The Relief of Shapur I - Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province, Iran - Persia Advisor Travels

The Relief of Shapur I – Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province, Iran
Photo by Pier Giorgio Carloni / Shutterstock

These reliefs are related to Ardashir I (founder of the Sasanian Empire), Shapur I (the second shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire) and Kartir (the most powerful and influential priest of Sasanian Empire, head of other priests).

The Relief of Ardashir I - Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province, Iran - Persia Advisor Travels

The Relief of Ardashir I – Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province, Iran
Photo by Pier Giorgio Carloni / Shutterstock

The Relief of Ardashir I

this relief shows the coronation ceremony in which Ardashir I receives his kingship seal from Ahura Mazda. While keeping his left hand above as a sign of respect, Ardashir I takes the kingship ring from Ahura Mazda with his right hand.

The Relief of Shapur I - Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province, Iran - Persia Advisor Travels

The Relief of Shapur I – Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province, Iran
Photo by Marcin Szymczak/ Shutterstock

The Relief of Shapur I

the first relief of Shapur is located in the right side of Ardashir’s relief and it shows the appointment of Shapur in the kingdom position as the successor of Ardashir I which is done by Ahura Mazda. In this scene, Ahura Mazda is on the left side and Shapur I on the right side who are both on horseback.

The other relief shows Shapur I while riding a big horse and wearing a crimping dress, a crown on his head and his mass curly hair can be well observed around the crown. Also a dagger is hung from his waist and he is holding the horse tack with his right hand. Behind him, the picture of nine people can be seen.

This relief has an inscription along with itself which has been written into three different languages including details about its name, title and lineage of the king: Parthi (in 4 lines), Greek (in 6 lines) on the shoulder of king’s horse and Pahlavi (in 5 lines) engraved on the flat part of the cliff and in front of king’s chest. The content of all three writings are same as each other and the difference only lays in its lines.

The Relief of Kartir - Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province, Iran - Persia Advisor Travels

The Relief of Kartir – Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province, Iran
Photo by Pier Giorgio Carloni / Shutterstock

The Relief of Kartir

the fourth and last relief is related to Kartir, the priest of Sassanisn Empire, the head of other priests. He was the priest during the kingdom of five Sassanid kings (Ardashir, Shapur I, Hormizd I, Bahram I & Bahram II). There is an inscription next to Kartir relief which is written in Pahlavi (Middle Iranian language) in 31 lines. In this inscription, Kartir vaguely points out to his ascension. He asks the readers of the inscription to be faithful to their religion like him and he precisely mentions that he has devoted so much endowment for the temples and priests. Then he points out to his various titles during the kingdom of Sassanid kings from the period of Shapur I to Bahram II. This relief is known as the last relief of Kartir, from among his 4 reliefs.

Naqsh-e Rajab is located in 13 km of Marvdasht city and in about 3 km of north of Persepolis.