“THE FIRM FOUNDATION OF MODERN IMPERIAL ORGANIZATION WAS LAID BY THE ASSYRIANS”
OLMSTEAD, Albert Ten Eyck. History of Assyria. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1923. Large octavo, original gilt-stamped pictorial blue cloth, top edge gilt. $950.
First edition of this richly illustrated landmark history of Assyria—the first to analyze Assyrian and Babylonian historical sources in the context of current archeological research—with color frontispiece, nearly 200 photographic plates and in-text wood-engravings, and folding map printed in color.
Olmstead served as the director of the Cornell University Expedition to Asia Minor and the Assyro-Babylonian Orient in 1907-08, leading a small contingent in exploring archaeological sites and recording ancient inscriptions in remote areas of Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The first of Olmstead's broad historical works, History of Assyria aimed "to bring an ancient civilization to life, not as part of the background of the Bible, but as an autonomous historical entity in an accessible style… Few contemporaries and successors have encompassed as much of the pre-Islamic Near East as did Olmstead in historical research and exposition… his emphasis on relationships between philology and history and his concern for breaking through the disciplinary boundaries that isolate categories of privileged sources from a broader context of historical connection remain at the center of ancient Near Eastern research" (ANB).
Only a couple spots of toning to interior, binding lovely with only mildest toning to spine, gilt exceptionally bright. A very nearly fine copy.