Conflict between two or more powerful creatures is a recurring theme in ancient art of the Near East. Fierce animals shown locked in combat were perhaps meant to embody strong opposing forces in nature.
The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major political and cultural power in ancient Iran and Iraq. The Parthians largely adopted the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian, Hellenistic, and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, though it eventually saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions.