THE DESCRIPTION OF THE KINGDOM OF PERSIA.
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Starsight - Volume I. Minnette Meador. William Taylor states that for years, from to , there were two rival series of Patriarchs, one in Mardin , the other in Tur Abdin. In the Syrian Orthodox Church won the allegiance of about a third of the Saint Thomas Christians in southwestern India, whose traditional liturgy had been that of the Church of the East. Thomas Evangelical Church and about half of those remaining in the 20th century declared their Church the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church autocephalous , while those remaining in obedience to the Patriarch the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church have been granted autonomy within the Syrian Orthodox Church such as was once granted to the Maphran-headed part of the Church in Persia.
At about the same time as the Syriac Orthodox Church was expanding into India, where now three quarters of its membership live,  Capuchin and Jesuit missionaries won to union with Rome the majority of the Syriac Orthodox in Aleppo , including, in , their bishop, Andrew Akijan , who in was elected Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
On his death in , two strong factions emerged, each of which elected a Patriarch, one pro-, the other anti-Rome. The Ottoman civil authorities recognized the non-Catholic Patriarch and suppressed the Catholic faction, eventually forcing it underground. He was replaced as Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, but initiated a series of Catholic patriarchs that in was recognized by the Ottoman authorities as heading a distinct Catholic Syriac Church. In , the Catholic patriarchal seat was moved to Mardin. Many of its faithful were massacred during the First World War.
The patriarchal seat is now Beirut, where it was moved in the In later years Vilatte consecrated "a number of men who are the episcopal ancestors of an enormous variety of descendants" in what is called the independent sacramental movement or independent Catholicism. The Syriac Orthodox Church has today about 2 million followers, three quarters of whom belong to the autonomous Jacobite Syrian Christian Church in India. Coakley described as "bogus ethnology" the "Assyrians" description.
The continuing trend towards identification as Arameans is evidenced also in the government of Israel's recognition in September of the Arameans in Israel as a distinct nationality. Assyrian architecture, like that of Babylonia, was influenced by Sumero-Akkadian styles and to some degree Mitanni , but early on developed its own distinctive style.
Palaces sported colourful wall decorations, and seal-cutting an art learned from Mittani developed apace. Schools for scribes taught both the Babylonian and Assyrian dialects of Akkadian, and Sumerian and Akkadian literary works were often copied with an Assyrian flavour.
The Assyrian dialect of Akkadian was used in legal, official, religious, and practical texts such as medicine or instructions on manufacturing items. During the 13th to 10th centuries, picture tales appeared as a new art form: a continuous series of images carved on square stone steles.
Somewhat reminiscent of a comic book, these show events such as warfare or hunting, placed in order from the upper left to the lower right corner of the stele with captions written underneath them. These and the excellent cut seals show that Assyrian art was beginning to surpass that of Babylon. Architecture saw the introduction of a new style of ziggurat , with two towers and colorful enameled tiles.
Assyrian art preserved to the present day predominantly dates to the Neo-Assyrian period. Art depicting battle scenes, and occasionally the impaling of whole villages in gory detail, was intended to show the power of the emperor, and was generally made for propaganda purposes. These stone reliefs lined the walls in the royal palaces where foreigners were received by the king. Other stone reliefs depict the king with different deities and conducting religious ceremonies. A rare discovery of metal plates belonging to wooden doors was made at Balawat Imgur-Enlil.
Assyrian sculpture reached a high level of refinement in the Neo-Assyrian period. One prominent example is the winged bull lamassu or shedu that guard the entrances to the king's court. These were apotropaic meaning they were intended to ward off evil. Ceram states in The March of Archaeology that lamassi were typically sculpted with five legs so that four legs were always visible, whether the image were viewed frontally or in profile. Although works of precious gems and metals usually do not survive the ravages of time, some fine pieces of Assyrian jewelry were found in royal tombs at Nimrud.
There is ongoing discussion among academics over the nature of the Nimrud lens , a piece of quartz unearthed by Austen Henry Layard in , in the Nimrud palace complex in northern Iraq. A small minority believe that it is evidence for the existence of ancient Assyrian telescopes, which could explain the great accuracy of Assyrian astronomy. Other suggestions include its use as a magnifying glass for jewellers, or as a decorative furniture inlay.
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The Nimrud Lens is held in the British Museum. The Assyrians were also innovative in military technology, with the use of heavy cavalry, sappers and siege engines.