addition of a Greek version to the two Iranian versions testifies to the great influence and privileged position of the Greeks in the life of the Sassanian Empire.9

The inscription of Shapuhr consists of two parts, following in this its ultimate Assyrian predecessors. The first part is devoted to the political aspect of his rule: it contains his name and title," the names of the constituent parts of his Empire and an account of his most spectacular military successes, his greatest victories over the Romans. The second part is religious. It contains a wealth of information on the king himself, his family, his vassals and his bureaucracy.

The genesis and the character of the first part are obvious. It is not, like the reports of the Assyrian kings, a continuous narrative year by year of their military exploits. It is a breviarium, an abridgment, a selection. Three episodes only of the long struggle of Shapuhr with the Romans are briefly summarized: (1) his victory over GordianIII and his treaty with Philip, (2) his first invasion of Syria and Asia Minor, and (3) his victory over Valerian, his capture of the Roman Emperor and his military staff, and the following invasion of Asia Minor.

This character of the text -selection from longer and more detailed accounts on the military deeds of Shapuhr - has left its traces in some stylistical peculiarities. Note for example that the first and the second sections begin with . It may be a stylistical peculiarity of oriental syntax, but more probably testifies to a mechanical abbreviation of a longer text. Still more convincing is the first sentence of the second section: in this sentence hangs in the air and so does It is obvious that in a preceding section, omitted in the selection, were mentioned the name

9. I have not found in the books and papers devoted to the Sassanian Empire in general and to special aspects of it in particular any comprehensive treatment of the role which Greeks played in the life of it. We must not forget that the Sassanian kings inherited from their Parthian predecessors large numbers of Greeks settled chiefly in Greek cities scattered all over the Empire. These Greeks were in the Parthian period a privileged class (see my remarks in CAH, Xl, pp. 115 ff., cf. 1 14) and played an important part in the political, military, social and economic life of the Parthian state. The numbers of the Greeks settled in the former Parthian Empire were greatly increased by the early Sassanian kings after their victorious expeditions against the Roman Empire. Thousands of war prisoners - soldiers of the Roman army and Greek or hellenized residents of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Asia Minor - were carried away by the Persians and settled in various capacities in the Sassanian Empire. We shall see that Shapuhr in his inscription makes quite a point of this (below, p. 30). It would be important to collect in full the evidence on the destinies of the Greeks qua Greeks and not qua Christians in the Sassanian Empire, taking     into consideration both the former subjects of the Arsacids and the war prisoners of the Sassanids.
10. The first words of this inscription: etc., represent a stylistic feature which goes back to Sumerian times. Dr. S. N. Kramer has been kind enough to write me that this "I am style" characterizes not a few of the Sumerian hymns devoted to gods and kings. It appears too in other types of compositions such as epics, myths, and lamentations, where hymnal passages are not infrequent. It owes its origin and development to the Sumerian poets and scribes and was taken over into Accadian. Many of these Sumerian compositions and their Accadian translations were current in Babylonia right down to the Seleucid era (letter of March 24, 1943). The or construction spread far and wide outside of Babylonia. It became typical for Oriental proclamations of power and deeds both of gods and of mortals, especially kings. We find it both in religious and secular texts not only in Assyrian and Persian Achaemenian times, but also in the eastern hellenistic monarchies and it was still alive in the Roman times. I cannot deal with this topic in this paper. I know of no comprehensive modern study of it.


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