The Tragically Persian

We’ve all heard of the famous Roman sculpture ‘The Dying Gaul.’
How many know about ‘The Dying… Persians?’
Note the distinctive Persian facial mustache, eyes, Iranian cap and pantaloons.

These Roman copies of a figures killed in battle belong with the similar-sized series that includes the ‘Dying Gaul.’  The heads are copied from an original group of figures put up by King Attalos I in Pergamon or Delphi. The originals are dated around 200 BCE. The Persians — traditional imperial overlords of the Athenians were the contemporary rulers of Greek Ionia, conquered under Cyrus the Great in the 5th century BCE. Note the distinctive Persian facial hair, eyes, Iranian caps and pantaloons.

[Museum of Classical Archaeology, Marble Dying Persian, 2nd cent. A.D. Roman copy of 2nd cent B.C. Greek bronze Athena Parthenos, from the Temple of Athena at Pergamon, A marble head depicting a Dying Persian. 2nd century CE Roman copy of a Greek 3rd century BCE original. From the Domus Tiberiana, Rome.
(Forum Museum, Rome)]
Original: c.200 BCE
Found on the Palatine Hill, Rome, in 1867

Marble sculpture depicting a dying Persian warrior. Hellenistic Civilisation, 4th-1st century BC. Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale

A. Darius Kamali

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