Page:Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform Inscriptions.djvu/38
similarity to the tomb of Cyrus, described by Arrian, struck the imaginative Morier, the author of 'Hajji Baba.' At the same time a single line inscription was found repeated on several pillars with the legend: 'I am Cyrus, the King, the Achaemenian' (Inscription M).
The discovery of the Achaemenian ruins and inscriptions, to which we have briefly called attention, dates from the beginning of the seventeenth century. Till then Persia was almost entirely unknown to European travellers, and only a few scattered notices of the Persepolitan ruins come to us earlier. The first of these dates back to the end of the fifteenth century, and is due to a Venetian ambassador, Giosafat Barbaro, who visited the country in 1472. The account of his mission was not, however, published till 1545. He tells us that a day's journey from Camara he came to a great bridge across the 'Bindamyr,' which he heard had been built by Solomon. Not far distant he perceived a hill where on a level spot, stood forty columns, called from that circumstance 'Cilminar.' Some of them are in ruins, but from what remains it is evident the building was formerly very beautiful. Above the terrace there rises a rock on which human figures of gigantic size are sculptured, and over them appears a figure which resembles 'God the Father in a circle.'
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