Episode R3 – The Place of God

“My antiquarian studies go on quietly and smoothly, and despite the taunt which you may remember once expressing, of the presumption of an ignoramus like myself attempting to decipher inscriptions which had baffled for centuries the most learned men in Europe, I have made very considerable progress…I aspire to do for the cuneiform alphabet what Champollion has done for the hieroglyphics.”  – Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, July 1836 (writing to his sister Maria)

In 1836, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson – British soldier, adventurer and Orientalist – first encountered the Behistun Inscription.  He would devote the next few decades to deciphering its three cuneiform scripts.

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8 thoughts on “Episode R3 – The Place of God

  1. Thanks! Looking forward to getting into Botta and Layard next episode, then looping back around to Rawlinson. It's a fun period to explore. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Gee, Scott,

    While I have been hitherto listening to the episodes out of sheer interest, this one touched on my professional field, which happens to be Iran. I have come across the books of Niebuhr and seen them in libraries.
    And the subject matter was always so specific and the books so many that I thought he was a regular scholar.

    So I am very indepted to you for introducing his life to me. From now on whenever I’ll come acros a book by Niebuhr, I’ll probably automatically think of you : )


    1. An unsung hero of Near Eastern history! Copenhagen has a street named after him, I went there and took pictures of it when I visited in 2019.

      1. Great! Let’s hope one of your listeners turns out to be a script writer and will get fascinated by this fascinating life and a film will be made about Niehbur!

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