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III. "Legitimization Of Authority": Ideological Contexts

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Chapter Summary

The author argues that, in the monumental lion hunts of Assurbanipal, quality of workmanship functioned as a deliberate ideological tool that articulated and enforced rank and social status in the same way other formal and iconographic means (such as size, placement, relative position, gesture, hair, beard, dress, jewelry, weapons, headgear and footwear) were used in Assyrian reliefs to express hierarchy. The Bisitun relief, executed at a critical juncture during Darius’ consolidation of power, stands apart from other large-scale, royal Achaemenid monuments in its representation of military triumph and its extensive textual recounting of historical events. The author uses the Greek parallels in order to enhance her attempt to probe the semantics of certain episodes from ancient Mesopotamian literature and myths relevant to the phenomenon of the melammu.

Keywords: Assyrian reliefs; Bisitun relief; Darius; ideological tool; melammu; Mesopotamian literature



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