Shahbaz (bird)

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Derafsh-e Shahbaz-e-Talayi
(Persian: درفش شاه‌باز طلایی‎)
Standard of Cyrus the Great
(Zoroastrian Achaemenid Empire).

Shahbaz (Persian: شاه‌باز‎) 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 Faravahar 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 "royal falcon".[1][2] Burton considered it to refer to the Goshawk, Accipiter gentilis.[1] "shahbaz" may also refer to the eastern imperial eagle which is known as imperial eagle (Persian: عقاب شاهی‎) which is the second largest (after the golden eagle) eagle in Iran.


  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.