The Day of Cyrus the Great

The Day of Cyrus the Great
ID : N-542 Date : 2017/10/29 - 14:51

“I am a Son of Persia, of Parsumash. I am Cyrus, Son of Mandane and Kambyses. I Cyrus of the Achaemenid ordered that my people shall not grieve. Their grief of my people is my grief, and their happiness is my happiness.

Let each person live according to his own faith.

Revere women. Take care of the poor. That each person should be free to speak in the language of his ancestors.

I shall break all chains. We shall fight darkness and praise life. Let my land be heavenly. Many rivers run through it. We have foothills and plains as vast as the seas, secretive, lush and blessed. Cherish this heaven and flourish. My land is my mother. Welcome is the laughter of children; welcome are rivers flowing with water. Let my land be away from sorrow and grief.”

A selection of Cyrus the Great’s words in the Parsumash, Shushiana and Persia charters.

(Persia Digest) 29 October is the Day of Cyrus the Great, the first Achaemenid King. This day is celebrated not only in Iran, but also in all Persian speaking and neighboring countries of Iran. The memory of this great man, his just and humane ways, his charter of human rights, and his views on women and their equality is kept alive that justice may stay alive in the world.

On 29 October, Iranians visit the tomb of Cyrus in Shiraz and use it as a gathering place to commemorate him and keep his humane ways alive. This day is also celebrated in some neighboring countries of Iran, such as Tajikistan, to honor the Achaemenid King.

In 1971, the United Nations released the Cyrus cylinder in all the official languages of the world and keeps a replica at the UN headquarters in New York.

The Day of Cyrus – a bloodless battle

October 29 is not Cyrus’s birthday, but the day he entered Babylon and ended its captivity without bloodshed. History recounts: “In the month of Arahsamnu, on the 3rd day of the 8th month, Cyrus entered Babylon. He walked on roads lined with green leaves.”

Historians and historical documents indicate that Babylon was conquered without bloodshed by one of Cyrus’s commanders on the eve of their New year. Seventeen days after the fall of Babylon, on 29 October 539 BCE, Cyrus entered the city. His conquest here led to the establishment of a great Empire in central and western Asia. He liberated the Jews and resettled them in Jerusalem and ordered its temple open. He returned the gold and silver objects that Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had taken from Jerusalem.

Cyrus the Great opened the gates of Babylon on a day like this one and entered the city with great pomp and circumstance. The citizens of Babylon expected to face pillage, plunder, and death, only to be ruled over by a despot. But, Cyrus walked in peacefully and gave the orders of freedom and equality. The Cyrus Cylinder was carved after defeating Nabonidus and is a priceless document and witness to history.

Cyrus – the King of kings

Cyrus established the Achaemenid Dynasty and became its King of kings. He ruled over vast areas of Asia from 559-529 BCE. In his cylinder discovered in Babylon, he calls himself the son of Cambyses, the great King of Anshan, the grandson of Cyrus the great King of Anshan, and a descendant of Teispes and great king of Anshan and a descendant of kings.

Cyrus first revolted against the Mede kings and conquered their capital Ecbatana with the help of Mede soldiers inside the city. Next, he defeated Croesus, King of Lydia and marched on Sardinia and conquered it within a fortnight. In the spring of 539 BCE, Cyrus decided to conquer Babylon and entered the city without bloodshed. He was the founder of the great Persian Empire where all its citizens were equal and free to choose their own nationality and religion.

Cyrus the Great died nine years after he conquered Babylon and established the Empire. The only reliable sources that indirectly refer to the death of Cyrus are the two tablets found in Babylon. The first one dates back to August 530 BCE, the date on which indicates “The 9th year of Cyrus, the King of kings”.


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