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Illustration of Turkmen

The battle between Khusrau Parviz and Bahram Chubineh,
from a late 15th century Khamseh



Khusraw Parviz, the last Sasanian king mentioned in the Iranian national epic, the Shahnameh ('Book of kings') of Firdawsi, gained the throne when his weak father, Hormuzd, was blinded by his own brothers. Bahram Chubineh, a descendant of an earlier dynasty, was the most powerful soldier in the land and a claimant to the throne. Bahram wished to usurp Khusraw Parviz's throne, but he was eventually defeated and forced to flee to China.

The soldiers in this battle are fighting with lances and swords. At the upper right of the painting, a trumpeter blows a long horn with a bend in its shaft, a variation on the karna with a straight shaft. These trumpets and various types of kettle drums were integral to military bands that accompanied armies in battle and played in processions and other ceremonies.

Object type: painting
Description: Battle of Khusraw Parviz and Bahram Chubineh; painting, detached page from a manuscript of Nizami's Khamsa. Battle scene between the Sasanian king Khusraw Parviz and Bahram Chubina (Bahram VI). Four small columns of text both above and below image. Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper.
School/style: Turkman Style
Culture/period: Turkman dynasty
Date: 15thC (late) (ca. 1490)
Production place: Made in: Iran
Materials: paper
Technique: painted
Dimensions:
  Width: 14.8 centimetres (Image)
  Height: 20.02 centimetres (Image)
Source: British Museum number: 1925,0902,0.1



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