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LEONARD BLOOMFIELD AND GEORGE MELVILLE BOLLING: What
A NEW DARIUS INSCRIPTION
CARL D. BUCK
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Any addition to our scanty store of Old Persian inscriptions is certain to yield something of interest, and this is true of the new Darius inscription published by Sidney Smith in JRAS, 1926, 433 ff. It is in the usual trilingual versions, and occurs in duplicate on a gold and a silver tablet. These presumably belonged to a series of three or more (gold, silver, and baser materials), such as have been unearthed in foundation deposits. The editor gives a copy made from a photograph of the gold tablet, and restorations of the text (of the Elamite version) from a photograph of the silver tablet. A photograph of the gold tablet was received from a dealer by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and I have used this.
Just recently, after my comment was written, I have seen Herzfeld's communication in the Deutsche Literaturzeitung, 1926, 2105 ff., where is given the first account of the provenience of the gold tablet. It was found between two blocks of an ancient foundation which came to light in rebuilding a small house in Hamadan and which belongs to an extensive series of Achaemenian ruins of ancient Egbatana. Herzfeld makes no mention of the silver tablet, though he must have used it in constituting the Elamite text, which is much mutilated in the gold tablet. In the Old Persian text too, his line division after the first two lines is not that of the gold tablet. It looks as if his text, though nominally that of the gold tablet, were in reality that of the silver tablet, which is in much better condition. Mr. John P. Kellogg, who was in Persia last summer, and to whom I am indebted for first calling my attention to the find and the publications, informs me that the silver tablet was also found at Hamadan and presumably in the same building, and that the gold tablet is now in New York.
Herzfeld deals mainly with the historical and archaeological importance of the find. His brief grammatical notes have not made my own comments on the Old Persian text superfluous. He gives a letter for letter transcription (except in rendering the ideogram for "king"). The editor in JRAS has followed the more usual method of fuller transcription, but with a considerable number of errors-the misreading
of some signs (or misprints), several misinterpretations of sequences, and the omission of one whole word.
The correct reading, in the system of transcription commonly employed in Iranian studies, but with ř (cf. Boh. ř) instead of the usual er Meillet's ç, or Weisbach's r', is as follows:
1 Dārayavauš XŠ vazarka XŠ XŠyanām XŠ dah
2 yuvnām Vištāspahyā puřa Haxāmanišiya.
4 m dārayāmiy hačā Sakaibiš tyaiy pa
5 ra Sugdam amata yātā ā Kušā hačā Hi(n)da-
"Darius the great king, king of kings, king of the lands, son of Hystaspes, the Achaemenian. Says Darius the king: This (is) the kingdom that I hold, from the Scythians beyond Sogdiana to Kush, from India to Sardis, (the kingdom) which Auramazda, who is the greatest of the gods, gave me. May Auramazda protect me and my family."
Instead of an enumeration of the subject lands, such as we have elsewhere, the extent of the kingdom is here defined by the extremities, from northeast to southwest and from southeast to northwest. This orientation is of peculiar interest in connection with the conclusions of J. L. Myres, Geographical Journal 1896, 605 ff., as to the distorted axis of ancient geography.
From the fact that Sardis (i.e. Lydia) is given as the (north) western frontier, Smith thinks it probable that the inscription was written before the expedition to Samos in 516 B. C., and for the same reason Herzfeld states that it must antedate the expedition against the European Scythians in about 515 B. C. These seem somewhat doubtful inferences, since Lydia might well figure as the (north) western frontier land without excluding islands off the coast or lands further north but not so westerly. More significant perhaps are the (south) eastern and south (west)ern borders, India and Kush (Ethiopia), which are not included in the earliest of the lists of subject lands, India occurring in the second and third, Kush only in the third, the Naxš-i-Rustam list of 486 B. C. But I leave this question to the historians, and pass to some grammatical comments.
1 In the form of the word-divider, and in the spelling of the first syllable of Vištāspa (vii, not simply vi), our inscription differs from the Behistun inscription,