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The Behistun inscription

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Relief at Behistun. Photo Ab Langereis. The Behistun relief
Behistun or Bisotun: town in Iran, site of several ancient monuments, including a famous inscription by the Persian king Darius I the Great. Here you can find translitteration and a translation of the inscription (start here).
 

Minor inscriptions

On the relief at Behistun, we can read several minor texts, which you can read here.

DBa

Inscription on top of the Behistun relief, to the left of the flying figure of Ahuramazda.
  1. \ adam \ D‚rayavauš \ xš‚yathiya \ vazraka \ xš‚ya
  2. thiya \ xš‚yathiy‚n‚m \ xš‚yathiya \ P‚rsaiy \ xš
  3. ‚yathiya \ dahyunam \ Višt‚spahy‚ \ puÁa \
  4. Arš‚mahy‚ \ nap‚ \ Hax‚manišiya \ th‚tiy \ D‚ra
  5. yavauš \ xš‚yathiya \ man‚ \ pit‚ \ Višt‚spa \ Vi
  6. št‚spahy‚ \ pit‚ \ Arš‚ma \ Arš‚mahy‚ \ pi
  7. t‚ \ Ariy‚ramna \ Ariy‚ramnahy‚ \ pit‚ \
  8. Cišpiš \ Cispaiš \ pit‚ \ Hax‚maniš \
  9. th‚tiy \ D‚rayavauš \ xš‚yathiya \ avahya
  10. r‚diy \ vayam \ Hax‚manišiy‚ \ thahy‚
  11. mahy \ hac‚ \ paruviyata \ ‚m‚t‚
  12. \ amahy \ hac‚ \ paruviyata \ hy‚ \ am‚
  13. xam \ taum‚ \ xš‚yathiy‚ \ ‚ha \ th‚
  14. tiy \ D‚rayavauš \ xš‚yathiya \ VIII \ ma
  15. n‚ \ taum‚y‚ \ tyaiy \ paruva
  16. m \ xš‚yathiy‚ \ ‚ha \ adam \ na
  17. vama \ IX \ duvit‚paranam \ vayam \ x
  18. š‚yathiy‚ \ amahy \
I am Darius, the great king, king of kings, king in Persia, king of all nations, the son of Hystaspes, the grandson of Arsames, the Achaemenid.

King Darius says: My father is Hystaspes. The father of Hystaspes is Arsames. The father of Arsames is Ariaramnes. The father of Ariaramnes is Teispes. The father of Teispes is Achaemenes.

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

King Darius says: Eight of my dynasty were kings before me; I am the ninth. Nine in succession, in two lines, we have been kings.


Introduction
Discovery
Other monuments
Medieval legend
Translation 1
Translation 2

Persian text
Minor inscriptions

Gaum‚ta being trampled. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dorp. Gaum‚ta being trampled upon

DBb

Inscription on the Behistun relief, below the figures of Darius and Gaum‚ta.
  1. \ iyam \ Gaum‚
  2. ta \ hya \ maguš \ a
  3. durujiya \
  4. avath‚ \ athaha \ adam \ Ba
  5. rdiya \ amiy \ hya \ K
  6. Żrauš \ puÁa \ adam \ xš
  7. ‚yathiya \ amiy \
This is Gaumata, the Magian.
He lied, saying 'I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus, I am king.'


Assina. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dijk.
¬ššina

DBc

Inscription on the Behistun relief, above the figure of ¬ššina.
  1. \ iyam \ ¬Á
  2. ina \ adu
  3. rujiya \
  4. avath‚
  5. \ athaha \ a
  6. dam \ x
  7. š‚yath
  8. iya \ am
  9. iy \ Ř
  10. vjaiy \
This is ¬ššina.
He lied, saying 'I am king of Elam.'


Nidintu-BÍl. Relief at Behistun. Photo Leen van Dorp.
Nidintu-BÍl

DBd

Inscription on the Behistun relief, above the figure of Nidintu-BÍl.
  1. \ iyam \ Naditabaira \
  2. adurujiya \ ava
  3. th‚ \ athaha \ adam \ Nab
  4. ukudracara \ ami
  5. y \ hya \ Nabunaita
  6. hya \ puÁa \ adam \ x
  7. š‚yathiya \ amiy \ B
  8. ‚birauv \
This is Nidintu-BÍl.
He lied, saying 'I am Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabonidus. I am king of Babylon.'


Phraortes on the Behistun relief. Photo Marco Prins.
Phraortes

DBe

Inscription on the Behistun relief, on the figure of Phraortes.
  1. \ iyam \ Fra
  2. vartiš \
  3. aduru
  4. jiya \ ava
  5. th‚ \ athaha \ adam \
  6. Xšathrita \ amiy
  7. \ Uvaxštrahya
  8. \ taum‚y‚ \ adam
  9. \ xš‚yathiya \ amiy
  10. \ M‚
  11. daiy \
This is Phraortes.
He lied, saying:  'I am Khshathrita, of the dynasty of Cyaxares. I am king in Media.'


Martiya. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dorp.
Martiya

DBf

Inscription on the Behistun relief, below the figure of Martiya.
  1. \ iyam \ Martiya \ a
  2. durujiya \ a
  3. vath‚ \ athaha \ a
  4. dam \ Imaniš \ am
  5. iy \ Řvjaiy \ x
  6. š‚yathi
  7. ya \
This is Martiya.
He lied, saying 'I am Ummanniš, king of Elam.'


Tritantaechmes. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dorp.
Tritantaechmes

DBg

Inscription on the Behistun relief, below the figure of Tritantaechmes.
  1. \ iyam \ CiÁa
  2. taxma \ ad
  3. urujiya
  4. \ avath‚ \ a
  5. thaha \ adam \
  6. xš‚yathi
  7. ya \ ami
  8. y \ Asaga
  9. rtaiy \ Uva
  10. xštrahya
  11. \ taum‚y
This is Tritantaechmes.
He lied, saying 'I am king of Sagartia, from the family of Cyaxares.'


Vahyazdata. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dorp.
Vahyazd‚ta

DBh

Inscription on the Behistun relief, below the figure of Vahyazd‚ta.
  1. \ iyam \ Vahya
  2. zd‚ta \ adu
  3. rujiya \ ava
  4. th‚ \ athaha \ ada
  5. m \ Bardiya \ a
  6. miy \ hya \ K
  7. Żrauš \ puÁa
  8. \ adam \ xš‚
  9. yathiya \ amiy
This is Vahyazd‚ta.
He lied, saying 'I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus, I am king.'


Arakha. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dorp.
Arakha

DBi

Inscription on the Behistun relief, below the figure of Arakha.
  1. \ iyam \ Arxa
  2. \ aduruj
  3. iya \ avath‚ \
  4. athaha \ adam \
  5. Nabuku[d]ra
  6. cara \ amiy \
  7. hya \ Nabuna
  8. itahya \ pu
  9. Áa \ adam \ xš‚
  10. yathiya \ amiy
  11. \ B‚barauv \
This is Arakha.
He lied, saying: 'I am Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabonidus. I am king in Babylon.'


Sakan king Skunkha. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dorp.
Fr‚da (center)

DBj

Inscription on the Behistun relief, below the figure of Fr‚da.
  1. \ iyam \ Frada \
  2. aduruji
  3. ya \ avath‚ \ athaha
  4. \ adam \ xš‚yath
  5. iya \ amiy \ Marga
  6. uv \
This is Fr‚da.
He lied, saying 'I am king of Margiana.'


Sakan king Skunkha. Behistun relief. Photo Leen van Dorp.
Skunkha (right)

DBk

Inscription on the Behistun relief, above the figure of Skunkha.
  1. \ iyam \ Sku
  2. xa \ hya \ Saka
This is Skunkha the Sacan.


 
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