Nineveh and Its Palaces


Joseph Bonomi the Younger (1796-1878) was a British artist, sculptor, and Egyptologist, who worked closely with the British Museum and made great contributions to the field of Egyptology. Bonomi’s love of history and culture inspired many of the works on Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, and Mesopotamia that he wrote and illustrated. His Nineveh and Its Palaces was first published in 1852 by the Office of the Illustrated London Library. The book is divided into six main sections: 1, Discoverers; 2, Historical; 3, Topography; 4, Discoveries; 5, Costume; and 6, Inscriptions and Latest Proceedings and Discoveries. Located on the east bank of the Tigris River, at present-day Mosul, in northern Iraq, the city of Nineveh was the capital of the ancient empire of Assyria. It was one of the oldest and most important cities in antiquity, with important connections to Israel and other nations mentioned in the Bible. Settlement in the area dates to around 6000 BC, and the city expanded greatly during the reign of King Sennacherib (died 681 BC). It was destroyed in 606 BC and its ruins lay buried for many centuries. In Nineveh, Bonomi discussed the findings of Nineveh excavators Paul-Émile Botta and Sir Austen Henry Layard, who explored and uncovered the ancient city in 1843‒50, and analyzed how their findings applied to biblical history. As was typical of his works, Bonomi filled the pages of Nineveh with more than 200 of his own illustrations, ranging from landscapes to drawings of ancient symbols, and including a map of the city and its surrounding countryside.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Office of the Illustrated London Library, London


Title in Original Language

Nineveh and its palaces the discoveries of Botta and Layard, applied to the elucidation of Holy Writ

Type of Item

Physical Description

402 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 centimeters


  1. Joshua J. Mark, “Nineveh” in Ancient History Encyclopedia.
  2. Peter Meadows, “Bonomi, Joseph (1796‒1878),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  3. Jonathan Parry, “Layard, Sir Austen Henry (1817‒1894),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Last updated: May 31, 2017