The Mythology of Kingship in Neo-Assyrian Art
The relief slabs that decorated the palaces of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, which emphasized military conquest and royal prowess, have traditionally been understood as statements of imperial propaganda that glorified the Assyrian king. In this book, Mehmet-Ali Ataš argues that the reliefs hold a deeper meaning that was addressed primarily to an internal audience composed of court scholars and master craftsmen. Ataš focuses on representations of animals, depictions of the king as priest and warrior, and figures of mythological beings that evoke an archaic cosmos. He demonstrates that these images mask a complex philosophical rhetoric developed by court scholars in collaboration with master craftsmen who were responsible for their design and execution. Ataš argues that the layers of meaning embedded in the Neo-Assyrian palace reliefs go deeper than politics, imperial propaganda, and straightforward historical record.
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Akkadian ancient Mesopotamian Ancient Near East antediluvian Anzˆu apkallus Apsˆu art of Ashurnasirpal artist Ashurbanipal Ashurbanipal’s Ashurnasirpal II Ashurnasirpal’s Assyrian Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic body British Museum bull concepts cosmos crown prince depicted divine drawing of Panels En»uma Eliˇs Enki/Ea Enkidu Epic of Gilgamesh Esarhaddon eunuch further genii gods headband hence herbivorous hero human and animal hunt Ibid iconography king’s kingship Kvanvig libation scenes lion London Marduk Mesopotamian Protective Spirits military Mischwesen Myth mythical Neo-Assyrian Empire Neo-Assyrian palace reliefs Nergal netherworld Nineveh Ninurta North Palace Northwest Palace Palace of Ashurbanipal Palace of Ashurnasirpal Palace of Sennacherib Parpola perhaps Photo poem priestly protomes Reconstruction drawing regnum relief program representations ritual Room G Roots of Apocalyptic royal sacerdotal sacerdotium sacred tree Sargon Sargon II scholars semantics Sennacherib shown Simo Parpola slabs Southwest Sumerian symbol texts thought throne room Tiamat’s Tiglath-Pileser Tiglath-Pileser III tradition tributaries University Press Utnapishtim visual Wiggermann