Сасанидские геммы - Борисов А.Я.
Скачать (прямая ссылка):
The art of the Sassanian Iran of the early V century distinctly reveals some new traits, namely, lack of reliefs, schematic representation of shahs, ministers and priests on coins and toreutics, partially changed iconography. These new traits, which originated already in the IV century, may be summarized as follows:
Individual characteristics clearly seen in the preceeding group of portrait seals are effaced. The portrait becomes a standardized, so to say «idealized», abstract effigy of a statesman or magus.
Standardization and simplification become also apparent in different details of the portrait, particularly in rendering the details of costume.
Additional decorative elements (spread wings, a border along the lower edge of the busts,
astral symbols in the field of the seal, etc.) are introduced.
The investiture insignia also suffer changes (absence of kulahs as a distinguishing feature
of a certain group of seals 2).
Since many of the foregoing motifs are accurately datable, the general tendency of the
portrait development and paleography of inscriptions permit dating the seals under study
from the IV—V centuries 3.
At the close of the V century an internal economical crisis in Iran resulted in a revolt or
peasants and town paupers under the leadership of a priest Masdak. After quelling the revolt
the shattered throne felt a great need in proclaiming the antiquity, lawfulness, indisputable
rights of the dynasty and stability of the set order 4.
A peculiar «renaissance» of the early Sassanian official portrait was a manifestation ot this need. It may be examplified by a famous seal, bearing the portrait of Mahan and inscription .
An analysis of the investuture insignia of the portrait shows the revival of the early bassa man characteristics. The legend (palimpsest) on the seal reads:
1 For analogies in toreutics, coins, reliefs ami stuccoes see pp. 14 16.
2 For analogies see pp. 17—19. „Г.-.|1П_
3 In the Catalogue the seals are systematized according to themes and within each subject ^ P
to dates. For seals with official portrait see pp. 20—22. Ibid. Analogies are indicated.
4 R. N. Frye. Parthian and Sassanian History since World War I. Diogenes, Ho 2 , iJt>i •
6 E. Herzfeld. Paikuli. Berlin, 1924, v. I, p. 81.
«Malian, trusting in gods and..............................................................
hi? possessions (from) by piety-guided Hosrov: Mahan...........................................
................and eunuch and councillor of the court und «head of landowners» (of district)
Apshat (?) Hosrov, let him be happy!».
The subject of the inscription and its paleographic characteristics permitted to attribute the seal to the reign of Hosrov I. The author, having ai hisj disposal a considerable number of Sassanian seals reliably datable from iconography, style, and legends, was able to carry out studies into paleography inscriptions.
A decisive argument in this case was a similarity in characters of inscriptions engraved on hard materials (rock inscriptions, legends on coins, inscriptions on toreutics) to the ductus used on seals. Thus, at present one may speak about a uniform «lapidary» style of all inscriptions under study and the author succeeded to follow a regular transformation of characters in numerous objects.
An account on the paleography of inscriptions of the «lapidary» style of the III—VII centuries is given on pages 55—65.
At present it becomes possible to date the seals irrespectively of themes, merely on the basis of paleography of inscriptions and we assume that within each of the subject group the seals bearing no inscriptions, but similar as to their technique and style of representation, may be datable iroin the same time as the seals with inscriptions.
This principle has been observed in the present Catalogue.
The problem of dating the Sassanian seals is directly correlated to the dating of the so-called Parthian Seals executed in a peculiar «stressed» manner 4 But the iconography and style of the latter approximate to the «Sassanian official portrait». Very often the inscriptions they bear are paleographically datable from the VI—VII centuries and this late date is confirmed by some archaeological findings, first of all by 23 intaglios executed in the above-described manner (from the Zoroastrian burials excavated in the district of Bairam Ali, Turkmenian SSR). These seals are dated by 90 specimens of copper and silver coins of the late Sassanian shahs.
Thus the author considers the seals executed in «stressed» manner as a cheap mass production, engraved on cheap stones (the overwhelming majority of some museum collections, known to the author, consists of such seals). They were widely spread over large territories where dominated the same ideological concepts, namely in Iraq, Syria, Caucasus, Central Asia, etc.