The Achaemenid Empire called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, the development of civil services and a large professional army; the empire's successes inspired similar systems in empires. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire.
Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time; the Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the historical mark of the empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well. Despite the lasting conflict between the two states, many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by or allied to the Persian kings; the impact of Cyrus's edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China.
The empire set the tone for the politics and history of Iran. The term Achaemenid means "of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes". Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, a vassal of Assyria. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here....: the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dai, Dropici, being nomadic; the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The name "Persia" is a Greek and Latin pronunciation of the native word referring to the country of the people originating from Persis; the Persians were an Iranian people who arrived in what is today Iran c. 1000 BC and settled a region including north-western Iran, the Zagros Mountains and Persis alongside the native Elamites.
For a number of centuries they fell under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia. The Persians were nomadic pastoralists in the western Iranian Plateau and by 850 BC were calling themselves the Parsa and their shifting territory Parsua, for the most part localized around Persis; the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as the Medes, another group of Iranian peoples, established a short-lived empire and played a major role in the overthrow of the Assyrian. The Achaemenids were rulers of the Elamite city of Anshan near the modern city of Marvdasht. There are conflicting accounts of the identities of the earliest Kings of Anshan. According to the Cyrus Cylinder the kings of Anshan were Teispes, Cyrus I, Cambyses I and Cyrus II known as Cyrus the Great, who created the empire. In Herodotus' Histories, he writes that Cyrus the Great was the son of Cambyses I and Mandane of Media, the daughter of Astyages, the king of the Median Empire. Cyrus revolted against the Median Empire in 553 BC, in 550 BC succeeded in defeating the Medes, capturing Astyages and taking the Median capital city of Ecbatana.
Once in control of Ecbatana, Cyrus styled himself as the successor to Astyages and assumed control of the entire empire. By inheriting Astyages' empire, he inherited the territorial conflicts the Medes had had with both Lydia and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. King Croesus of Lydia sought to take advantage of the new international situation by advancing into what had been Median territory in Asia Minor. Cyrus led a counterattack which not only fought off Croesus' armies, but led to the capture of Sardis and the fall of the Lydian Kingdom in 546 BC. Cyrus placed Pactyes in charge of collecting tribute in Lydia and left, but once Cyrus had left Pactyes instigated a rebellion against Cyrus. Cyrus sent the Median general Mazares to deal with the rebellion, Pactyes was captured. Mazares, aft
The French horn is a brass instrument made of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. The double horn in F/B♭ is the horn most used by players in professional orchestras and bands. A musician who plays a French horn is known as hornist. Pitch is controlled through the combination of the following factors: speed of air through the instrument. Most horns have lever-operated rotary valves, but some older horns, use piston valves and the Vienna horn uses double-piston valves, or pumpenvalves; the backward-facing orientation of the bell relates to the perceived desirability to create a subdued sound in concert situations, in contrast to the more piercing quality of the trumpet. A horn without valves is known as a natural horn, changing pitch along the natural harmonics of the instrument. Pitch may be controlled by the position of the hand in the bell, in effect reducing the bell's diameter; the pitch of any note can be raised or lowered by adjusting the hand position in the bell. The key of a natural horn can be changed by adding different crooks of different lengths.
Three valves control the flow of air in the single horn, tuned to F or less B♭. The more common double horn has a fourth, trigger valve operated by the thumb, which routes the air to one set of tubing tuned to F or another tuned to B♭ which expands the horn range to over four octaves and blends with flutes or clarinets in a woodwind ensemble. Triple horns with five valves are made tuned in F, B♭, a descant E♭ or F. There are double horns with five valves tuned in B♭, descant E♭ or F, a stopping valve, which simplifies the complicated and difficult hand-stopping technique, though these are rarer. Common are descant doubles, which provide B♭ and alto F branches. A crucial element in playing the horn deals with the mouthpiece. Most of the time, the mouthpiece is placed in the exact center of the lips, because of differences in the formation of the lips and teeth of different players, some tend to play with the mouthpiece off center. Although the exact side-to-side placement of the mouthpiece varies for most horn players, the up-and-down placement of the mouthpiece is two-thirds on the upper lip and one-third on the lower lip.
When playing higher notes, the majority of players exert a small degree of additional pressure on the lips using the mouthpiece. However, this is undesirable from the perspective of both endurance and tone: excessive mouthpiece pressure makes the horn sound forced and harsh, decreases player's stamina due to the resulting constricted flow of blood to the lips and lip muscles; the name "French horn" is found only in first coming into use in the late 17th century. At that time, French makers were preeminent in the manufacture of hunting horns, were credited with creating the now-familiar, circular "hoop" shape of the instrument; as a result, these instruments were called in English, by their French names: trompe de chasse or cor de chasse. German makers first devised crooks to make such horns playable in different keys—so musicians came to use "French" and "German" to distinguish the simple hunting horn from the newer horn with crooks, which in England was called by the Italian name corno cromatico.
More "French horn" is used colloquially, though the adjective has been avoided when referring to the European orchestral horn since the German horn began replacing the French-style instrument in British orchestras around 1930. The International Horn Society has recommended since 1971 that the instrument be called the horn. There is a more specific use of "French horn" to describe a particular horn type, differentiated from the German horn and Vienna horn. In this sense, "French horn" refers to a narrow-bore instrument with three Périnet valves, it retains the narrow bell-throat and mouthpipe crooks of the orchestral hand horn of the late 18th century, most has an "ascending" third valve. This is a whole-tone valve arranged so that with the valve in the "up" position the valve loop is engaged, but when the valve is pressed the loop is cut out, raising the pitch by a whole tone; as the name indicates, humans used to blow on the actual horns of animals before starting to emulate them in metal. This original usage survives in the shofar, a ram's horn, which plays an important role in Jewish religious rituals.
Early metal horns were less complex than modern horns, consisting of brass tubes with a flared opening wound around a few times. These early "hunting" horns were played on a hunt while mounted, the sound they produced was called a recheat. Change of pitch was controlled by the lips. Without valves, only the notes within the harmonic series are available. By combining a long length with a narrow bore, the French horn's design allows the player to reach the higher overtones which differ by whole tones, thus making it capable of playing melodies before valves were invented. Early horns were pitched in B♭ alto, A, A♭, G, F, E, E♭, D, C, B♭ basso
The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flutist or, less fluter or flutenist. Flutes are the earliest extant musical instruments, as paleolithic instruments with hand-bored holes have been found. A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Jura region of present-day Germany; these flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe. The word flute first entered the English language during the Middle English period, as floute, or else flowte, flote from Old French flaute and from Old Provençal flaüt, or else from Old French fleüte, flaüte, flahute via Middle High German floite or Dutch fluit.
The English verb flout has the same linguistic root, the modern Dutch verb fluiten still shares the two meanings. Attempts to trace the word back to the Latin flare have been pronounced "phonologically impossible" or "inadmissable"; the first known use of the word flute was in the 14th century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this was in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Hous of Fame, c.1380. Today, a musician who plays any instrument in the flute family can be called a flutist, or flautist, or a flute player. Flutist dates back to at least 1603, the earliest quotation cited by the Oxford English Dictionary. Flautist was used in 1860 by Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Marble Faun, after being adopted during the 18th century from Italy, like many musical terms in England since the Italian Renaissance. Other English terms, now obsolete, are fluter and flutenist; the oldest flute discovered may be a fragment of the femur of a juvenile cave bear, with two to four holes, found at Divje Babe in Slovenia and dated to about 43,000 years ago.
However, this has been disputed. In 2008 another flute dated back to at least 35,000 years ago was discovered in Hohle Fels cave near Ulm, Germany; the five-holed flute is made from a vulture wing bone. The researchers involved in the discovery published their findings in the journal Nature, in August 2009; the discovery was the oldest confirmed find of any musical instrument in history, until a redating of flutes found in Geißenklösterle cave revealed them to be older with an age of 42,000 to 43,000 years. The flute, one of several found, was found in the Hohle Fels cavern next to the Venus of Hohle Fels and a short distance from the oldest known human carving. On announcing the discovery, scientists suggested that the "finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe". Scientists have suggested that the discovery of the flute may help to explain "the probable behavioural and cognitive gulf between" Neanderthals and early modern human.
A three-holed flute, 18.7 cm long, made from a mammoth tusk was discovered in 2004, two flutes made from swan bones excavated a decade earlier are among the oldest known musical instruments. A playable 9,000-year-old Gudi was excavated from a tomb in Jiahu along with 29 defunct twins, made from the wing bones of red-crowned cranes with five to eight holes each, in the Central Chinese province of Henan; the earliest extant Chinese transverse flute is a chi flute discovered in the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng at the Suizhou site, Hubei province, China. It dates from 433 BC, of the Zhou Dynasty, it is fashioned of lacquered bamboo with closed ends and has five stops that are at the flute's side instead of the top. Chi flutes are mentioned in Shi Jing and edited by Confucius, according to tradition; the earliest written reference to a flute is from a Sumerian-language cuneiform tablet dated to c. 2600–2700 BCE. Flutes are mentioned in a translated tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem whose development spanned the period of 2100–600 BCE.
Additionally, a set of cuneiform tablets knows as the "musical texts" provide precise tuning instructions for seven scale of a stringed instrument. One of those scales is named embūbum, an Akkadian word for "flute"; the Bible, in Genesis 4:21, cites Jubal as being the "father of all those who play the ugab and the kinnor". The former Hebrew term is believed by some to refer to some wind instrument, or wind instruments in general, the latter to a stringed instrument, or stringed instruments in general; as such, Jubal is regarded in the Judeo-Christian tradition as the inventor of the flute. Elsewhere in the Bible, the flute is referred to as "chalil", in particular in 1 Samuel 10:5, 1 Kings 1:40, Isaiah 5:12 and 30:29, Jeremiah 48:36. Archeological digs in the Holy Land have discovered flutes from both the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the latter era "witness the creation of the Israelite kingdom and its separation into the two kingdoms of Israel and Judea."Some early flutes were made out of tibias.
Women in the Sasanian Empire
In the Sassanid Empire, the state religion Zoroastrianism created the policy that dictated relationships between men and women. Zoroastrianism set what roles women would have, the marriage practices, women's privileges in Sasanian society and influenced Islam when it arose; the moral standards, the structure of life, the practices of the Sasanian society were found by looking at the religious writing and laws of the time. Women had legal rights, such as to real estate, but the privileges a woman had depended on what type of wife she was, as did the restriction that were placed on her. Preceding the collapse of the Great Kushans was the fall of the western part of their empire; this occurred in the mid-third century A. D; the Sassanians occupied the land in the succeeding stages, their vassal kings ruled the territory which soon became known as the North-Eastern province. During this period, the Eastern lands of the Great Kushans, which exist beyond the Indus River, was ruled by the Later Kushans.
The Later Kushans were the Sassanians successors and exclusive with the Kushano-Sassanian. Political upheavals characterized this period; the Kushano-Sassanians and Later Kushans, ruled Gandhara, which included Taxila at different intervals. Neither of the societies controlled the kingdom at a given time; the Sassaninans invaded from Persia and took over the Great Kushana Empire during the last few days of Vasudeva I’s reign. The empire of the Sassaninas of Persia was established in A. D. 225. Ardashir, the early ruler, expanded the empire in the Eastern territories beyond his borders. Province and territories were appointed rulers. Ardashir looked to the territory of Bactria, a threat to the budding empire of the Kushans, he expanded into this region as well. Preceding this conquest, was the rise of Ardashir’s son, Shapur I, he took over other important areas and established his own rule in the occupied territories. Shapur created a new province, known as Kushan Shahr. Deputies were appointed to the remote regions of this land.
The Kushano-Sasanian rulers continued with their political upheavals as they expanded further into the newly established kingdom. Zoroastrianism become the dominant religion in the Sassanid Empire in the upper classes of society; the Sasanian society included Christians and pagan Turks. However, Zoroastrianism gained so much power and influence that it became the state religion; because Zoroastrianism was a patriarchal religion, it restricted and limited the roles of women in the Sassaninan society. Women of the Sasanian society were viewed as role models displaying good behavior. Women were expected to accept domesticity as daughters and mothers, rather than to seek out public recognition. Although women had to be obedient to men, they were allowed certain legal rights and responsibilities; these included the right to enter into contractual agreements and commercial transactions, access to their inheritance, to meet all debts, they were held responsible for the violations of the law. The Persian conception of royalty was masculine.
The Zoroastrian church did not have any female clergy. Women were always under the authority of a guardian—whether father, son, or other male relative. However, when it came time to choose a new leader, the nobles and priests would not accept as king anyone, not a member of the royal family. Therefore, two sisters ended up ruling the Sassanid Empire for a short period of time when no other members of the royal bloodline were available. In 628 AD, Khusrau II and eighteen of his sons were assassinated by one of his own sons Kavadh II, who became the successor. After only a few months, he was killed and a period of civil war broke out. Kavad's son Ardashir took the throne at a young age. Ardashir was murdered by General Sarwaraz. Sarwaraz was the first king to take the throne, not from the royal family, he was murdered. This vacancy on the throne was filled by Husrav's first daughter, Boran. No other woman, in her own rights, had ascended the Sasanian throne before. Boran and her sister were considered to be the only two legitimate heirs left of the royal family.
When Boran came to power the power of the central authority was weak due to civil wars. It was Borans' goal to once again bring stability to the empire. To accomplish this, Boran offered a peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire; this would revitalize the empire through the implementation of justice, reconstruction of the infrastructure, lowering of taxes, the minting of coins. The amazing thing is. There is nothing negative about her, related to her sex. Boran's reign is said to have been marked by benevolence, she justly to all of her subjects. She was said to be creative and energetic. Boran ordered the rebuilding of bridges made of boats in order to improve the catastrophic economic situation in the empire. Just after a year of being queen, Boran died in 631 AD, it is not known how Boran died. Many sources say she passed from natural causes, Christian sources says that she was murdered by a general seeking to be king. After Boran's death, her sister Azarmedukht succeeded the throne for a short time.
The only reason that she was able to become King of the Sasanian society was because she was of royal bloodline. Thus, Azarmedukht "possessed the main prerequisite for the sacral kingship and xwarrah to be" hers. In the Sasanian society, young women were deemed ready for marriage when they reached the age of fifteen or sometimes younger, marriage was high
Military of the Sasanian Empire
The Sasanian army was the primary military body of the Sasanian armed forces, serving alongside the Sasanian navy. The birth of the army dates back to the rise of Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Empire, to the throne. Ardashir aimed at the revival of the Persian Empire, to further this aim, he reformed the military by forming a standing army, under his personal command and whose officers were separate from satraps, local princes and nobility, he restored the Achaemenid military organizations, retained the Parthian cavalry model, employed new types of armour and siege warfare techniques. This was the beginning for a military system which served him and his successors for over 400 years, during which the Sasanian Empire was, along with the Roman Empire and the East Roman Empire, one of the two superpowers of Late Antiquity in Western Eurasia; the Sasanian army protected Eranshahr from the East against the incursions of central Asiatic nomads like the Hephthalites and Turks, while in the west it was engaged in a recurrent struggle against the Roman Empire.
In the character of their warfare, the Persians of the Sasanian period differed from their forebears under the Achaemenid kings. The principal changes which time had brought about were an entire disuse of the war chariot, the advance of the elephant corps into a prominent and important position, the increased use and pre-eminence of cavalry on the Parthian model, including both heavy cataphracts and horse-archers. Four main arms of the service were recognized, each standing on a different level: the elephants, the horse, the archers, the ordinary footmen; the number of the field armies could reach 45,000-50,000 up to 100,000-130,000, according to recent archaeological evidence on campaign bases near the Great Wall of Gorgan. In Pahlavi language, smaller divisions of the spāh were referred to as vasht and larger divisions were designated as gond; the Arabic word jund, meaning "army", is derived from the latter. Ērān Spahbed: Commander-in chief. Spāhbed: Field general. Pāygōsbān or Padhuspan: Commander of each of the four provincial divisions devised during the reign of Khosrau I.
Marzbān or Kanārang: Equivalent to margrave or commander of the border guards. Pushtigbān-sālār: Head of the royal guard. Erān anbāraghbad: Senior rank responsible for army supplies. Stor Bezashk: Senior vet who looked after the cavalry elite's mounts. Argbed: Castellan, commander of a castle or fort. Pāygān Sālār: Chief of an infantry division. Savārān Sardār: Head of a cavalry division. Gond Sālār: Commander of a gond division; the backbone of the Spâh in the Sasanian era was its heavy armoured cavalry, known since Classical antiquity in the west as Cataphracts. This was made up of noblemen who underwent extensive exercises in warfare and military manoeuvres through military training, gaining discipline and becoming true soldiers. Within the Sasanian military, the cavalry was the most influential element, Sasanian cavalry tactics were adopted by the Romans and Turks, their weaponry, battle tactics, medallions, court customs, costumes influenced their Romano-Byzantine neighbours. The Romans had long contended against opponents who fielded heavy cavalry, notably the Sarmatians and the Parthians, the recurrent wars with the Sasanian were an important factor in the Roman turn to new military organizations and battlefield tactics that centered around the use of heavy cavalry in the 3rd and 4th centuries.
The Romans called these newly formed units clibanarii. Another, more direct and quoted, etymology is the Greek word ho klibanos, which refers to a covered pot in which bread was baked or a small oven; the Roman term appears for the first time in the vita Alexandri Severi in the Historia Augusta, a work from the end of the 4th century AD. Shapur II further reformed the army by adopting more effective cavalry; these mounted. This made them look much like moving iron statues; some mace. Depictions of aforementioned cavalry still survive, with one of the best preserved ones being a rock relief at Taq-e Bostan where Khosrau II is seen riding his favourite horse, Shabdiz; the fighting equipment of the armed Sasanian horsemen were: Clibanarii/Cataphract cavalry: helmet, breastplate, gauntlet, thigh-guards sword, bowcase with two bows and two bowstrings, quiver with 30 arrows, two extra bowstrings, horse armour. The heavy cavalry was complemented by lighter cavalry, which were not made up of Sasanian, but were recruited from among their allies and supplemented by mercenary troops.
Gelani, Hephthalites and the Khazars were the main suppliers of this light- to medium-armoured cavalry. They were an essential part of the Spâh because of their speed on the battlefield, it is possible that the light cavalry were intended for the battles with the central Asiatic tribes, while the more heavy cavalry were used in encounters with Rome. In short, there were the following classes of mobile cavalry troops: Persian immortal guard Azadan nobility Aswaran: elite cavalry described as the Persian knightly caste War elephants Light cavalry: horse-archers Dehqan cavalry: Medi
The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard. Harps have been known since antiquity in Asia and Europe, dating back at least as early as 3500 BC; the instrument had great popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where it evolved into a wide range of variants with new technologies, was disseminated to Europe's colonies, finding particular popularity in Latin America. Although some ancient members of the harp family died out in the Near East and South Asia, descendants of early harps are still played in Myanmar and parts of Africa, other defunct variants in Europe and Asia have been utilized by musicians in the modern era. Harps vary globally in many ways. In terms of size, many smaller harps can be played on the lap, whereas larger harps are quite heavy and rest on the floor. Different harps may use strings of catgut, metal, or some combination. While all harps have a neck and strings, frame harps have a pillar at their long end to support the strings, while open harps, such as arch harps and bow harps, do not.
Modern harps vary in techniques used to extend the range and chromaticism of the strings, such as adjusting a string's note mid-performance with levers or pedals which modify the pitch. The pedal harp is a standard instrument in the orchestra of the Romantic music era and the contemporary music era; the earliest harps and lyres were found in Sumer, 3500 BC, several harps were found in burial pits and royal tombs in Ur. The oldest depictions of harps without a forepillar can be seen adjacent to the Near East, in the wall paintings of ancient Egyptian tombs in the Nile Valley, which date from as early as 3000 BC; these murals show an instrument that resembles the hunter's bow, without the pillar that we find in modern harps. The chang flourished in Persia in many forms from its introduction, about 4000 BC, until the 17th century. Around 1900 BC arched harps in the Iraq–Iran region were replaced by angular harps with vertical or horizontal sound boxes. By the start of the Common Era, "robust, angular harps", which had become predominant in the Hellenistic world, were cherished in the Sasanian court.
In the last century of the Sasanian period, angular harps were redesigned to make them as light as possible. At the height of the Persian tradition of illustrated book production, such light harps were still depicted, although their use as musical instruments was reaching its end; the works of the Tamil Sangam literature describe the harp and its variants, as early as 200 BC. Variants were described ranging from 14 to 17 strings, the instrument used by wandering minstrels for accompaniment. Iconographic evidence in of the yaal appears in temple statues dated as early as 500 BC One of the Sangam works, the Kallaadam recounts how the first yaaḻ harp was inspired by an archer's bow, when he heard the musical sound of its twang. Another early South Asian harp was the ancient veena; some Samudragupta gold coins show of the mid-4th century AD show the king Samudragupta himself playing the instrument. The ancient veena survives today in the form of the saung harp still played there; the harp was popular in ancient China and neighboring regions, though harps are extinct in East Asia in the modern day.
The Chinese konghou harp is documented as early as the Spring and Autumn period, became extinct during the Ming Dynasty. A similar harp, the gonghu was played in ancient Korea, documented as early as the Goguryeo period. Harps are triangular and made of wood. Strings are made of gut or wire replaced in the modern day by nylon, or metal; the top end of each string is secured on the crossbar or neck, where each will have a tuning peg or similar device to adjust the pitch. From the crossbar, the string runs down to the sounding board on the resonating body, where it is secured with a knot, it is the distance between the tuning peg and the soundboard, as well as tension and weight of the string, which decide the pitch of the string. The body is hollow, when a taut string is plucked, the body resonates, projecting sound; the longest side of the harp is called the column or pillar, though some earlier harps, such as a "bow harp", lack a pillar. On most harps the sole purpose of the pillar is to hold up the neck against the great strain of the strings.
On harps which have pedals, the pillar is a hollow column and encloses the rods which adjust the pitches, which are levered by pressing pedals at the base of the instrument. On harps of earlier design, a given string can play only a single note without retuning. In many cases this means such a harp can only play in one key at a time and must be manually retuned to play in another key. Various remedies to this limitation evolved: the addition of extra strings to cover chromatic notes, addition of small levers on the crossbar which when actuated raise the pitch of a string by a set interval, or use of pedals at the base of the instrument which change the pitch of a string when pressed with the foot; these solutions increase the versatility of a harp at the cost of adding complexity and expense. While the angle and bow harps held popularity
Taq-e Bostan means "Arch of the Garden" or "Arch made by stone" is a site with a series of large rock reliefs from the era of Sassanid Empire of Persia, carved around the 4th century AD. This example of Persian Sassanid art is located 5 km from the city center of Kermanshah, it is located in the heart of the Zagros mountains, where it has endured 1,700 years of wind and rain. Several sources were visible next to and below the reliefs and arches, some of which are now covered. Sources next to the reliefs still feed a large basin in front of the rock; the site has been turned into an archaeological park and a series of late Sasanian and Islamic column capitals have been brought together. The carvings, some of the finest and best-preserved examples of Persian sculpture under the Sassanids, include representations of the investitures of Ardashir II and Shapur III. Like other Sassanid symbols, Taq-e Bostan, its relief patterns accentuate power, religious tendencies, honor, the vastness of the court and fighting spirit, festivity and rejoicing.
Sassanid kings chose a beautiful setting for their rock reliefs along an historic Silk Road caravan route waypoint and campground. The reliefs are adjacent a sacred springs that empty into a large reflecting pool at the base of a mountain cliff. Taq-e Bostan and its rock relief are one of the 30 surviving Sassanid relics of the Zagros mountains. According to Arthur Pope, the founder of Iranian art and archeology Institute in the US, "art was characteristic of the Iranian people and the gift which they endowed the world with." The Taq-e Bostan complex comprise a rock relief standing on its own and several more reliefs associated with two rock cut arches. They illustrate the investiture ceremonies of the kings Ardashir II, Shapur II, Shapur III and Khosrau II, they depict the hunting scenes of Khosrau II. The first Taq-e Bostan relief, the oldest, is a rock relief of the crowning ceremony of Ardashir II by his predecessor Shapur II or Ahura Mazda. Researchers long debated the identities of the figures in this relief but is now ascertained that Ardashir II receives the beribboned ring - symbol of royal investiture - from his predecessor Shapur II or Ahura Mazda.
There may be a deliberate mixture of the iconography of both identities. The two main figures are standing on the fallen Roman emperor Julianus Apostata. Ardashir played an important role in his defeat during the reign of Shapur II. Exceptional within Sasanian art is the fact that this is a portrait, based on the image of Julianus Apostata as it appears on Roman coins. Ardashir II was installed as interim ruler, awaiting the coming of age of the royal heir Shapur III; the fourth figure is the god Mithra who stands on a lotus flower. He is witness to this pact. Local beliefs and Persian folk tale interpreted the scene as the victory of the first Sasanian kings on Artabanus IV, the last king of the Parthian dynasty; the Mithra figure became the visual inspiration for representations of the prophet Zoroaster. The relief panel is approx. 4.07 m wide and 3.9 m high. The smaller arch or iwan has on the upper part of the back wall two Pahlavi inscriptions identifying two royal figures as Shapur II and his son Shapur III.
They are shown facing each other. The arch's vestibule measures 6 x 5 x 3.6 meters. It has been suggested as having been built during the reign of Shapur III and some put the date of its completion at 385 AD. However, the royal crown of Shapur III does not agree with those on his coins and is closer to that of his predecessor Ardashir II, it has been argued that the texts represent an usurpation of Ardashir's relief by Shapur III. The translation of the inscriptions follows: Shapur II inscription: This is the figure of Mazda-worshipping Lord Shapur, the king of kings of Iran and Aniran, whose race is from the Gods. Son of Mazda-worshipping Lord Hormizd, the king of kings of Iran and Aniran, whose race is from the Gods, grandson of Lord Nersi, the Shahanshah. Shapur III inscription: This is the figure of Mazda-worshipping Lord Shapur, the king of kings of Iran and Aniran, whose race is from the Gods. Son of Mazda-worshipping Lord Shapur, the king of kings of Iran and Aniran, whose race is from the Gods, grandson of Lord Hormizd, the king of kings.
The figures of the two kings have been carved in low relief. Each figure is ca. 2.97 meters. Shapur II is on the right and Shapur III is on the left, their hands are placed on a long straight sword. The right hand is holding the grip and the left rests on the sheath. Both figures wear loose trousers, curled hair, a pointed beard ending in a ring; the three figures on the back wall of the large iwan are considered to represent Khosrow Parviz flanked by Ahura Mazda and Anahita. They are placed above a mounted Persian knight, thought to be Khusrow himself riding his favourite horse, Shabdiz. There is, however, no unanimity about the exact identification of this late Sasanian king; the two attending figures are sometimes considered to be a priest and a priestess, rather than the gods Ahura Mazda and Anahita themselves. One of the most impressive reliefs inside the largest grotto or ivan is the gigantic equestrian figure of the Sassanid king Khosrau II mounted on his favorite charge