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Sarab-e Bahram


Relief at Sarab-e Bahram, Iran. Photo Jona Lendering. Sarab-e Bahram ("Bahram's well"): site of a Sasanian rock relief in Iran (satellite).

The Iranian king Bahram 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, Bahram II left no less than ten rock reliefs.

One of them can be found at Sarab-i Bahram, north of Bishapur along the Royal Road. It is 2.66 m high and 4 m wide, and shows how four courtiers salute their king with a typical gesture with the hand (which is still made by the Luri nomads who live in this area). The king himself is seated on his throne, resting upon his sword, and can be recognized by his crown, which is also shown on his coins.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Relief at Sarāb-i Bahrām, Iran. Photo Patrick Charlot.
It is the oldest Sasanian rock relief on which the king faces the spectators. The man with the sword to the far left is Bahram's vizier Papak, recognizable by the flower on his cap, and the second man from the left is Kartir, with the scissor-like badge. The other two dignitaries, resting on their swords, can not be identified.

Relief at Sarab-e Bahram, Iran. Photo Jona Lendering.

Literature

Thanks

... to Patrick Charlot for sending the second of these photos.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2013
Revision: 1 April 2013
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