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Some Achaemenid Royal inscriptions (3)


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. Many of them can be found (in translation) somewhere on the Livius website; on these pages, a part of the remainder will be collected. An overview of all inscriptions can be found here.
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A1Pb, Babylonian inscription from the Hall of Hundred Columns, Persepolis

[Babylonian inscription on a slab of stone.]

King Artaxerxes says: My father, king Xerxes, laid the foundations of this palace.

With the protection of Ahuramazda, I, king Artaxerxes, have finished it.


Silver bowl with an inscription of Artaxerxes I Makrocheir. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (United States). Photo Marco Prins.
Silver bowl with an inscription of Artaxerxes I Makrocheir (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

A1 Vases

A1Vase A

Old Persian inscription on four silver dishes.
  1. Artaxšaçâ \ XŠ \ vazraka \ XŠ \ XŠyânâm \ XŠ \ DHyûnâm \ 
  2. Xšayâršahyâ \ XŠhyâ \ puça \ 
  3. Xšayâršahyâ \ Dârayavaušahyâ \ XŠhyâ \ puça \ 
  4. Haxâmanišiya \ hya \ imam \ bâtugara \ siyamam \ vithiyâ \ karta
Artaxerxes, the great king, king of kings, king of all peoples,
son of king Xerxes
Xerxes the son of king Darius
the Achaemenid, who made this silver cup in his palace.

A1Vase B

  1. Ardaxcašca \ XŠ \ vazraka 
The great king Artaxerxes.

A1 Vase C = A1 Vase D

  1. Artaxšaçâ \ šhâyathiya 
King Artaxerxes.

D2Ha, gold tablet from Ecbatana

[Rather stereotypical inscription on a gold tablet, similar to A2Hc.]

A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created that sky, who created humankind, who created happiness for humankind, who made Darius king, sole ruler of many people, sole sovereign of many people.

I am Darius, the great king, the king of kings, the king of all kinds of peoples, the king of this earth great and wide, the son of king Artaxerxes [I Makrocheir], Artaxerxes the son of king Xerxes, Xerxes the son of king Darius [I the Great], the Achaemenid.

King Darius says: Ahuramazda gave me these people. By the grace of Ahuramazda, I am king of this world. May Ahuramazda protect me, my house, and the kingdom he has given me!


Golden pitcher of an Achaemenid king named Darius. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (USA).
Golden pitcher of an 
Achaemenid king named Darius (Metropolitan Museum of  Art, New York; ©!!!)

Darius Vase

[Inscription on a fluted bowl of Darius II Nothus or Darius I the Great.]

Darius, the great king.


A2Hb, inscription on column bases from Ecbatana

[Brief Old Persian inscription on column bases. It is interesting to see that king Artaxerxes II Mnemon asks for support from the god Mithra and not, as is common, Ahuramazda.]
  1. apadânam \ stûnâya \ athagainam \ Artaxšaçâ \ XŠ \ vazraka \ akunauš \ hya \ Dârayavauš \ XŠ \ puçâ \ Haxâmanišiya \ Mitra \ mâm \ pâtuv
This audience hall with columns of stone, was made by Artaxerxes, the great king. He, the son of king Darius [II Nothus], the Achaemenid, [says]: May Mithra protect me.

A2Sc, inscription from Susa

Old Persian inscription with large lacunas on a stone tablet.]
  1. [adam \ Artaxšaçâ \ XŠ \ 
  2. Dârayavaušahyâ \ XŠhyâ \ puça \ 
  3. Dârayavaušahyâ \ Artaxšaçâhyâ \ XŠhyâ \ puça \ 
  4. Artaxšaçâhyâ \ Xšayârcahyâ \ XŠhyâ \ puça \ 
  5. Xšayârcahyâ \] Dârayavaušahyâ \ XŠhyâ \ puça \
  6. Dârayavaušahyâ \ Vištâspahyâ \ puça
  7. \ Haxâmanišiya \ thâtiy \ Artaxšaçâ \
  8. xšâyathiya \ vazraka \ xšâyathiya \ x
  9. šâyathiyanâm \ xšâyathiya \ dahyûn
  10. âm \ xšâyathiya \ ahyâyâ \ bûmiyâ \ i
  11. mâm \ hadiš \ utâ \ imâm \ usta
  12. canâm \ tya \ athagainâm \ ta [damaged]
  13. [damaged] \ Auramazdâ \
  14. [damaged]
[I am king Artaxerxes, the son of king Darius [II Nothus], Darius the son of king Artaxerxes [I Makrocheir], Artaxerxes the son of king Xerxes, Xerxes] the son of king Darius, Darius the son of Hystaspes, the Achaemenid

Artaxerxes, the great king, king of kings, king of all nations, king of this world, says: This palace and these stairs of stone [I made ...]

May Ahuramazda [...]


A3 Seals

A3 Seal a

By Artaxerxes.
 

A3 Seal b

I am the great king Artaxerxes.

Literature

  • Pierre Lecoq, Les inscriptions de la Perse achéménide (1997 Paris)
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