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 9: Old Persian

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

The tomb of Darius is located at Naqs-i-rastam, a few miles north of the ancient Persian capital at Persepolis. The second in a series of three other burial chambers with entryways carved, in the shape of Orthodox crosses each roughly seventy-three feet high, into the face of a cliff, it bears a relief of Darius standing at the base of his throne, supported by two lines of fifteen throne-bearers. Darius looks toward an altar; Ahura Mazda looks down from above. There are two inscriptions. Directly behind the Darius figure, 60 lines are carved in Old Persian, translated into 48 lines of Elamite and 36 lines of Akkadian on the adjacent rock. The second inscription flanks the door, with panels in Old Persian, Elamite, Aramaic, and Akkadian. Together, these constitute the Emperor's last public decrees, highlighting his deeds and moral and physical fortitude, both praising the god Ahura Mazda.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The passage behind Darius on the relief panel, called the inscription of Darius at Naqs-i-rastam A (DNa), opens by declaring Ahura Mazda great by virtue of his creation of the earth, sky, and happiness for humankind, and for making Darius the king. It immediately follows with Darius declaring himself and his noble ancestry to posterity and moves on to list the countries that bore him tribute during his reign. The passage then mentions, again, that Darius was made king by his god, but this time adds the reason: Ahura Mazda saw disorder, rebellion, and moral laxity on the earth, and therefore put Darius in charge, presumably to bring the people back into accordance with Zoroastrian teaching. Darius then refers his readers to the relief itself, should they forget just how many lands he conquered: "look at the reliefs [of those] who bear the throne." Their number is carved in stone. The passage closes with a request for Ahura Mazda to continue to protect him and his descendents from harm and, finally, a last command that his subjects never again rise in rebellion.

1 - baga vazraka Auramazdâ hya imâm

  • baga -- noun; nominative singular masculine <baga-> 'god' -- the god
  • vazraka -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <vazraka-> 'great' -- great
  • Auramazdâ -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- Ahura Mazda
  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who
  • imâm -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <ima-> 'he, this' -- this

2 - bűmim adâ hya avam asmânam

  • bűmim -- noun; accusative singular feminine <bűmi-> 'earth' -- earth
  • adâ -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist indicative active <> 'put, make, create' -- created
  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who
  • avam -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <ava-> 'this, that' -- this
  • asmânam -- noun; accusative singular masculine <asman-> 'sky' -- sky

3 - adâ hya martiyam adâ hya

  • adâ -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist indicative active <> 'put, make, create' -- created
  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who
  • martiyam -- noun; accusative singular masculine <martiya-> 'mortal, man, human being' -- mankind
  • adâ -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist indicative active <> 'put, make, create' -- created
  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who

4 - shiyâtim adâ martiyahyâ

  • shiyâtim -- noun; accusative singular feminine <shiyati-> 'welfare, peace, happiness' -- happiness
  • adâ -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist indicative active <> 'put, make, create' -- created
  • martiyahyâ -- noun; genitive singular masculine <martiya-> 'mortal, man, human being' -- for mankind

5 - hya Dârayavaum xshâyathiyam akunaush

  • hya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine <hya-> 'who, what, which' -- who
  • Dârayavaum -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Dârayavahu-> 'Darius' -- Darius
  • xshâyathiyam -- noun; accusative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the king
  • akunaush -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <kar> 'do, make' -- made

6 - aivam parűvnâm xshâyathiyam

  • aivam -- adjective; accusative singular masculine <aiva-> 'one' -- one
  • parűvnâm -- adjective; genitive plural masculine <paru-> 'much, many' -- of many
  • xshâyathiyam -- noun; accusative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- king

7 - aivam parűvnâm framâtâram

  • aivam -- adjective; accusative singular masculine <aiva-> 'one' -- one
  • parűvnâm -- adjective; genitive plural masculine <paru-> 'much, many' -- of many
  • framâtâram -- noun; accusative singular masculine <framâtar-> 'lord, master' -- overlord

8 - adam Dârayavaush xshâyathiya vazraka

  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • Dârayavaush -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Dârayavahu-> 'Darius' -- Darius
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the king
  • vazraka -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <vazraka-> 'great' -- great

9 - xshâyathiya xshâyathiyânâm

  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- king
  • xshâyathiyânâm -- noun; genitive plural masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- of kings

10 - xshâyathiya dahyűnâm vispazanânâm

  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- king
  • dahyűnâm -- noun; genitive plural feminine <dahyu-> 'country, land, region' -- of the lands
  • vispazanânâm -- adjective; <vispa-> 'all, every' + noun; genitive plural masculine <zana-> 'man' -- of all men

11 - xshâyathiya ahyâyâ bűmiyâ

  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- king
  • ahyâyâ -- demonstrative pronoun; locative singular feminine <a-> 'this' -- this
  • bűmiyâ -- noun; locative singular feminine <bűmi-> 'earth' -- on earth

12 - vazrakâyâ dűraiapiy Vishtâspahyâ

  • vazrakâyâ -- adjective; locative singular feminine <vazraka-> 'great' -- great
  • dűraiapiy -- adverb; <dűra> 'far' + enclitic particle; <apiy> emphatic particle -- far and wide
  • Vishtâspahyâ -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Vishtâspa-> 'Hystaspes' -- of Hystaspes

13 - puc*a haxâmanishiya pârsa pârsahyâ

  • puc*a -- noun; nominative singular masculine <puc*a-> 'son' -- son
  • haxâmanishiya -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <haxâmanishiya-> 'Achaemenid' -- an Achaemenid
  • pârsa -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <pârsa-> 'Persian' -- a Persian
  • pârsahyâ -- adjective; genitive singular masculine <pârsa-> 'Persian' -- of a Persian

14 - puc*a ariya ariyacic*a

  • puc*a -- noun; nominative singular masculine <puc*a-> 'son' -- son
  • ariya -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <ariya-> 'Aryan' -- an Aryan
  • ariyacic*a -- adjective; <ariya-> 'Aryan' + noun; nominative singular masculine <cic*a-> 'seed, lineage' -- of Aryan descent

30 - thâtiy

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

31 - Dârayavaush xshâyathiya Auramazdâ yathâ

  • Dârayavaush -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Dârayavahu-> 'Darius' -- Darius
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the King
  • Auramazdâ -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- Ahura Mazda
  • yathâ -- adverbial conjunction; <yathâ> 'as, when, because' -- when

32 - avaina imâm bűmim yaudatim

  • avaina -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <vaina-> 'see' -- saw
  • imâm -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <ima-> 'he, this' -- this
  • bűmim -- noun; accusative singular feminine <bűmi-> 'earth' -- earth
  • yaudatim -- present participle active; accusative singular feminine <yaud> 'rise up, bubble over' -- rising up

33 - pasâvadim manâ frâbara mâm xshâyathiyam

  • pasâvadim -- adverb; <pasâva> 'after(wards)' + enclitic demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine <di-> 'this' -- thereupon... it
  • manâ -- personal pronoun; genitive singular masculine <adam> 'I' -- upon me
  • frâbara -- verbal prefix; <fra> 'to, toward, forth' + verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <bar> 'bear, carry' -- he bestowed
  • mâm -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine <adam> 'I' -- me
  • xshâyathiyam -- noun; accusative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- king

34 - akunaush adam xshâyathiya

  • akunaush -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <kar> 'do, make' -- made
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- king

35 - amiy vashnâ Auramazdâhâ adamshim

  • amiy -- verb; 1st person singular present indicative active <ah> 'be' -- am
  • vashnâ -- noun; instrumental singular masculine <vashna-> 'will, favor' -- will
  • Auramazdâhâ -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- of Ahura Mazda
  • adamshim -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' + enclitic pronoun; accusative singular feminine <shi-> 'she, this' -- I... it

36 - gâthavâ niyashâdayam tyashâm

  • gâthavâ -- noun; locative singular feminine <gâthu-> 'place, throne, battlefield' -- in place
  • niyashâdayam -- verbal prefix; <ni> 'down' + verb; 1st person singular present imperfect indicative active causative <had> 'sit' -- put down
  • tyashâm -- relative pronoun; accusative singular neuter <tya-> 'who, which; that' + enclitic demonstrative pronoun; genitive plural masculine <sha-> 'he, this' -- which... of them

37 - adam athaham ava akunava yathâ mâm

  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I
  • athaham -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <thah> 'speak, say, declare' -- commanded
  • ava -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter <ava-> 'this, that' -- that
  • akunava -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect indicative middle <kar> 'do, make' -- they did
  • yathâ -- adverbial conjunction; <yathâ> 'as, when, because' -- as
  • mâm -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine <adam> 'I' -- my

38 - kâma âha yadipatiy maniyâhaiy tya

  • kâma -- noun; nominative singular masculine <kâma-> 'wish, desire' -- wish
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- was
  • yadipatiy -- relative adverb; <yadiy> 'if, when' + adverb; <patiy> 'against, during, with respect to' -- if again
  • maniyâhaiy -- verb; 2nd person singular present subjunctive middle <man> 'think' -- you would wonder
  • tya -- relative conjunction; accusative singular neuter <tya-> '(so/in order) that' -- ...

39 - ciyakaram âha avâ dahyâva

  • ciyakaram -- adverb; <cayakaram> 'how much, how many' -- how many
  • âha -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect indicative active <ah> 'be' -- were
  • avâ -- relative pronoun; nominative plural feminine <ava-> 'this, that' -- those
  • dahyâva -- noun; nominative plural feminine <dahyu-> 'country, land, region' -- countries

40 - tyâ Dârayavaush xshâyathiya

  • tyâ -- relative pronoun; nominative plural feminine <tya-> 'who, which; that' -- which
  • Dârayavaush -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Dârayavahu-> 'Darius' -- Darius
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the king

41 - adâraya patikarâ dîdiy tyaiy gâthum

  • adâraya -- verb; 3rd person singular present indicative middle causative <dar> 'hold, support' -- held
  • patikarâ -- noun; accusative plural masculine <patikara-> 'picture, carved/incised likeness' -- the reliefs
  • dîdiy -- verb; 2nd person singular present imperative middle <di> 'see, look' -- look at
  • tyaiy -- relative pronoun; accusative plural masculine <tya-> 'who, which; that' -- who
  • gâthum -- noun; accusative singular feminine <gâthu-> 'place, throne, battlefield' -- the throne

42 - baratiy avadâ xshnâsâhy

  • baratiy -- verb; 3rd person plural present indicative active <bar> 'bear, carry' -- bear
  • avadâ -- adverb; <avadâ> 'then, there' -- then
  • xshnâsâhy -- verb; 2nd person singular present subjunctive active <xshnâ> 'learn, know' -- you will know

43 - adataiy azdâ bavâtiy pârsahyâ

  • adataiy -- adverb; <ada> 'then' + enclitic personal pronoun; genitive singular <tuvam-> 'you' -- thus... to you
  • azdâ -- adverb; <azdâ> 'known' -- known
  • bavâtiy -- verb; 3rd person singular present subjunctive active <bu> 'be, become' -- it will become
  • pârsahyâ -- adjective; genitive singular masculine <pârsa-> 'Persian' -- of a Persian

44 - martiyahyâ dűraiy arshtish

  • martiyahyâ -- noun; genitive singular masculine <martiya-> 'mortal, man, human being' -- for mankind
  • dűraiy -- adverb; <dűraiy> 'afar, far away' -- a great distance
  • arshtish -- noun; nominative singular feminine <arshti-> 'spear, weapon' -- spear

45 - parâgmatâ adataiy azdâ bavâtiy

  • parâgmatâ -- adverb; <parâ> 'forth, forward, beyond' + past participle passive; nominative singular feminine <gam> 'go' -- has gone forth
  • adataiy -- adverb; <ada> 'then' + enclitic personal pronoun; genitive singular <tuvam-> 'you' -- thus... to you
  • azdâ -- adverb; <azdâ> 'known' -- known
  • bavâtiy -- verb; 3rd person singular present subjunctive active <bu> 'be, become' -- it will become

46 - pârsa martiya dűrayapiy hacâ Pârsâ

  • pârsa -- adjective; nominative singular masculine <pârsa-> 'Persian' -- a Persian
  • martiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <martiya-> 'mortal, man, human being' -- man
  • dűrayapiy -- adverb; <dűra> 'far' + enclitic particle; <apiy> emphatic particle -- extremely far
  • hacâ -- adposition; <hacâ> 'from, out of' -- from
  • Pârsâ -- geographic name; ablative singular masculine <Pârsa-> 'Persia' -- Persia

47 - partaram patiyajatâ thâtiy

  • partaram -- noun; accusative singular neuter <partara-> 'battle' -- battle
  • patiyajatâ -- verbal prefix; <patiy> 'against, during, with respect to' + verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <jan> 'smite, strike, slay' -- has done battle
  • thâtiy -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative active <thah> 'speak, say, declare' -- declares

48 - Dârayavaush xshâyathiya aita tya kartam

  • Dârayavaush -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Dârayavahu-> 'Darius' -- Darius
  • xshâyathiya -- noun; nominative singular masculine <xshâyathiya-> 'royal, king' -- the King
  • aita -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular neuter <aita-> 'he, this' -- this
  • tya -- relative pronoun; nominative singular neuter <tya-> 'who, which; that' -- which
  • kartam -- past participle passive; nominative singular neuter <kar> 'do, make' -- has been done

49 - ava visam vashnâ Auramazdâhâ

  • ava -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular neuter <ava-> 'this, that' -- that
  • visam -- adjective; accusative singular neuter <visa-> 'all, every' -- all
  • vashnâ -- noun; instrumental singular masculine <vashna-> 'will, favor' -- will
  • Auramazdâhâ -- proper name; genitive singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- of Ahura Mazda

50 - akunavam Auramazdâmaiy upastâm abara

  • akunavam -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <kar> 'do, make' -- I did
  • Auramazdâmaiy -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' + personal pronoun; genitive singular <adam> 'I' -- Ahura Mazda... me
  • upastâm -- noun; accusative singular feminine <upastâ-> 'aid, support' -- aid
  • abara -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle <bar> 'bear, carry' -- bore

51 - yâtâ kartam akunavam mâm

  • yâtâ -- adverbial conjunction; <yâtâ> 'until, while, as long as' -- until
  • kartam -- past participle passive; accusative singular neuter <kar> 'do, make' -- task
  • akunavam -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect indicative active <kar> 'do, make' -- I accomplished
  • mâm -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine <adam> 'I' -- me

52 - Auramazdâ pâtuv hacâ gastâ utâmaiy

  • Auramazdâ -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- Ahura Mazda
  • pâtuv -- verb; 3rd person singular present imperative active <> 'protect' -- may... protect
  • hacâ -- adposition; <hacâ> 'from, out of' -- from
  • gastâ -- noun; ablative singular neuter <gasta-> 'evil, harm' -- evil
  • utâmaiy -- conjunctive particle; <utâ> 'and' + personal pronoun; genitive singular <adam> 'I' -- and my

53 - vitham utâ imâm dahyâum aita adam

  • vitham -- noun; accusative singular feminine <vith-> 'house(hold), clan, royal court' -- house
  • utâ -- conjunction; <utâ> 'and' -- and
  • imâm -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular feminine <ima-> 'he, this' -- this
  • dahyâum -- noun; accusative singular feminine <dahyu-> 'country, land, region' -- country
  • aita -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular neuter <aita-> 'he, this' -- this
  • adam -- personal pronoun; nominative singular <adam> 'I' -- I

54 - Auramazdâm jadiyâmiy aitamaiy

  • Auramazdâm -- proper name; accusative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- Ahura Mazda
  • jadiyâmiy -- verb; 1st person singular present indicative active <jad> 'pray, ask' -- I pray
  • aitamaiy -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular neuter <aita-> 'he, this' + personal pronoun; genitive singular <adam> 'I' -- this... me

55 - Auramazdâ dadâtuv

  • Auramazdâ -- proper name; nominative singular masculine <Auramazdâh-> 'Ahura Mazda' -- Ahura Mazda
  • dadâtuv -- verb; 3rd person singular present imperative active <> 'give, take' -- may... give

Lesson Text

1 baga vazraka Auramazdâ hya imâm 2 bűmim adâ hya avam asmânam 3 adâ hya martiyam adâ hya 4 shiyâtim adâ martiyahyâ 5 hya Dârayavaum xshâyathiyam akunaush 6 aivam parűvnâm xshâyathiyam 7 aivam parűvnâm framâtâram 8 adam Dârayavaush xshâyathiya vazraka 9 xshâyathiya xshâyathiyânâm 10 xshâyathiya dahyűnâm vispazanânâm 11 xshâyathiya ahyâyâ bűmiyâ 12 vazrakâyâ dűraiapiy Vishtâspahyâ 13 puc*a haxâmanishiya pârsa pârsahyâ 14 puc*a ariya ariyacic*a

30  thâtiy 31 Dârayavaush xshâyathiya Auramazdâ yathâ 32 avaina imâm bűmim yaudatim 33 pasâvadim manâ frâbara mâm xshâyathiyam 34 akunaush adam xshâyathiya 35 amiy vashnâ Auramazdâhâ adamshim 36 gâthavâ niyashâdayam tyashâm 37 adam athaham ava akunava yathâ mâm 38 kâma âha yadipatiy maniyâhaiy tya 39 ciyakaram âha avâ dahyâva 40 tyâ Dârayavaush xshâyathiya 41 adâraya patikarâ dîdiy tyaiy gâthum 42 baratiy avadâ xshnâsâhy 43 adataiy azdâ bavâtiy pârsahyâ 44 martiyahyâ dűraiy arshtish 45 parâgmatâ adataiy azdâ bavâtiy 46 pârsa martiya dűrayapiy hacâ Pârsâ 47 partaram patiyajatâ thâtiy 48 Dârayavaush xshâyathiya aita tya kartam 49 ava visam vashnâ Auramazdâhâ 50 akunavam Auramazdâmaiy upastâm abara 51 yâtâ kartam akunavam mâm 52 Auramazdâ pâtuv hacâ gastâ utâmaiy 53 vitham utâ imâm dahyâum aita adam 54 Auramazdâm jadiyâmiy aitamaiy 55 Auramazdâ dadâtuv

Translation

1 Great is the god Ahura Mazda, who 2 created this earth, who 3 created this sky, who created mankind, who 4 created happiness for mankind, 5 who made Darius the king, 6 one king of many, 7 one overlord of many. 8 I [am] Darius: great king, 9 king of kings, 10 king of the lands of all men, 11 king on this great earth 12 far and wide, son of Hystaspes 13 an Achaemenid, a Persian, son 14 of a Persian, an Aryan of Aryan descent ...
30 ... Darius the king declares: 31 When Ahura Mazda 32 saw the [peoples of] the earth rising up, 33 he then bestowed it upon me. He 34 made me king, [and therefore] I 35 am king. By the will of Ahura Mazda 36 I put it down in [its] place. 37 They did that which I asked of them, as 38 was my wish. [And] if you would wonder, 39 "How many were those countries 40 which Darius the King 41 held?" look at the reliefs [of those] who 42 bear the throne. Then you will know. 44 "The spear of a Persian man has 45 gone forth a great distance." [And] thus it will become known to you: 46 "A Persian man has done 47 battle far indeed from Persia." Darius the King 48 declares: I did all this which has been done 49 by the will of Ahura Mazda. 50 Ahura Mazda bore me aid 51 until I accomplished the task. 52 May Ahura Mazda protect me from evil, and 53 my house, and this country. This I 54 pray to Ahura Mazda: may Ahura Mazda 55 give this to me.

Grammar

11. r- and n-stem Nouns
11.1. r-stem Nouns

Old Persian nouns ending in the suffix tar function either as agent nouns that indicate the performers of actions -- e.g., jantar- 'slayer' -- or as relational nouns describing familial ties -- e.g., mâtar- 'mother'. Based on Sanskrit evidence, a slight variation in declension would be expected in the nominative and accusative cases, but attestations in Old Persian are too few to verify this. The nominative, accusative, and genitive of pitar- 'father' are given here. The feminine mâtar- declines similarly. Neuter declensions do not appear.

Nom. sg.   pitâ
Acc. sg.   *pitârâm
Gen. sg.   pic*a, pic*ah
11.2. an-, man-, and van-stem Nouns

Old Persian nouns ending in an, man, and van generally function as action nouns. Their masculine and neuter endings are given here. Feminines are not attested.

    Masculine xshayârshan- 'Xerxes'   Neuter tauman- power'
Nom. sg.   xshayârshâ   taumâ
Acc. sg.   xshayârshâm,1 *xshayârshânam   *taumanam
Instr. sg.   unattested   *taumnâ
Gen. sg.   xshayârshâha   unattested
         
Instr. pl.   unattested   taumanish
12. Pronouns
12.1. Demonstrative Pronouns

In Section 7.2, the third person pronoun hauv- 'this' was described as functioning also as a demonstrative in the masculine and feminine. There are two other demonstratve pronouns, i- 'this' and ava- 'that', in masculine, feminine, and neuter declensions. The neuter third person pronoun aita- is also attested.

i-declension   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
Nom. sg.   iyam   ima   iyam
Acc. sg.   imam   ima   imâm
Instr. sg.   anâ   unattested   unattested
Loc. sg.   unattested   unattested   ahyâyâ
             
Nom/Acc. pl.   imaiy   unattested   imâ
Instr. pl.   unattested   unattested   imaibish
Gen. pl.   imaishâm   unattested   unattested
             
             
ava-declension            
Nom. sg.   ava   ava, avash-ca   unattested
Acc. sg.   avam   ava, avash-ca   avâm
Instr. sg.   unattested   avamâ   unattested
Gen. sg.   avahyâ   unattested   unattested
             
Nom. pl.   avaiy   avâ   a, avâ
Acc. pl.   avaiy   unattested   avâh
Gen. pl.   avaishâm   unattested   unattested
12.2. Relative Pronouns

Old Persian relative pronouns form a suppletive system, combining the *ha/ta demonstrative system with the *ya relative system of Indo-Iranian. (It happens to be the only pronoun declension that includes a dual form, not shown here.)

hya-declension   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
Nom. sg.   hya   tya   hyâ
Acc. sg.   tyam   tya   tyâm
Instr. sg.   unattested   tyanâ   unattested
             
Nom/Acc. pl.   tyaiy   tyâ   imâ
Gen.pl   imaishâm   unattested   tyaishâm
13. The Aorist Tense

As in Avestan, the Old Persian includes an aorist stem. By this time, however, the complexity of the aorist system had been significantly reduced, both in the number of forms and in modal function (cf. Avestan Lesson 3, Section 13 on the injunctive/indicative distinction for the aorist tense). The augment is always included in all moods except the optative, which may employ it or not, and the form conveys a simple past tense no different in meaning from the imperfect.

A sigmatic aorist is formed from the roots paith 'engrave' (with the prefix ni), e.g. niyapaisham, and dar 'support', e.g. adarshiy, in the first person singular adarshiyam. The root aorist, shown here, is more common, though still infrequent.

Root Aorist Paradigm: 'put, place, create'

Indicative   Active   Middle
1 sg.   unattested   *adamâ
3 sg.   adât   *adâtâ
         
Imperative        
2 sg.   adâuvâ   unattested
Optative        
2 sg.   (a)dyâ, (a)dyâh   unattested
3 sg.   (a) dyâ, (a)dyât   unattested
14. Verbal Adjectives and Nouns

A participle is a verbal adjective -- a verb stem that takes an adjectival suffix. It functions syntactically as either an adjective modifying a noun, or as a substantive replacing it. Like verbs, participles are formed in the active, middle, and passive voices, and the past, present, and future tenses.

An example of the present participle in English is the word 'running'. In the sentence "The running water is cold," the verb 'run' functions as an adjective to describe 'water'. In Old Persian, the word might also be used as the subject of the sentence to describe someone or something that is running, as in "The running (one) is passing by," but this is unusual in English. Keeping in mind that a participle is adjectival, the common slang phrase "the big, the bad, and the ugly" may illustrate the same principle. Though 'big', 'bad', and 'ugly' are not participles, they are adjectives standing in place of the nouns they modify (e.g., 'the big men', 'the bad men', etc.) -- a usage that participles commonly have in Old Persian.

The present active participle is formed by adding the ending -ant to a present verbal stem, which declines according to the an- paradigm, given in Section 12, in the masculine and neuter. The feminine is formed by weakening the ant-ending to at and adding a long î. The form then declines accordingly (cf. Section 6). The present middle participle adds the ending -amna to the verbal stem and declines like the a-/â-stems in Section 3.

In addition to the present active and middle participles, Old Persian employs a perfect and a future passive participle. The perfect passive participle is most commonly formed by adding ta to the zero-grade root, e.g. marta 'dead', from mar 'die', though it is occasionally added to a stronger grade. A few roots add na, also to the zero-grade, instead of ta. The form is translated as a simple past tense verb with adjectival function, e.g. marta 'dead' as seen in line 48 ('[when I am] dead') of Lesson 10. It may also be used substantively, as in karta 'deed', from kar 'do, make', in line 46 of Lesson 10.

The future passive participle adds ata to the zero- or middle-grade root, e.g. thakata- 'past' from thak 'pass'. Despite the name passive, the form only appears in Old Persian with intransitive verbs and is therefore active in meaning.

The infinitive is the only verbal noun formation in Old Persian. It is formed by adding the suffix tanaiy to a middle grade root. It is translated as the English infinitive, e.g. bartanay 'to bear' from bar 'support, bear'.

15. Relative-Correlative Syntax

Native English speakers sometimes find the Indo-Iranian relative clause difficult since it is not usually embedded within the main clause, as it is in English, but rather precedes the clause, which 'picks up' the relative pronoun with a corresponding demonstrative, or correlative, pronoun. The relative pronoun may be placed anywhere within its own clause, though it is often found at the beginning. The correlative must begin the main clause. The antecedent, or the word that the relative pronoun represents in the relative clause, is included, somewhat counter-intuitively, in the relative clause, usually immediately following the relative pronoun.

The relative clause in lines 48 and 49 above provide an illustration:

    aita   tya   kartam   ava   visam   vashnâ   auramazdâhâ
    this   which   has been done,   that   all   by the will   of Ahura Mazda

This is translated into English as "I did all this which has been done by the will of Ahura Mazda."

Footnote

1   Built on analogy with the h-stem paradigm, probably after Ahura Mazdah-.