Some time ago, Andy Porter took me to task for publishing a list of the kings of Portugal in RR,when I couldn't think of anything better to say that week. I'm sure he'd be perturbed to learn that I've just found a list of all the kings of Assyria and Babylon, or as many of them as are known, at least.
Don't worry -- I don't intend inflicting them all upon you. I realize that you couldn't care less that Shalmaneser III followed Ashurnasirpal II, and was himself succeeded by Shamshiadad V. However, I was struck by the almost uniform great length of all those names. Any name as short as Sargon seems to be an exception; most have four syllables or more. I've long known of such historical personages as Nebuchadnezzar II and Ashurbanipal, of course, but it wasn't until I saw this long list of name after name running into five or more syllables that I was impressed by how many there were like that. I suppose that long names were a standard luxury of kings in those days, usually adding up to some imposing title, such as Sharkalisharri, the "king over all other kings", though in his case the title was more than he could deliver -- his reign reads rather like Arvedui of Arnor, in many respects. In fact, this list of Assyrian names and dates reminds me strongly of the lists of the kings of Númenor and Arnor and Gondor, in the first Appendix to The Lord of the Rings. If the "historical" background of Middle Earth is supposed to correspond loosely to that of early medieval Britain, I guess you can draw other parallels to connect Arnor to Rome, and the even more dim and distant first kingdoms of civilization that were Númenor to Assyria and Babylon.
I presume these these Assyrian kings, being important people, were called by their full names at all times, at least to their faces. I wonder if they had any popular nicknames, though? It seems ridiculous to imagine Nebuchadnezzar being called "Neb" or "Nebby", for instance, but that whole name is such a mouthful... What would you do, if you were writing a historical novel set back there, and all of your characters had names such as Tubkultininurta, and Zababashumiddina, and Peshgaldaramash, and Kadashmankharbe, and Mardukkabitahheshu? (I recognize the name of the god Marduk in that last one.)
Hey, John Ryan, keep all these in mind when your next-born comes along.
Dave Fox -- You damned Denslow for his "lousy" illos, when what you were really thinking of was Neill's "excellent" illos? Personally, I'm not sure which artist I prefer; though their styles are distinctly dissimilar, they both seem to be the "right" illustrator for Oz. I guess, all things considered, that I prefer Neill -- I certainly prefer his artistic interpretation of a pretty girl to Denslow's. Besides Scalawagons and Lucky Bucky,* Neill was the author of two of the "lost books of Oz" -- Leprechauns in Oz, the manuscript to which may still be lost at the Reilly & Lee offices, and Runaways in Oz, which he was working on at the time of his death. (*And Wonder City, of course.) ## As to dramatization, don't forget that Baum himself filmed both "His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz" and "The Patchwork Girl of Oz" -- in fact he filmed them before the books were written. The scripts were only revised into books later on in an attempt to salvage something from the financial fiasco; Baum couldn't get the movies distributed. What remains of these two old 1914 epics is sometimes shown at the West Coast Ozventions; come to this year's (on August 19, location undecided as yet but somewhere in the Los Angeles area) Ozcon and you may get to see them. ## In "The Scarecrow", Button Bright was played by Charlie Chaplin's first wife. I think that Danny Kaye would do better as the Shaggy Man than Burl Ives would; Ives is a bit too short, and his friendly personality is a bit too folksy for the part. Kaye, on the other hand, has the right build to correspond to Neill's illustrations, and the role of shy friendliness that he can play so well would be more in keeping with the Shaggy Man's personality. Dick Van Dyke could also do a good job in the role. ## I wonder how much work was actually done on Disney's proposed Oz movie? Does a plot synopsis or working script exist?
Tom Digby -- I think that Bruce is already campaigning for Director in our Fall elections, though he hasn't come out and said so yet. Do you realize that for the first time in living memory, we have a Junior Committeeman who's actively doing the job for which she was elected? Three cheers for Joyce, and I hope she stands for re-election. On the whole, it is a bit early for campaigning yet, though; the first or second week of the voting month is the usual time for the prospective candidates to reveal their desire for office.
Dian Pelz -- I can't imagine sand crabs being a course defect in a beach golf game. Have you ever seen a sand crab that you didn't have to dig up out of at least four inches of sand? ## I think I shall try to arrange it so that dormant gookum is included on the menu of the Pan-PacifiCon banquet.
John Ryan -- See over. The Tun has a long name, but at least half of it is only title. You can find much longer personal names even in our own culture, especially among the nobility. For instance, the present Duke of York was born Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, of the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. (Edward VIII, or Edward Windsor, as he's usually known today.) The late author, Lord Dunsany, was Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany. Heck, if I wanted to name myself in the Spanish style, I'd be Federico Jaime Gualterio Patten Jones, with a "Don" to lead the list, and an "y" between my last names if I were trying to look particularly ritzy. Or just look at the names of some of the old Arab scholars, such as Abu Ishaq Isma'il ibn Quasim al-Anazi. On the other hand, you could go to the opposite extreme, as they do in Burma, for instance, and come up with some of the shortest names in creation -- I think their first Premier, Nu, probably holds the shortness record even if you add his title and call him U Nu. ## Thanks for the illo, though I identify more with Bun Rabbit, myself.
Jim Schumacher -- Since I don't recall seeing any of Triffid's art, I don't know how it compares to yours, but from what I've seen of yours vs. the rest of Valley Fandom's, I prefer yours. (Keith (?) did have an absolutely delightful ToC filler in Dist'n #129, though.)