home   :    index    :    ancient Persia    :    Achaemenid Royal inscriptions

The weights of king 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.
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

Weights

On these pages, the weights of king Darius are collected. The basic unit, the karšâ, was 83.30 grams, or one sixth of a mina from Babylonia, the main economic and cultural center of the Achaemenid Empire. The karšâ could be subdivided into ten shekels of 8.33 grams, which corresponed to the weight of a gold piece called dareikos or daric (more...). Its purity was well above 98% and often even above 99%.

DWa (a diorite weight)

  1. 2 karšâ
  2. adam \ Dâra
  3. yavauš \ xš
  4. âyathiya \ va
  5. zraka \ Viš
  6. tâspahyâ
  7. \ puça \ Hax
  8. âmanišiya
2 karšâ [=166.60 grams]
I am Darius, the great king, the son of Hystaspes, the Achaemenid.

DWb (a diorite weight)

  1. adam \ Dârayavauš \ x
  2. šâyathiya \ vazraka \ x
  3. šâyathiya \ xšâyath
  4. iyânâm \ xšâyath
  5. iya \ dahyûnâm \ xš
  6. âyathiya \ ahyâyâ
  7. \ bûmiyâ \ Vištâ
  8. spahyâ \ puça \ Haxâ
  9. manišiya
I am Darius, the great king, king of kings, king of all nations, king of this earth, the son of Hystaspes, the Achaemenid.
The weight known as DWc. National Archaeological Museum, Tehran (Iran). Photo Jona Lendering.
The weight known as DWc

DWc (a diorite weight from the Treasury of Persepolis)

  1. 120 karšayâ
  2. adam \ Dârayavauš \ x
  3. šâyathiya \ vazraka \ x
  4. šâyathiya \: xšâyath
  5. iyânâm \ xšâyath
  6. iya \ dahyûnâm \ x
  7. šâyathiya \ ahyây
  8. â \ bûmiyâ \ Višt
  9. âspahyâ \ puça \ Hax
  10. âmanišiya
120 karšâ [=99,96 kilograms]
I am Darius, the great king, king of kings, king of all nations, king of this earth, the son of Hystaspes, the Achaemenid.
The weight known as DWd. Photo Chicago Oriental Institute.
The weight known as DWd
(Chicago Oriental Institute; ©!!!)

DWd (a diorite weight from the Treasury of Persepolis)

  1. 60 karšayâ
  2. adam \ Dârayavauš \
  3. xšâyathiya \ vazraka \
  4. xšâyathiya \ xšâyath 
  5. iyânâm \ xšâyath
  6. iya \ dahyûnâm \ xš
  7. âyathiya \ ahyâyâ
  8. \ bûmiyâ \ Vištâ
  9. spahyâ \ puça \ Hax
  10. âmanišiya
60 karšâ [=49,98 kilograms]
I am Darius, the great king, king of kings, king of all nations, king of this earth, the son of Hystaspes, the Achaemenid.
 home   :    index    :    ancient Persia    :    Achaemenid Royal inscriptions