Throughout the history of Iran, few people can be named who have the greatness, bravery and courage of Cyrus the Great or Cyrus the Second, who with good deeds, good words, and good thoughts have been able to bring about a great revolution in the history of Iran and become famous in the world.
Cyrus II of Persia (c. 600–530 BCE; Old Persian: 𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁 Kūruš), commonly known as Cyrus the Great, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all of the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Western Asia and much of Central Asia. Spanning from the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, the empire created by Cyrus was the largest the world had yet seen. At its maximum extent under his successors, the Achaemenid Empire stretched from parts of the Balkans (Eastern Bulgaria–Paeonia and Thrace–Macedonia) and Southeast Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east.
According to some great historians and historians, Cyrus II was born about 500 years before Christ by the most noble Persian clan, whose mother was the daughter of the king of Medes and whose father was the king of Persia, in Persis, or old Iran.
Cyrus the Great, whom some people know as Cyrus II, united the people of Aryan descent with courage and masculinity and rebelled against the misbehaving and misbehaving kings of his time and defeated them. Also, at the age of 40, he was able to establish the Achaemenid government and become a king.
Cyrus was born to Cambyses I, King of Anshan, and Mandane, daughter of Astyages, King of Media, during the period of 600–599 BC.
By his own account, generally believed now to be accurate, Cyrus was preceded as king by his father Cambyses I, grandfather Cyrus I, and great-grandfather Teispes. Cyrus married Cassandane who was an Achaemenian and the daughter of Pharnaspes who bore him two sons, Cambyses II and Bardiya along with three daughters, Atossa, Artystone, and Roxane. Cyrus and Cassandane were known to love each other very much – Cassandane said that she found it more bitter to leave Cyrus than to depart her life. After her death, Cyrus insisted on public mourning throughout the kingdom. The Nabonidus Chronicle states that Babylonia mourned Cassandane for six days (identified as 21–26 March 538 BC). After his father’s death, Cyrus inherited the Persian throne at Pasargadae, which was a vassal of Astyages. The Greek historian Strabo has said that Cyrus was originally named Agradates by his step-parents. It is possible that, when reuniting with his original family, following the naming customs, Cyrus’s father, Cambyses I, named him Cyrus after his grandfather, who was Cyrus I. There is also an account by Strabo that claimed Agradates adopted the name Cyrus after the Cyrus river near Pasargadae.
Cyrus the Great’s behavior towards his people
Cyrus the Great was considered an example of a perfect man with special moral qualities in his time, who respected the temples the most; He helped to establish and develop places of worship and refrained from any discrimination of religions such as Judaism, and therefore the Jews called him the Jewish Shepherd. But he never allowed anyone to take advantage of his behavior. He considered ethics and behavior to be the strongest means to advance power and empire, and he was most careful about his behavior and human ethics.
Herodotus says about Cyrus:
Cyrus the Great is considered to be the most generous, brave and honorable young man in Pars, as he was never deceived by the rich life of the world and considered the value of his life to be honor and wisdom.
The reign of Cyrus lasted about thirty years; his empire took root with his conquest of the Median Empire followed by the Lydian Empire and eventually the Neo-Babylonian Empire. He also led an expedition into Central Asia, which resulted in major campaigns that were described as having brought “into subjection every nation without exception”. Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, and was alleged to have died in battle while fighting the Massagetae, an ancient Eastern Iranian nomadic tribal confederation, along the SyrDarya in December 530 BC. However, Xenophon claimed that Cyrus did not die in battle and returned to the Achaemenid ceremonial capital of Persepolis again. He was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to conquer Egypt, Nubia and Cyrenaica during his short rule.
Inscription of Cyrus the Great
The only visible document left of Cyrus is a clay cylinder written in Babylonian cuneiform, the first and original fragment of the inscription was found in 1879 during the excavation of Marduk’s temple and the second fragment was found in 1975 at Yale University. Two areas are located in the city of Babil; The lines written on the clay cylinder contain 45 lines. Today, this inscription is kept in the British Museum.
The hacked writings on the inscription describe the humanitarian behavior of Iranians with the people of the land of Babylon. In 1971, the United Nations printed and translated this clay cylinder and placed a copy of it in the Guardian Hall of New York City. It should also be noted that Cyrus’ clay charter is called the first humanitarian act in the world.
Biography of Cyrus the Great
The genealogy and origin of the son of an Iranian Parsi, Cyrus, comes from the father’s side to the Persians and from the mother’s side to the Medes. For many years, the Persians ruled over the north of Khorestan (Anshan), which was located in the southwest of Iran at that time.
Herodotus’ account of the biography of Cyrus II
At night, when Astyages (Cyrus’s grandfather) sees a dream in which Mandana (Cyrus’s mother) is filled with flowing water, which is so big that it covers all of Asia. When Astyages explained his dream to the messengers, their interpretation was that Mandana would conquer all of Asia, and then Astyages decided to give his daughter to Kambojie, the king of northern Khuzestan. In the same year, Astyages again sees a dream in which a child came out of Mandana’s body, who will rule all of Asia.
When Astyages learned of his daughter’s pregnancy, he decided to give his daughter’s child to Harpagus to kill the child. Harpag gave the child of Mandana (Cyrus) to one of the king’s shepherds named Harpadat and asked him to leave the child in the forest or in the mountains. When Harpadat’s wife found out about it, she prevented her husband from doing the work and suggested him to leave their dead child in the forest instead of Cyrus and save the life of Mandana’s child.
Years passed and Cyrus reached 10 years old; On one of the days, when Cyrus was playing with the children of the neighbors and the game was arranged in such a way that they had to choose a king to start and continue, it was the turn of Cyrus the Great to become the king. In the middle of the game, he decided to order the children to punish the child who did not follow the rules of the game. The father of that child went to Astyages (the king) and filed a complaint against Cyrus before the king, and his claim was that one of the servants and slaves of the court raised his hand against the children of the court; Astyages ordered to bring Cyrus to the court, but when he saw the face of Cyrus the Great, he was amazed by the resemblance he had with his family and doubted that this child might be his grandson.
The king decided to threaten Harpadat (the shepherd) with torture to tell the truth, the shepherd was afraid of the king’s threats and revealed the truth; Then the king ordered that Harpagus be brought to him to find out whether he had killed his daughter’s child or not. Harpag spoke the truth in Harpadath’s presence, “I did not intend to be the murderer of your daughter’s child, and I carried out your order as if it had been done.” The king was very pleased with this and organized a party for this good news.
The king called Cyrus and a conversation took place between them and he said that “he was suspicious about him and it was not as they interpreted his dream; now you can go to Pars and have a meeting with your mother.” Thus, Cyrus decided to leave the king’s court and went to Cambodia to meet his family. Cyrus stayed with his family until he reached puberty, and at that age, Cyrus was known as one of the bravest and most attractive young Iranians.
After the years of Cyrus, he married the lady of Achaemenid Kasandan princess, and as a result of this marriage, two sons were named Kambojie and Berdia and three daughters were named Atusa, Artistone and Roxana.
The kingdom of Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great was able to raise the Iranians to high positions and defeat the Greeks, who were called a model king at that time. Also, the Babylonians, who are located in the south of Baghdad today, called him Marduk or Marduk. Common people such as Manai, Elam, Urartur, Lydia, Medes, etc. considered him to be the savior of the world and were very happy that Cyrus the Great had replaced the cruel and unjust kings.
Cyrus the Great was the symbol of masculinity, simplicity and valor among Aryans and Iranians throughout the Achaemenid period! Also, after the Achaemenid period and the killing of Cyrus, his respect and value remained and he was never insulted.
Cyrus is also recognized for his achievements in human rights, politics, and military strategy, as well as his influence on both Eastern and Western civilizations. The Achaemenid influence in the ancient world would eventually extend as far as Athens, where upper-class Athenians adopted aspects of the culture of the ruling class of Achaemenid Persia as their own. Having originated from Persis, roughly corresponding to the modern-day Fars Province of Iran, Cyrus has played a crucial role in defining the national identity of modern Iran. He remains a cult figure amongst modern Iranians, with his tomb serving as a spot of reverence for millions of people. In the 1970s, the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, identified Cyrus’ famous proclamation inscribed onto the Cyrus Cylinder as the oldest-known declaration of human rights, and the Cylinder has since been popularized as such. This view has been criticized by some Western historians as a misunderstanding of the Cylinder’s generic nature as a traditional statement that new monarchs make at the beginning of their reign.