Thursday, February 1, 2007

Crucifixion of 3,000 Babylonians by Darius

According to the Greek historian, Herodotus, King Achaemenid Darius (ca. 549 - 486 BCE), known as Darius I the Great, of Persia had 3,000 of the leading citizens of Babylon crucified in about 519 BCE.

In Iran, there is a town called Behistun where there are several ancient monuments, including one with a famous insription by Darius I. The inscription reads:

" While I was in Persia and in Media, the Babylonians revolted from me a second time. A certain man named Arakha, an Armenian, son of Haldita, rebelled in Babylon. At a place called Dubâla, he lied unto the people, saying: 'I am Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabonidus.' Then did the Babylonian people revolt from me and they went over to that Arakha. He seized Babylon, he became king in Babylon. Then did I send an army unto Babylon. A Persian named Intaphrenes, my servant, I appointed as their leader, and thus I spoke unto them: 'Go, smite that Babylonian host which does not acknowledge me.' Then Intaphrenes marched with the army unto Babylon. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda Intaphrenes overthrew the Babylonians and brought over the people unto me. On the twenty-second day of the month Markâsanaš [27 November] they seized that Arakha who called himself Nebuchadnezzar, and the men who were his chief followers. Then I made a decree, saying: 'Let that Arakha and the men who were his chief followers be crucified in Babylon!' "

Notes: Arakha Urartian, son of Haldita, was also known as Nebuchadnezzar IV. His rebellion, the second against Darius, started on 25 August 521 BCE and was suppressed by Darius' bow carrier Intaphrenes on 27 November. The first Babylonian insurrection was led Nidintu-Bêl and was suppressed by Daris during October-December 522 BCE.

(carved image of Arakha from Behistun)

No comments: