Friday, July 04, 2003

Cyrus the Great ( Koroushe Bozorg)

Cyrus (Kourosh in Persian; Kouros in Greek), is regarded as one of the most outstanding figures in history. He was the hero who united Persians under the leadership of Achaemenes Empire. He was the desendant of a long line of Persian kings and should be reffered to as Cyrus II, having been named after his grandfather. Cyrus the Great is important in relations to 3 dianamic actions that he took in the history of man kind.
1. Establishing a large Empire stretching from the Mediterranean in the West to Eastern Iran, and from the Black Sea in the North to Arabia. In the space of less than 20 years he had assembled the greatest empire the world had ever seen. All he lacked was Egypt.
2. Responsible for the writing of the first Charter of Human Rights
3. Freeing the Jews to move to their homeland, Jerusalem>."I resettled upon the command of Marduk, the great lord, all the gods of Kiengir and Akkade whom Nabonidus had brought into Babilani to the anger of the lord of the gods, unharmed, in their former temples, the places which make them happy. [1]" (Cyrus)
According to the writings of Herodotus, ( a great Greek historian), the last ruler of Medes, Astyages (585-550 B.C) was defeated and captured by Cyrus in 549 B.C. The Persian king overthrew the Median Empire and seized Ekbatana, (Palace of Assembly), which became his capital. He spared the defeated ruler and decided not to ingage in the mass killings as it was the rutin of the Assyrian victories. On the contrary he brought nobles and civilian officials, both Median and Persian, into the government of his kingdom. In 546 B.C. he gain series of victories over the Lydian King, Croesus in which regards he captured Sardis and continued towards Babylon and Greece. From this point on Cyrus was master of all Asia Miner.
In the history Cyrus is labeled as a genius, diplomate, manager, and the leader of man, the first great propagandist and able strategist. He was indeed worthy of the title he earned "Great".
Cyrus was killed in 530 BC during a campaign in the North-Eastern part of his Empire. At his death the Achaemenian Empire was well established. He had worked out the administration of the Empire, appointing a governor, or Satrap, to represent him in each province. He imposed an annual tax in the form of a tribute on all the races he conquered, to which the Achaemenian power owed much of its wealth and magnificence.
Cyrus's tomb is now in a new capital of his decendents in Pasargadae in the Fars province. ( During my visit I was mostly dissapointed since I could hear the voice of mules while visiting the Tomb of this great man of history. You can look at the pictures I took while I was visiting Pasargadea).
Darius I, two ganerations after Cyrus the Great is the Achaemenian who created 23 provinces and built the administrative and religious cities of Susa and Persepolis.
A base relief of Cyrus was made in October 1994 by an Australian artist, Lewis Batros and is now displayed in the Sydney's Bicentennial Park. Also a couple of months ago it was decided that a British producer named, Alex Jovy is going to retell the story of Cyrus in a big and expensive Movie production, ( I could only hope that he depicts Cyrus's true identity and not some molded version of him). The promotion of this Movie was announced at the Cannes festival and it said to be on the same level as the Legendary Movie's such as Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
Visit this link for further information:

The Pasargadae is still referred to as the "Holly Place" and alot of people visit it often. The security however is not uptight. Just recently illegal diggers have broken a staircase in front of the tomb in hope of finding treasure. The staircase is now being reconstructed by the Iranian officials.

Legend of the Birth of Cyrus
Herodotus, the Greek historian of the mid-fourth century BC, best describes the legend of Cyrus and the myths surrounding his birth. According to him, Astyages the king of Medes, was the maternal grandfather of Cyrus. He dreams that his doughter Mandane is going to give birth to a son who is going to overthrow him and become the king himself, so he orders one of his servents with the name of Harpagus to kill the baby bore from his doughter. Despite the Kings order, Harpagus desides not to kill the baby and instead adopts him. Cyrus soon developes into an outstanding young boy, overshadowing his friends and showing royal qualities of leadership. These actions amuses everyone and he is taken to the court of the King and there they meet for the first time and Astyages realizes that he is Cyrus, his grandson. In punishing Harpagus, the king serves him the cooked remains of his real son's body at a royal dinner. Mad from the action taken by the king, Harpagus encourages Cyrus to seize his grandfather's throne in which case Cyrus succsseds. As you can see the eldest Persian Myth is a lot like the Greek myths, and the Genesis.For one thing, prophecy playes an important part in all these myths and the outcome is somewhat the same. For example, the myth of the birth of Zeus, the greatest God in the Greek methology follows the same pattern as the birth of Cyrus. The king(also a God), Cronos dreams that one of his own childerns is going to dystroy him. Consiquently, he swallowes all his children at the moment of birth. But his wife,Rhea goes to Crete and gives birth to a son named, Zeus in a cave. He grows up and comes back to claim his rights and gains the kingship himself by overthrowing his father. The same story plot happened in the Genesis in which Moses was the heroe. So as you see the Persian myth of Cyrus was the origin of all later myth plots even the most basic fabric of Christianity.
In the Charter, after introducing himself and mentioning the names of his father, first, second, and third ancestors, Cyrus says that he is the monarch of Iran, Babylon, and the four continents:

I am Kourosh (Cyrus), King of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Camboujiyah (Cambyases), great king, king of Anshân, grandson of Kourosh (Cyrus), great king, king of Anshân, descendant of Chaish-Pesh (Teispes), great king, king of Anshân, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingship they desire for their hearts, pleasure. When I well -disposed, entered Babylon, I set up a seat of domination in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk the great god, caused the big-hearted inhabitations of Babylon to .................. me, I sought daily to worship him.

Cyrus Cylinder, the first charter of human rights:

Pasargadae, the Tomb of Cyrus

Portrait of Herodotus