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Title: An Achaemenid Motif seen in later epic and art
Author(s): JAMZADEH, Parivash
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 35    Date: 2000   
Pages: 47-56
DOI: 10.2143/IA.35.0.519096

Abstract :
Echoes from the Achaemenid court (6th -4th centuries B.C.), the art program of Darius I at Persepolis and remnants of the Achaemenid's legacy have been seen to survive in the Iranian National Epic, as recorded by Firdawsi in the 10th century A.D. A notion that survives in the Shāhnāma according to its Achaemenid design and context is the metaphor of the lion fighting the bull. This ancient Mesopotamian motif is seen in the art of the Sasanian period as well. It is also employed in various mediums in the art of the Islamic period, especially by the book illustrations of the Kalilah wa Dimnah who employ it profusely to depict the momentous finale to the frame story of the lion and the ox. But it is interesting to see that Firdawsi's use of the motif shows accordance with the Achaemenid context and repeats the message that was intended by the Achaemenid designers of the art program at Persepolis.

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