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Ancient Man and His First Civilizations

Darius the Great's, Behistun Inscription

 

In Antiquity, Bagastâna/Behistun, which means 'place where the gods dwell', was the name of a village and a remarkable, isolated rock outcrop along the road that connected the capitals of Babylonia and Media, and Ecbatana (modern Hamadan). Many travelers passed along this place, so it was the logical place for the Persian king Darius I (Darius the Great - 522-486) to proclaim his military victories.

 

 

 

The famous Behistun inscription was engraved on a cliff about 100 meters off the ground. Darius tells us how the supreme god Ahuramazda choose him to dethrone an usurper named Gaumâta, how he set out to quell several revolts, and how he defeated his foreign enemies

 

 

 

 

Darius the Great's, Behistun Inscription

Trilingual inscription on the face of a gorge beneath the panel of sculptures in 5 Columns.

 

1. (1.1-3.) I am Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King in Persia, King of countries, son of Hystaspes, grandson of Arsames, an Achaemenian.

2. (1.3-6.) Darius the King says: My father was Hystaspes; Hystaspes' father was Arsames; Arsames' father was Ariaramnes; Ariaramnes' father was Teispes; Teispes' father was Achaemenes.

3. (1.6-8.) Darius the King says: For this reason we are called Achaemenians. From long ago we have been noble. From long ago our family had been kings.

4. (1.8-11.) Darius the King says: there were 8 of our family who were kings before me; I am the ninth; 9 in succession we have been kings.

5. (1.11-2.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda I am King; Ahuramazda bestowed the kingdom upon me.

6. (1.12-7.) Darius the King says: These are the countries which came to me; by the favor of Ahuramazda I was king of them: Persia, Elam, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, (those) who are beside the sea, Sardis, Ionia, Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Chorasmia, Bactria, Sogdiana, Gandara, Scythia, Sattagydia, Arachosia, Maka: in all, 23 provinces.

7. (1.17-20.) Darius the King says: These are the countries which came to me; by the favor of Ahuramazda they were my subjects; they bore tribute to me; what was said to them by me either by night or by day, that was done.

8. (1.20-4.) Darius the King says: Within these countries, the man who was loyal, him I rewarded well; (him) who was evil, him I punished well; by the favor of Ahuramazda these countries showed respect toward my law; as was said to them by me, thus was it done.

9. (1.24-26.) Darius the King says: Ahuramazda bestowed the kingdom upon me; Ahuramazda bore me aid until I got possession of this kingdom; by the favor of Ahuramazda I hold this kingdom.

10. (1.26-35.) Darius the King says: This is what was done by me after I became king. A son of Cyrus, Cambyses by name, of our family -- he was king here of that Cambyses there was a brother, Smerdis by name, having the same mother and the same father as Cambyses. Afterwards, Cambyses slew that Smerdis. When Cambyses slew Smerdis, it did not become known to the people that Smerdis had been slain. Afterwards, Cambyses went to Egypt. When Cambyses had gone off to Egypt, after that the people became evil. After that the Lie waxed great in the country, both in Persia and in Media and in the other provinces.

11. (1.35-43.) Darius the King says: Afterwards, there was one man, a Magian, named Gaumata; he rose up from Paishiyauvada. A mountain named Arakadri -- from there 14 days of the month Viyakhna were past when he rose up. He lied to the people thus: "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus, brother of Cambyses." After that, all the people became rebellious from Cambyses, (and) went over to him, both Persia and Media and the other provinces. He seized the kingdom; of the month Garmapada 9 days were past, then he seized the kingdom. After that, Cambyses died by his own hand.

12. (1.43-8.) Darius the King says: This kingdom which Gaumata the Magian took away from Cambyses, this kingdom from long ago had belonged to our family. After that, Gaumata the Magian took (it) from Cambyses; he took to himself both Persia and Media and the other provinces, he made (them) his own possession, he became king.

13. (1.48-61.) Darius the King says: There was not a man, neither a Persian nor a Mede nor anyone of our family, who might make that Gaumata the Magian deprived of the kingdom. The people feared him greatly, (thinking that) he would slay in numbers the people who previously had known Smerdis; for this reason he would slay the people, "lest they know me, that I am not Smerdis the son of Cyrus." Nobody dared say anything about Gaumata the Magian, until I came. After that I sought help of Ahuramazda; Ahuramazda bore me aid; of the month Bagayadi 10 days were past, then I with a few men slew that Gaumata the Magian, and those who were his foremost followers. A fortress named Sikayauvati, a district named Nisaya, in Media -- here I slew him. I took the kingdom from him. By the favor of Ahuramazda I became king; Ahuramazda bestowed the kingdom upon me.

14. (1.61-71.) Darius the King says: The kingdom which had been taken away from our family, that I put in its Place; I reestablished it on its foundation. As before, so I made the sanctuaries which Gaumata the Magian destroyed. I restored to the people the pastures and the herds, the household slaves and the houses which Gaumata the Magian took away from them. I reestablished the people on its foundation, both Persia and Media and the other provinces. As before, so I brought back what had been taken away. By the favor of Ahuramazda this I did: I strove until I reestablished our royal house on its foundation as (it was) before. So I strove, by the favor of Ahuramazda, so that Gaumata the Magian did not remove our royal house.

15. (1.71-2.) Darius the King says: This is what I did after I became king.

16. (1.72-81.) Darius the King says: When I had slain Gaumata the Magian, afterwards one man, named Asina, son of Upadarma -- he rose up in Elam. To the people he said thus: "I am king in Elam." Afterwards the Elamites became rebellious, (and) went over to that Asina; he became king in Elam. And one man, a Babylonian, named Nidintu-Bel, son of Ainaira -- he rose up in Babylon; thus he deceived the people: "I am Nebuchadrezzar the son of Nabonidus." Afterwards the Babylonian people all went over to that Nidintu-Bel; Babylonia became rebellious; he seized the kingdom in Babylon.

17. (1.81-3). Darius the King says: After that I sent (a message) to Elam. This Acina was led to me bound; I slew him.

18. (1.83-90). Darius the King says: After that I went off to Babylon, against that Nidintu-Bel who called himself Nebuchadrezzar. The army of Nidintu-Bel held the Tigris; there it took its stand, and on account of the waters (the Tigris) was unfordable. Thereupon (some of) my army I supported on (inflated) skins, others I made camel-borne, for others I brought horses. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda we got across the Tigris. There I smote that army of Nidintu-Bel exceedingly; of the month Asiyadiya 26 days were past, then we fought the battle.

19. (1.90-6). Darius the King says: After that I went off to Babylon. When I had not arrived at Babylon, a town named Zazana, beside the Euphrates -- there this Nidintu-Bel who called himself Nebuchadrezzar came with an army against me, to deliver battle. Thereupon we Joined battle; Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda I smote that army of Nidintu-Bel exceedingly. The rest was thrown into the water, (and) the water carried it away. Of the month Anamaka 2 days were past, then we fought the battle.

20. (2.1-5.) Darius the King says: After that, Nidintu-Bel with a few horsemen fled; he went off to Babylon. Thereupon I went to Babylon. By the favor of Ahuramazda both I seized Babylon and I took that Nidintu-Bel prisoner. After that, I slew that Nidintu-Bel at Babylon.

21. (2.5-8.) Darius the King says: While I was in Babylon, these are the provinces which became rebellious from me: Persia, Elam, Media, Assyria, Egypt, Parthia, Margiana, Sattagydia, Scythia.

22. (2.8-11.) Darius the King says: One man, named Martiya, son of Cincikhri -- a town named Kuganaka, in Persia -- there he abode. He rose up in Elam; to the people thus he said, "I am Imanish, king in Elam."

23. (2.11-3.) Darius the King says: At that time I was near Elam. Thereupon the Elamites were afraid of me; they seized that Martiya who was their chief, and slew him.

24. (2.13-7.) Darius the King says: One man, named Phraortes, a Median -- he rose up in Media. To the people thus he said, "I am Khshathrita, of the family of Cyaxares." Thereafter the Median army which (was) in the palace, became rebellious from me, (and) went over to that Phraortem. He became king in Media.

25. (2.18-29.) Darius the King says: The Persian and Median army which was with me, this was a small (force). Thereupon I sent forth an army. A Persian named Hydarnes, my subject -- I made him chief of them; I said to them thus: "Go forth, smite that Median army which does not call itself mine!" Thereupon this Hydarnes with the army marched off. When he arrived in Media, a town named Maru, in Media -- there he joined battle with the Medes. He who was chief among the Medes, he at that time was not there. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly. Of the month Anamaka 27 days were past, then the battle was fought by them. Thereafter this army of mine, a district named Kampanda, in Media -- there it waited for me until I arrived in Media.

26. (2.29-37.) Darius the King says: An Armenian named Dadarshi, my subject -- I sent him forth to Armenia. I said to him: "Go forth, that rebellious army which does not call itself mine, that do you smite!" Thereupon Dadarshi marched off. When he arrived in Armenia, thereafter the rebels assembled (and) came out against Dadarshi to join battle. A place named Zuzahya, in Armenia -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Thuravahara 8 days were past, then the battle was fought by them.

27. (2.37-42.) Darius the King says: Again a second time the rebels assembled (and) came out against Dadarshi to join battle. A stronghold named Tigra, in Armenia -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Thuravahara 18 days were past, then the battle was fought by them.

28. (2.42-9.) Darius the King says: Again a third time the rebels assembled (and) came out against Dadarshi to join battle. A fortress named Uyama, in Armenia -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Thaigarci 9 days were past, then the battle was fought by them. Thereafter Dadarshi waited for me until I arrived in Media.

29. (2.49-57.) Darius the King says: Thereafter a Persian named Vaumisa, my subject-him I sent forth to Armenia. Thus I said to him: "Go forth; the rebellious army which does not call itself mine -- smite them!" Thereupon Vaumisa marched off. When he arrived in Armenia, then the rebels assembled (and) came out against Vaumisa to join battle. A district named Izala, in Assyria -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Anamaka 15 days were past, then the battle was fought by them.

30. (2.57-63.) Darius the King says: Again a second time the rebels assembled (and) came out against Vaumisa to join battle. A district named Autiyara, in Armenia -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; on the last day of the month Thuravaharâthen the battle was fought by them. After that, Vaumisa waited for me in Armenia until I arrived in Media.

31. (2.64-70.) Darius the King says: Thereafter I went away from Babylon (and) arrived in Media. When I arrived in Media, a town named Kunduru, in Media -- there this Phraortes who called himself king in Media came with an army against me to join battle. Thereafter we joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda that army of Phraortes I smote exceedingly; of the month Adukanaisha 25 days were past, then we fought the battle.

32. (2.70-8.) Darius the King says: Thereafter this Phraortes with a few horsemen fled; a district named Raga, in Media -- along there he went off. Thereafter I sent an army in pursuit; Phraortes, seized, was led to me. I cut off his nose and ears and tongue, and put out one eye; he was kept bound at my palace entrance, all the people saw him. Afterward I impaled him at Ecbatana; and the men who were his foremost followers, those at Ecbatana within the fortress I (flayed and) hung out (their hides, stuffed with straw).

33. (2.78-91.) Darius the King says: One man named Cisantakhma, a Sagartian -- he became rebellious to me; thus he said to the people, "I am king in Sagartia, of the family of Cyaxares." Thereupon I sent off a Persian and Median army; a Mede named Takhmaspada, my subject -- I made him chief of them. I said to them thus: "Go forth; the hostile army which shall not call itself mine, and smite them!" Thereupon Takhmaspada with the army went off; he joined battle with Cisantakhma. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army and took Cisantakhma prisoner, (and) led him to me. Afterwards I cut off both his nose and ears, and put out one eye, he was kept bound at my palace entrance, all the people saw him. Afterwards I impaled him at Arbela.

34. (2.91-2.) Darius the King says: This is what was done by me in Media.

35. (2.92-8.) Darius the King says: Parthia and Hyrcania became rebellious from me, called themselves (adherents) of Phraortes. Hystaspes my father -- he was in Parthia; him the people abandoned, became rebellious. Thereupon Hystaspes went forth with the army which was faithful to him. A town named Vishpauzati, in Parthia -- there he joined battle with the Parthians. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda Hystaspes smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Viyakhna 22 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

36. (3.1-9.) Darius the King says: After that I sent forth a Persian army to Hystaspes, from Raga. When this army came to Hystaspes, thereupon Hystaspes took that army (and) marched out. A town by name Patigrabana, in Parthia - there he joined battle with the rebels. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda Hystaspes smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Garmapada 1 day was past -- then the battle was fought by them.
37. (3.9-10.) Darius the King says: After that the province became mine. This is what was done by me in Parthia.

38. (3.10-9.) Darius the King says: A province named Margiana -- it became rebellious to me. One man named Frada, a Margian -- him they made chief. Thereupon I sent forth against him a Persian named Dadarshi, my subject, satrap in Bactria. Thus I said to him: "Go forth, smite that army which does not call itself mine!" After that, Dadarshi marched out with the army; he joined battle with the Margians. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Asiyadiya 23 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

39. (3.19-21.) Darius the King says: After that the province became mine. This is what was done by me in Bactria.

40. (3.21-8.) Darius the King says: One man named Vahyazdata -- a town named Tarava, a district named Yautiya, in Persia -- there he abode. He made the second uprising in Persia. To the people he said thus: "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus." Thereupon the Persian army which (was) in the palace, (having come) from Anshan previously -- it became rebellious from me, went over to that Vahyazdata. He became king in Persia.

41. (3.28-40.) Darius the King says: Thereupon I sent forth the Persian and Median army which was by me. A Persian named Artavardiya, my subject -- I made him chief of them. The rest of the Persian army went forth behind me to Media. Thereupon Artavardiya with his army went forth to Persia. When he arrived in Persia, a town named Rakha, in Persia -- there this Vahyazdata who called himself Smerdis came with his army against Artavardiya, to join battle. Thereupon they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that army of Vahyazdata exceedingly; of the month Thuravahara 12 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

42. (3.40-9.) Darius the King says: After that, this Vahyazdata with a few horsemen fled; he went off to Paishiyauvada. From there he got an army; later he came against Artavardiya to join battle. A mountain named Parga -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that army of Vahyasdata exceedingly; of the month Garmapada 5 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them, and that Vahyazdata they took prisoner, and those who were his foremost followers they captured.

43. (3.49-52.) Darius the King says: After that I took that Vahyazdata and those who were his foremost followers -- a town named Uvadaicaya, in Persia -- there I impaled them.

44. (3.52-3.) Darius the King says: This is what was done by me in Persia.

45. (3.54-64.) The King says: This Vahyazdata who called himself Smerdis had sent an army to Arachosia -- a Persian named Vivana, my subject, satrap in Arachosia -- against him; and he had made one man their chief. Thus he said to them: "Go forth; smite Vivana and that army which calls itself King Darius's!" Thereupon this army marched off, which Vahyazdata had sent forth against Vivana to join battle. A fortress named Kapishakani -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Anamaka 13 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

46. (3.64-9.) Darius the King says: Again later the rebels assembled (and) came out against Vivana to join battle. A district named Gandutava -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Viyakhna 7 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

47. (3.69-75.) Darius the King says: After that, this man who was the chief of that army which Vahyazdata had sent forth against Vivana -- he fled with a few horsemen (and) got away. A fortress named Arshada, in Arachosia -- past that he went. Afterwards Vivana with his army went off in pursuit of them; there he took him prisoner and the men who were his foremost followers, (and) slew (them).

48. (3.75-6.) Darius the King says: After that the province became mine. This is what was done by me in Arachosia.

49. (3.76-83.) Darius the King says: While I was in Persia and Media, again a second time the Babylonians became rebellious from me. One man named Arkha, an Armenian, son of Haldita -- he rose up in Babylon. A district named Dubala -- from there he thus lied to the people: "I am Nebuchadrezzar the son of Nabonidus." Thereupon the Babylonian people became rebellious from me, (and) went over to that Arkha. He seized Babylon; he became king in Babylon.

50. (3.83-92.) Darius the King says: Thereupon I sent forth an army to Babylon. A Persian named Intaphernes, my subject -- him I made chief of them. Thus I said to them: "Go forth; that Babylonian army smite, which shall not call itself mine!" Thereupon Intaphernes with the army marched off to Babylon. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda Intaphernes smote the Babylonians and led them in bonds; of the month Varkazana 22 days were past -- then that Arkha who falsely called himself Nebuchadrezzar and the men who were his foremost followers he took prisoner. I issued an order: this Arkha and the men who were his foremost followers were impaled at Babylon.

51. (4.1-2.) Darius the King says: This is what was done by me in Babylon.

52. (4.2-31.) Darius the King says: This is what I did by the favor of Ahuramazda in one and the same year after that I became king. 19 battles I fought; by the favor of Ahuramazda I smote them and took prisoner 9 kings. One was named Gaumata, a Magian; lied and said, "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus;" he made Persia rebellious. One, named Asina, an Elamite; lied and said, "I am king in Elam;" he made Elam rebellious to me. One, named Nidintu-Bel, a Babylonian; lied and said, "I am Nebuchadrezzar, the son of Nabonidus; he made Babylon rebellious. One, named Martiya, a Persian; lied and said, "I am Imanish, king in Elam;" he made Elam rebellious. One, named Phraortes, a Mede; lied and said, "I am Khshathrita, of the family of Cyaxares;" he made Media rebellious. One named Cisantakhma, a Sagartian; lied and said, "I am king in Sagartia, of the family of Cyaxares;" he made Sagartia rebellious. One, named Frada, a Margian; lied and said, "I am king in Margiana;" he made Margiana rebellious. One, named Vahyazdata, a Persian; lied and said, "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus;" he made Persia rebellious. One, named Arkha, an Armenian; lied and said: "I am Nebuchadrezzar, the son of Nabonidus;" he made Babylon rebellious.

53. (4.31-2.) Darius the King says: These 9 kings I took prisoner within these battles.

54. (4.33-6.) Darius the King says: These are the provinces which became rebellious. The Lie (druj) made them rebellious, so that these (men) deceived the people. Afterwards Ahuramazda put them into my hand; as was my desire, so I did to them.

55. (4.36-40.). Darius the King says: You who shall be king hereafter, protect yourself vigorously from the Lie; the man who shall be a Lie-follower, him do you punish well, if thus you shall think, "May my country be secure!"

56. (4.40-3.) Darius the King says: This is what I did; by the favor of Ahuramazda, in one and the same year I did (it). You who shall hereafter read this inscription let that which has been done by me convince you; do not think it a lie.

57. (4.13-5.) Darius the King says: I turn myself quickly to Ahuramazda, that this (is) true, not false, (which) I did in one and the same year.

58. (4.45-50.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda and of me much else was done; that has not been inscribed in this inscription; for this reason it has not been inscribed, lest whoso shall hereafter read this inscription, to him what has been done by me seem excessive, (and) it not convince him, (but) he think it false.

59. (4.50-2.) Darius the King says: Those who were the former kings, as long as they lived, by them was not done thus as by the favor of Ahuramazda was done by me in one and the same year.

60. (4.52-6.) Darius the King says: Now let that which has been done by me convince you; thus to the people impart, do not conceal it: if this record you shall not conceal, (but) tell it to the people, may Ahuramazda he a friend to you, and may family be to you in abundance, and may you live long!

61. (4.57-9.) Darius the King says: If this record you shall conceal, (and) not tell it to the people, may Ahuramazda be a smiter to you, and may family not be to you!

62. (4.59-61.) Darius the King says: This which I did, in one and the same year by the favor of Ahuramazda I did; Ahuramazda bore me aid, and the other gods who are.

63. (4.61-7.) Darius the King says: For this reason Ahuramazda bore aid, and the other gods who are, because I was not hostile, I was not a Lie-follower, I was not a doer of wrong -- neither I nor my family. According to righteousness I conducted myself. Neither to the weak nor to the powerful did I do wrong. The man who cooperated with my house, him I rewarded well; whoso did injury, him I punished well.

64. (4.67-9.) Darius the King says: You who shall be king hereafter, the man who shall be a Lie-follower or who shall be a doer of wrong -- to them do not be a friend, (but) punish them well.

65. (4.69-72.) Darius the King says: You who shall thereafter behold this inscription which I have inscribed, or these sculptures, do not destroy them, (but) thence onward protect them, as long as you shall be in good strength!

66. (4.72-6.) Darius the King says: If you shall behold this inscription or these sculptures, (and) shall not destroy them and shall protect them as long as to you there is strength, may Ahuramazda be a friend to you, and may family be to you in abundance, and may you live long, and what you shall do, that may Ahuramazda make successful for you!

67. (4.76-80.) Darius the King says: If you shall behold this inscription or these sculptures, (and) shall destroy them and shall not protect them as long as to you there is strength, may Ahuramazda be a smiter to you, and may family not be to you, and what you shall do, that for you may Ahuramazda utterly destroy!

68. (4.80-6.) Darius the King says: These are the men who were there at the time when I slew Gaumata the Magian who called himself Smerdis; at that time these men cooperated as my followers: Intaphernes by name, son of Vayaspara, a Persian; Otanes by name, son of Thukhra, a Persian; Gobryas by name, son of Mardonius, a Persian; Hydarnes by name, son of Bagabigna, a Persian; Megabyzus by name, son of Datuvahya, a Persian; Ardumanish by name, son of Vahauka, a Persian.

69. (4.86-8.) Darius the King says: You who shall be king hereafter, protect well the family of these men.

70. (4.88-92.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda this is the inscription which I made. Besides, it was in Aryan, and on clay tablets and on parchment it was composed. Besides, a sculptured figure of myself I made. Besides, I made my lineage. And it was inscribed and was read off before me. Afterwards this inscription I sent off everywhere among the provinces. The people unitedly worked upon it.

71. (5.1-14.) Darius the King says: This is what I did in both the second and the third year after I became king. A province named Elam became rebellious. One man named Atamaita, an Elamite -- they made him chief. Thereupon I sent forth an army. One man named Gobryas, a Persian, my subject -- I made him chief of them. After that, Gobryas with the army marched off to Elam; he joined battle with the Elamites. Thereupon Gobryas smote and crushed the Elamites, and captured the chief of them; he led him to me, and I killed him. After that the province became mine.
72. (5.14-7.) Darius the King says: Those Elamites were faithless and by them Ahuramazda was not worshipped. I worshipped Ahuramazda; by the favor of Ahuramazda, as was my desire, thus I did to them.

73. (5.18-20.) Darius the King says: Whoso shall worship Ahuramazda, divine blessing will be upon him, both (while) living and (when) dead.

74. (5.20-30.) Darius the King says: Afterwards with an army I went off to Scythia, after the Scythians who wear the pointed cap. These Scythians went from me. When I arrived at the sea, beyond it then with all my army I crossed. Afterwards, I smote the Scythians exceedingly; another (leader) I took captive; this one was led bound to me, and I slew him. The chief of them, by name Skunkha -- him they seized and led to me. Then I made another their chief, as was my desire. After that, the province became mine.

75. (5.30-3.) Darius the King says: Those Scythians... (= DB 5.15-7).

76. (5.33-6.) . . . (= DB 5.18-20).

 

 

Other Persian Inscriptions.

 

Ariaramnes at Hamadan.
Slightly incomplete text on gold tablet.

1. (1-4). Ariaramnes, the Great King, King of Kings, King in Persia, son of Teispes the King, grandson of Achaemenes.

2. (4-9). Ariaramnes the King says: This country Persia which I hold, which is possessed of good horses, of good men, the Great God Ahuramazda bestowed it upon me. By the favor of Ahuramazda I am king in this country.

3. (9-11). Ariaramnes the King says: May Ahuramazda bear me aid.

 

 

Arsames at Hamadan.
OP text on gold tablet, lower right corner missing.

1. (1-4). Arsames, the Great King, King of Kings, King (in) Persia, son (of) Ariaramnes the King, an Achaemenian.

2. (5-14). Arsames the King says: Ahuramazda, great god, the greatest of gods, made me king. He bestowed on me the land Persia, with good people, with good horses. By the favor of Ahuramazda I hold this land. May Ahuramazda protect me, and my royal house, and may he protect this land which I hold.

 

 

DARIUS, PERSEPOLIS D. (DPd)
OP only on south retaining wall of palace.

1. (1-5.) Great Ahuramazda, the greatest of gods -- he created Darius the King, he bestowed on him the kingdom; by the favor of Ahuramazda Darius is King.

2. (5-12.) Darius the King says: This country Persia which Ahuramazda bestowed upon me, good, possessed of good horses, possessed of good men -- by the favor of Ahuramazda and of me, Darius the King, does not feel fear of (any) other.

3. (12-24.) Darius the King says: May Ahuramazda bear me aid, with the gods of the royal house; and may Ahuramazda protect this country from a (hostile) army, from famine, from the Lie! Upon this country may there not come an army, nor famine, nor the Lie; this I pray as a boon from Ahuramazda together with the gods of the royal house. This boon may Ahuramazda together with the gods of the royal house give to me!

 

DARIUS, PERSEPOLIS E. (DPe)
OP only on south retaining wall of palace.

1. (1-5.) I am Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King of many countries, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian.

2. (5-18.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda these are the countries which I got into my possession along with this Persian folk, which felt fear of me (and) bore me tribute: Elam, Media, Babylonia, Arabia, Assyria, Egypt, Armenia, Cappadocia, Sardis, Ionians who are of the mainland and (those) who are by the sea, and countries which are across the sea; Sagartia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Bactria, Sogdiana, Chorasmia, Sattagydia, Arachosia, Sind, Gandara, Seythians, Maka.

3. (18-24.) Darius the King says: If you shall think thus, "May I not feel fear of (any) other," protect this Persian people; if the Persian people shall be protected, thereafter for the longest while happiness unbroken -- this will by Ahura come down upon this royal house.


DARIUS, PERSEPOLIS H. (DPh)
Trilingual on gold and silver plates.

1. (1-3.) Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian.

2. (3-10.) Darius the King says: This is the kingdom which I hold, from the Scythians who are beyond Sogdiana, thence to Ethiopia; from Sind thence to Sardis -- which Ahuramazda the greatest of the gods bestowed upon me. May Ahuramazda protect me, and my royal house.

 

THE INSCRIPTIONS OF NAQSH-I-RUSTAM.
Inscriptions on south face of steep ridge north of Persepolis

1. (1-8.) A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created yonder sky, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Darius king, one king of many, one lord of many.

2. (8-15.) I am Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage.

3. (15-30.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda these are the countries which I seized outside of Persia; I ruled over them; they bore tribute to me; what was said to them by me, that they did; my law -- that held them firm; Media, Elam, Parthia, Aria, Bactria, Sogdiana, Chorasmia, Drangiana, Arachosia, Sattagydia, Gandara, Sind, Amyrgian Scythians, Scythians with pointed caps, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, Armenia, Cappadocia, Sardis, Ionia, Scythians who are across the sea, Skudra, petasos-wearing Ionians, Libyans, Ethiopians, men of Maka, Carians.

4. (30-47.) Darius the King says: Ahuramazda, when he saw this earth in commotion, thereafter bestowed it upon me, made me king; I am king. By the favor of Ahuramazda I put it down in its place; what I said to them, that they did, as was my desire. If now you shall think that "How many are the countries which King Darius held?" look at the sculptures (of those) who bear the throne, then shall you know, then shall it become known to you: the spear of a Persian man has gone forth far; then shall it become known to you: a Persian man has delivered battle far indeed from Persia.

5. (47-55.) Darius the King says: This which has been done, all that by the will of Ahuramazda I did. Ahuramazda bore me aid, until I did the work. May Ahuramazda protect me from harm, and my royal house, and this land: this I pray of Ahuramazda, this may Ahuramazda give to me!

6. (56-60.) O man, that which is the command of Ahuramazda, let this not seem repugnant to you; do not leave the right path; do not rise in rebellion!

 

 

DARIUS, NAQSH-I-RUSTAM B. (DNb)

7. (1-5.) A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this excellent work which is seen, who created happiness for man, who bestowed wisdom and activity upon Darius the King.

8a. (5-11.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda I am of such a sort that I am a friend to right, I am not a friend to wrong. It is not my desire that the weak man should have wrong done to him by the mighty; nor is that my desire, that the mighty man should have wrong done to him by the weak.

8b. (11-5.) What is right, that is my desire. I am not a friend to the man who is a Lie-follower. I am not hot-tempered. What things develop in my anger, I hold firmly under control by my thinking power. I am firmly ruling over my own (impulses).

8c. (16-21.) The man who cooperates, him according to his cooperative action, him thus do I reward. Who does harm, him according to the damage thus I punish. It is not my desire that a man should do harm; nor indeed is that my desire, if he should do harm, he should not be punished.

8d. (21-4.) What a man says against a man, that does not convince me, until he satisfies the Ordinance of Good Regulations.

8e. (24-7.) What a man does or performs (for me) according to his (natural) powers, (therewith) I am satisfied, and my pleasure is abundant, and I am well satisfied.

8f. (27-31.) Of such a sort is my understanding and my command: when what has been done by me you shall see or hear of, both in the palace and in the warcamp, this is my activity over and above my thinking power and my understanding.

8g. (31-40.) This indeed is my activity: inasmuch as my body has the strength, as battle-fighter I am a good battle fighter. Once let there be seen with understanding in the place (of battle), what I see (to be) rebellious, what I see (to be) not (rebellious); both with understanding and with command then am I first to think with action, when I see a rebel as well as when I see a not-(rebel).

8h. (40-45.) Trained am I both with hands and with feet. As a horseman I am a good horseman. As a bowman I am a good bowman both afoot and on horseback. As a spearman I am a good spear-man both afoot and on horseback.

8i. (45-9.) And the (physical) skillfulnesses which Ahuramazda has bestowed upon me and I have had the strength to use them -- by the favor of Ahuramazda what has been done by me, I have done with these skillfulnesses which Ahuramazda has bestowed upon me.

9a. (50-5.) O menial, vigorously make you known of what sort I am, and of what sort my skillfulnesses, and of what sort my superiority. Let not that seem false to you, which has been heard by thy ears. That do you hear, which is communicated to you.

9b. (55-60.) O menial, let that not be made (to seem) false to you, which has been done by me. That do you behold, which [has been inscribed]. Let not the laws [be disobeyed] by you. Let not [anyone] be untrained [in obedience]. [O menial], let not the king (feel himself obliged to) inflict punishment (?) [for wrong-doing (?) on the dwellers (in the land) (?)].

 

 

DARIUS, SUSA E. (DSe)
10 OP fragments representing several copies.

1. (1-7.) ... (= DNa 1-8).
2. (7-14.) ... (= DNa 8-15).

3. (14-30.) ... (= DNa 15-24), men of Maka, ... (= DNa 24-8), Ionians, (those) who are by the sea and (those) who are across the sea, Skudra, Libyans, Ethiopians, Carians.

4. (30-41.) Darius the King says: Much which was ill-done, that I made good. Provinces were in commotion; one man was smiting the other. The following I brought about by the favor of Ahuramazda, that the one does not smite the other at all, each one is in his place. My law -- of that they feel fear, so that the stronger does not smite nor destroy the weak.

5. (41-9.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda, much handiwork which previously had been put out of its place, that I put in its place. A town named ..., (its) wall fallen from age, before this unrepaired -- I built another wall (to serve) from that time into the future.

6. (49-52.) Darius the King says: May Ahuramazda together with the gods protect me, and my royal house, and what has been inscribed by me.

 

 

DARIUS, SUSA F. (DSf)
Fragments of many copies on clay and marble tablets, and on glazed tiles of the frieze of the great hall.

1. (1-5.) ... (= DNa 1-8).
2. (5-8.) ... (= DSd 1-2).

3a. (8-12.) Darius the King says: Ahuramazda, the greatest of the gods -- he created me; he made me king; he bestowed upon me this kingdom, great, possessed of good horses, possessed of good men.

3h. (12-5.) By the favor of Ahuramazda my father Hystaspes and Arsames my grandfather -- these both were living when Ahuramazda made me king in this earth.

3c. (15-8.) To Ahuramazda thus was the desire: he chose me as (his) man in all the earth; he made me king in all the earth.

3d. (18-22.) I worshipped Ahuramazda. Ahuramazda bore me aid. What was by me commanded to do, that he made successful for me. What I did, all by the favor of Ahuramazda I did.

3e. (22-7.) This palace which I built at Susa, from afar its ornamentation was brought. Downward the earth was dug, until I reached rock in the earth. When the excavation had been made, then rubble was packed down, some 40 cubits in depth, another (part) 20 cubits in depth. On that rubble the palace was constructed.

3f. (28-30.) And that the earth was dug downward, and that the rubble was packed down, and that the sun-dried brick was molded, the Babylonian people -- it did (these tasks).

3g. (30-5.) The cedar timber, this -- a mountain named Lebanon -- from there was brought. The Assyrian people, it brought it to Babylon; from Babylon the Carians and the Ionians brought it to Susa. The yakâ-timber was brought from Gandara and from Carmania.

3h. (35-40.) The gold was brought from Sardis and from Bactria, which here was wrought. The precious stone lapis lazuli and carnelian which was wrought here, this was brought from Sogdiana. The precious stone turquois, this was brought from Chorasmia, which was wrought here.

3i. (40-5.) The silver and the ebony were brought from Egypt. The ornamentation with which the wall was adorned, that from Ionia was brought. The ivory which was wrought here, was brought from Ethiopia and from Sind and from Arachosia.

3j. (45-9.) The stone columns which were here wrought, a village named Abiradu, in Elam -- from there were brought. The stone-cutters who wrought the stone, those were Ionians and Sardians.

3k. (49-55.) The goldsmiths who wrought the gold, those were Medes and Egyptians. The men who wrought the wood, those were Sardians and Egyptians. The men who wrought the baked brick, those were Babylonians. The men who adorned the wall, those were Medes and Egyptians.

4. (55-8.) Darius the King says: At Susa a very excellent (work) was ordered, a very excellent (work) was (brought to completion). Me may Ahuramazda protect, and Hystaspes my father, and my country.

 

 

DARIUS, SUEZ C. (DZc)

1. (1-4.) ... (= DNa 1-6, with one change of order); who upon Darius the King ... (= Dsf 11-2).
2. (4-7.) ... (=Dna 8-13).

3. (7-12.) Darius the King says: I am a Persian; from Persia I seized Egypt; I gave order to dig this canal from a river named Nile which flows in Egypt, to the sea which goes from Persia. Afterward this canal was dug thus as I had ordered, and ships went from Egypt through this canal to Persia thus as was my desire.

 

 

XERXES, PERSEPOLIS H. (XPh)
The Daiva Inscription: Trilingual, on stone tablets, 2 copies.

1. (1-6.) ... (= XPa 1-6).
2. (6-13.) ... (=XPa 6-11, DNa 13-5).

3. (13-28.) Xerxes the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda these are the countries of which I was king ... (= DNa 18-22); Media, Elam, Arachosia, Armenia, Drangiana, Parthia, Aria, Bactria, Sogdiana, Chorasmia, Babylonia, Assyria, Sattagydia, Sardis, Egypt, Ionians, those who dwell by the sea and those who dwell across the sea, men of Maka, Arabia, Gandara, Sind, Cappadocia, Dahae, Amyrgian Scythians, Pointed-Cap Scythians, Skudra, men of Akaufaka, Libyans, Carians, Ethiopians.

4a. (28-35.) Xerxes the King says: When that I became king, there is among these countries which are inscribed above (one which) was in commotion. Afterwards Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda I smote that country and put it down in its place.

4b. (35-41.) And among these countries there was (a place) where previously false gods [[Daevas]] were worshipped. Afterwards, by the favor of Ahuramazda, I destroyed that sanctuary of the demons, and I made proclamation, "The demons shall not be worshipped!" Where previously the demons were worshipped, there I worshipped Ahuramazda and Arta [[Asha]] reverent(ly).

4c. (41-6.) And there was other (business) that had been done ill; that I made good. That which I did, all I did by the favor of Ahuramazda. Ahuramazda bore me aid, until I completed the work.

4d. (46-56.) Thou who (shall be) hereafter, if you shall think, "Happy may I be when living, and when dead may I be blessed," have respect for that law which Ahuramazda has established; worship Ahuramazda and Arta reverent(ly). The man who has respect for that law which Ahuramazda has established, and worships Ahuramazda and Arta reverent(ly), he both becomes happy while living, and becomes blessed when dead.

5. (56-60.) Xerxes the King says: ... (= DNa 51-5).

 

 

ARTAXERXES II, SUSA A. (A2Sa)
Trilingual on bases of 4 columns.

Artaxerxes the Great King, King of Kings, King of Countries, King in this earth, son of Darius the King, of Darius (who was) son of Artaxerxes the King, of Artaxerxes (who was) son of Xerxes the King, of Xerxes (who was) son of Darius the King, of Darius (who was) son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, says: This palace Darius my great-great-grandfather built; later under Artaxerxes my grandfather it was burned; by the favor of Ahuramazda, Anahita, and Mithra, this palace I built. May Ahuramazda, Anahita, and Mithra protect me from all evil, and that which I have built may they not shatter nor harm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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