The Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal
“Ashurbanipal was king of the Neo-Assyrian empire. At the time of his reign (669–c. 631 BC) it was the largest empire in the world, stretching from Cyprus in the west to Iran in the east, and at one point it even included Egypt. Its capital Nineveh (in modern-day Iraq) was the world’s largest city. This is at a time when the Greek city-states (like Athens and Sparta) were still in their infancy and Rome was just a small settlement.
Ashurbanipal wasn’t modest about being the king of the Assyrian empire – he called himself ‘king of the world’! Quite a claim, but given the size of the empire, it wasn’t far from the truth.
As part of his military training, the young crown prince was taught to drive chariots, ride cavalry horses, and develop skills such as archery. He also learnt how to hunt lions. In Assyria, lion hunting was a royal ‘sport’. Although this perhaps seems cruel to modern eyes, killing lions represented the king’s ability to protect his nation against all that was wild and dangerous in the world.” – Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal
We offer a replica cast of a part the original, which is currently exhibited in The British Museum.