Anno Urbis - The Year of the City

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"Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldaea, the land of their nativity."—Ezek. xxiii. 15.

The manners and customs of the Babylonians, though not admitting of that copious illustration from ancient monuments which was found possible in the case of Assyria, are yet sufficiently known to us, either from the extant remains or from the accounts of ancient writers of authority, to furnish materials for a short chapter. Herodotus, Strabo, Diodorus, and Nicolas of Damascus, present us with many interesting traits of this somewhat singular people; the sacred writers contemporary with the acme of the nation add numerous touches; while the remains, though scanty, put distinctly and vividly before our eyes a certain number of curious details.

Herodotus describes with some elaboration the costume of the Babylonians in his day. He tells us that they wore a long linen gown reaching down to their feet, a woollen gown or tunic above this, a short cloak or cape of a white color, and shoes like those of the Boeotians. Their hair they allowed to grow long, but confined it by a head-band or a turban; and they always carried a walking-stick with a carving of some kind on the handle. This portraiture, it is probable, applies to the richer inhabitants of the capital, and represents the Babylonian gentleman of the fifth century before our era, as he made his appearance in the streets of the metropolis.

The cylinders seem to show that the ordinary Babylonian dress was less complicated. The worshipper who brings an offering to a god is frequently represented with a bare head, and wears apparently but one garment, a tunic generally ornamented with a diagonal fringe, and reaching from the shoulder to a little above the knee. The tunic is confined round the waist by a belt. [PLATE XXII., Fig. 1.] Richer worshippers, who commonly present a goat, have a fillet or headband, not a turban, round the head. They wear generally the same sort of tunic as the others; but over it they have a long robe, shaped like a modern dressing-gown, except that it has no sleeves, and does not cover the right shoulder. [PLATE XXII., Fig. 1.] In a few instances only we see underneath this open gown a long inner dress or robe, such as that described by Herodotus. [PLATE XXII., Fig. 2.] A cape or tippet of the kind which he describes is worn sometimes by a god, but is never seen, it is believed, in any representation of a mortal.

Plate Xxii.

The short tunic, worn by the poorer worshippers, is seen also in a representation (hereafter to be given) of hunters attacking a lion. A similar garment is worn by the man—probably a slave—who accompanies the dog, supposed to represent an Indian hound; and also by a warrior, who appears on one of the cylinders conducting six foreign captives. [PLATE XXII., Fig. 4.] There is consequently much reason to believe that such a tunic formed the ordinary costume of the common people, as it does at present of the common Arab inhabitants of the country. It left the arms and right shoulder bare, covering only the left. Below the belt it was not made like a frock but lapped over in front, being in fact not so much a garment as a piece of cloth wrapped round the body. Occasionally it is represented as patterned; but this is somewhat unusual. [PLATE XXII., Fig. 3.]

In lieu of the long robe reaching to the feet, which seems to have been the ordinary costume of the higher classes, we observe sometimes a shorter, but still a similar garment—a sort of coat without sleeves, fringed down both sides, and reaching only a little below the knee. The worshippers who wear this robe have in most cases the head adorned with a fillet. [PLATE XXIII., Fig. 1.]

Plate Xxiii.

It is unusual to find any trace of boots or shoes in the representations of Babylonians. A shoe patterned with a sort of check work was worn by the king; and soldiers seem to have worn a low boot in their expeditions. But with rare exceptions the Babylonians are represented with bare feet on the monuments; and if they commonly wore shoes in the time of Herodotus, we may conjecture that they had adopted the practice from the example of the Medes and Persians. A low boot, laced in front, was worn by the chiefs of the Susianians. Perhaps the "peculiar shoe" of the Babylonians was not very different. [PLATE XXIII., Fig. 1.]

The girdle was an essential feature of Babylonian costume, common to high and low, to the king and to the peasant. It was a broad belt, probably of leather, and encircled the waist rather high up. The warrior carried his daggers in it; to the common man it served the purpose of keeping in place the cloth which he wore round his body. According to Herodotus, it was also universal in Babylonia to carry a seal and a walking-stick.

Special costumes, differing considerably from those hitherto described, distinguished the king and the priests. The king wore a long gown, somewhat scantily made, but reaching down to the ankles, elaborately patterned and fringed. Over this, apparently, he had a close-fitting sleeved vest, which came down to the knees, and terminated in a set of heavy tassels. The girdle was worn outside the outer vest, and in war the monarch carried also two cross-belts, which perhaps supported his quiver. The upper vest was, like the under one, richly adorned with embroidery. From it, or from the girdle, depended in front a single heavy tassel attached by a cord, similar to that worn by the early kings of Assyria.

Tho tiara of the monarch was very remarkable. It was of great height, nearly cylindrical, but with a slight tendency to swell out toward the crown, which was ornamented with a row of feathers round its entire circumference. The space below was patterned with rosettes, sacred trees, and mythological figures. From the centre of the crown there rose above the feathers a projection resembling in some degree the projection which distinguishes the tiara of the Assyrian kings, the rounded, and not squared, at top. This head-dress, which has a heavy appearance, was worn low on the brow, and covered nearly all the back of the head. It can scarcely have been composed of a heaver material than cloth or felt. Probably it was brilliantly colored.

The monarch wore bracelets, but (apparently) neither necklaces nor earrings. Those last are assigned by Nicolas of Damascus to a Babylonian governor; and they were so commonly used by the Assyrians that we can scarcely suppose them unknown to their kindred and neighbors. The Babylonian monuments, however, contain no traces of earrings as worn by men, and only a few doubtful ones of collars or necklaces; whence we may at any rate conclude that neither were worn at all generally. The bracelets which encircle the royal wrist resemble the most common bracelet of the Assyrians, consisting of a plain band, probably of metal, with a rosette in the centre.

The dress of the priests was a long robe or gown, flounced and striped, over which they seem to have worn an open jacket of a similar character. A long scarf or riband depended from behind down their backs. They carried on their heads an elaborate crown or mitre, which is assigned also to many of the gods. In lieu of this mitre, we find sometimes, though rarely, a horned cap; and, in one or two instances, a mitre of a different kind. In all sacrificial and ceremonial acts the priests seem to have worn their heads covered. [PLATE XXIII., Fig. 6.]

On the subject of the Babylonian military costume our information is scanty and imperfect. In the time of Herodotus the Chaldaeans seem to have had the same armature as the Assyrians—namely, bronze helmets, linen breastplates, shields, spears, daggers, and maces or clubs; and, at a considerably earlier date, we find in Scripture much the same arms, offensive and defensive, assigned them. There is, however, one remarkable difference between the Biblical account and that given by Herodotus. The Greek historian says nothing of the use of bows by the Chaldaeans; while in Scripture the bow appears as their favorite weapon, that which principally renders them formidable. The monuments are on this point thoroughly in accordance with Scripture. The Babylonian king already represented carries a bow and two arrows. The soldier conducting captives has a bow an arrow, and a quiver. A monument of an earlier date, which is perhaps rather Proto-Chaldaean than pure Babylonian, yet which has certain Babylonian characteristics, makes the arms of a king a bow and arrow, a club (?), and a dagger. In the marsh fights of the Assyrians, where their enemies are probably Chaldaeans of the low country, the bow is the sole weapon which we see in use.

The Babylonian bow nearly resembles the ordinary curved bow of the Assyrians. It has a knob at either extremity, over which the string passes, and is thicker towards the middle than at the two ends; the bend is slight, the length when strung less than four feet. [PLATE XXIII., Fig. 2.]The length of the arrow is about three feet. It is carefully notched and feathered, and has a barbed point. The quiver, as represented in the Assyrian sculptures, has nothing remarkable about it; but the single extant Babylonian representation makes it terminate curiously with a large ornament resembling a spearhead. It is difficult to see the object of this appendage, which must have formed no inconsiderable addition to the weight of the quiver. [PLATE XXIII., Fig. 3.]

Babylonian daggers were short, and shaped like the Assyrian; but their handles were less elegant and less elaborately ornamented. They were worn in the girdle (as they are at the present day in all eastern countries) either in pairs or singly. [PLATE XXIII., Fig. 3.]

Other weapons of the Babylonians, which we may be sure they used in war, though the monuments do not furnish any proof of the fact, were the spear and the bill or axe. These weapons are exhibited in combination upon one of the most curious of the cylinders, where a lion is disturbed in his meal off an ox by two rustics, one of whom attacks him in front with a spear, while the other seizes his tail and assails him in the rear with an axe. [PI. XXIII., Fig. 5.] With the axe here represented may be compared another, which is found on a clay tablet brought from Sinkara, and supposed to belong to the early Chaldaean period.30 The Sinkara axe has a simple square blade: the axe upon the cylinder has a blade with long curved sides and a curved edge; while, to balance the weight of the blade, it has on the lower side three sharp spikes. The difference between the two implements marks the advance of mechanical art in the country between the time of the first and that of the fourth monarchy. [PLATE XXIII., Fig. 4.]

Babylonian armies seem to have been composed, like Assyrian, of three elements—infantry, cavalry, and chariots. Of the chariots we appear to have one or two representations upon the cylinders, but they are too rudely carved to be of much value. It is not likely that the chariots differed much either in shape or equipment from the Assyrian, unless they were, like those of Susiana, ordinarily drawn by mules. A peculiar car, four-wheeled, and drawn by four horses, with an elevated platform in front and a seat behind for the driver, which the cylinders occasionally exhibit, is probably not a war-chariot, but a sacred vehicle, like the tensa or thensa of the Romans. [PLATE XXIV., Fig. 2.]

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The Prophet Habakkuk evidently considered the cavalry of the Babylonians to be their most formidable arm. "They are terrible and dreadful," he said; "from them shall proceed judgment and captivity; their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves; and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly, as the eagle that hasteth to eat." Similarly Ezekiel spoke of the "desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned; all of them riding upon horses," Jeremiah couples the horses with the chariots, as if he doubted whether the chariot force or the cavalry were the more to be dreaded. "Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariot shall be as a whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled." In the army of Xerxes the Babylonians seem to have served only on foot, which would imply that they were not considered in that king's time to furnish such good cavalry as the Persians, Medes, Cissians, Indians, and others, who sent contingents of horse. Darius, however, in the Behistun inscription, speaks of Babylonian horsemen; and the armies which overran Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, seem to have consisted mainly of horse. The Babylonian armies, like the Persian, were vast hosts, poorly disciplined, composed not only of native troops, but of contingents from the subject nations, Cissians, Elamites, Shuhites, Assyrians, and others. They marched with vast noise and tumult, spreading themselves far and wide over the country which they were invading, plundering and destroying on all sides. If their enemy would consent to a pitched battle, they were glad to engage with him; but, more usually, their contests resolved themselves into a succession of sieges, the bulk of the population attacked retreating to their strongholds, and offering behind walls a more or less protracted resistance. The weaker towns were assaulted with battering-rams; against the stronger, mounds were raised, reaching nearly to the top of the walls, which were then easily scaled or broken down. A determined persistence in sieges seems to have characterized this people, who did not take Jerusalem till the third, nor Tyre till the fourteenth year.

In expeditions it sometimes happened that a question arose as to the people or country next to be attacked. In such cases it appears that recourse was had to divination, and the omens which were obtained decided whither the next effort of the invader should be directed. Priests doubtless accompanied the expeditions to superintend the sacrifices and interpret them on such occasions. According to Diodorus, the priests in Babylonia were a caste, devoted to the service of the native deities and the pursuits of philosophy, and held in high honor by the people. It was their business to guard the temples and serve at the altars of the gods, to explain dreams and prodigies, to understand omens, to read the warnings of the stars, and to instruct men how to escape the evils threatened in those various ways, by purifications, incantations, and sacrifices. They possessed a traditional knowledge which had come down from father to son, and which none thought of questioning. The laity looked up to them as the sole possessors of a recondite wisdom of the last importance to humanity.

With these statements of the lively but inaccurate Sicilian those of the Book of Daniel are very fairly, if not entirely, in accordance. A class of "wise men" is described as existing at Babylon, foremost among whom are the Chaldaeans; they have a special "learning," and (as it would seem) a special "tongue;" their business is to expound dreams and prodigies; they are in high favor with the monarch, and are often consulted by him. This body of "wise men" is subdivided into four classes—"Chaldaeans, magicians, astrologers, and soothsayers"—a subdivision which seems to be based upon difference of occupation. It is not distinctly stated that they are priests; nor does it seem that they were a caste; for Jews are enrolled among their number, and Daniel himself is made chief of the entire body. But they form a very distinct order, and constitute a considerable power in the state; they have direct communication with the monarch, and they are believed to possess, not merely human learning, but a supernatural power of predicting future events. High civil office is enjoyed by some of their number.

Notices agreeing with these, but of less importance, are contained in Herodotus and Strabo. Herodotus speaks of the Chaldaeans as "priests;" Strabo says that they were "philosophers," who occupied themselves principally in astronomy. The latter writer mentions that they were divided into sects, who differed one from another in their doctrines. He gives the names of several Chaldaeans whom the Greek mathematicians were in the habit of quoting. Among them is a Seleucus, who by his name should be a Greek.

From these various authorities we may assume that there was in Babylon, as in Egypt, and in later Persia, a distinct priest class, which enjoyed high consideration. It was not, strictly speaking, a caste. Priests may have generally brought up their sons to the occupation; but other persons, even foreigners (and if foreigners, then a fortiori natives), could be enrolled in the order, and attain its highest privileges. It was at once a sacerdotal and a learned body. It had a literature, written in peculiar language, which its members were bound to study. This language and this literature were probably a legacy from the old times of the first (Turano-Cushite) kingdom, since even in Assyria it is found that the literature was in the main Turanian, down to the very close of the empire. Astronomy, astrology, and mythology were no doubt the chief subjects which the priests studied; but history, chronology, grammar, law, and natural science most likely occupied some part of their attention. Conducting everywhere the worship of the gods, they were of course scattered far and wide through the country; but they had certain special seats of learning, corresponding perhaps in some sort to our universities, the most famous of which were Erech or Orchoe (Warka), and Borsippa, the town represented by the modern Birs-i-Nimrud. They were diligent students, not wanting in ingenuity, and not content merely to hand down the wisdom of their ancestors. Schools arose among them; and a boldness of speculation developed itself akin to that which we find among the Greeks. Astronomy, in particular, was cultivated with a good deal of success; and stores were accumulated of which the Greeks in later times understood and acknowledged the value.

In social position the priest class stood high. They had access to the monarch: they were feared and respected by the people; the offerings of the faithful made them wealthy; their position as interpreters of the divine will secured them influence. Being regarded as capable of civil employment, they naturally enough obtained frequently important offices, which added to their wealth and consideration.

The mass of the people in Babylonia were employed in the two pursuits of commerce and agriculture. The commerce was both foreign and domestic. Great numbers of the Babylonians were engaged in the manufacture of those textile fabrics, particularly carpets and muslins, which Babylonia produced not only for her own use, but also for the consumption of foreign countries. Many more must have been employed as lapidaries in the execution of those delicate engravings on hard stone, wherewith the seal, which every Babylonian carried, was as a matter of course adorned. The ordinary trades and handicrafts practised in the East no doubt flourished in the country. A brisk import and export trade was constantly kept up, and promoted a healthful activity throughout the entire body politic. Babylonia is called "a land of traffic" by Ezekiel, and Babylon "a city of merchants." Isaiah says "theory of the Chaldaeans" was "in their ships." The monuments show that from very early times the people of the low country on the borders of the Persian Gulf were addicted to maritime pursuits, and navigated the gulf freely, if they did not even venture on the open ocean. And AEschylus is a witness that the nautical character still attached to the people after their conquest by the Persians; for he calls the Babylonians in the army of Xerxes "navigators of ships."

The Babylonian import trade, so far as it was carried on by themselves, seems to have been chiefly with Arabia, with the islands in the Persian Gulf, and directly or indirectly with India. From Arabia they must have imported the frankincense which they used largely in their religious ceremonies; from the Persian Gulf they appear to have derived pearls, cotton, and wood for walking sticks from India they obtained dogs and several kinds of gems. If we may believe Strabo, they had a colony called Gerrha, most favorably situated on the Arabian coast of the gulf, which was a great emporium, and conducted not only the trade between Babylonia and the regions to the south, but also that which passed through Babylonia into the more nothern districts. The products of the various countries of Western Asia flowed into Babylonia down the courses of the rivers. From Armenia, or rather Upper Mesopotamia, came wine, gems, emery, and perhaps stone for building; from Phoenicia, by way of Palmyra and Thapsacus, came tin, perhaps copper, probably musical instruments, and other objects of luxury; from Media and the countries towards the east came fine wool, lapis-lazuli, perhaps silk, and probably gold and ivory. But these imports seem to have been brought to Babylonia by foreign merchants rather than imported by the exertions of native traders. The Armenians, the Phoenicians, and perhaps the Greeks, used for the conveyance of their goods the route of the Euphrates. The Assyrians, the Paretaceni, and the Medes probably floated theirs down the Tigris and its tributaries.

A large-probably the largest-portion of the people must have been engaged in the occupations of agriculture. Babylonia was, before all things, a grain-producing country—noted for a fertility unexampled elsewhere, and to moderns almost incredible. The soil was a deep and rich alluvium, and was cultivated with the utmost care. It grew chiefly wheat, barley millet, and sesame, which all nourished with wonderful luxuriance. By a skilful management of the natural water supply, the indispensable fluid was utilized to the utmost, and conveyed to every part of the country. Date-groves spread widely over the land, and produced abundance of an excellent fruit.

For the cultivation of the date nothing was needed but a proper water supply, and a little attention at the time of fructification. The male and female palm are distinct trees, and the female cannot produce fruit unless the pollen from the male comes in contact with its blossoms. If the male and the female trees are grown in proper proximity, natural causes will always produce a certain amount of impregnation. But to obtain a good crop, art may be serviceably applied. According to Herodotus, the Babylonians were accustomed to tie the branches of the male to those of the female palm. This was doubtless done at the blossoming time, when it would have the effect he mentions, preventing the fruit of the female, or date-producing palms, from falling off.

The date palm was multiplied in Babylonia by artificial means. It was commonly grown from seed, several stones being planted together for greater security; But occasionally it was raised from suckers or cuttings. It was important to plant the seeds and cuttings in a sandy soil; and if nature had not sufficiently impregnated the ground with saline particles, salt had to be applied artificially to the soil around as a dressing. The young plants needed a good deal of attention. Plentiful watering was required; and transplantation was desirable at the end of both the first and second year. The Babylonians are said to have transplanted their young trees in the height of summer; other nations preferred the springtime.

For the cultivation of grain the Babylonians broke up their land with the plough; to draw which they seem to have employed two oxen, placed one before the other, in the mode still common in many parts of England. The plough had two handles, which the ploughman guided with his two hands. It was apparently of somewhat slight construction. The tail rose from the lower part of one of the handles, and was of unusual length. [PLATE XXIV., Fig. 3.]

It is certain that dates formed the main food of the inhabitants, The dried fruit, being to them the staff of life, was regarded by the Greeks as their "bread." It was perhaps pressed into cakes, as is the common practice in the country at the present day. On this and goat's milk, which we know to have been in use, the poorer class, it is probable, almost entirely subsisted. Palm-wine, the fermented sap of the tree, was an esteemed, but no doubt only an occasional beverage. It was pleasant to the taste, but apt to leave a headache behind it. Such vegetables as gourds, melons, and cucumbers, must have been cheap, and may have entered into the diet of the common people. They were also probably the consumers of the "pickled bats," which (according to Strabo) were eaten by the Babylonians.

In the marshy regions of the south there were certain tribes whose sole, or at any rate whose chief, food was fish. Fish abound in these districts, and are readily taken either with the hook or in nets. The mode of preparing this food was to dry it in the sun, to pound it fine, strain it through a sieve, and then make it up into cakes, or into a kind of bread.

The diet of the richer classes was no doubt varied and luxurious. Wheaten bread, meats of various kinds, luscious fruits, fish, game, loaded the board; and wine, imported from abroad was the usual beverage. The wealthy Babylonians were fond of drinking to excess; their banquets were magnificent, but generally ended in drunkenness; they were not, however, mere scenes of coarse indulgence, but had a certain refinement, which distinguishes them from the riotous drinking-bouts of the less civilized Modes. Music was in Babylonia a recognized accompaniment of the feast; and bands of performers, entering with the wine, entertained the guests with concerted pieces. A rich odor of perfume floated around, for the Babylonians were connoisseurs in unguents. The eye was delighted with a display of gold and silver plate. The splendid dresses of the guests, the exquisite carpets and hangings, the numerous attendants, gave an air of grandeur to the scene, and seemed half to excuse the excess of which too many were guilty.

A love of music appears to have characterized both the Babylonians and their near neighbors and kinsmen, the Susianians. In the sculptured representations of Assyria, the Susianians are shown to have possessed numerous instruments, and to have organized large bands of performers. The Prophet Daniel and the historian Ctesias similarly witness to the musical taste of the Babylonians, which had much the same character. Ctesias said that Annarus (or Nannarus), a Babylonian noble, entertained his guests at a banquet with music performed by a company of 150 women. Of these a part sang, while the rest played upon instruments, some using the pipe, others the harp, and a certain number the psaltery. These same instruments are assigned to the Babylonians by the prophet Daniel, who, however, adds to them three more—viz., the horn, the sambuca, and an instrument called the sumphonia, or "symphony." It is uncertain whether the horn intended was straight, like the Assyrian, or curved, like the Roman cornu and lituus. The pipe was probably the double instrument, played at the end, which was familiar to the Susianians and Assyrians. The harp would seem to have resembled the later harp of the Assyrians; but it had fewer strings, if we may judge from a representation upon a cylinder. Like the Assyrian, it was carried under one arm, and was played by both hands, one on either side of the strings. [PLATE XXV., Fig. 3.]

Plate Xxv.

The character of the remaining instruments is more doubtful. The sambuca seems to have been a large harp, which rested on the ground, like the harps of the Egyptians. The psaltery was also a stringed instrument, and, if its legitimate descendant is the modern santour, we may presume that it is represented in the hands of a Susianian musician on the monument which is our chief authority for the Oriental music of the period. The symphonia is thought by some to be the bagpipe, which is called sampogna by the modern Italians: by others it is regarded as a sort of organ.

The Babylonians used music, not merely in their private entertainments, but also in their religious ceremonies. Daniel's account of their instruments occurs casually in his mention of Nebuchadnezzar's dedication of a colossal idol of gold. The worshippers were to prostrate themselves before the idol as soon as they heard the music commence, and were probably to continue in the attitude of worship until the sound ceased.

The seclusion of women seems scarcely to have been practised in Babylonia with as much strictness as in most Oriental countries. The two peculiar customs on which Herodotus descants at length—the public auction of the marriageable virgins in all the towns of the empire, and the religious prostitution authorized in the worship of Beltis—were wholly incompatible with the restraints to which the sex has commonly submitted in the Eastern world. Much modesty can scarcely have belonged to those whose virgin charms were originally offered in the public market to the best bidder, and who were required by their religion, at least once in their lives, openly to submit to the embraces of a man other than their husband. It would certainly seem that the sex had in Babylonia a freedom—and not only a freedom, but also a consideration—unusual in the ancient world, and especially rare in Asia. The stories of Semiramis and Nitocris may have in them no great amount of truth; but they sufficiently indicate the belief of the Greeks as to the comparative publicity allowed to their women by the Babylonians.

The monuments accord with the view of Babylonian manners thus opened to us. The female form is not eschewed by the Chaldaean artists. Besides images of a goddess (Beltis or Ish-tar) suckling a child, which are frequent, we find on the cylinders numerous representations of women, engaged in various employments. Sometimes they are represented in a procession, visiting the shrine of a goddess, to whom they offer their petitions, by the mouth of one of their number, or to whom they bring their children for the purpose, probably, of placing them under her protection [PLATE XXV., Fig. 5.], sometimes they may be seen amusing themselves among birds and flowers in a garden, plucking the fruit from dwarf palms, and politely handing it to one another. [PLATE XXV., Fig. 4.] Their attire is in every case nearly the same; they wear a long but scanty robe, reaching to the ankles, ornamented at the bottom with a fringe and apparently opening in front. The upper part of the dress passes over only one shoulder. It is trimmed round the top with a fringe which runs diagonally across the chest, and a similar fringe edges the dress down the front where it opens. A band or fillet is worn round the head, confining the hair, which is turned back behind the head, and tied by a riband, or else held up by the fillet.

Female ornaments are not perceptible on the small figures of the cylinders; but from the modelled image in clay, of which a representation has been already given, we learn that bracelets and earrings of a simple character were worn by Babylonian women, if they were not by the men. On the whole, however, female dress seems to have been plain and wanting in variety, though we may perhaps suspect that the artists do not trouble themselves to represent very accurately such diversities of apparel as actually existed.

From a single representation of a priestess it would seem that women of that class wore nothing but a petticoat, thus exposing not only the arms, but the whole of the body as far as the waist.

The monuments throw a little further light on the daily life of the Babylonians. A few of their implements, as saws and hatchets, are represented. [PLATE XXV., Fig. 2]; and from the stools, the chairs, the tables, and stands for holding water-jars which occur occasionally on the cylinders, we may gather that the fashion of their furniture much resembled that of their northern neighbors, the Assyrians. It is needless to dwell on this subject, which presents no novel features, and has been anticipated by the discussion on Assyrian furniture in the first volume. The only touch that can be added to what was there said is that in Babylonia, the chief—almost the sole-material employed for furniture was the wood of the palm-tree, a soft and light fabric which could be easily worked, and which had considerable strength, but did not admit of a high finish.

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