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Document number: 9622
Date: 18 Mar 1870
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: SMITH George (2)
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 17th June 2013

British Museum
March 18th 1870

My Dear Sir

I was glad to hear from you, and more glad to hear that there is a prospect of your coming to the Museum for y work, I have received notice of my appointment today and enter on my duties next Monday Dr Birch and Mr Coxe<1> showed Dr Oppert the cylinders and tablets from which he copied, I have not had the power of getting things for myself although appointed to work on the Assyrian tablets I have had to ask for every fragment I wanted the same as any other student, I felt feel [illegible deletion] certain that Dr Birch did not wish to favour Dr Oppert before other Students and on taking charge of the Assyrian myself I can only say I will place anything you want before you and you shall have every assistance from me that you can wish, I shall be glad of any remarks on points where you differ from me, as to the sign Cuneiform I have seen many examples of it in looking over the museum collection, I would have quoted your glossary for it but I was not aware of the second part at the time I wrote I send you the few following remarks about the Glossary p. 10 you mention Cuneiform I will only call your attention to Cun. In. Vol II p.58 line 54 where Nukunmut is rendered Cuneiform which I suppose should be completed nabniti the word Cuneiform in p.38 is Cuneiform on the cylinder

the passages mentioned in p.42 under huma are interesting what is the number of the tablet? I cannot find it as 173 I differ on one point here I think Cuneiform means desert and translate that line when thou goests to the (or in the) desert In the article on Shalmanubar p.43 it is evident you do not recognize the value of Cuneiform I have given it wzur but it should be more properly usur or in some bilinguals usur as you doubt this value I will give you some illustrations from VII of Cuneif. Insc. p. 17 first in line 40 the simple sign Cuneiform is rendered Cuneiform and in line 46 in conjunction with Cuneiform & Cuneiform it makes Cuneiform la uvassaru [illegible deletion] in several other cases I have seen Cuneiform rendered usur and therefore cannot doubt that this name is Shalmanuser In page 73 I should translate Cuneiform wind or cardinal point and should say the lions were placed facing the four cardinal points some beautiful Photographs of Assyrian things are being taken and I think you would like to see them I should be glad if you would let me know the number of the Enuma tablet which you call 173 but do not write to my private Address as I am about to move and the letter might get lost address department of Oriental Antiquities British Museum many thanks for your kindness in the matter of the testimonial

Yours respectfully
George Smith

Hon. Fox Talbot


1. William H. Coxe, who died on 18 December 1869 after an illness of 3 years; son of Rev. H. O. Coxe, Bodley's Librarian; Asst. to Birch at the British Museum and, briefly, Prof of Sanskrit at Kings College, London.

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