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Naqš-i Rajab


Naqš-i Rajab: place in Fars, close to Naqš-i Rustam, Persepolis, and Istakhr, well-known for its Sasanian rock reliefs.

Equestrian Relief of Shapur I

The Equestrian Relief Shapur I (241-272) was cut directly opposite the Investiture Relief of the same king. He is shown on horseback. Behind him are nine people, who may have been important courtiers or members of the dynasty. They can not be identified, except for the one immediately behind the king, who is probably identical to crown prince Hormuzd.
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There are no defeated enemies below the horse's feet, which suggests that this relief was made before 244: in that year, Shapur defeated the Roman emperor Gordian III and put Philippus Arabs on the Roman throne. This victory is celebrated on the first relief of Bishapur.

At Naqš-i Rajab, there is a trilingual inscription in front of his horse, which says:

This is a figure of the Mazda-worshipping demigod, lord Shapur, the king of kings in Iran and abroad, who received his face from God, son of the Mazda-worshipping demigod, lord Ardašir, the king of kings who received his face from God, and the grandson of lord Papak, the king.

Inscription on Shapur's Equestrian Relief. Photo Jona Lendering.
The nine noblemen Shapur Inscription

Literature

Louis Vanden Berghe, Reliefs rupestres de l' Iran ancien (1983 Brussels) Table XII, #55.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2009
Revision: 16 Nov. 2009
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