By Michael Seymour
Babylon: for eons its very identify has been a byword for luxurious and wickedness. 'By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept', wrote the psalmist, 'as we remembered Zion'. one of many maximum towns of the traditional international, Babylon has been eclipsed via its personal sinful popularity. for 2 thousand years the true, actual city lay buried whereas one other, ghostly urban lived on, engorged on money owed of its personal destruction. extra lately the positioning of Babylon has been the centre of significant excavation: but the wonderful result of this paintings have performed little displace the various different attention-grabbing ways that town has persevered and reinvented itself in tradition. Saddam Hussein, for one, notoriously exploited the Babylonian delusion to affiliate himself and his regime with its wonderful prior. Why has Babylon so creatively fired the human mind's eye, with effects either stable and sick? Why has it been so mesmerizing to such a lot of, and for thus lengthy? In exploring solutions, Michael Seymour' s booklet levels largely over house and time and embraces artwork, archaeology, historical past and literature. From Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, through Strabo and Diodorus, to the publication of Revelation, Brueghel, Rembrandt, Voltaire, William Blake and glossy interpreters like Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino and Gore Vidal, the writer brings to mild a carnival of disparate resources ruled by way of the robust and intoxicating concept of depravity. but eye-catching as this darkish mythology used to be and has endured to be, at its root lies a extraordinary and complex imperial civilization whose advanced state-building, legislations- making and faith ruled Mesopotamia and past for millennia, sooner than its incorporation into the nonetheless wider empire of the Achaemenid kings.
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Additional info for Babylon: Legend, History and the Ancient City
11 W aw H unyen um t Sym boie der Libido (1911-12; tr. 1910 a s Psychology o f the U unm sriou*). 2e J u n g relates how one d a y in an in san e asylum h e saw a p a tie n t sta n d in g in th e co rrid o r, p eerin g o u t th e w indow a t th e sun a n d m oving his h e a d stran g ely from sid e to side: He took me by the arm and said he wanted to show me something. He said I m ust look a t the sun with eyes half shut, and then I could sec the sun's phallus. If I moved my head from side to side the sun-phallus would move too, and th at was the origin of the wind.
32 M usco llorgiituo, V a tic a n D raw ing from D an x el, M exiko , Vol. I, P I. 58 XXXV LIST OF TEXT FIG U RE S 84. C.. fo l. $7 B ritish M useum D raw in g from B udge, Book o f the Dead, p. 685 85. Am-mit a t the judgm ent of the dead 156 E gypt, fro m the B e rlin P a p yru s SGSi S ta a tlic h e M useen, B erlin D ra w in g from E rm a n , D ie Religion der A gypter, p. 225, fig. 87 86. fo l. 25 B ritish M useum D ra w in g from Bu D ra w in g , w ith re sto ra tio n s, from E v a n s, The Palace o f M in o s, Vol. I I , P t. 2, S uppl. PI. X X V I 15. Female figurine 119 C lay, B aluchistan, prehistoric (three views) D ra w in g from P ig g o tt, P rehistoric In d ia , p. 10S, fig. 9 16. Face urn 121 R ed clay, Troy, fou rth stratum D ra w in g from H ocrnes, Urgeschichte, p. 361, fig. 7 17. cs, Urgeschichte, p. 361, fig. S 18. Female idol 126 C lay, H agia T riada, Crete, late M in o a n m period D ra w in g from E v a n s , The Palace o f M in o s, Vol.
Babylon: Legend, History and the Ancient City by Michael Seymour
D ra w in g , w ith re sto ra tio n s, from E v a n s, The Palace o f M in o s, Vol. I I , P t. 2, S uppl. PI. X X V I 15. Female figurine 119 C lay, B aluchistan, prehistoric (three views) D ra w in g from P ig g o tt, P rehistoric In d ia , p. 10S, fig. 9 16. Face urn 121 R ed clay, Troy, fou rth stratum D ra w in g from H ocrnes, Urgeschichte, p. 361, fig. 7 17. cs, Urgeschichte, p. 361, fig. S 18. Female idol 126 C lay, H agia T riada, Crete, late M in o a n m period D ra w in g from E v a n s , The Palace o f M in o s, Vol.