We intend to discuss two iconographic documents which have in common a probable link with the Sasanian conquest of Egypt (619-629).
A) A silk piece from the David Collection (Copenhaguen) This piece acquired in 2011 was either imported in Egypt or executed there in close imitation to the model. There was never a specific publication. It bears the repeated image of an enthroned Sasanian king wearing a crown of a type known on coins of Pērōz (457-484) and Khosrow II (590-628). He holds a flower in each hand and his throne rests on two rams depicted full-body. Both these characteristics are unusual in Sasanian throne scenes, but they call to mind the festival Bahār-jashn, the « Spring Festival », i.e. the « Nowruz of the Magi » established under Pērōz. It corresponded originally to the coming of the Sun in Aries, and the king was presented with « the first fruits from the flowers ».
B) An Egyptizing Sasanian plate in the Koweit Museum This plate of gilded silver was published in the catalogue Arts of the Hellenized East (London, 2015), were the scenes were interpreted as Manichaean. In fact, the totality of the iconography refers to Egyptian religious motifs: Isis-Tyche holding the oar-rudder; above her, wheat bags being carried to a boat, a probable evocation of the Navigium Isidis; the Nilometer and small boys inscribing the flood level, here disassociated from the architectural motif, Sarapis, Isis-Hathor, Nilotic vegetation and animals. The style and technique are, however, typical of royal vessels from the Middle and late Sasanian period. Clearly the plate was executed in Iran on the basis of cartoons transmitted from Egypt and illogically recombined. This plate presents strong analogies with the plate showing the « Triumph of Dionysus » (Moscow Historical Museum), by its compositional scheme, its exotic subject, the celebration of agricultural products (in one case wheat, in the other case vine). We propose to consider both as belonging to a propaganda programme celebrating the conquest of Byzantine territories under Khosrow II, with the theme of the appropriation of natural resources, well attested in Iranian royal ideology since the Achemenid period.