Gandj Nameh, Darius' Inscription

Gandj Nameh: place near Hamadan (ancient Ecbatana), where the Achaemenid kings Darius I the Great and Xerxes left inscriptions. The nearest village is called Abbasabad.

Near the waterfall of Gandj Nameh, at the end of a small valley near the ancient road between Ecbatana and Behistun, eight kilometers southwest of modern Hamadan, are two almost identical, Achaemenid inscriptions, by Darius I the Great (r.522-465) and Xerxes (r.486-465). Both are in three columns of twenty lines, and in three languages: Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. They both begin with praise for the supreme god Ahuramazda, continue with the genealogy of the maker, and end with the royal titles. There is one striking difference, however: Darius calls Ahurmazda "a great god", while in Xerxes' text, he is called "the greatest of all gods".

Text of Darius' Inscription

  1. baga \ vazraka \ Auramazdâ
  2. \ hya \ imâm \ bûmim \
  3. adâ \ hya \ avam \ asmâ
  4. nam \ adâ \ hya \ martiya
  5. m \ adâ \ hya \ šiyâti
  6. m \ adâ \ martiyahyâ \
  7. hya \ Dârayavaum \ xšâya
  8. thiyam \ akunauš \ aiva
  9. m \ parunâm \ xšâyath
  10. iyam \ aivam \ parunâm
  11. \ framâtâram \ adam \
  12. Dârayavauš \ xšâyathi
  13. ya \ vazraka \ xšâyathiya \
  14. xšâyathiyânâm \ xš
  15. âyathiya \ dahyunâm \ pa
  16. ruzanânâm \ xšâyath
  17. iya \ ahyâyâ \ bûmiy
  18. â \ vazrakâyâ \ dûraiy
  19. \ apiy \ Vištâspahy
  20. â \ puça \ Haxâmanišiya

Translation of Darius' Inscription

A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created yonder heaven, who created men, who created happiness for man, who made Darius king. One king for many, one lord for all.

I am Darius, the great king, king of kings, king of countries containing all kinds of men, king in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian.