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none; and when he desired a Bedouin to point him out the statue of the woman milking a cow, which had been particularly mentioned, he led him without hesitation to the bull monsters just described. Hence he doubts greatly the existence of any figures here, at least above ground.*
This Hatra appears to have been held during the wars between the Romans and Parthians by an Arab chief, called by the writers of those days Barsuma, who took part with the latter against the invaders. Built upon a mountain and strongly fortified, it is said to have resisted the attacks of Trajan and Severus. According to report, it rose to a degree of wealth and power that attracted the cupidity of the last of those emperors, who led an army against it; but, though he spared no means for reducing it to subjection, his exertions proved vain. It probably owed its riches to commerce, being, like Palmyra, an entrepôt in the midst of a wide desert.
When Niebuhr passed this way, he was assured by some Arabs of the Tai tribe, that among the ruins of Al Hadr there are to be found multitudes of petrified bodies; and they even pretended to have themselves seen those of muftis, cadis, women, and children in every possible attitude, who, according to the tradition of the place, had all been turned into stone in a single night. It is possible, as the traveller suggests, that this may be an exaggerated account of sculptures which might be well worthy of a visit.
The neighbourhood of Felugia, where is found the southern termination of the Median wall, abounds also in vestiges of ancient habitations; the remains, we presume, of the Perisaboras of Julian's expedition, or Ancobar of Ptolemy. Nor can there be any doubt that the wild realm of Mesopotamia, from this wall to the line of the Khabour, would in like manner, if explored, prove fertile in discov eries indicative of a teeming population wherever the soil admitted of culture: but as yet no traveller has had opportunity, or been tempted to brave the perils of the Arabs and the desert, in order to enter upon this new field of enterprise.
* Journal of Geographical Society, vol. ix., p. 467-470.
Nineveh and its Environs.
Ancient Nineveh nowhere particularly described in Sacred Writ.-Account of by Diodorus.-Its Walls.-Incidentally mentioned by Herodotus. By the Prophets Jonah and Nahum as an exceedingly great and profligate City.-Mr. Rich's Account of its Ruins.-Visible Remains. Tel Koyunjuk.-Sepulchral Chamber and Inscription, &c.-Nebbi Yunus. Inscribed Gypsum-And Antiques.-Mosque in Memory of the Prophet Jonah.-Conjectures.-Strabo's Account of the City's Extent. -Mounds of Yaremjee, Zembil Tepessi, &c.-Vestiges not numerous. -Mounds of Nimrod or Al Athur.-Larissa of Xenophon ?-Resin? -Remains.-Pyramid.-Mr. Rich's Voyages down the Tigris to Bagdad.-Ancient Sites on the Banks.-His Visit to Mar Mattei.-Villages of Yezidees and Jacobite Christians.-Ain u Sofra.-Yezidees.Their Pope.-Some Particulars of their Faith and Worship.-Position, Appearance, and Description of the Convent.-History-Establishment.-View from its Terrace.-Ras ul Ain.-Excursion to Rabban Hormuzd-And Al Kosh.-Character of the Yezidees.-Al Kosh.Birth and Burial place of the Prophet Nahum.-Ascent to, and Appearance of the Convent of Rabban Hormuzd.-Establishment.-Aspect of the Priests and Monks.-Discipline.-Period of Founding.-Grottoes.-Manuscripts.-Destroyed.-Chaldean Villages populous.-Convent of Mar Elias.-Churches of Mars Toma and Mar Shemaoon.
THE principal places of Upper Mesopotamia have already been mentioned, and we shall afterward take an opportunity of adverting to the antiquities they contain, when describing the country from the accounts of travellers who have lately visited it. We shall act in like manner with regard to Assyria; but there is one object in that region which, though now its remains are almost utterly obliterated, demands more than a passing notice, as being associated with our earliest religious impressions, and forming a prominent point in the ancient annals of the East: we mean the capital of Asshur, "Nineveh, that great city."
It is remarkable that neither in sacred nor profane history have we any very particular description of Nineveh. In the former, indeed, it is often spoke of as "an exceeding great city of three days' journey," but this description is incidentally introduced, and its name, for the most part, is
only coupled with denunciations of vengeance for its wickedness. Neither in the latter have we anywhere so elaborate an account of it as is given of Babylon. Diodorus, indeed, informs us that it was still larger than this other magnificent capital, inasmuch as it was an oblong square of 480 stadia in circumference. He adds that it was surrounded by a wall a hundred feet in height; so broad that three chariots might conveniently drive abreast upon its summit; and defended by 1500 towers, each rising to double the height of the wall. But nothing farther is stated; and the accuracy even of this detail may be doubted, when proceeding from an historian who mistakes so grossly as to place the capital of Assyria upon the Euphrates instead of the Tigris. Thus, though Nineveh is mentioned casually by several authors, including Herodotus, who says that he means to return to the subject, but whose work upon it, if he ever wrote one, has not reached our times, we in truth know nothing more than what we gather from the books of the prophets Jonah and Nahum, that it was ፡፡ an exceeding great city;" and, like most large cities in those days, so sunk in profligacy and crime as to excite the wrath of the Almighty.
That the indignation of Heaven did at length burst on its devoted head, we know from the history which relates its overthrow; and the account furnished by Mr. Rich,* who visited its site, and spent many days in examining its remains, affords pregnant proof of the complete fulfilment of all the denunciations we meet with in the Sacred Volume.
The ruins of Nineveh, which are situated opposite to the modern town of Mosul, are comprehended chiefly in an oblong enclosure, narrowing greatly towards its southern end, and extending about four miles in length by two in breadth. It is irregularly intersected by the Khausser rivulet, and contains two principal mounds, the one called Tel Koyunjuk, and the other Nebbi Yunus. There are beyond this enclosed space, to the eastward, some long banks like ramparts; and several small hillocks scattered around at greater or less distances in the vicinity. These elevations are all clothed with turf, or have their summits cultivated; so that an inexperienced eye could not distinguish *Narrative of a Residence in Koordistan, &c., 2 vols. 8vo, London,
them from natural ground. On the first mentioned of them there is a small village, and on the second has been erected a mosque of considerable size, which covers the supposed tomb of the prophet Jonah, and also a diminutive town, consisting of about 300 indifferent houses, which, however, do not occupy its whole surface.
The Tel Koyunjuk, according to Mr. Rich, is in height forty-three feet, and 7691 in circumference; of rather an irregular form, approaching to oval; its top nearly flat; its sides very steep; and its angles quite unmarked by remains of turret or bastion; nor does it bear the appearance of having ever been much higher than it now is. There are, however, evidences of its having been built upon, at least round the edges; and stones and bricks are ploughed up on all hands. At a place where it had been dug into, he observed masonry of coarse stone and mortar, and a piece of the same rock, shaped like the capital of a column, without carving. A flooring or pavement, too, of small stones rammed down with earth, was seen on many parts of its surface; and fragments of pottery, as well as bricks with bitumen adhering to them, were found among the debris. While he was there, a piece of the finest kind of pottery was excavated, covered with beautiful cuneiform writing, and quite resembling the large cylinders of that substance occasionally seen at Babylon.
Mr. Rich also mentions that, while a certain Turk was digging for stones in this very mound, his workmen brought to light a sepulchral chamber, in which was an inscription; and among fragments of bone and rubbish, a woman's ankle-ornament of silver, covered with turquoise-coloured rust; another, called a hezil, of gold, made for a child; a bracelet of gold beads, quite perfect; and some pieces of engraved agate, But the gold and silver were melted down, the agates thrown away, and the chamber broken up by the Mussulman traveller. The soft parts of this mound alone are subjected to the plough.
The one called Nebbi Yunus is estimated by Mr. Rich to be about fifty feet high in the loftiest part; its length from east to west, 431 feet; and its breadth from north to south, 355. On being dug deeply into, bricks and fragments of pottery and gypsum, covered with cuneiform writing, are found in abundance, testifying to the antiquity as well as the artificial character of the mound. Some of those pie
ces of inscribed gypsum were seen built into the walls of houses; and one particularly, in a small room occupied by the women of a villager, was said to be several yards long, but, except about three feet of it, had all been plastered over with mud. The stone is rendered more interesting by the fact that, having been discovered in its original position while the cottage was in building, it was permitted to remain just as it was; so that the characters are seen in their proper light. Certain narrow, dark, and vaulted passages, with apertures leading into one another, have been found on the eastern side of the court of the mosque. They appeared as if intended for the reception of dead bodies, and were declared to be very ancient.
It is in this mound that the best and most curious antiques have been discovered. A remarkable little stone chair, in Mr. Rich's possession, was dug up here, with several inscribed bricks and cylinders.
The mosque of Nebbi Yunus, which is a considerable building with a ribbed conical dome, occupies the site of a Christian monastery that was erected to commemorate the preaching of Jonah; but there appears to be no ground whatever for the belief that it covers his tomb.
The vestiges of building within the enclosure, besides Nebbi Yunus and Tel Koyunjuk, our author informs us, are but slight; and he gives it as his opinion that the ground thus enclosed contained merely the citadel or royal palace, or both perhaps, while, if we are to believe either the accounts of ancient geographers or the words of Sacred Writ, the town may, and indeed must, have extended on all sides to a great distance; for Strabo says it occupied the whole space between the Tigris and the Lycus; and in Scripture it is declared to be a "city of three days' journey." Accordingly, our countryman, in his researches around, perceived numerous traces of building of the same character as that within its limits; such are the mounds of Yaremjee, nearly four miles to the south; of Zembil Tepessi, to the southeast; and the vestiges observed on the way northward to the Convent of St. George.
We have here given a summary of the observations and researches on the site of Nineveh made by the English resident. It is a scene, as may be gathered even from our abridgment, which speaks rather to the feelings than to the senses; for there is nothing grand or sublime to strike the