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325 PERSIA-ARTS AND SCIENCES.

appears to have been great regularity of structure and harmony of design. The general

effect was heightened by the elevation which was attained by means of the basement

platforms. The columnar feature of the great buildings added a beauty hardly surpassed by

the temples of Greece. On the other hand, the Persian buildings -though the fault was not

as conspicuous as in those of Babylonia-were little improved in appearance by openings in

the walls, or by any device by which surfaces are broken and their monotony relieved. In

the way of analogy, the sculptures and other decorations of buildings were like those of

Assyria rather than those of Egypt and Greece, though traces of similarity may be seen to

the works of the latter countries. But for the reckless fury of Alexander and his

followers, much of the architectural glory of the Persians which now lies in heaps of ruin

would still bear witness to the ambition and genius of the vigorous people by whom that

glory was achieved.

In the matter of Persian sculpture, nearly everything that may be presented has already

been said incidentally in connection with their architecture. The work of this sort

consists of figures carved in relief on slabs of stone. Sometimes, as in the case of the

tomb of Darius, described above, the artist Jias displayed his skill on the face of the

natural rock. In every case, however, the figures are upon the surface of the material of

which they are composed. No separate piece of Persian statuary has been discovered. The

colossal bulls and other effigies of the sort which stand guard at the entrances to the

palaces are but partially developed figures, only the front of the image being raised from

the pillars in which the body is imbedded. Neither clay models nor metallic castings have

been found. No specimen of Persian pottery, no carving in ivory or wood, has rewarded the

curiosity of the antiquary. Of stamped coins, however, great numbers are in existence, and

of engraved gems not a few have been discovered. The colossal bulls, some copied from

nature and some mythological monsters having men's heads and eagles' wings, are of a high

order of artistic merit.

After the winged bulls the next class of figures requiring notice are those of a man,

generally the king, contesting with beasts. Sometimes the antagonist of the royal person

is a wild bull; sometimes, a lion; sometimes, a monster of mythology. These scenes are

represented with great spirit and truthfulness, the artist always being careful to give

the anticipation of victory to his master, the king. The third series of sculptures are

those representing processions of human figures, somewhat like those upon the architraves

of Grecian temples. The persons depicted are the courtiers of the king, a retinue of

guards, a file of attendants, or an embassy of foreigners bringing tribute and homage to

the great king. The fourth kind of sculptures represents the monarch himself, either

engaged in some public duty of the government or in devotions to his god. The fifth and

last group are those representing animal figures- notably lions and bulls-either singly or

engaged in combat. In scenes of the latter sort nature Is followed; for the lion kills the

bull.

The Persian coins are of great interest. The designs are of many varieties and subjects.

Sometimes the impression is a simple medallion of the king, armed and crowned. On one side

of some of the coins the figures are raised, and on the other indented. The design in some

cases is a galley; in others, the king driving his chariot; in others, a city.

Of the household utensils of the Persians not much is known. The sculptures represent

nothing in this line except a few pieces of royal furniture. On the walls of the palace at

Persepolis several censers are depicted. The form of a basket is also given, shaped

somewhat like a reticule. Goblets and covered dishes are also seen in the hands of

servants attending on the banquets. Those who bring tribute-money present the same in a

kind of bowl or basin, though these articles were probably brought with the tribute from

some distant province.

In the matter of personal decorations the Persians seem to have had the simple tastes

peculiar to the Aryan race. The articles were nearly all plain bands of gold. Such were

the ear-rings, finger-rings, and brace-