The stone lion of Hamedan
(Shir-e Sangi) is a historical monument in Hamedan
The stone lion -one part of the 'Lions Gate'- sits on a hill where a Parthian
era cemetery is said to have been located.
When first built, this statue had a twin counterpart for which they both constituted the old gate of the city. During the Islamic conquest of Persia
, the victorious Arabs referred to the gate as "bab ul-asad" (the lions gate).
The gates were demolished in 931CE as the Deylamids
took over the city.Mardāvij
unsuccessfully tried transporting one of the lions to Ray
. Angered by the failure to move them, he ordered them to be demolished. One lion was completely destroyed, while the other had its arm broken and pulled to the ground. The half demolished lion lay on its side on the ground until 1949, when it was raised again, using a supplemental arm that was built into it.Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization
reports that the lions were first thought to have been built by the orders of Alexander the Great
to commemorate the death of his close companion Hephaestion
, The Campaigns of Alexander
, translated by P.A. Brunt
, with Greek and English text, edited by Jeffrey Henderson, The Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press. Books I-IV: ISBN 0-674-99260-1 Books V-VII and Indica: ISBN 0-674-99297-0
- General references