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Royal Rhetoric And The Development Of Historical Narrative In Neo-Assyrian Reliefs

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Chapter Summary

This chapter re-examines an ancient situation in which, although ?event" may be interchangeable with ?story," similar principles of sequence and flow appropriate to narrative (i.e., content plus telling) pertain; yet the text exists parallel to rather than behind the image, and the totality of images itself creates a ?narrative space." It speaks of a particular segment of the ancient Mesopotamian world: the Neo-Assyrian period, for which monuments have been preserved roughly from the ninth through the seventh century B.C. and during which time there was an extraordinary flowering of ?historical narrative" in the representational art associated with royal palaces. In Mesopotamian tradition, is efficiently encoded, it will strengthen the social system. At that point, the display becomeS part of the message; the maintenance of the state and the power elite is embedded in the program; and the historical narratives in Neo-Assyrian palaces function as prime vehicles for royal rhetoric.

Keywords: Assyrian Palace; Mesopotamian world; neo-Assyrian reliefs; relief carving; royal rhetoric



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