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“I am Cyrus, king of the world. ” (From the Cylinder of Cyrus). In the world of great kings, great empires, and great wars lived the greatest warrior, conqueror, and king, Cyrus the great. Who is this Cyrus the Great and what made him so “great”? Cyrus the Great is a Persian king who defeated many groups, but perhaps the beginning is the best to start. Explaining his very amazing life includes his early life, his victories, and his death. Cyrus the Great was born like any other child, by his mother.
His mother, Princess Mandane of Media, was married to a royal Persian by the name of Cambyses.
She was the daughter of Astyages, the emperor of Media. Little Cyrus’s grandfather was really superstitious; it is easy to assume though that all kings should be superstitious. According to the ancient historians and writers such as Xenophon and Herodotus, Astyages saw, in a dream, that his grandson would overthrow him, taking over his power.
Astyages, with all his greed, ordered Cyrus to be killed by Harpagus, a trusted general of Astyages. Perchance, generals have hearts too. Cyrus was not killed that day; he was given to a farmer family.
Ten-year-old Cyrus was found out to be still alive. He was an extraordinary child thus he was allowed to live with his mother. Ironically, Cyrus did end up revolting against his grandfather. He did end up overthrowing the Median Empire. Rarely was there such thing as a guarantee back then especially when it comes down to prophecies.
Cyrus first conquered the Medians in 549 B. C. The battle was extreme. It probably was like a tom-cat fighting a big bulldog. The tom-cat, in this case, won. The Persians were that tom-cat. The Medians were that big bulldog.
It was a great first victory for Cyrus, on his way to be great. The Croesus of Lydia was annoyed and impatient. Lydia was really angered by Cyrus for conquered Media. Croesus had thought Cyrus was unsophisticated and inexperienced, and should be taught a lesson. The Lydians were ready to attack the city of Pteria. Cyrus was expectant of this attack. Cyrus aligned his armies that contained both Median and Persian warriors. There was a battle in the city, but no one won this time. Cyrus then made an offering to Croesus to surrender, but leaders never surrender.
There was huge Battle of Pteria. There were the Persians on camels and other pack animals and the Lydian army on horses. Funny to say, the Persians still won with only 30, 000 while the Lydian army lost with 100,00. Lydia was conquered in 546 B. C. Babylon was conquered in 539 B. C. Cyrus used his cunning strategies, like how he won the Battle of Pteria, on the Babylonians, fooling them greatly. Cyrus’s cylinder states more on his conquering of Babylon. It though also tells more of how Cyrus freed the Jews enslaved in Babylon.
The act probably received him more recognition than he intended. Cyrus also conquered many other groups across Asia until he died in 529 B. C. Cyrus died in August of 529 B. C. Cyrus the Great had many accomplishments in his past years including being the first king to be “great”. Cyrus died in battle when attacking the Massagetae, a tribe. Queen Tomyris of Massagetae hated him with such passion for killing her son. She ordered Cyrus’s body to have the head chopped off and be dipped in blood. (Revenge was really gruesome back then).
Luckily (or not), Cyrus’s son, Cambyses II, succeeded his father. His son attacked the tribe to retrieve the body to bury it. King Cyrus died a hero, leader, great fighter, and most of all a liberator. Cyrus brought order to all the people’s lives. Cyrus freed the Jewish slaves from Babylon. Cyrus even started the first postal system. Cyrus was a great leader who was admired by many historians, writers, and others such as Xenophon and Herodotus who studied him passionately. Xenophon once said that Cyrus was the ideal ruler.
Cyrus influenced them to study him thus we have some essential information about the past. Cyrus was admired greatly and referred to a lot of times in the Old Testament. He was fair to all and traveled farther than any other ancient ruler. Cyrus was the “founder of the greatest empire the world has ever seen”, and without him, the world would sure have a whole different meaning to the word, “Great”.
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