the subject by actual casts from the inscriptions themselves. At Cheltenham the question gave rise to a most animated and interesting discussion, in which Dr. Whewell and Sir Thomas Phillips (the great antiquarian) took a prominent part. I understood that Sir Thomas Phillips assigned that the intermixture of cuneiform with the Greek alphabet proceeded from the Samaritans, who were originally an Assyrian colony. I find that many Greek inscriptions exhibit the cuneiform element in nearly all the letters composing them. This is a subject well worthy of the attention of our antiquarian Greek scholars, as pointing to an intimate intercourse with the Assyrians at some remote age. The distinctive character of the cuneiform in the Greek inscriptional letters could not have arisen from chance. Some intercommunication with the Assyrians must have taken place.

    This subject is all the more interesting, as the cuneiform element appears to have passed from the Greek inscriptional letters into those of the Romans, and from thence into our own capital letters. This affords a very remarkable instance of the "survival" of a form, which, however naturally due to the plastic material in connection with which it originated, nevertheless led to its use for ages after the circumstances which led to its adoption had passed away. This tendency in mankind to cling to shapes and forms through mere traditional influences is widely observable, especially in connection with architectural forms, arrangements, and decorative details. It offers a subject of great interest to those who have a natural aptitude to investigate what I may term the etymology of form, a subject of the most attractive nature, especially to those who enjoy thinking and reflecting upon what they have specially observed.

  • Assyrian roller-seal.
  • Before concluding this subject I may mention that the Assyrians employed a cylindrical roller-seal in order to produce impressions in a wholesale way. This is exemplified in the above engraving. The mechanical principles inherent in this beautifully simple form of roller-seal, indicate a high order of ingenuity, well worthy of the originators of the arrow-headed character. In fact it is the prototype not only of the modern system of calico-printing but of the Waiter Printing Press, by which the Times and many other newspapers are now printed -- a remarkable instance of the survival or restoration of a very old method of impression.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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