The symbolic scenes of the divine investiture of the Kings is one of the most widely used themes in the art of the Ancient East that reflect the interconnectedness of politics and religion ...
The symbolic scenes of the divine investiture of the Kings is one of the most widely used themes in the art of the Ancient East that reflect the interconnectedness of politics and religion and serves to display the supreme position of the King and his divine right. The recurrence of these scenes in the art of ancient Iran indicates the use of ancient and foreign traditions by Iranians. The reason behind the Persian Kings’ appeal to this tradition is the question that, this research is going to answer based on the historical issues and political considerations. The analyses show that the Achaemenids in the face of the Ancient East, Arsacids in the faced the Greeks and Sassanians in the face of Kushan and Romans, used artistic language for their propaganda and the investiture scenes were among the most important ones. The propaganda was also used among the common people and internal rivals of the King. Accordingly, some of the Persian Kings, most notably Darius I, Ardeshir I, and Chosroes II, who had challenges in terms of legitimacy, turned to these scenes. Consequently, the iconography of the Gods in these scenes, despite being considered disgraceful in the view of the Zoroastrianism, is related to the royal custom, and should not be considered the revelation or religious heresy of the Kings.