Inscription of Darius on Behistun Relief

(in Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian)

1. (1.1-3.) I am Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King in Persia, King of countries, son of Hystaspes, grandson of Arsames, an Achaemenian.

2. (1.3-6.) Darius the King says: My father was Hystaspes; Hystaspes' father was Arsames; Arsames' father was Ariaramnes; Ariaramnes' father was Teispes; Teispes' father was Achaemenes.

3. (1.6-8.) Darius the King says: For this reason we are called Achaemenians. From long ago we have been noble. From long ago our family had been kings.

4. (1.8-11.) Darius the King says: there were 8 of our family who were kings before me; I am the ninth; 9 in succession we have been kings.

5. (1.11-2.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda I am King; Ahuramazda bestowed the kingdom upon me.

6. (1.12-7.) Darius the King says: These are the countries which came to me; by the favor of Ahuramazda I was king of them: Persia, Elam, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, (those) who are beside the sea, Sardis, Ionia, Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Chorasmia, Bactria, Sogdiana, Gandara, Scythia, Sattagydia, Arachosia, Maka: in all, 23 provinces.

7. (1.17-20.) Darius the King says: These are the countries which came to me; by the favor of Ahuramazda they were my subjects; they bore tribute to me; what was said to them by me either by night or by day, that was done.

8. (1.20-4.) Darius the King says: Within these countries, the man who was loyal, him I rewarded well; (him) who was evil, him I punished well; by the favor of Ahuramazda these countries showed respect toward my law; as was said to them by me, thus was it done.

9. (1.24-26.) Darius the King says: Ahuramazda bestowed the kingdom upon me; Ahuramazda bore me aid until I got possession of this kingdom; by the favor of Ahuramazda I hold this kingdom.

10. (1.26-35.) Darius the King says: This is what was done by me after I became king. A son of Cyrus, Cambyses by name, of our family -- he was king here of that Cambyses there was a brother, Smerdis by name, having the same mother and the same father as Cambyses. Afterwards, Cambyses slew that Smerdis. When Cambyses slew Smerdis, it did not become known to the people that Smerdis had been slain. Afterwards, Cambyses went to Egypt. When Cambyses had gone off to Egypt, after that the people became evil. After that the Lie waxed great in the country, both in Persia and in Media and in the other provinces.

11. (1.35-43.) Darius the King says: Afterwards, there was one man, a Magian, named Gaumata; he rose up from Paishiyauvada. A mountain named Arakadri -- from there 14 days of the month Viyakhna were past when he rose up. He lied to the people thus: "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus, brother of Cambyses." After that, all the people became rebellious from Cambyses, (and) went over to him, both Persia and Media and the other provinces. He seized the kingdom; of the month Garmapada 9 days were past, then he seized the kingdom. After that, Cambyses died by his own hand.

12. (1.43-8.) Darius the King says: This kingdom which Gaumata the Magian took away from Cambyses, this kingdom from long ago had belonged to our family. After that, Gaumata the Magian took (it) from Cambyses; he took to himself both Persia and Media and the other provinces, he made (them) his own possession, he became king.

13. (1.48-61.) Darius the King says: There was not a man, neither a Persian nor a Mede nor anyone of our family, who might make that Gaumata the Magian deprived of the kingdom. The people feared him greatly, (thinking that) he would slay in numbers the people who previously had known Smerdis; for this reason he would slay the people, "lest they know me, that I am not Smerdis the son of Cyrus." Nobody dared say anything about Gaumata the Magian, until I came. After that I sought help of Ahuramazda; Ahuramazda bore me aid; of the month Bagayadi 10 days were past, then I with a few men slew that Gaumata the Magian, and those who were his foremost followers. A fortress named Sikayauvati, a district named

Nisaya, in Media -- here I slew him. I took the kingdom from him. By the favor of Ahuramazda I became king; Ahuramazda bestowed the kingdom upon me.

14. (1.61-71.) Darius the King says: The kingdom which had been taken away from our family, that I put in its Place; I reestablished it on its foundation. As before, so I made the sanctuaries which Gaumata the Magian destroyed. I restored to the people the pastures and the herds, the household slaves and the houses which Gaumata the Magian took away from them. I reestablished the people on its foundation, both Persia and Media and the other provinces. As before, so I brought back what had been taken away. By the favor of Ahuramazda this I did: I strove until I reestablished our royal house on its foundation as (it was) before. So I strove, by the favor of Ahuramazda, so that Gaumata the Magian did not remove our royal house.

15. (1.71-2.) Darius the King says: This is what I did after I became king.

16. (1.72-81.) Darius the King says: When I had slain Gaumata the Magian, afterwards one man, named Asina, son of Upadarma -- he rose up in Elam. To the people he said thus: "I am king in Elam." Afterwards the Elamites became rebellious, (and) went over to that Asina; he became king in Elam. And one man, a Babylonian, named Nidintu-Bel, son of Ainaira -- he rose up in Babylon; thus he deceived the people: "I am Nebuchadrezzar the son of Nabonidus." Afterwards the Babylonian people all went over to that Nidintu-Bel; Babylonia became rebellious; he seized the kingdom in Babylon.

17. (1.81-3). Darius the King says: After that I sent (a message) to Elam. This Acina was led to me bound; I slew him.

18. (1.83-90). Darius the King says: After that I went off to Babylon, against that Nidintu-Bel who called himself Nebuchadrezzar. The army of Nidintu-Bel held the Tigris; there it took its stand, and on account of the waters (the Tigris) was unfordable. Thereupon (some of) my army I supported on (inflated) skins, others I made camel-borne, for others I brought horses. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda we got across the Tigris. There I smote that army of Nidintu-Bel exceedingly; of the month Asiyadiya 26 days were past, then we fought the battle.

19. (1.90-6). Darius the King says: After that I went off to Babylon. When I had not arrived at Babylon, a town named Zazana, beside the Euphrates -- there this Nidintu-Bel who called himself Nebuchadrezzar came with an army against me, to deliver battle. Thereupon we Joined battle; Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda I smote that army of Nidintu-Bel exceedingly. The rest was thrown into the water, (and) the water carried it away. Of the month Anamaka 2 days were past, then we fought the battle. Column 2 20. (2.1-5.) Darius the King says: After that, Nidintu-Bel with a few horsemen fled; he went off to Babylon. Thereupon I went to Babylon. By the favor of Ahuramazda both I seized Babylon and I took that Nidintu-Bel prisoner. After that, I slew that Nidintu-Bel at Babylon.

21. (2.5-8.) Darius the King says: While I was in Babylon, these are the provinces which became rebellious from me: Persia, Elam, Media, Assyria, Egypt, Parthia, Margiana, Sattagydia, Scythia.

22. (2.8-11.) Darius the King says: One man, named Martiya, son of Cincikhri -- a town named Kuganaka, in Persia -- there he abode. He rose up in Elam; to the people thus he said, "I am Imanish, king in Elam."

23. (2.11-3.) Darius the King says: At that time I was near Elam. Thereupon the Elamites were afraid of me; they seized that Martiya who was their chief, and slew him.

24. (2.13-7.) Darius the King says: One man, named Phraortes, a Median -- he rose up in Media. To the people thus he said, "I am Khshathrita, of the family of Cyaxares." Thereafter the Median army which (was) in the palace, became rebellious from me, (and) went over to that Phraortem. He became king in Media.

25. (2.18-29.) Darius the King says: The Persian and Median army which was with me, this was a small (force). Thereupon I sent forth an army. A Persian named Hydarnes, my subject -- I made him chief of them; I said to them thus: "Go forth, smite that Median army which does not call itself mine!" Thereupon this Hydarnes with the army marched off. When he arrived in Media, a town named Maru, in Media -- there he joined battle with the Medes. He who was chief among the Medes, he at that time was not there. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly. Of the month Anamaka 27 days were past, then the battle was fought by them. Thereafter this army of mine, a district named Kampanda, in Media -- there it waited for me until I arrived in Media.

26. (2.29-37.) Darius the King says: An Armenian named Dadarshi, my subject -- I sent him forth to Armenia. I said to him: "Go forth, that rebellious army which does not call itself mine, that do you smite!" Thereupon Dadarshi marched off. When he arrived in Armenia, thereafter the rebels assembled (and) came out against Dadarshi to join battle. A place named Zuzahya, in Armenia -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Thuravahara 8 days were past, then the battle was fought by them.

27. (2.37-42.) Darius the King says: Again a second time the rebels assembled (and) came out against Dadarshi to join battle. A stronghold named Tigra, in Armenia -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Thuravahara 18 days were past, then the battle was fought by them.

28. (2.42-9.) Darius the King says: Again a third time the rebels assembled (and) came out against Dadarshi to join battle. A fortress named Uyama, in Armenia -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Thaigarci 9 days were past, then the battle was fought by them. Thereafter Dadarshi waited for me until I arrived in Media.

29. (2.49-57.) Darius the King says: Thereafter a Persian named Vaumisa, my subject-him I sent forth to Armenia. Thus I said to him: "Go forth; the rebellious army which does not call itself mine -- smite them!" Thereupon Vaumisa marched off. When he arrived in Armenia, then the rebels assembled (and) came out against Vaumisa to join battle. A district named Izala, in Assyria -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Anamaka 15 days were past, then the battle was fought by them.

30. (2.57-63.) Darius the King says: Again a second time the rebels assembled (and) came out against Vaumisa to join battle. A district named Autiyara, in Armenia -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; on the last day of the month Thuravaharâthen the battle was fought by them. After that, Vaumisa waited for me in Armenia until I arrived in Media.

31. (2.64-70.) Darius the King says: Thereafter I went away from Babylon (and) arrived in Media. When I arrived in Media, a town named Kunduru, in Media -- there this Phraortes who called himself king in Media came with an army against me to join battle. Thereafter we joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda that army of Phraortes I smote exceedingly; of the month Adukanaisha 25 days were past, then we fought the battle.

32. (2.70-8.) Darius the King says: Thereafter this Phraortes with a few horsemen fled; a district named Raga, in Media -- along there he went off. Thereafter I sent an army in pursuit; Phraortes, seized, was led to me. I cut off his nose and ears and tongue, and put out one eye; he was kept bound at my palace entrance, all the people saw him. Afterward I impaled him at Ecbatana; and the men who were his foremost followers, those at Ecbatana within the fortress I (flayed and) hung out (their hides, stuffed with straw).

33. (2.78-91.) Darius the King says: One man named Cisantakhma, a Sagartian -- he became rebellious to me; thus he said to the people, "I am king in Sagartia, of the family of Cyaxares." Thereupon I sent off a Persian and Median army; a Mede named Takhmaspada, my subject -- I made him chief of them. I said to them thus: "Go forth; the hostile army which shall not call itself mine, and smite them!" Thereupon Takhmaspada with the army went off; he joined battle with Cisantakhma. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army and took Cisantakhma prisoner, (and) led him to me. Afterwards I cut off both his nose and ears, and put out one eye, he was kept bound at my palace entrance, all the people saw him. Afterwards I impaled him at Arbela.

34. (2.91-2.) Darius the King says: This is what was done by me in Media.

35. (2.92-8.) Darius the King says: Parthia and Hyrcania became rebellious from me, called themselves (adherents) of Phraortes. Hystaspes my father -- he was in Parthia; him the people abandoned, became rebellious. Thereupon Hystaspes went forth with the army which was faithful to him. A town named Vishpauzati, in Parthia -- there he joined battle with the Parthians. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda Hystaspes smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Viyakhna 22 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

Column 3

36. (3.1-9.) Darius the King says: After that I sent forth a Persian army to Hystaspes, from Raga. When this army came to Hystaspes, thereupon Hystaspes took that army (and) marched out. A town by name Patigrabana, in Parthia - there he joined battle with the rebels. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda Hystaspes smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Garmapada 1 day was past -- then the battle was fought by them.

37. (3.9-10.) Darius the King says: After that the province became mine. This is what was done by me in Parthia.

38. (3.10-9.) Darius the King says: A province named Margiana -- it became rebellious to me. One man named Frada, a Margian -- him they made chief. Thereupon I sent forth against him a Persian named Dadarshi, my subject, satrap in Bactria. Thus I said to him: "Go forth, smite that army which does not call itself mine!" After that, Dadarshi marched out with the army; he joined battle with the Margians. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Asiyadiya 23 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

39. (3.19-21.) Darius the King says: After that the province became mine. This is what was done by me in Bactria.

40. (3.21-8.) Darius the King says: One man named Vahyazdata -- a town named Tarava, a district named Yautiya, in Persia -- there he abode. He made the second uprising in Persia. To the people he said thus: "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus." Thereupon the Persian army which (was) in the palace, (having come) from Anshan previously -- it became rebellious from me, went over to that Vahyazdata. He became king in Persia.

41. (3.28-40.) Darius the King says: Thereupon I sent forth the Persian and Median army which was by me. A Persian named Artavardiya, my subject -- I made him chief of them. The rest of the Persian army went forth behind me to Media. Thereupon Artavardiya with his army went forth to Persia. When he arrived in Persia, a town named Rakha, in Persia -- there this Vahyazdata who called himself Smerdis came with his army against Artavardiya, to join battle. Thereupon they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that army of Vahyazdata exceedingly; of the month Thuravahara 12 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

42. (3.40-9.) Darius the King says: After that, this Vahyazdata with a few horsemen fled; he went off to Paishiyauvada. From there he got an army; later he came against Artavardiya to join battle. A mountain named Parga -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that army of Vahyasdata exceedingly; of the month Garmapada 5 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them, and that Vahyazdata they took prisoner, and those who were his foremost followers they captured.

43. (3.49-52.) Darius the King says: After that I took that Vahyazdata and those who were his foremost followers -- a town named Uvadaicaya, in Persia -- there I impaled them.

44. (3.52-3.) Darius the King says: This is what was done by me in Persia.

45. (3.54-64.) The King says: This Vahyazdata who called himself Smerdis had sent an army to Arachosia -- a Persian named Vivana, my subject, satrap in Arachosia -- against him; and he had made one man their chief. Thus he said to them: "Go forth; smite Vivana and that army which calls itself King Darius's!" Thereupon this army marched off, which Vahyazdata had sent forth against Vivana to join battle. A fortress named Kapishakani -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Anamaka 13 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

46. (3.64-9.) Darius the King says: Again later the rebels assembled (and) came out against Vivana to join battle. A district named Gandutava -- there they joined battle. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda my army smote that rebellious army exceedingly; of the month Viyakhna 7 days were past -- then the battle was fought by them.

47. (3.69-75.) Darius the King says: After that, this man who was the chief of that army which Vahyazdata had sent forth against Vivana -- he fled with a few horsemen (and) got away. A fortress named Arshada, in Arachosia -- past that he went. Afterwards Vivana with his army went off in pursuit of them; there he took him prisoner and the men who were his foremost followers, (and) slew (them).

48. (3.75-6.) Darius the King says: After that the province became mine. This is what was done by me in Arachosia.

49. (3.76-83.) Darius the King says: While I was in Persia and Media, again a second time the Babylonians became rebellious from me. One man named Arkha, an Armenian, son of Haldita -- he rose up in Babylon. A district named Dubala -- from there he thus lied to the people: "I am Nebuchadrezzar the son of Nabonidus." Thereupon the Babylonian people became rebellious from me, (and) went over to that Arkha. He seized Babylon; he became king in Babylon.

50. (3.83-92.) Darius the King says: Thereupon I sent forth an army to Babylon. A Persian named Intaphernes, my subject -- him I made chief of them. Thus I said to them: "Go forth; that Babylonian army smite, which shall not call itself mine!" Thereupon Intaphernes with the army marched off to Babylon. Ahuramazda bore me aid; by the favor of Ahuramazda Intaphernes smote the Babylonians and led them in bonds; of the month Varkazana 22 days were past -- then that Arkha who falsely called himself Nebuchadrezzar and the men who were his foremost followers he took prisoner. I issued an order: this Arkha and the men who were his foremost followers were impaled at Babylon. Column 4 51. (4.1-2.) Darius the King says: This is what was done by me in Babylon.

52. (4.2-31.) Darius the King says: This is what I did by the favor of Ahuramazda in one and the same year after that I became king. 19 battles I fought; by the favor of Ahuramazda I smote them and took prisoner 9 kings. One was named Gaumata, a Magian; lied and said, "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus;" he made Persia rebellious. One, named Asina, an Elamite; lied and said, "I am king in Elam;" he made Elam rebellious to me. One, named Nidintu-Bel, a Babylonian; lied and said, "I am Nebuchadrezzar, the son of Nabonidus; he made Babylon rebellious. One, named Martiya, a Persian; lied and said, "I am Imanish, king in Elam;" he made Elam rebellious. One, named Phraortes, a Mede; lied and said, "I am Khshathrita, of the family of Cyaxares;" he made Media rebellious. One named Cisantakhma, a Sagartian; lied and said, "I am king in Sagartia, of the family of Cyaxares;" he made Sagartia rebellious. One, named Frada, a Margian; lied and said, "I am king in Margiana;" he made Margiana rebellious. One, named Vahyazdata, a Persian; lied and said, "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus;" he made Persia rebellious. One, named Arkha, an Armenian; lied and said: "I am Nebuchadrezzar, the son of Nabonidus;" he made Babylon rebellious.

53. (4.31-2.) Darius the King says: These 9 kings I took prisoner within these battles.

54. (4.33-6.) Darius the King says: These are the provinces which became rebellious. The Lie (druj) made them rebellious, so that these (men) deceived the people. Afterwards Ahuramazda put them into my hand; as was my desire, so I did to them.

55. (4.36-40.). Darius the King says: You who shall be king hereafter, protect yourself vigorously from the Lie; the man who shall be a Lie-follower, him do you punish well, if thus you shall think, "May my country be secure!"

56. (4.40-3.) Darius the King says: This is what I did; by the favor of Ahuramazda, in one and the same year I did (it). You who shall hereafter read this inscription let that which has been done by me convince you; do not think it a lie.

57. (4.13-5.) Darius the King says: I turn myself quickly to Ahuramazda, that this (is) true, not false, (which) I did in one and the same year.

58. (4.45-50.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda and of me much else was done; that has not been inscribed in this inscription; for this reason it has not been inscribed, lest whoso shall hereafter read this inscription, to him what has been done by me seem excessive, (and) it not convince him, (but) he think it false.

59. (4.50-2.) Darius the King says: Those who were the former kings, as long as they lived, by them was not done thus as by the favor of Ahuramazda was done by me in one and the same year.

60. (4.52-6.) Darius the King says: Now let that which has been done by me convince you; thus to the people impart, do not conceal it: if this record you shall not conceal, (but) tell it to the people, may Ahuramazda he a friend to you, and may family be to you in abundance, and may you live long!

61. (4.57-9.) Darius the King says: If this record you shall conceal, (and) not tell it to the people, may Ahuramazda be a smiter to you, and may family not be to you!

62. (4.59-61.) Darius the King says: This which I did, in one and the same year by the favor of Ahuramazda I did; Ahuramazda bore me aid, and the other gods who are.

63. (4.61-7.) Darius the King says: For this reason Ahuramazda bore aid, and the other gods who are, because I was not hostile, I was not a Lie-follower, I was not a doer of wrong -- neither I nor my family. According to righteousness I conducted myself. Neither to the weak nor to the powerful did I do wrong. The man who cooperated with my house, him I rewarded well; whoso did injury, him I punished well.

64. (4.67-9.) Darius the King says: You who shall be king hereafter, the man who shall be a Lie-follower or who shall be a doer of wrong -- to them do not be a friend, (but) punish them well.

65. (4.69-72.) Darius the King says: You who shall thereafter behold this inscription which I have inscribed, or these sculptures, do not destroy them, (but) thence onward protect them, as long as you shall be in good strength!

66. (4.72-6.) Darius the King says: If you shall behold this inscription or these sculptures, (and) shall not destroy them and shall protect them as long as to you there is strength, may Ahuramazda be a friend to you, and may family be to you in abundance, and may you live long, and what you shall do, that may Ahuramazda make successful for you!

67. (4.76-80.) Darius the King says: If you shall behold this inscription or these sculptures, (and) shall destroy them and shall not protect them as long as to you there is strength, may Ahuramazda be a smiter to you, and may family not be to you, and what you shall do, that for you may Ahuramazda utterly destroy!

68. (4.80-6.) Darius the King says: These are the men who were there at the time when I slew Gaumata the Magian who called himself Smerdis; at that time these men cooperated as my followers: Intaphernes by name, son of Vayaspara, a Persian; Otanes by name, son of Thukhra, a Persian; Gobryas by name, son of Mardonius, a Persian; Hydarnes by name, son of Bagabigna, a Persian; Megabyzus by name, son of Datuvahya, a Persian; Ardumanish by name, son of Vahauka, a Persian.

69. (4.86-8.) Darius the King says: You who shall be king hereafter, protect well the family of these men.

70. (4.88-92.) Darius the King says: By the favor of Ahuramazda this is the inscription which I made. Besides, it was in Aryan, and on clay tablets and on parchment it was composed. Besides, a sculptured figure of myself I made. Besides, I made my lineage. And it was inscribed and was read off before me. Afterwards this inscription I sent off everywhere among the provinces. The people unitedly worked upon it.


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