By Michael Seymour
Babylon: for eons its very identify has been a byword for luxurious and wickedness. 'By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept', wrote the psalmist, 'as we remembered Zion'. one of many maximum towns of the traditional global, Babylon has been eclipsed through its personal sinful popularity. for 2 thousand years the true, actual city lay buried whereas one other, ghostly urban lived on, engorged on bills of its personal destruction. extra lately the positioning of Babylon has been the centre of significant excavation: but the incredible result of this paintings have performed little displace the numerous different interesting ways that the town has continued and reinvented itself in tradition. Saddam Hussein, for one, notoriously exploited the Babylonian fable to affiliate himself and his regime with its excellent prior. Why has Babylon so creatively fired the human mind's eye, with effects either solid and in poor health? Why has it been so enchanting to such a lot of, and for thus lengthy? In exploring solutions, Michael Seymour' s publication levels largely over area and time and embraces paintings, archaeology, heritage and literature. From Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, through Strabo and Diodorus, to the booklet of Revelation, Brueghel, Rembrandt, Voltaire, William Blake and sleek interpreters like Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino and Gore Vidal, the writer brings to mild a carnival of disparate resources ruled by means of the strong and intoxicating notion of depravity. but eye-catching as this darkish mythology was once and has persisted to be, at its root lies a amazing and complex imperial civilization whose advanced state-building, legislation- making and faith ruled Mesopotamia and past for millennia, ahead of its incorporation into the nonetheless wider empire of the Achaemenid kings.
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Extra resources for Babylon: Legend, History and the Ancient City
10 42 In fact swans were sacred not to Juno but Venus. They get depressed when kept away from other swans so recovery from an operation is aided by returning them to their kin. Although they have a reputation for refusing to eat and pining to death at the loss of a mate, this may be nothing more than a coincidence of age or weather-related sickness. Separation is not unknown, especially when a domineering cob takes over. There are instances of same-sex pairings, even unusually to the point of building and guarding a nest that will have no eggs.
A Site of Special Scientiﬁc Interest, being among other things a winter refuge for Bewick’s swans, Slimbridge became a model for developing further sites that would attract visitors. Altogether there are now nine wwt centres in the uk covering around 2,000 hectares where wildfowl are bred and studied. Like Slimbridge, some have a wildlife art gallery in which chosen artists provide insights into animal behaviour and habi- 33 J. J. e. a trumpeter, was ‘drawn from nature’ in the early 1840s. tats.
His prime hobby was wildfowling and this was to remain his main artistic subject. Observing geese in their migrations during the late 1930s, he became increasingly interested in conserving rather than shooting them. In 1946 he founded at Slimbridge by the River Severn in Gloucestershire, the Wildfowl Trust, since renamed the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (wwt). A Site of Special Scientiﬁc Interest, being among other things a winter refuge for Bewick’s swans, Slimbridge became a model for developing further sites that would attract visitors.
Babylon: Legend, History and the Ancient City by Michael Seymour