Barm-e Dilak


Barm-e Dilak: site of a Sasanian rock relief in Iran.

General view
General view

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; 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. A similar image of love was carved at Sarab-e Qandil, where it is the queen who offers the flower to the king.

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.



... to Patrick Charlot.

This page was created in 2008; last modified on 6 August 2020.