In 1891 he was elected professor of Assyriology at Oxford.
Thanks to their efforts, the new science of Assyriology came into being, and before long the message of the Assyrian books had ceased to be an enigma.
The sceptics had declared that the new science of Assyriology was itself a myth: that the investigators, self-deceived, had in reality only invented a language and read into the Assyrian inscriptions something utterly alien to the minds of the Assyrians themselves.
Knox), almost purely linguistic and lexical, and include Assyriology: its Use and Abuse in Old Testament Study (1885), and the important revision of Gesenius, undertaken with S.
Accordingly, in 1867, Smith was appointed assistant in the Assyriology department, and the earliest of his successes was the discovery of two inscriptions, one fixing the date of the total eclipse of the sun in the month Sivan in May 763 B.C., and the other the date of an invasion of Babylonia by the Elamites in 2280 B.C. In 1871 he published Annals of Assur-bani-pal, transliterated and translated, and communicated to the newlyfounded Society of Biblical Archaeology a paper on "The Early History of Babylonia," and an account of his decipherment of the Cypriote inscriptions.