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The Horse and the Lion in Achaemenid Persia: Representations of a Duality

Independent Researcher, P.O. Box 3410, Jerusalem 91033, Israel
Academic Editors: Branko F. van Oppen de Ruiter and Chiara Cavallo
Arts 2021, 10(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10030041
Received: 4 June 2020 / Revised: 25 April 2021 / Accepted: 25 April 2021 / Published: 23 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Ancient Material Cultures (vol. 1))
This paper explores the ambiguous Persian Achaemenid attitude towards the horse and the lion. It examines the way these animals appear in imperial official presentations, local artifacts throughout the empire and Greek textual representations. In the case of the stallion, it looks at the imagery of horse riding or the place of the horse in society and religion alongside the employment of steeds in chariots. Images of the lion are addressed in instances where it appears to be respected as having a significant protective power and as the prey of the chase. This paper attempts to show that this ambiguity corresponds roughly to the dual image of the Persians as both pre-imperial/nomad and imperial/sedentary (and hence allegedly luxurious), a schism that is manifest in both the self-presentation of the Achaemenids and in the Greek texts. View Full-Text
Keywords: horse; lion; Achaemenid; Ancient Persia; animals; Assyrian Empire; Medes; nomads; art history; archaeology horse; lion; Achaemenid; Ancient Persia; animals; Assyrian Empire; Medes; nomads; art history; archaeology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Almagor, E. The Horse and the Lion in Achaemenid Persia: Representations of a Duality. Arts 2021, 10, 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10030041

AMA Style

Almagor E. The Horse and the Lion in Achaemenid Persia: Representations of a Duality. Arts. 2021; 10(3):41. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10030041

Chicago/Turabian Style

Almagor, Eran. 2021. "The Horse and the Lion in Achaemenid Persia: Representations of a Duality" Arts 10, no. 3: 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10030041

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