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Gandj Nameh: Darius' Inscription


The two inscriptions near Gandj Nameh. Photo Marco Prins.
The two inscriptions at Gandj Nameh: Darius left, Xerxes right.
Gandj Nameh: site of two Achaemenid inscriptions.

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 and Xerxes. 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".

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Copy of Darius' inscription in the Hamadan Museum. Photo Marco Prins.
Copy of Darius' inscription in the Hamadan Museum. 
  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
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.

© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 11 Dec. 2008
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