Zarrinkafsch-Bahman
Zarrinkafsch-Bahman
The Coat of Arms of the Zarrinkafsch-Bahman family.
The coat of arms depicts in blue on a silver rock resting on green ground, a lying silver lion, across its back a golden rising sun. The shield is covered by a lion skin and topped by a golden crown around a red headgear. The coat of arms was inspired by the old royal Persian emblem with a crouching lion, but instead of the golden royal lion it was replaced by a silver coloured one, to distingiush the Zarrinkafsch-Bahman line from the line of the Royal House. Also the lion still lies and does not hold any sword in its paw like the later Qajar one. It was created in commemoration of the several marriages with the Qajar Dynasty.
The Iranian Heraldry: A Research about the History of the Qajar Coat of Arms and the Forgotten Tradition of Iranian Heraldic Art in Persia
by Arian K. Zarrinkafsch-Bahman
When I met for the first time Ferydoun Barjesteh, the vice-president of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA) and editor-in-chief of the annual Qajar Journal, and his wife Dr. Sahar Barjesteh-Khosravani at the family gathering in the Netherlands 2002, I recognized that they wore, just like me, signet rings showing their coat of arms. I asked myself if these rings are just fashionable acessories acquired from the Europeans to express our aristocratic lineages, or does there exist an own Iranian tradition in having coat of arms? We are not European so why should we imitate European style of noble attitudes! It was (and still is) very popular in European dynasties and old families to show nobility and high social position by wearing such signet rings.
In Iran, as everywhere else in the world, it was an old tradition to mark something with a special sign to make sure to whom it belongs or to seal documents, officials or non-officials. Thus, naturally everyone had his own seal.[1] But did there also exist special symbols of a common group like a family, tribe or social community? Because of this question I decided to write an article about Iranian heraldry.
Fig. 1
Achaemenidian signet rings
of Persian dignitaries,
dated 4th century BC.
Left a battle scene between
a Persian and a Barbarian,
right a mythological animal.
Hermitage Museum, Saint
Petersburg.[2]
Beside the well-known and famous crown jewels, the Imperial crown and the coronation throne (the so called "Peacock Throne"), also the symbol of the lion and the sun (shir-o-khorshid) belongs to the regal attire and the imperial image of the Persian court, especially in the Qajar era.[3] Later this royal or regal symbol became also the emblem of the Royal House itself and the Imperial Family as well as it became symbol of the state and land of Iran. It even survived the Qajar dynasty but with the Pahlawi's downfall it became finally a symbol of Iran's absolute monarchy when damned and replaced by the Islamic revolution in 1979.
In the 19th century, different versions of the lion-and-sun emblem became coat of arms of several provincial cities [4] in Iran, as well as families close to the Qajar royal house adopted these symbols, too.
Fig. 2
Arms of the cities
of Tabriz, Shiraz,
Isfahan and Qum.
But where can we find the traditional roots of that so called "heraldry" in Qajar time and over that; it is again an adaption to a European model or something genuine Iranian?
Indeed the Iranian heraldry has a quite older history than the European and is probably based in the time of the fifth century BC, when once more, Indo-Iranian (Aryan) nomads were coming on horsebacks out of the inner-Asian steppes and Transoxania to migrate and settle down in the region north of nowadays Iran. Those Iranian peoples did not only bring their religion and myths to the country, the base of the future popular Persian legends[5], but also social and strategic innovations. Their tribal leaders of a well trained and heavy armoured cavallery became in future times the top of a stringent classified feudal aristocracy. To be recognized also by friends and enemies during the war times behind their armours, but also to ask heaven for help, those commanders would mark their weapons with special signs. That was what the princes from the Iranian People of the Scyths (Sakes) did. They marked at first their shields with animal symbols, maybe as an apotropaecial symbol of protection. Later such holy animals functioned as arms of each dynasty. The Scyths had contact to the Achaemenidian Empire and did not converted to the monotheism of Zarathustra's new religion like the Persians did, but kept their old faith, believing in old Iranian godheads and spirits. The leaders of these esquerian armies in northern Iran entreated their gods and guardian spirits for assistance in battle by decorating themselves and their horses with images of family totems or gods' symbols.[6] But the Scyths took over from the Achaeminians the shape and kind of their own shields, covered with animal decorations as well. In this way this apotropean animal became the weapon by being fixed to the shield very clearly and by being well visibly carried in front into the battle.
Fig. 3 and 4
Golden fish on a Scythian
shield and golden shield
bulge with bulls, lions, rams,
panthers and goats, 500 BC,
found in a Scythian prince's
tomb near Vettersfelde,
eastern Germany.
Fig. 5
A shield of the Persian
guard with the same type
of shield bulge, Persepolis,
Apadana of Darius.
Fig. 6
Golden dagger's sheath with
the same animals. Most of the
depicted animals were also
hunted and probably dedicated
to some nature gods, but the
fish could have been the holy
animal of the prince's dynasty
like a heraldic emblem.
Especially the Scyths from the Black Sea coast show this tradition. So during the Migration of the People, the Iranian Alanes left their home at the Black Sea in the fifth century AD and came to Western Europe, where they finally settled near Orléans and in Spain. In the second half of the 12th century AD, heraldry, as we know it today, found origin in this region of France and was exported by the Flemish all over Europe in the Middle Ages. This suggests the possibility, that the tradition of European heraldry could be brought to Europe by the Alanes and started in old Iranian faith.[7]
To look for the roots of heraldry in Iran we also have to take a look at the history of flags, because there is a close connection between both of them and most state arms of the world appear as a badge on their flags, too.[8] Although the first recorded flag of Iran was the apron of the blacksmith Kava who led according to legends in mythological time the resistance to king Zahak, other standards and flags must have been in use before them.[9] Indeed the probably oldest flag known to archaeology was found on the site of Khabis, East Iran, in 1972, and dates back five thousand years. It is a metal standard, with a finial in the form of a spread eagle and a square field incised with religious or mythological motifs. The eagle finial is similar to those used in modern German or American flags; and Iran's own modern national symbol, the lion and sun, figures in the field's design.[10]
Fig. 7
Iranian metal flag, in which two
lions and a sun were incised
among other mythological
emblems. Khabis, 3000 BC.
In Iran's ancient times animals were not only objects of hunting but also responsible for personal protection. This is proved by the fact that animals' figures were not only engraved in seals to use for practical purpose but also used as amulets and shown on vexilloids and flags the same way. It seems that the popularity of such animals as personal signs has got close connections to warriordom, because several animal figures have been worn as helmet decorations, and knightly warriors identified themselves with their animals.[11]
Very popular were certain symbols of those special holy animals dedicated to a single god. Often the gods were incarnated in these animals and according to myths they walked on earth to help men in these personifications.
Fig. 8
Sasanian seals showing some
holy animals of Iranians like the
horse, eagle and ram.
British Museum, London.[12]
According to Avesta[13] the same animals, horse, ram and also boar are forms of the divine spirit Verethragna, engaged in the conflict between Good and Evil. The boar that kills with a single stroke the objects of veneration and sacrificed in the hunt was Mithra's avenger who punished liars.[14] The horse even stood for God Ahura Mazda, the "Wise Lord", the world's creator anf highest god, it was the holy Persian animal and mostly honoured since the Achaemenians. The eagle was the symbol of the divine lady Anahita, mistress of heaven and of fertility. Thus, these animals could be use as emblems by whom who felt close to their divine personifications. For instance, the royal family in Sasanian time wore headresses and helmets crowned by protomes of these animals as seen on several coins and metalwork.[15]
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Fig. 9
Fig. 9
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Antinoe silk, a standing ram,
7th century. Museé Historique
des Tissus, Lyon.
Fig. 10
Boar's head fragment, from
Fig. 10
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Astana, Soghdian, Transoxania,
7th century. National Museum,
New Dehli.
Fig. 11
Silver coin of Shah Bahram II.
Queen Shapuhrdukhtat and
the crown prince wear animal
decorations at their hats. Iran,
Sasanian, 3rd century.
The British Museum, London
Fig. 11
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Thus in Sasanian time (224-652 AD) the soldiers at first practice the same traditions than the Scyths before and perhaps the Achaemenians, too. They decorated their shields and helmets with divine symbols of protection. But beginning with the Sasanian rulership in Fars and their conquest of the whole Parthian Empire, the dynasties changed with a renovation in warfare, too. The light armed Parthian horsemen were defeated by heavy armoured Sasanian cataphract cavallery. In Sasanian time society based on a feudal system. That means that the vassals had to serve for their liege in war and paid their weapons with a part of their fief's yield. This system made possible that the soldiers were ready to move into war at any time, had an expensive equipment and could be totally covered by armour, like European knights. But now there was no possibility to identify them. Because of this non-recognisability the armours also were surfaced with special marks and signs to recognize the knights under it (often members of the royal family or higher nobility). Thus, shields were painted with figures sometimes. But quite often special symbols (gods or animals) appeared on helmets, banners or flags, not only in a religious context as before, but to mark their bearer actually.[16]
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Fig. 12
"The Knight in the Great Grotto":
Half-plastical sculpture of Shah
Khosrow II.,Taq-e Bostan, Iran,
Sasanian 7th century.
This sculpture makes clear that
the Sasanian knights looked
pretty much like their European
counterparts six centuries later.[17]
Fig. 12
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Fig. 13
Fig. 13
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"The Battle of Firuzabad": This
relief shows the battle of Arda-
shir I. and his son Shapuhr I.
with the Parthian Artabanos IV.
Firuzabad, Iran, Sasanian 230
AD. The helmets of the Sasanian
warriors are decorated with special
signs which also surfaced their
armoured horses.[18]
[18]
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Ferdowsi says in his half-narrative half-historical based Persian national epic Shahnameh ("Book of the Kings") that each noble Iranian family had fought under its own animal or emblem.
[19] As well as every single Sasanian king used his own individual shape of crown, which was decorated with special signs dedicated to the single god the king felt close to or by whom he felt provided with power[20], the noble families of the empire used these special divine signs as symbols for their own houses, too. So everyone could recognize both; the king by his special crown on a coin e.g., and the family by its banner with the special sign or coat of arms, respectively. According to Ferdowsi these banners were put in front of the commander's tent when the families served in war.[21] So there might be relations between the Iranian holy animals (e.g., horse for the Persians, goose for the Soghdians) and these heraldic animals.[22]
[19]
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Different miniatures show vividly battle scenes between Iran and her enimies. The banners of the parties were descriptived flattering in the wind.
On a miniature of the famous Shahnameh version by Shah Tahmasp (r.1524-1555), we can see Prince Forud who confronts the Iranians.[23] The Iranians make war with Turan and march against Forud's fortress Kalat. The hero Tus is the Iranian lord and leader and rides in front of his troops. Next to him one of his knights carries Tus' banner: on green a golden elephant as his device. On another version, made in the reign of the Timurid prince Baysonghor, you can see a battle scene showing Rostam and the Khaqan of Tshin (i.e., king of China).[24] The artist depicted each army with its own banner. The Chinese standard shows in vermilion a golden dragon with a golden phoenix, the old popular Chinese emblem. The Persian standard shows on white ground the Simourgh, the mythological female phoenix-bird. It is the banner of Rostam, king of Zabolistan and Iran's vassal and greatest warrior, which also appears on the hero's quivers.[25]
[23]
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The Simourgh had often helped Rostam's family and so became here its symbol likely.
Fig. 14 a. and 14 b.
Fig. 14 a.
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14 b.
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Two Iranian banners showing
their bearers' devices:
a. Foroud confronts the Iranians,
miniature of the Shah-Tahmasp-
Manuscript, Tabriz ca. 1520-1530.
b. Rostam lassoes the Khaqan of
Tshin, miniature in the Baysonghori-
Manuscript, Herat 1430.
These two pictures are both examples that there indeed has existed an Iranian heraldic tradition in pre-islamic time, which also turns up in Persia's art of Muslim time, even if it is restricted in descriptions of legendary family arms like here. But they are based nevertheless on historical examples.
But now the question is what happened to it after the downfall of the Sasanian Empire?
With the Islamic inroad of the Arabs into Iran in the seventh century the old symbols disappeared in the same way as the ancient religion was driven out and superseded. Thus, under Islam and its strict refusal of any figurative image, Iran went a new way, and this former kind of religious inspired "heraldry" was not carried on furthermore for the next centuries. Since Islam has strong injunctions against the representations of living things, such decorations are rare in the early time and are more common to Persian than Arab traditions. As might be expected, Muslim flags and seals rely on graphic design and calligraphy rather than on the beasts and flowers which tend to predominate before in Iran, respectively. During the crusades the Muslim soldiers put different coloured cloths at their lances to differ themselves from the Christian knights.[26] So Islamic strictures against representational art encourage the development on flags of abstract patterns and calligraphic design in embroidery, appliqué, or painting. Moreover the Arabs seemed to have invented the concept of associating specific colours with dynasties and individual leaders. This latter concept very gradually became the basis for all modern flag designs. The prophet Mohammad at least used two flags, one white and another black.[27] The colour green was the colour of Mohammad's Kureish tribe and became the colour of his own family, lately most popular as the flag of the House of Ali and the symbol of the Shiites. The Abbasid Caliphs, who originated from and had their headquarters in Persia, used a black flag.[28]
[26]
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Later in Islamic times the seals showed phrases from Holy Koran or the bearer's name in Arabic letters, but sometimes figural seals were used again.
Fig. 15 and 16
Islamic seals from the
14th century. A rare
seal depicting a lion
(left),
one with the name
and titles of the Timurid
emir Miran Shah (right).
Hermitage Museum, Saint
Petersburg.[29]
Fig. 15
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16
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Nevertheless under Muslim rulership in the region of the former Persian Empire with the renaissance of Iranian culture traditional arms were also used as figurative remarkable symbols of their bearers. For instance, the eagle (later known as "Eagle of Saladin") was used as coat of arms by the Seljuq sultans and then assumed by most of the modern Arabic states. In ancient Persia this animal was the personification of the divine glory. However, the most used animal emblem was the lion. The Avesta book says, the lion is the symbol of warlike and destroying power.[30] For the old Persians it was the day's power of sun which drove away the darkness of night.[31] Lion and sun "...refer to ancient symbols of royal lineages and divinity; the sun (is) a symbol of solar deities and..solar lineages.."[32] Both also are ancient symbols of royalty as the sun is the ruler of heaven and the lion is ruler of the animals. In all cultures the lion as ruler of the animals also represented the king as ruler of men.[33] In Persepolis there are antique Persian sculptures showing a lion in battle with a bull. It shows the old combat between day and night or light and darkness.
[30]
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Fig. 17
Fig. 17
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Persepolis, relief from the
Apadana of Darius the Great.
Thus, there still is an early connection between lion and sun in Iran. And these symbols are the most used in the art we can call modern Iranian "heraldry".[34] The double-symbol of lion and sun itself has astrological references to the constellation of Leo and its ascendary when the sun is in Leo.[35]
When the zodiac of Leo is in sun, appearing in summertime in the Persian month of Mordad (July/August), the Lion as a term for "sun" and "summer" becomes a symbol of the growing power of flora and fauna, of nature's rejuvenation, of rebirth or recarnation and finally of immortality, too. Actually, this is the meaning of the term Mordad. The Pahlavi form of this word is "Ameretat", the name of an old Iranian deity who supports all plant life and represents immortality. 'Mer' or 'Mar' (marg in modern Persian) means death, ‘a’ at the beginning of any word changes the meaning into the opposite, and 'tat' (dad- in modern Persian) is the principal form of the verb dadan "to give". Thus, 'A-mere-tat' gives no death, that means immortality.
This meaning of power und immortality we can also found in the lion as a religious emblem of nowadays. In Christianity the 'Lion of Judaea' means Jesus Christ according to John's Apocalypse 5,5. In Islam one name of Ali, Prophet Mohammad's nephew and son-in-law, the fourth caliph and first Imam of the Shiites, is 'Lion of God' (Asadollah). Both men were martyrs and both men were symbols for devine faith and devine immortality. Thus, this old and ancient symbol keeps its symbolism until today in our modern religions!
[34]
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Fig. 18
Persian pottery dish with the
twelve signs of the zodiac,
dated 1563. Here the
constellation Leo appears
as lion and sun emblem.[36]
Islamisches Museum, Berlin.
Fig. 18
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[36]
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According to an old Iranian tale the symbol was created in 1600 by the Safavid Shah Abbas I (1587-1629), when he conquered Armenia and combined the Armenian heraldic lion with Persia's sun emblem.
In his paper Tarikh-e shir-o khorshid - The History of "The Lion and the Sun", Sayyed Ahmad Kasravi states that this tale does not base on any historical fact. Once, there are coins with the lion and sun emblem in much more earlier times in Persia. Twice, Armenia lost its independence before Shah Abbas' reign.[37]
[37]
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At first the unificated lion and sun emblem appeared as a regal symbol in the thirteenth century AD when the Seljuqs ruled as sultans over Iran. Before, both elements were used and had a traditional history descripted by poets like Ferdowsi and Nizami. The legend says that in the year of the Hejjra 637 (1240 AD), Sultan Ala od-Din Kay Kobad passed away and Khajas od-Din Kay Khosrow became his successor. He married the daughter of a Georgian prince, and he was so in love with this Christian princess, that he ordered to mint the princess' portrait next to him on coins. But the wise men and religious leaders came to the sultan and said, his wish seemed to be a sin. But the sultan answered, instead, they should mint a lion with a long mane, that is the sultan. The sun, which is rising above his head, is the woman he loves. Also this constellation shows his horoscope and since this time lion and sun should be Persia's symbols.[38]
[38]
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Anyway, since the 1240's the Seljuqs minted coins with this symbol and it became the arms of Persia. This shows that the emblem still exists before the time of Shah Abbas. (It is a funny thing that through all centuries the sun still bears a human woman's face allthough in Iran the sun was male, actually! Maybe the reason for this is an old legend...)
Fig. 19
The first coin with the Persian
emblem, a silver dirham of Kay
Khosrou ibn Kay Kobad, minted
at Siwas, 1240.
Fig. 19
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Fig. 20
Fig. 20
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The last type of such coins,
a ten Rial of Muhammad Reza
Pahlavi, minted at Tehran, 1957.
Actually this type of coins was
minted again in modern Iran 
during Muhammad Shah Qajar's
reign (1834-1848).
Up from this time depictions of the lion-and-sun emblem are recorded on several coins minted by various dynasties.[39] 1314 by the Il-Khan Oljaitu Mohammad Khodabandeh (1305-1316), and 1316-1335 by his son and successor Abu Said.[40] Also the Timurid[41] and Mughal dynasties acquired the emblem and it appeared on several banners and buildings as a symbol of power. The rulers of the Aq-Qoyunlou dynasty minted coins with the lion and sun emblem, too.[42]
[39]
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Fig. 21 and 22
Tileworks with two examples
of the Persian emblem,
13th[43]and 16th century[44].
Fig. 21
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22
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Not only the Seljuqs had used the Persian lion for their arms but also other rulers in the former Iranian region adopted such symbols of dynasty and royal power in the time of the Seljuqs. E.g., the coat of arms of the Shirvan-Shahs shows two pairs of lions face to face[45] as it is depicted at the minaret of the Djuma Mosque at Baku. The same lions in chains appears in a carpet, produced before 1450[46], and dedicated to Qara Yusuf Khan Qara-Qoyunlu, who defeated the Shirvan-Shah between 1405 and 1410 at Tabriz. Here the heraldic emblem of the former shah was changed and by the way depreciated to show the superpower of his Turkoman conqueror and sucessor.[47]
[45]
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Fig. 23
Detail from the minaret
of the Djuma Mosque at
Baku, Azerbaidjan, shows
the arms of the Shirvan-
Shahs.
Fig. 23
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Fig. 24
Fig. 24
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The Art Institute of Chicago:
Chicago No. 1926.1617.
The same type of heraldic
lions in chains on a carpet,
probably the audience carpet
of the Qara-Qoyunlu dynasty.
(Detail)
Another example for heraldry in the Iranian region is the so called Amida-carpet.[48] In this carpet the heraldic emblems of two dynasties in Kurdistan were unified. At one hand the emblem of Abu al-Qasem Nisanid of Amida and at the other, the emblem of Qara Aslan Orthokid of Hisn-Kaifa.
[48]
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[49] The emir Abu al-Qasem Ali (died 1178) of the Nisanidian dynasty subjugated Amida (Diyarbakir), Kurdistan, in 1165. A relief at the entrance of the Ulu Djami at Diyarbakir even shows a lion fighting with a bull, the heraldic emblem of the Nisanidian dynasty. The lion was the symbol of Emir Ali, the bull stood for the city of Amida. This image also refers to the old Persian mythological depictions when day wins over night.[50] During 1170 to 1184 the Nisadinians also possessed Hisn-Kaifa and the short winged and crossed dragonheads of the Orthokidian predecessor appear on the carpet, too. The same image appears at the entrance of the Aleppo citadel, which once had belonged to the Orthokidian fief.
[49]
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Fig. 25
Fig. 25
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The Amida-carpet depicting
the emblem of the Nisanidian
Abu al-Qasem of Amida and
his heraldic emblem at the
entrance of Ulu-Djami at
Diyarbekir, built in 1165.
(Detail)
Fig. 26
Fig. 26
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The emblem of the Orthokidians
at the same carpet and heraldic
emblem of the Orthokidian Qara
Aslan at the entrance of citadel
of Aleppo.
(Detail)
During the Safavid era (1501-1722), Shiism became the national religion and the Safavid shahs tried to legitimate their rulership at first by religion and their descent of the Imams.[51] So we can find rather less depictions, references and connections to other figurative symbols of sovereignty and power in Iran during this period than before or after but in other centres of Iranian culture like Mughal India or Uzbek Transoxania.
[51]
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Nevertheless there are many copper coins of Safavid time showing the emblem. After Shah Ismail (1501-1524) and Shah Tamasp (1524-1576), who did not use the emblem because they thought it show the shah's horoscope and were both not born in Leo, it again appeared on many copper coins with Shah Abbas I. He, who was born in the sign of Virgin, did not care about an astrological meaning, minted, among others, the lion-sun on coins and made the symbol again popular. The same did his successors until the Afghan invasion.[52] But the regal insignia on copper coins is not yet comparable with that we call today a coat of arms. Although, according to Hinz in a French book about the Persian envoy of Shah Hossein Soltan to king Louis XIV of France 1715 the lion and sun emblem is depicted as Persia's banner, there are no more reports by European travellers or foreign envoys concerning the arms.[53] Also J. Chardin says in his very popular travel reports about Persia nothing about this banner, but only that the Persians used flags with Koranic inscriptions or the "Sword of Ali", the famous zul-faqar.[54] It is the sword of the Prophet's son-in-law which split when being drawn from its sheath, but with magical powers. So the lion and sun emblem was not regarded as an arms or symbol of sovereignty of Iran by the Safavids like it was by the later Qajars, but more as an insignia of regal rights for minting coins to demonstrate the superpower of their rulership.
[52]
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In medieval Iran people almost did not bear a surname and men were called after their tribe they belong to. The tribes' names based on heroic ancestors, their bearers' original residences or occupation. Like that, family coats of arms in the common sense, like we know it today, usually did not exist. Divided in subtribes and clans sometimes tribal or clan symbols appear to sign a special branch.[55]
[55]
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The early Qajars, named after a certain ancestor called Qajar Noyan, were also divided in subtribes named after their residences, Ashaqah-bash ("the downstream settlers") and Yukhari-bash ("the upstream settlers"). Both Qajar subtribes were after that also divided in several clans and the principal lineages of both were the Quvanlu and Davalu [56], so named after their profession their herds became their symbols, visibly and literally.
[56]
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But with the Qajars' assumption to the Persian throne and the coronation of Agha Mohammad Khan and later Fath Ali Shah, it became again necessary to create an imperial attire like in ancient time. Again the rulers used the old Persian emblem (as well as they used again a crown and a throne, in opposite to their Islamic predecessors). So they emphasized that the Qajars were the right successors of the Iranian Empire and made the lion and sun symbol to their own. After the Afshar and Zand rulers did not use the emblem it was officially taken first as the Qajar symbol of nationality and then became the state's arms. Fath Ali Shah sent a flag with Iran's arms to Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, as a gift. This flag shows on black cloth (velvet) the stitched and embroided standing golden lion with a sword in his right paw and the sun across its back. Also Gaspar de Ville, a French in Iranian military service 1812-1813, described the royal coat of arms as a lion with a sword in its paw and a sun across its back before a blue background. The same type was used as a standard in battle by Fath Ali Shah's son and crown prince Abbas Mirza 'Nayeb os-Saltaneh' as commander-in-chief. Diba states in her book Royal Persian Paintings that "...According to Drouville, banners and standards in the Persian army were replaced with ones of European type after the review of Persian regular troops at Ujan in 1813." [57]
[57]
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Fig. 27
Fig. 27
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The Battle of Prince Abbas
Mirza with Russian Troops,
Iran 1815-16.
Oil on canvas, 230 x 396 cm
Hermitage Museum, Saint
Petersburg.
In Qajar time (1785-1925) the royal emblem appears on many objets d'art, like dishes, jewels, tilework and buildings. In his book La Perse (Paris 1841) Louis Debeux says on p. 462 that the Persian banner shows a lion lying before a rising sun. This coat appears on flags and the walls of castles, as well as on the Imperial order.[58] To create an order of honour, Fath Ali Shah founded the Order of the Lion and the Sun (nishan-e shir-o khorshid) in 1808. According to the flag, the order shows the emblem as well. At first two variations were commonly used. The standing lion with a sword in his paw was used for military division and the passive, reclining lion for the civil division. Later only the standing type was used as we know it today. The creation of this order, likewise using the emblem as decoration, should help to create the royal image and constitute monarchy's all-presence. Finally lion and sun appear as a component in royal paintings, e.g. on a portrait of Prince Mohammad Mirza, later Mohammad Shah, showing the prince in front of a red curtain covered with repeating badges of the lion and the sun.[59]
[58]
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Fig. 28
Fig. 28
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Golden coin from the reign
of Agha Mohammad Shah
with the lion-and sun emblem.
Iran, 1796.
Fig. 29
Golden dish with the royal
Iranian emblem of the lion
and sun, presented by the 
Persians to the East India
Company. Signed by
Muhammad Jafar,
Tehran 1817-1818.[60]
Fig. 29
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[60]
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Fig. 30
Order of the Lion and Sun,
offered to the East India
Company's envoy by Fath
Ali Shah Qajar, 1828.[61]
Fig. 30
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[61]
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Fig. 31
Fig. 31
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Portrait of Mohammad Shah
Qajar as Crown Prince[62]
[62]
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Fig. 32
Fig. 32
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Tilework at the fassade of
Shams ol-Emareh Palace,
Tehran[63]built in 1860.
[63]
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Fig. 33
Fig. 33
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Tilework of Naranjestan
Palace portal, Shiraz[64]
[64]
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built in 1881 by Ebrahim
Khan-e Qavvam.
Fig. 34
Fig. 34
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The emblem with a standing
lion with the sword and the
plumed Qajar crown.[65]
This type was also used on coins
since Mohammad Shah's reign.[66]
[65]
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The emblem changed over time from a lion lying on the ground and a rising sun with a human face above its back, to a lion standing and holding a sword in its right paw and a sun above its back. We can see the different types and the development of the emblem very well above.
The sword in the right paw of the lion appeared in the sixteenth or seventeenth century, and is now identified as that of Ali, the zul-faqar. In fact, the sabre held by the lion has today a normal shape[67] but there still exist other depictions. The Safavids introduced the sword as part of their Shiite-religious and national symbols and it is fairly recent.[68]
[67]
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At first both types of emblems were used commonly in Fath Ali Shah's reign. The standing armed lion as an 'active' symbol represented military spheres. It appeared on the war banner and also represented the person of the Shah. The Denesh-nameh bozorg-e Iran says that in 1846 this type was proclaimed the official emblem of Iran by Mohammad Shah Qajar. The reclining and 'passive' lion represented civil spheres and was in use until Nasser od-Din Shah as a symbol of the sovereignty and the country of Iran. Finally the Qajar crown (Taj-e Kiani) was put at the top. With the Pahlawis, who adopted the emblem, only the crown changed from the Qajar crown to the Pahlawi crown.
In the time of Nasser od-Din Shah (r. 1848-1896) it became necessary to renovate the style of the emblem again. It appeared now only in the style of the (former military and 'active') standing lion-and-sun type with the sword and was used as the officially symbol of the state. Generally the lion always faces left and holds the sword in its right paw. However, in a painting at the Royal Collection at St James, entitled 'Review in Windsor's Great Park in Honour of the Shah of Persia, 24th June, 1873', signed N. Chevalier and dated 1877, there is a depiction of the Imperial Standard of Persia, raised in honour of Nasser od-Din Shah, depicting the lion facing right not left, with the sun above its back as usual topped by a plumed imperial crown. In his essay at the Qajar Dynasty Pages, Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar describes the flag's colour as "...of old pink to light purplish colour."[69] He also states that this "...painting is interesting for two reasons. One is that this is a rare depiction of the imperial lion shown facing right not left. (...) The other is that this is one of the first depictions of an official flag for Persia. Apparently the flag depicted in the Royal Collection must have been the design of the Qajar Persia flag at the time of Nasser od-Din Shah."[70] According to some other European sources, this was not the official flag of Persia but more the banner of 'His Imperial Majesty The Shah'. Thus the lion and sun emblem is depicted on red or purple ground or surounded by red or purple. Because purple was the imperial colour since Safavid times. We also have seen this type of flag before, during Fath Ali Shah's reign.[71] Just below this banner is shown in a more "European" style:
[69]
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Fig. 35
Fig. 35
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Standard of the
Shah of Persia, 1870.[72]
[72]
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According to the same sources, the official Persian standard as well shows the lion with the sun holding a sword on white ground bounded by a green band.[73] The same flag is shown in a sketch of the Persian pavilion at the World Exhibition in Paris from the turn of the century.[74]
[73]
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Sometimes the lion is faced left sometimes right and Eskandari adds "...though this fact may be due to nothing more complicated than the artist's attempt to render the standard being blown in the wind, thus flipping the standard from its regular position to one where the lion faces right not left..." Probably this is what happened. However, at this time there was no regular system for heraldic matters as in Europe, so once the lion faced left, once right.
According to the Denesh-nameh bozorge-e Iran again in 1886 the official Iranian flag was white with one green stripe at the top and a red one at the bottom, the golden lion and sun symbol was placed in the middle. Later this became the tricolour with the proportion of the three stripes one to three.[75] This also indicates that not the Pahlawis created Iran's national flag but the Qajars!
[75]
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Fig. 36 and 37
Fig. 36
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37
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Two examples of the official
Imperial Persian Flag,
depicted in European sources,
1870 and 1902.
Fig. 38
The Persian pavilion in Paris.
Fig. 38
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Originally these Iranian arms consisted of badges, single arrangements of emblems, and not of coats of arms in its original meaning. These were more comparable with the Japanese Mon-system than with those in European heraldry, actually. But in the late Qajar period, when the British and Russians got more political and social power, the emblem got a more European look as the official Persian coat of arms we also know today.[76] Now the single emblem or badge was put on a shield, sometimes covered by a coat and topped by helmet or crown. This coat of arms showed under a blue sky a golden lion with a golden sun across its back which is holding a silver sword (or sabre) in its right paw and stands on green ground. The arms of 'His Imperial Majesty The Shah' was created according to European types. The centre was a shield with the royal emblem, covered by a heraldic ermine coat and topped with the Qajar Kiani crown. The shield itself was decorated with a Muslim helmet, the royal order and six lances. Two gryphons, maybe the dragon-peacock Senmurv of Sasanian time, hold the shield.
[76]
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Fig. 39
Fig. 39
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Detail from an appointment
decree of Mozaffar od-Din
Shah with his coat of arms.
The Persian caption reads:
"Official Imperial court
photographer by appointment
of His Most August and Imperial
Majesty the Emperor of Iran,
Mozaffar od-Din Shah."
Fig. 40
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The Majesty Arms of the Shah,
medallion in a Kerman carpet,
used in the reign of Soltan
Ahmad Shah Qajar, produced
in the 1920's.Atighetchi
collection "Maison del'Iran",
Paris.[77]
[77]
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In the last Qajar years such
carpets as we can see here,
were produced for several
members of the court.
Aside the official coat of arms, there was still the arms of the Royal Family and the Imperial Qajar House itself. An emblem used on their dishes[78], letterheads, on the official documents of the Qajar courtand sometimes as jewels at their hats. This familiar arms shows two lions with suns across their backs holding up the Kiani crown with one paw and holding the globe in their middle under the other. Eskandari states "...In addition to the immediate members of the Royal family, some of the princes such as Prince Mozaffar Firouz and others, have used this emblem as their personal emblem and added their own initials to it. As a rule, however, this emblem was for the use of the Royal Family itself only...".[79]
[78]
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Fig. 41
Royal Emblem of the
Imperial Qajar House.
Fig. 41
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Maybe the Qajars did not create the lion-and-sun emblem, but they were the first to use it as a symbol of imperial power and nationality. So the dynasty made it popular and it became Iran's state symbol and coat of arms as much as they chose it as their own insignia and gave it a certain style. The Qajars also identified themselves with historical Iranian traditions in succeeding a line of Iranian predecessors. And families closely connected with the dynasty also adapted different variations of this emblem and took them as their arms to show their nobility and relations to the Royal House. So several lines of the greater Qajar clan used details like the Kiani crown or the lion-and-sun and combined them with other symbols and devices to underline their branch. Designed in accordance with fashion of their time, most of these arms are similar to European creations but they have an own old genuine Persian tradition.
Unfortunately, with the conquest of Iran by different peoples, the changes of dynasties and systems and the revolution many sources were lost not only by destruction but also by propaganda[80], as well as the historical continuity in art and culture went lost. So it is hardly possible to prove the scientific facts and genuine of each source according with Iranian heraldry.
[80]
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The facts and sources in this article have shown that there is an own old genuine Persian tradition in heraldry. Obviously it is not as well represented in daily life as we know it from heraldry in Europe. But it was also high cultivated in its special and own way in Sasanian time. And at least it seems over and above that the Iranian heraldry has inspired also the European. We can not compare both types of heraldry. Both find their extinction maybe in warriordom and have a religious background; one in the old Iranian faith of several gods and spirits represented by animals or parts of them, the other in European Christianity and Christian knighthood during the crusades. But they had a rather different development through the centuries. In Europe coats of arms belonged to one of the main parts of life and culture in the Middle Ages. In Iran heraldry and heraldic art were surpressed by the rules of art in Islamic faith and of course could not find such an expression. But eventually the heraldry has survived through the Persian myths in Arabic time and was relaunched with the Persian renaissance in the early Middle Ages. To summarize these facts one can see that heraldry was present in Iran from her early times and young archaeological periods through various dynasties until present time and found its artistic climax in Qajar era.
The late coat of arms of Iran, the lion-and-sun emblem armed by an Islamic sabre was a combination of several aspects of Persian history and culture. It combined the divine power of monarchy (i.e., absolute monarchy) from pre-Islamic time, shown in the double symbol of rulership, lion and sun, with symbols of Islamic faith, the Arab sword, which the lion hold in its paw. This sword, or more sabre, is not only a symbol for Islam but more for Shiism, because it is the sword of Ali, the first Imam. Thus, symbols for monarchy and faith were transformed in Qajar time to create according to old Persian traditions the State's arms of Iran like the lion sun stood before 1979. It was nor the symbol of the Pahlawi monarchy neither of ancient (i.e., pre-Islamic) Iran, the revolutionary committees stated. It combined both material rulership and religion, so it is a symbol for Iran's own historical and Shiite traditions!
So at the end we have found out that there are three different cultural centres of heraldry in the world: The heraldry of Europe as we know it today, the Mon-system of Samurai Japan and finally the Iranian heraldry.
Notes
Notes
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[1] A good example for such an Islamic signet ring in Qajar time is shown in the famous portrait of Hussein Gholi Khan-e Qajar Quvanlu, called Jahansouz Shah, as it is depicted on page 10 of the Journal of the International Qajar Studies Association, Vol.II, 2002. Unfortunately you cannot see the seal itself very clearly; maybe it shows a Koran inscription, may be something else.
[1]
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[2]Wladimir Lukonin/ Anatoli Iwanow, Persische Kunst, p. 74.
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[3] See also Qajar Imperial Regalia and Regal Attire: The Making of Persia's Lion and Sun King Paper presented at the International conference on "Qajar Era Dress", University of Leiden, Holland by Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar, June 2002.
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[4]Today we know that the narrative circles of the legends about Rostam base on Scythian myths and about the Kiani kings are based on old Parthian myths. Later they were mixed with parts of the Avesta, collected in Sasanian time and finally they had been written down by Ferdowsi in his famous epic Shahnameh.
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[5]Gerd Gropp, Zarathustra und die Mithras-Mysterien, Katalog der Sonderausstellung des Iran Museum, Hamburg 1993, p.62.
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[6] G. Gropp, opt. cit., No. 58 ff., p. 66.
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[7] The reason for this was that therefore the coat of arms was carried into war high above the soldiers' heads well visible to everyone.
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[8] This reasonn Sasanian time this flag of Kava and his Kiani Dynasty was the National Banner of Iran (drafsh-e kiani). It was taken by the Arabs at the battle of Kadisiya which led to their capture of the Persian Empire and the introduction of Islam, in A.D. 636. By that time, according to the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, it was covered with the signs of Zodiac and lavishly studded with jewels. The flag was cut into several pieces, sold at the Arabian markets and shoes were made of it.
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[9] Whitney Smith, Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, p.34; also Whitney Smith/ Ottfried Neubecker, Wappen und Flaggen aller Nationen, p. 106.
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[10] See Das Tier in der Kunst Irans, Linden-Museum, Stuttgart 1972.
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[11] G. Hermann, "The Art of the Sasanians" in The Arts of Persia, p.79.
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[12] The Avesta, Zarathustra's holy book, regards these former old Iranian gods as holy and devine spirits or "angels", assisting God Ahura Mazda to protect his creation. In Sasanian time they were again worshipped and honoured like gods.
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[13] J. Allgrove McDonald, "Textiles" in The Arts of Persia, p. 153.
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[14] See also W. Lukonin, "Persia II" in Archaeologica Mundi, 1967.
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[15] See Das Tier in der Kunst Irans, Linden-Museum, Stuttgart 1972; Gropp, opt. cit., p. 64.
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[16] Dr Georgina Herrmann, Die Wiedergeburt Persiens, p. 109/110.
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[17] Herrmann, opt. cit. p. 74.
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[18] Ferdowsi describes the Iranian heroes's arms as follow: The Persian king's banner with a sun and topped with a golden moon; a lion banner belongs to Godarz, of the clan of Kashvad; a banner that bears the device of a wolf belongs to Godarz's eldest son Giv; a wild boar topped by a golden moon was the device of Goraz, of Giv's clan. A banner studded with stars, with a red ground and a black silk fringe, belongs to Giv's son Bizhan. The banner with the device of a shining sun belongs to Fariborz; the one with a shining moon to Gostaham, Gazdaham's son; this with a device of a wild ass stands for Zangeh, the son of Shavran, and a banner with a dark tiger belongs to Shidush; the one with a buffalo belongs to Farhad. The banner of Tus bears an elephant as its device, gold-shod knights are his guard.
The Kurdish tribe Zarrinkafsch (Persian: "gold shoe") got its name because of these gold-shod knights and family members of the House of Tus-Nozar! A legend says Tus was the mythological ancestor of the Zarrinkafsch. In 1448 one member of this tribe known as Zarrinnaal (Persian: "golden horseshoe"), founded the House of Zarrinnaal, and its tribal lords (beg) became the rulers of Sinneh (Sanandaj).
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[19] Robert Gobl, Sasanidische Numeristik, p. 69.
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[20] Dick Davis, Stories of the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Vol. I "The Lion and the Throne", p.222; Vol. II "Fathers and Sons", p. 102.
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[21] Gropp, opt. cit. p. 65.
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[22] See: Dick Davis, Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Vol.II, p. 99.
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[23] See: Basil Gray, The Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, The Baysonghori Manuscript, p. 82/83.
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[24] On an other miniature of the same Baysonghori manuscipt, the phoenix is again depicted at one of Rostam's quivers.
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[25] According to O. Neubecker the adoption of this tradition by the Europeans was the beginning of the creation of own national flags.
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[26] W. Smith, opt. cit. p.41.
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[27]Flags of the World, edited by E.M.C. Barraclough/ W.G.Crampton, p. 194.
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[28] See W. Lukonin/ A. Iwanow, opt. cit. p.190.
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[29]Tony Allan, Wise Lord of the Sky: Persian Myths, p. 64.
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[30] Kurt Erdmann states in his book Die Kunst Irans zur Zeit der Sassaniden, p. 114: "The lion was the sun symbol of the sun god Mithra...". Otherwise according to other Zaroasterian sources the lion was a symbol of distruction and war. Maybe the lion represented the powerful and dangerous aspect of Mithra and the sun. It can give both, daylight but also heat and drought and so it is comparable with the Egyptian lion goddess Sakhmet, who represented these two aspects of sun god Ra, too. Also Mithra was the god of justice and the judge of the souls at the Judgement Day. He gave kings the devine legitimation for power (farr) and every Iranian king felt close to this god. This shows the close connection between the lion and devine power in the old Iranian faith. And this could be also the reason why Persia's islamic rulers have always used the lion as their emblem.
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[31] See also: Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar, 'Emblems of Qajar Rulers: The Lion and the Sun', in "The Qajar-Dynasty Webpages".
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[32] See Ottfried Neubecker, Wappenkunde, p. 90.
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[33] There is also a Sasanian seal depicting a reclining lion with a crescent above its back, may be the first depiction indicating astrological references. See also Dr. Gerd Gropp, Bemerkungen zum Loewenbild in Hodar, p. 2, cit. Friedrich Karl Doerner, Komagene: Ein wiederentdecktes Koenigreich, Gundholzen 1966.
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[34] O. Neubecker, opt. cit. p. 99.
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[35] M. Rogers, "Ceramics" in The Arts of Persia, p. 266.
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[36] Sayyed Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikh-e shir-o khorshid, Tehran 1930.
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[37] H. Mitchell-Brown, "Coins" in The Arts of Persia, p. 199; Stanley Lane-Poole, The Coins of the Turkuman Houses of Seljook in the British Museum, London 1877, p. 76, in Hinz.
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[38] See Mustafa Djeinabi, Tarikh-e Al-y Seljuq, p. 207 in "Handschrift 853 der Wiener Nationalbiliothek", Fluegel, Katal. II, 85; also in Ali und Nino, a novell by Kurban Said, edit. Leela Ehrenfels, Wien 1937, Ullstein, Muenchen 2000; Walther Hinz Beitraege zur iranischen Kulturgeschichte, ZDMG 91, 1937, p.74, cit.: Abul Faraj, Mukhtasar tarikh al-dawal, p.447, edit. Barhebraeus, Vol. Salkhani, Beirut 1890.
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[39] See examples by Dr. W. Heillige for W. Hinz from "Staatliches Muenzkabinett der Berliner Staatlichen Museen".
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[40] See Stanley Lane-Poole, The Coins of the Mongols in the British Museum, London 1881, fig. 264, in Hinz.
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[41] See among other sources: Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo, Historia del Gran Tamerlan, p. 41f., Sevilla 1582, in Hinz.
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[42] W. Hinze, opt.cit., p. 75.
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[43] Roger M. Savory, "Land des Loewen und der Sonne" in Welt des Islam, p. 245.
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[44] Sergej Chmelnizkij, Islam: Kunst und Architektur, p. 442.
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[45] See Volkmar Gantzhorn, Orientalische Teppiche, Fig. 332.
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[46] According to F.R. Martin: A Shiraz Carpet of the Fifteenth Century, Burlington Magazine Vol. XVI (1909), p. 130.
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[47] Volkmar Gantzhorn, opt. cit. p. 216/218.
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[48] Volkmar Gantzhorn, opt. cit. p. 507/508.
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[49] Both emirates were described as very famous and noble among the Kurdish principalities by Prince Sherefhan od-Din of Bitlis (1543-1603) in his popular History of Kurdistan Sherefnameh.
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[50] Compare it with Fig. 17 above.
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[51] Some Shiites called Ali the "Lion of God" and said the sun is the symbol of his devine rule and the holy light which was given to Mohammad's dynasty.
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[52] Kasravi, opt. cit.; W. Hinz, opt. cit., p. 76 ff.
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[53] Maurice Herbette Une Ambassade Perseane sous Louis XIV, Paris 1907, in Hinz.
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[54] J. Chardin, Voyages du Chevalier Chardin en Perse, p. 321, edit. by L. Langles, Paris 1811, in Hinz.
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[55] A very good example for this is the Turkmen ruling house of the 15th century, devided in two rival lines, the Qara-Qoyunlou (black-sheeps) and the Aq-Qoyunlou (white-sheeps), comparable with the Houses of York and Lancaster in England during the War of Roses.
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[56] Abbas Amanat says in his book Pivot of the Universe, University of California, 1997, note 17: "The totemistic appelation may have orginated in the flock-keeping (Quvanlu) and camelbreeding (Davalu) occupations of the respective clans in the pastures of the northeastern province of Astarabad, the original homeland of the eastern Qajars. It may also have been reminiscent of the insignia of the fifteenth-century Aq-Quyunlou, to whom the Quvanlu looked as their historical ancestors."
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[57] See Layla S.Diba, Royal Persian Paintings: The Qajar Epoch 1785-1925, p. 202.
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[58] See W. Hinz, opt.cit. 78.
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[59] See Layla S. Diba, opt. cit. No. 66, p. 222.
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[60] See Layla S. Diba, opt. cit. No. 53, p. 202.
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[61] See Layla S. Diba, opt. cit. No. 55, p. 204.
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[62] See Layla S. Diba, opt. cit. No. 66, p. 222.
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[63] Nasrollah Kasraian, Our Homeland Iran, p. 192.
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[64] Javad Yassavoli, The Fabulous Land of Iran, p. 81.
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[65] As you can see shown in The Qajar Dynasty Pages.
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[66] See R. Stuart Poole, The Coins of the Shahs of Persia, London 1887, p. 182, in Hinz.
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[67] E.M.C. Barraclough/ W.G. Crampton, opt. cit., p. 195; W. Smith, opt. cit., p. 242.
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[68] One of the most famous regalia of Safavid time was the sword of the dynastic ancestor Sheykh Safid od-Din, which was compared with that of Ali and was kept in the Holy Shrine at Ardabil. Later this sword was depicted as one part of the fictive and new created arms of the Pahlavi rulers.
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[69] Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar, opt. cit.
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[70] See also Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar in fn 3.
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[71] See above Fig. 27.
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[72] A. Maximilian Gritzer, "Die Flaggen der zivilisierten Laender der Welt" in J. Siebmachers Grosses Wappenbuch: Die Wappen und Flaggen der Herrscher und Staaten der Welt.
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[73] Gritzer in J.Siebmachers Grosses Wappenbuch; Neubecker/Rentzmann, p. 169; Brockhaus, Vol. 6, p. 763; R. Siegel, Die Flagge, Tafel 60; see also Smith and Smith/ Neubecker, opt. cit.
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[74] See also Sherafat: A monthly Paper, Numbers 1-66, 1896-1903, Tehran, 1976.
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[75] According to Smith, Smith/ Neubecker and Barraclough/ Crampton the basic green-white-purple/red tricolor as National Flag of Iran became gradually established in the nineteenth century and only gradually became regularized. It was first officially adopted in the constitution of 14 August 1905, in the proportions one by three. The lower colour was often shown as pink, but was officially declared to be red in 1933 by the Pahlavi.
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[76] See O.T. von Heffner/ M. Gritzner/ Ad.M. Hildebrandt, "Die Wappen der ausserdeutschen Souveraene und Staaten", Band I, 2. Abschnitt, Tafel 142 in J. Siebmachers Grosses Wappenbuch opt. cit.
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[77] Jean Hureau, Iran Today, p. 65.
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[78] As Princess Sattareh Farman-Farmaiian says in her book "Daughter of Persia", Crown Publisher, New York 1992.
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[79] Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar.
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[80] E.g., my father told us that his dear mother, Nosrat ol-Molouk Khanoum Bahman-Qajar had seal her documents with the family's arms. But any document or seal was lost when revolutionary soldiersplundered our house at Tehran in 1979 and destroyed everything which was connected with a monarchy system, like they did it with our family mausoleum, too. And we all know this happened to several Iranian families in those days!
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Eskandari-Qajar, Manoutchehr M. The Qajar Dynasty Webpages: Emblems of Qajar Rulers- The Lion and the Sun, 2001.
Hureau, Jean Iran Today, Editions B. Arthaud, Paris 1972.
The Shahnameh of Ferdowsi The Baysonghori Manuscript: An Album ofMiniatures and Illuminations, published in commemoration of the Celebration of the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great, commentary by Basil Gray, Franklin, Tehran 1971.
Denesh-nameh bozorg-e Iran (Encyclopaedia Iranica), "Shir-o Khorshid", Routledge& Kegan Paul, London and New York 1989.
Das Tier in der Kunst Irans, Linden-Museum, Stuttgart 1972.
Smith, Whitney/ Neubecker, Ottfried Wappen und Flagen aller Nationen, Battenberg Verlag, Muenchen 1981.
Yassavoli, Javad The Fabulous Land of Iran, Farhang-Sara, Tehran 1993.
Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon, Band 6, 14. Ausgabe, F.A. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1902.
Smith, Whitney Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, McGraw-Hill Book Comany, Maidenhead 1975.
Siegel, R. Die Flaggen, Tafel 60, Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 1912.
Savory, Roger M. in Welt des Islam, "Land des Loewen und der Sonne", edited by Bernard Lewis, Orbis Verlag, Muenchen 2002.
Neubecker, Ottfried/ Rentzmann,Wilhelm Wappenlexikon, "Loewe und Sonne", Battenberg Verlag, Muenchen 1974.
Neubecker, Ottfried Wappenkunde, "Der Loewe in der Heraldik", Orbis Verlag, Muenchen 1991.
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Hinz, Walther Beitraege zur iranischen Kulturgeschichte, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlaendischen Gesellschaft (ZDMG) 91, 1937, "Das iranische Loewen-Sonnen-Wappen", p. 71-79, cited various sources:
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- Abul Faraj, Mukhtasar terikh al-duwal, edit. Barhebraeus, Vol. Salkhani, Beirut 1890;
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- R. Stuart Poole, The Coins of the Shahs of Persia, London 1887.
Hermann, G./ McDowell, J. Allgrove/ Mitchell-Brown, H./ Rogers. M. in The Arts of Persia, edited by R.W. Ferrier, Yale University Press, New Heaven-London 1989.
Herrmann, Dr. Georgina Die Wiedergeburt Persiens, Elsevier Publishing, Lausanne 1975.
von Heffner, O.T./ Gritzer, M./ Hildebrandt, Ad. M. "Die Wappen der ausserdeutschen Souveraene und Staaten", Band I, 2. Abschnitt, Tafel 142, Nuernberg 1870 in J. Siebmachers Grosses Wappenbuch, Band I, "Die Wappen und Flaggen der Herrscher und Staaten der Welt", Bauer&Raspe, Neustadt an der Aisch 1978.
Gritzner, A. Maximilian "Die Flaggen der zivilisierten Laender der Welt", 6. Abschnitt, Nuernberg 1878 in J. Siebmachers Grosses Wappenbuch, Band I, "Die Wappen und Flaggen der Herrscher und Staaten der Welt", Bauer&Raspe, Neustadt an der Aisch 1978.
Gropp, Dr. Gerd Zarathustra und die Mithras-Mysterien, Katalog zur Sonderausstellung des Iran Museums Hamburg 1993, Edition Temmen, Hambung 1993.
Gobl, Robert Sasanidische Numismatik, Kleinkhardt&Biermann, Braunschweig 1968.
Gantzhorn, Volkmar Orientalische Teppiche, Taschen Verlag, Koeln 1998.
Erdmann, Kurt Die Kunst zur Zeit der Sassaniden, Florian Kupferberg Verlag, Berlin 1943.
Diba, Layla S. Royal Persian Paintings: The Qajar Epoch 1785-1925, I.B. Tauris Publisher, London-New York 1998.
Davis, Dick Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi: "The Lion and the Throne"; "Fathers and Sons", Vol I, II, Mage Publishers, Washington, DC 1998.
Chmelnizkij, Sergej in Islam - Kunst und Architektur: "Die Architektur Bukharas und Samarkands im 16.-17 Jahrhundert", edited by Markus Hattstein/ Peter Delius, Koenemann Verlag, Koeln 2000.
Barraclough, E.M.C./ Crampton, W.G. (edit.) Flags of the World, Frederik Warne, London 1978.
Allan, Tony/ Phillips, Charles/ Kerrigan, Michael/ Sarkhosh Curtis, Dr. Vesta Wise Lord of the Sky: Persian Myths, edited by Tony Allan, Duncan Blair Publishers, London, Time-Life Books B.V., 1999 Amsterdam.
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