King Assurbanipal's Beaker

  • Western Iran
  • 8th - 7th centuries B.C.
  • Silver with gilding gold
  • H-24.5 D-21
Frieze below(1-60)

l.Frieze below-bottom register.
Subjugation of the Elamites under Assurbanipal,32 figures(1-32).
1 Elamite chariot driver in his chariot.
2-7 Six Elamites throwing themselves to the ground before the Assyrian king.
8 Courtiers with staves.
9 Elamite king wearing a balloon shaped cap throwing himself to the
ground before the Assyrian king.
10 Courtier with staff.
11 Court official indicating to something.
12-15 Four Elamite beggars.
16 Courtier with staff.
17 Pleading Elamite king wearing a balloon shaped cap.
18-19 Two courtiers with staves.
20 Guard with a spear/lance and a round shield.
21-22 Two ostlers with whips.
23 Elamite king kneeling plesdingly in front of Assurbanipal.
24 Chariot driver of Assurbanipal.
25 Assurbanipal,king of Assyria,in his chariot lifting his right arm
as if to speak while holding a blossom in his left.
26 Parasol bearer of Assurbanipal.
27 Soldier beside the wheel of Assurbanipal.
28-29 Two bodyguards of Assurbanipal with fly swatters.
30-31 Two countiers with long staves.
32 Weapon holders of the Assyrian king.

ll.Frieze below-upper register.
Military parade,28 figures(33-60).
33-35 Three archers from Elam or Ellipi.
36-38 Three archers from Syria,mercenaries in the Assyrian army.
39-40 Two archers from Babylon.
41-43 Three spear fighters with woven tower shieds from Babylon.
44-46 Three spear fighters with tower shields having a woven design from Babylon.
47-49 Three spear fighters with convex round shieds from central Assyria
50-53 Four Assyrian officers without weapons;each one has his hands cla-
54-57 Four high ranking courtiers with hands clasped.
58 Guard with a spear and a round shield.
59-60 Courtiers belonging to the bodyguard of Assurbanipal.

Frieze above(61-130)

lll.Frieze above-lower register.
Abduction of a man by chariot and musicians playing,35 figures(61-95).
61-62 Ostlers in front of the chariot horses of Assurbanipal.
63 Assurbanipal's chariot driver.
64 Assurbanipal,king of Assyria.
65 Parasol bearer of the king of Assyria.
66 Soldier besides a chariot wheel.
67-68 Two courtiers with fly swatters.
69 Courtier with cloth.
70 Weapon bearer of Assurbanipal.
71 Soldier leading a horse.
72 Chariot driver.
73 Man wearing a frayed loose garment and a broad hairband being carried away and turning with raised arms.
74 Soldier restraining the prisoner and threatening him with a club-stick.
75 Musician playing the double-flute.
76 Musician playing an undecorated mobile lyre.
77 Player of the lyre with curved yokearms.
78 Lute player.
79 Musician playing the double-flute.

lV.Frieze above-top register.
Deployment of the Assyrian army,soldiers with wreaths and courtiers followed by defeated enemies and hostages,35 figures(96-130).
96 Courtier with cloth.
97 Courtier with club-stick.
98 Soldier leading a horse.
99-101 Three archers from Elam of Ellipi.
102-104 Three archers from Syria.
105-107 Three archers from babylon.
108-111 Four spear wielding soldiers with woven tower shields from northen Syria.
112-114 Three spear wielding soldiers with metal tower shields that have
face centered circular impressions.
115-117 Three spear wielding soldiers with convex round shields.
118-121 Four soldiers without weapons,wearing wreaths.
122-126 Five courtiers in long garments,wearing wreaths.
127 Clearly smaller presented man in a frayed toga.
128 Man in a frayed toga.
129 Man extending his arms outwards.
130 Elamite king wearing a balloon shaped cap extending his arms

King Assurbanirpa's Beaker

The engravings on this very simply-shaped large cup depict the ups and downs of those who traversed Western Asia in seventh-century BC. Assyria subjugated Egypt and Northern Iran, and eventually dominated the Elamites in Southern Iran. The Elamite king kneels at the foot of the Assyrian king's chariot. He, King Assurbanirpal of Assyria, had indeed become the "King of the Orient." The letters on the outside of the cup proclaim him "King of the World."
However, just as "pride comes before a fall," the story did not end there. This vessel has been extensively restored, and a part of the inscription was hidden when filling in holes. What is more, the name of a different, Iranian king has been incised into interior. In 612 BC, the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, which had once enjoyed the height of its glory, fell. This beaker may have been one of the spoils of war at that time; it attests to the great flowering of Assyria and the subsequent rise of Iranian peoples.