Inscriptions-posts

Šāpūr I’s Inscription at Bēšāpūr (ŠBa)

This is an important inscription for dating the commencement of the Sasanian Empire. The inscription on a column was worked on by R. Ghirshman in the Winter 1935/6. However, it was O. Hansen who provided a good translation of the inscription. One should mention that Hansen’s work is indeed impressive for its time and in reading this inscription correctly.

S.H. Nyberg also provided a sketch of the inscription in his A Manual of Pahlavi, which many students of Pahlavi have had to read. More recently Ruth Altheim-Stiehl has used the inscription in assessing the chronology of the Sasanian Empire, and C. Nasrollah-Zadeh has given the most recent transcription, transliteration and translation of the inscription in Persian. It is odd that we find only the Parthian and Middle Persian versions of the inscription, which in a city where Roman captives were held. This is most curious and surprising, as the Greek would have been useful for the population. However, the subject matter pertains to a building project in the honor of the king of kings and may not have been important for the Roman population. I would like to thank Sárközy Miklós for the photographs.

 

Bibliography:

  • Altheim-Stiehl, R. “Das früheste Datum der sasanidischen Geschichte, vermittelt durch die
  • Zeitangabe der mittelpersisch-parthischen Inschrift aus Bīšāpūr,” AMI N.F. 11, 1978, pp. 113-16.
  • Back, M. Die Sassanidischen Staatsinschriften, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1978.
  • Ghirshman, “Inscription du monument de Châpour Ier à Châpour,” RAA 10, 1936, pp. 123-29.
  • Hansen, O. “Epigraphische Studien,” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 92 (n.F. 17), No. 3/4 (1938), pp. 441-451.
  • Nasrollah-Zadeh, C. Kāzerūn Pahlavi Inscriptions, Tehran, Kazerūnīyeh Publishers, 2006.
  • Nyberg, S.H. A Manual of Pahlavi, Part I: Texts, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1964.
  • Oryan, S. Manual of Middle Iranian Inscriptions, ICHO, Tehran, 1382.

 

MP by Touraj Daryaee

Transliteration:
BYRE prwrtyn ŠNT 20-20-10-4-4 ’twry
ZY ’rthštr ŠNT 20-20 ’twry šhpwhry
ZY ’twr’n MLKA ŠNT 20-4 ptkry ZNE
mazdysn ALHYA šhpwhry MLKAn
MLKA ’yr’n W ’nyr’n MNW ctry MN
yzd’n BRE mzdysn ORHYA ’rthštr
MLKAn MLKA ’yr’n MNW ctry MN
yzd’n npy bgy p’pky MLKA W krty
’ps’y ZY dpywr ZY MN hl’n
štryst’n MN NPŠE BYTA APš
OL mzdysn ORHYA šhpwhry
MLKAn MLKA ’yr’n W ’nyr’n
MNW ctry MN yzd’n…..st
W AYK MLKAn MLKA ZNE ptkry HZYTN APš
YHBWN ’ps’y ZY dpywr ZHByn
W ’symyn OBDK W knysky b’gy W ARKA

Transcription:
māh frawardīn sāl 58 ādur
ī Ardaxšīr sāl 40 ādur Šābuhr
ī ādurān šāh sāl 24 pahikar ēn 
mazdēsn bay Šābuhr šāhān
šāh Ērān ud an-ērān kē čihr az
yazdān nab bay Pābag šāh ud kard
Afsā ī dibīr ī az Harrān
šahristān az xwēš xānag ū-š
ō mazdēsn bay Šābuhr
šāhān šāh Ērān ud an-ērān
kē čihr az yazdān ….st
ud kū šāhān šāh ēn pahikar dīd u-š
dād Afsā ī dibīr zarrēn
ud asēmēn bandag ud kanīzag bāγ ud xwāstag

Translation:
In the month of Frawardīn in the year 58, 
of the 40th year of the fire of Ardaxšīr, 
in the 24th year of the fire of Šāpūr, king of fires,
in the 24th year this image was made of this 
Mazda-worshipping lord Šāpūr, king of
Kings of the Iranians and non-Iranians, whose lineage
is from the gods, the grandson of king Pābag.
Afsāy the scribe from city of Harān, made from his own house
for the Mazda-worshipping lord, Šāpūr
King of kings of the Iranians and non-Iranians,
whose lineage is from the gods ….
and when the king of kings saw this image (statue), he
Bestowed on Afsāy the scribe, gold
and silver, male servants and female servants, garden and property

 

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