The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون < Old Persian: Bagastana, meaning "the place of god") is a multi-lingual inscription located on Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran.
Authored by Darius the Great sometime between his coronation as king of the Persian Empire in the summer of 522 BC and his death in autumn of 486 BC, the inscription begins with a brief autobiography of Darius, including his ancestry and lineage. Later in the inscription, Darius provides a lengthy sequence of events following the deaths of Cyrus the Great and Cambyses II in which he fought nineteen battles in a period of one year (ending in December of 521 BC) to put down multiple rebellions throughout the Persian Empire. The inscription states in detail that the rebellions, which had resulted from the deaths of Cyrus the Great and his son Cambyses II, were orchestrated by several impostors and their co-conspirators in various cities throughout the empire, each of whom falsely proclaimed kinghood during the upheaval following Cyrus's death.
Darius the Great proclaimed himself victorious in all battles during the period of upheaval, attributing his success to the "grace of Ahura Mazda".
The inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian (a later form of Akkadian). In effect, then, the inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script.
The inscription is approximately 15 metres high by 25 metres wide and 100 metres up a limestone cliff from an ancient road connecting the capitals of Babylonia and Media (Babylon and Ecbatana, respectively). The Old Persian text contains 414 lines in five columns; the Elamite text includes 593 lines in eight columns, and the Babylonian text is in 112 lines. The inscription was illustrated by a life-sized bas-relief of Darius I, the Great, holding a bow as a sign of kingship, with his left foot on the chest of a figure lying on his back before him. The supine figure is reputed to be the pretender Gaumata. Darius is attended to the left by two servants, and nine one-metre figures stand to the right, with hands tied and rope around their necks, representing conquered peoples. Faravahar floats above, giving his blessing to the king. One figure appears to have been added after the others were completed, as was Darius's beard, which is a separate block of stone attached with iron pins and lead.
Read more about Behistun Inscription: History, Translation, Later Research and Activity, Other Historical Monuments in The Behistun Complex
Other articles related to "inscription, behistun inscription, behistun":
... of) Type Cultural Criteria ii, iii Reference 1222 UNESCO region Asia-Pacific Inscription history Inscription 521 BC Behistun inscription is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site ... The Behistun Inscription (also Bisitun or Bisutun, Modern Persian بیستون Old Persian Bagastana, meaning "the god's place or land") is a multi-lingual inscription located on Mount Behistun ... The inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian ...
... There are 18 historical monuments other than the inscription of Darius the Great in the Behistun complex that have been registered in the Iranian national list of historical sites ... statue of Herakles Parthian site of worship Behistun Palace (said to be Palace of Khosrau II) Ilkhanid caravanserai Median temple Bas relief of Mithridates II of Parthia Bas relief of Gotarzes II of Parthia ... Behind the head of Herakles, an inscription of seven lines in old Greek is written on a smooth space with a frame similar to Greek temples ...
... including some Two House advocates, the Behistun Rock Inscription has provided an invaluable missing link, which adds credibility to where and who the Northern Kingdom Israelites were in the 5th century BCE ... George Rawlinson, Sir Henry Rawlinson's younger brother (translator of the Behistun Inscription), connected the Saka/Gimiri of the inscription with deported Israelites “We have reasonable ... and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.” – George ...
... The Behistun Inscription is often cited as a link between the deported Israelites, the Cimmerians and the Scythians (Saka) ... and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel ... Adherents point out that the Behistun Inscription connects the people known in Old Persian and Elamite as Saka, Sacae or Scythian with the people known in Babylonian as Gimirri or Cimmerian ...
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“In the graveyard, which was crowded with graves, and overrun with weeds, I noticed an inscription in Indian, painted on a wooden grave-board. There was a large wooden cross on the island.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)