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and in front of them was a pile of stones ready for use. Their slings appear to have been formed by a double rope or leather thong.” They were attired in armour and greaves. The spearmen wore a short linen tunic, confined round the waist by a belt, probably of metal. A kind of cross-belt passed over their shoulders and was ornamented in front with a circular disk. They also wore greaves.
On the following slabs was one subject—the taking by assault of a city or castle, built near a river in a mountainous country and surrounded by trees. Warriors armed with spears were scaling the rocks, slaying the besieged on the house tops, and leading off the captives.
On the adjoining corner-stone were two scribes, one an eunuch, writing down on rolls of leather or some flexible material, the number of heads of the slaughtered enemy laid at their feet by the Assyrian warriors. Thus were the heads of the seventy sons of Ahab brought in baskets to Jezreel and laid “in two heaps at the entering in of the gate;”* and such is still the mode of reckoning the loss of an enemy in the East. The remainder of the wall from this slab to an entrance formed by human-headed bulls, had been greatly injured by fire. The bas-reliefs appear to have represented the conquest of a mountainous and wooded country. The king in his chariot was receiving the prisoners and the spoil. Beyond the entrance, as far as the bas-reliefs could be traced, the same subject appears to have been continued." The king was again represented standing in his chariot, holding a bow in his left hand, and raising his right in token of triumph. He was accompanied by a charioteer, and by an attendant bearing an open umbrella, from which fell a long curtain as a complete screen from the sun. The chariot was drawn by two horses, and was preceded by spearmen and archers. Above the king there had originally been a short inscription, probably containing his name and titles, but it had been entirely defaced. Horsemen, crossing well-wooded mountains, were separated from the group just described, by a river abounding in fish. The remaining bas-reliefs in this chamber appear to have recorded similar events, – the conquests of the Assyrians, and the triumphs of their king. Only four of them had been preserved ; the rest were almost completely destroyed. On two of them was portrayed, with great spirit, the taking by assault of a city. Warriors, armed with spears, were mounting ladders, placed against the walls; those who manned the battlements and towers being held in check and assailed by archers who discharged their arrows from below. The enemy defended themselves with spears and bows, and carried small oblong shields. Above the castle a short inscription recorded the name of the captured city. Under the walls were captives, driven off by the conquerors; and above and below were
* Xenophon frequently alludes to the expertness of the slingers of Assyria (see particularly Anab. lib. iii. c. 3.). They used very large stones, and could annoy the enemy, whilst out of reach of their darts and arrows.