The Daiva inscription of Xerxes
Period: Achaemenid (547-331 BC)
Text genre, language:
Description: This Old Persian inscription, with bilingual duplicates in Elamite and Akkadian was inscribed on stone tablets found at the palace complex at Persepolis. The text tells of Xerxes' dominion over numerous lands which he conquered with the help of Ahuramazda. It also speaks of the destruction of the cult centres in these conquered territories at which 'daiva' were worshipped – the Zoroastrian term for a 'false' or 'wrong' gods, whose worship was to be rejected. Xerxes destroyed these centres and established the correct worship of Ahuramazda in its place. The inscription closes with an exhortation to future readers to also follow the correct worship of Ahuramazda.