Page 0275

275 BABYLONIA- MANNERS AND. CUSTOMS.

reaching to the knees. This also was worn by worshipers in the temples, though sometimes

in every-day life by peasants. As a general rule the feet of the common people are bare,

though kings and noblemen are not so represented. Other parts of the royal attire were

distinguished both in pattern and material from the dress of the people. His gown

descended to the ankles. It was richly fringed and embroidered. A vestment worn over this

came as low as the knees, and was adorned with tassels. In addition to the regular girdle

two cross belts, perhaps to support the monarch's quiver, are seen on the royal person.

The miter or turban was of great height, cylindrical in shape, and expanded towards the

crown. It covered nearly the whole head, resting close upon the brows. The material was of

some kind of felt-cloth, elaborately wrought and brilliantly dyed to please the kingly

fancy.

The chief articles of mere adornment were the bracelets. The figures on the cylinders

indicate that the kings had the good taste to leave earrings to others. In some instances

collars or necklaces were worn by royal personages, and these articles are sometimes found

about the necks of the gods. The collars were made of joints or ring of gold or silver,

and the bracelets were plain bands of the same precious metals.

As in most of the ancient countries, the garments of the priests were costly and

elaborate. The principal article was a long robe, ornamented from top to bottom with a

series of flounces. Over this was placed an open jacket, finished in the same style as the

robe. Down the back hung a long scarf or ribbon. The head-dress was a tiara or miter,

different in pattern from those turbans worn by other people of high or low degree.

Sometimes the priestly cap was pointed with horns in a way to suggest the sacerdotal head-

gear of the Egyptians. The priests- went barefoot before the altars of the gods.

Of military armor and dress not so much Is known as of the garments of the priestly caste.

The principal articles worn by soldiers were helmets, breast-plates, and

shields. The material used was bronze. The articles carried were bows and arrows, spears,

daggers, and clubs. The bows are of the usual pattern, and might be mistaken for those of

American Indians. The curve extends from end to end; the length is about four feet. The

quiver, too, is the ordinary sheath, such as is used by the half-civilized races of today.

The arrows are three feet in length, barbed with a metallic point, feathered and notched

to receive the string. In the soldier's girdle were worn his daggers, many specimens of

which have been discovered and are preserved in modern museums. No battle-axes have been

found, but the same are represented in several patterns on the cylinders. The drawings

indicate-that the -weapons were rude and clumsy, such as are employed .by people just

emerging from savagery.

The Babylonian army embraced the three divisions of infantry, cavalry, and chariots. The

tactics and discipline were essentially the same as those employed by the Assyrians. A few

representations of war-chariots have been found on the cylinders. The pattern and

equipment are like those seen in the sculptures of Nineveh, but the drawings are rude, and

the details can not be determined. The cavalry was regarded by foreign nations as the most

formidable division of the army. The prophet Habakkuk, who had occasion to know whereof he

affirmed, says of the Babylonian soldiery: "They are terrible and dreadful. From them

shall proceed judgment and captivity; their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and

are more fierce than the evening wolves. And their horsemen shall spread themselves, and

their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. And

they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall

deride every stronghold; for they shall heap up the earth and take it." A like fame is'

given to the Babylonian cavalry by Jeremiah, and others of the Hebrew

I A battle-axe, pictured on a clay tablet discovered in the ruins of Sinkara, is thought,

from its primitive pattern, to have belonged to the Chaldaic period.