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ASSUR


ASSYRIA


of month's mind) of the Assumption was celebrated during the Middle Ages, 13 Sept., with the Office of the Assumption (double); to-day, only the Diocese of Augsburg has retained this old custom. Some of the Bavarian dioceses and those of Brandenburg, Mainz, Frankfort, etc., on 23 Sept. kept the feast of the "Second Assumption", or the "Fortieth Day of the .\ssumption (double) belie\Tiig, according to the revelations of St. F.lizabeth of Schonau (d. 1165) and of St. Bertrand, O.C. (d. 1170), that the B. v. Mary was taken up to heaven on the fortieth day after her death (Grotefend. Calendaria 2, 136). The Birgittines kept the feast of the " Glorifica- tion of Mary" (double) 30 Aug., since St. Birgitta of Sweden says (Revel, VI. Ixii) that Mary was taken into heaven fifteen days alter lior departure (Colve- nerius. Cal. Mar., 30 Aug.). In Ciutral America a special feast of the Coronation of ilarj- in heaven (double major) is celebrated IS Aug. The city of Gerace in Calabria keeps three successive days with the rite of a double first cla.ss. commemorating: 15th of August, the death of Marj^; 16th of August, her Assumption, and 17th of August, her Coronation. At Piazza, in Sicily, there is a commemoration of the -Assumption of Mary (double second class) the 20th of February, the anniversary of the earthquake in 1743. A similar feast (double major with octave) is kept at Martano. Diocese of Otranto. in Apulia, 19th of November.

HoLWECK. Fasti Mariani (Freiburg, 1892); Kellxer, Heortologie (Freiburg, 1901), 171.

Frederick G. Holweck.

Assur, or Assure, a titular see of Proconsular Africa, now Henchir-Zenfour. Its episcopal fist (251-484) is given in Gams (p. 464). Ruins of its temples and theatres and other pubUc buildings are still visible.

MoRCELLI, Airica Christiana (1816), I, 85-87.

Assur (Hebrew, llt'N; Sept., 'Acro-oi/p). (1) The name used in the Old Testament to designate the AssjTian land and nation. (See A.■^^5■i^tI-\.) (2) The name of one of the sons of Sem, mentioned in Gen., x, 22. In verse 11 of the same chapter, the Douay version has: "Out of that land came fortli Assur". Here the name in the original refers not to a person, but to the countn,', as above, and the reading: " . . . he (Nimrod) went forth into Assyria (-\ssur) " is preferable. Another .\ssur. or Ashur, "father of Thecua", is mentioned in I Paral., ii, 24, and iv, 5. (3) The national god of the Assj-rians (in the cunei- form inscriptions Asshur and .4shur). The religion of the AssjTians, like their language and their arts, was in all essential particulars derived from the Babylonians. But togetlier with the preponder- ance of the Assyrian power over the southern pro\- inces came a corresponding exaltation of the local tutelary deity. Asshur, wlio was originally the eponymic god of the capital of Ass\Tia (also called -Asshur). thus became a national god, and was placed at the head of the .\ssjTian pantheon. In his name, and to promote his interests, the .\s.=jTian monardis claim to undertake their various militarj' expedi- tions. He is styled King among the gods; the god who created himself. Differently from the other deities, Asshur is not represented as having a consort or posterity. His symbolic representation is ordi- narily a winged disc, sometimes accompanied by the figure of a human bust. (See Assyria.)

Gabriel Ouss.^xi.

Assurbanipal. See Assyria.

Assjrria. — In treating of .\ssjTia it is extremely difficult not to speak at the .same time of its sister, or rather mother, countn.-. Babylonia, as the peoples of tliese two countries, the Semitic Babylonians and the .\s.syrians, are both ethnographically and lin- guistically the same race, with identical religion.


language, literature, and civilization. Hence -\ssjto- Babylonian religion, mythologj-. amX religious Utera- ture. especially in their relation to the Old Testament, will be treated in the article B.\byloxia, while the liistory of the modern e.xplorations and discoveries in these two countries will be gi^■en in the present article

Geogr.^phy. — Geographically, -•Assyria occupies the northern and middle part of Mesopotamia, situated between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris; while the southern half, extending as far south as the Persian Gulf, constitutes the countries of Babylonia and Chaldea. -Assyria originally occupied but a scant geographical area, comprising the small triangular- shaped land l3'ing between the Tigris and Zab Rivers, but in later times, owing to its wonderful conquests, its boundaries extended as far north as Armenia; to Media on the east; to northern SjTia, and to the country of the Hittites, on the west; and to Baby- lonia and Elam on the south and south-east, occupy- ing almost the entire Mesopotamian valley. By the Hebrews it was known under the name of Aram- Xaharaim, i. e. ".Aram [or SjTia] of the two rivers ", to distinguish it from SjTia proper, although it is doubtful whether the Hebrew name should be read as dual, or rather as a plural; i. e. Aram-X aharun , "-Aram of the many rivers", or "of the great river" — the Euphrates. In later Old Testament times, it was known under the name of Asshur. By the Greeks and Romans it was called Mesopotamia, and -AssjTia; by the -Aram^ans, Beth-naharin , "the countrj' of the rivers"; by the Egj-ptians, S'ahrina: by the -Arabs, Athiir, or Al-Gezirah, "the island ", or Bain-al-nahrain, "thecountry between the two rivers" — Mesopotamia. AMiether the name Assyria is de- rived from that of the god -Asshur, or vice versa, or whether Asshur was originally the name of a particu- lar city and afterwards applied to the whole countrj', caimot be determined.

The area of .AssjTia is about fiftj' thousand square miles. In physical character it is mountainous and well watered, especially in the northern part. Lime- stone and, in some places, volcanic rock fonn the basis of its fertile soil. Its southern part is more level, alluvial, and fertile. Its principal rivers are the Tigris and the Euphrates, which have their source in the -Armenian mountains and run almost parallel as far south as Babylonia and Chaldea, flowing into the Persian Gulf. There are other, minor rivers and tributaries, such as the Miabvir, the Balikli, the Upper and Lower Zab, the Ivlioser, the Tumat, the Radanu, and the Subnat. .Assyria owes to these rivers, and especially to the Tigris and Euphrates, somewhat as Egj'pt owes to the Nile, its existence, life, and prosperity.

The principal cities of A^sjTia are: (1) -Asshur, whose site is now marked by the mound of Kalah- Shergat, on the right bank of the Tigris. (2) Calah, on the eastern bank of the Tigris and at its junction with the Upper Zab, a city built (c. 1280 B. c.) by Shalmaneser I, who made it the capital of .Assyria, in place of .Asshur. Its site is nowadays marked by the ruins of Nimroud. (3) Nineveh (in the Douay Version. Ninive), represented by the viUages and ruins of the modem Kujunjik and Nebi-Yunus, on the eastern bank of the Tigris, opposite Mosul. Nine- veh was undoubtedly one of the most ancient cities of .AssjTia, and in the time of Sennacherib (7th cent. B. c.) it became the capital of the empire, and the centre of the worship of Ishtar, the -Assyro-Baby- lonian Venus, who was called Ishtar of Nineveh, to distinguish her from Ishtar of .Arbela. In the Old Testament the citj' of Nineveh is well known in connexion with the prophets, and especially as the theatre of Jonah's mission. (4) Dur-Sharrukin. or Dur-Sargon (i. e. Sargonsburg) , built bj' Sargon II (8th cent. B. c), the founder of the famous Sargonid