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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 27


INSCRIPTIONS ON A ROCK FACE AT ARMAVIR, ARMENIA


Greek text:   IKEO_9 , IKEO_10 , IKEO_11 , IKEO_12 , IKEO_13 , IKEO_14 , IKEO_15
Date:   c. 200 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

The Greek inscriptions at Armavir in Armenia are comparable to the inscriptions found at Ai-Khanoum in Bactria ( Austin_186 ), as evidence of the spread of Greek culture in a distant land. For a discussion of their significance, see S.Sherwin-White & A.Kuhrt, "From Samarkhand to Sardis", pages 194-5 ( Google Books ).

The inscriptions are difficult to read, and therefore the meaning is often uncertain; the translations of A, C, D and E are taken from J.R.Russell, "Zoroastrianism in Armenia", pages 54-58 ( PDF ).



[A] Hexameter verses referring to the poet Hesiod and his brother.

Hesiod, famed once, after he lost his land and paternal inheritance, himself encouraged Perses as befits younger [brothers].

[B] A pastiche of iambic verses; lines 8, 9 and 13 are quoted from Euripides - 'Hippolytus' v.616, fragment 1034 and 'Orestes' v.2.

  2 . . .

  3 There is not any more warlike goddess

  4 She destroyed the Giants, she the fears

  5 But neither shall I deliver a great boast of words

  6 Nor I . . . things lacking in truth

  7 For since outside . . . of encampments

  8 O Zeus, why . . . this deceptive evil for men

  9 And a mean tongue and envy . . . than not envying

  10 [Less] justly, not well determined

  11 The home is not ashamed of a tomb in itself

  12 . . .

  13 Nor suffering nor god-sent affliction

[C] Apparently a description of a plaque with a picture of a chariot and four horses.

The four horses, the yoke of Euthycharmides, one bronze plaque of Pelamys.

[D] A letter from king Mithras to king Erontes.

The king of the (?) Armadoeiroi Mithras to king Erontes, greetings. If you are well it would be good, and if his descendants might be well. Being healthy you will complete the reign . . .

[E] A list of the months in the Macedonian calendar.

Dios, Apellaios, Audnaios, Peritios, Dystros, Xandikos, Artemisios, Daisios, Panemos, Loios, Gorpiaios, Hyperberetaios.   To Pharnakes, might he be healthy.

[F] Start of a letter from a king to Noumenios.

Greetings to Noumenios the Hellene, who is present . . . the king [wishes] health to Noumenios . . .

[G] A message from Noumenios, about the death (?) of a king, written in poetic language, but apparently not in verse.

Noumenios to the brother-loving {philadelphos} lady . . . this word, and I am changing nothing, having . . . but the warrior (?) Syla killed him . . . him still very much in the city. He was allotted the land of Armenia, since king . . . but I shall not keep quiet . . . excellent fatherland, and ruling over the beautiful land of Armenia . . . on account of which (?) friendship . . . the soldiers (?) beheld . . . we gratify . . . it grieves us to see . . .

[H] The inscriptions at Armavir were probably written shortly before the reign of Artaxias I, the first independent king of Armenia. But when Artaxias set up inscriptions, mostly as boundary markers, they were written in the Aramaic language. A translation of one of these inscriptions, from Teghut, is shown here, as translated by L.Khatchadourian in "Negotiating the Past in the Past", page 49 ( Google Books ). The king's name appears in various forms in other inscriptions; here the spelling is the same as for the Persian kings.

In year ten of king Artaxerxes, Yervandid, son of Zareh the majestic, bearer of the crown, ally of Xaθra {power?}, vanquisher of all who engender evil; king Artaxerxes, Yervandid, son of Zareh, divided the land between the villages.

inscription 28


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