Remembering a battle: ‘Adud al-Dawla’s second inscription in Persepolis

Probably shortly after having the first inscription carved in Persepolis, ‘Adud al-Dawla returned in the ancient Persian site to make another inscription, celebrating his victory over Isfahan.

The inscription

The graffito is carved once again on the wall of the Palace of Darius. The text reads:

“In the name of God. Here was present the amir
the exalted ‘Adud al-Dawla
Fannakhusraw bin al-Hasan in the year four
and forty and three hunderd [344/955-956], on his return,
victorious, from the conquest of Isfahan, and his capture
of Ibn Makan, and his rout of the army from
Khurasan. He fetched someone who read what
is inscribed on these ruins.”

Transcription of the second inscription by 'Adud al-Dawla, Persepolis 344/955 © Sheila Blair
Transcription of the second inscription by ‘Adud al-Dawla, Persepolis 344/955 © Sheila Blair

The battle

The text provides only the year, without recording the exact date. Sheila Blair, anyway, dates the graffito later than the first one carried out for ‘Adud al-Dawla in Persepolis, basing on the titles given to some peculiar features of the text: in her words “its place is more prominent, its titulature more studied, and its script more meticulous”.

The battle does not provide actual clue for what pertains the date: we do not know exactly when it took place, bt we know that the attack was lead by Ibn Makan: here we learn that also ‘Adud al-Dawla took part in it.

Second inscription by 'Adud al-Dawla, Persepolis 344/955-956 (detail) © Sheila Blair
Second inscription by ‘Adud al-Dawla, Persepolis 344/955-956 (detail) © Sheila Blair

The Iranian past

Again it is important how the commemorative inscription clearly states how the Buyid ruler wanted to underline his Iranian ascendancy.

In the first place, he decides to have his first name Fannakhusraw, which evokes Sasanian ascendancy, clearly recorded. Then, the graffito is inscribed next to the Parsik inscription carved in the reign of Shapur II (309-379 CE), associating himself with the Sasanian monarch.

Once again, the last part of the inscription clearly states that the Buyid ruler was aware of the placement and of the importance of the place.

Essential bibliography

S. S. Blair, The Monumental Inscriptions from early Islamic Iran and Transoxiana, Brill, Leiden 1992, pp. 32-33.
[partially accessible via GoogleBooks]

H. Busse, “Iran under the Buyids”, in R. N. Frye (ed.), The Cambridge History of IranVol. 4 – The period from the Arab invasion to the Saljuqs, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1975, pp. 250-304.


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