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Picturing Persian Victory: The Painted Battle Scene on the Munich Wood

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image of Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

The present article analyses the battle scene on the painted beam in Munich, which originally belonged to the ensemble of an extensively painted tomb chamber near Tatarlı, and reviews its interpretation as an historical depiction that was proposed by the first editor Peter Calmeyer. The author concludes that this battle scene bears no clear indications to connect it with a specific historical event; rather, it seems to depict an exemplary Persian victory over enemies, who are conveyed as a unified ethnic group by their uniform costumes and pointed caps.

The article analyses the evidence of the iconography in detail with particular regard to the forms of narration and the context, and in the light of this review attempts to show alternative ways how this painted Persian victory may be viewed and interpreted.


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