Empires of the Plain: Henry Rawlinson and the Lost Languages of Babylon (Text Only)

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The copies were used in subsequent editions of the texts; 14 of them were published by H. Humbach , Rawlinson claims , p.

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Aloys Springer, at Calcutta, in Rawlinson acknowledges that though his work proceeded independently, he was anticipated in his results by European scholars; on the crucial point of the syllabic rather than alphabetic nature of the script, he and Edward Hincks made that discovery simultaneously and independently, both of them having written to Edwin Norris of the Royal Asiatic Society in August Hincks, , p.

Rawlinson's military duties, perfectionism, and dilatoriness account for the sluggish publication history of his Old Persian work, and the biweekly Larsen, , p. His first transmission to the Royal Asiatic Society 1 January ; Arnolt, , provides a full bibliography included a transcription and translation of the first two paragraphs that, while fairly wide of the mark, soon made their way to interested scholars. Lassen , pp. In April , a letter from Lassen communicating his results led Rawlinson to rewrite his report again; it was sent on 25 July and read to the Royal Asiatic Society in January , but published only years later.

A complete translation was sent in February ; he worked hard on the accompanying Memoir for the next several months, but in August he received Lassen, sent by the author more than a year before , and on its basis made revisions without help with the German.

In September he sent the plates, transcription, and notes incorporating restorations and emendations from Lassen's edition of the other texts , together with a Latin translation pp. Norris did a remarkable job seeing these materials through the press without the participation of the author—overseeing the cutting of cuneiform type, for instance—but some of his choices obscured Rawlinson's progress: the translation at , pp xxvii-xxxix, was meant to reflect the February version, but Norris emended it toward the February version given in chapter IV—but printed, e.

These last might have provided the justifications for the decipherment, as Rawlinson never explained how he settled on the identifications which have largely stood the test of time of personal and geographic names that, by comparison with known Greek proper names, provided most of the keys to the readings. Rawlinson's interest in the Old Persian materials presumably waned as he took up the challenge of the other two cuneiform scripts; he published the text and translation with minimal notes of DB in his brother George Rawlinson's ambitious edition and commentary on the History of Herodotus , with revisions in at least two further editions—sometimes his earlier, sometimes his later interpretations have prevailed, sometimes neither.

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He knew [], p. Rawlinson published no progress reports on his Babylonian decipherment, but provided two accounts of Babylonian inscriptions before two editions and translations one partial of DB. Chapter II, October , includes a survey , pp.

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Rawlinson was not convinced that the three varieties were versions of a single script on 27 October , he acknowledged in a letter to G. Renouard, though never publicly, that he was indebted to Hincks for discovering the key to the equivalence of Babylonian and Assyrian characters; Hincks, , p.

Though he had been working on the Elamite and Babylonian inscriptions at least since early , for the next five years we have only his unpublished letters to the excavator A.

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Layard, from which Larsen quotes numerous expressions of frustration and despair. Although he had recognized polyphony one sign might have unrelated readings , he had no explanation for this fact.

His transcriptions of Babylonian words show that he had gotten many readings wrong and thus greatly underestimated the usefulness of Semitic cognates , but he does not associate cuneiform signs with transliterations, so we cannot tell where he erred. On each of these points, Hincks had pointed the way before Cathcart and Donlon, ; Daniels, Rawlinson's impressive ability to translate the Old Persian, due in large measure to his familiarity with modern Iranian languages, is not matched for Babylonian, as he was far less well acquainted with Hebrew and Arabic.

His rendition , pp.

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Seller Inventory n. Lesley Adkins. Publisher: Harpercollins Pub Ltd , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title From Henry Rawlinson, fearless soldier, sportsman and imperial adventurer of the first rank, spent twenty-five years in India, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan in the service of the East India Company. Buy New View Book. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title.