Jun 2, 2009

Fragment of a Wall Decoration from the Palace of Xerxes: "Guardsman" in Procession

Fragment of a Wall Decoration from the Palace of Xerxes: "Guardsman" in Procession

486-465 BC

Gray limestone

Overall: 53 x 43.6 cm (20 7/8 x 17 3/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1943.279

Did you know?

This relief was probably once brightly painted.


In 486 BC, Xerxes succeeded Darius I as king of Persia. His empire, then the world’s largest and most powerful, encompassed an area from Libya to western India and from Ethiopia to Afghanistan. This relief fragment of one of his guards probably comes from the west stairway of his enormous palace at Persepolis. As chronicled by Herodotus, the Greeks defeated Xerxes in a clash of conflicting political systems: democracy and monarchy.

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