“Fresh Light” by A.H. Sayce on-line

The following public domain book is now available on-line for free download in PDF.

A.H. Sayce, Fresh Light From the Ancient Monuments

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], Fresh Light From the Ancient Monuments, 5th edn. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1890. Hbk. pp.160. Click to download.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The Book of Genesis

Chapter 3: The Exodus Out of Egypt

Chapter 4: The Moabite Stone and the Incription at Siloam

Chapter 5: The Empire of the Hittites

Chapter VI: The Assyrian Invasions

Chapter VII: Nebuchadnezzar

Appendix I. The Text of the treaty between the Hittites and the Ramses II (Dr. Brugsch’s translation)

Appendix II. List of months of the Assyrian Year

Appendix III. Translation of a cylinder of Nabonidos, King of Babylonia, containing the name of Belshazzar.

Assur and Nineveh (1910)

A Bronze Lion from Nineveh [Public Domain]
This image is from Illustrerad Verldshistoria by Ernst Wallis et al, published 1875-9.
The following public domain article is now available on-line:

Theophilus G. Pinches, “Assur and Nineveh,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 42 (1910): 154-176.

Assur and Nineveh


Of all the little explanatory verses on the Old Testament there are probably but few which are of greater interest than that referring to the great cities of Assyria. It is that well-known verse 11 of the 10th chapter of Genesis, which, in the Revised Version, tells us that, “out of that land (Shinar or Babylonia) he (Nimrod, who is best identified with the Babylonian god Merodach) went forth into Assyria, and builded Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (the same is the great city).” Whether it was Asshur or Nimrod who went forth from Babylonia or not is a matter of but minor importance, as it is the cities which were founded, and not the person who founded them, with which we have to deal.

A very important testimony to the great size of Nineveh is given in the Book of Jonah, where it is spoken of, in verse 2 of the third chapter, as ”that great city,” and further, in the third verse of the same chapter, as “an exceeding great city of three days’ journey,” the distance referred to being commonly regarded as indicating its extent. Naturally, there is some difficulty in estimating this from such a vague statement, for, admitting that the words are correctly applied, the distance traversed must necessarily depend on the speed of the traveller. Perhaps a preaching – journey, such as that upon which the prophet Jonah was engaged, was slower than an ordinary one, but taking as a rough estimate 10 miles a day, this would make about 30 miles as its greatest extent. Between Nineveh and Calah, However, there is nothing like this distance, so that another explanation will have to be found.

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Discoveries in Babylonia (1909)

Babylonia at the Time of Hammurabi
Babylonia at the Time of Hammurabi [Source: Wikipedia Commons]
The following Public Domain article is now available on-line in PDF.

Theophilus G. Pinches [1856-1934], “Discoveries in Babylonia and the Neighbouring Lands,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 41 (1909): 99-122.

Discoveries in Babylonia and the Neighbouring Lands

Gradually, but surely and ever more speedily, Assyriology is becoming the most important study in the domain of Oriental archaeology. The language of the Babylonians and Assyrians proves to be a tongue of the most engrossing importance, whilst that of the seemingly earlier race-the Sumerians-with which it was brought into contact, is regarded by some as the coming study for those who wish to acquire renown as true archaeological linguists. But besides the languages, with their dialects, a very specially interesting and important field of study is their archaeology in general, their beliefs, their manners and customs, their arts and sciences, and the geography of the land. Whether we shall ever obtain information as to their original home, we do not know, but we may, by chance, acquire, ultimately, the information needed to find out where that place may have been; and in any case, we shall know all the better what influence those nations may have had in the world, to say nothing of the bearing of their records on the all-important subject of Bible hi13tory, thought, and beliefs. A number of closely-connected nations whose influence extended from Elam on the ea.st to the Mediterranean and Egypt on the west, and from the Caspian Sea on the north to Arabia on the south, cannot fail to have exercised considerable influence beyond those borders and boundaries – an influence of which we shall not obtain a full idea for many years to come.

Now that we have learned so much about these ancient nations, and their peculiar wedge-formed characters, we know also something of their power and the wide influence of their writing. It is now known that the so-called Phoenician goes back to 1,500 or 2,000 years before Christ, but there was a time when the cuneiform script, in one form or other, was used all over Western Asia within the limits I have indicated. In addition, therefore, to Semitic Babylonian, the cuneiform script, derived from that of Babylonia, was used by the Assyrians, who spoke the same language; the Elamites, who spoke Babylonian and ancient Elamite; the Armenians, who seem to have obtained the syllabary they used from Assyria; the Palestinian states, who got their script from Babylonia; the Mitannians, who also employed the Babylonian style; the Cappadocians, who at first used ancient Babylonian, though they seem to have been an Assyrian colony; and the Hittites, who also used the Babylonian style. These are the nationalities who are known to have used some form of the Babylonian wedge-writing, and the list omits ancient Persian on account of the impossibility of tracing any sure connection between their cuneiform alphabet{for that is, perhaps, the best word to use) and the complicated characters of the Babylonians and Assyrians….

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Alan R. Millard on Assyrian Involvement in Edom

Thanks to Professor Millard’s for his kind permission, the following article is now available on-line in PDF:

Alan R. Millard, “Assyrian Involvement in Edom,” Piotr Bienkowski, ed., Early Edom and Moab. Sheffield Archaeological Monographs 7. Sheffield: J.R. Collis Publications & National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, 1992. Hbk. ISBN: 0906090458. pp.35-39. Click here to read the article.