عنوان مقاله [English]
Rhytons were used for drinking water or the holy wine in shape of a forepart of an animal body or a combination of the head and the horn of the animal. People believed that the strength of the animal would be transferred to them while drinking in the Rhyton. It is assumed by most scholars like Hertsfeld, Ghirshman, Porada and Amiet that Iranians were the first people to use the rhytons and they made the vessel a common type all around the ancient Near East. The Achaemenian rhytons are mostle made from gold or silver and were found from treasures. This research is studying 135 Achaemenian Rhytons.
The results of this study show that two types of rhytons were more common during the Achaemenids’: conical and cylindrical. The animals used in making the rhytons were lion, bull, ibex, and antelopes. These animals are the attendants and comrades of four Persian gods and goddesses including Anahita, Mithra, Tishtar, and Bahram. The cosmological figure of these four is venerated as the divinity of ‘the Waters’ and associated with fertility, healing, and wisdom.
Besides, Bahrām is the most considered god between the king and his soldiers. In Avesta, Bahrām has all the characteristics of an ancient warrior god, the personification of a force that shatters and overcomes any resistance or defense. The goat, antelope or even the horned ibex are the comrades for Bahram. Mithra is the moral sense of the contract, promise, friendship, and alliance. The alliance is more important since an alliance can include a mutual benefit which is binding. The alliance is very well suited to be the moral foundation of a society whose welfare depends on peace. Therefore, it is definitely obvious why the lion and winged bull are mostly used as the representations for Mithra. In conclusion, it is obvious that the Achaemenian rhytons were used as a mythological vessel especially in ritual ceremonies to gain the gods’ protection and potency.