Bas-relief from his north palace at Nineveh, Iraq. "Grove": Russell, John M., Section 6. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Ancient History Encyclopedia. [9], An earlier king, Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883-859), who had erected other lion hunt reliefs in his palace at Nimrud some 200 years before, boasted in inscriptions of about 865 BC that "the gods Ninurta and Nergal, who love my priesthood, gave me the wild animals of the plains, commanding me to hunt. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world. The Assyrian king was tasked with protecting his own people, often being referred to as a "shepherd". in Dominique Collon, et al. Ashurbanipal’s Lion Hunt. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. It shows two bearded figures wearing diadems (a type of crown) who can be identified as ‘priest-kings’. Frederick Arthur Bridgman (1847–1928), The Diversion of an Assyrian King. Thank you! Great Russell Street The king’s power to defeat these enemies of civilisation was part of his divine prerogative and the hunt had a deep religious significance. The royal Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal is shown on a famous group of Assyrian palace reliefs from the North Palace of Nineveh that are now displayed in room 10a of the British Museum.They are widely regarded as "the supreme masterpieces of Assyrian art". By hunting lions, creatures of the untamed hinterland, Ashurbanipal showed how he could extend his control over the wilderness. In ancient Assyria, lion-hunting was considered the sport of kings, symbolic of the ruling monarch’s duty to protect and fight for his people. Other animals were also shown being hunted, and the main subject for narrative reliefs was the war campaigns of the king who built the palace. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. The King's role was to protect his people from enemies. Persian . "Mesopotamia, §III: Sculpture." On another panel the hunting arena is formed by a circle of guards carrying spears and shields, behind which is a row of archers. Highlighting the role of the performance and accountability; educational policy, research, and was having escalating difficulty walking. [17] Their original setting was, in terms of dimensions, not that different from the way they are displayed today, though the ceiling would have been higher. The lions themselves may well have been relatively tame. 25 Nov 2020. However, it is likely that the artist captured the lion’s agony, not out of pity, but to symbolise the king’s triumph over the dangerous and chaotic forces that the lion represented. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. Some also were originally on the upper floor, though they had fallen down to below ground level by the time they were excavated. [23], The single register scenes show three large scenes from one side of a corridor. [1] They show a formalized ritual "hunt" by King Ashurbanipal (reigned 668 – c. 631/627 BC) in an arena, where captured Asian lions were released from cages for the king to slaughter with arrows, spears, or his sword. The palace decoration of Ashurbanipal. The Assyrian empire, with the death of King Ashurbanipal, was collapsing under the weight of politics and war. He is protected from the lion by a smaller cage. The other side of the corridor had similar scenes with the royal chariot in action shown twice.

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