Queen of Assyria, Builder of Babylon
For nearly two thousand years, Nineveh, the ancient Babylon, was lost to the world. Ancient history was full of its fame, yet so complete was its ruin that Herodotus, B.C. 460, passing over its site, did not even know about it. Sixty years later, Xenophon and his 10,000 on that famous retreat from Persia did not find so much as its name.
Lucian, B.C. 137 affirms that it had so utterly perished that its very site was unknown. For 1500 years men doubted its existence, and until about 50 years ago the Bedouin fed his flocks over it all unmindful of the fact that scores of feet beneath lay the great palaces of the most famous city of ancient, if not of all, time; a city whose area was ten times that of London of today. But the huge statues, obelisks, monuments, marble slabs, excavated by Lanyard, and now in the Assyrian room of the British Museum, have abundantly confirmed the classic stories of the amazing greatness founded by Ninus and his greater spouse, Semiramis.
Semiramis was the first wife of his captain, Onnes, but won the king’s love by a heroic exploit , the capture of Bactria, which had defied the royal forces. Ninus died, and Semiramis, succeeding to his power, traversed all parts of the Assyrian empire, erecting great cities, particularly Babylon, and stupendous monuments, or opening roads through savage mountains. She was unsuccessful only in an attack on India. At length, after a reign of forty-two years, she delivered the kingdom to her son Ninyas, and disappeared; or, according to what seems to be the original form of the story, was turned into a dove and thenceforth worshiped as a deity.
This is the legend which the Greeks received from Ctesias, and which is fully preserved by Diodorus, though it has been modified by traits borrowed from the history of Alexander the Great.
On the statue of the god Nebo in the British Museum occurs the name of King Vul-Lush and his queen Semiramis, a princess of Babylon.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.