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hands of the Yavana, or Ionians, this Metheti of Athenni, might possibly be Melanthus of Athens, or, at any rate, some Athenian leader, subsequent to the immigration of the Ionic families, who, being in command of a fleet on the coast of Phoenicia, had rendered assistance to the king of Assyria in bringing the sea-ports under subjection.
He then proceeded to describe all the campaigns of the Assyrian monarch in succession, furnishing much illustration from the ancient and modern geography of the countries between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. Upwards of one thousand names of countries, tribes, and cities, occur in these inscriptions, so that, when the records are completely and determinately made out, a most invaluable tableau will be furnished of the political geography of Western Asia ten centuries before the Christian era.
Before closing his notice of the Khorsabad inscriptions, he explained some former observations, to which we have already referred in an earlier chapter, in regard to the introduction of a strong Scythic element at this period into the population of Central and Western Asia. He showed that the Sacæ or Scyths, were always named Tsimri, by the Babylonians and Assyrians; and that, under the reign of the Khorsabad king, these Tsimri were to be found in almost every province of the empire constituting, in fact, as it would seem, the militia of the kingdom. Major Rawlinson further observed that he considered the Tsimri, Sacæ, or Scyths, to represent the nomade tribes generally, in contradistinction to the fixed peasantry and without reference to nationality, including, in fact, in their ranks, Celts, Slavonians, and Teutons, as well as all grades of the Tartar family, from the primitive type of the Fin and Magyar, to the later developed Mongolian and Turk; and he added that the Zimri of Jeremiah, associated with the Elamites and Medes, referred in all probability to the same tribes. The prophet says.
"Then took I the cup at the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me." Then follows a remarkable enumeration of Judah, Egypt, Edom, Tyre, all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert; and all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes.
Much, as we have already said, remains to be done before we can fully avail ourselves of these important observations and discoveries; but it cannot but fill the mind of the pious student of Scripture prophecy with the deepest interest, to find the truths of its ancient revelations brought thus to the test of unexpected historical disclosures. He knows well that THE BOOK OF TRUTH has nothing to fear in the comparison, while much is to be hoped for from the elucidation of many of its partially understood truths, for the more perfect understanding of which we cannot doubt but that Providence has reserved such important disclosures to our own day, as other discoveries and fulfillments of prophecy are reserved for later ages.
At a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of London, on March 7th, 1850, Major Rawlinson exhibited the original rubbings on paper of the celebrated inscriptions of Darius at Behistun, and gave an interesting account of the difficulties he had to overcome in obtaining them, especially the Babylonian inscription, which was situated in what even the mountain-hunters consider to be an inaccessible spot on the rock, but which was reached by the daring of a Tartar boy. This last is an achievement, as he remarked, of the greatest importance for science, inasmuch as the Babylonian inscription alone furnishes the key to the interpretation of the language of the others, and it is now in a condition that threatens its entire destruction within probably not more than two or three years.
Major Rawlinson, in concluding his interesting communications to the Royal Asiatic Society, remarked :— "Nations whom we have hitherto viewed through the dim medium of myth or of tradition, now take their definite places in history; but before we can affiliate these nations on any sure ethnographical grounds; before we can trace their progress to civilization, or their relapse into barbarism; before we estimate the social phases through which they have passed; before we can fix their chronology, identify their monarchs, or even individualize each king's career, much patient labour must be encountered, much ingenuity must be exercised, much care must be bestowed on collateral as well as intrinsic evidence; and, above all, instead of the fragmentary materials which are at present alone open to our research, we must have consecutive monumental data, extending at least over the ten centuries which preceded the reign of Cyrus the Great."
Before leaving the subject of ancient Nineveh, with the inscriptions and monuments of art gathered from the ruins of great cities which once owned it as their capital, or disputed with it the rights and honours of the Assyrian metropolis, we are enabled, by recent communications from the East, to glance at some of the recent labours of Dr. Layard since his return to Nimroud, and to anticipate, in some degree, the important discoveries which will hereafter be rendered available as the elements of ancient history, and the evidences of the complete fulfilment of the prophecies recorded in Holy Writ. The following narrative is derived from a letter sent home by Mr. Stewart Erskine Rolland, late of the 69th Regiment, who is now at Nimroud with Dr. Layard, assisting him in his endeavours to bring to light the hidden antiquarian treasures of Assyria. The enterprising discoverer has to contend with many difficulties, owing to the limited pecuniary resources at his disposal, and to these Mr. Rolland rofers, expressing his fears that the French antiquarian
agent recently despatched, with much larger funds (£30,000, it is stated), will materially encroach on the harvest of antiquities which would fall to the lot of the English nation were Dr. Layard possessed of more ample
"The first two or three days at Mossul I spent in examining the excavations at Koyunjik, where fresh slabs are being every day brought to light. Two new colossal bulls and two colossal figures were discovered while I was there, at the entrance of the city gates; and the pavement at the gateway, marked with ruts by chariot wheels, was also uncovered. I left my wife under Mrs. Rassam's care, and accompanied Layard a day's journey to the villages of Baarshekah and Bamyaneh, and to the Mound of Khorsabad. We took greyhounds with us, and had a day's hunting, catching seven antelopes. After our return, Dr. Layard, Charlotte, and I, and our servants, embarked on a raft, and floated down the Tigris in seven hours to this little village of Nimroud, close to the large mound, which was the first excavated, sending our baggage and horses by land. We have since been residing in his house here; it is, in fact, little more than a mud hut; but he has put in glass windows, a table, and some sofas, and made it as comfortable as circumstances will admit. Layard has placed a party of the workmen under my control, and allowed me to dig where I please. I am sinking wells in all directions, and am not without hopes of discovering subterranean chambers, which I am convinced must exist. In one place considerably below the level of any of the hitherto discovered monuments, a brick arch between two walls of brick has been uncovered: it is a puzzle to us all. Another great discovery is an immense stone wall of most solid masonry inside the brick pyramid. The workmen are labouring to force an entrance into it; but their progress is necessarily very slow, not exceeding a foot or two in a day. But the greatest
discovery yet made since the earth was first turned, remains to be told. I will give it you in due order.
"January 3, 1850.-On the 28th of December, Lay ard and I, with our attendants and two or three Arab Sheikhs, started off to pay a visit to the Tai, on the other side of the Zab. We were the first Europeans who had ever visited that country. Three hours' galloping from Nimroud brought us to the banks of the stream, which is as rapid and broad as the Tigris, and nearly as deep, but here, being divided into four branches, is fordable. With some difficulty we swam our horses across it, getting, of course, very wet in the operation. Our visit here has a threefold object,-first, to explore the mound of Abou Sheeta, which appears to contain a buried city; secondly, to make friends between two rival chiefs of the Tai; and, thirdly, to promote a reconciliation between them and their implacable enemies, the Jibours, which will much faciliate Layard's future operations. Our first visit was to the camp of the Hawar, who is considered by all the Arabs, even by those of the great African desert, to be the highest born and noblest among them. He is probably the man of most ancient descent in the world, reckoning his genealogy far above the time of Abraham. He is supported in his pretensions to the chieftainship by the noblest of the tribe, while his rival, Feras, is supported by the Turks and the greater number of the Tai. His brother, the handsomest man I have ever seen, came out to meet us with a hundred horsemen, most of whom had come to our village to plunder the other day. They galloped madly about the plain, brandishing their long spears, shouting their war cry, and escorted us in great state to the camp of the Sheikh, where he stood to receive us. I never saw so noble or dignified a figure; he is eminently handsome, though advanced in years and suffering from ill-health. In stature he is gigantic-six feet four or five, at least, and erect as a pine tree. His