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By Janos Harmatta, B. N. Puri, G. F. Etemadi

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Extra resources for History of Civilizations of Central Asia - Vol. 2: The Development of Sedentary and Nomadic Civilizations : 700 B.C. to A.D. 250

Sample text

It contains over 1,000 lines, each on average 2 m long. The Bisutun inscription was translated into many other languages and sent out to all the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire, as the inscription itself records. At the beginning of the present century, poorly preserved papyrus doc¬ uments with an Aramaic translation of the Bisutun inscription were found dur¬ ing archaeological excavations on the island of Elephantine in southern Egypt a text intended for dissemination in the western part of the empire.

In 714 they are mentioned as subjects of the Assyrian monarch Sargon II. With the passage of time they came to occupy the ancient land of Elam in south-west Iran, which was named Pärsa after the new arrivals. This region is roughly equivalent to the modern Iranian province of Fars, an Arabization of Middle Persian Pars going back to the Old Persian name Pärsa used to designate the land and people of the ancient Persians as well as their capital, Persepolis. The name 'Persis' is derived from 'Persia', the Greek transcription of Old Persian Pärsa.

In other respects they all dressed simi¬ larly in a short tunic with a broad belt and narrow trousers. The eastern Iranians figured prominently in the Achaemenid wars. Bactria 13. Harmatta, 1979, p. 27. P^ SflRB -TT Fig. 2. Rock relief of Darius I at Bisutun. ) alone provided the Persian army with 30,000 horsemen, while the Saka tribes supplied large numbers of mounted bowmen, who served in Persian garrisons in Egypt, Babylonia and other lands. Together with the Persians, Medes and Bactrians, the Sakas formed the core of the Achaemenid army, and distin¬ guished themselves for their bravery in the major battles of the Graeco-Persian wars.

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