Cyrus the Great, a sophisticated king who loved and respected his people
Cyrus the great also Cyrus II of Persia was the founder and the first king of Achaemenid Empire which was the first Persian Empire. Undoubtedly, his kingdom was one of the most powerful and one of the greatest Kingdoms in history. He conquered most of Western Asia as well as central Asia. From the West he controlled some parts of Balkans. Consequently, earning numerous titles as king of Babylon, king of Anshan, king of Media, king of Persia and king of the four corners of the world. He also had high regards for all religions and traditions of the people he controlled which made him well known for his admirable way of monarchy.
Cyrus the great is well known as the king who established human rights and to his people, he was more than a mere king. He treated his people fairly and was inspirational for many others, kings and people alike. Even now many people admire him not only as a monarch but also as a noble man. He introduced himself as “son of Cambyses I, the great king of Anshan, grandson of Teispes, from the family who were always kings”
Cyrus the great, More than a king
According to the old Greek sources, Cyrus is the child of Cambyses I and Moudane of Media which a story accepted by a number of historians. There are no substantiated facts regarding his childhood, however; there is a story written by Herodotus (Greek historian) in this regard which looks more of a legend.
He was the grandson of Astyage “the last king of Median Empire”. He dreamed about his grandson who would defeat him, so he ordered to kill the baby. But the man who was supposed to kill the baby did not do it, and instead raised him as his son. He grew old and after years invaded Median lands. His grandfather, who had found this fact that Cyrus is his grandson, fought him. But Cyrus conquered Median lands and called himself as “king of Media”.
He was kind towards his people and his grandfather. Cyrus banished his grandfather and kept the area in peace. He raided Lydia and Minor Asia and expanded his kingdom by attacking Babylon. Upon entering Babylon, people accepted him warmly as new king.
He released Jewish people from prison who named Cyrus as “soul of God”. During the last years of his life he made an arrangement to attack Egypt, but he was killed by Massagetae’s soldiers during the invasion.
His son Cambyses II conquered the Egypt and like his father kept the area in peace. His body was buried in “Pasargadae” where was a big garden with beautiful rivers. At first people worshipped it as the shrine of Solomon’s mother. UNESCO recognized the shrine as World Heritage Sites in 2004.
Legacy of Cyrus Cylinder
Among his legacies he left, “Cyrus Cylinder” is the greatest remaining. This legacy is an old clay cylinder on which a declaration belonging to Cyrus is written. It was discovered in the ruins of Babylon (Iraq) in 1879. Description is about the battle which Cyrus started to conquer the Babylon. Then Cyrus announced his titles and said he would maintain peace in the area.
This cylinder which now is kept in a British museum is known as the first bill of rights. The United Nations released the description in 6 official languages. A symbol of this cylinder is placed in New York in the United Nation Headquarters which shows the importance of this legacy.
Cyrus the great founded the greatest kingdom in the history. He was the pioneer in human rights, politics and arts of battle. Many Persians referred to him as “Father”. There are stories which introduce Cyrus as the prophet or son of God. Whoever he was, Cyrus was one of the greatest men in the world, who was more than a king to his people.
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