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New Assyrian Sports Drink

March 1, 2010

The Onion reports on a new spots drink inspired by an Assyrian deity:

Forgotten Assyrian God Revived To Name Sports Drink

Representatives from the sports drink manufacturer Powerade announced Wednesday that Nisroch, the ancient Assyrian god of agriculture, has been resurrected from the depths of Assyro-Babylonian mythology to serve as the key marketing figure for their newest product, Nisroch: Eagle Heart X-TREME WHIRLWIND!

Depicted in ancient art as an amiable figure sprinkling water on a sacred tree, the god is most famous among theologians as the deity King Sennacherib prayed to when he returned from his campaigns in Israel. Powerade representatives said it was Nisroch’s pronounced calf muscle in various depictions from the eighth century B.C. that initially attracted them to the once highly revered farming idol.

I know that Jay Crisostomo over at mu.pà.da commented on this the other week (and rightly questions whether the image to the left is indeed Nisroch),  but I had to post on it as well.  I took a class with Barbara N. Porter at Brandeis a few years back, and in that course we viewed many Mesopotamian reliefs while reading Assurnasirpal II’s oft-repeated standard dedicatory inscription. One thing that Dr. Porter always drew to our attention was the pronounced calf muscles on Neo-Assyrian reliefs. In nice to see that someone outside the field notices these things as well.

  1. March 3, 2010 12:15 pm

    Jim, good point about the Onion’s fascination with the calf muscles.
    Wonder what they would make about Naram-Sin (see Winter’s fantastic 1996 article) or Gudea’s bulging biceps (again, Winter in fs Sjöberg?

    • March 3, 2010 1:23 pm

      Who wouldn’t be fascinated by their calf muscles? These guys put Lance Armstrong to shame!

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