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date: 18 January 2021

Bisitunlocked

  • Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg
  •  and Amélie Kuhrt

Extract

Bisitun (mod. Behistun; Βαγίστανον ὄρος), (Ctesias in Diod. Sic. 2. 13. 1)), a cliff 30 km. (18 ½ mi.) east of Kermanshah, with a relief and a long trilingual inscription (*Elamite, Babylonian, Old *Persian) by *Darius I. The three versions differ in minor (though significant) details. Cols. 1–4 report on his victories over the usurper Gaumata and other rebel kings in his first regnal year. The inscription was carved in stages; the OP version was added last. Copies were sent out (Inscription of Darius I at Bisitun 4. 88 ff.) and parts have been found at Elephantine (*Aramaic) and *Babylon. Bisitun is the only narrative OP text. Cols. 1–4 follow models from *Mesopotamia and *Urartu. Col. 5, on Darius' second and third years, (OP only) is closer to the ahistoric style of the later OP inscriptions.

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