Punishment of captured impostors and conspirators: Gaumāta lies under the boot of Darius the Great; the last person in line, wearing a traditional Scythian hat and costume, is identified as Skunxa. His image was added after the inscription was completed, requiring some of the text to be removed.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Route to inscription at upper right.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Column 1 (DB I 1–15), sketch by Friedrich von Spiegel (1881).
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
Papyrus with an Aramaic translation of the Behistun inscription's text.
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Close-up of the inscription showing damage
Cyrus the Great is said, in the Bible, to have liberated the Hebrew captives in Babylon to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
Lineage of Darius the Great according to the Behistun inscription.
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
The Anubanini rock relief, dated to 2300 BC, and made by the pre-Iranian Lullubi ruler Anubanini, is very similar in content to the Behistun reliefs (woodprint).
The Persian queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great, sister-wife of Cambyses II, Darius the Great's wife, and mother of Xerxes the Great
<center>Relief of ššina {{circa|519 BC}}: "This is ššina. He lied, saying "I am king of Elam.""<ref name=DB>{{cite book|title=Behistun, minor inscriptions DBb inscription- Livius|url=https://www.livius.org/sources/content/behistun-persian-text/behistun-minor-inscriptions/|access-date=2020-03-26|archive-date=2020-03-10|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20200310112440/https://www.livius.org/sources/content/behistun-persian-text/behistun-minor-inscriptions/|url-status=live}}</ref></center>
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
<center>Relief of Nidintu-Bêl: "This is Nidintu-Bêl. He lied, saying "I am Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabonidus. I am king of Babylon."" </center>
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Relief of Tritantaechmes: "This is Tritantaechmes. He lied, saying "I am king of Sagartia, from the family of Cyaxares.""
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Relief of Arakha: "This is Arakha. He lied, saying: "I am Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabonidus. I am king in Babylon.""
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Relief of Frâda: "This is Frâda. He lied, saying "I am king of Margiana.""
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
Behistun relief of Skunkha. Label: "This is Skunkha the Sacan."
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
Statue of Herakles in Behistun complex
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
Herakles at Behistun, sculpted for a Seleucis Governor in 148 BC.
The Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great on horseback to the left, and Darius III in the chariot to the right, represented in a Pompeii mosaic dated 1st century BC – Naples National Archaeological Museum
Bas relief of Mithridates II of Parthia and bas relief of Gotarzes II of Parthia and Sheikh Ali khan Zangeneh text endowment
Alexander's first victory over Darius, the Persian king depicted in medieval European style in the 15th century romance The History of Alexander's Battles
Damaged equestrian relief of Gotarzes II at Behistun
Frataraka dynasty ruler Vadfradad I (Autophradates I). 3rd century BC. Istakhr (Persepolis) mint.
Vologases's relief in Behistun
Dārēv I (Darios I) used for the first time the title of mlk (King). 2nd century BC.
Cuneiform carving in Kermanshah in 520 BC
Winged sphinx from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Louvre
Daric of Artaxerxes II
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire, according to Herodotus.
Achaemenid tax collector, calculating on an Abax or Abacus, according to the Darius Vase (340–320 BC).
Letter from the Satrap of Bactria to the governor of Khulmi, concerning camel keepers, 353 BC
Relief of throne-bearing soldiers in their native clothing at the tomb of Xerxes I, demonstrating the satrapies under his rule.
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. c. 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Persian soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians. Cylinder seal impression.
Color reconstruction of Achaemenid infantry on the Alexander Sarcophagus (end of 4th century BC).
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word "great" only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.
Achaemenid calvalryman in the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Armoured cavalry: Achaemenid Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Reconstitution of Persian landing ships at the Battle of Marathon.
Greek ships against Achaemenid ships at the Battle of Salamis.
Iconic relief of lion and bull fighting, Apadana of Persepolis
Achaemenid golden bowl with lioness imagery of Mazandaran
The ruins of Persepolis
A section of the Old Persian part of the trilingual Behistun inscription. Other versions are in Babylonian and Elamite.
A copy of the Behistun inscription in Aramaic on a papyrus. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the empire.
An Achaemenid drinking vessel
Bas-relief of Farvahar at Persepolis
Tomb of Artaxerxes III in Persepolis
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world, was built by Greek architects for the local Persian satrap of Caria, Mausolus (Scale model)
Achamenid dynasty timeline
Reconstruction of the Palace of Darius at Susa. The palace served as a model for Persepolis.
Lion on a decorative panel from Darius I the Great's palace, Louvre
Ruins of Throne Hall, Persepolis
Apadana Hall, Persian and Median soldiers at Persepolis
Lateral view of tomb of Cambyses II, Pasargadae, Iran
Plaque with horned lion-griffins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

522 – 486)), the third ruler of the Achaemenid Persian Empire.

- Behistun Inscription

According to the Cyrus Cylinder (the oldest extant genealogy of the Achaemenids) the kings of Anshan were Teispes, Cyrus I, Cambyses I and Cyrus II, also known as Cyrus the Great, who created the empire (the later Behistun Inscription, written by Darius the Great, claims that Teispes was the son of Achaemenes and that Darius is also descended from Teispes through a different line, but no earlier texts mention Achaemenes).

- Achaemenid Empire

9 related topics with Alpha

Overall

The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription

Darius the Great

5 links

The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription
Lineage of Darius the Great according to the Behistun Inscription.
Darius the Great, by Eugène Flandin (1840)
Eastern border of the Achaemenid Empire
Ethnicities of the Achaemenid Army, on the tomb of Darius I. The nationalities mentioned in the DNa inscription are also depicted on the upper registers of all the tombs at Naqsh-e Rustam, starting with the tomb of Darius I. The ethnicities on the tomb of Darius further have trilingual labels on the lintel directly over them for identification, collectively known as the DNe inscription. One of the best preserved friezes, identical in content, is that of Xerxes I.
Map showing key sites during the Persian invasions of Greece
Tomb of Darius at Naqsh-e Rostam
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire.
Gold daric, minted at Sardis
Reconstruction drawing of the Palace of Darius in Susa
The ruins of Tachara palace in Persepolis
thumb|upright|Egyptian statue of Darius I, as Pharaoh of the Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt;<ref>{{cite book |last1=Razmjou |first1=Shahrokh |title=Ars orientalis; the arts of Islam and the East |date=1954 |publisher=Freer Gallery of Art |pages=81–101 |url=https://archive.org/details/arsorient323320022003univ/page/n95/mode/2up}}</ref> 522–486 BC; greywacke; height: 2.46 m;<ref>{{cite book |last1=Manley|first1=Bill|title=Egyptian Art|year=2017|publisher=Thames & Hudson|pages=280|isbn=978-0-500-20428-3}}</ref> National Museum of Iran (Teheran)
Darius as Pharaoh of Egypt at the Temple of Hibis
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis

Darius I ( ; c. 550 – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was a Persian ruler who served as the third King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from 522 BCE until his death in 486 BCE.

He had the cliff-face Behistun Inscription carved at Mount Behistun to record his conquests, which would later become an important testimony of the Old Persian language.

Cyrus the Great with a Hemhem crown, or four-winged Cherub tutelary divinity, from a relief in the residence of Cyrus in Pasagardae

Cyrus the Great

5 links

Cyrus II of Persia (c.

Cyrus II of Persia (c.

Cyrus the Great with a Hemhem crown, or four-winged Cherub tutelary divinity, from a relief in the residence of Cyrus in Pasagardae
The four-winged guardian figure representing Cyrus the Great or a four-winged Cherub tutelary deity. Bas-relief found on a doorway pillar at Pasargadae on top of which was once inscribed in three languages the sentence "I am Cyrus the king, an Achaemenian." Scholars who doubt that the relief depicts Cyrus note that the same inscription is written on other palaces in the complex.
"I am Cyrus the King, an Achaemenian" in Old Persian, Elamite and Akkadian languages. It is known as the "CMa inscription", carved in a column of Palace P in Pasargadae. These inscriptions on behalf of Cyrus were probably made later by Darius I in order to affirm his lineage, using the Old Persian script he had designed.
Painting of king Astyages sending Harpagus to kill young Cyrus
Detail of Cyrus Hunting Wild Boar by Claude Audran the Younger, Palace of Versailles
Victory of Cyrus over Lydia's Croesus at the Battle of Thymbra, 546 BC
Croesus on the pyre. Attic red-figure amphora, 500–490 BC, Louvre (G 197)
Ancient Near East circa 540 BC, prior to the invasion of Babylon by Cyrus the Great
Achaemenid soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians, 5th century BC. Cylinder seal impression (drawing).
Queen Tomyris of the Massagetae receiving the head of Cyrus
Tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae, Iran, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2015)
Cyrus the Great is said in the Bible to have liberated the Jews from the Babylonian captivity to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
Cyrus the Great (center) with his General Harpagus behind him, as he receives the submission of Astyages (18th century tapestry)
The Cyrus Street, Jerusalem
Painting of Daniel and Cyrus before the Idol Bel
Statue of Cyrus the great at Olympic Park in Sydney
17th-century bust of Cyrus the Great in Hamburg, Germany
The Cyrus cylinder, a contemporary cuneiform script proclaiming Cyrus as legitimate king of Babylon

600–530 BC; Kūruš), commonly known as Cyrus the Great and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian empire.

The traditional view based on archaeological research and the genealogy given in the Behistun Inscription and by Herodotus holds that Cyrus the Great was an Achaemenid.

Close-up of the Behistun inscription

Old Persian

4 links

One of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages and is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the language of Sasanian Empire).

One of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages and is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the language of Sasanian Empire).

Close-up of the Behistun inscription
An Old Persian inscription in Persepolis

Examples of Old Persian have been found in what is now Iran, Romania (Gherla), Armenia, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, with the most important attestation by far being the contents of the Behistun Inscription (dated to 525 BCE).

As a written language, Old Persian is attested in royal Achaemenid inscriptions.

Portrait of the Achaemenid ruler toppled by Darius, as appearing on the Behistun inscription: he was either the legitimate Bardiya, or, as claimed by Darius, an imposter named Gaumāta.

Bardiya

3 links

Son of Cyrus the Great and the younger brother of Cambyses II, both Persian kings.

Son of Cyrus the Great and the younger brother of Cambyses II, both Persian kings.

Portrait of the Achaemenid ruler toppled by Darius, as appearing on the Behistun inscription: he was either the legitimate Bardiya, or, as claimed by Darius, an imposter named Gaumāta.
Gaumata under Darius I's boot engraved at Behistun Inscription in Kermanshah.
Phaedyme is sent by her father Otanes, to check if King Smerdis has ears under his turban, as the suspected imposter was known to have had them cut off in punishment for a crime. She found that indeed the king did not have ears anymore, which proved that he was an imposter, and justified the coup in favour of Darius I.
"The struggle between Gobryas and the false Smerdis", 19th century print.
Bardiya / Smerdis in relation to his successor Darius the Great in the Achaemenid lineage.
Medieval image of Bardiya.

Bardiya either ruled the Achaemenid Empire for a few months in 522 BC, or was impersonated by a magus called Gaumāta ; whose name is given by Ctesias as Sphendadates ( Sphendadátēs), until he was toppled by Darius the Great.

In Darius the Great's Behistun inscription, his Persian name is Bardiya or Bardia.

The Apadana Palace, 5th century BC Achaemenid bas-relief shows a Mede soldier behind a Persian soldier, in Persepolis, Iran

Medes

3 links

Ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran.

Ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran.

The Apadana Palace, 5th century BC Achaemenid bas-relief shows a Mede soldier behind a Persian soldier, in Persepolis, Iran
Excavation from ancient Ecbatana, Hamadan, Iran
Timeline of Pre-Achaemenid era.
Rhyton in the shape of a ram's head, gold – western Iran – Median, late 7th–early 6th century BC
The neighboring Neo-Babylonian Empire at its greatest extent after the destruction of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Protoma in the form of a bull's head, 8th century BC, gold and filigree, National Museum, Warsaw
The Ganj Nameh ("treasure epistle") in Ecbatana. The inscriptions are by Darius I and his son Xerxes I.
Apadana Hall, 5th century BC Achaemenid-era carving of Persian and Median soldiers in traditional costume (Medians are wearing rounded hats and boots), in Persepolis, Iran

In any case, it appears that after the fall of the last Median king against Cyrus the Great of the Persian Empire, Media became an important province and prized by the empires which successively dominated it (Achaemenids, Seleucids, Parthians and Sasanids).

In Achaemenid sources, specifically from the Behistun Inscription (2.76, 77–78), the capital of Media is Ecbatana, called "Hamgmatāna-" in Old Persian (Elamite:Agmadana-; Babylonian: Agamtanu-) corresponding to modern-day Hamadan.

Painting of the Altar of the Magi Hans Pleydenwurff from 1490

Magi

3 links

Magi (singular magus ; from Latin magus, cf.

Magi (singular magus ; from Latin magus, cf.

Painting of the Altar of the Magi Hans Pleydenwurff from 1490
Byzantine depiction of the Three Magi in a 6th-century mosaic at Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo.
Conventional post-12th century depiction of the Biblical magi (Adoração dos Magos by Vicente Gil). Balthasar, the youngest magus, bears frankincense and represents Africa. To the left stands Caspar, middle-aged, bearing gold and representing Asia. On his knees is Melchior, oldest, bearing myrrh and representing Europe.
Brihat Samhita of Varahamihira, 1279 CE palm leaf manuscript, Pratima lakshana, Sanskrit
Chinese Bronzeware script for wu 巫 "shaman".

The earliest known use of the word magi is in the trilingual inscription written by Darius the Great, known as the Behistun Inscription.

Other Greek sources from before the Hellenistic period include the gentleman-soldier Xenophon, who had first-hand experience at the Persian Achaemenid court.

An 8th century Tang dynasty Chinese clay figurine of a Sogdian man wearing a distinctive cap and face veil, possibly a camel rider or even a Zoroastrian priest engaging in a ritual at a fire temple, since face veils were used to avoid contaminating the holy fire with breath or saliva; Museum of Oriental Art (Turin), Italy.

Zoroastrianism

2 links

Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster .

Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster .

An 8th century Tang dynasty Chinese clay figurine of a Sogdian man wearing a distinctive cap and face veil, possibly a camel rider or even a Zoroastrian priest engaging in a ritual at a fire temple, since face veils were used to avoid contaminating the holy fire with breath or saliva; Museum of Oriental Art (Turin), Italy.
Painted clay and alabaster head of a Zoroastrian priest wearing a distinctive Bactrian-style headdress, Takhti-Sangin, Tajikistan, Greco-Bactrian kingdom, 3rd–2nd century BCE
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae, Iran.
A scene from the Hamzanama where Hamza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib Burns Zarthust's Chest and Shatters the Urn with his Ashes
The fire temple of Baku, c. 1860
Fire Temple of Yazd
Museum of Zoroastrians in Kerman
A Special Container Carrying The Holy Fire from Aden to the Lonavala Agiary, India
A modern Zoroastrian fire temple in Western India
Sadeh in Tehran, 2011
Map of the Achaemenid Empire in the 5th century BCE
Reconstruction of the Sassanid model of Fire Temple of Kashmar is located near the historical complex of Atashgah Castle
Faravahar (or Ferohar), one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism, believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi or the Khvarenah.
A Parsi Wedding, 1905
The sacred Zoroastrian pilgrimage shrine of Chak Chak in Yazd, Iran.
Parsi Navjote ceremony (rites of admission into the Zoroastrian faith)

The Histories is a primary source of information on the early period of the Achaemenid era (648–330 BCE), in particular with respect to the role of the Magi.

Darius I and later Achaemenid emperors acknowledged their devotion to Ahura Mazda in inscriptions, as attested to several times in the Behistun inscription, and appear to have continued the model of coexistence with other religions.

Elamite language

1 links

Extinct language that was spoken by the ancient Elamites.

Extinct language that was spoken by the ancient Elamites.

Linear Elamite inscription of king Puzur-Inshushinak Puzur-Shushinak.jpg, in the "Table du Lion", Louvre Museum Sb 17.
Inscription of Shutruk-Nahhunte in Elamite cuneiform, circa 1150 BC, on the Victory Stele of Naram-Sin.
Inscription in Elamite, in the Xerxes I inscription at Van, 5th century BCE
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word 'great' only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.

A sizeable number of Elamite lexemes are known from the trilingual Behistun inscription and numerous other bilingual or trilingual inscriptions of the Achaemenid Empire, in which Elamite was written using Elamite cuneiform (circa 400 BCE), which is fully deciphered.

The region of Parthia within the empire of Medes, c. 600 BC; from a historical atlas illustrated by William Robert Shepherd

Parthia

2 links

Historical region located in north-eastern Iran.

Historical region located in north-eastern Iran.

The region of Parthia within the empire of Medes, c. 600 BC; from a historical atlas illustrated by William Robert Shepherd
Xerxes I tomb, Parthian soldier circa 470 BCE
Parthia ( 𓊪𓃭𓍘𓇋𓍯𓈉, P-rw-t-i-wꜣ), as one of the 24 subjects of the Achaemenid Empire, in the Egyptian Statue of Darius I.
Coin of Andragoras, the last Seleucid satrap of Parthia. He proclaimed independence around 250 BC.
Parthian horseman now on display at the Palazzo Madama, Turin.
Coin of Mithridates I (R. 171–138 BC). The reverse shows Heracles, and the inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ "Great King Arsaces, friend of Greeks".
Reproduction of a Parthian archer as depicted on Trajan's Column.
A sculpted head (broken off from a larger statue) of a Parthian soldier wearing a Hellenistic-style helmet, from the Parthian royal residence and necropolis of Nisa, 2nd century BC
Hercules, Hatra, Iraq, Parthian period, 1st–2nd century AD.
Parthian waterspout, 1st–2nd century AD.

It was conquered and subjugated by the empire of the Medes during the 7th century BC, was incorporated into the subsequent Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, and formed part of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire following the 4th-century-BC conquests of Alexander the Great.

The first indigenous Iranian mention of Parthia is in the Behistun inscription of Darius I, where Parthia is listed (in the typical Iranian clockwise order) among the governorates in the vicinity of Drangiana.