Court Official

359-338 B.C.; Iranian, Achaemenid Dynasty; Limestone.The palace of Darius the Great was restored by Artaxerxes III by the addition of a western staircase with relief representations of dignitaries from the twenty-six subject states of the empire bearing gifts to the "king of kings." Each foreign group is led by a Persian official holding a staff. This relief illustrates such a marshall wearing the Persian headdress and robe with a dagger thrust into the belt. His left hand once grasped that of the leader of the next delegation. In front of him a fragment of the garment of another envoy survives. This late relief, flatter and more linear than those of the reigns of Darius and Xerxes, nonetheless still conveys the power and refinement of the Achaemenid court. Text and images courtesy The Detroit Institute of Arts.

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