DARĪGBED (Mid. Pers. *dlykptˈ, darīgbed [cf. Arm. darikʿpet; see Chaumont, p. 157], variant dlykʾn srdʾr, darigān sālār [Arm. dranikan-salar; Chaumont, p. 157] attested in the inscription of Šāpūr I on the Kaʿba of Zoroaster at Naqš-e Rostam, Mid. Pers. l. 33, Parth. l. 27: drykn sʾrr, Gk. l. 65: toû epì tôn driganôn, rather than drigaiôn), title of a low-ranking official at the Sasanian court. Although it is rarely attested in Middle Persian, its occurrence as the title of Abursām-Šāpūr, the last name in the list of dignitaries at Šāpūr’s court in the inscription at Naqš-e Rostam, is clear evidence that its holder did not have an exalted rank. His actual function is unclear. He was head neither of the courtiers (Sprengling, p. 19) nor of the court servants (Back, p. 363; Hinz, p. 64; Gignoux, p. 22), for those offices were filled by the paristagbed Wardbed, whose name appears earlier in the same list (Mid. Pers. l. 33: plstkpt; Parth. l. 27: prštkpt; Gk. l. 64: toû epì tês hypēresías). In the 7th-century Byzantine history of Theophylact Simocatta (3.18.12) the title is given as darigbedoûm (Lagarde, p. 188) and is said to have been the equivalent of the Roman (Byzantine) kouropalátēs, originally a kind of palace superintendent but by the 6th century simply a commander of the palace guard. In Šāpūr’s inscription the darigān sālār is named well below the chiliarch and probably was a palace superintendent.
M. Back, Die sassanidischen Staatsinschriften, Acta Iranica 18, Leiden, 1978.
M. L. Chaumont, “Chiliarque et curopalate à la cour des Sassanides,” Iranica Antiqua 10, 1973, pp. 139-65.
P. Gignoux, Glossaire des inscriptions pehlevies, London, 1972.
W. Hinz, Altiranische Funde und Forschungen, Berlin, 1969.
P. de Lagarde, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, Leipzig, 1866.
M. Sprengling, Third Century Iran,Chicago, 1953.
(Richard N. Frye)
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 17, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 1, p. 40