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Document number: 8969
Date: 10 May 1865
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: HIRD William Greenwood
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number: envelope 22381
Last updated: 21st February 2012

May 10th 1865. –
34 Chandos Street. – Bradford – Yorks –

Dear Sir, –

I beg to return my best thanks for your kind Letter of May 3rd, & your valuable present of “Assyrian Texts translated.”–<1> I have been deeply interested in the perusal of your work, & have found several explanations of names quite new to me, which will be quoted by me as illustrations of others, with due acknowledgment of course, when my Papers are re-printed. Perhaps, you will excuse me for again asking the favor of a little further information. –

(1.) Tsilli-Bel is given by Professor Rawlinson (Five Great Monarchies, Vol. II. p. 438) as the name of a king of Gaza. – Does it signify – shadow of Bel? If so, it corresponds with the Turkish & Persian royal title of Zil Ullah, shadow of God. It may also be compared with the Hebrew – Bezaleel, in the shadow (ie. under the protection) of God; Zilthai shadow of Jehovah, – compounded of Tsilláth from Tsel a shadow, & final God for Jah, a contraction of the divine name Jehovah. – I shall be very glad to be corrected, if you consider my inferences unsound, as I do not want to find analogies where none exist. – I am very anxious my re-print & additions should be accurate.

(2.) Ashurdanan (Assyrian Texts, p.9) May this name be rendered – “Asshur (is) powerful?”

(3.) Asshur-inadi-su (Five Great Mon. Vol. II. p. 464) Does this mean – “Asshur is his glory”?

(4.) Nebo-bel-sumi. (Ib. p. 491.) May this be rendered – “Nebo is the lord of name,” i.e., renown? He was a grandson of Merodach-baladan. –

(5) The Babylonian prince who succeeded Merodach-iddan-khi was called Merodach-shapik-ziri. (Ib. – p.332) What is the probable meaning? The second element appears to be the same as the Hebrew shapak, fudit, effudit (Assyrian Texts translated. p. 10) Is the third element zir, seed, – or a contraction of zahiri, enemies? (Ib. p. 163.)

Probably you are aware that Professor Rawlinson doubts the Hebrew explanation of the Chaldćan name Ismi-Dagon. But with all due respect to him as authority, I think the name Ismi-Bel, which is analogous, proves the identity of the first element with that in Ishmael; & in short, that the three names only differ in the name of the deity. There is no need to prove that the Philistines & Hebrews spoke the same language, as it is evident form all their recorded dealings with each other in war & peace. –

Permit me also to call your attention to a coincidence in the meaning to Kim-galli (Assyrian Texts, p. 68), The founder of an African colony was called Phut – which may have denoted an “archer”; – I may be further compared with the tribal names “the Nine Bows IX PETU or IX NA-PETU. (Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. II. p. 868) And the name “of Nubia TO-PET, ‘the region of the Bow,’” also called TO- MERU-PET, the region, ‘the island of the Bow,’ [illegible] (Ibid.p. 869.)

Lastly – I think your derivation of Abdilut (or as Rawlinson writes it Abdilihat) at p. 140 Assyrian Texts – is confirmed by such endings (fem.) as Himlicat,* &c., on the Carthaginian inscriptions discovered by Dr. Davis. –

I am Dear Sir, Yours very respectfully
Wm Greenwood Hird

*P. S. The Rev. John Kenrick, M.A., F.A.S.<2> as I have found by some recent correspondence inclines to the same opinion. WG.H.

H. Fox Talbot Esq.
Lacock Abbey


1. Letter not located. WHFT, Assyrian Texts Translated, No. 1. 1. Bellino’s Cylinder. 2. The Cylinder of Esarhaddon. 3. A Portion of the Annals of Ashurakhabal. [Printed for Private Distribution.] (London: Printed by Harrison and Sons, 1856).

2. John Kenrick (1788–1877), classical scholar and historian.

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