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The marriage of archaeological referencing and picture Bibles in the nineteenth century resulted in an astonishing variety of guises worn by the court of Ahasuerus in Esther. Following the exhibition of Neo-Assyrian sculpture in the British Museum and the wide circulation of such images in various John Murray publications, British illustrators like Henry Anelay defaulted to Assyrian models for kings and rulers in the Old Testament, including the principal actors in Esther, even though authentic Achaemenid Persian art had been available for illustrative pastiche for decades. This curious adoptive choice echoed British national pride in its splendid British Museum collection and imperial adventures in the Middle East.
“Assur is King of Persia: Illustrations of the Book of Esther in Some Nineteenth-Century Sources,” Journal of Religion & Society 11 (2009) (http://moses.creighton.edu/jrs/2009/2009-2.pdf)
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