Herpestes Persicus, Gray); civets and genets perhaps inhabit the wooded hills of South-Western Persia. The otter (Lutra vulgaris) is found in Ghilan and Majandaran. also in a few rivers on the Persian plateau; it is also found in Mesopotamia, according to Schmarda. The Persian name Sag-i-ab means "water-dog"; this reminds one of the calab mee of the Bilingual Tablet (see Part I, Domestic Mammalia, p. 54), which, however, I take to be a true dog or canis. Several of the mustelida are said to occur in the Caucasus, the M. sarmatica having a wide range throughout Central Asia.
A new species of badger (Meles canescens) is pretty common on the plateau, being generally "found in walled gardens, and has the reputation, as the Persian name [p.378] (Gur-kan) denotes, of digging up and devouring corpses." The Syrian bear is pretty common near Shiraz, and in the hills bordering on Mesopotamia; it is a great devastator of the vineyards, and will consume incredible quantities of unripe grapes.
Seals—one species, which appears to be identical with the Phoca vitulina, L., the common seal of Northern Europe—are found in large numbers throughout the Caspian; they were probably known to the ancient Assyrians, but we are unable to say by what name. The word nakhiru, "nostril animal," which I have identified with a "grampus" or a "dolphin," would certainly suit a seal, whose nostrils open wide for air as the animal emerges from the water, and shut closely again on its sinking; but the evidence is decidedly more in favour of some dolphin. M. Oppert, without hesitation, renders kai nakhiri by "peaux de veaux marins" (Annals of Sardanapalus, W.A.I. I. pi. xxv); whilst in his "Les Fastes de Sargon" (line 182), he renders ha am-si by "pelles marinas," and zu am-si by "bdellium (ambre)," though these words mean, beyond a doubt, "horns of wild bulls" and "hides of wild bulls," respectively. So also in his recent translation of the same Annals (Records of the Past, vii, p. 52), we have "dellium" and "skins of sea-calves." If the Accadian [cuneiform] kai denote; "skins" as well as "horns and teeth," let us have the authority for this meaning. Of the Cetacea, whales and porpoises abound on the Makran coast; porpoises are equally common in the Persian Gulf, but whales are much more rare.
The beaver (Castor fiber, L.), according to Eichwald, is common in the Araxes; it is included by Schmarda in his Mesopotamian list, but Mr. Blanford doubtfully inserts it in the Persian fauna. The common porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is found throughout Persia, especially in the Caspian provinces. Schmarda does not include it amongst the Mesopotamian fauna, but Dr. Heifer observed the hystrix at Bir, and says it is most common in shady rocky places, as at Seleucia Pieria (Chesney's Expedit., vol. i, Appendix, p. 725). The porcupine, therefore, was probably known to the ancient inhabitants of the Mesopotamian lands. It would be curious [p.379] and interesting to ascertain the name by which so remarkable an animal was known to the Accadians and Assyrians.
There is some uncertainty about the species of hares of Mesopotamia and Persia. Mr. Blanford figures and describes what he considers a new species (Lepus craspedotis) found in Baluchistan; it resembles L. Mediterraneus, but is less rufous, and has much larger ears; it comes nearer to some specimens brought by Canon Tristram from Palestine, which were named by the late Dr. Gray, Eulagos Judece, in which the ears are "precisely the same as in L. craspedotis." The hare of the monuments has not large ears; it is perhaps a variety of the common hare (X. timidus) of this country. Lepus Caspius (from the Caucasus), which in general character resembles L. timidus, has smaller ears and longer legs comparatively: and this will quite suite the sculptured hare of the monuments. Mr. Blanford tells us that hares are generally diffused throughout Persia, but very irregularly. "The cultivated country about Tehran and Isfahan would swarm with them were they not kept down by coursing at all seasons." That hares abounded also in the time of the Assyrian monarchs, is evident from the fact that a district was sometimes called after them, thus there is "mat Arnabu" or "Aranabanu," "the hare country" (W.A.I., II, 65, 24). Whatever may be the species, there is a difference apparently in their habits: there is the hare of the south, which seems to avoid cultivation, while that of the north has habits more like those of our own. Hares "are not rare in the hilly desert country to the north." The desert locality is distinctly implied in the Accadian word ca-zin-na, "face of the desert." The Persian name (khar-gilsh) of a hare signifies "ass's ears."
The question as to the various species or varieties of wild ass is a difficult one. The wild animal of Mesopotamia is the E. hemippus, that of northern Persia the E. onager. "It is impossible to say, with any degree of certainty," writes Major St. John, "whether there are one or two wild asses in the Persian highlands; or if there are two, whether they have distinct habits." All the specimens seen by Major St. John from Western Persia "were undoubtedly E. onager.'' The [p.380] wild asses are so swift that, as the Persians say, ''they cannot be caught by a single horseman when approached in the open; but if the sportsman can manage to conceal himself and his horse in the vicinity of a spring, and wait till the wild asses have quenched their thirst, they can readily be come up with when full of water, by a short spurt on a fast horse. At other times they are caught by relays of horsemen and greyhounds. The flesh is said in books on Persia to be prized above all other venison, but Persians have told me that it should only be eaten under absolute necessity, being equally disagreeable to the conscience of a good Mussulman and to the palate of a gourmand" (p. 86). The inhabitants of Persia about 250 years ago were of another opinion, if we are to believe Olearius, who travelled in Persia in 1637, and who states that he saw no less than thirty-two wild asses killed in one day, by order of the Shah. for the use of the royal kitchens at Ispahan. The Romans, it is well known, held the flesh in estimation, especially that of the young foal. I have already alluded to the habit of stopping short and looking back, which travellers have observed in the hunted wild ass. It is interesting to note that this has not escaped the attention of the Assyrian sculptor (see Plate I, Part I, p. 33).
The wild hog of Persia and Mesopotamia appears to be the Sus scrofa of Europe. It abounds in suitable localities throughout Persia; "in the oak forests of Fars and the reedy swamps of Khuzistan it furnishes food for the lion, and in the Caspian provinces for the tiger." The monuments depict a wild sow, with a litter of young pigs, in one of these reedy swamps. "Shooting pigs from horseback is a favourite diversion with Persians, and though the city people let the game lie where it falls, the Uyats are by no means so particular, and do not always permit the precepts of the Koran to prevent their indulgence in a rasher. Young pigs are often kept in the stables of great men, under the idea that their presence will divert glances of the evil eye" (pp. 86-87).
The wild sheep of Persia belong to two species, the Oris cycloceros, Hutton (O. vignei, Blyth), which is found in the warm regions of the south, and the O. Gmelini, Blyth [p.381] (O. orientalis, Gmelin), the Armenian sheep, or caprovis, which is found in Northern Persia. Both kinds, it is probable, were known to, and hunted by, the ancient Assyrians.
The wild goat of Persia is the Capra aegagrus of Pallas, "the Pa-sang," or "rock-footed"; it is called "an ibex" by Mr. Blanford and Major St. John. In my use of the term "ibex" I have restricted it to the steinbock of Egypt and Arabia, viz., the Capra Sinaitica of Ehrenberg, the beden of the Arabs. This species is not included in the Persian fauna by Blanford, nor in the Mesopotamian list of Schmarda, but having a wide geographical range it probably does occur in these lands. The Capra Caucasica, Giild., of the Caucasus, and the chamois (Rupicapra tragus), abundant in the same locality, have not hitherto been noticed in the Persian mountains.
The gazelle of the Persian highlands, found in almost all valleys and plains from about 3,000 to about 7,000 feet above the sea, is the Gazella suhgutturosa, Giildenst. According to Blanford, this species is unknown in the plains of Mesopotamia, and in the lower ground along the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The species of gazelles come very close to each other. The G. dorcas and G. suhgutturosa would probably be the species met with by the ancient Assyrians in their hunting expeditions. The species actually figured on the monuments I should take to be the G. suhgutturosa, because the males are depicted with lyrate horns, and the females without any horns at all, which is true of this species; the Assyrians would meet with it in Northern Persia and Armenia, &c. Of the Cervidos, the maral is the only true elaphine deer found in Persia. It is peculiar to the Persian provinces. The Cervus Caspius, Brookes, an axine deer allied to the C. axis of India, is found near the Caspian, in the Talish mountains.
Of the range of the fallow deer (C. dama) in Persia there is not much ascertained. The species must have been known to the Assyrians, as the spotted deer of the monuments has palmate horns. The roe (Caprceolus caprosa, Gray) is common in the Caucasus, and occurs in Northern Persia generally; it is said to be found in Mesopotamia. "The [p.382] red deer (C. elapants) is said to be found in the Caucasian and Transcaucasian provinces, and the elk, Aeles machlis, inhabits the forests of the Caucasus, but neither is known to exist in Persian territory." The red deer, as I have stated before, is figured on the monuments; but we have no representation of the elk, whose broad massive horns would at once distinguish it.
The Assyrians often collected the young of wild animals in considerable numbers, brought them home and placed them in menageries; thus one king says, "Fifty young lions I brought into Calah and the palaces of my land, and in confined houses I placed them" (Layard's Inscriptions, xliv, 17). The young of Bos primigenius were often thus brought together. Also some young of animals called Pa-ga-te ([cuneiform]) were introduced by the same king into Calah, but what these pagate were I have not the faintest idea. The hides and horns of the wild cattle were much prized, and are very frequently mentioned; the large horns of the Bos primigenius were often erected as ornaments above the gates of the palaces; figures of antelopes, wild sheep, &c, were carved out of stone and set up as ornaments about the palaces.
The simkurri of the hunting record (mentioned above, p. 359) I can give no explanation of. Mr. Sayce compares the Aramean "very red"; the word is somewhere equated with tnseni or teseni, which in the hunting record are mentioned as different animals, but I cannot find my reference.
With the expression, "star of the tip of the bear's tail," may be compared the Arabic anf al asad, "nose of the lion," applied to two stars so called.
In concluding this essay on the Mammalia of the Assyrian Sculptures, I have again to thank Professor Sayce for valuable suggestions and help. To Dr. Sclater, the eminent Secretary of the Zoological Society, always ready to impart information and to answer questions, and to Sir Victor Brooke, Bart., I also desire thankfully to express my sincere obligations. The illustrations, which have been taken from photographs of the animals of the British Museum sculp- [p.383] tures, and which accompany my papers, are very faithful reproductions indeed, and I am grateful to Mr. Clark, the artist, for the care bestowed upon them. I also thank Mr. W. R. Cooper for the trouble he has taken, and the interest he has shown in my subject.
Note.—"The hunting scenes from the palace of Ashur-bani-pal (Sardanapalus of the Greeks) are the most perfect specimens of Assyrian glyptic art. They are to be seen in the basement room devoted to Assyrian art in the British Museum. Sir E. Landseer was wont to admire the truthfulness and spirit of these reliefs, more especially of one where hounds are pulling down a wild ass. (Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, p. 517.) Professor Rolleston has expressed to me his admiration of a wounded lioness in the same series, where the paralysis of the lower limbs, consequent upon an arrow piercing the spine, is finely rendered (ibid., p. 512)." (Early Civilization, vi, by the Rev. Canon Rawlinson. Leisure Hour, June, 1876.)
1 [cuneiform] "like a lion" or "dog" is translated by the Ass. mitkharis "ferociously," "vehemently" (?); "he that devours like a lion."—[A. H. S.]
2 I am not sure whether liccu was not the full word, contracted into lie.—[A. H. S.]
3 I fancy = a "sheep-walk," or else "a flock of walkers."—[A. H. S.]
4 "The sheep-walk" prowler, perhaps.
5 Nin. and Bab., 472.
6 "The first horses and chariots are represented at Eileithyias, of the time of Ames or Amosis, about 1500 B.C. Horses are, therefore, supposed not to have been known in Egypt before the XVIIIth Dynasty (see Dr. Pickering's 'Races of Man,' p. 373); unless, indeed, the Shepherd Kings introduced them. They doubtless came from Asia into Egypt, and though the Egyptians called a horse Hhtr (Hhtar), they used for the mare the Semitic name sus and even susim (with the female sign t for mares), the same as the plural of the Hebrew word סוס sus (Sir G. Wilkinson, in Rawlinson's "Herodotus,'' vol. ii, p. 152, note).
7 The 5th volume of Records of the Past, p. 169, contains a translation of a terra cotta tablet in the Brit. Mus., by Mr. Sayce, of a table of omens furnished by dogs as believed in by the Babylonians. Dogs of various colours are there mentioned, as blue, yellow, black, white and spotted dogs.
8 Cf. Syll. Assyr. Gram. No. 200; "road," or "expedition" + "taking" = "hunting."—[A. H. S.]
9 The mastiff of Thibet must be placed in the general division with the dogs of India and ancient Assyria, though the pure breed could not have been used by the Assyrians. Of the modern gigantic mastiff of Thibet we have the following account:—"These noble animals are the watch-dogs of the table-land of the Himalaya mountains about Thibet. Their masters, the Bhoteas, to whom they are most strongly attached, are a singular race, of a ruddy copper colour, indicating the bracing air which they breathe; rather short, but of an excellent disposition. Their clothing is adapted to the cold climate they inhabit, and consists of fur and woollen cloth. The men till the ground and keep sheep, and at certain seasons come down to trade, bringing borax, tincal and musk for sale. They sometimes penetrate as far as Calcutta. On these occasions the women remain at home with the dogs, and the encampment is watched by the latter, which have an almost irreconcilable aversion to Europeans, and in general fly ferociously at a white face. A warmer climate relaxes all their energies, and they dwindle even in the valley of Nepal." (English Encycl. Nat. Hist. i, p. 750.) Specimens were placed in the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park, by Dr. Wallieh, some years ago, but they soon died. Assyria, therefore, would doubtless have been too relaxing for the pure breed.
10 It is possible, as Gutschmid suggests, that there was another Muzri, besides the Armenian one, in Bactria. [A. H. S.]
11 "The common notion with regard to the tiger is that it is a tropical animal which requires a warm climate to live in. The researches of late explorers reveal a very different state of things. Beginning at lofty Ararat and the frosty Caucasus on the west, and ending at the island of Saghalien on the east, its ranges stretches across the whole of Asia, with the exception of the high Thibetan land of Central Asia. Mr. Blyth mentions that a few are annually killed in Turkish Georgia. It is found in greater numbers in the Elburz Mountains, south of the Caspian Sea (the ancient Hyrcania). North of the Hindu Kosh, it occurs in Bokhara, and proved troublesome to the Russian Surveying Expedition on the shores of the Aral in mid-winter." (Murray's Geograph. Distrib. Mammalia, p. 950.)
12 Since the above was written, Mr. Boscawen tells me that a figure of some striped feline occurs on one of the Assyrian gems.
13 This organ is occasionally found in other Felidae, as in the Leopard.
14 Arabic Dictionaries give [Arab.] as "hyama mas hirsutus," and [Arab.] as "static qucedain luna; constans ex exiguis sideritiis," or "tres stellulai in Libra," but I do not know on what authority. [A. H. S.]
15 See W.A.I., II, 38, 11, where the Accadian D.P. sita ri-li-ga = Assyrian lakidh kurbanni = taking + tax—tax-gatherer. [A. H. S.]
16 "This new species of deer," Sir Victor Brooke remarks, "presents a type of horn which stands unique amongst existing Cervidae." He adds—"Notwithstanding the fact that the minor groups into which the existing Cervidae naturally fall, is in a certain measure indicated by certain peculiarities in the external configuration of the horns of the various species, the strong resemblance between the skulls and general appearance of the new species to common fallow deer, leaves no room for doubt as to their close affinity, whilst in the form of the horns they differ widely. If this view be correct, it follows that, although of great general utility to the zoologist, the external configuration of the horns alone cannot be considered as a crucial test amongst the Cervidae." (Proceedings Zool. Soc. for 1875, p. 265.)