Photo 11 Sep 80 notes If I were to get a tattoo*, it would incorporate this guy — Ashurbanipal II, ancient Assyrian king, and builder of the world’s first Great Library. Unlike his contemporaries, he was literate and trained as a scribe in cuneiform script. His library at Nineveh is the source of much of our extant knowledge of ancient Sumer, Babylon and Assyria, and the source of the world’s oldest complete epic, Gilgamesh.
Ashurbanipal was a conqueror, it’s true, and many perished at the hands of his warlike empire. However, he understood that the foundation of his power, of his civilization, was in its written word, a legacy that has survived near 3,000 years of changing technology and is as true today as it was in his lifetime. When he died, his enemies pulled down the walls of his library and buried it, in part to erase his power by destroying the written records of his accomplishments — which, of course, is the very act that preserved his memory by preserving the tablets, buried underground to be discovered in modern times.
Plus, I really dig archery. Always have.
Photo courtesy creative commons copyright, flickr user Nick in exsilio. King Ashurbanipal and his attendants in a chariot shooting lions. Assyrian, c645-635 BC. From Nineveh, North Palace, room C, panels 20-22. British Library, London.
*This remains a mighty big ‘if.’ Perhaps to celebrate my 40th birthday?

If I were to get a tattoo*, it would incorporate this guy — Ashurbanipal II, ancient Assyrian king, and builder of the world’s first Great Library. Unlike his contemporaries, he was literate and trained as a scribe in cuneiform script. His library at Nineveh is the source of much of our extant knowledge of ancient Sumer, Babylon and Assyria, and the source of the world’s oldest complete epic, Gilgamesh.

Ashurbanipal was a conqueror, it’s true, and many perished at the hands of his warlike empire. However, he understood that the foundation of his power, of his civilization, was in its written word, a legacy that has survived near 3,000 years of changing technology and is as true today as it was in his lifetime. When he died, his enemies pulled down the walls of his library and buried it, in part to erase his power by destroying the written records of his accomplishments — which, of course, is the very act that preserved his memory by preserving the tablets, buried underground to be discovered in modern times.

Plus, I really dig archery. Always have.

Photo courtesy creative commons copyright, flickr user Nick in exsilio. King Ashurbanipal and his attendants in a chariot shooting lions. Assyrian, c645-635 BC. From Nineveh, North Palace, room C, panels 20-22. British Library, London.

*This remains a mighty big ‘if.’ Perhaps to celebrate my 40th birthday?

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    Um, excuse me while I leave the room. I have a history boner.
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