|Author||Henry Frederick Lutz|
|Publication Date||June 17, 2012|
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Introduction A century ago little was known about the ancient Near East, and that little had been transmitted by unreliable hands; moreover, most of it came from a time which itself was much later than the period in which the ancient Oriental nations played an all-important role. Only a few decades ago the whole of Western Asia andE gypt were like an immense field of ruins lying in impenetrable silence, and the little we knew about it came from the pen of a few Greek andR oman writers, who on account of their foreign way of thinking, lack of familiarity with the psychology of theO riental and their inability to master theO riental languages were little fitted to become absolutely safe guides. They understood only that which was similar to their own culture. The treasures of Babylonia, A ssyria, Asia Minor, Syria and A rabia had. been hidden away by fate; andE gypt had already undergone a process of decay when the Greeks entered that country and wrote down their cursory notices about the land and its people. There were only fragments miserable fragments by which posterity could behold the ancient world. The darkness has been lifted, thanks to untiring work ofO riental scholars in Europe and A merica, who have worked feverishly during the last few decades. The day has dawned over theO rient, but though the morning-sun has appeared, it very often hides itself behind dark clouds. Some of these clouds will undoubtedly be dispelled by later researches and it will depend on the results of future excavations whether the sun will reach its zenith at least in so far as the cultureland of theE uphrates and Tigris rivers is concerned, Egypt, it seems, has now yielded up most of its treasures.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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