Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Which Americans Did He Meet in 1839?

I didn't know that Sir A H Layard visited Palestine in 1839.


In 1839 Layard set out with a companion, Edward Mitford, to travel overland to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) where he hoped to practice as a barrister or to join the Civil Service. After reaching Istanbul they made their way slowly through Syria and Palestine, via Mosul to Baghdad. In May 1840 they joined a caravan travelling into Persia.

And this is just in time for the upcoming Purim;-

Layard was originally drawn to Iran because he was eager to investigate the suggestion by Henry C. Rawlinson (1810-1895) that in ancient times there were two cities with the name of Susa: the Greek Susa at Shush on the River Karkheh and the Biblical Shushan, where Daniel had his vision, at Susan on the upper reaches of the River Karun (1839, pp. 83-95). Rawlinson, the later Assyriologist and diplomatist Sir Henry, was a major in the service of the East India Company, and could not visit Susan himself. But Layard could, and so he found at Susan, just over 50 km to the east of Masjed-e Solaymān and more than 150 km from Shush, some ruins and a tomb, reported to be that of Daniel. 


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