Ariaramnes (Old Persian: Ariyâramna): name of the great-grandfather of the Persian king Darius I the Great. He must have ruled in the first quarter of the sixth century BCE.

Ariaramnes is mentioned in the prologue of the Behistun Inscription, in which its author, Darius the Great, mentions his ancestors.

I am Darius, the great king, king of kings, the king of Persia, the king of countries, the son of Hystaspes, the grandson of Arsames, the Achaemenid.

King Darius says: My father is Hystaspes; the father of Hystaspes was Arsames; the father of Arsames was Ariaramnes; the father of Ariaramnes was Teispes; the father of Teispes was Achaemenes.

King Darius says: That is why we are called Achaemenids; from antiquity we have been noble; from antiquity has our dynasty been royal.note

This list of ancestors is also offered by the Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus,note and although he may not be an independent source of information that confirms the Behistun Inscription, there is no reason to believe that Darius did not remember the names of his ancestors.

Ariaramnes must have lived in the first half of the sixth century BCE and was a younger contemporary of king Cyrus of Anšan.

Inscription AmH

A short inscription by Ariaramnes, known as AmH, was found in 1930 on a gold tablet in Hamadan (ancient Ecbatana) and runs like this:

Inscription AmH
  1. Ariyâramna \ xšyathiya \ vazraka \ xšâyath
  2. iya \ xšâyathiyânâm \ xšâyathiya \ Pârsâ
  3. \ Cišpaiš \ xšâyathiyahyâ \ puça \ Haxâmanišah
  4. yâ \ napâ \ thâtiy \ Ariyâramna \ xšâyathiya
  5. \ iyam \ dahyâuš \ Pârsâ \ tya \ adam \ dârayâ
  6. \ miy \ hya \ uvaspâ \ umartiyâ \ manâ \ baga
  7. \ vazraka \ Auramazdâ \ frâbara \ vasnâ \ Au
  8. ramazdâha \ adam \ xšâyathiya \ iyam \ da
  9. hyâuš \ amiy \ thâtiy \ Ariyâramna
  10. \ xšâyathiya \ Auramazdâ \ manâ \ upastâ
  11. m \ baratuv
Ariaramnes, the great king, king of kings, king in Persia, son of king Teispes, grandson of Achaemenes. King Ariaramnes says: This country Persia which I hold, which is possessed of good horses, of good men, the great god Ahuramazda bestowed it upon me. By the favor of Ahuramazda, I am king in this country. King Ariaramnes says: May Ahuramazda bear me aid.

It is unclear when this text was made. It can be a fraud (modern or ancient), but it may be an original document.

This page was created in 1997; last modified on 8 January 2017.