田邊勝美,〈ヘーラクレス神とチューリップ花冠-グレコ・バクトリア王国における東西文化の交流〉,《古代オリエント博物館研究紀要》,Vol. XX (1999)

Abstract

Demetrios I (ca. B.C. 200) and several kings of Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (Northern Afghanistan, Southern Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) issued unique silver coins (drachm and tetradrachm) with Heracles standing crowned with a diadem consisting of tulip-like flowers with three petals. In this paper the author attempted to demonstrate that the flower concerned is nothing but the wild tulip the original land of which is Central Asia. The wild Central Asian tulips and their artistic representations have not been studied by any Japanese scholar, but their importance in relation to cultural contacts along Silk Routes its conspicuous.

Therefore, the author collected various materials and documents depicting Central Asian and Persian "tulips" from the Bronze Age down to the Early Middle Age both in Central Asia and West Asia. According to the analysis of the tulip-depictions, the most ancient type (the first type) of tulip-flower painted or sculpted consists of three petals rendered in side view.

However, during the Hephthalite period (late 5th-early 6th century) the number of the petals increased from three to five. Therefore, since this period, Sogdian and Sasanian tulip-flowers are usually depicted with five petals. We may say that this is the second type. This fact might be a good criterion for dating archaeological finds from Central Asia and Iranian Plateau.

Taking into consideration the typological development of tulip-flowers investigated in this paper, we might be allowed to conclude that the Heracles' diadems depicted on Greco-Bactrian kings' coins consist most probably of three-petal wild tulip flowers, although their dimensions depicted on relevant coins are, to our great regret, too small to definitively this conclusion.

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