Cyrus The Great – Biography and Legend

Cyrus The Great – Biography and Legend

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Short biography of Cyrus The Great

Name:  Cyrus The Great or Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II)

Life:  circa 590 – 580 BC e. – December 4, 530 BC e.

Country: Persian  Empire – Achaemenid

Field of activity:  politics, war Greatest achievement:  Creating the great Achaemenid empire

Cyrus The Great’s Life Story, in English

The Birth of Cyrus the Great. 

The meaning of the name Cyrus

Cyrus the Great was a Persian king who founded the Empire History and Biography of Cyrus the Great or Cyrus the Great which stretched across the Middle East from the Aegean Sea to the Indus River. His name is mentioned in a legend written by Xenophon, an ancient Greek writer. In this legend, Cyrus is shown as a just and ideal ruler. The ancient Persians considered him the father of the people. He is also mentioned in the Bible. Cyrus freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity . He was born around 590-580 BC, possibly in Persia. Cyrus the Great’s father was Cambyses I.

The meaning of his name is still a mystery. Perhaps this name was given to him at birth, or appeared when he sat on the throne. It may have a special meaning. Some scholars believe that Cyrus was the ruler’s middle name. There is a version that it belonged to the ruling Persian dynasty Parsumash. He founded a new ruling dynasty – the Akhmenskaya.

After the Akhmen Empire, Cyrus’ name is no longer found in Iranian History documents. Therefore, historians believe that it carries a special meaning. Maybe his name is associated with the sun. But before him in Persia there was at least one more ruler named Cyrus. This is confirmed by an ancient text written in cuneiform in Akkadian. This language existed in ancient Mesopotamia even before the birth of Christ. It is said that the Great King of Anshan, grandson of Cyrus, son of Cambyses and descendant of the ruling family. This confirms that Cyrus is a representative of the ruling dynasty.

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The Legend of Cyrus The Great

The Legend of Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great – Cyrus The Great

The ancient Greek scholar Herodotus wrote about him. Xenophon, however, idealized him greatly. In his works, he is more of a literary hero than a historical figure . But even other sources confirm that Cyrus respected and cared for his people. He also took care of other people: Persians, Greeks and others. Herodotus claims that the Persians respectfully called him their father.

They do not like rulers who follow them. There are many hoaxes in the story of Cyrus’ childhood in the works of Herodotus and Xenophon. All of their works are based on folk beliefs and human qualities of the founder of the dynasty. There are similar stories about other Iranian rulers, then. One legend tells how Astyages, king of the Medes, married his daughter to the Persian prince Cambyses. This goes back to the days when Persia was under the Medes. As a result of this marriage, Cyrus was born.

Herodotus’ writings about Cyrus the Great

The ancient Greek scholar Herodotus wrote about him. Xenophon, however, idealized him greatly. In his works, he is more of a literary hero than a historical figure . But even other sources confirm that Cyrus respected and cared for his people. He also took care of other people: Persians, Greeks and others. Herodotus claims that the Persians respectfully called him their father.

They do not like rulers who follow them. There are many hoaxes in the story of Cyrus’ childhood in the works of Herodotus and Xenophon. All of their works are based on folk beliefs and human qualities of the founder of the dynasty. There are similar stories about other Iranian rulers, then. One legend tells how Astyages, king of the Medes, married his daughter to the Persian prince Cambyses. This goes back to the days when Persia was under the Medes. As a result of this marriage, Cyrus was born.

The great Cyrus Overthrows the Rule of the Kings

Having seized power over Media, Cyrus first began to gather under his leadership the scattered tribes of Iran. Then he began to spread his power further west. Hearing about the overthrow of the Median king Astyages, the Lydia king Croesus also decided to expand his borders, tidying up Media for himself. Young Cyrus did not tolerate this. He and his army marched against Croesus.

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The capital of Lydia was captured in 547 – 546 BC. Several historical sources claim that Croesus was killed or burned. According to other sources, Cyrus took him as a prisoner, with whom he is in good condition. After the victory over Croesus, the entire Aegean coast fell under Persian rule. He managed to conquer one city after another.

Conquest of the Babylonian Empire by Cyrus The Great

Cyrus’ next conquest was Babylon. At that time, Nabonidus ruled over him. The people are not happy with his government. Therefore, they quickly surrendered to Cyrus’ army. Even the main Babylonian god , Marduk, did not help Nabonidus. God turned away from Nabonidus. In October 539, Babylon was ceded to the Persians. This is written in the Bible. Cyrus became the liberator of the Jews from Babylonian slavery . Cyrus allowed them to return to their home. He also respects representatives of other countries. He always tried to reconcile them with each other. Cyrus supported local customs and made sacrifices to local gods.

Cyrus’ conquest of Syria and Palestine

Cyrus did not stop at this conquest. He also conquered Syria and Palestine, which had previously been under Babylonian rule. Cilicia became his ally in the conquest. When Cyrus and his Amia fought against Croesus, Cilicia sided with him. Thus Cilicia maintained a special status in Cyrus’ empire. The great conquerors, with the help of military might and diplomatic negotiations, founded a great empire, the largest of those years. There are several capital cities in it. One of the capitals is the city of Ecbatana (Hamadan). It was previously the capital of Media. Another capital city is Pasargadae. He is in Persia. In it, Cyrus defeats Astyages.

The ruins of this ancient city are very popular with modern tourists. The winter capital of the empire was the city of Babylon. Cyrus took over many of the conquered people. He was able to reconcile the Media. Having created a kind of dual empire, he gathered Media and Persia. Previously, the Medes ruled the empire, while the Persians remained their vassals. Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenian kings. This has been going on since the days of Darius. But Cyrus learned a lot from the Persians, and the Persians adopted Media culture. Many similarities have become in the elements of clothing of the two nations. Cyrus introduced many innovations into government. He was a brilliant leader who not only created a great empire, but also shaped Achaemenian culture and civilization.

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Cyrus The Great’s Legacy

There is almost no information about Cyrus’ personal life. He had two sons: Cambyses and Smerdis. It is thought that when Cambyses became ruler, he executed Smerdis. Some historians claim that they came from different mothers and different nationalities. Smerdis, perhaps, was born to a Greek mother. Historians also claim that he had a daughter named Atossa. She became the wife of his brother Cambyses. Nothing is known about Cyrus’ other children, except for two more. But they don’t contribute to History .

After the conquest of Babylon, Cyrus again went to conquer the east to the Caspian Sea. He conquered the nomadic tribes. In one of the tribes, he took prisoner the son of the leader. The heir of the captive committed suicide. After that, his mother vows to take revenge on Kira for her son’s death. Obsessed with her thirst for revenge, the woman kills Cyrus. But this is just a legend. His conquest of Asia was confirmed by the existence of a city called Kyropolis.

The Empire of Cyrus the Great lasted for Two Centuries

The Achaemenian Empire continued to expand after the death of Cyrus the Great for two centuries. The memory of him remained in the Persian memory for centuries. Stories and legends about him are related to other stories about the heroes of the ancient world and to biblical legends. In a different version, the story of Cyrus is found among the ancient Greeks and Persians. Xenophon, an ancient Greek writer, chose him for his story as an example to follow. Cyrus has survived in the memories of generations of people as the great founder of the ancient empire. His example influenced the formation of Alexander the Great as a military leader. In Iran, the memory of the great ruler is still respected. In 1971, Iran celebrated 2500 years since the birth of the great king.


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