Saturday, June 16, 2018

Library of Nineveh

In the mid 700s BCE, King Ashurbanipal decided to found a great library at Nineveh. Ashurbanipal (668 - ca. 627 BC) was the sixth Neo-Assyrian King who ruled over Assyria as well as over Babylonia. Every temple in the land had a library, so he sent his scribes to all the temples of Babylonia with instructions to bring him anything that look interesting. If the priests were reluctant to let a tablet go the scribes were told to make a copy.

Despite admirable precedents, with the establishment of Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh recordkeeping reached its supreme achievement in Mesopotamia. The main sources of acquisition to the library found at this now ravaged site were, to the south Ashur, Nippur, Ur, Borsippa and Babylon, to the north, Harran.

The library at Nineveh eventually contained over 25,000 clay tablets, and most of what is known about Mesopotamia learning comes from there.
Library of Nineveh
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