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Early Indo-European Texts

Old Persian

Scott L. Harvey and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Old Persian with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old Iranian Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old Persian language and its speakers' culture.

Old Persian: excerpts from Darian Inscription DB IV

36  thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya 37 tuvam kâ xshâyathiya hya aparam âhy hacâ draugâ darsham 38 patipayauvâ martiya hya draujana ahatiy avam ufrashtam parsâ yadiy 39 avathâ maniyâhaiy dahyâushmaiy duruvâ ahatiy 40 thâtiy Dârayavaush xsâyathiya ima tya adam akunavam 41 vashnâ Auramazdâha hamahyâyâ tharda akunavam tuvam kâ hya 42 aparam imâm dipim patiparsâhy tya manâ kartam varnavatâm 43 thuvâm mâtya draugam maniyâhay thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya 44 Auramazdâha ragam vartaiyaiy yathâ ima hashiyam naiy duruxtam 45 adam akunavam hamahyâyâ tharda

50  thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya tyaiy 51 paruvâ xshâyathiyâ yâtâ âha avaishâm avâ naiy astiy kartam 52 yathâ manâ vashnâ Auramazdâha hamahyâyâ tharda kartam thâtiy 53 Dârayavaush xshâyathiya nûram thuvâm varnavatâm tya manâ 54 kartam avathâ kârahyâ râdiy mâ apagaudaya yadiy imâm 55 hadugâm naiy apagaudayâhy kârahyâ thâhy Auramazdâ thuvâm 56 daushtâ biyâ utâtaiy taumâ vasiy biyâ utâ dargam jîvâ 57 thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya yadiy imâm hadugâm apagaudayâhy 58 naiy thâhy kârahyâ Auramazdâtay jatâ biyâ utâtaiy taumâ 59 mâ biyâ thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya ima tya adam akunavam 60 hamahyâya tharda vashnâ Auramazdâha akunavam Auramazdâmaiy upastâm 61 abara utâ aniyâha bagâha tyaiy hatiy thâtiy Dârayavaush 62 xshâyathiya avahyarâdiy Auramazdâ upastâm abara utâ aniyâha 63 bagâha tyaiy hatiy yathâ naiy arika âham naiy draujana âham naiy 64 zûrakara âham naiy adam naimaiy taumâ upariy arshtâm upariyâyam 65 naiy shkaurim naiy tunuvatam zûra akunavam martiya hya hamataxshatâ 66 manâ vithiyâ avam ubartam abaram hya viyanâthaya avam ufrashtam 67 aparsam thâtiy Dârayavaush xshâyathiya tuvam kâ xshâyathiya 68 hya aparam âhy martiya hya draujana ahatiy hyavâ zûrakara ahatiy 69 avaiy mâ daushtâ biyâ ufrashtâdiy parsâ

Translation

36 Darius the King declares: 37 You who will be king hereafter, protect yourself from the Lie steadfastly. 38 The man who would be a follower of the Lie, punish him well if 39 you would think thus: 'Let my realm be secure.' 40 Darius the King declares: This is what I did, 41 [and] by the will of Ahura Mazda I did [it] in this very [time frame] of [one] year. You who will 42 hereafter read this inscription, may what was done by me persuade 43 you lest you think it deceit. Darius the King declares: 44 I turn myself quickly to Ahura Mazda, as this [is] true, not false, 45 [this that] I did in the very [time frame] of [one] year ...
50 ... Darius the King declares: Among those 51 [who] were earlier kings, not as much was done thus by them 52 as was done by me in the very [time frame] of [one] year by the will of Ahura Mazda. 53 Now, let what was done by me persuade you. 54 [And] thus, on account of the people, do not conceal [the deeds carved here]. If 55 you do not conceal this record [but] declare [it] among the people, Ahura Mazda 56 will become your friend, a large family will be [yours], and [your] life will be long. 57 Darius the King declares: [And] if you do conceal this record 58 [and] declare [it] not among the people, may Ahura Mazda become your smiter and may your family 59 not be born. Darius the King declares: This is what I did, 60 [and] by the will of Ahura Mazda I did [it] in this very [time frame] of [one] year. Ahura Mazda bore me aid 61 as did the other gods who exist. Darius 62 the King declares: [And] on account of this Ahura Mazda bore [me] aid as did the other 63 gods who are: because I was not hostile, I was not a follower of the Lie, 64 I was not an evil man -- not I, not [any] of my family. In accordance with Truth did I behave. 65 Neither to the weak nor to the powerful did I do harm. The man who collaborated 66 with my court, him I bore well; [and the man] who did damage, him 67 I punished severely. Darius the King declared: You who will be king 68 hereafter, the man who would be a follower of the Lie, or who would be an evil man, 69 to them you must not become a friend; you must punish [them] most severely.