Infancy of Semiramisdetails

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Infancy of Semiramis

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Infancia de Semíramis

We see the infant girl Semiramis naked and seemingly along in a tropical forest, with doves.

Semiramis was the wife of Onnes and, after the death of Onnes, of Ninus. Ninus was known as the founder of Nineveh in Assyria.

There are various negative legends about Semiramis, including some Christian fundamentalist nonsense based on an 1853 book; see Wikipedia for a (likely biased) overview of those.

The name is apparently still given to girls, and there was a real figure, Shammuramat, an empress of Assyria in the ninth century BCE.

The print is signed Casanovas; i’m not 100% certain which of many people who carried that name is meant. Another print in the same book is signed A. Casanovas, but I don’t think it’s Cansanova i Torrents, as he died 100 years before this book was produced.

[I’ve used Google Translate for each paragraph in turn below]

Bastan pocos esfuerzos de ingenio para ver en la leyenda de Semiramis una página de mitología. Su nacimiento de la diosa siria, Derceto,las milagrosas aventuras de su infancia, su metamórfosis final en paloma, y el culto con que se la honraba, nos la muestran Diosa, ó sea uno de los personajes mitológicos de la religion dominante en las orillas del Éufrates. Effectivamente, en ella y en los rasgos preeminentes de su carácter y de sus hechos, se distingue de un modo evidente la forma heróica de la gran diosa de Babilonia, que reunía en sí los dos atributos, opuestos en aperiencia, de voluptuosa y guerra, y tenía la paloma como símbolo especial, con que se la distingue actualmente por todos los hombres competentes en la materia.

It takes few efforts of ingenuity to see in the legend of Semiramis a page of mythology. His birth of the Syrian goddess, Derceto, the miraculous adventures of his childhood, his final metamorphosis into a dove, and the cult with which he was honored, is shown to us by God, or one of the mythological characters of the dominant religion on the shores of the Euphrates. Effectively, in her and in the pre-eminent features of her character and her deeds, the heroic form of the great goddess of Babylon is distinguished in an evident way, bringing together the two attributes, opposed in appearance, voluptuous and war, and had the dove as a special symbol, with which it is currently distinguished by all competent men in the field.

El nombre de Semíramis parece ser el de una reina verdaderamente histórica, que floreció en Babilonia en el siglio ix ántes de Jesucristo, ó sean muchos siglos despues de la época en que coloca la leyenda á la Semíramis fabulosa. Esta reina babilónica era esposa del rey asirio Bin-nirari (1) cuyo nombre se lee en el epígrafe de la base se una estátua del dios Nebo, descubierta en Nimrud (2) por Loftus, que se halla actualmente en el Museo Británico. La celebridad adquirida por esta inscripcion entre los asirólogos, precisamente por el nombre que lleva de semejante reina, y por el raro y único caso hasta ahora de presntar á una reina llamada así al igual del rey en un monumento público, merece que la citemos aquí comiándola íntegra. Es una excepcion de la ley observada en las Oriente, en las cuales no habia más que esclavas y concubinas en lugar de reinas.

(1) Segun Ménant reinó este principe desde el año 809 al 780 ántes de jesucristo. Lénormant le llama Bin-likhus III y le have reinar desde el año 857 al 828 ántes de jesucristo.

(2) Es la antigua Calach.

The name Semiramis seems to be that of a truly historical queen, who flourished in Babylon in the ninth century before Jesus Christ, or many centuries after the time when she placed the legend of the fabulous Semiramis. This Babylonian queen was the wife of the Assyrian King Bin-nirari (1) whose name reads in the epigraph of the base is a statute of the god Nebo, discovered in Nimrud (2) by Loftus, which is currently in the British Museum. The celebrity acquired by this inscription among the astrologers, precisely because of the name it bears of such a queen, and because of the rare and only case so far of supplying a queen named like that of the king in a public monument, deserves to be quoted here eating it whole. It is an exception to the law observed in the East, in which there were only slaves and concubines instead of queens.

(1) According to Ménant, this prince reigned from 809 to 780 before Jesus Christ. Lenormant calls him Bin-likhus III and he [says that he] reigned from 857 to 828 BC.

(2) It’s the old Calach.

Dice así la inscripcion:

The inscription says thus:

«Al Dios Nabur, custodio de los misterios, hijo de Bit-Sakkil, augusto, gobernador de los astros, gefe supremo, hijo del Dios de los Nukiusut, protector, director de las obras espléndidas, superintendente de las legiones del Cielo y de la Tierra: tutor de aquellos que bendicen su nombre y le prestan atento oído; aquel que tiene la tabla de los destinos; ... augusto; el que se ensalza; el que preside la salida del sol y su ocaso, el que señala el tiempo; el glorificador de Belo; el señor de los señores, cuyo poder es firme, y por quien fué creado el Cielo; el vencedor, elaugusto, el guardian cuya vigilancia es buena; el Dios que habita el templo Birzida en medio de la ciudad de Calach.

To God Nabur, guardian of the mysteries, son of Bit-Sakkil, august, governor of the stars, supreme chief, son of the God of the Nukiusut, protector, director of the splendid works, superintendent of the legions of Heaven and Earth : tutor of those who bless his name and lend him attentive ear; he who has the table of destinies; ... august; he who exalts himself; the one that presides over the sunrise and its sunset, the one that indicates the time; the glorifier of Belo; the lord of the lords, whose power is firm, and by whom Heaven was created; the victor, elaugusto, the guardian whose vigilance is good; the God who inhabits the Birzida temple in the middle of the city of Calach.

»Al señor supremo de su Señor, protector de Binnirari, rey del païs de Assur, mi amo.

To the supreme lord of his Lord, protector of Binnirari, king of the country of Assur, my master.

»Al protector de Sanunuramat, la señor (ó la esposa) del palacio, mi Soberana.

To the protector of Sanunuramat, the lord (or wife) of the palace, my Sovereign.

»Bel-hassi-ilumu, gobernador de la ciudad de Calech del país de Khamidi, del país de Sutgana, del país de Timeni, del país de Yaluna, mandó haver esta imágen, para proteger su vida, prolongar sus días, aumenter sus años, para acer prosperar su estirpe.

Bel-hassi-ilumu, governor of the city of Calech of the country of Khamidi, of the country of Sutgana, of the country of Timeni, of the country of Yaluna, commanded to have this image, to protect his life, to prolong his days, to increase his years, to prosper his lineage.

Cualquiera que tú seas, tú que vivirás despues de mí, ten confianza en Nabu, y no to confies á ningum otro Dios (1).»

(1) Ménant.Ménant—Anales de los Reyes de Asiria

Whatever you are, you who will live after me, have confidence in Nabu, and do not confess to any other God (1).

(1) Ménant.Annals of the Kings of Assyria

Hablando Herodoto de la Semíramis histórica, que es la Sanunuramat mencionada en esta inscripcion, á la que coloca como un siglo y medio ántes de la reina Nitocris, esposa de Nabopolasar, rey de Babilonia, en el siglo vii ántes de Jesucristo, no dice de ella sino que «hizo construir magnificos diques, para contener en su cauce al Éufrates, que ántes solía inumdar toda la campiña de las cercanías de Babilonia.»

Speaking Herodotus of the historical Semiramis, which is the Sanunuramat mentioned in this inscription, which he places about a century and a half before Queen Nitocris, wife of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, in the seventh century before Jesus Christ, does not say she “built magnificent dams, to contain the Euphrates, which used to fill the whole countryside near Babylon.”

(pp. 386 – 388)

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