Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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243
Arabs completely exposed to view two slabs,
on each of which were two bas-reliefs di-
vided by an inscription. In describing these
he says: — 'In the upper compartment of
the largest was a battle - scene, in which
were represented two chariots each drawn
by richly caparisoned horses at full speed,
and containing a group of three warriors.
The principal figure was clothed in a com-
plete suit of mail of metal scales, emboss-
ed in the centre, and apparently attached
to a shirt of felt or linen. This shirt was
confined at the waist by a girdle, on his
head was a pointed helmet, from which fell
lappets, covered with scales protecting the
ears, lower part of the face, and neck, the
whole headdress resembling that of the ear-
ly Normans. His left hand grasped a bow
at full stretch, whilst his right drew the
string, witii the arrow ready to be discharg-
ed. The left arm was encircled by a guard,
probably of leather, to protect it from the
arrow. His sword was in a sheath, the end
of which was elegantly adorned with the fi-
gures of two lions. In the same chariot,
were a charioteer, urging on the horses
with reins and whip, and a shield-bearer
who warded off the shafts of the enemy
with a circular shield, which, like those of
Solomon, and of the servants or shield-
bearers of Hadad-ezer, king ofZobah, may
have been of beaten gold. The chariots
were low, rounded at the top, and edged
by a rich moulding or border, probably in-
laid with precious metals or painted. To
the sides were suspended two highly orna-
mental quivers; each containing, besides the
arrows, a hatchet and an axe. The cha-
riot was drawn by three horses, whose trap-
pings, decorated with a profusion of tassels
and rosettes, must have been of the most
costly description. The archer, who evi-
dently belonged to the conquering nation,
was pursuing a Hying enemy. Beneath the
chariot-weels were scattered the conquer-
ed and the dying, and an archer, about to
be trodden down, was represented as en-
deavouring to check the speed of the ad-
vancing horses.* The lower portion of this
relief represented the siege of a castle or
walled city. On the other slab were sculp-
tured two warriors — the foremost in a
pointed helmet, riding on one horse, and
leading a second; the other, without hel-
met, standing in a chariot, and holding the
reins loosely in his hands. On the lower
part of the same slab were depicted the
battlements and towers of a castle, while a
woman stood on the walls, tearing her hair,
in token of deepest grief Future excava-
tions led to the discovery of the principal
palace, with its walls, and sculptured slabs,
and colossal figures. The most perfect of
the bas-reliefs represented a king raising
his extended right hand, and resting his
left upon a bow, with a captive enemy or
rebel crouching at his feet. Having remov-
ed the workmen from the south-west cor-
ner of the ruins in which these remains
were found, he resumed his excavations in
the north-west division, opened a trench
more in the centre of the edefice, and in
two days he reached the top of an entire
slab, standing in its original position, and
on which were two human figures consider-
ably above the natural size, and in admir-
able preservation. Judging from their at-
titude, and dress, and other circumstances
they appeared to represent divinities pre-
siding over the seasons, or over particular
religious ceremonies; for near to the slab
with these figures was found the holy tree,
or tree of life, so universally adored at the
remotest periods in the East. The figures
were back to back, and from the shoulders
of each sprang two wings. Clothed in robes
similar to these winged forms, a human
body, surmounted by the head of an eagle
or a vulture, next came into view, and was
probably designed, by its mythic form, to
typify the union of certain divine attributes.
Such figures seem to have abounded in As-
syria. A human body with the head of a
lion, and the wings of an eagle; — the
same body with an eagle's head, and wings
attached: — a lion with a human head, and
outspread wing: — a bull of the same des-
cription; — these have all been found, and
must all be regarded as parts of one great
comj)lex system of symbolism. The winged
human-headed lions seem to have formed
so many entrances into the principal cham-
bers or apartments of the palace. They
difi'er in form — the human shape being
continued so far as the waist, and including
human arms. These figures are about
twelve feet in height, and about the same
number in length. The symmetry and de-
velopment of every part are perfect. Ex-
panded wings spring from the shoulder, and
spread over the back. A knotted girdle,
ending in tassels, encircles the loins. In
musing on these mysterious emblems, and
in endeavouring to resolve their intent and
history. Dr. Eayard emphatically asks: —
What more noble forms could have usher-
ed the people into the temple of their gods?
What more sublime images could have been
borrowed from nature by man who sought,
unaided by the light of revealed religion
to embody the conception of the wisdom,
power, and ubiquity of a Supreme Being?
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