Photographer's Note

In Antiquity, Bagastâna, which means 'place where the gods dwell', was the name of a village and a remarkable, isolated rock along the road that connected the capitals of Babylonia and Media, Babylon and Ecbatana (modern Hamadan). Many travellers passed along this place.

Alexander the Great is known to have visited Behistun but we do not know more than that he heard that Bagastâna meant 'place where the gods dwell'. (The incident is recorded by Diodorus of Sicily.) After his death in 323 BCE, his empire disintegrated and the eastern satrapies fell to one of his officers, Seleucus I Nicator, who founded the Seleucid Empire. Behistun, situated along a main road that was just as crowded with travelers as it had always been, remained a monumental site.

From this age, we have a nice statue of a reclining Heracles that dates back to 148 BCE, i.e., the final years of Seleucid control of the satrapy of Media. The demigod is shown quietly resting and drinking from a bowl, after performing one of his labors. (According to the Greek orator Libanius, Heracles was considered to be the ancestor of the Seleucid dynasty.)

A few years after this statue had been made, Seleucid rule in this part of the empire collapsed. For almost four centuries, the Parthians were in control.

another link of this place:

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Additional Photos by Hamid Sedghinejad (h_sedghi) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 27 W: 36 N: 126] (880)
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