Ardashir I (r. 224-242)

A 3rd-Century Rock Relief

This is a rock relief from Naqsh-e Rostam showing the investiture of Ardashir, as he receives the symbol of rule from Ohrmazd. An inscription identifies the people shown here: “This is the image of the Ohrmazd-worshipping Majesty Ardashir, whose origin is of the gods”; “This is the image of the god Ohrmazd.” The inscription is in Parthian, Middle Persian, and Greek. 

A 3rd-century Coin

This coin shows the bust of Ardashir I, wearing tiara with ear flap and diadem; long beard, mustache. Inscription in Middle Persian (in Pahlavi script): “The Mazda-worshiping Lord Ardashir, King of Kings of the Iranians.”

The other side of the same coin shows Fire altar with smooth column; throne with lion paws resting on incense burners, diadem ties. Inscription in Middle Persian (in Pahlavi script): “Fire of Ardashir.”

A 13th-century Depiction

This image is from a manuscript of Bal’ami’s 10th-century Persian History, dated to c. 1300. It shows Ardashir enthroned.