396 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
one part a flying figure appears, which is thought to represent Fame or Victory. The
attitude of both men and horses is spirited, and it is believed that the work, before the
decay which has come through centuries of exposure to the elements, was of a high order of
artistic merit. It has been observed, however, that there are discrepancies in the design,
as for instance, the circlet, or diadem, which Flying Fame holds over the head of the
warrior, is altogether too large, being sufficient to cover his whole figure! But this is,
as Hamlet might say, to consider the question "too curiously."
Other bas-reliefs have been discovered in various places. A favorite subject was the horse
and the man. One work of great value and merit represents a Magus, or High Priest, in the
oracular attitude. At his right hand is the cone burr. He is in full robe of office. He
wears a miter that might almost have suited one of the mediaeval Popes. His hair is worn
long, and is curiously done into a broad puff extending laterally on both sides at the
back of the neck as far as the shoulders. Still another example of such art is that of a
mounted hunter engaged in conflict with a bear. His spear is at the animal's throat. His
horse rises and the bear rears on his hind legs for the final struggle. The work is rudely
done, but the design is true to nature and marked with much spirit. The figure on
horseback presents a wonderful beard, curled into a puff surrounding all the lower part of
the face, and balanced behind with a corresponding protuberance of the hair. The bear much
resembles an American grizzly in his form and attitude, and the hunter seems to be clad as
a man of the arctic regions.
On the whole, however, and to sum up results, it might almost be said that the Parthians
were a people wholly inartistic in taste and habit. No doubt a single Greek town of the
second or third class, in the times of the Hellenic ascendancy, exhibited a larger range
of art work, whether of the chisel or the brush, than did the whole Empire of Mitbridates
spreading through many lands, from the little principality of Osrhoene in the upper bend
of the Euphrates to the summits of the Hindu Kush.