Persian armoured cavalry in the

Sassanid Rock Relief of Bahram II at Naqsh-i Rustam



Photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA, picture source

Rock-relief of Bahrām II (r.274-291AD) at Naqš-e Rostam in Fārs, Iran
A double register rock-relief of Bahrām II at Naqš-e Rostam in Fārs depicts the king overcoming two enemies; in the top panel the adversary wears a Roman plumed helmet, in the lower panel the foe wears headgear shaped as an animal's head. Bivar (1972, pp. 279-80) has convincingly argued that the double scenes symbolizes Bahrām's claim of victory over both Carus and Hormozd Great Kušānšāhānšāh.
A. D. H. Bivar, "Cavalry equipment and tactics on the Euphrates frontier," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 26, 1972.
Source: NAQŞ-E ROSTAM, Encyclopaedia Iranica



A relief, sculptured at Naqš-e Rostam (below the tomb of Darius the Great), pictures an equestrian combat commemorating Bahrām's victory over two unidentified foes, one of whom is prostrate under the king's horse, and the other is being unhorsed by a blow from the king's lance. Directly above this relief is carved another equestrian combat where a prince, probably Bahrām Sakān Şāh, is depicted as victor over two adversaries, one already fallen and the other being unhorsed. The two reliefs have been interpreted as illustrating, allegorically, Bahrām's wars with Emperor Carus and Hormozd Kūšān Şāhān Şāh (A. D. H. Bivar, "Cavalry Equipment and Tactics on the Euphrates Frontier," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 26, 1972, pp. 279ff.). However, while the reference to the Romans may well be accepted, Hormozd Kūšān Şāhān Şāh must be excluded on account of chronology and the fact that Hormozd, the younger brother of Bahrām II, was not king of the Kūšāns
Source: Bahrām II, Encyclopaedia Iranica




Referenced as figure 51 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
51. Rock-relief, "Fallen Kushan (?)," Triumph of Bahrām II, late 3rd century AD, Sassanian, in situ, Naqsh-i Rustam (Pope).
See Khūd Helmets by David Nicolle, an extract from The military technology of classical Islam



See also Persian armoured cavalry in the Sassanid Rock Relief of Shapur II at Naqsh-i Rustam
Other Persian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers