Kings and Emperors
- 01Tile with depiction of the legendary Emperor Kay Ka`us, Iran, around 1900, Clay
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum, Photo: M. FrankenTile with depiction of the legendary Emperor Kay Ka`us, Iran, around 1900, Clay
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum, Photo: M. Franken
- 02Head of a Great King, Iran, Nizamabad (southeast of Teheran, 7.-1. half of 8. century, Stucco, modelled, cut, coloured rest, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Islamische Kunst, Photo: I. Geske
- 03Rostam fighting Afrasiyab, Schiraz, 1420, Covering colours and Gold on paper, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Islamische Kunst, Photo: I. Geske
- 04The juvenile Rostam lifts the Turanian King Afrasiab from the saddle, Isfahan, 1605, Deckfarben und Gold auf Papier © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Islamische Kunst, Photo: I. Geske
Legendary are the destinies of kings and heroes. Their great bravery, their sensational deeds as well as their vociferous words lend them special importance. Besides the kings portrayed in the respective myths, the mythical hero Rostam is the most famous figure. Lion-like, vested in a tiger fur, he defends - in many battles - the borders of ancient Iran against its enemies, especially against the hostile Turans in the north. Together with his wonder horse Rakhsch he stands his ground in seven adventures and saves his kings from awkward situations.
Similar to the knights in European medieval times, the Iranian heroes represent moral concepts: loyality, defence of evil and acquittal for the righteous lord belong to their basic virtues. The heroic achievements of the warriors and kings, their wise thinking, but also their insufficiencies and failures make the epic an important prince mirror, whose moral consequence served as model for numerous generations of emperors. The encounter of death and the insight in the transience of life belong to the essence of the poetry.