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One of the Louvre Museum melophore (immortal persian guard) from the famous glazed bricks friezes found in the apadana (Darius the Great's palace) in Susa (Shush) by archeologist Marcel Dieulafoy and brought in Paris. Such polychromic friezes used to decorate the Achaemenian king's palaces in their capitales of Shush, Ecbatan, and Persepolis. The royal troopers were 10000, any dead being straight away replaced explaining their name of immortals. Only persian and median nobles could access such function. They constitued sections of 1000 soldiers, armed with archs, shields, and lances, each section being commanded by officers named chyliarchs. According to Historian Pierre Briant who opposed the generally admitted idea derived from the greek historian's reports and despite their rich and colorful uniforms, these soldiers were neither a parade army nor some fastuous guard units, but elite fighters that were engaged in most of the battlefields.


Pavillon Sully at the Louvre museum, Paris, France, July 2008

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Taken on August 27, 2008