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The Legislation of Dāryush

Dāryush, who was famous in the history of the Achaemenids as the king who laid down a legislative system, has left behind a number of inscriptions in which he has mentioned the presence of a system which he refers to as “my legal system” that was the foundation of a strong empire, comprising the various subject countries of his empire and according to which, he even considered the acceptance of this system by the people of those countries as the “grace of Ahurā Mazdā”. In his book, “The Laws”, Plato has mentioned an Athenian scholar commenting on the important role of Dāryush in the legislation of laws in ancient Iran and has emphasized that “universal equality” was the foundation of the laws legislated by that king, a policy that he considered as the cementing factor that had resulted in creating a feeling of friendship and community among all the Persians. Unlike the earlier regional laws, the most noteworthy feature of the laws of Darius was that they were practical and could be implemented in all the subject countries of the Achaemenian Empire. Even after the death of Dāryush, his laws were honored by the following Achaemenian kings and, as stated by Plato in his seventh letter, these laws had served to maintain the stability and continuity of the Iranian Empire until his (Plato’s) times.

* source: Pakatchi , Ahmad "Iran Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 ,pp.620

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