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Size: 3" x 5"
Copyrighted: 1893
Lithographer: Kaufmann & Strauss

Ancient Judea - cymbal playing, top spinning

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ANCIENT Judea recalls to the mind more that is sombre and serious than light and playful. Yet her children with the approval and unbending smiles of the stern patriarchs and matrons, passed many hours in joyful and innocent sport. Pride and gracefulness were the characteristics of this nation, so superior to the barbarous tribes of nomads who surrounded its frontier on every side. The Judeans were a noble people, as evinced by their architecture and their devotion to art, by the fruitful valleys which they made to blossom so richly, by their warlike spirit when affronted, and by the vast strides toward a noble civilization, promoted by their mercantile pursuits and their love of commerce.
Like all Oriental peoples, they loved dancing and music and both were practiced in connection with their religious rites in the temple. Their young men and their maidens were also taught to sing. And it was no unusual sight to see the latter, while accompanying the melodious songs and psalms which involuntarily welled from their lips, with the tinkling notes of the cymbals, heighten the beautiful effect by the rhythmic swaying of their bodies and the nimble motions of their feet.
All our simpler children's games which are played without toys were doubtless familiar to the children of the ancient Hebrews. And the tops which boys to this day spin with so much delight, were so it is said originated by this people.
The climate of Palestine is a tropical one, and as a consequence life out of doors is general. But the streets are often narrow and baked. The Judeans transformed their roofs into gardens, well-arbored and very pleasant. Divans, couches, rugs, flowers, awnings and even fountains transformed these roofs into fairyland, and here the long summer hours were whiled away in delicious dolce far niente.

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