(Politics & Religion) The Ancient Art of Intimidation and Muscular Fertility (Ashurnasirpal II)

054

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Never underestimate the power of art to intimidate. These Neo-Assyrian big boys\dominating the palace rooms of Nimrud stamped the gold standard in the arts of religion and power. Guarded by gigantic winged bull-men, King Ashurnasirpal II wears the crown, accompanied by eunuchs, griffins (?), and winged cosmic muscle men who fertilize the cosmic tree with water sprinkled from pinecones. Which is more muscular, the arms or the face?

Combining image and text, to make things perfectly clear, across the figures runs “the Standard Inscription” which reads (in whole or in part??):

“Palace of Assurnasirpal, vice-regent of Aššur, chosen one of the gods Enlil PGP  and Ninurta, beloved of the gods Anu PGP  and Dagan PGP , destructive weapon of the great gods, strong king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Tukulti-Ninurta PGP , great king, strong king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Adad-nerari PGP , great king, strong king, king of the universe, king of Assyria; valiant man who acts with the support of Aššur, his lord, and has no rival among the princes of the four quarters, marvelous shepherd, fearless in battle, unopposable mighty floodtide, king who subdues those insubordinate to him, he who rules all peoples, strong male who treads upon the necks of his foes, trampler of all enemies, he who smashes the forces of the rebellious, king who acts with the support of the great gods, his lords, and has conquered all lands, gained dominion over all the highlands and received their tribute TT , capturer of hostages, he who is victorious over all countries….”

No, there’s nothing gentle about ancient Near Eastern fertility. For an expert guide to the figures, you can see here this Youtube clip with Monique Seefried.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
This entry was posted in uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to (Politics & Religion) The Ancient Art of Intimidation and Muscular Fertility (Ashurnasirpal II)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s