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Notes On The ‘Elamite’ Garment Of Cyrus The Great

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2009

Javier Álvarez-Món*
Javier Álvarez-Món, Department of Archaeology, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, Main Quadrangle A14, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. E-mail:


According to the latest collation of the Nabonidus Chronicle, a reference is made to Cyrus the Great wearing an ‘Elamite’ garment during the investiture ceremony of Cambyses. This study examines the likely characteristics of this garment in the light of a recent study of seventh- and sixth-century bc Elamite elite garments. Within this context it is suggested that the Chronicle may have done no more than state the obvious. In 538 bc, Cyrus went to Babylon clad in (traditional) Elamite (style) attire. This ceremonial garment is to be identified with a fine (perhaps cotton-made) fringed robe decorated with bands, including golden bracteates.


Selon la plus récente collation de la Chronique de Nabonide, on y trouve une référence au fait que Cyrus le Grand portait un vêtement ‘élamite’ pendant la cérémonie d’investiture de Cambyses. Cette étude examine les caractéristiques probables de ce vêtement au regard d’une récente étude des vêtements de l’élite élamite au sixième et au septième siècle avant J-C. C’est dans ce contexte qu’il est suggéré que la Chronique n’avait peut-être pas fait autre que répéter un truisme. En 538 avant J-C, Cyrus était allé à Babylone portant un vêtement de style élamite (traditionnel). On peut identifier ce vêtement de cérémonie avec une fine robe (peut-être en coton) à franges ornée de bandelettes, comportant aussi des bractéates en or.


Gemäß einer Neuabfassung der Nabonid-Chroniken wird erwähnt, daß Kyros der Große während der Königsweihe des Cambyses ein ‘elamisches’ Gewand trug. Diese Studie untersucht die wahrscheinlichen Eigenschaften dieses Gewands im Licht einer neuen Studie von elamischen Gewändern der Elite aus dem siebten und sechsten Jahrhundert vdZ. In diesem Zusammenhang wird angedeutet, daß die Chroniken lediglich das Offensichtliche bestätigt haben. Im Jahr 538 vdZ, ging Kyros in einem traditionellem Gewand im elamitischen Stil nach Babylon. Dieses zeremonielle Gewand wird durch eine feine Bordüre (vielleicht aus Baumwolle) geprägt und war mit Bändern und Goldbrakteaten verziert.

Original Article
Copyright © The Society of Antiquaries of London 2009

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