Assyrian and also Babylonian culture. Mesopotamia. Old Costume and Fashion History.

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Babylonian and also Assyrian dress by Horst Kohler

Babylonian and also Assyrian dress, although basic in cut, favor that through which we have actually hitherto dealt, had actually reached a high degree of excellence in respect of material and trimming. The Babylonian realm (about 2000 B.C.) had offered place to the Assyrian Empire, i beg your pardon by the year 1300 B.C. Had become the most an effective Asiatic state, and had took in the entire civilization of western Asia.

Soldier that the Assyrian royal guard.

Like the Turks, the Assyrians have above all to be conquerors, invaders, and also formidable warriors, through the an effect that, excepting the Amazons, your women have actually been doomed to strict seclusion and also enforced inactivity. Later, as they ended up being richer through their conquest, their wide range mad’e them flourish calmer and they emerged peaceful tastes. The Assyrian-Chaldean people built immense and also splendid cities such together Nineveh and Babylon, the which just ruins currently remain, return of good beauty. (The hanging gardens the Babylon space famous; the palaces and temples of Semiramis, queen of Nineveh are superb, and also it is this queen Semiramis whom our operas have actually made famed who, in encouraging Assyrian art, has actually introduced the sleek taste the woman.)

In ancient Assyria (of i m sorry the higher part, separated up and diminished, became Persian dominions) we have wished come include first of all Chaldea, a biblical land, populated by one of the earliest peoples in the world, among whom one finds all the personages of the Old testimony (Abraham was born in ~ Ur); and also it was in Armenia, on mountain Ararat, the Noah’s ark touch ground. Assyria is additionally included in our Vol. V; Syria, or the nation of Canaan, Palestine, the kingdom the the Jews, Phoenicia, Sidon, Tyre, and Biblos, Mesopotamia, Arabia and Mecca, and finally Susiana and also the city of Susa, of i m sorry our archaeologist Dieulafoy discovered the ruins. Then we should say a few words about the Phoenician colonies such as: Sicily, Corsica, Genoa, Venice, Sardinia, etc.; native the suggest of watch of biggest antiquity, yet with i beg your pardon we will certainly deal much more extensively in the volume i m sorry is committed to castle separately.


The progeny of Ham lived in the land afterwards known as Syria, and became the Canaanite race; while the boy of Shem established the Assyrian and the Semitic races.

The Canaanites

The eleven tribes of Ham have actually played a considerable component in the background of humanity. They inhabited the Mediterranean plains, the banks of the Tigris, and from Arabia prolonged to the Caucasus, follow to the Bible; a reality which was provided some thousands of years later by Herodotus and Strabo.

We have actually the approximate date of: their existence recorded in an inscription in Egypt of about 2.400 years prior to our era, as soon as an Egyptian officer was sent by Pharaoh Sephres into Syria to discover the country. No cite of those people is do in the report. Meanwhile the scriptures tells us that at the time as soon as Abraham checked out Palestine, that is to say around the 20th century B. C., the Canaanites were currently inhabiting the country. The areas of Lebanon were therefore occupied through them around the years 2300 or 2100 bei:ore the Christian era. The tribes were subdued consequently by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Hebrews, and the Romans, and left few traces that their imaginative life.


Other Canaanites to be mariners and took the name of Phoenicians. They to be the true forerunners of advertisement travelers. They established the union between the East and the West. Your mountains, extended with an important forests, led them to build vessels and also their country became a veritable storehouse of merchandise. They to be the very first to construct residences of nine stores.

Their communities were like hives, in which women and also workmen wove cloths, made them up, and all at once a swarm sallied forth on a cruise and resolved at some point on the Mediterranean; hence we discover them in nests with their households at Tripoli, in ~ Beirut, in ~ Sidon, in ~ Byblos. Traces the them room still found at Tyre. Their centre the operations to be Tripoli, where there was no king invested with great authority, for a republican spirit prevailed in Phoenicia. Only their medals reveal the names and the profiles of this President-Kings.


The Phoenicians thought in the Sun-God Baal, principle of life, and another god to be Astarte, or night. Their manners were dissolute, comparable to those of modern Malabar.At the fêtes that Astarte especially, females danced and gave us to the public. The court that the Phoenicians appears to have actually been closeup of the door to any generous emotion, and also the courtiers judicious only to their interests, their very own well-being, coquetry, and material enjoyments; the curse resting upon the children of Noah gift affirmed in them, his descendants.


It need to be mentioned that the art of the Phoenicians are above all utilitarian. Their design is devoted to dykes, aqueducts, etc. It was they who commenced the construction of the temple of Jerusalem. Ring their temples they inserted long porticoes and enormous cylinders the stone, i m sorry are crucial as regards costume, since these blocks of rock were constantly adorned through bas-reliefs and also human figures, in the style of the Vendome Column. Together for their tombs, the walls of the chambers room ornamented with sculpture.Their artist executed one enormous number of statuettes in terra-cotta and also in bronze, as well as household utensils of pottery etc. In great quantities, and also exported castle largely; but the genuine artists to be chiefly the goldsmiths, engravers, and Phoenician decorators, weavers, and spinners.Having conquered the island of Cyprus, the Phoenicians derived copper from over there for their utensils, ornaments, and the jewels of their women. M. De Vogue make some most interesting discoveries in the island.


The Greeks embraced the Phoenician alphabet, provided for advertisement transactions. The Phoenicians to be then developed at Thasos and exploited yellow et silver- mines in the islands to the southern of Greece. They founded the cities after that known as byzantium or Constantinople, and also Phocea or Marseilles, and also they created themselves in Cilicia, Rhodes, Crete, Corsica, Sicily, etc. In the 3rd period, a conqueror from tire made an expedition, subdued Spain, passed right into Gaul, founded Alesia and returned through Italy about the year 1100 B. C. But instead of shedding blood, this Phoenician spread out civilization. The nests of the 3rd period were founded in between the 10th and sixth century B.C. They were veritable commercial exchanges i m sorry the Portuguese to be to reorganize 25 century later. When we read in the bible of the trip of Jonah, it was in a Phoenician vessel the he embarked. All the facts over stated space supported through indisputable documents, and the results of explorations made in the miscellaneous places.


One that their best colonies to be Sicily, whereby they started the city known afterwards as Irapanie. Then they created themselves in Sardinia, and founded Cagliari, and then in Corsica, founding, there is no doubt, Ajaccio, the city of Ajax; but six centuries prior to our era, only ruins remained of the towns they constructed on the heights. They had actually been expelled by the Phococeans (from Phococea, a Greek city that Asia Minor, ruined by the Persians). The Phoenicians then, that is believed, started Nimes, exploited the mines the Morvan, traversed Gaul, and appear to have created themselves in ~ Karnack in Britanny. In Spain, however, most of all, castle overran the country, exploited the mines, and increased your wealth. Ultimately they established themselves at several points in north Africa.


While the ark, bearing within it the patriarch Noah, his sons, family, and also domestic animals, touched ground at mountain Ararat, in Armenia, that occupents were much from imagining what would follow after their generation, that the water flow under your feet would type the beds of 2 of the biggest rivers of the world, the Tigris and also the Euphrates, which, descending indigenous the snow-covered summits, would run eternally; at an initial side through side, then in 2 opposite directions, and also eventually would join together to discharge your waters into the sea, at the Persian Gulf. So likewise peoples with different destinies such together the Hebrew tribes, to be to monitor the course of these rivers and eventually rejoin one one more on the Mediterranean.


Between this rivers, an immense territory extends, the cradle that civilization, and also which formed component of the realms of Chaldea and Assyria. This to be Mesopotamia. The impetuous Euphrates leaps from waterfall come waterfall, and also after leaving the mountains it flows widely and also peacefully v Chaldea close to to Babylon, now in ruins. The Tigris leaves its rocks from 3 springs developing lakes, and its food is rapid until it reaches the sea and also is so deep the in our own times watercrafts sail on the from Mosul, and also steamers native Baghdad.

There the two rivers technique one another and also intermingle with canals. The tremendous expanse of land in between two rivers whereby they are parallel, is Mesopotamia, so called by the Greeks, and also known come the Arabs as “the fertile island” or “Aldjezire”. All this land was prosperous when Europe was still barbarous, the Greeks eating acorns, and the ancestors the the Romans to be not also in existence: while the females of Nineveh and Babylonrevealed in luxury.

Assyria forms another plain, surrounded by mountains and rocks, through the same climate and also fertile soil together Chaldea and also Egypt, many thanks to an tremendous supply that labour and also to your intelligent systems of waterworks. Part trees are found, walnut, plane trees, oaks, sycamores, the lumber of which served to make boxes to host clothing and jewels.


An important fact which seems to have only a far-off connection with costume, is that their quarries yielded soft sandstone, alabaster, and also marble. This stones damaged away in level pieces, and on the tablet computers so developed the Assyrians cut bas-reliefs, thanks to which we deserve to retrace your costumes. Lock had additionally copper, lead, and also silver mines. We discover all these steels in feminine adornments, in theform that jewels and also ornaments.

The Assyrian deserts shelter lions, leopards, gazelles, buffaloes, hares, bears, deer, wild goats, and skins the these animals are uncovered in miscellaneous parts of the costumes. They had ostriches which provided feathers, and also porcupines who quills were used in weaving and also in dresses.


A Chaldean legend says that follow to their priests they had actually kings for 30,000 years; i m sorry is long, yet undoubtedly it is one of the most ancient kingdoms that the world, and perhaps the earliest one. In any case, after ~ explorations in the ruins dating indigenous over 3 thousand years prior to the Christian era, one can uncover that the Chaldeans were farming wheat, do terra-cotta models, functioned metals, made jewels.

They knew the art of writing, and how come draw, and also if they had no turn mills they in ~ least had weavers at their homes. They wore very complete costumes, built towns and monuments, and also in brief were as polite as w e are at the current day.


Houses and also palaces were built of unburnt bricks, i beg your pardon disintegrated and also left piles of planet in manyplaces, and it is thus that explorers having had the idea of making searches there, uncovered towns. They have actually thus reconstituted in the low er Euphrates a dozen the towns long disappeared, which we will point out as your names will often occur in this work. They room Our, Eridon, Ourouk, Larsam, Sirtella, and also then in between the Euphrates and the Tigris, Nippur, Sippar, Agade, and Babylon.


Each town had its temple and also its high priest, that was in ~ the very same time branch or satrap. The most ancient town is Urea, where during two thousand year kings complied with one another, together is shown on the Chaldean cylinders. Chaldea was overcame towards the 23rd century B. C. Through the majesties of Elam, which after that became Suziane, and later was attacked by the Kurds. A French explorer, M. De Sarzec*, discovered there in 1878 the damages of a palace 53 meter long, 31 wide, with its women’s apartments, its towers, and also its wall surfaces of bricks cemented v bitumen. The surname of King Gudea is inscribed on each brick. Two tombs, and nine statues, were disinterred and permit us to kind an specific idea that the costume that those times. These statues space of alabaster, ivory, bronze, and also one the the women wears a big robe.

*Gustave Charles Ernest Chocquin (who take it the name Sarzec after buying the castle of Sarzec, in Montamisé, in 1880) was a French diplomat and archaeologist born in Rennes ~ above 11 august 1832, passed away in Poitiers ~ above 31 might 1901.


To the north of Chaldea is positioned the kingdom the Assur, in the sink of the Tigris, cradle of the true Assyrians, a poor and also warlike people. Right into this empire there came, no one knows whence, however doubtless indigenous the Caucasus, some extraordinary women knows together the Amazons, who, intermixing v the Assyrian women, may have made of the last warriors same to men.Their city to be Assur, or El Assar, midway in between Nineveh and Babylon. In the remotest times, it was a king-priest who led them, a tributary the the majesties of Babylon. He arranged an army of foot-soldiers and also called self King the the Legions, and also made occupation his business. Hence this epoch was nearly devoid of any type of arts.


Then there came the legend Semiramis*, the beautiful queen the Babylon, and also of king Ninus of Assyria. In 17 years, Ninus conquered all Asia as for together India, and also had the strong city the Nineveh built.

*After Herodotus (Histories I, 184) she was one of the two majesties who ruled every one of Asia – the various other was Nitokris 5 generations after her. The gates of Babylon were named after Herodotus by Semiramis, Ninos and Bêlos.The surname Semiramis, coined by old Greek historians, ad to an old Oriental heroine or queen.


But together the Bactrian people, at the west of the Indus, stood up to him, be take it the field with a million men. Therehe became acquanited through Semiramis, that it was said, was the daughter of a goddess, abandoned and then fed through doves. She came to be the wife of one of the governors the the military of Ninus and went on campaign with her husband, a an initial Joan the Arc, and also Semiramis who must have belonged come the race of Amazons, mounts come the assault of the ramparts. Amazed, Ninus carries her off, her husband hangs self in despair, Ninus marries her, and soon after that dies, leaving Semiramis queen of the country.


This energetic woman, who retained all the graces and also artistic tastes of she birth, succeeds him, has Babylonreconstructed, and also surrounded with 70 kilometer of ramparts, canalises the Euphrates, constructs the temple, put s the end roads, builds towns, goes to Egypt ~ above pilgrimage, yet conquers Ethiopia, and departs on an expedition to India. Yet the king the India, many thanks to his elephants, obliges her to retrace her steps. She again cultivates the arts of peace, and one fine job she disappears, and is taken up into heaven in the kind of a dove.


It is then the according come Chaldean heritage the pagan deluge occurred: the God Bel, angry at the crime ofthe world, determined to ruin it, yet warned the king Xisuthros, who constructed a ship for himself and also his family, painted it v the well known bitumen (called bitumen the Judea) i beg your pardon is found among the Assyrian constructions, and is used in dyeing. The king placed his treasure right into the vessel, and also specimens the the animals and plants existing, and when the rain ceased and also all the waters fell back, the vessel touch ground, ~ above the summit of mount Ararat, the king and his family members came out, and descended the Chaboras and the Euphrates, to the place destined to become Babylon. They built the tower the Babel, or holy place of Belus, of which the ruins still exist; in ~ the place called Borsippa.


One the his successors is the renowned Nimrod, a an excellent hunter prior to the Lord, claims the Bible. He to be destinedto lay low the foundations of Nineveh; he might h ave been the precursor that aviation, and also in any type of case he came to be mad in trying to mount to the heavens on the wing of an eagle. His seat was the town of Ur, in the south of Chaldea, where Abraham was to be born (3000 B.C.). Not much from Nineveh is situated Nimrod, and the ideal collection that objects found there is currently in the brothers Museum, carried there by the English explorer, A. Layard*. Every the objects showing feminine costumes and adornments come from the royal residence of Ashurbanipal and also date from around the year 662 B.C.

*Sir Austen Henry Layard (* 5 march 1817 in Paris; † 5 July 1894 in London) was among the top British excavators of the 19th century. He became famous for his excavations in Nineveh and also Nimrud in Assyria.


It was around the 13th century, in 1300 B. C. That a king constructed the an initial palace at Nineveh, and aboutthe 7th century Sanherib (Sin-ahhe-eriba, kid of Sargon II, to be Assyrian king from 705 to 680 BC.) built one more in which precious woods, such as cedar, sandal, ebony, were supplied jointly with enameled bricks covered with bas-reliefs and inscriptions. Shortly afterwards, Sanherib besieged Tyre, in Phoenicia, and invadedEgypt. Assyria then delighted in two century of prosperity, and also was the entrepôt the the world. Watercrafts on the Tigres and Euphrates, and also caravans, continuous came through raw materials, which, transformed, were exported again. From their booty, the Assyrians brought ago vases and also furniture, and also most of all clothing, carpets, stulfs and additionally carried olf every the ideal artisons. Far earlier as one deserve to trace in their background the costume of your women,it is found almost the same as that of the men and also the king and also his mam are constantly attired alike.

Source: Paul louis de Giafferri*. The background of the Feminine Costume of the World. The Luxurious Assyrian Costumes. Published: 1926.

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*Marquis Paul luigi Victor de Giafferri was a costume historian and also the author of works on the background of “textiles”. In the 1920s he defined male costumes, but over all those of ladies of all epochs in France and various parts of the world, consisting of Japan, China, Persia, Assyria, Greece, Egypt, India, the East, the countries of the North, the 3 Americas, and also so on. The books were all released in France, only a few were translated and published in English.