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Chaldean History – Lecture 1A

Ancient Iraq

Lecture 1 – First Hour

Ancient Iraq

The following are quotes that were used during the lecture and appear in the order they were discussed. They come from George Roux’s, Ancient Iraq.

  • “Jeremiah the prophet, while predicting its fall, could not help calling it, ‘a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken’…’It surpasses in splendor any city of the known world'” (390).
  • “Where is a great golden of Zeuz (Marduk), sitting at a great golden talbe, and the footstool and chair are also of gold; the gold of the whole was said by the Chaldeans to be of 800 talents’ weight (3 tons). Outside the temple is a golden altar. There is also another great altar, whereon are sacrificed the full-grown of the flocks. Only sucklings may be sacrificed on the golden altar, but on the greater alter the Chaldeans even offer a thousand talents’ weight of frankincense yearly…” (396).
  • “…a priest unlocked the ‘Lofty Gate’ of Esagila and opened its great courtyard” (398).
  • “In the evening, the king proceeded to Esagila. Before the statue of Marduk, he surrendered the insignia of kingship – the sceptre, the circle and the mace – to the sheshagallu-priest, who deposited them on a chair in front of Marduk, and then struck the king on the Cheek” (399).
  • “In the fourth year of Xerxes, however, the Babylonians made a last attempt at recovering their freedom” (408).
  • “Xenophon, who marched through Assyria in 401 B.C. with ten thousand Greek mercenaries, described Nimrud (which he calls Larissa) as ‘deserted’, and did not even recognize the walls of Nineveh in the ‘large undefended fortifications’ which he saw near Mescila (Mosul)” (410).
  • “For all these people of various origins and tongues there could be only one common language: Aramaic” (411).
  • “It was in temples like those of Uruk, Sippar, Babylon and Barsippa that the Sumero-Akkadian culture was preserved” (417).
  • “The Greeks became interested not so much in Mesopotamian history and literature as in the scientific and pseudo-scientific works of the ‘Chaldeans'” (418).
  • “But the newcomers – mostly Aramaeans, Arabs and Iranians – settled in Mesopotamia in very large numbers, and mixed with the native population more easily since they of Oriental stock” (420).
  • “Jews were numerous in Mesopotamia, and from about A.D. 30-60 or even more, a local family converted to Judaism ruled over Adiabene from its capital city Arbela (Erbil). According to the Oriental tradition, during the same period Christianity began to penetrate into Northern Mesopotamia, coming from Antioch and Edessa” (420).
  • “This is the true ‘Mesopotamian heritage’, rather than a few institutions, a few symbols and a few words. It has reached Europe and eventually all of us in two stages: first from place to place during prehistory, regarding its technical aspects, then through the twin channels of our Judeo-Chrisrtian tradition and of the Greek culture, regarding its spiritual and artistic contents” (426).