home   :    index    :    ancient Persia    :    Achaemenid Royal inscriptions

Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions: DNa


Tomb of Darius. Photo Marco Prins.
Tomb of Darius
In ca.521, the Persian king Darius I the Great ordered that a new alphabet, the Aryan script, was to be developed. This was used for a small corpus of inscriptions, known as the Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions. An overview of all inscriptions can be found here.

Darius was buried at Naqš-i Rustam, where he left two inscriptions.

  • DNa, in the upper register, can be regarded as his political autobiography. It can be read below.
  • DNb as a theological and moral testament. It is in the central register of the tomb (more...).
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
The upper tomb inscription at Naqs-i Rustam (DNa). Photo Marco Prins.
The upper inscription
  1. baga \ vazraka \ Auramazdâ \ hya \ im
  2. âm \ bumâm \ adâ \ hya \ avam \ asm
  3. ânam \ adâ \ hya \ martiyam \ adâ \ h
  4. ya \ šiyâtim \ adâ \ martiyahyâ
  5. \ hya \ Dârayavaum \ xšâyathiyam \ ak
  6. unauš \ aivam \ parûvnâm \ xšâyath
  7. iyam \ aivam \ parûvnâm \ framâtâ
  8. ram \ adam \ Dârayavauš \ xšâyathiya \ va
  9. zraka \ xšâyathiya \ xšâyathiyânâm
  10. \ xšâyathiya \ dahyûnâm \ vispazanâ
  11. nâm \ xšâyathiya \ ahyâyâ \ bûmi
  12. yâ \ vazrakâyâ \ dûraiapiy \ Vištâs
  13. pahyâ \ puça \ Haxâmanišiya \ Pârsa \ P
  14. ârsahyâ \ puça \ Ariya \ Ariya \ ci
  15. ça \ thâtiy \ Dârayavauš \ xšâya
  16. thiya \ vašnâ \ Auramazdâhâ \ imâ \
  17. dahyâva \ tyâ \ adam \ agarbâyam \
  18. apataram \ hacâ \ Pârsâ \ adamšâm \
  19. patiyaxšayaiy \ manâ \ bâjim \ abara
  20. ha \ tvašâm \ hacâma \ athahya \ ava \ a
  21. kunava \ dâtam \ tya \ manâ \ avadiš \
  22. adâraiya \ Mâda \ Ûvja \ Parthava \ Harai
  23. va \ Bâxtriš \ Suguda \ Uvârazm
  24. iš \ Zraka \ Harauvatiš \ Thataguš \ Ga
  25. dâra \ Hiduš \ Sakâ \ haumavargâ \ Sa
  26. kâ \ tigraxaudâ \ Bâbiruš \ A
  27. thurâ \ Arabâya \ Mudrâya \ Armina
  28. \ Katpatuka \ Sparda \ Yauna \ Sakâ \ tyaiy \ pa
  29. radraya \ Skudra \ Yaunâ \ takabarâ \ Putây
  30. â \ Kûšiyâ \ Maciyâ \ Karkâ \ thâtiy \ D
  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.

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 Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage.

King Darius 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; they did what was said to them by me; they held my law firmly; Media, Elam, Parthia, Aria, Bactria, Sogdia, Chorasmia, Drangiana, Arachosia, Sattagydia, Gandara, India, the haoma-drinking Scythians, the Scythians with pointed caps, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, Armenia, Cappadocia, Lydia, the Greeks, the Scythians across the sea, Thrace, the sun hat-wearing Greeks, the Libyans, the Nubians, the men of Maka and the Carians.

  1. ârayavauš \ xšâyathiya \ Auramazdâ \ yath
  2. â \ avaina \ imâm \ bûmim \ yaudatim \
  3. pasâvadim \ manâ \ frâbara \ mâm \ xšâ
  4. yathiyam \ akunauš \ adam \ xšâyathiya
  5. \ amiy \ vašnâ \ Auramazdâhâ \ a
  6. damšim \ gâthavâ \ niyašâdayam \ tyašâ
  7. m \ adam \ athaham \ ava \ akunava \ yathâ \ mâm \
  8. kâma \ âha \ yadipatiy \ maniyâhaiy \ t
  9. ya \ ciyakaram \ âha \ avâ \ dahyâva
  10. \ tyâ \ Dârayavauš \ xšâyathiya
  11. \ adâraya \ patikarâ \ dîdiy \ tyaiy \ g
  12. âthun \ baratiy \ avadâ \ xšnâsâhy \
  13. adataiy \ azdâ \ bavâtiy \ Pârsahyâ \
  14. martiyahyâ \ dûraiy \ arštiš \ pa
  15. râgmatâ \ adataiy \ azdâ \ bavâti
  16. y \ Pârsa \ martiya \ dûrayapiy \ hacâ \ Pâ
  17. rsâ \ partaram \ patiyajatâ \ thâtiy \ Dâ
  18. rayavauš \ xšâyathiya \ aita \ tya \ karta
  19. m \ ava \ visam \ vašnâ \ Auramazdâhâ \ ak
  20. unavam \ Auramazdâ(ma)iy \ upastâm \ aba
  21. ra \ yâtâ \ kartam \ akunavam \ mâm \ A
  22. uramazdâ \ pâtuv \ hacâ \ gastâ \ utâma
  23. iy \ vitham \ utâ \ imâm \ dahyâum \ aita \ ada
  24. m \ Auramazdâm \ jadiyâmiy \ aitama
  25. iy \ Auramazdâ \ dadâtuv \
  26. martiyâ \ hyâ \ Auramazdâh
  27. â \ framânâ \ hauvtaiy \ gas
  28. tâ \ mâ \ thadaya pathim \
  29. tyâm \ râstâm \ mâ
  30. \ avarada \ mâ \ stabava
The upper part of the tomb of Darius the Great at Naqs-i Rustam. Photo Marco Prins.
The upper part of the tomb of Darius the Great
King Darius 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.


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!

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!

 home   :    index    :    ancient Persia    :    Achaemenid Royal inscriptions