Assyrian king Ashurbanipal

‘Some of the most appalling images ever created’ – I Am Ashurbanipal review

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/nov/06/i-am-ashurbanipal-review-british-museum

You have to hand it to the ancient Assyrians – they were honest. Their artistic propaganda relishes every detail of torture, massacre, battlefield executions and human displacement that made Assyria the dominant power of the Middle East from about 900 to 612BC. Assyrian art contains some of the most appalling images ever created. In one scene, tongues are being ripped from the mouths of prisoners. That will mute their screams when, in the next stage of their torture, they are flayed alive. In another relief a surrendering general is about to be beheaded and in a third prisoners have to grind their fathers’ bones before being executed in the streets of Nineveh.

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