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Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions: XPa


  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 Gate of all Nations, eastern entrance. Photo Marco Prins.
Persepolis: Gate of all Nations
The following text, known as XPa, is inscribed in the walls of the Gate of all nations, the main gate to the terrace on which the Persepolis palaces have been built. Next to the Old Persian text are Babylonian and Elamite translations.

Gate of All Nations, inscription XPa. Photo Marco Prins.
Inscription XPa
  1. baga \ vazraka \ Auramazdâ \ hya \ imâm \ bûmim \ a-
  2. dâ \ hya \ avam \ asmânam \ adâ \ hya \ martiyam \
  3. adâ \ hya \ šiyâtim \ adâ \ martiyahyâ \ hya
  4. \ Xšhayâršâm \ xšâyathiyam \ akunauš \ aivam \
  5. parûnâm \ xšâyathiyam \ aivam \ parûnâm \ fram-
  6. âtâram \ adam \ Xšayâršâ \ xšâyathiya \ vazraka \
  7. xšâyathiya \ xšâyathiyânâm \ xšâyathiya \ dahy-
  8. ûnâm \ paruv \ zanânâm \ xšâyathiya \ ahyây-
  9. â \ bûmiyâ \ vazrakâyâ \ dûraiy \ apiy \ Dâ-
  10. rayavahauš \ xšâyathiyahyâ \ puça \ Hâxâmaniš-
  11. iya \ thâtiy \ Xšayâršâ \ xšâyathiya \ vašnâ \
  12. Auramazdâhâ \ imam \ duvarthim \ visadahyum
  13. \ adam \ akunavam \ vasiy \ aniyašciy \ naibam
  14. \ kartam \ anâ \ Pârsâ \ tya \ adam \ akunavam \
  15. utamaiy \ tya \ pitâ \ akunauš \ tyapatiy \ ka-
  16. rtam \ vainataiy \ naibam \ ava \ visam \ vašnâ \ A-
  17. uramazdâhâ \ akumâ \ thâtiy \ Xšayâršâ \
  18. xšâyathiya \ mâm \ Auramazdâ \ pâtuv \ utamai-
  19. y \ xšaçam \ utâ \ tya \ manâ \ kartam \ utâ \ tyamai-
  20. y \ piça \ kartam \ avašciy \ Auramazdâ \ pâtuv
[1-6] A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created heaven, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Xerxes king, one king of many kings, commander of many commanders.

[6-11] I am Xerxes, the great king, the king of kings, the king of all countries and many men, the king in this great earth far and wide, the the son of Darius, an Achaemenid.

[11-17] King Xerxes says: by the favor of Ahuramazda this Gate of All Nations I built. Much else that is beautiful was built in this Persepolis (Pârsâ), which I built and my father built. Whatever has been built and seems beautiful - all that we built by the favor of Ahuramazda.

[17-20] King Xerxes says: may Ahuramazda preserve me, my kingdom, what has been built by me, and what has been built by my father. That, indeed, may Ahuramazda preserve.

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