The University of Texas at Austin; College of Liberal Arts
Hans C. Boas, Director :: PCL 5.556, 1 University Station S5490 :: Austin, TX 78712 :: 512-471-4566
LRC Links: Home | About | Books Online | EIEOL | IE Doc. Center | IE Lexicon | IE Maps | IE Texts | Pub. Indices | SiteMap

Old Iranian Online

Lesson 8: Old Persian

Scott L. Harvey, Winfred P. Lehmann, and Jonathan Slocum

The inscriptions that bequeath to us the Old Persian language were commissioned by the Achaemenid kings, or those of the regnal line descended from Achaemenes, a minor ruler in the region of present-day southwestern Iran. From Achaemenes the line follows through Teispes to Cyrus the Great, who founded the Persian Empire by conquering the Median king Astyages sometime between 559 and 549 B.C. Upon Cyrus' death, his son Cambyses usurped the throne after secretly killing his older brother Smerdis. Cambyses then left the realm to invade Egypt, and nine vassal kings revolted in his absence. The inscription at Behistan records each of these rebellions and the subsequent reconquest by Darius, first cousin to Cambyses, ninth in the line of Achaemenid kings.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The narrative of revolts in the inscription at Behistan, structured by their geographic distance from the imperial center, begins with conquest of the capital by the warrior-priest Gaumata, who won support by claiming to be Smerdis. Upon hearing of this dissidence, Cambyses took his own life and Darius stepped in to restore the kingdom with the aid of a few loyal men (and Ahura Mazda!). Column one records Gaumata's rise to power and Darius' progress over the course of several months, ending with Gaumata's final defeat at the 'fortress' of Sikayauvati in Media.

26 - thâtiy

  • thâtiy -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <thah> 'speak, say, declare' -- declares

27 - Dârayavaush xshâyathiya ima tya manâ kartam pasâva yathâ xshâyathiya

  • Dârayavaush -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Dârayavahu-> 'Darius' -- Darius
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the King
  • ima -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular neuter <ima-> 'he, this' -- this
  • tya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular neuter <tya-> 'who, which; that' -- what
  • manâ -- personal pronoun; genitive singular <adam> 'I' -- by me
  • kartam -- past participle passive; nominative singular neuter <kar> 'do, make' -- was done
  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- then
  • yathâ -- adverbial conjunction; <yathâ> 'as, when, because' -- when
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the King

28 - abavam Kabűjiya nâma Kűraush puc*a amâxam taumâyâ

  • abavam -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <bu> 'be, become' -- did become
  • Kabűjiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- Cambyses
  • nâma -- adverb; <nâma> 'by name, named, called' -- by name
  • Kűraush -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Kűru-> 'Cyrus' -- of Cyrus
  • puc*a -- noun; nominative singular masculine <puc*a-> 'son' -- the son
  • amâxam -- personal pronoun; genitive plural <adam> 'I' -- our
  • taumâyâ -- noun; genitive singular feminine <taumâ-> 'family' -- family

29 - hauvam idâ xshâyathiya âha avahyâ Kabűjiyahyâ brâtâ

  • hauvam -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hauv-> 'he, this' -- he
  • idâ -- adverb; <idâ> 'here' -- here
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the king
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- was
  • avahyâ -- demonstrative pronoun; genitive singular masculine <ava-> 'this, that' -- that
  • Kabűjiyahyâ -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- of Cambyses
  • brâtâ -- noun; nominative singular masculine <brâtar-> 'brother' -- brother

30 - Bardiya nâma âha hamâtâ hamapitâ Kabűjiyahyâ pasâva Kabűjiya

  • Bardiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Bardiya-> 'Bardiya', known from Greek sources as Smerdis -- Smerdis
  • nâma -- adverb; <nâma> 'by name, named, called' -- by name
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- was
  • hamâtâ -- adverb; <hama-> 'same' + noun; feminine singular nominative <mâtar-> 'mother' -- having the same mother
  • hamapitâ -- adverb; <hama-> 'same' + noun; masculine singular nominative <pîtar-> 'father' -- having the same father
  • Kabűjiyahyâ -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- as Cambyses
  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- and then
  • Kabűjiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- Cambyses

31 - avam Bardiyam avâja yathâ Kabűjiya Bardiyam avâja kârahyâ

  • avam -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <ava-> 'this, that' -- that
  • Bardiyam -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Bardiya-> 'Bardiya', known from Greek sources as Smerdis -- Smerdis
  • avâja -- verbal prefix; <ava> 'away, down' + verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <jan> 'smite, strike, slay' -- struck down
  • yathâ -- adverbial conjunction; <yathâ> 'as, when, because' -- as
  • Kabűjiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- Cambyses
  • Bardiyam -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Bardiya-> 'Bardiya', known from Greek sources as Smerdis -- Smerdis
  • avâja -- verbal prefix; <ava> 'away, down' + verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <jan> 'smite, strike, slay' -- struck down
  • kârahyâ -- noun; genitive singular masculine <kâra-> 'man, person; the people' -- among the people

32 - naiy azdâ abava tya Bardiya avajata pasâva Kabűjiya Mudrâyam

  • naiy -- negative particle; <naiy> 'not' -- not
  • azdâ -- adverb; <azdâ> 'known' -- known
  • abava -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <bu> 'be, become' -- did become
  • tya -- relative conjunction; accusative singular neuter <tya-> '(so/in order) that' -- that
  • Bardiya -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Bardiya-> 'Bardiya', known from Greek sources as Smerdis -- Smerdis
  • avajata -- verbal prefix; <ava> 'away, down' + verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <jan> 'smite, strike, slay' -- had struck down
  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- and then
  • Kabűjiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- Cambyses
  • Mudrâyam -- geographic name; accusative singular masculine <Mudrâya-> 'Egypt' -- to Egypt

33 - ashiyava yathâ Kabűjiya Mudrâyam ashiyava pasâva kâra arika abava

  • ashiyava -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <shiyu> 'set out, go' -- set out
  • yathâ -- adverbial conjunction; <yathâ> 'as, when, because' -- when
  • Kabűjiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- Cambyses
  • Mudrâyam -- geographic name; accusative singular masculine <Mudrâya-> 'Egypt' -- to Egypt
  • ashiyava -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <shiyu> 'set out, go' -- set out
  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- and then
  • kâra -- noun; nominative singular masculine <kâra-> 'man, person; the people' -- the people
  • arika -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <arika-> 'treacherous, evil, hostile' -- treacherous
  • abava -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <bu> 'be, become' -- grew

34 - pasâva drauga dahyauvâ vasiy abava utâ Pârsaiy utâ Mâdaiy utâ

  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- and thus
  • drauga -- noun; nominative singular masculine <drauga-> 'deceit, the Lie' -- deceit
  • dahyauvâ -- noun; locative singular feminine <dahyu-> 'country, land, region' -- throughout the land
  • vasiy -- adverb; <vasiy> 'greatly, utterly' -- rampantly
  • abava -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <bu> 'be, become' -- rose
  • utâ -- conjunction; <utâ> 'and' -- both
  • Pârsaiy -- geographic name; locative singular masculine <Pârsa-> 'Persia' -- in Persia
  • utâ -- conjunction; <utâ> 'and' -- and
  • Mâdaiy -- geographic name; locative singular masculine <Mâda-> 'Media' -- in Media
  • utâ -- conjunction; <utâ> 'and' -- and

35 - aniyâuvâ dahyushuvâ thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya pasâva

  • aniyâuvâ -- adjective; locative plural feminine <aniya-> 'other' -- other
  • dahyushuvâ -- noun; locative plural feminine <dahyu-> 'country, land, region' -- in the lands
  • thâtiy -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <thah> 'speak, say, declare' -- declares
  • Dârayavaush -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Dârayavahu-> 'Darius' -- Darius
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the King
  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- later

36 - I martiya magush âha Gaumâta nâma hauv udapatatâ hacâ Paishiyâuvâdâyâ

  • I -- Roman numeral; <I> 'one' -- one
  • martiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <martiya-> 'mortal, man, human being' -- man
  • magush -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <magu-> 'Magian' -- Magian
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- was
  • Gaumâta -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Gaumâta-> 'Gaumata' -- Gaumata
  • nâma -- adverb; <nâma> 'by name, named, called' -- by name
  • hauv -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hauv-> 'he, this' -- he
  • udapatatâ -- verbal prefix; <ud> 'up' + verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <pat> 'fly, fall' -- rose up
  • hacâ -- adposition; <hacâ> 'from, out of' -- from
  • Paishiyâuvâdâyâ -- geographic name; ablative singular feminine <Paishiyâuvâdâ-> 'Paishiyauvada' -- from Paishiyauvada

37 - Arakadrish nâma kaufa hacâ avadasha Viyaxnahya mâhyâ

  • Arakadrish -- geographic name; nominative singular masculine <Arakadri-> a mountain in Persia -- Arakadri
  • nâma -- adverb; <nâma> 'by name, named, called' -- named
  • kaufa -- noun; nominative singular masculine <kaufa-> 'mountain' -- mountain
  • hacâ -- adposition; <hacâ> 'from, out of' -- from
  • avadasha -- adverb; <avadâ> 'then, there' + enclitic demonstrative pronoun; ablative singular masculine <sha-> 'he, this' -- there
  • Viyaxnahya -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Viyaxna-> twelfth month of the Persian calendar, February - March -- of Viyakhna
  • mâhyâ -- noun; genitive singular masculine <mâha-> 'month' -- of the month

38 - XIV raucabish thakatâ âha yadiy udapatatâ hauv kârahyâ avathâ

  • XIV -- Roman numeral; <XIV> 'fourteen' -- fourteen
  • raucabish -- noun; instrumental plural neuter <raucah-> 'day' -- days
  • thakatâ -- adjective; nominative plural neuter <thakatay-> 'past' -- completed
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- were
  • yadiy -- adverb; <yadiy> 'if, when' -- when
  • udapatatâ -- verbal prefix; <ud> 'up' + verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <pat> 'fly, fall' -- rose up
  • hauv -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hauv-> 'he, this' -- he
  • kârahyâ -- noun; genitive singular masculine <kâra-> 'man, person; the people' -- to the people
  • avathâ -- adverb; <avatha> 'thus, then' -- thus

39 - adurujiya adam Bardiya amiy hya Kűraush puc*a Kabűjiyahyâ brâtâ

  • adurujiya -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative middle <drug-> 'lie, deceive' -- he deceived
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • Bardiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Bardiya-> 'Bardiya', known from Greek sources as Smerdis -- Smerdis
  • amiy -- verb; 1st person singular present indicative active <ah> 'be' -- I am
  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who
  • Kűraush -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Kűru-> 'Cyrus' -- of Cyrus
  • puc*a -- noun; nominative singular masculine <puc*a-> 'son' -- the son
  • Kabűjiyahyâ -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- of Cambyses
  • brâtâ -- noun; nominative singular masculine <brâtar-> 'brother' -- brother

40 - pasâva kâra haruva hamic*iya abava hacâ Kabűjiyâ abiy avam

  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- thereupon
  • kâra -- noun; nominative singular masculine <kâra-> 'man, person; the people' -- the people
  • haruva -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <haruva-> 'all' -- all
  • hamic*iya -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <hamic*iya-> 'rebellious' -- rebellious
  • abava -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <bu> 'be, become' -- grew
  • hacâ -- adposition; <hacâ> 'from, out of' -- against
  • Kabűjiyâ -- proper name; ablative singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- Cambyses
  • abiy -- preposition; <abiy> 'to, toward, against' -- to
  • avam -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <ava-> 'this, that' -- him

41 - ashiyava utâ Pârsa utâ Mâda utâ aniyâ dahyâva xshac*am hauv

  • ashiyava -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <shiyu> 'set out, go' -- went over
  • utâ -- conjunction; <utâ> 'and' -- and
  • Pârsa -- geographic name; nominative singular masculine <Pârsa-> 'Persia' -- Persia
  • utâ -- conjunction; <utâ> 'and' -- and
  • Mâda -- geographic name; nominative singular masculine <Mâda-> 'Media' -- Media
  • utâ -- conjunction; <utâ> 'and' -- and
  • aniyâ -- adjective; nominative plural feminine <aniya-> 'other' -- the other
  • dahyâva -- noun; nominative plural feminine <dahyu-> 'country, land, region' -- lands
  • xshac*am -- noun; accusative singular neuter <xshac*a-> 'kingship, sovereignty, kingdom' -- kingdom
  • hauv -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hauv-> 'he, this' -- he

42 - agarbâyatâ Garmapadahya mâhyâ IX raucabish thakatâ âha avathâ xshac*am

  • agarbâyatâ -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative causative middle <grab> 'seize, grab' -- seized
  • Garmapadahya -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Garmapada-> fourth month of the Persian calendar, June - July -- of Garmapada
  • mâhyâ -- noun; genitive singular masculine <mâha-> 'month' -- of the month
  • IX -- Roman numeral; <IX> 'nine' -- nine
  • raucabish -- noun; instrumental plural neuter <raucah-> 'day' -- days
  • thakatâ -- adjective; nominative plural neuter <thakatay-> 'past' -- completed
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- were
  • avathâ -- adverb; <avatha> 'thus, then' -- thus
  • xshac*am -- noun; accusative singular neuter <xshac*a-> 'kingship, sovereignty, kingdom' -- kingdom

43 - agarbâyatâ pasâva Kabűjiya uvâmarshiyush amariyatâ

  • agarbâyatâ -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative causative middle <grab> 'seize, grab' -- seized
  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- and then
  • Kabűjiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Kambűjiya-> 'Cambyses' -- Cambyses
  • uvâmarshiyush -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <uvâmarshiyu-> 'self-inflicted death' -- by his own hand
  • amariyatâ -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <mar> 'die' -- died

48 - thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya naiy âha martiya

  • thâtiy -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <thah> 'speak, say, declare' -- declares
  • Dârayavaush -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Dârayavahu-> 'Darius' -- Darius
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the King
  • naiy -- negative particle; <naiy> 'not' -- no
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- was
  • martiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <martiya-> 'mortal, man, human being' -- man

49 - naiy Pârsa naiy Mâda naiy amâxam taumâyâ kashciy hya avam Gaumâtam

  • naiy -- negative particle; <naiy> 'not' -- not
  • Pârsa -- geographic name; nominative singular masculine <Pârsa-> 'Persia' -- Persia
  • naiy -- negative particle; <naiy> 'not' -- not
  • Mâda -- geographic name; nominative singular masculine <Mâda-> 'Media' -- Media
  • naiy -- negative particle; <naiy> 'not' -- not
  • amâxam -- personal pronoun; genitive plural <adam> 'I' -- our
  • taumâyâ -- noun; genitive singular feminine <taumâ-> 'family' -- family
  • kashciy -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular masculine <kashciy-> 'any, anyone, anything' -- any
  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who
  • avam -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <ava-> 'this, that' -- that
  • Gaumâtam -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Gaumâta-> 'Gaumata' -- Gaumata

50 - tyam magum xshac*am dîtam caxriyâ kârashim hacâ darsham atarsa

  • tyam -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <tya-> 'he, this, that' -- the
  • magum -- adjective; accusative singular masculine <magu-> 'Magian' -- Magian
  • xshac*am -- noun; accusative singular neuter <xshac*a-> 'kingship, sovereignty, kingdom' -- kingdom
  • dîtam -- past participle passive; accusative singular neuter <> 'give, take' -- deprived
  • caxriyâ -- verb; 3rd person singular perfect optative causative active <kar> 'do, make' -- could render
  • kârashim -- noun; nominative singular masculine <kâra-> 'man, person; the people' + enclitic demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <sha-> 'he, this' -- the people... him
  • hacâ -- adposition; <hacâ> 'from, out of' -- ...
  • darsham -- adverb; <darsham> 'greatly, mightily, steadfastly' -- greatly
  • atarsa -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <tars> 'fear, be afraid' -- feared

51 - kâram vasiy avâjaniyâ hya paranam Bardiyam adânâ avahyarâdiy

  • kâram -- noun; accusative singular masculine <kâra-> 'man, person; the people' -- the people
  • vasiy -- adverb; <vasiy> 'greatly, utterly' -- the numerous
  • avâjaniyâ -- verbal prefix; <ava> 'away, down' + verb; 3rd person singular present optative active <jan> 'smite, strike, slay' -- lest he would strike down
  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who
  • paranam -- adverb; <paranam> 'before' -- previously
  • Bardiyam -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Bardiya-> 'Bardiya', known from Greek sources as Smerdis -- Smerdis
  • adânâ -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect middle <xshnâ> 'learn, know' -- knew
  • avahyarâdiy -- demonstrative pronoun; genitive singular masculine <ava-> 'this, that' + adverb; <râdiy> 'on account of' -- on account of this

52 - kâram avâjaniyâ mâtyamâm xshnâsâtiy tya adam naiy Bardiya

  • kâram -- noun; accusative singular masculine <kâra-> 'man, person; the people' -- the people
  • avâjaniyâ -- verbal prefix; <ava> 'away, down' + verb; 3rd person singular present optative active <jan> 'smite, strike, slay' -- lest he would strike down
  • mâtyamâm -- injunctive particle; <> (expresses prohibition) + relative conjunction; accusative singular neuter <tya-> '(so/in order) that' + personal pronoun; accusative singular <adam> 'I' -- lest... me
  • xshnâsâtiy -- verb; 3rd person singular present subjunctive active <xshnâ> 'learn, know' -- he would know
  • tya -- relative pronoun; accusative singular neuter <tya-> 'who, which; that' -- who
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • naiy -- negative particle; <naiy> 'not' -- not
  • Bardiya -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Bardiya-> 'Bardiya', known from Greek sources as Smerdis -- Smerdis

53 - amiy hya Kűraush puc*a kashciy naiy adarshnaush cishciy thastanaiy

  • amiy -- verb; 1st person singular present indicative active <ah> 'be' -- am
  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who
  • Kűraush -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Kűru-> 'Cyrus' -- of Cyrus
  • puc*a -- noun; nominative singular masculine <puc*a-> 'son' -- the son
  • kashciy -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular masculine <kashciy-> 'any, anyone, anything' -- one
  • naiy -- negative particle; <naiy> 'not' -- no
  • adarshnaush -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <dars> 'dare' -- dared
  • cishciy -- indefinite pronoun; accusative singular masculine <kashciy-> 'any, anyone, anything' -- anything
  • thastanaiy -- infinitive; <thah> 'speak, say, declare' -- to say

54 - pariy Gaumâtam tyam magum yâtâ adam arasam pasâva adam Auramazdâm

  • pariy -- adverb; <pariy> 'toward, with respect to' -- against
  • Gaumâtam -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Gaumâta-> 'Gaumata' -- Gaumata
  • tyam -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <tya-> 'he, this, that' -- the
  • magum -- adjective; accusative singular masculine <magu-> 'Magian' -- Magian
  • yâtâ -- adverbial conjunction; <yâtâ> 'until, while, as long as' -- until
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • arasam -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <ar> 'move toward' -- came
  • pasâva -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' -- after that
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • Auramazdâm -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- Ahura Mazda

55 - patiyâvahyaiy Auramazdâmaiy upastâm abara Bâgayâdaish

  • patiyâvahyaiy -- preposition; <patiy> 'against, during, with respect to' + denominative; 1st person singular imperfect middle <avahya-> 'ask for help' -- asked for help
  • Auramazdâmaiy -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' + enclitic personal pronoun; accusative singular <adam> 'I' -- Ahura Mazda... me
  • upastâm -- noun; accusative singular feminine <upastâ-> 'aid, support' -- aid
  • abara -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect indicative active <bar> 'bear, carry' -- bore
  • Bâgayâdaish -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Bâgayâdi-> seventh month of the Persian calendar, September - October -- of Bagayadi

56 - mâhyâ X raucabish thakatâ âha avathâ adam hadâ kamnaibish martiyaibish

  • mâhyâ -- noun; genitive singular masculine <mâha-> 'month' -- of the month
  • X -- Roman numeral; <X> 'ten' -- ten
  • raucabish -- noun; instrumental plural neuter <raucah-> 'day' -- days
  • thakatâ -- adjective; nominative plural neuter <thakatay-> 'past' -- completed
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- were
  • avathâ -- adverb; <avatha> 'thus, then' -- when
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • hadâ -- preposition; <hadâ> 'with, together with' -- together with
  • kamnaibish -- adjective; instrumental plural masculine <kamna-> 'few' -- a small number of
  • martiyaibish -- noun; instrumental plural masculine <martiya-> 'mortal, man, human being' -- with men

57 - avam Gaumâtam tyam magum avâjanam utâ tyaishaiy fratamâ martiyâ

  • avam -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <ava-> 'this, that' -- that
  • Gaumâtam -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Gaumâta-> 'Gaumata' -- Gaumata
  • tyam -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <tya-> 'he, this, that' -- the
  • magum -- adjective; accusative singular masculine <magu-> 'Magian' -- Magian
  • avâjanam -- verbal prefix; <ava> 'away, down' + verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <jan> 'smite, strike, slay' -- I struck down
  • utâ -- conjunction; <utâ> 'and' -- and
  • tyaishaiy -- relative pronoun; nominative plural masculine <tya-> 'who, which; that' + enclitic pronoun; genitive singular masculine <sa-> 'he, this' -- those who... his
  • fratamâ -- adjective; nominative plural masculine <fratama-> 'first, foremost' -- leading
  • martiyâ -- noun; nominative plural masculine <martiya-> 'mortal, man, human being' -- men

58 - anushiyâ âhatâ Sikayauvatish nâmâ didâ Nisâya nâmâ

  • anushiyâ -- noun; nominative plural masculine <anushiya-> 'follower, ally' -- allies
  • âhatâ -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect indicative middle <ah> 'be' -- were
  • Sikayauvatish -- geographic name; nominative singular masculine <Sikayauvati-> 'Sikayauvati' -- Sikayauvati
  • nâmâ -- adverb; <nâma> 'by name, named, called' -- called
  • didâ -- noun; nominative singular feminine <didâ-> 'fortress, wall' -- stronghold
  • Nisâya -- geographic name; nominative singular masculine <Nisâya-> 'Nisaya' -- Nisaya
  • nâmâ -- adverb; <nâma> 'by name, named, called' -- called

59 - dahyâush Mâdaiy avadashim avâjanam xshac*amshim adam adînam vashnâ

  • dahyâush -- noun; nominative singular feminine <dahyu-> 'country, land, region' -- land
  • Mâdaiy -- geographic name; locative singular masculine <Mâda-> 'Media' -- in Media
  • avadashim -- adverb; <avadâ> 'then, there' + enclitic demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <sha-> 'he, this' -- there... him
  • avâjanam -- verbal prefix; <ava> 'away, down' + verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <jan> 'smite, strike, slay' -- I struck down
  • xshac*amshim -- noun; accusative singular neuter <xshac*a-> 'kingship, sovereignty, kingdom' + enclitic demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <sha-> 'he, this' -- kingdom... him
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • adînam -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <> 'take, seize' -- seized
  • vashnâ -- noun; instrumental singular masculine <vashna-> 'will, favor' -- by the will

60 - Auramazdâha adam xshâyathiya abavam Auramazdâ xshac*am manâ frâbara

  • Auramazdâha -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- of Ahura Mazda
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- king
  • abavam -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <bu> 'be, become' -- became
  • Auramazdâ -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- Ahura Mazda
  • xshac*am -- noun; accusative singular neuter <xshac*a-> 'kingship, sovereignty, kingdom' -- the kingdom
  • manâ -- personal pronoun; genitive singular <adam> 'I' -- upon me
  • frâbara -- verbal prefix; <fra> 'to, toward, forth' + verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <bar> 'bear, carry' -- bestowed

Lesson Text

26  thâtiy 27 Dârayavaush xshâyathiya ima tya manâ kartam pasâva yathâ xshâyathiya 28 abavam Kabűjiya nâma Kűraush puc*a amâxam taumâyâ 29 hauvam idâ xshâyathiya âha avahyâ Kabűjiyahyâ brâtâ 30 Bardiya nâma âha hamâtâ hamapitâ Kabűjiyahyâ pasâva Kabűjiya 31 avam Bardiyam avâja yathâ Kabűjiya Bardiyam avâja kârahyâ 32 naiy azdâ abava tya Bardiya avajata pasâva Kabűjiya Mudrâyam 33 ashiyava yathâ Kabűjiya Mudrâyam ashiyava pasâva kâra arika abava 34 pasâva drauga dahyauvâ vasiy abava utâ Pârsaiy utâ Mâdaiy utâ 35 aniyâuvâ dahyushuvâ thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya pasâva 36 I martiya magush âha Gaumâta nâma hauv udapatatâ hacâ Paishiyâuvâdâyâ 37 Arakadrish nâma kaufa hacâ avadasha Viyaxnahya mâhyâ 38 XIV raucabish thakatâ âha yadiy udapatatâ hauv kârahyâ avathâ 39 adurujiya adam Bardiya amiy hya Kűraush puc*a Kabűjiyahyâ brâtâ 40 pasâva kâra haruva hamic*iya abava hacâ Kabűjiyâ abiy avam 41 ashiyava utâ Pârsa utâ Mâda utâ aniyâ dahyâva xshac*am hauv 42 agarbâyatâ Garmapadahya mâhyâ IX raucabish thakatâ âha avathâ xshac*am 43 agarbâyatâ pasâva Kabűjiya uvâmarshiyush amariyatâ 48  thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya naiy âha martiya 49 naiy Pârsa naiy Mâda naiy amâxam taumâyâ kashciy hya avam Gaumâtam 50 tyam magum xshac*am dîtam caxriyâ kârashim hacâ darsham atarsa 51 kâram vasiy avâjaniyâ hya paranam Bardiyam adânâ avahyarâdiy 52 kâram avâjaniyâ mâtyamâm xshnâsâtiy tya adam naiy Bardiya 53 amiy hya Kűraush puc*a kashciy naiy adarshnaush cishciy thastanaiy 54 pariy Gaumâtam tyam magum yâtâ adam arasam pasâva adam Auramazdâm 55 patiyâvahyaiy Auramazdâmaiy upastâm abara Bâgayâdaish 56 mâhyâ X raucabish thakatâ âha avathâ adam hadâ kamnaibish martiyaibish 57 avam Gaumâtam tyam magum avâjanam utâ tyaishaiy fratamâ martiyâ 58 anushiyâ âhatâ Sikayauvatish nâmâ didâ Nisâya nâmâ 59 dahyâush Mâdaiy avadashim avâjanam xshac*amshim adam adînam vashnâ 60 Auramazdâha adam xshâyathiya abavam Auramazdâ xshac*am manâ frâbara

Translation

26 Darius the King 27 declares: This is what was done by me when the king 28 I did become. The son of Cyrus, of our family, Cambyses by name -- 29 he was the king here. Of that Cambyses [there] was a brother, 30 Smerdis by name, having the same mother and father as Cambyses. And then Cambyses 31 struck down that Smerdis. When Cambyses struck down Smerdis, 32 it did not become known among the people that [he] had struck down Smerdis. And then Cambyses 33 went to Egypt. And when Cambyses went to Egypt, the people grew treacherous, 34 and thus deceit rose rampantly in both Persia and Media and 35 in the [Empire's] other lands. Darius the King declares: Later, 36 there was one man, a Magian, Gaumata by name, and he rose up from Paishiyauvada. 37 [There is] a mountain in Persia named Arakadri. From there, when fourteen days of the month of Viyakhna 38 were completed, he rose up, [and] he deceived the people [saying] thus: 39 "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus who [is] brother of Cambyses." 40 Thereupon, all the people became rebellious against Cambyses and went over to him, [Smerdis], 41 Persia and Media and the other lands, [and] he seized the kingdom. 42 Nine days were completed in the month of Garmapada [when] he seized the kingdom thus. 43 And then Cambyses died by his own hand ...
48 ... Darius the king declares: There was no man, 49 neither Persian nor Median nor any among our family who could render that Gaumata 50 kingdom-deprived. The people feared him greatly, 51 lest he would strike down the numerous people who knew him previously as Smerdis; 52 lest he would strike down the people on account of this: "Lest he who would know me [would know that] I am not Smerdis, 53 the son of Cyrus." No one dared to say anything 54 against Gaumata the Magian until I came. After that, 55 I asked Ahura Mazda for help, [and] Ahura Mazda bore me aid. 56 Ten days of the month of Bagayad were completed when, with a small number of men, 57 I struck down that Gaumata the Magian and those men who 58 were his foremost allies. [There was] a fortress called Sikayauvati, a land called Nisaya, 59 in Media, [and] there I struck him down. I seized the kingdom [from] him, [and] by the will 60 of Ahura Mazda, I became king. Ahura Mazda bestowed the kingdom to me.

Grammar

6. Short and Long i- and u-Stem Nouns

Nominal stems in short i and u are not easily distinguished from those in long î and ű except by comparison with other Indo-Iranian languages. The declensions take identical inflections in all cases of the masculine and feminine and in the oblique cases of the neuter. Long î- and ű-stem cognates with the Sanskrit are attested, e.g., bumi-, Skt. bhűmî-, but again these do not appear to have had declensions distinctive from the short i- and u-.

6.1. i- and u-Stem Nouns, Masculine and Neuter
Masculine   skauthi- 'poor'   magu- 'priest'
Nom. sg.   skauthish   magush
Acc. sg.   skauthim   magum
Instr. sg.   unattested   *maguvâ
Abl. sg.   unattested   *magaush, *magauv
Gen. sg.   skauthaish   *magaush
Loc. sg.   unattested   magauv
         
Gen. pl.   unattested   magunâm
         
Neuter   dâru- 'wood'
Nom/Acc. sg.   dâruv
7. Personal Pronouns

Fewer Old Persian pronominal forms are attested than in the Avestan. The first and second person are known in only a few declensions, while the third person is found in only the nominative and accusative singular. As in the Avestan, the oblique cases of all personal pronouns form a suppletive system, i.e., they are based on a stem different from that of the nominative case.

7.1. First and Second Person Pronouns

The first and second person pronouns have no inherent gender. The azem- 'I' and tvęm- 'you' paradigms are given here, with enclitic forms given in parentheses.

    First Person   Second Person
Nom. sg.   adam   tuvam
Acc. sg.   mâm   thuvâm
Abl. sg.   (ma)   unattested
Gen. sg.   manâ   (taiy)
         
Nom. pl.   vayam   unattested
Gen. pl.   amâxam   unattested
7.2. Third Person Pronouns

The third person pronoun stem hauv- 'he' is found in only its masculine form.

    Masculine
Nom. sg.   hauv, hauvam
Acc. sg.   (shim), (dim)
Acc. pl.   (shish), (dish)
Instr. pl.   tâish
Abl. pl.   taęibyô
8. Athematic Presents

As noted in Lesson 1, verbs of the present system are based on various stems. Those stems ending with the theme-vowel -a-, called thematic stems, were discussed there. Athematic stems are similarly attested. They are constructed in five distinctive but systematic ways.

The root class stems add their ending directly to the verbal root, e.g. ahmiy 'I am', first person singular present indicative active of ah 'be'. The root may appear in its strong or weak grade, depending on the verb's ablaut pattern (cf. Section 2.2).

The reduplicating class forms its stem by adding a reduplicated syllable to the beginning of a verbal root. Only a few instances of reduplicating class verbs are found in Old Persian: the 1st and 3rd person singular imperfect indicative adadâ, from 'make'; the 3rd person singular present imperative active dadâtuv, from 'give'; and the 2nd person singular present imperative middle dîdiy, from 'think, see, know'.

The na- and nu- classes add a form of -na-/-na- or -nau-/-nu- to the root, according to ablaut pattern. A third nasal category, the infix class, is found where the -na- appears inside the root itself in its middle or zero grade.

Athematic Present Paradigms: ah 'be'

Indicative   Active   Middle
1 sg.   ahmiy   *ahmiy
3 sg.   astiy 1   *astiy
1 pl.   ahmahi   unattested
         
Imperative        
2 sg.   *zdiy   unattested
3 sg.   *astuv   unattested
2 pl.   *zdâ   unattested
         
Optative        
3 sg.   ahâ   unattested
         
Imperfect        
1 sg.   âham   unattested
3 sg.   âha2   unattested
3 pl.   âha   unattested
9. Causatives and Denominatives

The causative stem -aya- that appears in Avestan conveying the sense of causativity (cf. Section 2.9) is also found in the Old Persian, though it does not necessarily effect a change of meaning: e.g., 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle agarbâyatâ 'he seized', from grab 'seize, grab'. The causative takes the endings of the present system.

A denominative stem is formed from a noun by adding the suffix -ya- to the noun stem. Like the causative, it takes the endings of the present system: patiyâvahyaiy 'I asked for help', from the prefix patiy added to the noun-stem avah- 'aid'.

10. Adverbs, Adpositions, and Preverbs

Old Persian adverbs function as adpositions (prepositions or postpositions) and verbal prefixes. Some function as both, some as one or the other. Adpositions precede or follow the noun they modify, while preverbs are attached immediately to the front of verbs. Some common examples of each are as follows:

Adposition or Verbal Prefix   Meaning   Case of Governance
â   near   Locative
upa   up to   Accusative
ni   down   Locative
patiy   toward, against   Accusative, Instrumental, Locative
pariy   around   Accusative
parâ   away   Accusative
         
Adposition Only   Meaning   Case of Governance
anuv   along, according to   Instrumental, Genitive
antar   between   Accusative
tara   through   Accusative
pasâ   after   Accusative, Genitive
râdiy   on account of   Genitive
hacâ   from   Ablative
hadâ   with   Instrumental
         
Verbal Prefix Only   Meaning
ava   down
ud   up
nish   out
fra   forth, toward
vi   apart
ham   together

Footnotes

1   Proto-Indo-Iranian /s/ > Old Persian /h/ in most environments, but not in consonant clusters. Note here that the /m/ in first person ahmi is considered a resonant -- i.e. a sound that functions as a consonant when in a vocalic environment, or as a vowel when in a consonantal environment. Hence, the rule does not apply.
     
2   Final consonants are dropped in Old Persian, but a third person imperfect ending in t and n can be inferred from comparison with other Indo-Iranian languages. Thus, the 3rd singular âha is assumed to have developed out of the earlier form *âhat, and the plural out of *âhan.