Skip to main content

No. 79 Bahram Chubineh kills Saveh Shah

This content is archived

No. 79 Bahram Chubineh kills Saveh Shah

Ferdowsi, Shahnameh
Safavid: Astarabad or Esfahan, July 1643
Scribe: Hajji Mohammad b. Nur al-Din Mohammad Dasht-e Bayazi
Patron: Mirza Mohammad Taher Beg
Opaque watercolour, ink and gold on paper
Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS Or. 202, fol. 252r

In the Sasanian period, Hormozd of Iran was concerned by the threat posed by Saveh, the Turkish ruler of Herat. Through a prophecy, he was led to Bahram Chubineh, a lord willing and able to lead the army against Saveh. Bahram Chubineh routed the much larger Turkish force. Saveh took to flight, but Bahram shot him in the back. Here, Saveh is shown facing his opponent, rather than fleeing, but he has clearly met his fate. The rearing of the horses, slightly out of phase with the rocky horizon that rises and falls like waves behind them, emphasizes the vigorous action.

University of Cambridge Museums logo
Arts Council England Logo
Research England logo
The Technology Partnership logo
Brewin Dolphin Logo