By Robert William Rogers
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Extra info for A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes
Egypt has monuments no less ancient and no less wonderful, but they have stood forth for ages to testify her early power and renown, while those before me had but now appeared to bear witness, in the words of the prophet, that once `the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs... his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long, because of the multitude of waters when he shot forth.
It was some time before the sheikh could be prevailed upon to descend into the pit and convince himself that the image he saw was of stone. 'This is not the work of men's hands,' exclaimed he, I but of those infidel giants of whom the prophet, peace be with him! has said that they were higher than the tallest date tree; this is one of the idols which Noah, peace be with him! ' In this opinion, the result of a careful examination, all the bystanders concurred. "I now ordered a trench to be dug due south from the head, in the expectation of finding a corresponding figure, and before nightfall reached the object of my search, about twelve feet distant.
The cupidity and fear which rendered miserable the lives of later explorers did not trouble him, partly because he knew by long association the temper of the natives, and so did not unnecessarily wound their sensibilities, and partly because he did not dig up the ground, as was necessary in the work of his successors. The inscriptions which Rich had secured soon came to London, and there formed the nucleus of the great Assyrian and Babylonian collections of the British Museum. They showed at the very first glance that the daring guess of Hager was correct.
A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes by Robert William Rogers