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The article is devoted to the analysis of the meaning of the word bandakā, which occurs in the Behistun inscription of Darius I. The issue of the correct way to translate the word bandakā has not been resolved among the historians. This term encounters in the Old Persian version of the Behistun inscription in the phrase manā bandakā. Initially the defi nition manā bandakā was translated as ‘my slave’ or ‘my servant’. The modern scholars tend to believe that a more correct translation is ‘my subordinate’ or ‘my vassal’. The aim of the paper is to analyze the meaning of the phrase manā bandakā based on its equivalents, which occur in the Elamite, Akkadian and Aramaic versions of the Behistun inscription. The author concludes that an address of the king to his subordinates testifi es to their high social status, which was due to the direct political connection with the Persian monarch. The author argues that the phrase manā bandakā, refl ected in the Elamite, scholars, often translated Akkadian and Aramaic languages, differently, that sometimes prevents us from adequate understanding of the political realities of the Achaemenid Empire.


Achaemenids, aristocracy, Darius I, Behistun inscription, social status.

Vasiliy P. Orlov. Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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