In Mesopotamia, the Assyrian king Assurbanipal (668–627 B.C.E.) was the chief proponent of neoclassicism. We have copies of his written instructions to his officials, in which he tells them to scour the countryside of Assyria and Babylonia, pore through local temple archives and copy important documents for the royal collection. Since the discovery of Assurbanipal’s library in the mid-19th century at ancient Nineveh, in northern Iraq, it has remained our most important source for the “canonical” literature of ancient Mesopotamia.