REMS has procured a batch of 'Senior Monday' half-price tickets for this special exhibition at the British Museum on Ashurbanipal, mighty king of the Neo-Assyrian empire. Following lunch at The Plough in nearby Museum St, we shall collect out tickets and enter the hall for our allocated slot at 14:30.
At the time of Ashurbanipal's reign (668–c. 631 MC) he ruled the largest empire in the world, stretching from Cyprus in the west to Iran in the east, and at one point it even included Egypt. Its capital Nineveh (in modern-day Iraq) was the world’s largest city. This was at a time when the Greek city-states (like Athens and Sparta) were still in their infancy and Rome was just a small settlement.
Ashurbanipal lacked magnanimity in victory and styled himself king of the world as well as of Assyria.
"I had the sanctuaries of the land Elam utterly destroyed and I counted its gods and its goddesses as ghosts… I destroyed and devastated the tombs of their earlier and later kings… I took their bones to Assyria. I prevented their ghosts from sleeping and deprived them of funerary-offerings and libations… On a march of one month and twenty-five days, I devastated the districts of the land Elam and scattered salt and cress over them."
"With the help of Ashur [the patron god of Assyria] and Ishtar, I killed them. Their heads I cut off in front of each other."
"As for the rest of the people, those still alive … I myself now laid flat those people there as a funerary-offering… I fed their dismembered flesh to dogs, pigs, vultures, eagles, birds of the heavens, and fish of the apsû."
However, he also founded great library in Nivevah which was seen by the young Alexander and which contained many clay tablets in cuneiform script.
"I, Ashurbanipal, learned the wisdom of Nabu [the god of writing], laid hold of scribal practices of all the experts, as many as there are, I examined their instructions."
"I pierced the throats of raging lions, each with a single arrow."
Where and when to meet: we gather for lunch at 12.00 in The Plough in Museum St where table(s) will be reserved for us. It is a short walk from the British Museum in Great Russell St WC1B 3DG. At the end of the visit some of us might like to meet at the BM's Gallery Café on the ground floor for refreshments.
Getting there: To the British Museum: Go to Tottenham Court Road Underground Station and emerge at EXIT 1. Cross the junction of the Tottenham Court Rd with Oxford St diagonally and walk a little way north up Tottenham Ct Rd. before turning right into Gt Russell St. Walk ahead crossing Bloomsbury St, until you come to the BM on your left. To The Plough: This is a short walk away at 27 Museum St WC1A 1LH. Cross the road from the BM, turn right, then left at the Museum Tavern into Museum St. The Plough is a short distance along on your right at the junction with Little Russell St.
Timetable (approximate times)
12:00 on Assemble at The Plough in Museum St for lunch.
14:00 Leave for the British Museum
14:30 Start tour of Exhibition
16:30 Suggested end of visit: refreshments in the Gallery Cafe on the Ground Floor
Size of party: 12 max
Cost £8.50 Members pay for their food and travel.
Contacts Before the day: contact Tony Colclough at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 8398 0766. On the day: call 07930 171 307.
Late arrivals Call Tony on 07930 171 307 who will advise you to catch up with the programme.
You can pay either by cheque or by bank transfer. It is possible to pay for several places on one transaction.
Cheque: make your cheque payable to The Institute of Physics (not IOP) and send them to:
Tony Colclough (REMS)
34 Sugden Road
Surrey KT7 0AE
*** Please annotate the rears of your cheques with: REMS, Event title; event date.
If you are paying for several events with one cheque, please write them all.
Bank transfer: IOP Bank details are as follows:
Account Name: Institute of Physics (GBP)
Sort Code: 40-14-13
Account Number: 82403552
Bank Name: HSBC Bank plc
Bank Address 62 George White Street, Cabot Circus, Bristol BS1 3BA
IBAN: GB15MIDL. 40141382403552
*** Please enter a reference with the transfer as follows: REMS EVENT ddmmyy
Where ddmmyy is the date of the event (first event if you are paying for several)