Posted by Jeff from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net (220.127.116.11) on Sunday, June 16, 2002 at 0:50AM :
WHO ARE ASSYRIANS?
By the late
Assyrians of today have often been mistaken for Syrians. Reason for this confusion
seems to be- the average American has heard the name Syria. He knows there is a land by
that name, but there is no country today to be named Assyria. What is even more odd is
that many writers, until recently, were under the impression that no remnants of
Assyrians existed today. Whenever an Assyrian presented himself as a living sample of
descendants of Assyrians of pre-Christian era, he was met with wrinkled noses, shaking
heads and forbidding eyes saying: there is no such thing as a living Assyrian. They
have vanished from the face of the earth completely. But other researchers whose
experience has been founded not on rumor but on their own quest, have acknowledged the
claim to be justified.
Another painful point to comment upon is:- Assyrian of pre-Christian times have been
pictured to be a cruel and an absolutely merciless people, whose heathenish heart had
no room for mercy. The following should help to annul this type of opinion:
In the louvre Museum of Paris, France, an visitor passing through the Assyrian
department, cannot fail to see the following: On an obelisk of sandstone, approximately
5ft. in height, with engravings in bas relief and impressed inscriptions on all four
sides; below the images, the observer will read the following translation on one of the
four sides: "King Ashur Bani-Pal on his royal throne, captive kings of the defeated
revolting coalition of subject nations are being admitted into his presence." One of
the captive kings name give- is shown prostrated on the ground in front of the
footstool. Other captive kings are waiting in the background in a row. The admonition
of the emperor to the kings of his dominions reads: "Why do you want to start wars? I
dislike bloodshed. Just pay your tribute and live in peace." he sent them to their
lands with magnificent gifts of royal robes.
But thanks to the young science of Archeology for painstakingly digging in the sandy
earth of Bet-Nahrain-Messa or Mesopotamia, today's Iraq, and releasing the secrets lo
cked in the ground for thousands of years. The unexpected revelation was sensational.
The inscriptions pressed on baked clay or sculpture in indestructible stone, still ot
her engraved on metals and semi-precious stones shook the scientific world to its very
foundations. The dazzling light of a new order of things would precipitate the
millennia-old beliefs into chaotic confusion. In the place of barbarism, blinding light
of culture shone. Where signs of heathenism were expected to be found, Psalms and Grand
poetry in praise of the Lords of creation were sung. In place of mental crudity, epics
of mature thinking were recited. The original Noah and his Ark were here too. Even,
judging by time-laps, the original righteous Job was here, nursing his wounds without
complaint. Mesopotamia, in Assyrian Bet-Nahrain meaning between two rivers. i.e., the
land between two rivers-Tigris and Euphrates, is justifiably named by Dr. Wigram,
English authority on the subject of Middle-Eastern nations. "The Crackle of Mankind".
Dr. S.N. Kramer calls it "cradle of civilization". In this land around him and took a
film hold of the helm of surrounding environment and made the existing conditions to
serve his purpose.
He started the communal or city life, thus becoming the originator of civilization. To
promote that venturesome step, he would need dwelling places for shelter from a
scorching sun and the rigors of burning sandy winds; He would need fields to raise
crops for sustenance of life; he would need implements to till his soil for fertility;
He would have to domesticate animals for labor and for nourishment; He would need
utensils for preparation of his food, and as he had a taste for art, he liked to
decorate them with various colorful designs. He would need systems of irrigation and
canalization; He would require tools for all kinds of labor, also for weaving material
for he didn't desire to cover his body with crude animal skin. Subsequently a code of
law would be indispensable for the growing communities. He would have to build
templates wherein to worship his magnanimous Creator. He would also need weapons to
defend himself against man and beast.
Centuries later we see him building Places of baked bricks, stone, granite, alabaster
and marble; We see him decorating the portals of his Palaces with images of human-
headed winged bull - signifying reality of power. He continues to grow in wisdom,
imagination and strength. We observe him building imposing templates of seven floors
for various types of worship, also each representing the color of a different metal.
We find him impressing his thoughts and the echo of his activities on baked earth and
on several kinds of stones, metals and on semi precious jewels.
Subsequently, he lifts his head and directs his gaze toward the skies. Deep spaces
challenge his venturesome spirit. As the outcome of his dream, we have the gift of the
calendar that divides the time into years, months, weeks days hours, minutes and
seconds. Today's astronomers say that the difference between what they arrived at and
what modern man computes with his advanced machinery is only a few seconds in a year.
The product of their astronomical science was also the knowledge to foretell eclipse of
sun and the moon and periodical appearances of comets.
Let us enumerate a few item of the monumental legacy they bequeathed to mankind of all
The meaning of civilization, what does it need to build it.
Systems of irrigation
Systems of canalization Recognition of divine guidance
Art: Constructional, painting, decorating, sculpture, fashioning of ornaments
in gold, silver, brass, copper, precious and semi-precious stones
Necessary house implements
Necessary home implements
Management of community centers
Code of law
Crown of achievement - Art of writing. Progressive development: from Pico-graph
to sign language; from sign language to alphabet
The wheel- revolutionary invention that has promoted mechanical technology to
such a degree that without it the latter could not be thought of, for it would
be totally paralyzed
Military tactics that surpassed those of the surrounding people by a very wide
margin, hence, their successful conquests
Astronomy - product of which are knowledge of seven planets metaphorically
recolonized for creative power, foretelling advent of eclipses and
reappearances of comets as well as calendar
Magnifying glass discovered in the ruins of Ninveh, Assyrian last capital city
The bell. Scientific - metallurgical examination has established the fact the
relative proportion of the two necessary elements indispensable for making well
sounding bells are perfect. The two elements are copper and tin.
The division of circle into 360 degrees. Used for measurement for space and in
machinery, also presumably in navigation
The Arch. Stupendous discovery on which the science of civil engineering
depends so much
Remnants of an electric cell were discovered in the ruins of Ninveh;
re-assembly of the parts did produce electric current
The finding that revealed Assyrians dealt in figures up to nine digits sustains
the purpose of magnifying glass
We find that science of Archeology has totally capsized the verdict pronounced against
Assyrian in ignorance by calling them vile names such as: savage, inhuman, merciless
and what not; for it has firmly been established that their culture has enriched man's
world enormously; that by their laborious and preseverant work they have not only
accomplished wonders, but have been instrumental in helping man to expand the horizon
of his attainments farther and farther, which shall become the undeniable fact that man
was created by GOD IN HIS OWN IMAGE.
Compiled by William Daniel for the Assyrian Association of San Jose, in memory of the
late Dr. David B. Perley, staunch Assyrian defender
-- signature .
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