Arfaee's translation of "Cylinder of Cyrus the Great"
27 Nov 2011 13:26
The book “Farman-e- Kourosh-e Bozorg” (The Command of Cyrus the Great), researched by Professor Abdolmajid Arfaee, includes historical data about Achaemenid Cyrus opening the city of Babylon. The book is provided mostly for the scholars who are associated with ancient history and languages.
IBNA: Cyrus Cylinder was discovered in 1879 by A. H. Rassam in the Marduk temple of Babylon. Upon his taking of Babylon, Cyrus the Great issued the declaration, containing an account of his victories and merciful acts, as well as a documentation of his royal lineage."
Immediately after the cylinder was found, transcription started, and it was only eleven years later when the English translation of “Cyrus’s Command” was released.
In the twentieth century, cylinder was still researched and its blurred lines were tried to be read. Until the studies revealed that two other discovered pieces which were kept in the "Yale” University, in the United States were the broken parts of the Cyrus Cylinder. These two pieces were given to the British Museum.
During the past years, Abdolmajid Arfaee was dealing with decoding the text of the Cyrus Command through preparing a counterfeit copy of the cylinder, along with the two found pieces and photographing the lines of Cyrus Command. He tried to make the figures and distances identical with the original ones as much as possible. What he obtained after several years of suffering and scientific endeavor has now been published and distributed in a book entitled: “Farman-e- Kourosh-e Bozorg” (The Command of Cyrus the Great), with the efforts of the Great Islamic Encyclopedia.
Arfaee, in the book's preface, offers a brief report on transcription and rendering the charter into English and German as well as his own efforts made in translating the work into Persian, transliterating and transcribing it.
Reviewing the text of the cylinder, Arfaee writes that he has been able to observe what others had failed to see.
Arfaee reminds that his transcribed text has been prepared based on the tablet's inscription text; moreover, a list of the used references has been given at the end of the preface as well. Then abbreviations and marks used in the text are reminded to help the reader to be able to read the text better.
The book's prelude is about the two Babylonian survivor texts called: "Gahnekar Nobo-Naeid" and” the poetry of Nobo- Naeid Report" plus the translation of both the texts. Reading these two texts, we become aware of some aspects of the Great Cyrus’s achieving sovereignty and his rapid success over Babylon. Thus, the translation provided by Professor Arfaee from the Cyrus and Iran section of the two above mentioned texts are indeed the precious and essential resources for understanding the events which led to the opening of Babylon by Cyrus. At the end of the translation pages of the two texts clarifying descriptions have been given to assist the reader in understanding the two reports is as well.
At the end of the translation, professor Arfaee , has enumerated some points which are comparable with the Cyrus Cylinder and have described that how the two texts help the reader to achieve better understanding of the historical events of Babylon opening .
The next section is “Text Transliteration of the Command of Cyrus the Great” (p. 31 up to p. 37). Then the “Transcription of Command of Cyrus the Great” has been given with great subtlety and precision (p. 39 up to p. 41).
The translation of “The Command of Cyrus the Great " is the next part presented in 45 articles. In this section, Cyrus talks about Babylon's condition, disobedience of Nobo Naeid, the city's opening, people's happiness, respecting Babylonian beliefs and gods.
Fallowing the cylinder’s translation Arfaee has included the “footnotes” These footnotes which are indeed proofs on Arfaee’s knowledge and breadth of mind can be considered as a rare guidance for knowing and understanding of one of the Iranian most important historical document (Cyrus Cylinder(.
The "Notes" section contains also some explanations about the cities, individuals, temples, nations, customs and many other important points which are mentioned in the cylinder text, and each one requires explanation and recognition as well.
Some of the topics described in the "notes" section include: Assyria, Akkad, Anshan, Enlil (God of the air and king of the Sumerian gods), and Sumer, Gutian, M. Torno (a city name), Marduk and other samples. The English translation of Cyrus cylinder, plus a few pictures of the cylinder have also been given.
The book is a specialized text prepared for scholars who deal with the ancient languages and history.
The book “The Command of Cyrus the Great " written and researched by Professor Abdulmajid Arfaee has been printed in three thousand copies by the Islamic Great Encyclopedia Center (Center of Iranian and Islamic Studies) and is now available to researchers in history and ancient languages. This work is indeed the seventh book of the “Ancient Iranian Studies collection “released by the Great Islamic Encyclopedia.