Episode 21 – For the Sake of Distant Days

“Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her?  Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?” – Nahum 3:7

Ashurbanipal spent the end of his reign establishing a library of Mesopotamian knowledge and culture.  Twenty years after his death, internal discord and powerful enemies combined to seal the fate of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Series References and Further Reading:


11 thoughts on “Episode 21 – For the Sake of Distant Days

  1. Um, yeah, so, Nineveh was obviously rediscovered in the mid-NINETEENTH Century AD, not the mid-18th. No idea how that passed multiple read-throughs. Sorry folks!

  2. Well, notwithstanding the Nineveh fubar the quality of this podcast consistently impresses me and I look forward to every episode. Thanks for making the time for it.

  3. Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback! I've really enjoyed working on the past few episodes, and even though the Assyrians were pretty horrible overall, I'll be sorry to see them go. I've decided to bounce back to Greece/Rome/Carthage for next episode. Thanks again for listening!

  4. Thanks for the birthday wishes! Glad you enjoyed the episode, I definitely wanted to try to incorporate as many aspects of Assyria's legacy as I could. They were a very important ancient civilization that doesn't tend to get much press. I guess I'll have to rely on the Neo-Babylonians to provide me with the crazy king-names over the next century or so.

  5. Ha – Nabu-kudurri-usur-what? Yes, as I recall from reading about the pre-classicals many years ago, focus was mainly on Egypt and Greece, so this is really excellent. All this almost constant warfare and violence through history, it makes you really appreciate the sheer, extreme luck of being born into a modern, humane society with bathrooms, kindergardens and podcasts. Hmm, maybe it comes with a responsibility of some sort? The consequences of these podcasts are far-reaching ideed ;-).

  6. Reading a book about the Cro-magnons awhile back, I was struck by a passage to the effect that once the modern human brain was developed, every person had the same capacity for all the emotions, intelligence, and creativity exhibited by people today. A lot of history seems to have been a trial-and-error approach to find the best way to struture human society for maximum benefit. There have, of course, been many, many setbacks; but, being an optomist, I still see the overall arc of human history as a positive one.

  7. I miss them too! They'll get a little more screen-time episode after next, but from then on the Near East is pretty much Persia's show. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

  8. Hi Scott- long time listener and huge fan. Thanks so much! Do you have any idea if there is an actual cuneiform inscription with the "For the Sake of Distant Days" phrase on it? I have searched and searched, but can't find it.

    Many thanks, and keep up the good work!

  9. I have ABSOLUTELY ZERO SYMPATHY for the Assyrians. What a terribly cruel civilization. Don't get me wrong many others exhibited brutality but that seemed to be their entire raison d^etre. Good riddance!

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