By All Means, Ahuramazda: Help, Support, and Protect the King

Recorded: February 18, 2020
Event: Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World - 14th Melammu Symposium

by Matthew Waters (University of Wisconsin, Eau de Claire)

By All Means, Ahuramazda: Help, Support, and Protect the King

This presentation explores the variations in translation and embedded meanings manifest in the formula “By the … of Ahuramazda …” among the Achaemenid trilingual royal inscriptions. The formula articulates a foundational piece of the divine-royal connection. The relevant individual words – vašnā (Old Persian), zaumin (Elamite), and ṣillu (Babylonian) – carry a range of nuances, and modern translations vary significantly because of this. The terms will be explored in their own contexts as well as (and mainly) within the context of an emerging Achaemenid royal ideology.