I built a pillar over against his city gate and I flayed all the chiefs who had revolted, and I covered the pillar with their skin. Some I walled up within the pillar, some I impaled upon the pillar on stakes, and others I bound to stakes round about the pillar …  And I cut the limbs of the officers, of the royal officers who had rebelled…

‘Many captives from among them I burned with fire, and many I took as living captives. From some I cut off their noses, their ears and their fingers, of many I put out the eyes. I made one pillar of the living and another of heads, and I bound their heads to tree trunks round about the city. Their young men and maidens I burned in the fire.

‘Twenty men I captured alive and I immured them in the wall of his palace. The rest of their warriors I consumed with thirst in the desert of the Euphrates…’

Ashurnasirpal II, king of Assyria (883-859 BC)

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