Inscription of Darius I in the National Museum of Iran

CDLN 2017:2

Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (ISSN: 1546-6566)

Published on 2021-02-01

© Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The Akkadian inscription presented here was brought to my attention by Simin Piran during my work for the CDLI in the National Museum of Iran.[1] The Akkadian inscription  Darius was previously published, but the nature of that publications left many questions unanswered. The inscription was also but unlocated, and previous studies may have been done primarily from low resolution photos or early hand copies. This study improves on a number of difficult readings, and adds new knowledge about ancient Iran.

Inscription of Darius (DSe)

Artifact type: Akkadian stone inscription

Measurements: 500x500x100 mm

Provenance: Susa

Date: Achaemenid period

The Akkadian inscription DSe was first published by Vincent Scheil in MDP 24 (Scheil 1933: 116-121). In 1934, Ephraim Speiser offered a transliteration and a translation of this text, which was included in an article by Roland Kent about the Old Persian text of DSe (Kent 1934: 47-50). In 1911, Franz Weißbach, published a few lines of the trilingual inscriptions of DSe (Weißbach 1911: 99), a long time before he presented a more complete version, including its Akkadian text, in his 1938 paper (Weißbach 1938). On the basis of these publications and two new fragments of the Akkadian text of DSe, Steve published an edition of the reverse of the inscription in MDP 53 (Steve 1987: 60-63). In his Les Inscriptions de la Perse achéménide, Pierre Lecoq gave a translation of the Old Persian text of DSe, where he noted variants of the Akkadian text too (Lecoq 1997: 232-234). None of these publications mentions the location of the inscription. It seems that the only source for the scholars who worked on the text were the low quality photos of a squeeze made of the original, and the drawings published in MDP 24. It is quite possible that this inscription had also been forgotten in the National Museum of Iran, as it has no museum number. Collations from the original and from high resolution photos has enabled me to improve the reading of a number of difficult passages.

Manuscripts

A = DSe 001 (MDP 24, 116-120): National Museum of Iran, no number

B = DSe 002 (Steve 1987: 60 Fig. 48, Pl. XI: 2): Louvre Museum, AO 359

C = DSe 003 (Steve 1987: 61 Fig. 49, Pl. XI: 3): National Museum of Iran, NMI unlocated

Obv.

A 1 [DINGIR]. ˹MEŠ˺ GAL-˹u2˺  d.a-ḫu-ur-ma-az-da-a' ša2 AN-e ib-nu-[u2]

      [ilu] ˹rabû˺ aḫurmazdā ša šamê ˹ibnû˺

A 2 [u3] ˹er-ṣe-tu4 a˺-ga-a-ta ib-nu-u2 u3 UG3.MEŠ ib-nu-˹u2˺

B 2 […………………………………..] ˹u3˺ KI-ti3 a-ga-a-ta

     [u] ˹erṣetu agāta˺ ibnû u nišē ibnû

A 3 [ša2 dum-qi2 a-na] ˹UG3˺.MEŠ id-di-nu ša2 a-na v.da-a-ri-ya-muš

B 3 […………………………………] a-na v.da-a-ri-ya-muš LUGAL

     [ša dumqi ana] ˹nišē˺ iddinu ša ana dāriyamuš

A 4 [LUGAL ib-nu-u2] ˹LUGAL˺ LUGAL.MEŠ ma-du-u2-tu4 ša2 a-na ma-du-u2-tu4

      [šarri ibnû] ˹šar˺ šarrāni mādūtu ša ana mādūtu 

A 5 [u2-ta-a-a'-a-ma a]-˹na˺-ku v.da-a-ri-ya-muš LUGAL GAL-u2 LUGAL LUGAL.MEŠ

B 5 [……………………………….…….] ˹u2˺-ta-a'-a-ma a-na-ku

      [uta''ama] ˹anāku˺ dāriyamuš šarru rabû šar šarrāni 

A 6 [LUGAL KUR.KUR.MEŠ ša2 nap]-˹ḫa-ri˺ li-ša2-nu ga-ab-bi LUGAL qaq-qa-ri a-ga-a

B6 [……………………………………………………...……]-˹ri˺ li-ša2-nu ga-ab-bi

       [šar mātāti ša] ˹napḫari˺ lišānu gabbi šar qaqqari agâ

A 7 [ru-uq-tu4 u3 ra]-˹bi2˺-tu4  A v.˹-ta-as-pa˺ v.a-ḫa-ma-niš-ši-i'

B 7 [………………………………………………………..] ˹pa˺ v.a-ḫa-ma-ni-iš-ši-i'

       [rūqtu u] ˹rabītu˺ apil ˹uštāspa˺ aḫāmaniššī

A 8 ˹lu2˺.[par-sa-a-a DUMU] ˹par˺-sa-a-a v.da-a-ri-ya-˹muš LUGAL˺

       [pārsaya mār] ˹pārsaya dāriyamuš šarru˺

A 9 ˹i˺-qa-ab-bi ˹i˺-[na GIŠ.GI6 ša2 d.a]-˹ḫu-ur-ma-az-da-a' a˺-ga-an-[ne2-ti]

B 9 […………………………………..] ˹GI6˺ ša2 d.a-ḫu-ur-ma-az-da-a'

        ˹iqabbi ina˺ [ṣilli ša] ˹aḫurmazdā agannêti˺

A 10 [KUR].KUR.MEŠ ša2 a-na-˹ku˺ [aṣ-ba-at e]-lat pa-ar-˹su˺ [u-a-na-ku]

B 10-11 […………………….] ˹ar˺-su u ana-ku ina muḫ-ḫi-ši-na

         ˹mātāti˺ ša ˹anāku˺ [aṣbat] ˹elat pārsu˺ [u anāku]

A 11 ˹i-na˺ ˹muḫ-ḫi-ši-na˺  ša2-[al-ṭa-ak] ˹u˺ man-˹da-at-tu4 a˺-na-ku

         ˹ina muḫḫīšina šalṭāk u mandattu anāku˺

A 12 i-˹na-aš2˺-šu-nu u3 ša2 ˹la˺-[pa-ni-ya iq-qab-ba-aš2]-˹šu2˺-nu-tu a-ga-šu-u2

B 12 […………………..] pa-ni-ya iq-qab-ba-aš2-šu-nu-˹tu˺

               ˹inaššûnu˺ u ša ˹lapānīya iqqabbâššunūtu˺ agāšū

A 13 ip-˹pu˺-uš-šu-u' ˹u3 di-na-a˺-[tu at-tu-u2-a] kul-la-aš2-ši-na-a-ti

B 13-14 […………………….] ˹la˺-2-ši-na-a-[ti]

       ˹ippušū˺ u ˹dīnātu˺ [attūa] kullâššināti

A 14 kur.ma-˹da˺-a-a kur.NIM.MA.ki  kur.[pa]-˹ar˺-tu-u2 [kur].a-re-e-mu

         ˹mādaya˺ elamtu ˹partû arēmu˺

A 15 kur.ba-˹aḫ˺-tar kur.su-ug-du kur.ḫu-˹ma˺-[ri]-˹iz˺-ma-a'  kur.za-˹ra˺-[an]-ga

B 15 [………………….] ta-ar kur.su-[……….]

        ˹bāḫtar˺ sugdu ˹ḫumārizmā zaranga˺

A 16 kur.a-ru-ḫa-at-ti-i'  kur.sa-[at-gu]-šu kur.qa-du-u2 kur.˹ga˺-[an-dar]

B 16 [………………..] ˹sa˺-at-gu-šu kur.[………….]

        aruḫattī ˹satgušu˺ qadû ˹gandar˺

A 17 kur.in-˹du˺-u2 kur.gi-˹mir˺-ri v.u2-mu-ur-ga-a' kur.gi-˹mir-ri˺

        ˹indû gimirri umurgā gimirri˺

 A 18 ša2 tug2.kar-bal-at-˹ti˺-šu2-nu zaq-pa-a'  kur.TIN.TIR kur.aš-šur

         ša ˹karballattīšunu˺ zaqpā bābilu aššur

A 19 kur.a-ra-bi kur.mi-[iṣ]-˹ri˺ kur.u2-ra-aš2-ṭu kur.ka-at-pa-tuk-ku

        arabi ˹miṣri˺ urašṭu katpatukku

Rev.

A 20 [kur.sa-pa-ar]-˹da˺ kur.ya-[ma]-na ša2 i-na ˹i7.mar˺-[ra-tu4 u3 ša2]

         ˹saparda yamana˺ ša ina ˹marratu˺ [u ša]

A 21 [i]-˹na ni-bir˺-tu4 i7.˹mar-ra˺-tu4  2-bu-u'  kur.is-ku-du-ur ˹kur.pu˺-[u2-ṭa  kur.ku-u2-šu2]

       ˹ina nībirtu marratu˺ ašbū iskudur ˹pūṭa˺ [kūšu]

A 22 [kur].ka-ar-sa v.da-a-˹ri-ya˺-muš LUGAL i-˹qa2˺-ab-bi ma-[a-du]

       ˹karsa dāriyamuš˺ šarru ˹iqabbi mādu˺  

A 23 ˹ša2˺ bi-i-ši ep-šu-ma a-˹na-ku a˺-na ˹bab˺-[ba-nu-u2 e-te-pu-uš]

       ˹ša˺ bīši epšū-ma ˹anāku ana˺ [babbanû ētepuš]

A 24 KUR.KUR.MEŠ ša2 ˹a˺-ḫa-a-meš [ni-ik-ra-ma UG3.MEŠ ša2 a-ḫa-a-meš]

       mātāti ša ˹aḫāmeš˺ [nikrā-ma nišū ša aḫāmeš]

A 25 i-du-uk-˹ku˺-u' a-ga-šu-˹u2˺-[nu a-na-ku e-te-pu-uš i-na]

        ˹idukkū agāšunu˺ [anāku ētepuš ina]

A 26 ˹GIŠ.GI6˺ ša2 d.a-ḫu-ur-ma-˹az˺-[da-a' ša2 UG3.MEŠ a-ḫa-a-meš]

         ˹ṣilli ša aḫurmazdā˺ [ša nišū aḫāmeš]

A 27 la i-du-˹uk˺-ku-u' u3 a-me-[lu i-na aš2-ri-šu] u2-ši-bi

        ˹idukkū˺ u ˹amēlu˺ [ina ašrīšu] ūšibi

A 28 u3 la-pa-˹ni di˺-na-ti-ya at-˹tu˺-u2-[a pa-al]-˹ḫu˺-u' ša2 lu2. kab2-tu

       u ˹lapāni dinātīya attūa palḫū˺ ša kabtu 

A 29 a-na lu2.˹muš-ke-na˺ la i-˹du˺-uk-ku ˹u3 la˺ i-ḫa-ab-bi-lu

C 29` […….] i-du-uk-ku u3 ˹la˺ [………….]

      ana ˹muškēna˺  ˹idukku u ˺ iḫabbilu

A 30 v.da-a-ri-ya-muš ˹LUGAL˺ i-qa2-ab-˹bi˺ i-na GIŠ.GI6 ša2

              dāriyamuuš ˹šarru iqabbi˺ ina ṣilli ša

A 31 d.a-ḫu-˹ur-ma˺-[az]-da-a' dul-˹lu˺ ˹rit-tu4 ma˺-a-˹du˺ ša2 i-na

C 31` […………..] ˹a˺-ḫu-ur-ma-az-da-a' ˹dul-lu˺ [………]

       ˹aḫurmazdā dullu rittu mādu˺ ša ina

A 32 pa-˹na˺-[ma….i-na] ˹2-ri˺-šu2 la ˹ep-šu a-na-ku˺ i-na

C 32` [……………….] ˹la˺ ep-šu a-na-ku i-na aš2-ri […………..]

       ˹pānāma˺ [… ina] ˹ašrīšu˺ ˹epšu anāku˺ ina

A 33 ˹2˺-[ri-šu e-te-pu-uš]-˹ma˺ a-mu-ur-ma bir-tu4

           ˹ašrīšu˺ [ētepuš]-˹ma˺ āmur-ma birtu

A 34 [……………………] ˹x˺ ep-šu-ma la-a-ba-ri-iš il-˹lik˺

C 34` [……………….] i-na pa-na-ma ep-šu la-a-˹ba˺-[…….]

       [……………………] epšū-ma labāriš ˹illik˺

A 35 […………………..u2-ša2-aš2]-qi-ši-ma bir-tu4 ša2 al-la-nu-˹˺

C 35` [………………..] bir-tu4 ša2 al-la-nu-uš-šu-ma a-[………]

       […………………..] ˹ušašqīšī-ma˺ birtu ša ˹allānuš˺

A 36 [šu-ma a-na-ku….ša2-ne2]-˹e˺-ta e-pu-uš v.da-a-ri-˹ya˺-muš ˹LUGAL˺

B 36` [………………………] ˹˺

       [šuma anāku…….] ˹šanēta˺ ēpuš ˹dāriyamuš šarru˺

A 37` [i-qa2-ab-bi d.a-ḫu-ur]-˹ma˺-az-da-a' a-na-ku li-iṣ-ṣur-an-[ni]

B 37` […………………………]-da-˹a'˺

C 37` […………………….] ˹d˺.a-ḫu-ur-ma-az-da-a' ana-ku li-˹iṣ2˺-[……………..]

       [iqabbi] ˹aḫurmazdā˺ anāku ˹liṣṣuranni˺

A 38 [it-ti DINGIR.MEŠ ga-ab-bi] u3 a-na E2-ya u3 a-na di-ib-˹bi ša2˺ šaṭ-ru-[u']

B 38` [……………………………………..]-˹ru˺-u' 

       [itti ilāni gabbi] u ana bītīya u ana ˹dibbī ša šaṭrū˺

Obv.

1- Ahuramazdā is the great god who created the sky,

(1-2) and created this earth, and created people,

(3-4) who bestowed goodness to the people, who made Darius king,

(4-5) the king of many kings, who commanded many (commanders)

5- I am Darius, the great king, the king of kings,  

6- the king of countries of all kinds of languages, the king of this land,

(7-8) far and great, the son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenid, a Persian, the son of a Persian.

(8-9) Darius, the king, says: in the protection (lit. in the shade) of Ahuramazdā, these (are)

10- the lands that I seized apart from Persia,

(10-12) and I am ruling over them. And they bring me tribute,

(12-13) and they do (all) that is told them on my behalf,

13- and my law holds them:

14- Media, Elam, Parthia, Aria,

15- Bactria, Sogdiana, Chorasmia, Drangiana,

16- Arachosia, Sattagydia, (the men of) Maka, Gandara,

17- India, Amyrgian Schythians, Schythians,

18- with pointed caps, Babylonia, Asyria,

19- Arabia, Egypt, Armenia, Cappadocia,

Rev.

20- Sardis, The Ionians who live in the sea,

21- and those who dwell on the other side of the sea, Skudra, the Libyans, the Ethiopians,

22- the Carians. Darius, the king, says:

(22-23) I made many beautiful things which were made improperly.

24- Countries that were enemies together, and people

(24-25) were killing each other. I made these (things) in

(26-27) the protection of Ahura-Mazdā, so that people are not killing each other anymore, and (every) man is sitting in his (own) place,

(28-29) and they are afraid of my law, so that the important person should not kill or oppress the muškēnu

(30-32) Darius, the king, says: in the protection of Ahura-Mazdā, much great handiwork (i.e. monuments) which was not made in its place in the past,

(32-33) I have made in its place, and I saw a citadel,

34- [……………..] It was made, and it passed (lit. went) a long time.

(35-26) [……………] I raised it, a citadel, whose name was Allānuš.

(36-37) […………..] I made another (citadel). Darius, the king, says: May Ahura-Mazdā, together with all the gods protect me, and my household and my inscriptions which are written.

Comments

1- The plural form DINGIR.MEŠ seems to be an honorific writing, and here, refers to the god, Ahura-mazdā, fitting the adjective GAL-u2, which is clearly a singular form.

3- Speiser restores iš-tin before LUGAL, but there is no enough space in that part of the inscription for this restoration (in Kent 1934: 48).

Because of the sign aleph at the end of a-ḫu-ur-ma-az-da-a', I consider a long vowel for the Akkadian form of this word, which fits the Old Persian form ahura-mazdā. Writing aleph at the end of the word denoting a long vowel is attested in the Late-Babylonian texts, e.g. ki-i ina UGU dul-lu u2-šu-uz-zu-u' lu2.ERIN2.MEŠ-šu2-nu ul i-ḫal-li-iq-u' “as soon as they oversee the work, their troops will not run away” (YOS 3 17 7- 8; Streck 1995: 170).

10 After ša, we expect a subjunctive marker for the verb aṣbat, however, comparing it with a parallel passage in DNa, ‘ša anāku aṣbat' (Schmidt 1970 Pl. 31 8; VAB 3 87 § 3 8), the restoration aṣbat is preferable.

20- Following Speiser in Kent 1934: 48, Steve restores A.AB.BA (=tâmtu) instead of I7 (Steve 1987: 61), but a close examination of the inscription clearly confirms the reading I7, which leads to the restoration mar-ra-tu4. The word i7.mar-ra-tu4 is also attested in line 21 of this inscription, as well as in a handful of Akkadian versions of the Achaemenid inscriptions, e.g. VAB 3 85 § 1 10, § 2 17, 89 § 3 17.

21- Steve resorts kur.ia-ma-na instead of ˹pu˺-[u2-ṭa] (Steve 1987: 61), but the sign PU after KUR is clearly legible in the inscription.

23- Compare the restoration babbanû ētepuš with a passage in XPa that reads: u šanûtīma mādūtu babbanû ētepuš ina pārsa agâ “I made many beautiful things in this Persia” (VAB 3 109 § 3 12-13). Speiser and Steve have restored it to ana damiqti (Speiser in Kent 1934: 48, Steve 1987: 61), but the sign PAB is legible in the inscription, suggesting the restoration babbanû.

31- Speiser, and Steve read “DUL MEŠ-MEŠ” (in Kent 1934: 48), and “dul-lu-um ša2” (Steve 1987: 61) respectively. Weißbach reads “dul-lu-(um) - -” (Weißbach 1938: 164). Collation of the original inscription, as well as the photos, however, prove that the first sign is MES; traces of the sign TUM are also visible following MES. So, I read the word in question as rit-tu4 ‘hand'. The resulting reading dulllu rittu ‘handiwork' matches the corresponding Old Persian word ‘dastakạrta = datsa (hand) + kạrta (work)' (handiwork), as well as the corresponding Elamite word, where it reads: ŠU.MEŠ ˹huttukki˺ (handiworks) (Weißbach 1938: 162).

35- The word allānuš is a hapax. Speiser translated it as “the wall of Allanush” (in Kent 1934: 49). Given the complete form of this word in the manuscript C, whereby the signs ŠU and MA after allānuš seem certain, Steve concludes that despite Speiser's suggestion, allānuš is not a name for a place or a wall (Steve 1987: 63), and reads it as allānuššumma “tout autres” (Steve 1987: 62). However, the adverb allānu ‘from there' is only attested in the Old Assyrian documents (CAD A/I, P. 356). Moreover, the manuscript A shows that line 34 is ended by the word allānuš, and if the signs ŠU and MA existed in the beginning of line 35, they still would not belong to the word allānuš, because in Akkadian texts a word would not be divided between lines. So I agree with Speiser that the word šuma here means ‘name' (in Kent 1934: 49), and hence allānuš was probably the name of a fortress in Susa.

 


[1] - I wish to thank Dr. Jebrael Nokandeh, director of the National Museum of Iran (NMI), for permitting me to publish these inscriptions as part of the joint project of the NMI and the CDLI aimed at digitizing the cuneiform collections of the NMI . I am also grateful to Simin Piran, curator of the Inscription Section of the National Museum of Iran, for her generous cooperation during my work in the museum. My thanks are also due to Sima Abed Kahnamoui, head of the Smuggled Goods Office of the National Museum of Iran. I am also thankful to Sepideh Yegane for photographing the DSe inscription.

 
BIBLIOGRAPHY

 


Kent, R. G.
  1934 "More Old Persian Inscriptions". Journal of The American Oriental Society, 34-52.
Lecoq, P.
  1997 Les inscriptions de la Perse achéménide. Paris: Gallimard.
Scheil, V.
  1933 Actes juridiques susiens. Paris: E. Leroux.
Schmidt, E.
  1970 Persepolis III The Royal Tombs and other Monuments. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Steve, M.-J.
  1987 Nouveaux mélanges épigraphiques : inscriptions royales de Suse et de la Susiane. Nice: Nice: Éditions Serre.
Streck, M. P.
  1995 Zahl Und Zeit : Grammatik Der Numeralia Und Des Verbalsystems Im Spätbabylonischen. Groningen: STYX Publications.
Weißbach, F. H.
  1911 Die Keilinschriften der Achämeniden. Leipz.
  1938 Die dreisprachige Inschrift Darius Susa e. Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie, 150-169.