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5 facts about Cyrus the Great in history

Image like Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great was the first king of Achaemenid Empire.

His greatness is that he united all the ancient Orient (Middle East) countries except for ancient Egypt and established a great empire.

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Cyrus is the founder of Iran!

Like this, modern Iranians praise him.

What were his achievements?

Who is Cyrus the Great?

When Cyrus was born, Achaemenid Empire was only a small kingdom that followed the Kingdom of Media.

The Kingdom of Media was a major power along with Egypt and Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Cyrus ascended the throne as the seventh king of the Persian kingdom.

Revolt against the Kingdom of Media

Cyrus the Great rebelled against the great kingdom of Media.

At that time, he succeeded in destroying Media, partly due to the treachery of Harpagos, a general of Media.

It is said that the Achaemenid Empire as a unified dynasty began at this time.

This betrayal by General Harpagos actually had a very bad episode!

The sinister baby Cyrus

The media king had an ominous dream on one occasion.

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Was it that baby, Cyrus? I think that boy is going to be dangerous in the future. So, Harpagos, go and kill that baby.

Halpagos, who was under King Media at the time, is ordered to do this.

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The king says so, but will he change his mind and punish me later for killing the baby, the king's grandson?

Harpagos fears it.

Instead, he entrusted Cyrus to be killed by a cowherd who was the king's retainer.

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I must kill such the baby.... How cruel. My own child was stillborn...

And instead of pitying him, he raised Cyrus in secret.

Revenge of the Media King

But soon this became known to the King of Media.

And Harpagos told the truth.

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So that's what happened. By the way, Harpagos. You had a son, did you not? Bring your son to the palace.

The king was not angry and ordered Harpagos to send his 13-year-old son.

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I understand, Your Majesty.

And Harpagos sent his son to the king.

However, the son was killed and cooked.

Next, the king invites Harpagos to a banquet.

Without revealing the ingredients, he fed them to Harpagos.

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How did it taste, Harpagos? I hope you enjoyed the food.

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It was delicious, Your Majesty.

Halpagos replied so.

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I see.

The king said so, showing the rest of the body to Harpagos.

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Did you understand what kind of meat you just ate?

The king showed Harpagos the remains of the dead body.

At this time, Harpagos was not surprised at it at all.

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I understand what kind of meat it is. I am satisfied with whatever the king does.

He replied so and brought back the rest of the body.

Revenge of the Harpagos

The king eventually forgot about it, but Harpagos' heart was filled with hatred for the king.

Harpagos continued to serve the king faithfully, but behind the scenes he connected with Cyrus II, who encouraged him to do below.

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Cyrus, why don't you revolt against the media?

Cyrus the Great actually revolted against Media.

At that time, the king of Media appointed Harpagos as the commander-in-chief of the army to defeat Cyrus.

However, Harpagos naturally betrayed Media and let Cyrus win.

Finally, the kingdom of Media was destroyed.

Halpagos came to the defeated and captured king.

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How is it, Your Majesty? How do you feel about becoming a slave? Compared to the cruel deeds you've done, I still think slaves are better.

Harpagus, who came to the defeated and captured king, said so.

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Damn you, harpagos! You have betrayed me from the very beginning! You are the only one I will not forgive...!

The king accused Harpagos of deeds.

Conquest of the Kingdom of Lydia

Cyrus the Great also attacked the Kingdom of Lydia with 10,000 men, the elite troops of Achaemenid Empire.

Although there are few sources on the Lydian kingdom, there is a famous episode that is almost like a mythological tale.

If you are interested, please also read about the "Ring of Gyges" story here.

Cyrus the Great fought twice against the Kingdom of Lydia, defeating Croesus, the King of Lydia, in the second battle.

He finally conquered the Kingdom of Lydia.

According to Herodotus

Mesopotamian (Babylonian) king image

Of course, Croesus is burned at the stake. Kill him!

At that time Cyrus the Great attempted to have Croesus executed.

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Apollo (God in Greek mythology), please help me ...!!!

As Croesus wished for this, suddenly it began to rain, and to his surprise, the fire was extinguished.

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This guy might be useful!

Cyrus the Great saved the life of Croesus and had him serve as his advisor.

Cyrus the Great further subjugated Anatolia, the Asian part of present-day Turkey.

Conquest of Neo-Babylonian Empire

Cyrus the Great also defeated Neo-Babylonian Empire, one of the great powers of the time.

In the Babylonian city of Babylon, there were Jews and other peoples who were in Babylonian Captivity.

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What is the Babylonian Captivity?

If you are wondering so,

Please also read this article.

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You who have been forcibly relocated, from now on you are free!

Cyrus the Great freed the peoples of the Babylonian captivity.

This behavior is handed down as an ideal emperor for posterity.

In the Old Testament "Book of Isaiah", he is called the Messiah (Savior) because he freed the Jews and sent them home.

He also rebuilt the Temple of Jerusalem, which had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar II of Neo-Babylonian Empire.

However, this rebuilding took time.

And Cyrus the Great passed away before it was completed.

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Cyrus freed us and rebuilt the Jerusalem Temple. He also gave us freedom in our religion after that. We will never forget this debt of gratitude.

The Jews did not revolt even once during the reign of Achaemenes.

After Cyrus the Great

According to Herodotus, Cyrus the Great was killed in battle.

His successor, Cambyses II, had already been ordered to rule Babylon.

Therefore, the transition of power took place without delay.

Cambyses II conquered the remaining great power, Egypt, and established a unified empire in the ancient Orient.

To learn more about Cambyses II,

Please read this article.

If you want to know more about Cyrus the Great's Achaemenid Empire,

Please also read this summary article.

There are many more histories of Mesopotamian civilization.

If you would like to know more about the history of Mesopotamian civilization,

Please also read this article.