Šāpūr I’s Inscription at Naqš-e Rajab (ŠNRb)

This is one of early inscriptions of Šāpūr I which is set below one of his rock relief. He is shown along with an array of nobles accompanying him, while he is on his horse. This relief is couched next to three others which include that of the Zoroastrian priest, Kerdīr and Adaxšīr’s coronation scene.

One must pay attention to the order of the languages on the relief, where Parthian is first and then Greek. On the side, then the Middle Persian is written. It seems that Parthian was still carrying much influence and so it was placed first before the Greek and the Middle Persian inscriptions. Finally, one should mention that our reading of the Greek text is more accurate than the previous published works.


For the study of the inscription and the relief the following sources are of importance:

  • Back, M. Die Sassanidischen Staatsinschriften, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1978, p. 281.
  • Canali De Rossi, F. (ed.), Iscrizioni dello Estremo Oriente Greco. Un repertorio. Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien, Bd. 65, Bonn:  Dr. Rudolf Habelt, 2004.
  • Sims-Williams, N. “Baga,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, ed. E. Yarshater, 2011.
  • Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum, Part III: Pahlavi Inscriptions, ed. W.B. Henning, 1957.
  • Gignoux, Ph. Glossaire des inscriptions pehlevies et parthes, Corpus Inscr. Iran., Suppl. Ser., vol. 1, London, 1972.
  • Lincoln, B. “ČEHR,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, ed. E. Yarshater, 1990.


MP by Touraj Daryaee


ptkry ZNE mzdysn bgy šhpwhry MLKAn

MLKA ’yr’n W ’nyr’n MNW ctry MN yzt’n

BRE mzdysn bgy ’rthštr MLKAn MLKA

’yr’n MNW ctry MN yzt’n npy bgy p’pky


pahikar ēn mazdēsn bay Šāpūr šāhān

šāh Ērān ud an-ērān kē čihr az yazdān

pus mazdēsn bay Ardaxšīr šāhān šāh

Ērān kē čihr az yazdān nāf bag Pābag


This is the image of the Mazda-worshipping lord Šāpūr, king of

Kings of the Iranians and non-Iranians, whose lineage is from the gods,

son of the Mazda-worshipping lord Ardaxšīr, king of kings

of Iranians, whose lineage is from the gods, grandson of lord Pābag


Greek Version by Emmanuel Keyvān Zareie 

τὸ π[ροσωπο]ν ִτִοִύτο Μαִσδάσνου θεοῦ

ִΣαπώ[ρ]ִοִυ, [βασιλέως β]ασιλέων [Ἀριανῶν]

καὶ Ἀναρִιִαִνῶִν ִἐִκ ִγִέִִִνους θεִῶ[ν υἱοῦ]

Μαִσ[δάσ]ִνου θεοῦ Ἀρταξάρου, β[ασιλέως]

βασιλέων Ἀִριανῶν, ἐִκ γέִν[ους θεῶν]ִ

ἐγόνου θεοῦ Παπάκου βασιλ[έως]