Darius Legend

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Darius Legend
I am Darius, the great king, King of Kings, king of Persia, king of the Lands, son of Hystaspes, grandson of Arsames, the Achaemenid.

King Darius speaks: Eight of my family have been kings, I am the ninth. Nine of us, in two lines, have been kings. By the will of Ahura Mazda, I am king. Ahura Mazda conveyed to me the Lordship. In these lands, the man who was circumspect, I have treated well; him who was inimical, I have sternly punished. By the will of Ahura Mazda, these lands have obeyed my laws. What I have commanded, they have done.

King Darius speaks: And this, by the will of Ahura Mazda is what I did, on becoming king:

One by name Cambyses, Cyrus' son, of our dynasty, here was king. That Cambyses had a brother, Smerdis, of the same mother and the same father as Cambyses. Cambyses murdered that Smerdis. And when Cambyses murdered Smerdis, it was not known to the people that Smerdis had been slain. There­after, Cambyses went to Egypt. When Cambyses had gone to Egypt, the people became his enemy and the Lie became great in the land, as well in Persia as in Media and the other lands.

King Darius speaks: There was a man, a certain Magian, Gaumata by name, who rose in rebellion from Pishijau-uada, from the mountain called Arakadrish. It was the 14th of Addaru [March 11, 522 b.c.] when he rebelled. He lied to the people, as follows: "I am Smerdis, Cyrus' son, Cambyses' brother." Whereupon the whole people deserted Cambyses and went over to that other, as well the Persians as the Medes and the other lands. He seized the mastery. It was the 9th of Garmapada [April 2, 522] when he seized the mastery. Then Cambyses died by his hand.

King Darius speaks: This mastery, which Gaumata the Magian seized from Cambyses, had belonged to our family from of old. Then Gaumata took from Cambyses, Persia as well as Media and the other lands, appropriated them, made them his own, and became king.

King Darius speaks: There was no one neither Persian, nor Mede, nor any one of our line who recovered the mastery from that Gaumata the Magian. The people greatly feared him: he would have killed many who had formerly known Smerdis : he would have killed many of the people, [thinking:] "so that the people should not know that I am not Smerdis, Cyrus' son." No one dared speak a word with reference to Gaumata the Magian till I came.

Then I prayed to Ahura Mazda: Ahura Mazda brought me aid. On the 10th day of Bagajadish [September 29, 522], I slew with a few men that Gaumata the Magian and those who had been his foremost followers. There is a fortress called Sikajau-uatish in a region called Nisaja in Media: there I slew him, tore from him the mastery. By the will of Ahura Mazda I became king. Ahura Mazda conferred upon me the lordship.

King Darius speaks: The mastery that had been taken from our line I recovered and established in its place, as before. I built again the temples that Gaumata had destroyed. I returned to the people the pasturelands, the cattle herds, and the dwell­ings and buildings that Gaumata the Magian had taken from them. I placed the people in their places, as before, in Persia, Media, and the other lands. I gave back what had been taken, as before. I took pains in accord with the will of Ahura Mazda, until it was just as though Gaumata the Magian never had carried off our house.

King Darius speaks: And I did as follows.

The text goes on at considerable length, recounting for all centuries to come the wonders of the reign of one of the greatest creative rulers in the history of the world, Darius I, the master of the whole Near East from 521 to 486 b.c. He was a contemporary of the Buddha (563-483 b.c.) and Confucius (551-478 b.c.), and can properly be named in the same breath as representing with them the image of supreme spiritual authority by which each mythological province thereafter was to be hallmarked: respectively, the Levantine Despot under God, the Indian Yogi, and the Chinese Sage. In his own words Darius had been king by the will of Ahura Mazda. His reign, therefore, had been the vehicle of that will and, as such, the sole measure of moral right; and every enemy of such a king is an agent of the enemy of God Angra Mainyu, the Demon of the Lie.

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