Nineveh and Its Remains

Volume 2

By Austen Henry Layard, ESQ. D.C.L.

Part 2 - Chapter 4

 

COSTUME OF THE ASSYRIAN KINGS. — THEIR ARMS. THE EUNUCHS. THEIR DRESS. THE HISTORY OP PARSONDES. — OFFICERS OF STATE. THE WARRIORS. THEIR ARMOUR THEIR COSTUME. SPEARMEN. ARCHERS. HELMETS. ARMS. SLINGERS.  — SHIELDS. — REGULAR TROOPS. CHARIOTS. — HARNESS AND CAPARISON OF THE HORSES. — CAVALRY. — HORSES.

THE Assyrians were celebrated, at a very early period, for the magnificence and luxury of their apparel. " The Assyrian garments " became almost a proverb, and having first been borrowed by the Persians, descended, at a later time, even to the Romans. These robes, as portrayed in the sculptures, confirm the traditions of their beauty and costliness. The dress of the king consisted of a long flowing garment, descending to the ankles1, elaborately embroidered, and edged with fringes and tassels. It was confined at the waist by a girdle, to which were attached cords with large tassels, falling down almost to the feet. Over this robe a second, nearly of the same length, but open in front, appears to have been thrown. It was also embroidered, and edged with tassels.2 On his head he wore a high mitre or tiara of peculiar shape, reserved for the monarch alone. It is impossible, from its representation in the sculptures, to determine the nature of the material of which it was made. As it was frequently adorned with flowers and other ornaments, was worn in the temple as well as in battle, and seems to have been folded or arranged in bands, it may have been of linen, wool, or silk. Only one band passed round the head-dress of the earliest monuments; at a later period two or more were introduced, and the mitre itself was higher and more richly ornamented. These peculiarities mark, distinctly, the respective ages of sculptures, in which the figure of the king occurs.3

This mitre was surmounted by a small point or cone. In the most ancient sculptures, the ends of the band hang down the back, and are ornamented with embroideries and fringes. A kind of hood is sometimes represented as falling over the shoulders, and two long ribbons or lappets descend almost to the ankles.

Nothing remains in the bas-reliefs to indicate the materials of the robes. Like those worn at a subsequent period by the Babylonians, one may have been of linen, and the other of wool; or they may have been of cotton, or even of silk, which was an article of produce at a very early period in Assyria. They were richly embroidered and dyed. The designs upon them were most elaborate, consisting of figures of men and animals, flowers, and various devices. The part of the dress most richly ornamented was generally that which covered the breast, although groups of men and animals were introduced elsewhere. The art of embroidering figures in wool, was afterwards practised with great success by the Persians. The Medes had previously adopted the flowing robes of the Assyrians, so celebrated for their beauty, that their invention was attributed to Semiramis.4

The neck, and the arms from a little above the elbow, were bare. More than one necklace of elegant form, was generally suspended round the neck. The arms were encircled by armlets, and the wrists by bracelets, all equally remarkable for the taste and beauty of the design and workmanship.5 The clasps were in the shape of the heads of lions arid other animals; and in the centre of the bracelets were stars or rosettes, which were probably inlaid with precious stones. Ear-rings of many kinds were worn; those in the form of a cross appear to have been most prevalent during the latter Assyrian period,6

In the shape and workmanship of their arms the Assyrians displayed, as it has been seen, considerable taste and skill. The king, even in time of peace, appears always to have carried a sword and two daggers. He is sometimes represented leaning, during the celebration of religious ceremonies, upon a bow, and holding two arrows in one hand. When returning from war, he also frequently raises the two arrows; and this action appears to indicate triumph over his enemies. When not engaged in battle, he is usually portrayed at Khorsabad, and sometimes at Nimroud, with a long staff or wand in his right hand, the other resting on the hilt of his sword.

The king appears to have thrown off the outer robe during the chase, and in battle; the under garment was then confined at the waist by a broad girdle. A small apron, or square piece of linen, fell down one side of the dress over the loins, and was probably attached to the girdle; it was richly embroidered, and edged with fringes and tassels. When in battle his arms were the bow and the sword; in the sculptures he is seen using both. In a bas-relief of the later period, discovered at Nimroud, he is standing over a prostrate captive with a spear in his hand; but in no other instance, as far as I am aware, has he been found with that weapon.

The sandals worn by the king, and by his principal officers, were formed of a sole either of wood or thick leather; to which was attached an upper case covering the heel and side of the foot, but leaving exposed the instep and toes. It was fastened by bands attached to loops, and carried twice over the instep. They crossed on the top of the foot, and were passed round the great toe, and between it and the adjoining toe. In the sculptures, a red colour could generally be traced on the heel; the body of the sandal was painted black, and edged with red; the bands were black.

The sandal represented at Khorsabad, and in sculptures of the same period, is altogether of a different shape. It appears to have consisted of a simple leather covering for the heel, held by three strings passing over the instep. It was painted in the bas-reliefs, in alternate stripes of red and blue.7

The attendants upon the king, both in time of peace and war, were chiefly eunuchs; and that these persons rose to the highest rank, and were not mere servants, we learn from the Rabsaris, or chief of the eunuchs, being mentioned amongst the principal officers of Sennacherib.8 In the sculptures eunuchs are represented as commanding in war9; fighting both in chariots and on horseback; and receiving the prisoners, and the heads of the slain after battle. They were also employed as scribes, and are seen writing down the number of the heads, and the amount of the spoil, obtained from the enemy. They were even accustomed to officiate in religious ceremonies.10 They appear, indeed, to have occupied the same important posts, and to have exercised the same influence in the Assyrian court, as they have since done in the East; where they have not only continually filled the highest offices of state, but have even attained to sovereign power.11 It is to Assyria that tradition assigns the origin of the barbarous practice of mutilation, and it is upon a female that the odium of its introduction rests.12

The countenance of the eunuchs is strongly contrasted in the sculptures with that of the man; and the rounded form, the bloated cheek, and double beardless chin, at once mark them, and distinguish them from females. Their dress consisted of a long tunic descending to the ankles, resembling the king's in shape, and in the richness and elegance of its embroideries. It was confined at the waist by a girdle edged with fringes; and a band, similarly adorned, passed over the shoulders. They wore no upper robe like that of the king. Their ear-rings, armlets, bracelets, and necklaces were similar in form to those of the monarch. In battle they were armed with the bow; and in peace, as well as in war, generally carried a sword and daggers. When represented as attending upon the king, they usually bear a quiver, bow, and mace; all probably for his use. At other times they raise a parasol or fan over his head, or present him with the sacred cup; on which occasion they are frequently unarmed.13

The umbrella or parasol, that emblem of royalty so universally adopted by Eastern nations, was generally carried over the king in time of peace, and sometimes even in war. In shape it resembled, very closely, those now in common use; but it is always

Mollities, levesve genae se prodere possent,
Hos sibi conjunxit similes; seu Farthica ferro
Luxuries nasci vetuit lanuginis urabram;
Servatosque diu puerili flore, cocgit
Arte retardatam Veneri servire juventani."

seen open in the sculptures. It was edged with tassels, and was usually ornamented at the top by a flower or some other ornament. On the later bas-reliefs, a long piece of embroidered linen or silk, falling from one side like a curtain, appears to skreen the king completely from the sun. The parasol was reserved exclusively for the monarch, and is never represented as borne over any other person.

The vizir or prime minister, the principal officers and attendants of the king, were clothed in robes resembling those of the eunuchs. They were armed with swords and daggers, and also wore necklaces, bracelets, and ear-rings. A fillet or band, either plain or richly ornamented, frequently confined their hair, and encircled their temples. The eunuch is occasionally represented with this head-dress. The ends of this band were allowed to fall down the back.

The Assyrians paid particular attention to the adorning of their persons. Besides wearing the numerous ornaments described, they most carefully and elaborately platted their hair and beards. The hair was parted over the forehead, and fell from behind the ears on the shoulders, in a large bunch of ringlets. The beard was allowed to grow to its full length; and, descending low on the breast, was divided into two or three rows of curls. The mustache was also carefully trimmed, and curled at the ends. The hair, as well as the beard, appears to have been dyed, as is still the custom in Persia; but it has been doubted whether the hair, represented in the sculptures, was natural or artificial. The Egyptians were accustomed to wear large wigs, elaborately platted and adorned; and even false beards were not unknown. The Persians, also, at a later period, adopted this artificial coiffure14; but we have no evidence of its having been in use in Assyria. On the contrary, according to Herodotus, the Babylonians wore their hair long.15 The great regularity of the curls in the sculptures, would certainly lead to the impression that part of the hair, at least, was false; but we can scarcely suppose that the warriors, as well as the king, and all the principal officers of state, wore false beards: the sculptured beards being equally elaborate and studied in the arrangement. The treatment, however, of the hair in the bas-reliefs may be purely conventional. Most Eastern people have been celebrated for the length, and beauty of their hair; and if the Assyrians were as well provided with it, as the inhabitants of Persia were, in the days of Darius, or as they now are, they would have had little occasion for a wig.

The eyebrows were dyed black. Some substance resembling the kohl, or surma, used in the East to blacken the lids, and to give additional lustre to the eyes, was also employed; and we may conjecture that the complexion was improved, and colour added to the cheek, by paints and cosmetics. On the sculptures, traces of thick black and white pigments are always visible on the eyes, eyebrows, and hair; and these parts of the bas-reliefs appear to have been more carefully painted than any others.

Nicolaus of Damascus has preserved so faithful, and entertaining an account of the manners of the Babylonians, that I cannot resist the temptation of quoting it, as illustrative of the Assyrian sculptures in many respects. From whence this author obtained the following anecdote, it would now probably be impossible to ascertain; although it is evident, from its curious and accurate details, that it was borrowed from some ancient writer, who had himself witnessed the customs and fashions which he describes. The story is thus related: — "In the reign of ArtŠus, the king of the Medes, and one of the successors of Sardanapalus, the king of the Assyrians, there was amongst the Medes one Parsondes, a man renowned for his courage and strength, and greatly esteemed by the king on account of his good sense and the beauty of his person. He particularly excelled in the chase and in battle, whether he fought on foot, from his chariot, or on horseback. Now this Parsondes observed that Nanarus (the governor or tributary king) of Babylon, was very careful in his personal attire, and wore ear-rings, and shaved himself carefully, and was effeminate and unwarlike, and he disliked him exceedingly; so he asked Arta3us, the king, to deprive Nanarus of his government, and to bestow it on himself. But ArtŠus, having bound himself by the compact entered into by Arbaces, was loth to act unjustly towards the Babylonian, and gave no answer to Parsondes. The matter, however, reached the ears of Nanarus, who promised great rewards to any one of his sutlers who would catch his enemy.

"It happened one day that Parsondes, when hunting, went far from the king to a plain near Babylon. Sending his servants into a neighbouring wood, that they might drive cut, by their shoutings, the wild beasts, he remained outside to take the game. Whilst chasing a wild ass he separated himself from his attendants, and came to a part of the Babylonian territories, where the sutlers were preparing markets for Nanarus. Being thirsty, he asked of them to drink; and they, delighted to have this opportunity of seizing him, gave him that which he required, took his horse, and bade him refresh himself. They then placed a sumptuous feast before him, served him with very sweet wine mixed with a certain intoxicating drug, and brought beautiful women to keep him company; so that, at length, overcome by the wine, he fell fast asleep. The sutlers then took him, and brought him bound to Nanarus.

"When Parsoiides had recovered from the effects of the wine, Nanarus upbraided him for his conduct. 'Why,' said he, 'did you, who have never suffered any wrong at my hands, call me a man-woman (androgyne), and ask my government of ArtŠus, as if I were of no account, although of noble birth? Many thanks to him that he did not grant your request.' Parsondes, nothing abashed, replied, 'Because I thought myself more worthy of the honour; for I am more manly, and more useful to the king than you, who are shaven, and have your eyes underlined with stibium, and your face painted with white lead.' 'Are you not ashamed, then,' said Nanarus, 'being such as you describe yourself to be, to have been so overcome by your stomach and passions, that you should have fallen into the hands of one so greatly inferior to yourself? But I will quickly make you softer and fairer than any woman.' And he swore by Belus and by Mylitta — for such is the name which the Babylonians give to their Yenus; then, beckoning to an eunuch, ' Lead off,' cried he, 'this fellow. Shave, and rub with a pumice-stone, the whole of his body except his head. Bathe him twice a-day, and anoint him. Let him underline his eyes, and plait his hair as women do. Let him learn to sing and to play on the harp, and to accompany it with his voice, that he may be amongst the female musicians, with whom he shall pass his time, having a smooth skin, and wearing the same garments as they do.' The eunuch did as he was commanded, and kept Parsondes in the shade, washing him twice every day, and polishing him with a pumice-stone, and making him pass his time in the same way as the women, so that he became very shortly fair, tender, and woman-like, singing and playing even better than any of the female musicians.

"The king, Artasus, having offered a reward, and searched in vain for his favourite, at last concluded that he had been devoured by wild beasts whilst hunting.

"Parsondes, having passed seven years in this mode of life at Babylon, induced an eunuch, who had been severely flogged and insultingly treated by Nanarus, to run away and inform ArtŠus of what had happened to him. ArtŠus immediately sent an envoy to demand the liberation of his former favourite. But Nanarus, frightened, declared that he had never seen Parsondes since he had disappeared. Artseus, however, sent a second ambassador, much greater in rank and more powerful than the previous one, and threatened, by letter, to put to death the Babylonian, unless he delivered up his captive. Nanarus, being now greatly alarmed, promised to give up the man, and moreover apologised to the ambassador, declaring, that he was sure the king would see that he had justly treated one, who had endeavoured to ruin him in the king's favour. He then entertained the ambassador with a great feast, during which entered, to the number of one hundred and fifty, the female players, amongst whom was Parsondes. Some sang, and others played on the flute; but the Mede excelled them all both in skill and beauty, so that when the feast was over, and Nanarus asked the ambassador which of the women he thought superior to the rest in beauty and accomplishments, he pointed without hesitation to Parsondes. Nanarus, clapping his hands, laughed a long time, and then said, ' Do you wish to take her with you? ' 'Certainly,' replied the ambassador. ' But I will not give her to you,' said Nanarus. ' Why, then, did you ask me?' exclaimed the other. ' This,' said Nanarus, after a little hesitation, ' is Parsondes, for whom you have come.' And the ambassador disbelieving him, he swore to the truth of what he had said.

"On the following day the Babylonian placed Parsondes in a waggon, and sent him away with the ambassador to Artams, who was at Susa. But the king did not recognise him, and was a long time before he would believe that so valiant a man could become a woman.

"Parsondes exacted a promise from Artasus, that he would revenge him upon Nanarus. And when the king came to Babylon, he gave Nanarus ten days to do what was right; but the Babylonian, alarmed, fled to Mitraphernes, the chief of the eunuchs, and promised him for himself ten talents of gold, and ten gold cups, and two hundred of silver, and one hundred talents of silver money, and several suits of clothes; and for the king, one hundred talents of gold, and a hundred gold cups, and three hundred of silver, and one thousand talents of silver money, and numerous dresses and other fine gifts, if he would save his life and keep him in the government of Babylon. The eunuch, who was held in great estimation by the king, succeeded; but Parsondes waited his opportunity, and afterwards, finding an occasion, took his revenge both on Nanarus and the eunuch."16

There are many customs mentioned in this narrative which, it is evident, from the sculptures of Nimroud, existed amongst the Assyrians, such as those of painting the eyes and face, and platting the hair. The anecdote, too, is quite in accordance with Eastern manners; and if there be any truth in it, we may conclude that, in their mode of transacting public business, as well as in their domestic life, the Assyrians did not differ greatly from the Persians and Turks of modern times. We have the eunuch holding the highest offices of the state, and possessing great influence over the monarch. Through him political intrigues were carried on, and he was as disposed to accept a bribe, both on his own account and on that of his master, as those who still hold the same position in Eastern courts. It was through the influence of the chief eunuch, that Arbaces succeeded in seeing Sardanapalus, and being a witness to that effeminacy of dress and manner, which encouraged the Mede to rebel against the Assyrians.17

When in the presence of the king, the eunuch and principal officers of state, were in the highest degree respectful in their demeanour. They stood before him with their hands crossed in front — an attitude still assumed in the East, by an inferior in the presence of his master. It is interesting thus to trace the observance of the same customs, during so many centuries,18 The vizir is also frequently represented elevating his right hand — an action apparently denoting an oath or homage. Dependants are seen in the same posture, on monuments of the AchŠmenian, and Sassanian dynasties.

We know from the story of Esther, how sacred the person of the king was considered, it being death for even the queen to venture before him unbidden.19 Deioces permitted no one to see him, except certain privileged persons; and it was unlawful for any one to laugh or spit in his presence,20

The costume of the warriors differed according to their rank and the nature of the service they had to perform.21 Those who fought in chariots, and held the shield for the defence of the king, are generally seen in coats of scale armour, which descend either to the knees or to the ankles. A large number of the scales were discovered in the earliest palace of Nimroud.22 They were generally of iron, slightly embossed or raised in the centre; and some were inlaid with copper. They were probably fastened to a shirt of felt, or coarse linen.23 Such is the armour always represented in the most ancient sculptures. At a later period other kinds were used; the scales were larger, and appear to have been fastened to bands of iron or copper. The armour was frequently embossed with groups of figures, and fanciful ornaments; but there is no reason to believe, that the rich designs on the breasts of the kings were on metal.24

The warriors were frequently dressed in an embroidered tunic, which was probably made of felt or leather, sufficiently thick to resist the weapons then in use. On the sculptures of Kouyunjik they are generally seen in this attire. Their arms were bare from above the elbow, and their legs from the knees downwards, except when they wore shirts of mail which descended to the ankles. They had sandals on their feet. The warriors on the later Assyrian monuments, particularly on those of Khorsabad, are distinguished by a peculiar ornament, somewhat resembling the Highland phillibeg. It appears to be fastened to the girdle, and falls below the short tunic.

In the sculptures of Kouyunjik and of monuments of the same period, the dress of the soldiers appears to vary, according to the manner in which they are armed. Those with spear and shield wear pointed or crested helmets, and plain or embroidered tunics, confined at the waist by a broad girdle. A kind of cross-belt passes over the shoulders, and is ornamented in the centre of the breast by a circular disk, probably of metal. The slingers are attired in the embroidered tunic, which I conjecture to be of felt or leather; and wear a pointed helmet, with metal lap pets falling over the ears. Both the spearmen and slingers have greaves, which appear to have been laced in front.25

The archers are dressed in very short embroidered tunics, which scarcely cover half the thigh, the rest of the leg being left completely bare. They are chiefly distinguished from other warriors by the absence of the helmet. A simple band round the temples confines the hair, which is drawn up in a bunch behind.

It is probable that these various costumes indicate people of different countries, auxiliaries in the Assyrian armies, who used the weapons most familiar to them, and formed different corps or divisions,26 Thus in the army of Xerxes, were marshalled men of many nations; each armed according to the fashion of his country, and fighting in his own peculiar way. We may, perhaps, trace in the Assyrian sculptures, several of the costumes described by the Greek historian, as worn by those who formed the vast army of the Persian king.

In the shape of their helmets the Assyrians displayed considerable taste. We trace in them, indeed, many well-known forms afterwards adopted by the Greeks.27

The pointed helmet in the bas-reliefs, from the earliest palace of Nimroud, appears to have been the most ancient, and in the most general use; it is, indeed, characteristic of the Assyrian warrior. Several were discovered in the ruins: they were of iron; and the rings which ornament the lower part, and end in a semicircle in front, were inlaid with copper.28

These pointed helmets were sometimes furnished with lappets or flaps covered with metal scales, concealing the ears, the back of the head, the chin, and the neck, and falling over the shoulders; the whole head-dress having then very much the appearance of the early Norman casque. At a later period, a metal lappet merely protected the ears and side of the face, and was attached to the outer rim of the helmet,29

Circular iron caps, fitting closely to the head, were also in use at an early period. The horseman who leads the horse of the warrior, in a bas-relief from the most ancient palace at Nimroud30, is represented with this head-dress; and in a sculpture from the centre ruins, it is worn by archers.

The helmets of the later monuments of Nimroud, and of those of Khorsabad and Kouyunjik, are frequently surmounted by a curved crest, or by a kind of plume. They show considerable variety, and even elegance, in their forms. The simple curved crest, resembling that of the Greek helmet, appears, from the sculptures, to have been peculiar to some nation conquered by the Assyrians; but fragments of helmets of this shape were found, in the excavations, in the same chamber as the pointed casques.

The conical helmet of the Assyrians, appears to have been worn even to the latest period. It has been conjectured that this head-dress connects them with the Scythians, who, according to Herodotus, had high-pointed caps.31 In the rock-sculptures of Bisutun, the Scythian prisoner is represented with a lofty conical head-dress; which differs, however, in shape from the Assyrian helmet. It is slightly curved at the top, and was probably, therefore, made of felt, or some pliable material, and not of metal; and this may also be inferred from the expression of Herodotus, " that the caps, although corning to a point, stood erect."

The arms of the early Assyrians were the spear, the bow, the sword, and the dagger.32 The sling is not represented in the most ancient monuments as an Assyrian weapon, although used by a conquered nation: it was, perhaps, introduced at a later period. The bows were of two kinds; one long and slightly curved, the other short and almost angular: the two appear to have been carried at the same time, by those who fought in chariots.

The arrows were probably made of reeds, and were kept in a quiver slung over the back. The king, however, and the great officers of state, were followed by attendants, who carried the quivers, and supplied their masters with arrows. The bow was drawn to the cheek, or to the ear, as by the Saxons, and not to the breast, after the fashion of the Greeks. The barbs were of iron and copper, several of both materials "having been found in the ruins. When in battle, it was customary for the archer to hold two arrows in reserve, in his right hand; they were placed between the fingers, and did not interfere with the motion of the arm, whilst drawing the bow. When marching he usually carried the larger bow over his shoulders, having first passed his head through it. The bow of the king was borne by an attendant. The smaller bows were frequently placed in the quiver, particularly by those who fought in chariots. A leather, or linen, guard was fastened by straps to the inside of the left arm, to protect it when the arrow was discharged. The swords were worn on the left side, and suspended by belts passing over the shoulders, or round the middle; some were short and others long. I have already alluded to the beauty of the ornaments on the hilt and sheath.

The dagger appears to have been carried by all, both in time of peace and war; even the priests and divinities are represented with them.33 They were worn indifferently on the left and right side, or perhaps on both at the same time. Generally two, or sometimes three, were inserted into one sheath, which was passed through the girdle. The handles, as I have already mentioned, were most elaborately adorned, and were frequently in the shape of the head of a ram, bull, or horse, being made of ivory or rare stones.34 A small chain was sometimes fastened to the hilt, or to the sheath, probably to retain it in its place.35 A dagger, resembling in form those of the sculptures, was found amongst the ruins of Nimroud: it is of copper. The handle is hollowed, either to receive precious stones, ivory, or enamel.

The spear of the Assyrian footman was short, scarcely exceeding the height of a man; that of the horseman appears to have been considerably longer. The iron head of a spear from Nimroud, has been placed in the British Museum. The shaft was probably of some strong wood; and did not consist of a reed, like that of the modern Arab lance. The large club pointed with iron, mentioned by Herodotus amongst the weapons carried by the Assyrians, is not represented in the sculptures; unless, indeed, the description of the historian applies to the mace, a weapon in very general use amongst them, and frequently seen in the bas-reliefs. This weapon consisted of a short handle, probably of wood, to which was fixed a head, evidently of metal, in the shape of a flower, rosette, lion, or bull. To the end of the handle was attached a thong, apparently of leather, through which the hand was passed. I have not found any representation of warriors using the hatchet, except when cutting down trees, to clear the country preparatory to a siege. It is, however, generally seen amongst the weapons of those who fought in chariots, and was carried in the quiver, with the arrows and short angular bow.36

In the bas-reliefs of Kouyunjik, slingers are frequently represented amongst the Assyrian troops. The sling appears to have consisted of a doubled rope, with a thong, probably of leather, to receive the stone; it was swung round the head. The slinger held a second stone in his left hand, and at his feet is generally seen a heap of pebbles ready for use.37

The javelin is frequently included amongst the weapons of the Assyrian charioteers; but the warriors are not represented as using it in battle. It was carried in the quiver amongst the arrows.

The shields of the Assyrians were of various forms, and materials. In the more ancient bas-reliefs a circular buckler, either of hide or metal, perhaps in some instances of gold and silver38, is most frequently introduced. It was held by a handle fixed to the centre. Light oblong shields of wicker-work, carried in a similar manner, are also found in the early sculptures; but those of a circular form appear to have been generally used by the charioteers.

Suspended to the backs of the chariots, and carried by warriors, are frequently seen shields in the shape of a crescent, narrow, and curved outwards at the extremities. The face is ornamented by a row of angular bosses, or teeth, in the centre of which is the head of a lion.

In the sculptures of Khorsabad, the round shield is often highly ornamented. It resembles, both in shape and in the devices upon it, the bucklers now carried by the Kurds arid Arabs, which are made of the hide of the hippopotamus. In the bas-reliefs of Kouyunjik, some warriors bear oval shields, very convex, and sufficiently large to cover the greater part of the body. The centre and outer rim were decorated with bosses.

The shield used in a siege concealed the whole person of the warrior, and completely defended him from the arrows of the enemy. It was made either of wicker-work, or of hides. It was furnished at the top with a curved point, or a square projection, like a roof, at right angles to the body of the shield; which may have served to defend the heads of the combatants against missiles, discharged from the walls and towers of a castle. Such were probably the shields used by the Persian archers at the battle of Platea.39

The archers, whether on foot or in chariots, were accompanied by shield-bearers, whose office it was to protect them from the shafts of the enemy. Sometimes one shield covered two archers. The shield-bearer was usually provided with a sword, which he held ready drawn for defence. The king was always attended in his wars by this officer; and even in peace, one of his eunuchs usually carried a circular shield for his use.40 This shield-bearer was probably a person of rank, as in Egypt. On some monuments of the later Assyrian period, he is represented carrying two shields, one in each hand.41

Some of the circular bucklers appear to have been made of small pieces of wood or leather, carefully united.42 The handles attached to the small circular shields may have been of leather; but those belonging to the larger, which were supported entirely by them, must have been of wood or metal.43

Standards were carried by the charioteers. In the sculptures they have only two devices; one a figure (probably that of the divinity) standing on a bull and drawing a bow; the other, two bulls running in opposite directions,44 These figures are enclosed in a circle, and fixed to the end of a long staff, ornamented with streamers and tassels. The standards seem to have been partly supported by a rest in front of the chariot, and a long rod or rope connected them with the extremity of the pole. In a bas-relief from Khorsabad, this rod is attached to the top of the standard.45

The Assyrians, like the Egyptians, appear to have had organised and disciplined troops. In the sculptures of Kouyunjik, we not only find long lines of warriors on foot, divided into companies, each distinguished by their dress or their arms; but also horsemen and chariots marshalled in array.46 In one chamber of these ruins, the walls were covered with small figures of armed men, marching in file. In the same edifice were representations of archers defended by shields, and drawn up in line before the walls of a besieged city. In front of them were rows of spearmen, the first rank kneeling, and the second stooping, to enable the archers behind to discharge their arrows. The group thus formed bears some resemblance to the phalanx of the Greeks, and to the squares of modern infantry.

A great part of the strength of the Assyrian armies consisted in chariots and horsemen, to which we have frequent allusion in the inspired writings.47 The chariots appear to have been used by the king, and the highest officers of state, who are never seen in battle on horseback; or, except in sieges, on foot.48 They contained, either two, or three persons. The king was always accompanied by two attendants — the warrior protecting him with a shield (who was replaced during peace, by the eunuch bearing the parasol), and the charioteer. The principal warriors were also frequently attended by their shield-bearer, though sometimes the driver alone is with them.

The chariot was used during a siege, as well as in open battle. The king, and his warriors are frequently represented, as fighting with the enemy beneath the walls of a castle; or as having dismounted from their cars, to discharge their arrows against the besieged. In the latter case, grooms on foot held the horses. When the king in his chariot formed part of a triumphal procession, armed men led the horses. The chariot was also preceded, and followed by men on foot.

The Assyrian chariot was probably made of wood.49 It appears to have been open behind; but, unlike those commonly used by the Egyptians, to have been completely panelled at the sides. It varied considerably in form, at different periods. As represented on the earliest monuments, it is low with the upper part rounded. To each side were fixed, as in Egypt, two quivers, containing arrows, a small crooked bow, a javelin, and a hatchet or battleaxe. The pole was sustained by a forked rod, fastened to the forepart of the chariot, which was also connected with the end of the pole by a singular contrivance. Neither the use, nor the material of this part of the chariot, can be determined from the sculptures. Its size precludes the idea of metal, or even of solid wood; and I can only conjecture that it was a light wooden frame-work, covered with linen or silk, and intended as an ornament. It was elaborately painted or embroidered, and was generally divided into three compartments, containing sacred emblems — such as the sun, moon, seven stars, and the horned-cap. Although the yoke was for two horses, three were generally harnessed to the chariot.50 There is no indication of traces, nor can it be ascertained from the sculptures how the third horse was attached. It was probably intended to supply the place of a killed horse, and did not draw.51 In a bas-relief representing the passage of a river52, a chariot is seen in a boat, and consequently without the horses. We can thus judge of the form of the pole and yoke, but not of the precise mode of their use, nor of the material of which they were made.

The wheels had six spokes, and the felloes consisted of four pieces. They appear to have been thicker and more solid, and the whole chariot, indeed, to have been heavier than that of the Egyptians. At the end of the pole, which was curved outwards, was generally the head of a bull, ram, or some other animal, probably, as among the Greeks, in metal. Sometimes a semicircular metal plate or crest, ornamented with the figure of the winged bull, or with some other religious emblem, was attached to the end of the pole, and rose above the backs of the horses.

Behind the chariot was suspended a shield, with teeth or bosses like that described; and a spear was placed upright in a rest, which was usually in the shape of a human head.

The warriors stood upright in the chariot, which does not seem to have been furnished with seats.

At a later period the Assyrian chariot53 appears to have undergone a considerable change, both in form and size. The large ornamented frame-work, stretching from the forepart to the end of the pole, was replaced by a thin rod, or by a rope or leather thong, knotted in the centre or near one end. The horses were also differently harnessed. The pole terminated no longer in the head of an animal, and the yoke, as far as we can judge by the sculptures, was altogether of another shape. The later Assyrian chariot, moreover, like the Egyptian and Persian, was always drawn by two horses, and not by three.54 It was also much higher, and larger, than that of the more ancient sculptures, the wheel alone being almost of the height of a man. The upper part was not rounded, but square, with a projection in front, which may have been a case to receive arrows; as quivers were not attached to the sides as represented in the oldest Nimroud bas-reliefs. The panels of the chariot were carved, and adorned with rosettes and tassels. The wheel had eight, and not six, spokes; and was apparently strengthened by four pieces of metal, which bound the felloes. The whole chariot closely resembled that of the Persepolitan sculptures, and of the great Mosaic from Pompeii in the Museum of Naples, the subject of which is conjectured to be one of the battles between Alexander and Darius.

The later chariots were often completely covered with ornaments; those represented on the earlier monuments had a very elegant moulding, or border, round the sides. They were probably inlaid with gold, silver, and precious woods, and also painted.55

In a bas-relief at Khorsabad, a figure of the king drawing a bow was placed as a device on a chariot panel.

Chariots armed with scythes are not seen in the Assyrian sculptures, although mentioned by Ctesias as being in the army of Ninus.

As chariots were in such general use, we may presume that the Assyrians had formed roads, not only over the plains, but through the mountainous provinces of their dominions. Indeed, in the sculptures of Kouyunjik, both chariots and horsemen are seen crossing high mountains.

⁕ = 56

The harness and trappings of the horses were extremely rich and elegant. Plumes waved over their heads, or fanciful crests rose gracefully in an arch above the ears, and descended in front to the nostrils. To these ornaments were sometimes appended long ribands or streamers, which floated on the wind. Large tassels of wool or silk, dyed many colours, fell on the forehead, and were attached to many parts of the harness. The bridle generally consisted of a head-stall, a strap divided into three parts connected with the bit, and straps over the forehead, under the cheeks, and behind the ears. All these details were elaborately ornamented. In the earlier sculptures we find the figures of winged bulls, and other symbolical devices, on parts of the head-furniture; in the later, rosettes are more commonly introduced, frequently producing a very pleasing appearance.

It is probable that the bit, as well as many ornaments of the bridle and trappings, were of gold and other precious materials.57

The bit of the earlier Assyrians was in the form of a double wedge or dovetail, and appears to have acted more like a curb than a snaffle. The rein was attached to the centre, and the bit probably worked as a lever. At a later period the form of the bit was altered, and the rein was fastened nearer the end, to add to its power.

Round the necks of the horses were hung tassels, rosettes, and engraved beads. Three straps, richly embroidered, passing under the forepart of the belly, kept the harness and chariot-pole in their places. A breast-band, adorned with tassels, was also supported by these straps. To the yoke was suspended a very elegant ornament, formed by the head of an animal, and a circle, in which was sometimes introduced a winged bull, a star, or some other sacred device. It fell on the shoulder of the animal, and to it were attached three clusters of tassels.

Embroidered clothes, or trappings, were frequently thrown over the backs of the chariot-horses, and almost covered the body58, from the ears to the tail. They were kept in their place by straps passing round the breast, the rump, and the belly.

The chariot-horses of the later Assyrian period differed entirely in their trappings and harness from those of the earlier. High plumes, generally three in number, and rising one above the other, waved over their heads. Frequently an arched crest, and clusters of tassels, were placed between their ears. Similar tassels fell over their foreheads, and hung round their necks. The harness attached to the yoke, was more profusely ornamented with rosettes and fringes, than that of the earlier Assyrian chariots; but the ornaments showed less variety and taste.

The manes were either allowed to fall loosely on the neck, were platted, or were cut short and stood erect. In the earlier sculptures, the tails of the horses are simply bound in the centre with ribands; in the later, the end is platted, as is now the fashion in Persia and Turkey, and tied up in a bunch.59

Each horse appears to have been guided by two reins, and the charioteer held three in each hand when driving three horses. He also carried a whip, which, like the Egyptian, consisted of a simple thong, attached to a loop at the end of a short handle. In the later Assyrian sculptures this thong is frequently divided into two or three lashes, the handle of the whip terminating in the head of a bull or lion.

The horsemen formed a no less important part of the Assyrian army than the charioteers.60 Horsemen are seen in the most ancient sculptures of Nimroud61; and I have already mentioned, that disciplined bodies of cavalry were represented in the bas-reliefs of Kouyunjik. We learn from the book of Judith that Holofernes had 12,000 archers on horseback.62 The king himself is never represented on horseback, although a horse richly caparisoned, apparently for his use — perhaps to enable him to fly, should his chariot-horses be killed — is frequently seen led by a warrior and following his chariot.

In the earliest sculptures the horses, except such as are led behind the king's chariot, are unprovided with clothes or saddles. The rider is seated on the naked back of the animal. At a later period, however, a kind of pad appears to have been introduced; and in a sculpture at Kouyunjik was represented a high saddle not unlike that now in use in the East.

The horsemen were armed with bows, or with long spears.63 They wore short tunics and their legs and feet were bare. When riding without pads or saddles, they sat with their knees almost on a level with the horse's back. After the introduction of saddles, their limbs appear to have been more free, and they wore greaves or boots, but were unprovided with stirrups.

When an archer on horseback was in battle, his horse was held and guided by a second horseman, who rode by his side. He was then able to discharge his arrows freely. On the monuments of Khorsabad and Kouyunjik, the cavalry are usually armed with the spear. When using this weapon they did not require a second horseman to hold the reins.

The riding-horses are less richly and profusely adorned than those in harness, the horsemen being probably of inferior rank to those who fought in chariots. The head-stall was surmounted by an arched crest, and round the neck was an embroidered collar, ending in a rich tassel or bell.64

The horses of the Assyrians, as far as we can judge from the sculptures, were well formed and apparently of noble blood. It has been doubted whether the breed for which Mesopotamia and the neighbouring deserts of Arabia are now celebrated, existed in the same vast plains at a remote period; or whether it was introduced shortly before the Mohammedan conquest. Although we have no mention in the sacred writings of a trade actually carried on in horses with Assyria, as with Egypt, yet it may be inferred from several passages that it did exist.65 Horses, it will be remembered, were offered to the Jews, by the general of the Assyrian king, as an acceptable present66; and in the statistical tablet of Karnak they are mentioned amongst the objects of tribute brought by the people of Naharaina (Mesopotamia) and the neighbouring countries to the Egyptians. We may judge, therefore, that the Assyrian horses were celebrated at a very early period. The Egyptians, indeed, appear to have been chiefly indebted to the countries watered by the Tigris and Euphrates for their horses, no representation of this animal occurring, I believe, on Egyptian monuments earlier than the eighteenth dynasty.67 However that may be, no one can look at the horses of the early Assyrian sculptures without being convinced that they were drawn from the finest models.68 The head is small and well-shaped, the nostrils large and high, the neck arched, the body long, and the legs slender and sinewy. " Their horses are swifter than the leopards, and more fierce than the evening wolves," exclaims the prophet, of the horses of the ChaldŠans.69 That the Assyrians faithfully portrayed animals is shown by the lions, bulls, goats, and stags so frequently introduced into their bas-reliefs; it is highly probable, therefore, that they carefully copied the forms of their horses, and showed the points for which they were most distinguished. It is not unlikely that the plains watered by the Tigris and Euphrates, producing during the winter and spring the richest pasturage, were at the earliest period as celebrated as they are now for the rearing of horses; particularly when so large a supply must have been required for the, cavalry and chariots of the Assyrian armies. At a later period, indeed, we find the plains of Babylonia furnishing horses to the Persians, both for the private use of the king and for his troops. It may, therefore, be conjectured that they were of the most noble and celebrated breeds; for the Persians, being masters of the greater part of Asia and of Egypt, could have obtained horses, had they found better, from elsewhere.70 According to Herodotus, the stud maintained by the Babylonians for the Persian monarch included 800 stallions and 16,000 mares.71 It may have been derived by the Persians from those whom they conquered; and it is not improbable that the Assyrians themselves supplied their cavalry from similar studs kept up near Babylon, or in other parts of the Mesopotamian plains. Amongst the objects of tribute brought by the Ruten-nu to the Egyptians, in the time of Thothmes III., are particularly mentioned brood-mares72; and this people, it will be shown, are supposed to have inhabited Assyria Proper, or some country immediately adjacent.

 

 

1) The Assyrians were not ignorant of the dignity, and majesty, which flowing garments added to the figure.

                                     "Pedes vestis defluxit ad imos,
Et vera incessu patuit Dea."           

                                                      VIRG. Ăn. 1. i.

2) Such was probably the dress of the Babylonians as described by Herodotus. "Their clothing is of this kind: they have two vests, one of linen which falls to the feet, another over this, which is made of wool: a white sash confines the whole." (Lib. i. c. 195.)

3) The Persian monarchs wore a peculiar kind of head-dress, called cidaris; it somewhat resembled the French cap of liberty, or the Phrygian head-dress. According to the lexicographers, only the king was privileged to wear the top erect; this was probably in imitation of the Assyrian peak. The cidaris of Darius was blue and white, or purple and white. (Quint. Curt. 1. iii. c. 3. and 1. vi. c. 6.)

4) Diodorus Sic. 1. ii., and Ctesias.

"Et Syriae gentes, et laxo Persia aiuictu,
                      Vestibus ipsa suis haerens." MANILIUS, 1. iv. v. 7.

The extraordinary combinations of animal forms on these woofs are mentioned, Philostrat. Imag. ii. 32. and ii. 5.; and Euripides, Ion, v. 1176. MŘller, Handbuck, s. 287.

The finest Persian tunic of the time of Darius was white and purple. (Quint. Curt. 1. iii. c. 3.) This was the Σιὶραπις, Περσικὸς χιτὼν, μεσόλευκος, of Hesychius and Pollux. We have a close imitation of the Assyrian garment in the Olympic stole as described by Apuleius (Metam. 1. xi.): " Et humeris dependebat, pone tergum, talorum tenus, pretiosa chlamyda. Quaqua tamen viseres, colore vario circumnotatis Snsignibar animalibus. Hinc dracones Indici; inde gryphes Hyperborei: quos in speciem pinnatae alitis, general mundus alter. Hanc Olympiadem stolam sacrati nuncupant."

5) Astyages wore a purple coat and rich habit, necklaces around his neck, and bracelets on his arms. Being pleased with the replies of Cyrus, his grandson, when first introduced to him, he presented him with similar articles of dress. (Xenophon, Cyrop. lib. i. c. 3.) The golden ear-rings, peculiar to the Ishmaelites, the ornaments, collars, and purple raiment of the kings of Midian, are mentioned in Judges, viii. 26. The description given by Quintus Curtius (lib. iii. c. 3.) of the dress of Darius, of his embroidered robes, golden girdle, and sword adorned with jewels, agrees well with the sculptured representation of the Assyrian king. "Cultus regis inter omnia luxuria notabatur: purpureŠ tunieŠ medium albo intextum erat: pallam auro distinctam aurei accipitres, velut rostris inter se corruerent, adornabant, et zona aurea muliebriter cinctus acinacein suspenderat, cui ex gemma erat vagina. Cidarim Persae regium capitis vocabant insigne; hoc cserulea fascia albo distincta circumilat."

6) See page 298.

7) The sandals of the enemies of the Assyrians, differ from those of the Assyrians themselves. Sometimes a simple band, probably attached to a sole, passes over the instep and round the heel. Other sandals appear to resemble shoes, with a sole and upper rim united by cross-bars, between which the foot was left exposed. (Sec lithograph facing p. 336. Vol. I.).

8) 2 Kings, xviii. 17., and of Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah, xxxix. 3. In Daniel, i. 3. we have mention of the prince of the eunuchs. So many of the principal offices about the court were held by these persons, that their name came at last to be confounded with that of the great officers of state (compare 1 Samuel, viii. 15., 1 Kings, xxii. 9., and 2 Kings, xxiv. 12.), and chamberlains and courtiers (2 Kings, ix. 32.). Potiphar is called a " saris" or eunuch. That eunuchs were also an object of trade, and were brought, as at this day, from the centre of Africa, we learn from Jeremiah, xxxviii. 7.

9) An eunuch set over the men of war is mentioned in 2 Kings, xxv. 19.

10) See woodcuts in Chapter VII.

11) As Agha Mohammed Khan of Persia.

12) Marcellinus, 1. xiv. c. 6., and Claudian in Eutrop. 1. 5. v. 339. et seq.

"Seu prima Semiramis astu
Assyriis mentita virurn, ne vocis aeutŠ

13) The cup-bearer appears to have been one of the principal officers in the Assyrian court. See 2 Kings, xviii., where the Rab shukeh, or chief of the cup-bearers, is sent to induce the Jews to surrender.

14) Xenophon, lib. i. c. 3.

15) Lib. i. c. 195.

16) Fragments of Nicolaus of Damascus, in the Prodromes Hellenikes Bibliothekes, 8vo. Paris, 1805, p. 229. I am indebted to Mr. Birch for this free version of the anecdote. That the effeminate customs described by Nicolaus.existed amongst the kings and nobles of the Assyrian empire, is confirmed by all the ancient historians. Sardanapalus, according to Athenseus, when first seen by Arbaces, was adorned and dressed like a woman, his chin was shaved, and his skin was rubbed smooth with the pumice-stone. His flesh was as white as milk, and his eyes and eyebrows were painted black. (Athen. lib. xii.) Astyages, too, according to Xenophon (Cyrop. lib. i. c. 3.), had his eyes and face painted, and wore false hair.

17) Athenacus, lib. xii.

18) We find (Tobit, i. 22.) that, even in the days of Esarhaddon, a Jew was the principal banker, steward, and keeper of the accounts of the palace; as he is still in the East, where not outwitted by the Armenian.

19) Esther, iv. 11.

20) Herod, lib. i. ch. 99. So the passage must be understood, for it says that no man was admitted into the king's presence; and yet he was consulted through messengers, who, we must presume, were forbidden to laugh and spit before him.

21) Jeremiah thus describes the dresses of the warriors. " Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle. Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines (or coats of mail)." (Ch. xlvi. v. 3, 4.)

22) In chamber I, plan 3, where also the helmets and various other iron and copper fragments were found. Some interesting scale armour, inscribed with the name of Shishak I., is in the collection of Dr. Abbot at Cairo. (Prisse Monum.)

23) The plates of steel, resembling the scales of fishes, are described by Herodotus as worn by the Persian warriors. (Lib. vii. c. 61.)

24) They may have been the " linen cuirasses " mentioned by Herodotus (lib. vii. c. 63.) as worn by the Assyrians in the army of Xerxes. M. Lajard has published in his work on the worship of Mithra (plate 47.) a piece of armour similar in shape to that found at Nimroud, and which has every appearance of being Assyrian. It is embossed with groups of figures and Assyrian symbols.

25) They were perhaps of leather, or, like the boots of the Boeotians, of wood, or even of brass, as the greaves of Goliah. (1 Samuel, xvii. 6.) The whole of the giant's armour, his helmet, his coat of mail, and hia shield, were of the same metal.

26) According to Diodorus Siculus (1. ii.) it was customary for the nations tributary to the Assyrians to send, yearly, bodies of troops to serve either in war, or as garrisons. They were encamped outside the gates of Nineveh. The Assyrian king had thus, always a considerable standing army at his disposal.

27) The invention of the crested helmet, as well as of the ornamented shield, is attributed by Herodotus (lib. i. c. 171.) to the Carians, but it is more probable that they received both indirectly from the Assyrians.

28) Herodotus says that the Assyrian helmets were of brass. Loc, cit.

29) See woodcuts on opposite page, and on page 337.

30) See woodcut, page 357.

31) The Sacae, who are a Scythian nation, had caps which terminated in a point, and wore loose trowsers. (Lib. vii. c. 64.) The latter article of dress is certainly not represented in the Assyrian sculptures.

32) The Assyrians in the army of Xerxes carried shields, spears, daggers, and wooden clubs knotted with iron. (Herod, loc. cit.)

33) This is still the custom in Persia. In that country no dress, except that of persons specially devoted to religious duties, is complete without a dagger with a jewelled or ivory handle. The dagger was probably used by the Assyrians not only as a weapon, but, like the μειχιιιριι of the Greeks, for carving the dinner. Cf. (Elian, ii. 17., for the story of Ochus, who was watched by the magi when he ate his first dinner, and his cutting a loaf and laying a slice of meat on it.

34) Several dagger-handles of ivory, carved in the shape of the forepart of bulls, and other animals, were found in the tomb of an ivory-worker at Memphis.

35) See woodcut, page 299.

36) See woodcut facing p. 350.

37) That the Persian slingers were exceedingly expert, used very large stones, and could annoy their enemies whilst out of the reach of their darts or arrows, we learn from several passages in Xenophon. (See particularly Anabasis, lib. iii. c. 3.)

38) King Solomon made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pounds of gold to each shield. (1 Kings, x. 17.) The servants of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, carried shields of gold. (2 Samuel, viii. 7.) The shield of Goliah was of brass.

39) Herod, lib. ix. c. 61. The expression of the Greek historian, that the Persians made a fence of their osier shields, has perplexed the commentators, who conjecture that the archers formed a rampart of bucklers, from behind which they discharged their arrows. But the sculptures of Nimroud, and Kouyunjik, completely illustrate the passage; a shield covering the whole person being held by a second warrior. The shields of the Persians were of osier covered with skins.

40) Teucer, when discharging his arrows against Hector, was protected by the shield of Ajax.

"And last, young Teucer with his bended bow —
Secure behind the Telamonian shield,
The skilful archer wide surveyed the field."
                          Iliad, b. viii. 1. 319.

And again

"Thus Ajax guards his brother in the field,
Moves as he moves, and turns the shining shield." 1. 327.

Goliah had one " bearing his shield, who went before him." (1 Samuel, xvii. 7.)

41) See woodcut, p. 372.

42) See woodcut, p. 337.

43) According to Herodotus (lib. i. c. 171.) the Carians invented the handle of the shield; held before their time by a thong of leather suspended from the neck. The bucklers used during the Trojan war had wooden handles. (Iliad, viii. 193.)

44) Mr. Birch suggests that these may resemble the symbols of war and peace, which were attached to the yoke of Darius's chariot.

45) Standards, somewhat similar to those represented in the Assyrian bas-reliefs, were in use in Egypt. Some sacred animal, or emblem, was also generally placed upon them. Standards, and banners, are mentioned on several occasions in the Bible. (Jer. iv. 21.; Song of Solomon, vi. 4.)

46) Uzziah "had a host of fighting men, who went out to war by bunds." (2 Chron. xxvi. 11.) Josephus (1. ix. c 10.) describes how these men were divided into companies, and were armed, each man with a sword, shield, breast-plate of brass, bow and sling; the weapons carried by the warriors of the Assyrian sculptures.

47) The chariots and horses of Naharaina (Mesopotamia) are mentioned in an Egyptian monument of the earliest kings of the 18th dynasty: an officer of Thothmes I. " captured for him, in the land of Naharaina, twenly-one hands, a horse, and a chariot." (Birch's Memoir on the Statistical Tablet of Karnak, p. 8.) The Elamites, amongst the tributaries of the Assyrians, were celebrated for their chariots carrying archers. (Isaiah, xxii. 6.) Chariot cities, or cities for the support of warriors fighting in chariots, are frequently mentioned in the Bible. (2 Chron. i. 14., and viii. 6.) Solomon had 1400 chariots, the Syrians 700 (2 Samuel, x. 18.), the Philistines 30,000 (1 Samuel, xiii. 5.).

48) Amongst the ancient Indians the king, and men of rank generally, combated in chariots; very rarely, and only at a latter period, on horseback. In the Assyrian sculptures, only war-chariots have hitherto been discovered; we have no representation of the magnificent carriages which, under the name of armamaxae, were used by the ancient Persians in processions, and for their women.

49) Chariots of iron are mentioned in Judges (i. 1 9. and iv. 3.). The car from the Egyptian tomb, now at Florence, was made of birch-wood and ivory.

50) In tins respect the most ancient Assyrian chariot differed from the Egyptian, to which only two horses were harnessed.

51) As amongst the Greeks in the time of Homer. This third horse was called παρωρος.

52) See woodcut, p. 381.

53) See woodcut opposite p. 137.

54) From a passage in Zechariah (vi. 2.) it would appear that the chariot-horses were sometimes paired according to their colours. The chariot of Darius on the cylinders, and on the silver daric, as well as in the Persepolitan sculptures, is drawn by two horses.

55)Such were the chariots obtained by the Egyptians from Naharaina (Mesopotamia), fifteen centuries before Christ. In the Statistical Tablet of Karnak are mentioned " thirty chariots worked with gold and silver, with painted poles," as brought from that country, and chariots similarly adorned with paintings, from the Ruten-nu, a neighbouring people.

56) It must be remarked that these horses may belong, not to the Assyrians, but to a conquered nation. Mr. Birch observes that the people leading them have the same head-dress and garments as the Ruten of a tomb at Thebes.

57) The horses ridden by Astyages and Cyrus had bridles of gold. Xenoph. Cyrop. lib. i. c. 3. Compare 1 Esdras, iii. 6., where the chariots with bridles of gold of the Persians arc mentioned.

58) "Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots." (Ezekiel, xxvii. 20.)

59) This later fashion appears to have been adopted by the Persians, and is represented in the Persepolitan sculptures. (Sir R. Kerr Porter, PI. 41. 48, 49, and 50.) Compare also the chariot and horses on the darics, and on the early tombs from Xanthus.

60) "Assyrians clothed in blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses." (Ezekiel, xxiii. 6.)

61) It is singular, as observes Sir Gardner Wilkinson (Ancient Egyptians, vol. i. p. 288.), that horsemen are nowhere represented on the monuments of Egypt, although there can be no doubt, from numerous passages in the sacred writings, that cavalry formed an important part of the Egyptian armies.

62) Judith, ii. 15. Soloman had 12,000 horsemen. (1 Kings, x. 26.)

63) "The horsemen lifteth up both the bright sword and glittering spear." (Nahum, iii. 3.)

64) See woodcut, p. 28., where a boll appears to be suspended round the neck of a horse. Bells for horses' necks are mentioned in Zechariah, sir. 20.

65) 1 Kings, x. 28, 29.

66) 2 Kings, xviii. 23. " Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them." It may be inferred from this passage, that cavalry was not extensively used by the Jews. The horses alluded to in the 3rd verse of the 14th chapter of Hosea, are probably to be taken in connection with Assyria, mentioned in the previous part of the verse. " Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses." It is remarkable that there is no mention in the Bible of Arab horses, afterwards so celebrated. The Arabs in the army of Xerxes were mounted on camels, and were placed in the rear, because, says Herodotus, the camels frightened the horses (lib. vii. c. 87.).

67) Birch's Statistical Tablet of Karnak, p. 32.

68) The magnificent description of the war-horse in Job (ch. xxxix.), shows that horses of the noblest breed were, at a very early period, not only known in Syria, but used in battle.

69) Habakkuk, i. 8.

70) According to Xenophon (Cyrop. lib. i. c. 3.) it was very difficult to breed horses in Persia Proper; and it was a rare thing to see a horse in the country, which was too mountainous for riding. This must apply only to the most western and northern provinces; but even this part of Persia now produces a very good horse, probably originally bred from the Turcoman and Arab. The site of the Nisaean plains, so celebrated for their horses, has not yet been satisfactorily determined. Major Rawlinson believes them to have been somewhere in the mountains of Luristan. (Notes on a March through Susiana: Journal of the Geographical Society.)

71) Lib. i. c. 192.

72) Birch's Memoir on the Statistical Tablet of Karnak, p. 44.