Cyrus II of Persia (c. 600-529 BC), frequently known as Cyrus the Excellent, was a single of the greatest kings of Persia. He was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, also recognized as the Persian Empire (c. 550-330 BC), which was the greatest empire known in the world up to that time.
He gathered beneath his banner all the tribes of Persia and then marched against and defeated their overlord, the Medes (549).
Now major a nation that united the Medes and the Persians, Cyrus began attacking and defeating neighboring powers such as Lydia (c. 546).
He then defeated the Babylonian Empire (539) and its vassal states, like Syria and Palestine.
Either before or just after his campaign against the Babylonian Empire, he led an expedition which led to battles that, according to the ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, brought “into subjection just about every nation without exception”.
At its height the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great extended from the Indus appropriate by way of to Egypt and the Mediterranean.
Cyrus was a statesman and a humane a single. He treated the peoples he defeated with humanity and respect. He allowed them to practice their conventional religions and cultures. He permitted them to join the Persian army and administration.
He permitted enslaved nations, such as the Jews, who had been carried into captivity in Babylon, to return to their native nations and practice their personal religions there. On account of these magnaminous acts, the Old Testament referred to as Cyrus the “Shepherd” and the “Annointed of Jehovah”.
The Persians themselves recalled his virtue and known as him “Father” the Babylonians referred to as him the “Liberator” and the Greeks named him the “Lawgiver”.
In 1878 a remarkable archeological discovery was made in Babylon: the cylinder of Cyrus. Inscribed in Akkadian cuneiform writing, the cylinder provides a detailed description of Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon (539) and of his humane remedy of the inhabitants of that city. The cylinder has been acclaimed as the world’s 1st declaration of human rights.
آرامگاه کوروش describes how Cyrus set up a state of peace and abolished forced labor: “The persons of Babylon (…) the shameful yoke was removed from them.” It also refers by name to the Jews who had been brought as slaves to Babylon and had been permitted to their homeland.
Cyrus died though fighting the Massgetae in central Asia. He was succeeded by his son.
The ancient Greek historian, Xenophon (c. 428 – c. 354 BC), later wrote a didactic book, the Cyropaedia (or The Education of Cyrus), about Cyrus the Good, depicting him as a model ruler.