Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/69

This page needs to be proofread.


BABYLONIA it, and it was necessary that there should be easy access to an official chronological record. Among the tablets recently acquired by the British Museum is one which was compiled on the 2nd day of the month lyyar in the accession year of Ammi-zadok (2190 b.c.), and which contains a complete chronological register of the earlier reigns of the first dynasty of Babylon. Similar tablets which give the chronology of the reigns of Dungi and BurSin II. (of the dynasty of Ur) have been found at Niffer (Sayce, Proceedings S.B.A. xxi. 1), while the annals of Sargon of Akkad and of the first three years of his son Naram-Sin (3800 b.c.) have long been known. The events recorded in these latter have been recently verified by the dates found attached to contemporaneous contracts. To these chronological materials must be added the references to past history which occur in later inscriptions. Nabonidos especially, who was more of an antiquary than a politician, and who spent a good deal of his time in excavating for the monuments of his predecessors, has left us valuable notices. Thus he states that Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon, lived 3200 years before himself, and that a Kassite king, Burna-buryas, reigned 700 years after Khammurabi. In the earliest period of which we have any knowledge Babylonia was divided into several independent states. Their frontiers were defined by canals and boundar hfstory Of y-st°nes, and the infringement of these Babylonia, frequently led to war. Many of the states were ruled by a patesi or high-priest, the god of its chief sanctuary being nominally the ruler, and the human patesi his minister. But in course of time many of the high-priests assumed the functions and title of king; while retaining their priestly office they claimed at the same time to be supreme in the state in all secular concerns. ^ The god remained nominally at its head ; but even tnis position was lost to him when Babylonia was unified under Semitic princes, and the earthly king became an incarnate god. It was only at Babylon that BelMerodach continued to hold his own and compel the deified kings to acknowledge themselves his sons, who derived from him their right to rule. When the monumental evidence first becomes distinct we find a kingdom of Kengi or Sumer in the south of Babylonia, and a kingdom of Kis in the north. Kis is represented by El-Hymer, a little to the east of Babylon, and in later ages was known chiefly on account of its temple of Zamama. In its wars with the south Kis was often assisted by another northern kingdom, the reading of the name of which, and consequently its precise situation, are still uncertain. The name has been read as “ the land of the Bow,” and supposed to represent Harran in Mesopotamia; this, however, was certainly not the case, and the ideograph by which the name is expressed is probably to be identified with that which in later Babylonian denoted Upe or Opis on the Tigris. Dr Scheil would make it Ukh and identify it with the modern Jokha between the Shatt el-Hai and the Shatt el-Nil, but Jokha is more probably the ancient Isin. On a seal cylinder two ot the rulers of the place are called kings of Te. Perhaps t le first king of Upe (?) was a certain Lugal-zaggisi, as he gives his father U-kus the title merely of patesi or highpnest.1 He founded the earliest empire in Western Asia of which we know. He not only conquered Kengi, but also claims to have made Erech his capital, and to have It must be remembered that the readings of these early nc emitic names are only provisional, as the pronunciation of the id* grapns by which they are expressed is uncertain. On palaiographi* grounds Lugal-zaggisi has been placed after the two kings of Te E kaiu and his son Drlumma, the latter of whom was a contempora Lutemena of Lagas. Te may be Tewa, a suburb of Babylon, sin a contract tablet speaks of “ Te in Babylon.”

AND

ASSYRIA

41

ruled “ from the lower sea of the Tigris and Euphrates ” or Persian Gulf to the “ Upper Sea ” or Mediterranean. The long inscription which he caused to be engraved on the hundreds of stone vases dedicated to El-lil of Nippur has been edited and translated by Professor Hilprecht. The predominance of Kengi in the south was succeeded by that of Lagas, now Tello, on the east side of the Shatt el-Hai. Lagas was at one time dependent ^axas SBS on Kis, and we hear of Me-salim, king of Kis, overthrowing Us, the high-priest of Upe, in the edin or plain of Lagas, which he had invaded.2 Lugal-sug-gur was at the time the high-priest of Lagas. Subsequently Lagas recovered its independence, and its high-priests became kings. One of these, Ur-Nina, was the builder of an edifice attached to the temple of Nina, in the ruins of which terra-cotta bas-reliefs of the king and his sons have been found, as well as lions’ heads of onyx, which remind us of Egyptian work, and fragments of onyx plates. These were “ booty ” dedicated to the goddess Bau. The grandson of Ur-Mna, E-ana-gin or E-anna-du, made himself master of the whole of Southern Babylonia, including “ the district of Sumer,” together with the cities of Erech, Ur, and Larsa (?). He also annexed the kingdom of Kis, and drove the king of Upe from a part of the territory of Lagas which he had occupied. Upe was made tributary, a certain amount of grain being levied upon each person in it, which had to be paid into the treasury of the goddess Nina and the god Ingurisa. The so-called Stela of the Vultures, now in the Louvre, was erected as a monument of the victory. On this various s e ** incidents in the war are represented. In one scene the king stands in his chariot, with a curved weapon in his right hand formed of three bars of metal bound together by rings,3 while his kilted followers with helmets on their heads and lances in their hands march behind him. In another a flock of vultures is feeding on the bodies of the fallen enemy; in a third a tumulus is being heaped up over those who had been slain on the side of Lagas. Elsewhere we see the victorious prince beating down a vanquished chief and superintending the execution of other prisoners who are being sacrificed to the gods, while in one curious scene he is striking with his mace a sort of wicker-work cage filled with naked men. In his hand he holds the crest of Lagas and its god, a lion-headed eagle with outstretched wings and supported by two lions which are set heraldically back to back. The sculptures belong to a primitive period of art. E-anna-du’s campaigns extended beyond the confines of Babylonia. He overran a part of Elam, and took the city of Az, on the Persian Gulf. At home he was a great builder. Temples and palaces were repaired or erected at Lagas and elsewhere, the town of Nina—which probably gave its name to the later Nina or Nineveh—-was rebuilt, and canals and reservoirs were dug. He was succeeded by his brother, En-anna-dun, under wdiom Upe once more became the dominant power. The sanctuaries of Lagas were destroyed and part of its territory was annexed to Upe. As En-anna-dun has the title only of high-priest, and not of king, it is probable that he acknowledged Urlumma of Upe as his suzerain. His son and successor, Entemena, restored the prestige of Lagas. Upe was subdued and a certain Illi appointed to govern it as high-priest. A tripod of hammered silver dedicated by him to his god is now in the Louvre. A frieze of lions devouring ibexes and deer, and incised with great artistic skill, runs round the neck, while 2 According to Dr Scheil, a monument recently discovered by Mr de 3Morgan at Susa makes Me-salim the son of Manistusu. As M. Heuzey has noticed, it resembles a weapon carried by the chief of an Asiatic tribe in a tomb of the twelfth dynasty at Bern Hassan (see Beni-Hassan, I. PI. xxviii. ; Egypt Exploration Fund). S. II. — 6