Persepolis Citadel with a relief of a lion
attacking a bull. (500 - 440 B.C.)
Close up of the relief in the Persepolis
Persepolis Citadel - Lion
Attacking Bull Relief
Persepolis was chosen
by Darius I as his new capital of his empire replacing Pasargadae.
All of his magnificent buildings were embellished with beautiful
sculptures. Alexander the Great burned the place detesting it.
This relief of a lion battling a
bull is seen at the ancient throne room of Darius in his palace at
Persepolis, the seat of his vast Achaemenid Empire. The lion is seen
in Persepolis as the symbol of absolute power and heroic triumph.
The bull is also a symbol of power in ancient Persia and is seen
throughout Persepolis on top of columns and guarding gates. The
magnificent palace complex at Persepolis was founded by Darius the
Great around 518 BC., although more than a century passed before it
was finally completed. Persepolis was called by the Greek historian
Diodorus Siculus "the richest city under the sun, with storehouses
filled with gold, silver, and all kinds of riches." When Alexander
the Great and his army looted and burned Persepolis in 331 B.C. they
did a very thorough job. According to the Greek historian Plutarch
Alexander carried away the treasures of Persepolis on "20,000 mules
and 5,000 camels." The Persepolis Lion and Bull Combat is important
in the study of Biblical Archaeology and the Persian Period.
Oriental Institute Excerpt
ANCIENT IRAN: Persepolis - Palace of
Darius, Facade of W Stairway, Panel with Lion-Bull Combat at S End.
Twelve columns supported the roof of the central hall from which
three small stairways descend. Reliefs on these stairways depict
servants coming up the steps carrying animals and food in covered
dishes to be served at the king's tables. On the eastern and western
doorjambs are reliefs showing the king in formal dress leaving the
palace, followed by two attendants; reliefs on the northern and
southern doorways depict the king in combat with monsters.
"The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and
Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: also the priests, to the
reign of Darius the Persian." Nehemiah 12:22
Ancient Geography, Plans, Maps - Images and Illustrations
Map of the
Persian Empire - 550-486 B.C. (Bible History Online)
Online - Ancient Persian King
Online - Ancient Persian Column Capital
Online - Persepolis Lion and Bull Combat (Biblical ...
Online - Persian King Killing Monster
Gateway of Xerxes
at Darius palace
Persian Spearman (Bible History Online)
Online - Persepolis Lion and Bull Combat
Online - Persepolis Staircase
Captivity - Persepolis
Online - The Buildings at Persepolis
Online - Persepolis Ruins
Meaning of Persepolis in Smiths Bible Dictionary
The Hall of a
Hundred Columns Relief (Persepolis)
the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
Reliefs - Ancient Persian Stone
The Bible mentions a lot regarding
4:7 - And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam,
Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto
Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the
letter [was] written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the
- But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the
fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to
build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build
unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia
hath commanded us.
- For we [were] bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our
bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings
of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house
of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a
wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
- And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the
prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And
they builded, and finished [it], according to the commandment of the
God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and
Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
Chronicles 36:23 - Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia,
All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me;
and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which
[is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? The LORD
his God [be] with him, and let him go up.
- In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing
was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and
the thing [was] true, but the time appointed [was] long: and he
understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
- Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of
heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath
charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah.
- In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his
princes and his servants; the power of Persia and
Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, [being] before him:
- They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and
meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre,
to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to
the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.
- Then ceased the work of the house of God which [is] at Jerusalem.
So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of
10:20 - Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto
thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia:
and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
- And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the
declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king
advanced him, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles
of the kings of Media and Persia?
- And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up
yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far
richer than [they] all: and by his strength through his riches he
shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
- And the next unto him [was] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish,
Meres, Marsena, [and] Memucan, the seven princes of Persia
and Media, which saw the king's face, [and] which sat the first in
- [Likewise] shall the ladies of Persia and Media say
this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed
of the queen. Thus [shall there arise] too much contempt and wrath.
- Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by
the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto
Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.
Chronicles 36:20 - And them that had escaped from the sword
carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his
sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
- Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of
Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son
27:10 - They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut
were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and
helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness.
- The ram which thou sawest having [two] horns [are] the kings of
Media and Persia.
38:5 - Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them;
all of them with shield and helmet:
- Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that
the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled,
the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia,
that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it]
also in writing, saying,
Chronicles 36:22 - Now in the first year of Cyrus king of
Persia, that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth
of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of
Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation
throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,
- And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose,
all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the
reign of Darius king of Persia.
10:13 - But the prince of the kingdom of Persia
withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief
princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of
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Bibliography on Ancient Images
The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised
by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008
Bible History Online
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