Chapter

Creation 4

in Religion, Empire, and Torture

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780226481968
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226481913 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226481913.003.0004
Creation 4

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This chapter assesses the pattern and purpose which the Persians perceived in history, and how this informed their sense of sacred mission. The narrative of creation dominates later Achaemenian discourse, in terms of both its frequency and its emphatic placement at the beginning of every inscription in which it appears. The Wise Lord's first four acts form a set, which can be referred to as the original creation. The Wise Lord's response to some unexpected event or his attempt to redress some newly arisen problem is considered. The historical discourse of Bisitun and the mythic discourse of the later inscriptions complement each other. Correlating Bisitun and the Achaemenian cosmogonies yields a tripartite temporal schema in which a period of primordial perfection is followed by one of historical crisis and struggle.

Keywords: creation; sacred mission; Achaemenian discourse; inscription; Wise Lord; Bisitun; Achaemenian cosmogonies

Chapter.  5593 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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