“Daiva Inscription” of Xerxes: Historical Account, Ideological Statement, or Propaganda?

Title (other)История, идеология и пропаганда в антидэвовской надписи Ксеркса
Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameVestnik drevnei istorii
EditionVolume 83 Issue 1

The so-called “Daiva inscription” of Xerxes found in Persepolis addresses the activity of this Achaemenid Persian king in two lands, one of which is said to have been in commotion, while the other is alluded to have been characterized by unacceptable religious practices. Xerxes stresses his involvement in the restoration of order in both countries but does not mention their names. Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Bactria were all adduced as candidates by 20th-century scholars, while the recent mainstream scholarship tends to interpret the same accounts as abstract ideological statements without an anchor in time or space. The new approach advocated in this paper assumes that Xerxes resorted to historical narratives only in order to provide his own apologetic version of embarrassing events. In particular, his self-professed involvement in the destruction of the cults of evil gods is to be interpreted as a twisted account of the destruction of the Acropolis of Athens by the Persian army in 480 BCE. In the wake of the disastrous war against the Greeks, Xerxes strove to present it as a successful special operation against the Greek deities.

Abstract (other)

Текст, найденный в Персеполе и известный как антидэвовская надпись Ксеркса, содержит описание репрессий этого ахеменидского монарха в отношении двух стран, в одной из которых происходили волнения, а другая якобы запятнала себя недопустимыми религиозными культами (почитанием дэвов). Ксеркс подчеркивает свою роль в восстановлении порядка в обеих странах, при этом прямо не называя их. Ученые двадцатого века рассматривали Египет, Вавилонию, Грецию и Бактрию в качестве возможных кандидатов, тогда как большинство современных исследователей склонны рассматривать нарратив Ксеркса как абстрактный идеологический манифест. В настоящей статье предлагается новый подход, согласно которому исторический нарратив в надписях Ксеркса всегда представляет собой апологетическую пропаганду, призванную завуалировать неудобные для царя факты. В частности, рассказ о роли Ксеркса в борьбе с дэвовскими культами следует интерпретировать как пропагандистское описание сожжения афинского акрополя в 480 году до н.э. Иными словами, антидэвовская надпись пытается представить проигранную войну персов с греческими полисами как успешную специальную операцию, направленную против греческих богов.

KeywordsXerxes, Achaemenid, propaganda, Old Persian, Daiva inscription, Greek and Persian Wars
Keywords list (other)Ксеркс, Ахемениды, пропаганда, древнеперсидский язык, антидэвовская надпись, греко-персидские войны
Publication date29.03.2023
Number of characters71243
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