Selected pages of annotated proofs of Sir Austen Henry Layard's 'Nineveh and its Remains', 1848

'Nineveh and its Remains' was published in 1849 and was an instant success, described by The Times newspaper as 'the most extraordinary work of the present age'. The success was in part due to Layard's style of writing and the exotic subject of his book, but also because the deciphering of Assyrian inscriptions found by him had implications for the origins of Christianity. Indeed, some claimed Layard's book'made the Bible true'.


Copyright National Library of Scotland

Transcription Mark-up QA and corrections QA


On the bricks discovered in the centre palace we
have the following inscription : —

(*/ —

It is evident that in each of these inscriptions a
certain formula is repeated three times*, preceded each time by
a different group of characters. In the inscriptions
from the earliest palace, these groups are
and — in those from the centre
and .
It will also be observed that, in both inscriptions, the
groups before the second and third repetition of the
formula, are preceded by on the bricks from
the centre palace, and by alone in those from the
earliest edifice. On comparing the Persian trilin-
gual inscriptions, it is found that in the Babylonian column the names of the kings
as well as all proper names in the inscriptions in the Babylonian character
are preceded by a simple perpendicular wedge ();
and further, that replaces in the Babylonian d/
d/ column the “son of” of the Persian. Now, there

Note * Characters in which the two horizontal perpendicular wedges are
placed between two horizontal wedges are found in
the oldest inscriptions by carrying one the the horizontal
wedge across the perpendicular. I have not made this distinction in
the text.

* I have placed this formula within brackets.