Babylon is a marvel of our times with beautiful gardens and temples, crossed by the Euphrates river and carefully defended by canals through which people from all the world can enter the city by many gates at disposal. Finally, I was there for the first time in my trading of timber, after a long and tiresome journey in a caravan from my hometown, Sardis.
I was walking along Marduk Street on my way to the Market when I saw a beautiful woman who I have seen before when traveling across the Royal Road and coming from Sardis, my hometown in Asia Minor. She crossed to a straight transversal street and attracted like a magnet, I went back looking to where she was heading. Her pose and fine traits were outstanding, I may say with certainty. Maybe she was a lost princess, possibly from distant lands of Anatolia, I told to myself.
– I saw you before when traveling across Ecbatana – I told her at the moment I finally reached her, with my voice trembling.
The woman was surprised but with fine manners started to excuse herself for not noticing me before.
– It’s me that ask your pardon, beautiful princess. I was on my way to the Market where I hope to sell some gold coins. And you, where are you going if it is not being too audacious to ask.
– I was looking at the Market, too, but these small streets seem so full of life…and I got lost inside their meanders.
– No doubt…May I join you? – With a gentle smile, she accepted.
They walked along the narrow streets inside the Imperial city when they found some people gathered around a squared table, like a chess game that instead of pawns, queens and kings, had naked statues of female and male. The game was simple, each player chooses the statue and another player had his/her choice, and they touched each statue, feeling an unusual shivering. He was surprised for the libertine context around and the woman becomes genuinely embarrassed. Then, as if she were a sinner, she told him: «I need to leave to the Temple…»
They continued to walk again together and further down the corner, two women were apparently playing with each other, the youngest holding the oldest by the back, by the cheeks, having their bodies static but after a short while the youngest start forcing the cheeks in a clearly painful way and then the oldest start saying, «Stop, my daughter, you are hurting me» and the youngest replied, aloud, «Why did you spend my money in the lotteries! Why??».
Then, already near the big Temple were the Princess were supposed to stay, several clay figures of blazing woman holding their hands over their chest were being sold, and the seller was repeatedly telling what anyone foreigner would say in respect for the Lord, that ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’ I was attentive to all my surrounding, a habitude I developed as a necessary condition of a successful young trader when I heard two old women telling to each other in a conspiracy mood: «See? In this Temple, priestess indulges in sex from behind **…»
Finally, while we walked silently towards the entrance of the Temple I become aware that I could possess the heart of this princess provided had more time to build a true and respectful friendship with her. Then, she stopped, looked at me, and said in a mood of confession: «I know that my redeemer liveth». Then, I held softly her hand and, maiden-like, I returned: «You will come in my dreams».
Now, I live with this insane thought tormenting me all along my longest and loneliest journeys crossing the most beautiful desertic lands of the Earth, because in my pure soul of a simple citizen of Sardis I knew that Babylon corrupted me.
** During Roman times the expression “coitus a tergo” was used.