Such letters only fathers who are at the same time, the kings are likely to get: the teacher of his son, a certain Balasi, writes to the Assyrian king Esarhaddon, to thank for the tremendous honour of the crown Prince. However, not only the letter has survived for 2700 years, also of Balasis teaching efforts have preserved traces of Clay, with clumsy cuneiform characters covered, obviously, than writing exercises of the student. It ends with the words: “I am Ashurbanipal.”

Tilman Spreckelsen

editor in the features section.

F. A. Z.

This set is also one exhibition is the title, which is currently on display in the British Museum in London. It is based on the rich holdings of the house, which have been brought since the nineteenth century from the territory of the old Assyria to London – from a country so, in the time that Ashurbanipal, ranging between 669 and 631 before Christ reigned, the arc from the Persian Gulf to Egypt.

Its capital was Nineveh, from there, most of what is now shown in the British Museum, and because the king was also tablets Lord of a large library of cuneiform, is in the exhibition, an entire wall almost to the ceiling of a large number of these dedicated to. Tightly attached, intimidate the visitors, because the accompanying texts of a complex culture to tell ID to use, but for most of the unreadable.

The more vivid of the many stucco panels adorned as the bas – Reliefs of the Assyrian palaces, especially the Northern Palace of Nineveh. Right at the beginning of a well-illuminated panel, which shows several Panels for a lion hunt, from the first Moment, when the animals let out of cages, to the last, if you are killed. Whoever created this very fine pictures, must have spent a lot of time with lions or excellent role models had the muscular body and tension in the ankle so alive and to honor the self as a Loser, if you followed, for example, particularly toxic hunting dogs, and hit by three lances, still the human hunters and attack your life with a powerful flow of blood from the mouth not to breathe, but probably with roar decide.

Bestial predatory cats, and a tame lion

but This is not the last word, so compelling, these lion hunts on several large-scale bas-Reliefs. For one, the hero is hit mirrored of the battle of the big cats in the suffering of all other creatures – wild donkeys, hunt and, as well, but so obviously defenseless, it hurts. The other lions are shown to the North of the Palace-Reliefs also downright tame, and as lap animals in a paradisiacal garden, in the musicians. For the third, but hunter and prey, man and animal merge in a series of sculptures that have attributes of both creatures. And an ivory carving, the delicate style is in stark contrast to the depicted scene, finally, shows the revenge of the afflicted creature: A lion standing over a downed man and bites his throat.

Some of it is to see a similar display in the permanent exhibition of the Museum, but not in such Abundance and so well presented, not with the possibility, especially in the representation of a lion, so much to compare and to sharpen the view for the artistic way, soon everything Clumsy in the early stone sculptures. The Material is gaining enormous by focusing on one Narrative, the rule Ashurbanipals, which begins with the paternal heritage, and the young king as his successor in a very similar scene, such as the genuine restorer of the temple.