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Bishapur


Bishapur, relief VI. Photo Jona Lendering.
Shapur II
Bishapur: important Sasanian city in Iran, founded by king Shapur I, and built by Roman POWs.
    
History Castle City Palace "Temple" Cave
Relief I Relief II Relief III Relief IV Relief V Relief VI

Relief VI

The sixth and youngest Sasanian rock relief in the Tang-e Chowgan gorge near Bishapur was made for the Sasanian king Shapur II (309-379) and shows the suppression of a revolt. It is made comparatively high on the rocks, and therefore therefore remained undamaged by the aqueduct that was later added.
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Bishapur, relief VI. Photo Jona Lendering.
The sixth relief of Bishapur

The relief has two registers. The king is sitting on his throne in the center of the upper register, his hand on his sword. From the right, soldiers come closer. They bring prisoners, among which Iranian noblemen can be recognized. In the lowe register, someone is offering the head of a decapitated enemy. There's also an elephant, which suggests that Shapur's victory was won in one of the eastern parts of the Sasanian Empire.

Bishapur, relief VI. Photo Jona Lendering.
Offering the head of a dead enemy


From the left, courtiers and relatives approach the king, making a gesture of admiration with their right fist and a pointed index finger. (This gesture can be seen on many Sasanian rock reliefs, and is still made by Bakhtiari nomads.)

A drawing of the relief is here. It is possible that a similar design, with the king seated and looking at the spectators, was attempted in Naqš-i Rustam; the relief over there, however, is too damaged to be studied.

Literature

Louis Vanden Berghe, Reliefs rupestres de l' Iran ancien (1983 Brussels), #78.

Map of Bishapur's reliefs. Design Jona Lendering Relief 6 at Bishapur. Photo Marco Prins. Relief 6 at Bishapur. Photo Marco Prins. Relief 6 at Bishapur. Photo Marco Prins.
The six reliefs in the Tang-e Chowgan Admiring courtiers Admiring soldiers A horse

History Castle City Palace "Temple" Cave
Relief I Relief II Relief III Relief IV Relief V Relief VI
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 7 Dec. 2009
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