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imperialism & war

The Curse Of Ashurbanipal

Upon Those Ultimately Responsible For The Barbaric Destruction of Iraq's Cultural Heritage: The Barbaric Warlords in Washington
Ashurbanipal The Great, ruler of the Assyrian empire for 50 years (668-627 B.C.) and founder of the first great library in world history (at his seat in Nineveh), issued this curse upon all those responsible for the theft or destruction of its priceless holdings, many of which until just a few days ago were still preserved in the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad:

"He who steals it by theft or takes it by force or has it robbed by his slave, may Nabu spread his life like water. He who breaks this tablet or puts it in water or rubs it until you cannot recognize it and cannot make it be understood, may Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Adad and Ishtar, Bel, Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela, Ishtar of Bit Kidmurri, all the gods of heaven and earth and the gods of Assyria, may all these curse him with a curse which cannot be relieved, terrible and merciless, as long as he lives, may they let his name, his seed, be carried off from the land, may they put his flesh in a dog's mouth!"