A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes by Robert William Rogers

By Robert William Rogers

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There was no opportunity found for Mohl himself to go to Assyria or Babylonia to seek these long-lost monuments, but there soon came a time when he could arouse another to this call. In 1842 the French government created at Mosul a vice consulate. French commerce with the district did not warrant or demand this, and the new departure was really made in the interest of archaeological study-to establish at this happily chosen place a French archaeological mission. The man selected to fill the new post was admirably suited to it.

Here was at last a description of Babylon as it now was, duly intermingled with quotations from previous observers, and fortified by the word of Mr. Rich and Mr. Bellino. Here were pictures of mounds and ruined walls and inscribed bricks, and here was the expressed opinion that they had not yet been fully explored. What better thing could have been done for the recovery of Babylon at this time than the publication of just such a book as this of Sir Robert Ker Porter! It was impossible that its publication should not be followed by a rekindling of zeal in the pursuit of oriental learning; or that its glowing and pictured pages should fail to excite the wonder of even the ordinary reader, who may to-morrow become an explorer himself or a patron of such pursuits in others.

Layard was too much a man of dignity, even in his youth, to feel any envy of the fortunate Frenchman, who was now doing what he had been dreaming. In the two years which had passed Layard had attempted to secure aid to enable him to undertake just such work as this, but in vain. His own government was not as easily induced to aid archaeologists as the government of France, whether monarchical or republican, has always been. Layard then formed terms of friendship with Botta, and entered upon a correspondence.

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