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Journal of Iran's Pre Islamic Archaeological Essays
Investigation on the Symbols of Legitimacy in Sasanian Rock Reliefs


 submission: 22/06/2020 | acception: 06/07/2020 | publication: 06/07/2020

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Authors
Houshang Rostami1

1-Faculty of art, University of Mazandaran, Mazandaran.،rostami.houshang@yahoo.com



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Abstract

The basis for the formation and survival of the governments from the past to the present depends on the status and support of the people, which is called legitimacy. Legitimacy in governments is based on specific principles rooted in the traditions and cultural beliefs of the people of their land. The Sassanians, as one of the most important states in the historical period, were founded on the basis of the Zoroastrian religion by Ardashir I. Investigating Sasanian rock reliefs in order to examine the elements of legitimacy in this period is a necessity that has not been addressed independently and extensively so far. This study attempts to investigate this issue with the help of archaeological evidence and historical evidence. To this end, the symbolic motifs and symbols found in Sasanian rock reliefs within the geography of present-day Iran have been identified and carefully studied. The most important goal of this research is to attempt to semeiotics each of the symbolic motifs and symbols as well as to clarify the true identity and the real meaning of each. The results of this research, that based on its purpose is considered a fundamental research and based on the nature and method a historical research, clearly show: Most of the motifs of the Sasanian rock reliefs have religious origins, and some of them, like the crown of the Sasanian kings, represent one of the gods in their various forms. Symbolic motifs and nonreligious symbols mainly represent the themes of victory, the captivity of the enemy, and respect, depicting the power and grandeur of the empire, all of which represent the legitimacy of the Sasanian king.




Keywords

Sasanian rock relief  Symbolism  Symbolic motifs  Special symbols 



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