The Behistun inscription
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The Behistun inscription is a long text on Persian history, engraved on a cliff about 100 meters off the ground along the road between modern Hamadan (Iran) and Baghdad (Iraq), near the town of Bisotun. In antiquity, the name of the village was Bagastâna, which means "place where the gods dwell".
In those days, the road connected the capitals of Babylonia and Media.

In this inscription, the Persian king Darius I commemorates his military victories. He tells us how the god Ahuramazda choose him to dethrone an usurper named Gaumâta (522 BCE), how he set out to quell several revolts, and how he defeated some foreign enemies.

The monument consists of four parts. In the text Darius describes how the god Ahuramazda choose him to dethrone an usurper named Gaumâta (522 BCE). After this event, king Darius set out to quell several revolts. This is also depicted above the text, where we see the god and the king, the slain usurper Gaumâta, and seven men representing seven rebellious people. While artists were making this monument, Darius defeated several foreign enemies (520-519 BCE); these victories were duly celebrated by a change in the initial design, adding two new figures. When the carvings were completed, the ledge below the inscription was removed so that nobody could tamper with the inscriptions. This allowed the monument to survive (and made it impossible for anybody to read the texts).

Discovery of the monument

Several persons have described the monument. The first to do so was the Greek doctor Ctesias of Cnidus (plm. 400 BCE). He tells us that there are a well and a garden beneath a monument dedicated by the Assyrian queen Semiramis to the supreme god, which Ctesias calls by his Greek name Zeus. The Roman author Tacitus (plm. 100 CE) informs us that there was an altar for Hercules; in 1959, this report was corroborated when a statue of this Greek god was found.

In 1598, the British diplomat in Austrian service Robert Sherley traveled east, hoping to speak the Persian shah Abbas the Great about the war against their common enemy Turkey. One of his servants was a Frenchman named Abel Pinson, who wrote that the serail of "Behistun" was situated under a very high cliff on which he had seen a representation of "the Ascension of Our Lord" with an inscription in Greek. It is obvious that Pinson had not seen the damaged figure of the fallen Gaumâta, and thought that the image of Ahuramazda and the twelve men represented Christ and his disciples. He was not the last to make this mistake: in 1808, a French traveler named Ange Gardane thought it represented twelve apostles standing under Jesus' cross. In 1818, the British scholar Ker Porter made the first drawing ot the monument, thinking that it was a picture of the ten tribes of the Jewish kingdom of Israel and the Assyrian king Salmaneser.

The first serious attempt to examine the rock relief was made by Henry Rawlinson in the summer of 1835. He must have been a skilled mountaineer, because he managed to climb the cliffs several times a day in order to make an Abklatsch (a papier-mâché copy) of the cuneiform texts. This writing system was still unintelligible, but Rawlinson had already recognized the word "Dârayavauš" (Darius) somewhere else, and was soon able to recognize the same letters in this monument. When he received some notes by the German scholar Georg Friedrich Grotefend, who had booked some progress in the decipherment of the Persian cuneiform alphabet, Rawlinson was able to break the code. The first lines must have been a big surprise, because Darius wrote more or less:

I am Dârayavauš the King, son of Vištâspa, of the Hakhâmanisiya-dynasty, king of kings. I am king in Pârsa. My father is Vištâspa. Vištâspa's father is Aršâma, Aršâma's father was Ariyâramna, Ariyâramna's  father was Cišpiš, and Cišpiš'  father was Hakhâmaniš.
This list was more identical to the list of kings in the Histories of the Greek historian Herodotus (7.11), where these names are given as Darius, Hystaspes, Arsames, Ariaramnes, Teïspes and Achaemenes. Within two weeks Rawlinson was able to establish the meaning of all 42 signs of the old Persian alphabet. In 1837 he returned to Bisotun, where he and an agile Kurdish boy made a new Abklatsch of half the Persian text, a dazzling feat of alpinism which cost the two a year. Since Rawlinson knew the Persian language and had read the age-old holy book Avesta, he was soon able to read the entire text and to understand grammar, syntax and vocabulary of the language of one of the three texts at the monument. In 1838 he handed over his first results to the Royal Asiatic Society in London and the Société Asiatique in Paris. Eight years later, he started to publish on the "Persian Cuneiform Inscription at Behistun, Deciphered and Translated"  in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.

The translation caused a sensation. It told how a Magian had occupied the Persian throne after the death of king Cambyses (Persian: Kambûjiya), claiming to be his brother Smerdis (Persian: Bardiya). Seven conspirators had discovered it and Darius, who was a relative of Cambyses, had killed the man. This confirmed one of the most unbelievable and romantic stories told by Herodotus (Histories 3.61-79).  In the Behistun inscription Darius also told how he had suppressed several rebellions against the Persian hegemony and how he had defeated the nomads of the Central Asian steppe against whom the legendary Persian king Cyrus had fought in vain.

In 1844, Rawlinson and three colleagues again climbed the cliffs at Bisotun, now making a complete Abklatsch. Using this copy, the scholars Niels Westergaard and Edwin Norris managed to decipher the 131 characters of the Elamitic script and to read the old language: an impressive achievement since Elamite is a dead language, related to no known spoken tongue. Rawlinson started the decipherment of the complex cuneiform script of Babylonia (which has some 500 characters) and the Akkadian language. He succeeded in 1852; from now one, scholars were able to read the flood of clay tablets coming from the excavations at Nineveh. These opened the way to a new discipline: assyriology.
 

Literature
Rüdiger Schmitt, The Bisitun Inscriptions of Darius the Great. Old Persian Text (Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum, Part I: Inscriptions of Ancient Iran. Volume I, The Old Persian Inscriptions; Texts 1.) 1991 London

Translation

This translation was made by L.W. King and R.C. Thompson (The sculptures and inscription of Darius the Great on the rock of Behistûn in Persia, 1907 London). I have made some minor changes and added the titles of the sections.
A more recent translation will be published by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (click here for the Achaemenid royal inscriptions project).
 

Part one

Introduction: Darius' titles and the extent of his empire

(1) I am Darius, the great king, king of kings, the king of Persia, the king of countries, the son of Hystaspes, the grandson of Arsames, the Achaemenian.
(2) King Darius says: My father is Hystaspes; the father of Hystaspes was Arsames; the father of Arsames was Ariaramnes; the father of Ariaramnes was Teïspes; the father of Teïspes was Achaemenes.
(3) King Darius says: That is why we are called Achaemenians; from antiquity we have been noble; from antiquity has our dynasty been royal.
(4) King Darius says: Eight of my dynasty were kings before me; I am the ninth. Nine in succession we have been kings.
(5) King Darius says: By the grace of Ahuramazda am I king; Ahuramazda has granted me the kingdom.
(6) King Darius says: These are the countries which are subject unto me, and by the grace of Ahuramazda I became king of them: Persia, Elam, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, the countries by the Sea, Lydia, the Greeks, Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Chorasmia, Bactria, Sogdiana, Gandara, Scythia, Sattagydia, Arachosia and Maka; twenty-three lands in all.
(7) King Darius says: These are the countries which are subject to me; by the grace of Ahuramazda they became subject to me; they brought tribute unto me. Whatsoever commands have been laid on them by me, by night or by day, have been performed by them.
(8) King Darius says: Within these lands, whosoever was a friend, him have I surely protected; whosoever was hostile, him have I utterly destroyed. By the grace of Ahuramazda these lands have conformed to my decrees; even as it was commanded unto them by me, so was it done.
(9) King Darius says: Ahuramazda has granted unto me this empire. Ahuramazda brought me help, until I gained this empire; by the grace of Ahuramazda do I hold this empire.

Murder of Smerdis and coup of Gaumâta the Magian

(10) King Darius says: This is what was done by me after I became king. A son of Cyrus, named Cambyses, one of our dynasty, was king here before me. That Cambyses had a brother, Smerdis by name, of the same mother and the same father as Cambyses. Afterwards, Cambyses slew this Smerdis. When Cambyses slew Smerdis, it was not known unto the people that Smerdis was slain. Thereupon Cambyses went to Egypt. When Cambyses had departed into Egypt, the people became hostile, and the lie multiplied in the land, even in Persia, as in Media, and in the other provinces.
(11) King Darius says: Afterwards, there was a certain man, a Magian, Gaumâta by name, who raised a rebellion in Paishiyâuvâdâ, in a mountain named Arakadriš. On the fourteenth day of the month Viyakhna [March 11, 522] did he rebel. He lied to the people, saying: "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus, the brother of Cambyses." Then were all the people in revolt, and from Cambyses they went over unto him, both Persia and Media, and the other provinces. He seized on the kingdom; on the ninth day of the month Garmapada [July 1, 522] he seized the kingdom. Afterwards, Cambyses died by his own hand.
(12) King Darius says: The kingdom of which Gaumâta, the Magian, dispossessed Cambyses, had always belonged to our dynasty. After that Gaumâta, the Magian, had dispossessed Cambyses of Persia and Media, and of the other provinces, he did according to his will, he was as king.

Darius kills Gaumâta and restores the kingdom

(13) King Darius says: There was no man, either Persian or Median or of our own dynasty, who took the kingdom from Gaumâta, the Magian. The people feared him exceedingly, for he slew many who had known the real Smerdis. For this reason did he slay them, "That they may not know that I am not Smerdis, the son of Cyrus." There was none who dared to say aught against Gaumâta, the Magian, until I came. Then I prayed to Ahuramazda; Ahuramazda brought me help. On the tenth day of the month Bâgayâdish [September 29, 522] I, with a few men, slew that Gaumâta, the Magian, and the chief men who were his followers. At the stronghold named Sikayauvatish, in the district named Nisaia in Media, I slew him; I dispossessed him of the kingdom. By the grace of Ahuramazda I became king; Ahuramazda granted me the kingdom.
(14) King Darius says: The kingdom that had been wrested from our line I brought back and I reestablished it on its foundation. The temples which Gaumâta, the Magian, had destroyed, I restored for the people, and the pasture lands, and the herds and the dwelling places, and the houses which Gaumâta, the Magian, had taken away. I settled the people in their place, the people of Persia, and Media, and the other provinces. I restored that which had been taken away, as is was in the days of old. This did I by the grace of Ahuramazda, I labored until I had established our dynasty in its place, as in the days of old; I labored, by the grace of Ahuramazda, so that Gaumâta, the Magian, did not dispossess our house.
(15) King Darius says: This is what I did after I became king.

Rebellions of ššina of Elam and Nidintu-Bêl of Babylon

(16) King Darius says: After I had slain Gaumâta, the Magian, a certain  man named ššina, the son of Upadarma, raised a rebellion in Elam, and he spoke thus unto the people of Elam: "I am king in Elam." Thereupon the people of Elam became rebellious, and they went over unto that ššina: he became king in Elam. And a certain Babylonian named Nidintu-Bêl, the son of Aniri, raised a rebellion in Babylon: he lied to the people, saying: "I am Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabonidus." Then did all the province of Babylonia go over to Nidentu-Bêl, and Babylonia rose in rebellion. He seized on the kingdom of Babylonia [October 3, 522].
(17) King Darius says: Then I sent [an army?] to Elam. That ššina was brought unto me in fetters. I killed him.
(18) King Darius says: Then I marched marched against that Nidintu-Bêl, who called himself Nebuchadnezzar. The army of Nidintu-Bêl held the Tigris; there it took its stand, and on account of the waters [the river] was unfordable. Thereupon I supported my army on [inflated] skins, others I made camel-borne, for the rest I brought horses. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda we crossed the Tigris. Then did I utterly overthrow that host of Nidintu-Bêl. On the twenty-sixth day of the month Âtriyâdiya [December 13, 522] we joined battle.
(19) King Darius says: After that I marched against Babylon. But before I reached Babylon, that Nidintu-Bêl, who called himself Nebuchadnezzar, came with a host and offered battle at a city named Zâzâna, on the Euphrates. Then we joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did I utterly overthrow the host of Nidintu-Bêl. The enemy fled into the water; the water carried them away. On the second day of the month Anâmaka [December 18, 522] we joined battle.

Part two

(20) King Darius says: Then did Nidintu-Bêl flee with a few horsemen into Babylon. Thereupon I marched to Babylon. By the grace of Ahuramazda I took Babylon, and I captured Nidintu-Bêl. Then I slew that Nidintu-Bêl in Babylon.
(21) King Darius says: While I was in Babylon, these provinces revolted from me: Persia, Elam, Media, Assyria, Egypt, Parthia, Margiana, Sattagydia, and Scythia.

Revolt of Martiya of Elam

(22) King Darius says: A certain man named Martiya, the son of Zinzakriš, dwelt in a city in Persia named Kuganakâ. This man revolted in Elam, and he said to the people: "I am Ummaniš, king in Elam."
(23) King Darius says: At that time, I was friendly with Elam. Then there were Elamites afraid of me, and that Martiya, who was their leader, they seized and slew.

Revolt of Phraortes of Media

(24) King Darius says: A certain Median named Phraortes revolted in Media, and he said to the people: "I am Khshathrita, of the family of Cyaxares." Then did the Medians who were in the palace revolt from me and go over to Phraortes. He became king in Media.
(25) King Darius says: The Persian and Median army, which was with me, was small. Then sent I forth the army. A Persian named Hydarnes, my servant, I made their leader, and I said unto him: "Go, smite that Median host which does not acknowledge me." Then this Hydarnes marched forth with the army. When he was come into Media, at a city in Media named Marush, he gave battle to the Medes. He who was chief among the Medes, at that time was not there. Ahuramazda brought me help: by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly defeated that rebel host. On the twenty-seventh day of the month Anâmaka [January 12, 521] the battle was fought by them. Then did my army await me in a district in Media named Kampada, until I came into Media.

Revolt of the Armenians

(26) King Darius says: An Armenian named Dâdarshish, my servant, I sent into Armenia, and I said unto him: "Go, smite that  host which is in revolt, and does not acknowledge me." Then Dâdarshish went forth. When he came into Armenia, the rebels assembled and advanced against Dâdarshish to give him battle. At a place in Armenia named Zuzza they fought the battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the eighth day of the month Thuravâhara [May 20, 521] the battle was fought by them.
(27) King Darius says: The rebels assembled for the second time, and they advanced against Dâdarshish to give him battle. At a stronghold in Armenia named Tigra they joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the eighteenth day of the month Thuravâhara [May 30, 521] the battle was fought by them.
(28) King Darius says: The rebels assembled for the third time and advanced against Dâdarshish to give him battle. At a stronghold in Armenia named Uyamâ they joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the ninth day of the month Thâigarcish [June 20, 521] the battle was fought by them. Then Dâdarshish waited for me in Armenia, until I came into Armenia.
(29) King Darius says: An Persian named Vaumisa, my servant, I sent into Armenia, and I said unto him: "Go, smite that  host which is in revolt, and does not acknowledge me." Then Vaumisa went forth. When he was come into Armenia, the rebels assembled and advanced against Vaumisa to give him battle. At a place in Assyria named Izatâ they joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the fifteenth day of the month Anâmaka [December 31, 522] the battle was fought by them.
(30) King Darius says: The rebels assembled a second time and advanced against Vaumisa to give him battle. At a place in Armenia named Autiyâra they joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. At the end of the month Thuravâhara [June 11, 521] the battle was fought by them. Then Vaumisa  waited for me in Armenia, until I came into Armenia.

End of the revolt of the Medians

(31) King Darius says: Then I went forth from Babylon and came into Media. When I was come into Media that Phraortes, who called himself king in Media, came against me unto a city in Media named Kundurush to offer battle. Then we joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the twenty-fifth day of the month Adukanisha we fought the battle [521, May 8].
(32) King Darius says: Thereupon that Phraortes fled thence with a few horseman to a district in Media named Ragae. Then I sent an army in pursuit. Phraortes was taken and brought unto me. I cut off his nose, and his ears, and his tongue, and I put out one eye, and he was kept in fetters at my palace entrance, and all the people beheld him. Then did I crucify him in 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) King Darius says: A man named Tritantaechmes, a Sagartian, revolted from me, saying to his people: "I am king in Sagartia, of the family of Cyaxares." Then I sent forth a Persian and a Median army. A Median named Takhmaspâda, my servant, I made their leader, and I said unto him: "Go, smite that  host which is in revolt, and does not acknowledge me." Thereupon Takhmaspâda went forth with the army, and he fought a battle with Tritantaechmes. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly defeated that rebel host, and they seized Tritantaechmes and brought him unto 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 crucified him in Arbela.
(34) King Darius says: This is what was done by me in Media.

Revolt of the Parthians

(35) King Darius says: The Parthians and Hyrcanians revolted from me, and they declared themselves on the side of Phraortes. My father Hystaspes was in Parthia; and the people forsook him, they became rebellious. Then Hystaspes marched forth with the troops which had remained faithful. At a city on Parthia named Vishpauzâtish he fought a battle with the Parthians. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly defeated that rebel host. On the second day of the month Viyakhna [521, March 8] the battle was fought by them.
 

Part three

(36) King Darius says: Then did I send a Parthian army unto Hystaspes from Ragae. When that army reached Hystaspes, he marched forth with the host. At a city in Parthia named Patigrabana he gave battle to the rebels. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda Hystaspes utterly defeated that rebel host. On the first day of the month Garmapada [521, July 11] the battle was fought by them.
(37) King Darius says: Then was the province mine. This is what done by me in Parthia.
 

Revolt of Frâda of Margiana

(38) King Darius says: The province named Margiana revolted against me. A certain Margian named Frâda they made their leader. Then sent I against him a Persian named Dâdarshish, my servant, who was satrap of Bactria, and I said unto him: "Go, smite that  host which does not acknowledge me." Then Dâdarshish went forth with the army, and gave battle to the Margians. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly overthrew that rebel host. Of the twenty-third day of the month Atriyâdi [December 28, 521] was the battle fought by them.
(39) King Darius says: Then was the province mine. This is what was done by me in Bactria.

Revolt of Vahyazdâta of Persia

(40) King Darius says: A certain man named Vahyazdâta dwelt in a city named Târavâ in a district in Persia named Vautiyâ. This man rebelled for the second time in Persia, and thus he spoke unto the people: "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus." Then the Persian people who were in the palace fell away from allegiance. They revolted from me and went over to that Vahyazdâta. He became king in Persia.
(41) King Darius says: Then did I send out the Persian and the Median army which was with me. A Persian named Artavardiya, my servant, I made their leader. The rest of the Persian army came unto me in Media. Then went Artavardiya with the army unto Persia. When he came to Persia, at a city in Persia named Rakhâ, that Vahyazdâta, who called himself Smerdis, advanced with the army against Artavardiya to give him battle. They then fought the battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my host utterly overthrew the army of Vahyazdâta. On the twelfth day of the month Thuravâhara [May 24, 521] was the battle fought by them.
(42) King Darius says: Then that Vahyazdâta fled thence with a few horsemen unto Pishiyâuvâda. From that place he went forth with an army a second time against Artavardiya to give him battle. At a mountain named Parga they fought the battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my host utterly overthrew the army of Vahyazdâta. On the fifth day of the month Garmapada [July 15, 521] was the battle fought by them. And they seized that Vahyazdâta, and the men who were his chief followers were also seized.
(43) King Darius says: Then did I crucify that Vahyazdâta and the men who were his chief followers in a city in Persia named Uvâdaicaya.
(44) King Darius says: This is what was done by me in Persia.

Fighting in Arachosia

(45) King Darius says: That Vahyazdâta, who called himself Smerdis, sent men to Arachosia against a Persian named Vivâna, my servant, the satrap of Arachosia. He appointed a certain man to be their leader, and thus he spoke to him, saying: "Go smite Vivâna and the host which acknowledges king Darius!" Then that army which Vahyazdâta had sent marched against Vivâna to give him battle. At a fortress named Kâpishakânish they fought the battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly overthrew that rebel host. On the thirteenth day of the month Anâmaka [December 29, 522] was the battle fought by them.
(46) King Darius says: The rebels assembled a second time and went out against Vivâna to give him battle. At a place named Gandutava they fought a battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly overthrew that rebel host. On the seventh day of the month Viyakhna [February 21, 521] the battle was fought by them.
(47) King Darius says: The man who was commander of that army which Vahyazdâta had sent forth against Vivâna fled thence with a few horsemen. To a fortress in Arachosia named Arshâdâ they went. Then Vivâna with the army marched after them on foot. There he seized him, and he slew the men who were his chief followers.
(48) King Darius says: Then was the province mine. This is what was done by me in Arachosia.

Second Babylonian revolt

(49) King Darius says: While I was in Persia and in Media, the Babylonians revolted from me a second time. A certain man named Arakha, an Armenian, son of Haldita, rebelled in Babylon. At a place named Dubâla, he lied unto the people, saying: "I am Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabonidus." Then did the Babylonian people revolt from me and they went over to that Arakha. He seized Babylon, he became king in Babylon.
(50) King Darius says: Then did I send an army unto Babylon. A Persian named Intaphernes, my servant, I appointed as their leader, and thus I spoke unto them: "Go, smite that  Babylonian host which does not acknowledge me." Then Intaphernes marched with the army unto Babylon. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda Intaphernes overthrew the Babylonians and brought over the people unto me. Of the twenty-second day of the month Markazanash they seized that Arakha who called himself Nebuchadnezzar, and the men who were his chief followers. Then I made a decree, saying: "Let that Arakha and the men who were his chief followers be crucified in Babylon!"
 

Part four

(51) King Darius says: This is what was done by me in Babylon.

Summary and conclusion

(52) King Darius says: This is what I have done. By the grace of Ahuramazda have I always acted. After I became king, I fought nineteen battles in a single year and by the grace of Ahuramazda I overthrew nine kings and I made them captive. (53) King Darius says: These nine king did I capture in these wars.
(54) King Darius says: As to these provinces which revolted, lies made them revolt, so that they deceived the people. Then Ahuramazda delivered them into my hand; and I did unto them according to my will.
(55) King Darius says: You who shall be king hereafter, protect yourself vigorously from lies; punish the liars well, if thus you shall think, "May my country be secure!"

Affirmation of the truth of the record

(56) King Darius says: This is what I have done, by the grace of Ahuramazda have I always acted. Whosoever shall read this inscription hereafter, let that which I have done be believed. You must hold it to be lies.
(57) King Darius says: I call Ahuramazda to witness that is true and not lies; all of it have I done in a single year.
(58) King Darius says: By the grace of Ahuramazda there is also much else done by me which is not graven in this inscription. On this account it has not been inscribed lest he who shall read this inscription hereafter should then hold that which has been done by me to be excessive and not believe it, but should take it to be lies.

Affirmation that it is pious to make known the record

(59) King Darius 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) King Darius says: Now let what has been done by me convince you; so do not conceal it for the sake of the people. If you shall not conceal this edict but if you shall publish it to the world, then may Ahuramazda be your friend, may your family be numerous, and may you live long.
(61) King Darius says: If you shall conceal this edict and shall not publish it to the world, may Ahuramazda slay you and may your house cease.
(62) King Darius says. This is what I have done; by the grace of Ahuramazda have I always acted. Ahuramazda brought me help, and the other gods, all that there are.

The importance of righteousness

(63) King Darius says: On this account Ahuramazda brought me help, and all the other gods, all that there are, because I was not wicked, nor was I a liar, nor was I a tyrant, neither I nor any of my family. According to righteousness I have ruled. Neither to the weak nor to the powerful did I do wrong. Whosoever helped my house, him I favored; he who was hostile, him I destroyed.
(64) King Darius says: You who may be king hereafter, whosoever shall be a liar or a rebel, or shall not be friendly, punish him!

Blessings and curses

(65) King Darius says: You who shall hereafter see this tablet, which I have written, or these sculptures, do not destroy them, but preserve them so long as you live!
(66) King Darius says: If you shall behold this inscription or these sculptures, and shall destroy them, but shall preserve them as long as your line endures, then may Ahuramazda be your friend, and may your family be numerous. Live long, and may Ahuramazda make fortunate whatsoever you do.
(67) King Darius says: If you shall behold this inscription or these sculptures, and shall destroy them and shall not preserve them so long as your line endures, may Ahuramazda slay you, may your family come to nought, and may Ahuramazda destroy whatever you do!

Names of Darius' supporters

(68) King Darius says: These are the men who were with me when I slew Gaumâta the Magian, who was called Smerdis; then these men helped me as my followers: (69) King Darius says: You who may be king hereafter, protect the family of these men.
(70) King Darius says: By the grace of Ahuramazda this is the inscription which I have made. Besides, it was in Aryan script, 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.

Part five

A new rebellion on Elam (Autumn 521)

(71) King Darius says: This is what I did in both the second and the third year after I became king. The province named Elam revolted from me. An Elamite named Atamaita they made their leader. Then I sent an army unto Elam. A Persian named Gobryas, my servant, I made their leader. Then Gobryas set forth with the army; he delivered battle against the Elamites. The Gobryas destroyed many of the host and that Atamaita, their leader, he captured, and he brought him unto me, and I killed him. Then the province became mine.
(72) King Darius says:  Those Elamites were faithless and Ahuramazda was not worshipped by them. I worshipped Ahuramazda; by the grace of Ahuramazda I did unto them according to my will.
(73) King Darius says: Whoso shall worship Ahuramazda, divine blessing will be upon him, both while living and when dead.

War against the Scythians (520/519)

(74) King Darius says: Afterwards with an army I went off to Scythia, after the Scythians who wear the pointed cap. These Scythians went from me. When I arrived at the sea, beyond it then with all my army I crossed. Afterwards, I smote the Scythians exceedingly; another [leader] I took captive; this one was led bound to me, and I killed him. The chief of them, by name Skunkha, they seized and led to me. Then I made another their chief, as was my desire. Then the province became mine.
(75) King Darius says: Those Scythians were faithless and Ahuramazda was not worshipped by them. I worshipped Ahuramazda; by the grace of Ahuramazda I did unto them according to my will.
(76) King Darius says: Ahuramazda [...] his life and [...]