The inscription mentions the conquests of Darius the Great and his various achievements during his life. Its exact date is not known, but it can be assumed to be from the last decade of his reign.
Like several other inscriptions by Darius, the territories controlled by the Achaemenid Empire are clearly listed.
The nationalities mentioned in the DNa inscription are otherwise vividly illustrated through the large sculptural relief on the upper registers of all the tombs, including that of Darius I, at Naqsh-e Rustam. One of the best preserved is that of Xerxes I.
The inscription is written in the Old Persian cuneiform, a nearly alphabetical, simple form of the ancient cuneiform scripts (36 phonetic characters and 8 logograms), which was specially designed and used by the early Achaemenid rulers from the 6th century BCE.
The full inscriptions consists in two parts, the first one being related to a description of the lineage of Darius, as well as a list of the countries under his rule. The second part is more religious in nature and related to the cult of Ahuramazda.
Darius I Naqsh I Rustam inscription (DNa inscription)
English translation (Part I)
(1) A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created yonder sky, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Darius king, one king of many, one lord of many.
I am Darius the great king, king of kings, king of countries containing all kinds of men, king in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage.
(15) King Darius says: By the favor of Ahuramazda these are the countries which I seized outside of Persia; I ruled over them; they bore tribute to me; they did what was said to them by me; they held my law firmly; Media, Elam, Parthia, Aria,
(1) King Darius says: Ahuramazda, when he saw this earth in commotion, thereafter bestowed it upon me, made me king; I am king. By the favor of Ahuramazda I put it down in its place; what I said to them, that they did, as was my desire.
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.
(18) Darius the King says: This which has been done, all that by the will of Ahuramazda I did. Ahuramazda bore me aid, until I did the work. May Ahuramazda protect me from harm, and my royal house, and this land: this I pray of Ahuramazda, this may Ahuramazda give to me!
O man, that which is the command of Ahuramazda, let this not seem repugnant to you; do not leave the right path; do not rise in rebellion!