Home >> Encyclopedia-of-architecture-1852 >> Onument Of Lysicrates to Or Urbino 1trbin >> Persepolis


letters, monuments, called and chardin

PERSEPOLIS, a town of Persia, formerly called Ely maYs, now known only by its ruins and monuments, which have been described by many travellers, from Chardin to Niebuhr and Franklin. They are situated at the hi ittorn of a moun tain, fronting the south-west, about 40 miles to the north of Shirauz. They command a view of the extensive plain of Merdasht ; and the mountain of Rehuntut encircles them, in the form of an amphitheatre. Here are many inscriptions, in a character not yet explained ; but which Niebuhr seems to have represented with great accuracy. The letters some what resemble nails. disposed in various directions, in which singularity they approach to what are called the Basing Runes of Scandinavia, but the form and disposition seem more complex. Behind the ruin, to the north. is a curious apartment cut in the solid rock, and a subterraneous pas sage. apparently carried to a very considerable extent. Situated about three tulles and a half to the north-east of th..se ruins is the tomb of Rustan, the ancient Persian hero. The temple, or palace, at Persepolis, now called /Le throne of Jemshid, is supposed to have been erected in the time of J emshid, and to have been posterior to the reign (if the Ilindoo monarchs. The figures at Persepolis differ friiin

those of Elephant), which are manifestly Hindu(); and Sir Jones conjectures that they are Sabin!), which con jecture is confirmed by a circumstance, which he believes to have been a tlict, viz., that the Tohti Jemshid was erected after the time of Cayfuners, when the Brahmans had migrated from Inin, and when their intricate mythology had been superseded by the simpler adoration of the planets and of fire. Chardin, who observed the inscriptions on these ancient monuments on the spot, observes, that they hear no resem blance whatever to the letters used by the Guebres, in their copies of the Vendidad ; whence Sir William Jones inferred that the Zend letters were a modern invention ; and in an amicable debate with a friend named Bahman, that friend insisted that the letters, to which he had alluded, and which he had often seen, were monumental characters, never used in hooks, and intended either to conceal some religious mys teries from the vulgar, or to display the art of the sculptor, like the embellished Cilfick and Nagiri on several Arabian and Indian monuments. See NEXT ARTICLE.