In the third volume of this master work, Maspero tackles ancient Chaldea, her Gods and temples, and the civilization of Chaldea. (Wikipedia)
rest on its foundations. Merodach wrought it out of a hard resisting metal which shone brilliantly during the day in the rays of the sun, and at night appeared only as a dark blue surface, strewn irregularly with luminous stars. He left it quite solid in the southern regions, but tunnelled it in the north, by contriving within it a huge cavern which communicated with external space by means of two doors placed at the east and the west.* The sun came forth each morning by the first of these doors; he mounted to the zenith, following the internal base of the cupola from east to south; then he slowly descended again to the western door, and re-entered the tunnel in the firmament, where he spent the night,** Merodach regulated the course of the whole universe on the movements of the sun. He instituted the year and divided it into twelve months. To each month he assigned three decans, each of whom exercised his influence successively for a period of ten days; he then placed the procession of the days under the au
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