Freer Gallery of Art and  Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s  National  Museum of Asian Art,  are presenting an online lecture series highlighting new scholarship in the field of the art and archaeology of ancient Iran.

This lecture is part of a series,  New Research on Ancient Iran, where leading scholars will discuss their recent research on Iran and its artistic and cultural significance within the larger context of the ancient world.

In the Achaemenid (550–330 BCE), Parthian (248 BCE– 224 CE), and Sasanian (224–651 CE) periods the rulers of ancient Iran used an imagery and symbolism that emphasized divine support for the king.

Royal titles indicated the king’s position within his realm and the region, and symbols connected with divine splendor dominated ancient Persian iconography.     

Discover aspects of the art of ancient Persia associated with kingship, in particular during the Parthian and Sasanian periods, in this enthralling lecture given by Dr. Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, curator of Middle Eastern Coins at the British Museum.


New Research on Ancient Iran  is generously supported by The Tina and Hamid Moghadam Fund.

Click here to register for this free event.

*Image Description: “One of the earliest and most enduring of the royal images created during the Sasanian period (ca. 224-651) shows the king on horseback hunting select quarry: boar, lion, antelope (or gazelle). This image, often embellished with gilding, was depicted on the interior of silver plates, about thirty of which have been found in Iran and neighboring countries. Produced in imperial workshops, these plates were given as official gifts from the king to high-ranking individuals within or beyond the empire’s frontiers. In the early centuries of Sasanian rule, silver production was controlled by a royal monopoly and could be minted into coins or fashioned into objects only on the king’s authority. Although the royal figures on the plates are not labeled, they can sometimes be identified by their crowns, which are sometimes also shown on coin portraits of individual Sasanian kings. The figure on this plate is generally identified as Shapur II (reigned 309-79).”

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