Chogan gorge


There is a very similar situation at Bishapur where outside the city built by Shapur there is a rocky valley known as the Chogan gorge, through which the River Shapur runs, and here the cliffs provide a splendid background for further carvings — which display very similar themes.

Bishapur Chogan Romans general 160+164The main opening tableau once again shows Shapur triumphing over the Romans – clearly this was the big success of his reign, the biggest triumph in Sassanid history.  But the central tableau is set amid scenes of his soldiery standing admiring his triumph –  it’s not unlike the scenes on Trajan’s column in Rome.

Bisapur Chogan gorge Shapur and Romans DSC05168Here is a detail of the central tableau, with Shapur standing by his horse, and the captured Roman kneeling before him.

Bisapur Chogan gorge handing over ring DSC05183And then there is another dedicatory scene, this time showing the God Ahura Mazda handing over the ring of authority to Bahram I  (271 – 274), the son and successor of Shapur I

Bisapur Chogan Grand tableau DSC05171Another large panel shows Bahram II, receiving the submission of the Arab tribes whose thumbs had been removed to prevent them drawing bows again. This is  a large panel curved like a modern television screen – there are hundreds of individuals portrayed.

Bishapur Chogan Romans general 160+164

And finally there is a relief with two rows of figures. At the centre is a King, possibly Shapur II looking rather bandy-legged. On one side there are his warriors, resting on their swords, while on the other side are Sassanid soldiers showing defeated rebels to the King.


On to the later carvings at Kermanshah


11th July 2017

Recent Posts