Darius I of Persia
3rd king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (550–486 BC)
- A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this excellent thing which is seen, who created happiness for man, who set wisdom and capability down upon King Darius. ... By the grace of Ahuramazda I am of such a sort, I am a friend of the right, of wrong I am not a friend. It is not my wish that the weak should have harm done him by the strong, nor is it my wish that the strong should have harm done him by the weak. ... To the man who is a follower of the lie I am no friend. I am not hot-tempered. What things develop in my anger, I hold firmly under control by my thinking power. ... What a man does or performs, according to his ability, by that I become satisfied with him.
- ... This is what I did by the favor of Ahuramazda in one and the same year after that I became king. 19 battles I fought; by the favor of Ahuramazda I smote them and took prisoner 9 kings.
- DB inscription, COLUMN 4, 52. (4.2-31.)
- For this reason Ahuramazda bore aid, and the other gods who are, because I was not hostile, I was not a Lie-follower, I was not a doer of wrong -- neither I nor my family. According to righteousness I conducted myself. Neither to the weak nor to the powerful did I do wrong.
- DB inscription, COLUMN 4, 63. (4.61-7.)
- May Ahuramazda bear me aid, with the gods of the royal house; and may Ahuramazda protect this country from a (hostile) army, from famine, from the Lie!
- DB inscription, 3. (12-24.)
- If now you shall think that "How many are the countries which King Darius held?" look at the sculptures [of those] who bear the throne, then shall you know, then shall it become known to you: the spear of a Persian man has gone forth far; then shall it become known to you: a Persian man has delivered battle far indeed from Persia.
- An untruth must be spoken, where need requires. For whether men lie, or say true, it is with one and the same object. Men lie, because they think to gain by deceiving others; and speak the truth, because they expect to get something by their true speaking, and to be trusted afterwards in more important matters. Thus, though their conduct is so opposite, the end of both is alike. If there were no gain to be got, your true-speaking man would tell untruths as much as your liar, and your liar would tell the truth as much as your true-speaking man.
- As quoted in The Histories by Herodotus, 3.72