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Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions: DSf


  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.
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The King's Hall. Photo Marco Prins.
Part of the remains of Susa. The inscription was found in the little hole in the wall in front, left

DSf, foundation tablet from Susa

In the following text, known as DSf, Darius tells how he built the royal palace of Susa and imported products from all over his empire. The text, written in three languages, has come to us in many fragments (13 Old Persian, 27 Babylonian, and 12 Elamite) of marble, clay, or glazed tiles. They were discovered in the Apadana, but also on other places on the hill. There are parallel texts like DSaa (in Babylonian) and DSz (in Elamite).


Old Persian foundation text from Susa. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Jona Lendering.
Old Persian foundation text from Susa (Louvre, Paris)
  1. baga vazraka Auramazdā \ hya \ imām \ būmim \ a
  2. dā \ hya \ avam \ asmānam \ adā \ hya \ martiyam \ adā
  3. \ hya \ šiyātim \ adā \ martiyahyā \ hya \ Dāra
  4. yavaum \ XŠyam \ akunauš \ aivam \ parūnām \ XŠ
  5. yam \ aivam \ parūnām \ framātāram \ adam \ Dāra
  6. yavauš \ XŠ \ vazraka \ XŠ \ XŠyānam \ XŠ \ DHnām \ XŠ
  7. \ ahyāyā \ BUyā \ Vištāspahyā \ puca \ Haxāma
  8. nišiya \ thātiy \ Dārayavauš \ XŠ \ Auramazdā \
  9. hya \ mathišta \ bagānām \ hauv \ mām \ adā \ ha
  10. uv \ mām \ XŠyam \ akunauš \ haumaiy \ ima \ xša
  11. ēam \ frābara \ tya \ vazrakam \ tya \ uvaspam \ uma
  12. rtiyam \ vašnā \ Auramazdāha \ hya \ manā \ pitā
  13. \ Vištāspa \ utā \ Aršāma \ hya \ manā \ niyāka \
  14. tyā \ ubā \ ajīvatam \ yadiy \ Auramazdā \ mā
  15. m \ XŠyam \ akunauš \ ahyāyā \ BUyā \ Auramazd
  16. ām \ avathā \ kāma \ āha \ haruvahyāyā \ BUyā \ mar
  17. tiyam \ mām \ avarnavatā \ mām \ XŠyam \ akunauš \
  18. haruvahāyā \ BUyā \ adam \ Auramazdām \ ayadaiy \
  19. Auramazdāmaiy \ upastām \ abara \ tyamaiy \ fram
  20. ātam \ cartanaiy \ ava \ ucāramaiy \ akunauš \ t
  21. ya \ adam \ akunavam \ visam \ vašnā \ Auramazdāha \
  22. akunavam \ ima \ hadiš \ tya \ Ēūšāyā \ akunavam \
  23. hacāciy \ dūradaša \ arjanamšaiy \ abariya \ frava
  24. ta \ BU \ akaniya \ yātā \ athagam \ BUyā \ avārasam \
  25. yathā \ katam \ abava \ pasāva \ thikā \ avaniya \ aniyā \
  26. XL \ arašaniš \ baršnā \ aniyā \ XX \ arašniš \ barš
  27. nā \ upariy \ avām \ thikām \ hadiš \ frāsahya

Elamite foundation text from Susa. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Jona Lendering.
Elamite foundation text from Susa (Louvre, Paris)
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.

Darius the King says: By the grace of Ahuramazda I built this palace.

Darius the King says: Ahuramazda, the greatest of the gods, created me,  made me king, bestowed upon me this kingdom, great, possessed of good horses, possessed of good men.

By the grace of Ahuramazda, my father Hystaspes and Arsames my grandfather - these both were living when Ahuramazda made me king in this earth.

To Ahuramazda thus was the desire: he chose me as his man in all the earth; he made me king in all the earth.

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 grace of Ahuramazda I did.

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.




Babylonian foundation text from Susa. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Jona Lendering.
Babylonian foundation text from Susa (Louvre, Paris)
  1. \ utā \ tya \ BU \ akaniya \ fravata \ utā \ tya \ thikā \
  2. avaniya \ utā \ tya \ ištiš \ ajaniya \ kāra \ hya \ Bā
  3. biruviya \ hauv \ akunauš \ tharmiš \ hya \ nau
  4. caina \ hauv \ Labanāna \ nāma \ kaufa \ hacā \ avanā \ aba
  5. riya \ kāra \ hya \ Athuriya \ haudim \ abara \ yātā \
  6. Bābirauv \ hacā \ Bābirauv \ Karkā \ utā \ Yau
  7. nā \ abara \ yātā \ Ēušāyā \ yakā \ hacā \ Gadārā
  8. \ abariya \ utā \ hacā \ Karmānā \ daraniyam \ hacā
  9. \ Spardā \ utā \ hacā \ Bāxtriyā \ abariya \ tya
  10. \ idā \ akariya \ kāsaka \ hya \ kapautaka \ utā \ sikab
  11. ruš \ hya \ idā \ karta \ hauv \ hacā \ Sugudā \ aba
  12. riya \ kāsaka \ hya \ axšaina \ hauv \ hacā \ Uvāraz
  13. miyā \ abariya \ hya \ idā \ karta \ ardatam \ utā \ a
  14. sā \ dāruv \ hacā \ Mudrāyā \ abariya \ ar
  15. janam \ tyanā \ didā \ pištā \ ava \ hacā \ Yaun
  16. ā \ abariya \ piruš \ hya \ idā \ karta \ haca \ Kūš
  17. ā \ utā \ hacā \ Hidauv \ utā \ hacā \ Harauvat
  18. iyā \ abariya \ stūnā \ athagainiya \ tyā \ id
  19. ā \ kartā \ Abirāduš \ nāma \ āvahanam \ Ūjaiy
  20. \ hacā \ avadaša \ abariya \ martiyā \ karnuvakā \ t
  21. yaiy \ athagam \ akunavatā \ avaiy \ Yaunā \ utā
  22. \ Spardiyā \ martiyā \ dāraniyakarā \ tyaiy \ daran
  23. iyam \ akunavaša \ avaiy \ Mādā \ utā \ Mudrāy
  24. ā \ martiyā \ tyaiy \ dāruv \ akunavaša \ avaiy \
  25. Spardiyā \ utā \ Mudrāyā \ martiyā \ tyaiy
  26. \ agurum \ akunavaša \ avaiy \ Bābiruviy
  27. ā \ martiyā \ tyaiy \ didām \ apitha \ avaiy \ Mād
  28. ā \ utā \ Mudrāyā \ thātiy \ Dārayavauš \ XŠ \
  29. Ēūšāyā \ paruv \ frašam \ framātam \ paruv \ fraša
  30. m \ āha \ mām \ Auramazdā \ pātuv \ utā \ V
  31. štāspam \ hya \ manā \ pitā \ utamaiy \ DHum


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 performed these tasks.

The cedar timber, this was brought from a mountain named Lebanon. The Assyrian people brought it to Babylon; from Babylon the Carians and the Yaunā [=Greeks] brought it to Susa. The yakā-timber was brought from Gandara and from Carmania.

The gold was brought from Lydia and from Bactria, which here was wrought. The precious stone lapis lazuli and carnelian which was wrought here, this was brought from Sogdia. The precious stone turquoise, this was brought from Chorasmia, which was wrought here.

The silver and the ebony were brought from Egypt. The ornamentation with which the wall was adorned, that from Yaunā was brought. The ivory which was wrought here, was brought from Kush and from India and from Arachosia.

The stone columns which were here wrought, a village named Abirādu, in Elam - from there were brought. The stone-cutters who wrought the stone, those were Yaunā and Lydians.

The goldsmiths who wrought the gold, those were Medes and Egyptians. The men who wrought the wood, those were Lydians and Egyptians. The men who wrought the baked brick, those were Babylonians. The men who adorned the wall, those were Medes and Egyptians.

Darius the King says: At Susa a very excellent work was ordered, a very excellent work was brought to completion.

May Ahuramazda protect me, my father Hystaspes, and my country.


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