Shahbaz (bird)

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Derafsh-e Shahbaz-e-Talayi Standard of Cyrus the Great (Achaemenid Empire)

Shahbaz (Persian: شَهباز‎) is the name of a fabled bird. It is like an eagle, bigger than a hawk or falcon. The shahbaz lived in the Zagros, Alborz, and Ghafghaz mountains of Iran. In old Persian mythology, Shahbaz was a god who helped the Iranians and guided Farvahar to Iran zamin. During the Achaemenid era, especially at the time of Cyrus the Great, the Persian imperial flag was rectangular in shape, divided kite-like into four equal triangles alternating between two colors. In the excavations at Persepolis archaeologists found a standard depicting a Shahbaz or golden eagle (Derafsh-e Shahbaz-e-Talayi) with open wings. The current belief is that this was the official symbol of Iran under Cyrus the Great and his heirs.

Shahbaz literally means or "royal falcon".[1][2] Burton considered it to refer to the Goshawk, Accipiter gentilis.[1]


  1. ^ a b Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1852). Falconry in the valley of the Indus. 
  2. ^ Brill, E. J. First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936.