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Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions: XPb


  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.

The following Old Persian text can be found on the outer wall of the northern and eastern stairs of the Apadana at Persepolis. There are also Babylonian and Elamite translations.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Inscription XPb, near the eastern stairs of the Apadana of Persepolis. Photo Marco Prins.
Inscription XPb, near the eastern stairs of the Apadana of Persepolis. This is the southern, Persian text.
Inscription XPb, near the
eastern stairs of the Apadana
of Persepolis. These are the
nortern, Elamite and 
Babylonian texts
  1. baga \ vazraka \ Auramazdâ
  2. \ hya \ imâm \ bûmim \
  3. adâ \ hya \ avam \ asmâ
  4. nam \ adâ \ hya \ martiya
  5. m \ adâ \ hya \ shiyâti
  6. m \ adâ \ martiyahyâ \
  7. hya \ Xšayâršâm \ xšâ
  8. yathiyam \ akunaush \ ai
  9. vam \ parûnâm \ xšâyath
  10. iyam \ aivam \ parûnâm
  11. \ framâtâram \ adam \ X
  12. shayârshâ \ xšâyathiya \
  13. vazraka \ xšâyathiya \ xsh
  14. âyathiyânâm \ xšâyath
  15. iya \ dahyûnâm \ paruv
  16. zanânâm \ xšâyathiya \
  17. ahiyâyâ \ bûmiyâ \
  18. vazrakâyâ \ dûraiy \ a
  19. piy \ Dârayavahaush \ xsh
  20. âiyathiyahyâ \ puça \ Hax
  21. âmanišiya \ thâtiy \ X
  22. shayârshâ \ xšâyathiya \
  23. vazraka \ tya \ manâ \ karta
  24. m \ idâ \ utâ \ tyamaiy
  25. \ apataram \ kartam \ ava \ v
  26. isam \ vashnâ \ Auramazdâ
  27. ha \ akunavam \ mâm \ Aura
  28. mazdâ \ pâtuv \ hadâ \ ba
  29. gaibish \ utâmaiy \ xshaça
  30. m \ utâ \ tyamaiy \ kartam
The first more or less reliable rendering of XPb: Cornelis de Bruijn's drawing from 1704.
The first more or less reliable
rendering of XPb: Cornelis de Bruijn's drawing from 1704.
A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created yonder sky, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Xerxes king, one king of all kings, one commander for all commanders.

I am Xerxes, the great king, the king of kings, the king of all countries, having all kinds of human beings, king in this earth far and wide, the son of king Darius, the Achaemenid.

The great king Xerxes says: What was done by me here, and was done by me farther off, I did by the grace of Ahuramazda. May Ahuramazda and the gods protect me, my kingdom, and what I did.

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