Cyrus the Great

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Young Cyrus the Great (center) with his General Harpagus behind him, as he receives the submission of Astyages (18th century tapestry)

Cyrus the Great (born c. 590-580 BC, died c. 529 BC), also known as Cyrus II, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the First Persian Empire. In the Bible, he is the fantastical liberator of Jews from the Babylonian captivity.


Cyrus the Great (c. 600 BC or 576 - August 530 BC or 529 BC), also known as Cyrus II of Persia and Cyrus the Elder,[1] was a Persian Shāhanshāh (Emperor). He was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. The empire expanded under his rule, eventually conquering most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia, from Egypt and the Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east.[2]

During his twenty nine to thirty year reign, Cyrus fought and conquered some of the greatest states of his time, including the Median Empire, the Lydian Empire, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, as he himself died in battle, fighting the Scythians along the Syr Darya in August 530 BC or 529 BC. He was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to conquer Egypt during his short rule.

External links



  1. Xenophon, Anabasis I. IX; see also M.A. Dandamaev "Cyrus II", in Encyclopaedia Iranica.
  2. Kuhrt, Amélie [1995]. "13", The Ancient Near East: C. 3000-330 BC. Routledge, pp. 647. ISBN 0-4151-6762-0.