Glad you found this page! Let’s clear up two main points:
(1) Beyond Babylonia. How far beyond Babylon are we talking here? And what’s up with the alliteration?!
The central focus of my research interests lie within the boundaries of Mesopotamia (throughout the ages), but often extend to the Levant, Arabia Felix, Persia, The Caucasus, Hegaz, North Africa (+Magreb), Abyssinia, and Russia + Greek isles + the south Slavic nations. Those interests are in the development of Semitic languages and writing, literature, civilisation, and conquests (to name a few). Many non-Semitic languages and cultures of the regions defined above intrigue me as well! The curiosity never ends. So, that is why I aptly titled this blog Beyond Babylonia. I hope that satisfies the question. Furthermore, you will notice that in my header I’ve got two Cuneiform signs that adorn the “BE” and the “BA” — those are the actual syllabic signs for the “B-E” and the “B-A” in the Babylonian syllabary.
(2) Now, about that austere caricature enthroned at the top of the blog. Who is he? And why, oh why, is he holding a pen like a spear?!
For the time being, let’s just say he is the Mesopotamian counterpart of Clark Kent.
His role is to drift back and forth from Nineveh to Babylon (and beyond) to protect the inhabitants of Assur and Uruk from, well, external dangers and intrusions of antagonists that have unleashed regional chaos within his beloved homeland. He also promotes religious freedom, freedom of speech, and justice for all. He returns looted antiquities to the appropriate museums and galleries. He even monitors sacred and archaic locations when he isn’t busy annihilating villains. In his leisure time, he scribes poetry and riddles on clay tablets in his native tongue: Akkadian—not Arabic. Although, he is familiar with all Semitic languages! So, who is this fellow? I write “he”, as his name hasn’t been decided.
In many Assyrian seals and reliefs, the god Ashur, is represented as an archer posed in a similar manner to my caricature…but he holds a bow and arrow, rather than steel artillery (retired version) or a pen (current version). It was necessary to reform my illustration a bit, to be fit for the future. The fear factor in him is only meant to intimidate opponents. Oh, and he is always fabulous.
This is the retired version of my guy. You may see him in some of my older posts. Nonetheless, thought I would share him here, too. Erm, yes, his younger years were a bit G.I. Joe. Thankfully, he has wised up.