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


Cut away this

Fire altar & sacrifice (Kouyunyik

On cylinders evidently of the same period, the em- d/ (stet)
blems and ceremonies of the Assyrian fire-worship so
closely resemble those of the Zoroastrian Persians, d/
that until the discovery of the Kouyunjik sculptures
I was inclined to attribute theose relics to a period time
long posterior to the fall of the Assyrian empire.

(Take in

Amongst the ruins of Khorsabad were
discovered two circular altars which
bear as close a resemblance to the Greek tripod
of the Greeks that they deserve notice
in this place and
that they may be considered cited as an
another additional proof of the Assyrian origin in Assyria
of many forms & religious types afterwards
prevalent in Asia Minor & Greece.
The altar is supported by three lion's
paws. Round the upper part is an
inscription in cuneiform characters
containing the name of the Khorsabad


Altar or Tripod (from Khorsabad)

The presence of eunuchs in during at religious ceremonies,
not only as assistants, but apparently as principal
actors, is worthy of observation. In the symbolical
groups introduced into embroideriesed on the robes, the
d/ eunuch is also frequently seen, even invoested with
d/ the outward attributes of the a sacred character. It is
possible that youths are meant, or that the priests,
d/ forming an excepttion to the general rule, shaved
their beards. However, as far as I can judge, the
Assyrians never portrayed a male figure without the a