ܦܛܰܚܫܳܐ pṭḥšʾ pṭaḥšā a governor, chief-satrap
Allotropes: ܦܛܲܟܫܵܐ pṭkšʾ pṭakšā; ܐܦܛܚܫܐ ʾpṭḥšʾ; ܐܦܛܟܫܐ ʾpṭkšʾ. Derivatives: ܦܛܲܟܫܘܼܬܵܐ pṭkšwtʾ pṭakšūṯā satrapy
OIr. *dwitĭya-xšaya-; MP bīdaxš (Nyberg 47 f.); Parth. Inscr. (KZ, NPi) bythš, MP Inscr. (KZ, NPi) bthšy; KZ Gr. πιτιάξης, πιτυάξης, βιδιξ, πιτιξιγαν (this last form corresponds to MP, Parth. bidaxšagān, a patronymic; Huyse 1999/1, 157; 2, 132 f. and note 220, with bibl.); βισταξ· ὁ <μετα;> βασιλέα παρα; Πέρσαις (Hesych.); βάτησα (Dura Europos, cf. Rostovtzeff – Welles 1931; Khurshudian 1998, 21); Lat. vitaxa (Amm. Marc. 23, 6, 14); Arm. bdeašx, variants bdešx, bdišx (← Parthian; Hübschmann AG 119–120, no. 109; Khurshudian 1998, 21 and 47 ff.). — Aramaic Inscr. from Mcʿxetʿa, Georgia bṭḥš, pyṭḥš; Hatr. bṭḥšʾ, pdḥšʾ (Greenfield 1987, 258); Talm. Aram. bdqšʾ, pdkšʾ, -pdskʾ; cf. Georg. pitiaxš- (Gippert 1993.1, 207–210) ● pṭḥšʾ am 4, 221, 17 (Hoffmann 1880 n. 274); MAMQ 5pu (= am 2, 445, 2); pṭkšʾ am 3, 497, 17; ʾpṭḥšʾ AS 3, 259, 1; ʾpṭkšʾ Cat MB 92b 21; pṭkšwtʾ am 3, 497, 4 ◆ LS 564a; Lagarde GA 187; AS 29
The MP, Parth. title bidaxš is problematic as regards both the etymon and the semantics. As far as the etymon is concerned, there seems now to be a general acceptance of the hypothesis that the form derives from OIr. *dwitĭya-xšaya-, Parth. *bitĭya-xšăya- (with Parth. b- < OIr. dw-), lit. the second (after the) king (cf. Khurshudian 1998, 21–24; Szemérenyi 1975, 362 ff.; Hinz 1969a, 433 and 1969b, 149–153). A much more problematic question is the historical meaning of this title and its functions in the central and local administration. Some scholars have argued that it was a kind of second king (a diarchy), and that this institution was attested already in the Achaemenid period (cf. Szemérenyi 1975, 365 f.; Benveniste 1966, 64 f.), but the presence of such an institution, not only in the Achaemenid era but also later, seems very difficult to prove (Khurshudian 1998, 24 ff.). Even if the lists of dignitaries contained in the Sasanian inscriptions (NPi, KZ) do not offer evidence for determining exactly the function of the bidaxš, it seems that the term designated, in the Arsacidic period, a governor, a plenipotentiary representative of the king of kings in the great districts of the kingdom. Skjærvø (cf. Humbach – Skjærvø 1978–1983, 3/1, 90) translates the forms Parth. bythš, MP bthšy in NPi as "Grand Vizier". For the semantic value of the term in the Syriac texts see Gignoux 1982, 264; in am 2, 487 it is said that Mār Qardag was named by āhbuhr II marzbān of Adiabene and bidaxš of Asurestan (plenipotentiary representative of the king of kings); in Zacharias Rhetor 9, 6 it is said that during the reign of Kawad II, in the region of Arzanene, the Eptaḥšā had the function of the Eparch, and the author speaks about his function of collecting the revenues (Khurshudian 1998, 46). See also Christensen 1944, 11 n. 3; 115; Altheim – Stiehl 1963, 83 ff.; Huyse 1999/2, 132 n. 220 (with bibl.).