Recorded: February 18, 2020
Event: Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World - 14th Melammu Symposium
Citation: Waters, Matthew. "By All Means, Ahuramazda: Help, Support, and Protect the King," Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World - 14th Melammu Symposium. February 18, 2020.
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.
About the Speaker
Matt Waters is a UW-System fellow, Professor of Classics and Ancient History at UW-Eau Claire. He received his Ph.D. in Ancient History (Near Eastern and Greek) from the University of Pennsylvania. His main research interests are Achaemenid history and Greek historiography. He was the winner of the Greenfield Prize from the American Oriental Society in 2006 and has been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies as well as Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies and Loeb Classical Library Foundation. Recently published work includes numerous articles on various aspects of first millennium BC history, especially Greek-Persian relations. Other works in preparation include a survey of Achaemenid Persian history (Cambridge U Press).