By Robert William Rogers
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Additional resources for A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes
89 In one respect this narrative of Layard's far excels all that had been written by the men who before his day had seen or measured or worked in these mounds. None before had ever told the story of their experiences or of their discoveries in words so full of color, life, and movement; none had ever displayed so much of enthusiasm and so great a power of description. In another respect Layard becomes a successor of one of the earliest of English travelers and explorers. Like Shirley, he knew how to make all that he saw bear upon the words of the Bible.
They who cared nothing for the Bible were moved by the fire and the beauty of his description; they who loved the Bible saw in him a man who was making discoveries which promised to illustrate or confirm records to them most dear. In due time, also, these influences became so potent that the British government was moved to lend a hand to this work, and so that which had been begun upon slender private means became a great national enterprise. The colossal figures which so deeply moved Layard were indeed a noble sight, but they were not so important as the smaller inscriptions which were later to be dug out of their resting places.
He believed at once that this was but one room, perhaps of a great palace, and proved the supposition at once by causing wells to be driven near by in several places, out of which came other bas-reliefs, almost perfectly preserved. In these his eyes looked upon a sight which no man had seen since the great royal city fell before its enemies more than two thousand four hundred years before. Only one 82 day could Botta remain at Khorsabad, and then had to return to Mosul for other duties. Thence he wrote on April 5,1843, a quiet, dignified letter to the author of his first enthusiasm, AI.
A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes by Robert William Rogers