Statue of Hercules in Behistun

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Statue of Hercules in Behistun
Herakles at Behistun, sculpted for a Seleucid Governor in 148 BCE.
City of Kushinagar in the 5th century BCE according to a 1st-century BCE frieze in Sanchi Stupa 1 Southern Gate.

Statue of Hercules (Persian: تندیس هرکول) is located in Mount Behistun, Iran. It was discovered in 1958.[1] The statue was sculpted in 148 BC[1] for a governor of the Seleucid Empire or the Parthian Empire. Hercules is lying on a 2 m long platform and holds a bowl in his left hand. He has put his right hand on his foot. The statue is 1.47 m long and is attached to the mountain. The head of the statue was stolen twice, but discovered again in 1996. However, the current head is a double and the actual head is in Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization. At the time it was discovered, he had a penis, but after the Islamic Revolution (1979) it was broken down by locals[citation needed].

Dedicatory inscription of Herakles[2]
(Behistun, 153 BCE)
Translation Inscription
(original Greek script)
Original inscription

In the year 164 (of the Seleucid era)
in the month of Panemos (June)
[set this statue of] Herakles
Kallinikos ("Hercules glorious in victory")
did Hyakinthos, son of Pantauchos,
for the safety of Kleomenes,
Commander of the Upper Satrapies,
of the satraps.

ἔτους δξρ᾽, μηνὸς
Πανήμου, Ἡρακλῆν
Ὑάκινθος Πανταύχου
ὑπὲ[ρ] τῆς Κλεομένου
τοῦ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄνω
σ[ατρ]απειῶν σωτηρίας
τῶν σατραπῶν

Herakles inscription at Behistun


  1. ^ a b "Behistun, other monuments". Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  2. ^ HIB Greek text – Parthian Sources Online.

Coordinates: 34°23′00″N 47°26′00″E / 34.3833°N 47.4333°E / 34.3833; 47.4333