Darius the Great (Ancient World Leaders)


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Ascension to monarchy.

The last prominent Persian figure to bring attention to the tomb was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Shah of Iran the last official monarch of Persia, during his celebrations of 2, years of monarchy. Just as Alexander the Great before him, the Shah of Iran wanted to appeal to Cyrus's legacy to legitimize his own rule by extension.

British historian Charles Freeman suggests that "In scope and extent his achievements [Cyrus] ranked far above that of the Macedonian king, Alexander, who was to demolish the [Achaemenid] empire in the s but fail to provide any stable alternative. The achievements of Cyrus the Great throughout antiquity are reflected in the way he is remembered today.

Persian Empire - Achaemenid kings " Cyrus the Great, Xerxes"

His own nation, the Iranians, have regarded him as "The Father", the very title that had been used during the time of Cyrus himself, by the many nations that he conquered, as according to Xenophon: And those who were subject to him, he treated with esteem and regard, as if they were his own children, while his subjects themselves respected Cyrus as their "Father" What other man but 'Cyrus', after having overturned an empire, ever died with the title of "The Father" from the people whom he had brought under his power?

For it is plain fact that this is a name for one that bestows, rather than for one that takes away! The Babylonians regarded him as "The Liberator". The Book of Ezra narrates a story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus, in which Cyrus boastfully proclaims: Cyrus was distinguished equally as a statesman and as a soldier. Due in part to the political infrastructure he created, the Achaemenid Empire endured long after his death. The rise of Persia under Cyrus's rule had a profound impact on the course of world history.

Iranian philosophy , literature and religion all played dominant roles in world events for the next millennium. Despite the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century AD by the Islamic Caliphate , Persia continued to exercise enormous influence in the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age , and was particularly instrumental in the growth and expansion of Islam.

Many of the Iranian dynasties following the Achaemenid Empire and their kings saw themselves as the heirs to Cyrus the Great and have claimed to continue the line begun by Cyrus. Alexander the Great was himself infatuated with and admired Cyrus the Great, from an early age reading Xenophon's Cyropaedia , which described Cyrus's heroism in battle and governance and his abilities as a king and a legislator. Cyrus's legacy has been felt even as far away as Iceland [] and colonial America.

Many of the thinkers and rulers of Classical Antiquity as well as the Renaissance and Enlightenment era, [] and the forefathers of the United States of America sought inspiration from Cyrus the Great through works such as Cyropaedia. Thomas Jefferson , for example, owned two copies of Cyropaedia , one with parallel Greek and Latin translations on facing pages showing substantial Jefferson markings that signify the amount of influence the book has had on drafting the United States Declaration of Independence. According to Professor Richard Nelson Frye , Cyrus — whose abilities as conqueror and administrator Frye says are attested by the longevity and vigor of the Achaemenid Empire — held an almost mythic role among the Persian people "similar to that of Romulus and Remus in Rome or Moses for the Israelites", with a story that "follows in many details the stories of hero and conquerors from elsewhere in the ancient world".

His personality as seen by the Greeks influenced them and Alexander the Great, and, as the tradition was transmitted by the Romans, may be considered to influence our thinking even now. On another account, Professor Patrick Hunt states, "If you are looking at the greatest personages in History who have affected the World, 'Cyrus the Great' is one of the few who deserves that epithet, the one who deserves to be called 'the Great'.

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The empire over which Cyrus ruled was the largest the Ancient World had ever seen and may be to this day the largest empire ever. Though it is generally believed that Zarathushtra 's teachings maintained influence on Cyrus's acts and policies, so far no clear evidence has been found to indicate that Cyrus practiced a specific religion. Pierre Briant wrote that given the poor information we have, "it seems quite reckless to try to reconstruct what the religion of Cyrus might have been. The policies of Cyrus with respect to treatment of minority religions are well documented in Babylonian texts as well as Jewish sources and the historians accounts.

Cyrus had a general policy of religious tolerance throughout his vast empire. Whether this was a new policy or the continuation of policies followed by the Babylonians and Assyrians as Lester Grabbe maintains [] is disputed. He brought peace to the Babylonians and is said to have kept his army away from the temples and restored the statues of the Babylonian gods to their sanctuaries. The Jewish Bible's Ketuvim ends in Second Chronicles with the decree of Cyrus, which returned the exiles to the Promised Land from Babylon along with a commission to rebuild the temple.

Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia: This edict is also fully reproduced in the Book of Ezra. In the first year of King Cyrus, Cyrus the king issued a decree: And let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. Also let the gold and silver utensils of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be returned and brought to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; and you shall put them in the house of God.

The Jews honored him as a dignified and righteous king. In one Biblical passage, Isaiah refers to him as Messiah lit. I will make all his ways straight.

Cyrus the Great

He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says God Almighty. These particular passages Isaiah 40—55, often referred to as Deutero-Isaiah are believed by most modern critical scholars to have been added by another author toward the end of the Babylonian exile ca. Josephus , the first-century Jewish historian, relates the traditional view of the Jews regarding the prediction of Cyrus in Isaiah in his Antiquities of the Jews , book 11, chapter 1: In the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which was the seventieth from the day that our people were removed out of their own land into Babylon, God commiserated the captivity and calamity of these poor people, according as he had foretold to them by Jeremiah the prophet, before the destruction of the city, that after they had served Nebuchadnezzar and his posterity, and after they had undergone that servitude seventy years, he would restore them again to the land of their fathers, and they should build their temple, and enjoy their ancient prosperity.

And these things God did afford them; for he stirred up the mind of Cyrus, and made him write this throughout all Asia: Since God Almighty hath appointed me to be king of the habitable earth, I believe that he is that God which the nation of the Israelites worship; for indeed he foretold my name by the prophets, and that I should build him a house at Jerusalem, in the country of Judea.

Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the Divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was so written; so he called for the most eminent Jews that were in Babylon, and said to them, that he gave them leave to go back to their own country, and to rebuild their city Jerusalem, and the temple of God, for that he would be their assistant, and that he would write to the rulers and governors that were in the neighborhood of their country of Judea, that they should contribute to them gold and silver for the building of the temple, and besides that, beasts for their sacrifices.

Fortification of the empire.

Cyrus was praised in the Tanakh Isaiah However, there was Jewish criticism of him after he was lied to by the Cuthites , who wanted to halt the building of the Second Temple. The historical nature of this decree has been challenged. Professor Lester L Grabbe argues that there was no decree but that there was a policy that allowed exiles to return to their homelands and rebuild their temples. He also argues that the archaeology suggests that the return was a "trickle", taking place over perhaps decades, resulting in a maximum population of perhaps 30, Davies called the authenticity of the decree "dubious", citing Grabbe and adding that J.

Briend argued against "the authenticity of Ezra 1. Briend, in a paper given at the Institut Catholique de Paris on 15 December , who denies that it resembles the form of an official document but reflects rather biblical prophetic idiom. He also wrote that "appeals to Marduk in the cylinder and to Yahweh in the biblical decree demonstrate the Persian tendency to co-opt local religious and political traditions in the interest of imperial control.

Some contemporary Muslim scholars have suggested that the Qur'anic figure of Dhul-Qarnayn is a mythological representation of Cyrus the Great. Cyrus founded the empire as a multi- state empire governed by four capital states; Pasargadae , Babylon , Susa and Ecbatana. He allowed a certain amount of regional autonomy in each state, in the form of a satrapy system. A satrapy was an administrative unit, usually organized on a geographical basis. A ' satrap ' governor was the vassal king, who administered the region, a 'general' supervised military recruitment and ensured order, and a 'state secretary' kept the official records.

The general and the state secretary reported directly to the satrap as well as the central government. During his reign, Cyrus maintained control over a vast region of conquered kingdoms, achieved through retaining and expanding the satrapies. Further organization of newly conquered territories into provinces ruled by satraps, was continued by Cyrus's successor Darius the Great.

Cyrus's empire was based on tribute and conscripts from the many parts of his realm. Through his military savvy, Cyrus created an organized army including the Immortals unit, consisting of 10, highly trained soldiers.

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Cyrus's conquests began a new era in the age of empire building, where a vast superstate , comprising many dozens of countries, races, religions, and languages, were ruled under a single administration headed by a central government. This system lasted for centuries, and was retained both by the invading Seleucid dynasty during their control of Persia, and later Iranian dynasties including the Parthians and Sasanians.

I am an Iranian, a descendant of Cyrus the Great. This emperor proclaimed at the pinnacle of power 2, years ago that he "would not reign over the people if they did not wish it". He promised not to force any person to change his religion and faith and guaranteed freedom for all. The Charter of Cyrus the Great should be studied in the history of human rights. Cyrus has been known for his innovations in building projects; he further developed the technologies that he found in the conquered cultures and applied them in building the palaces of Pasargadae.

He was also famous for his love of gardens ; the recent excavations in his capital city has revealed the existence of the Pasargadae Persian Garden and a network of irrigation canals. Pasargadae was a place for two magnificent palaces surrounded by a majestic royal park and vast formal gardens; among them was the four-quartered wall gardens of " Paradisia " with over meters of channels made out of carved limestone , designed to fill small basins at every 16 meters and water various types of wild and domestic flora.

The design and concept of Paradisia were exceptional and have been used as a model for many ancient and modern parks, ever since. The English physician and philosopher Sir Thomas Browne penned a discourse entitled The Garden of Cyrus in in which Cyrus is depicted as an archetypal "wise ruler" — while the Protectorate of Cromwell ruled Britain.

So nobly beautifying the hanging Gardens of Babylon, that he was also thought to be the author thereof. One of the few surviving sources of information that can be dated directly to Cyrus's time is the Cyrus Cylinder Persian: It had been placed in the foundations of the Esagila the temple of Marduk in Babylon as a foundation deposit following the Persian conquest in BC. It was discovered in and is kept today in the British Museum in London.

The text of the cylinder denounces the deposed Babylonian king Nabonidus as impious and portrays Cyrus as pleasing to the chief god Marduk. It describes how Cyrus had improved the lives of the citizens of Babylonia, repatriated displaced peoples and restored temples and cult sanctuaries.

Darius I, King of Persia

In the s the Shah of Iran adopted the Cyrus cylinder as a political symbol, using it "as a central image in his celebration of years of Iranian monarchy. The United Nations has declared the relic to be an "ancient declaration of human rights" since , approved by then Secretary General Sithu U Thant , after he "was given a replica by the sister of the Shah of Iran ". Neil MacGregor , Director of the British Museum, has stated that the cylinder was "the first attempt we know about running a society, a state with different nationalities and faiths — a new kind of statecraft.


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on the. Pishdadian dynasty Kayanian dynasty. Safavid dynasty — Hotak dynasty — Afsharid dynasty — Talysh Khanate — Zand dynasty — Qajar dynasty — Pahlavi dynasty — Interim Government Islamic Republic —present. Campaigns of Cyrus the Great. Achaemenes , Achaemenid family tree , and Teispids. Cyrus family tree [].

Ruler of Persia [i]. Prince imposter Gaumata ruled as Smerdis [i]. The Cambridge history of Iran: The Median and Achaemenian periods, Volume 2. Cyrus II The Great". IX; see also M. The Ancient Near East: The Palace of Darius at Susa: Retrieved 11 March The quote is from the Greek historian Herodotus. Empires of the Silk Road: Dubberstein, Babylonian Chronology B. Cyrus the Great Cyrus's religious policies. Buchaman Gray and D. IV , 2nd edition, published by The University Press, The administration of the empire through satrap, and much more belonging to the form or spirit of the government, was the work of Cyrus From Josiah to Cyrus".

Retrieved January 26, Birth of the Persian Empire.

Darius the Great by J. Poolos

A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period. A Study in Cultural Receptivity. Law, Policy, and Practice , pp. Cambridge University Press, Retrieved 21 September The History of Iran. Documents from the British Museum. In Chavelas, Mark W. Historical Sources in Translation. Retrieved 8 February The clan and dynasty. Cyrus Cylinder Fragment A. Naming the grandson after the grandfather was a common practice among Iranians. Waters, "Cyrus and the Achaemenids", Iran 42, Achemenet.

Italian humanists on government and society. Manchester University Press ND. From Cyrus to Alexander. Retrieved 01 September Australian National University Press, p. Sparda by the bitter sea: Sahbazi, "Arsama", in Encyclopaedia Iranica. Translated by George Rawlinson. Fifth and last king of the Mermnad dynasty. From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire. Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander , pp. The Empire of the Steppes. The historian's craft in the age of Herodotus. Oxford University Press US. Sancisi-Weerdenburg " Cyropaedia ", in Encyclopaedia Iranica , on the reliability of Xenophon's account.

Retrieved December 26, Lucius Flavius Arrianus , en. A compendium of classical literature: Persia past and present. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran. The Heritage of Persia. Yarshater, for example, rejects that Sassanids remembered Cyrus, whereas R. Frye do propose remembrance and line of continuity: Method and Theory , Leiden, , p. The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Persia: Republic and Empire in the Cyropaedia, Berkeley: Did they speak the same language? How a Persian monarch inspired Jefferson, https: Retrieved 18 August Media available for viewing online via history.

Judah and the Judeans in the Persian period. From old Revelation to new: History of the Jewish People: The Second Temple Era. From text to tradition: A History of the Persian Province of Judah v. John D Davies, ed. Words Remembered, Texts Renewed: Essays in Honour of John F. Continuum International Publishing Group. In Michael David Coogan ed. Oxford ; New York: Preview — Darius the Great by J. Darius the Great Ancient World Leaders really liked it 4. In ancient history, Darius I stands alone as an administrator with unparalleled insight into the workings of an empire.

Under his leadership, the Persian Empire grew to be the largest and most powerful diplomatic and economic force in the world. After he cleverly seized the throne and quelled a series of revolts, Darius undertook a radical reorganization of the different p In ancient history, Darius I stands alone as an administrator with unparalleled insight into the workings of an empire. After he cleverly seized the throne and quelled a series of revolts, Darius undertook a radical reorganization of the different peoples who inhabited the Iranian Plateau, instituting the practices of religious tolerance, widespread economic reform, and a fair system of law that would later be adopted by the generations that followed him in the Near East and Europe.

At the time of his death in BCE, he had transformed the entire Middle East into a dominion of progressive government. In "Darius the Great", read the story of his surprising ascendance to the throne, his clever diplomacy, and the military blunders that marked his ultimate place not as a conqueror, but as a governor of the people. Kindle Edition , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Darius the Great , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. I didn't know much about Darius other than his name really before reading this book. It was filled with useful and relevant information though did again contain errors word and punctuation.

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