<graphic >
No. I. Account of the Plates in this Volume.

The frontispiece represents those ruins at Istakhar, which are generally called <Arabic> Chehel Minar, “the Forty Pillars,” or <Arabic> Takht-i-Jemsheid, “the Throne of Jem­sheid.” Most travellers and anti­quaries suppose Istakhar to have been the ancient Persepolis, and these columns the remains of Darius’s palace: the natives sometimes call them Khaneh Dara <Arabic> “the House of Darius,” as Kæmpfer informs us. Of the view given by that most ingenious traveller, in his Amœnitates Exoticœ, p. 325, the frontispiece is a reduced copy.

The Pehlavi gem, represented in the vignette of the title page, is supposed to be placed (without any regard to proportion) on a fire altar, of which the idea is taken from medals of the Sassanides. As even a vignette may be rendered instructive, I have given, on the upper part of the altar, some of the arrow-headed or Persepolitan letters, from Niebuhr, Kœmpfer, &c.; so that the young student of Persian antiquities may have before him, at one view, specimens of the two most ancient characters of Iràn. I have placed, as guardians of the altar, an Azhdeha, <Arabic> or Dragon, and the Simorgh, <Arabic> a bird of immense bulk and strength, both imaginary creatures, whose names are well known to the readers of Persian romance; their figures are taken from paint­ings in the Shah Namah and other manuscripts.

The gem (of the real size) is from a paste in Mr. Tassie’s collection; and thus described in his Catalogue, Vol. I. p. 67, No. 679: “Sardonyx—a figure in a long robe, with a globe or lotus on the forehead, holding a small cup in the right hand: In the field are the sun and moon, with an inscription,” &c. An engraving of the gem, enlarged, is also given in the second Vol. pl. XIII, but the characters are inaccurately imitated; they appear on the paste to form two words, which I would read thus, using Hebrew let­ters to describe the Pehlavi: <Hebrew> in modern Persick <Arabic> Atoun Shahpouhri, fignifying “The fire-genius of Shapour.

Atoun, in Pehlavi, according to M. Anquetil du Perron,* was synonimous with Ader, or Atere; “the several fires which have appeared to men under particular forms, and the Genii themselves, who preside over those fires.”* Thus the Atoun Bour­zin, in two passages of the Boun dehesh,* is styled Ader Bourzin, in the Ieschts Sades,* where, and in other parts of the Zendavesta, we find the Ader of Beh­ram, of Goshasp, &c. The figure seems to be that of a female: in the Vendidad Sadè we find an address to female spirits: “Je prie ces femelles, assem­bleé toujours vivante,” &c.*

From the Ferhung Borhan Katee (which, like the Ferhung Jehangeeri, has a very long and curious article on fire-worship) it also appears that the same word signified a fire-temple, and the angel or Genius that presided over it. Thus we find, that <Arabic> Azer Gushasp was the name of a fire temple erected by Gushtasp at Balkh, &c. <Arabic> “and it is the name of the angel that superintended, or presided over, the fire.

If the authority of M. Anquetil du Perron be admitted, my expla­nation of this gem will, probably, be found satisfactory: I offer it, however, (as every conjecture on doubtful mat­ters) with extreme diffidence, and shall most readily adopt any well-founded emendation.

The MAP, though small, will serve to shew the relative situations of the provinces and chief cities of Persia. I have devoted some months to the construction of another, comprehend­ing the same extent of country, but so enlarged in scale as to occupy a space of six feet by five. This will contain many hundred names of towns, rivers, mountains, ruins, rebats and caravanserais, wells, monuments, &c.; inserted from original manuscripts, which are not to be found in Mr. Wahl’s very excellent map,* nor in any other hitherto published.

In the head-piece, prefixed to this Appendix, are representations of three gems, of the real size, taken from impressions in paste. Of the two upper­most, the original cornelians are pre­served in the British Museum—one represents a female with a child on her lap; some of the letters are defaced, but the name of <Hebrew> Hormisdi, <Arabic> appears sufficiently legible in Pehlavi; the other characters seem to form <Hebrew> apistan, <Arabic> alluding, perhaps, to the infant state of Hormisdi, at the breast* of his nurse or mother, whose name may probably be added. Not having yet had leisure to study the inscription attentively, I shall not, in this place, offer any fur­ther conjectures on the subject.

For the same reason I present to the reader, without any observation, the figure of a winged Lion, with a Peh­lavi inscription.

The third gem, is described in Tas­sie’s Catalogue (Vol. I. p. 74) as an Oriental garnet, containing “The portrait of an Indian chief—with Indian characters, something like the Sanscrit.” As I suspect the characters to partake more of Pehlavi than Sanscrit, they are here submitted to the inspection of Antiquarian Orien­talists.

The rude outlines, which the reader will perceive in this head-piece, represent the combat of Rustam with the Dive Sefeed, or white giant; reduced from a painting in my Shah Nameh, of which a large engraving will be found in the Oriental Collec­tions, Vol. II. p. 53; and another combat of some warrior with a monster, winged and horned, from a Perse­politan seal in cornelian, preserved, with many others of the same kind, in the British Museum. Similar com­bats are sculptured on the marbles at Persepolis; and it is possible that the ancient heroes celebrated in the Shah Nameh, and represented in these sculp­tures, may be the same.*