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Barm-e Dilak


The first Barm-e Dilak relief. Photo Jona Lendering.
The first Barm-e Dilak relief
Barm-e Dilak: site of a Sasanian rock relief in Iran.

The Iranian king Bahrām II (276-293) was not the strongest ruler of the Sasanian dynasty. Having lost a war against the Roman emperor Carus, he accepted the loss of Armenia and Mesopotamia; he had some difficulty in suppressing a revolt by his brother Hormizd II; and he lost power to the Zoroastrian high priest Kartir. Still, Bahrām II left no less than ten rock reliefs.

Two of them can be found at Barm-e Dilak, nine kilometers east of modern Shiraz. The first one shows the king (to the right), offering an iris flower to his elegant wife, Ardašir-Anahid (to the left). Such representations of love are very rare in Sasanian iconography, which generally consists of audience, victory, or inauguration scenes. An equivalent image of love was carved at Sarab-e Qandil, where it is the queen who offers the flower to the king.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

The Barm-e Dilak Relief. Photo Patrick Charlot.
The Barm-e Dilak Relief. Photo Patrick Charlot.
Relief I
Relief II

The Barm-e Dilak reliefs. Photo Jona Lendering. The second relief, which is only a few meters to the right of the first one, shows the king (left) with an important official. Both men make gestures of respect, which is not surprising for the courtier, but unusual for a king.

Literature

Thanks

... to Patrick Charlot for sending some of the photos.

A satellite photo can be seen here.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2008
Revision: 1 April 2013
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