|The Genealogy of the Persian
Appendix 57 From The Companion Bible.
main sources of information on this subject are Herodotus, Xenophon,
Ctesias, Nicolas of Damascus (all B.C.);
and Arrian (century 2 A.D.)ASTYAGES.
The writers of a former generation were occupied in
unravelling and piecing together the varying accounts of these ancient
historians without the knowledge of the still more ancient Inscriptions
recently discovered, which were caused to be written by the persons
concerned in the events recorded.
In 1846 Major (afterward Sir Henry) Rawlinson
published a complete translation of the trilingual Persian text on the
isolated rock of Behistun, (or more correctly Bahistun
which rises 1,700 feet out of the Plain, on the high road from Babylonia
to the East; in which DARIUS
gives his own genealogy.
This famous rock (of which a view is given on page 82
by the kind permission of Messieurs Longmans & Company, the
publishers of Canon Rawlinson's (Memoir of Major General Sir H.C.
Rawlinson) derives its name from the village of Bisitun
or Bisutun, near its foot. It is on the high road from
Baghdad to Teheran, about sixtyfive miles from Hamadan (on the site of
the ancient Ecbatana).
On this rock, on a prepared surface about 500 feet
from the level of the plain, and most difficult of access, DARIUS
caused to be carved the principal events of his reign; and he commences
with an account of his genealogy.
The following is the translation of the Persian
In two lines3
have we been kings", etc.
- § I. "I am Darius, the great king,
the king of kings, the king of Persia, the king of the provinces,
the son of Hystaspes, the grandson of Arsames the Achæmenian.
- § II. (Thus) saith Darius the king: My father
is Hystaspes; the father of Hystaspes was Arsames; the father of
Arsames was Ariyaramnes; the father of Ariyaramnes was [Teispes];
the father of Teispes was Achæmenes.
- § III. (Thus) saith Darius the king: On that
account are we called Achæmenians; from antiquity are we descended;
from antiquity hath our race been kings.
- § IV. (Thus) saith Darius the king: Eight of
my race were kings before (me); I am the ninth
It must be noted that the confusion which has
hitherto been experienced arises from the fact that appellatives have
been mistaken for proper names; to say nothing of the confusion arising
from their transliteration or translation into other languages.HASUERUS
means "the Mighty", and "is the
name, or rather the title, of four Median and Persian monarchs"
(Kitto, Bible Encyclopedia I, page 91). "In
every case the identification of the person named is a matter of
controversy". See The Encyclopedia Brit., 11th
(Cambridge) edn., volume i, page 429.
These appellatives are, like Pharaoh and Abimelech,
the general titles of a line of kings, such as the modern Czar, Sultan,
Shah, etc. Hence
means Great King, or Kingdom, and is
synonymous with Artachshast (Arta = Great,
and Kshatza = Kingdom, preserved in the modern "Shah").
According to Prideaux he is identified with the Ahasuerus of Est. 1:1
(volume i, page 306).
means the Restrainer (Her. VI.98); or, according to
Professor Sayce, the Maintainer. DARIUS
"appears to be originally an appellative meaning 'king',
'ruler' ", (Herbelot, Biblioth, Orient.,
Article 'Dara'); Herodotus (VI.98) renders it Erxeies
= Coercer. "It was assumed as his throne-name by Ochus (=
Darius Nothus), son and successor of Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ctesias, de
Reb. Pers., 48, 57, Müller)". See Kitto, Bible
Cycl., volume i, page 625. XERXES,
in his inscription at Persepolis, actually calls himself "DARIUS";
one paragraph beginning "XERXES
the great king," and the next beginning "DARIUS
This is why DARIUS
is thus called, to denote him as DARIUS
the son of HYSTASPES;
and to distinguish him from "DARIUS"
the Mede", who was ASTYAGES
Is the Persian monarch with which this Appendix is
concerned. According to Herodotos, ASTYAGES
was the son of CYAXARES,
who was the son of PHRAORTES
(II), who was the son of DEIOKES
(Bk. I. 73), who, again, was the son of PHRAORTES
( I ). (Bk. I. 96.)ARSAMES.
In this genealogy given by CYRUS
on the Cuneiform Cylinder, he calls his great-grandfather TEISPES
is to be identified with TEISPES
the son of ACHÆMENES
in the Behistun Rock genealogy of DARIUS
identified with the DEIOKES
of Herodotus (I. 96), was the real founder of the Achæmenian dynasty of
which Darius speaks, although his father (PHRAORTES
I) was the first of the line. Herodotus describes him (DEIOKES)
as a man "famous for wisdom", of great ambition,
"aiming at the aggrandisement of the Medes and his own
absolute power" (I. 96).
I. would therefore be the first of the eight kings before
who speaks of himself as the ninth. See translation given
As the grandfather of DARIUS
he is (according to the Behistun Inscription) to be
identified with the ASTYAGES
At the close of the Lydio-Median War "Syannesis
the Cilician and Labynetus (or Nabonnedus) the Babylonian (identified by
Prideaux, volume i, page 82 note, and pages 135, 135, 19th edition with
Nebuchadnezzar) persuaded ALYATTES
to give his daughter ARYENIS
in marriage to ASTYAGES,
son of KYAXARES"
(Her. 1. 74). Of this marriage came HYSTASPES
- In the Cuneiform Cylinder account of the capture of Babylon, CYRUS
- "I am CYRUS
the king ... the great king, the mighty king, king of Tintir
(Babylon), king of Sumir, and Akkad, king of the
regions of the earth, the son of CAMBYSES
the great king, king of the city of Anzan, grandson
the great king, king of the city of Anzan, great-grandson
the great king of the city of Anzan, of the ancient seed of royalty,
- (reign, that is to say, of CYRUS
himself) Bel and Nebo had exalted according to the beneficence
of their hearts" (E. Wallis Budge, Babylonian
Life and History page 87).
- Here we have the statement of Cyrus his father was known as CAMBYSES,
his grandfather as CYRUS,
and his great-grandfather under the name (or title), common to the Behistun
Inscription and the Cylinder alike, of TEISPES.
grandson was ARSAMES
(according to the Behistun Inscription), and this TEISPES
and the TEISPES
of Cyrus's Cylinder are one and the same,-then, it follows that the CAMBYSES
of the Cylinder and the ARSAMES
of the Inscription must be one and the same person, well known under
different names, titles, or appellatives.4
Moreover, it the TEISPES
of the Behistun Inscription and the one of the Cylinder of
Cyrus are to be identified with the PHRAORTES
(II) of Herodotus (I. 73), then the grandson of this PHRAORTES
(II) must be ASTYAGES.
Consequently we have, under these three names, titles,
or appellatives, from Greek, Median, and Persian sources, three
persons, called by Herodotus ASTYAGES,
by Darius ARSAMES,
and by Cyrus CAMBYSES
who are in reality one and the same.
Therefore in the presence of all these
indentifications from independent sources and authorities, we have :-
all one and the same person.
of Esther 1:1,
of Ezra 6:14;
the Median" of Daniel 5:31.
We now give the Genealogy, according to the
Inscription of DARIUS
on the Behistun rock, referred to above.
The names in large capitals are the Greek names given
Those in small capitals are corresponding Persian names as given by DARIUS
on the Behistun rock, and by CYRUS
on his Cylinder; while the names in ordinary small type are the
LINE OF THE PERSIAN KINGS
For full particulars see the handsome volume published by the Trustees
of the British Museum, The Sculptures and Inscription of Darius
the Great on the Rock of Behistun, in Persia. London, 1907.
We have indicated this enumeration by placing the figures against the
names on page 81.
The "two lines" are Lydian and Medo-Persian, as
shown in the Table on page 81.
"Dareios the son of Hystaspses, who traces his decent
through Arsames and Ariaramnes to Teispes the son of Akhæmenes,
probably refers to the same Teispes" (Sayce, Ancient
Empires of the East, page 243).
"The names Kyros and Kambyses
seem to be of Elamite derivation. Strabo, indeed, says that Kyros
was originally called Agradates, and took the name of Kurus
or Kyros from the river that flows past Pasargadoe"
(Sayce, id. page 243).
Cyrus and Cambyses both
seem to be territorial titles rather than names.
Herodotus says the ancestors of Candaules reigned for twenty-two
generations, covering a period of 505 years (I.7).
This marriage resulted in the birth of Cyrus, in fulfillment of Isaiah
And the part taken by Esther and Mordecal in his training, explains all
that we read of Cyrus in Ezra and Nehemiah.
Darius, in giving his own direct line, omits the names
of Phraortes I, Cyrus, and Cambyses II, but he includes
them in the numbering of his eight
There was a still later "Cyrus"
(the Cyrus of Xenophon). See Her. VII. 11.
When Darius Hystaspis says "in two lines we have been kings",
he must refer to Lydian and Medo-Persian lines.