Babylonians and Assyrians: Life and Customs by Archibald Henry Sayce

By Archibald Henry Sayce

This Elibron Classics ebook is a facsimile reprint of a 1900 variation through Charles Scribner's Sons, ny.

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In other instances we find Samas-musezib contracted into Samsiya and Suzub, Kabti-ilâni- Merodach into [pg 046] Kabtiya, Nebo-tabni-uzur into Tabniya. The Belesys of Greek writers is the Babylonian Balasu, which is a shortened form of Merodach-balasu-iqbi, and Baladan, which is given in the Old Testament as the name of the father of Merodach-baladan, has lost the name of the god with which it must originally have begun. Sometimes a change in the form of the name was due to its being of foreign origin and consequently mispronounced by the Babylonians, who assimilated it to words in their own language.

In this way history and geography were impressed upon the student's memory, together with extracts from the poets and prosewriters of the past. The writing material was clay. Papyrus, it is true, was occasionally used, but it was expensive, while clay literally lay under the feet of everyone. While the clay was still soft, the cuneiform or “wedge-shaped” characters were engraved upon it by means [pg 051] of a stylus. They had originally been pictorial, but when the use of clay was adopted the pictures necessarily degenerated into groups of wedge-like lines, every curve becoming an angle formed by the junction of two lines.

Iqisa-abla, the son of Kudurru, the son of Nur-Sin, has, therefore, of his own free will, cancelled the deed of adoption, and by a sealed deed has given Rimanni-Bel to wait upon Ê-Saggil-ramat and Nubtâ, the daughter of ÊSaggil-ramat and Nadin-Merodach, the grandson of Nur-Sin; Ê-Saggilramat and Nubtâ, her daughter, shall he obey. After the death of ÊSaggil-ramat he shall wait on Nubtâ, her daughter. ” Then come the names of four witnesses and the clerk, the date and place of writing, and the statement that the deed was indented in the presence of Bissâ, the daughter of Iqisa-abla.

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