Monday, May 11, 2009

Missing From The Kabul Museum, Afghanistan

Bilingual (Greek and Aramaic) inscriptions by Emperor Ashoka at Kandahar (Shar-i-kuna) (3rd century BCE).

Once preserved at The Kabul Museum, Afghanistan, but today missing.

The Kandahar Edicts are the most western-most of Ashoka's Edicts to have been found and they are the only ones to use Greek.

Greek (transliteration, read left to right)

δέκα ἐτῶν πληρη[....]ων βασι[λ]εὺς
Πιοδασσης εὐσέβεια[ν ἔδ]ε[ι]ξεν τοῖς ἀν-
θρώποις, καὶ ἀπὸ τούτου εὐσεβεστέρους
τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐποίησεν καὶ πάντα
εὐθηνεῖ κατὰ πᾶσαν γῆν• καὶ ἀπέχεται
βασιλεὺς τῶν ἐμψύχων καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ δὲ
εἲ τινες ἀκρατεῖς πέπαυνται τῆς ἀκρα-
σίας κατὰ δύναμιν, καὶ ἐνήκοοι πατρὶ
καὶ μητρὶ καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων παρὰ
τὰ πρότερον καὶ τοῦ λοιποῦ λῶιον
καὶ ἄμεινον κατὰ πάντα ταῦτα
ποιοῦντες διάξουσιν.

Aramaic (read right to left)

שנן 10 פתיתו עביד זי מראן פרידארש מלכא קשיטא מהקשט
מן אדין זעיר מרעא לכלהם אנשן וכלהם אדושיא הובד
ובכל ארקא ראם שתי ואף זי זנה כמאכלא למראן מלכא זעיר
קטלן זנה למחזה כלהם אנשן אתהחסינן אזי נוניא אחדן
אלך אנשן פתיזבת כנם זי פרבסת הוין אלך אתהחסינן מן
פרבסתי והופתיסתי לאמוהי ולאבוהי ולמזישתיא אנסן
איך אסרהי חלקותא ולא איתי דינא לכלהם אנשיא חסין
זנה הותיר לכלהם אנשן ואוסף יהותר.

English (translation)

Ten years (of reign) having been completed, King
Piodasses (Ashoka) made known (the doctrine of)
Piety (εὐσέβεια, Eusebeia) to men; and from this moment he has made
men more pious, and everything thrives throughout
the whole world. And the king abstains from (killing)
living beings, and other men and those who (are)
huntsmen and fishermen of the king have desisted
from hunting. And if some (were) intemperate, they
have ceased from their intemperance as was in their
power; and obedient to their father and mother and to
the elders, in opposition to the past also in the future,
by so acting on every occasion, they will live better
and more happily." (Trans. by G.P. Carratelli)

Photo and text source: Wikipedia.


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