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Cyrus II the Great

( The creator of the great Achaemenid empire)

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Biography Cyrus II the Great
Cyrus II the Great (Greek. Cyrus, a Persian. Kurush; evr. Koresh; English. Cyrus the Great) was born about 593 g. BC. The son of Cambyses I of the Achaemenid clan, a clan leader in the Persian tribe, called by Pasargadae. In his appeal to the Babylonians, Cyrus called his ancestors, Teispa, Cyrus First and Cambyses I, "kings of Anshan". However, the biblical sources that Elam, one of the areas which had Anshan, under-Verga conquest in 596 g. BC. e. and it is possible that pasargadskaya dynasty Teispa captured Anshan in the same year. Anshan Pasargadskie kings were vassals of the Median Empire until the revolt of Cyrus, who (according to information of Herodotus, who claimed that the rule of Cyrus lasted 29 years), probably became king in 558 g. The revolt began in 553 g. and ended with the capture of the king of the Medes and the capture of Astyages Ektabana, the capital of the Median. Since that time, Cyrus began to call himself "king of the Persians."
On the origin, childhood and youth creator of the great Persian empire of Cyrus II, there were several contradictory evidence. History Kira soon overgrown with legends. Herodotus mentions four versions of its origin. Another Greek historian, Xenophon, also wrote that already in V. BC. about the life of Cyrus the Great was told differently. According to one version, Cyrus was the son of Mandana, daughter of King Astyages. He was taken to the mountains, nourished and brought up a shepherd dog. It should be noted that the legitimacy of the rule of Cyrus in Media reaffirmed his blood relationship to the Medes, which, besides Herodotus, and other historians mention (Justin, Eliane). According to the most common version, the father of Cyrus was the Persian king Cambyses I, a mother - Mandana, daughter of the Median king Astyages (Astyages), who then obeyed the Persians. According to Herodotus, once Astyages dream, interpreted by the priests, mages court in the sense that his grandson, Cyrus becomes king instead. Therefore Astyages summoned from Persia Mandane pregnant and after a while, when her son was born, decided to destroy him.
Cyrus II the Great on horseback
This task, he put on his dignitary Harpagos. In turn, handed the child Harpagos herdsman Mithradates, one of the slaves Astyages, and ordered to leave him in the mountains, where it was full of wild beasts. But when Mithridates brought the baby to his hut in the mountains, he learned that his wife had just given birth to a stillborn child. Parents decided to raise the king's son, who was named Cyrus, as her and the dead baby left in a secluded spot in the mountains, dressed in his sumptuous garments grandson Astyages. After this, Mithridates Harpagos reported that he had fulfilled his orders. Harpagos same, sending reliable people to view the corpse of the baby and bury it, convinced that this is true. Thus, the childhood of Cyrus was among the king's servants. When the boy was ten years old, he once while playing with children, was elected king. But the son of a distinguished Mede refused to obey him, and punished him by beating Cyrus. The father of the boy, Artembar, Astyages complained that his office strikes children tsarist officials. Cyrus was given for the punishment to Astyages, who immediately suspected that before him his grandson, as he saw it features a family resemblance. Indeed, interrogation under threat of torture Mithradates, Astyages learned the truth. Then he cruelly punished Harpagos: I invited him to lunch and secretly treated meat own son, peer Cyrus. Then Astyages again turned to magicians, asking whether he faces more danger from the grandson. They said that the dream has come true, since Cyrus was elected king while playing with children, and therefore more afraid of it should not be. Astyages then calmed down and sent the grandson to Persia to his parents.
Persian warriors
Later Harpagos rose under Cyrus and commanded the army, to bow to the peoples of Asia Minor coast Cyrus. A third version, Cyrus was the son of a beggar mardianskogo robber Atradata (Mardi were nomadic Persian tribe), who subsequently rose, entered the service of Astyages. Prediction of future greatness, the sayings of the Chaldeans, prompted Cyrus to escape to Persia and the beginning of the rebellion. According to Aeschylus, which combined information from the Hellenic East, Cyrus succeeded to the kingdom from certain unnamed son of the Median king Midas, and becoming the ruler, blessed the heavens, has conquered Lydia, Phrygia and Ionia.
. The further biography of Cyrus is known mainly from the "Histories" of Herodotus
. Some useful information can be found also in ancient historian Ctesias and in the books of the Old Testament. The original sources are few. In an appeal of a cylinder of Cyrus "to the Babylonians, retained only a few private Babylonian documents, which help keep the chronology of events in accordance with dating Ptolemaic canon.
In 558 g. BC. Cyrus the Great became king of the Persian sedentary tribes, among whom were dominant Pasargadae. Besides them into the union were also Maraphioi and IMTA. All of them were based on the Median king. Center of the then Persian state was located around the city Pasargadae, intensive construction which applies just to the initial period of government Kurush. (Those who have lived in the cities of Persia and the steppes of Kirti, Mardi, sagartii and some other nomadic tribes and sedentary tribes pocket panfialei derushi and were later conquered by Cyrus, apparently, after the war with Media.)
. The Greek historian Herodotus
. When Cyrus became king of Persia, the Middle East, there were four major powers: Media, Lydia, Babylonia and Egypt
. All of them in the future was destined to become part of Achaemenid power, which marked the beginning of the establishment in 553 g. BC. revolt against the Persians, Medes. According to Herodotus, the cause of war between the two kingdoms served as a distinguished Mede Harpagos conspiracy, which, as mentioned above, Astyages inflicted severe injury. He managed to win over many noble Medes, dissatisfied Astyages harsh rule, and then persuaded Cyrus to revolt.
In order to arouse the warlike spirit of the Persians, Cyrus, in the words of Herodotus, went to the trick. Once he told them to come with sickles and clear the thorn of a significant land. After the work was done, the king ordered to slaughter cattle and to submit an abundance of bread and wine to treat the Persians. Addressing the crowd at the feast, Cyrus asked whether they preferred grub from the hard work, or spend time in their feasts and merriment. As expected, the Persians chose the second. Then Cyrus was to persuade his subjects rebelled against the Medes and promised them that the uprising will give them all the easy life. The Persians eagerly responded to the call of their leader.
The outcome of the war was decided in three battles. In the first Astyages himself did not participate, and his commander Harpagos with most of the troops defected to the Persians.
The cylinder of Cyrus the Great issued an appeal "to the Babylonians"
Astyages then assembled a new army, and himself led him into battle. The second battle lasted two days and ended in complete victory of the Medes. The last battle took place already in Persia under the walls of Pasargadae. She, too, lasted two days. On the first day of the success was on the side of the Medes, but on the second day of the Persians, ashamed of their wives and mothers, began to fight vigorously. In the end, the army of Cyrus could win a complete victory and capture the camp of the Medes. Unable to find more support among his subjects, fled to Astyages Ecbatana, but was soon forced to surrender to Cyrus and to abdicate in his favor from the throne (in 550 g. BC). Median know, though, and maintained under the new dynasty of their privileges, ceded primacy Persian. Thus, Persia, until then little-known peripheral region of Asia, in the middle of VI. BC. appeared at the scene of world history, that the next two centuries, to play a leading role in it.
. Soon after the capture of the Medes, Cyrus, was attacked by a coalition of Babylon, Egypt and Lydia, supported also by Sparta, which had the greatest military power among the policyholders of Hellas
. Immediately after the victory over the Medes, in 549 g. BC, Cyrus conquered the whole of Elam, and made the main city of this country - Susa - its capital. The following year, were subjugated countries of the former Median Power: Parthia, Hyrcania and perhaps Armenia. Then came Lydia.
On this new war in some detail the story Herodotus.
The remnants of past grandeur of Persepolis
At that time, Lydia united under his rule all of Asia Minor. Her King Croesus was considered one of the richest and most powerful rulers of the East. Confident of his strength, he is 547 g. BC. invaded Cappadocia, formerly owned by Medes, and then acquired by the Persians. The bloody battle between the opponents came on the river Galis and ended without result. But Croesus thought best to retreat to his capital, Sardis, to carefully prepare for war. He intended soon to return to Cappadocia, but Cyrus gave him to gather his strength, and suddenly appeared with all his army to Sarda. Lydians did not expect such a hasty attack and learned about it only after, when the Persians came from their capitals. Croesus Cyrus led his army to meet, which consisted largely of cavalry armed with spears. In order to avoid its rapid attack, . Cyrus, . on the advice of his commander Harpagos, . invented a ruse: he ordered the release of all luggage going into the baggage camels, . put them soldiers, and made this kind of cavalry in front of his troops,
. When the battle began, the Lydian horses, not accustomed to the sight and smell of the camels fled. Riders were forced to jump off with them and fight the enemy on foot. Despite the desperate resistance, they eventually were defeated and fled to Sardis. The siege of the impregnable fortress lasted only 14 days. Persians managed to find a secret path by which they ascended the steep walls of the Acropolis. This unexpected attack determined the outcome of the war - were conquered by the Lydians and their king Croesus was taken prisoner by Cyrus.
Monument depicting Cyrus the Great
Shortly thereafter Harpagos, at the Office of Lydia, conquered all the coastal cities of Asia Minor Greeks in Ionia and Aeolis. For several years the Persians at the beginning Harpagos Lydian suppressed the rebellion, raised by some Covenant conquered the Ionian cities, as well as land and Carians Lycians. King of Cilicia voluntarily admitted over a Persian power.
After the Lydian campaign Cyrus probably began the conquest of eastern Iran and Central Asia. Details of this war, we absolutely do not know, so historians do not know anything about how Drangiana, Margu, Khorezm, Sogdiana, Bactria, Gedrosiya, Arachosia Gandahara and became part of Achaemenid power. This probably happened in 545-540 years. BC. And then came the turn of Babylonia, which included almost all of Mesopotamia, Syria, Phenicia, Palestine, part of the Arabian peninsula and eastern Cilicia. In the spring of 539 g. BC. Persian army to march and began to move down the Diyala River valley. Summer was spent by the Persians in the complex excavation work near the river Gind. (Herodotus wrote that one of the sacred white horses Cyrus drowned in it, and then the king commanded to divide the water of the river to 180 individual channels and thus to punish her.) Meanwhile, the Babylonian king Nabonidus had well prepared for war. Babylonia had a lot of powerful fortresses, of which especially stood out for its impregnable Babylon. (The city was surrounded by a double wall of sun-baked and baked bricks, held together by mortar asphalt.
Gate of Xerxes at Persepolis
The outer wall had a height of about 8 m, and the interior, which is located at a distance of 12 m from the external - 11 - 14 m. At a distance of 20 m apart were placed on the walls of the fortified tower. Before the outer wall of the ramparts, at a distance of 20 meters from it, was a deep ditch filled with water. Through the city flows the river Euphrates.) Decisive battle between the Persians and the Babylonians took place in August, 539 g. BC. on the Tigris at Opis. Cyrus scored a victory over here stepson Nabonidus Belsharruutsurom. In October, his forces took a well-fortified Sippar, and two days later - October 12 - also without a fight, Cyrus captured Babylon. (According to Herodotus, . he told divert the river and entered the city on her bed, . but modern developments Babylonian Chronicle nothing about it says, . so many historians believe Herodotus unreliable.) Persians have killed prince Belsharruutsura, . but with the elderly Nabonidus Cyrus treated kindly - saved his life, and only removed from Babylonia, . appointed satrap Karmani,
. Persian king ordered to return back to the idols of the gods, Nabonidus removed from the temples of the conquered cities. Many of the temples destroyed by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, were with him restored (including the Jews were allowed to regain Jerusalem Temple). Local Babylonian know basically kept all their privileges.
Since the beginning of 538 BC g.do. e. Cyrus began to call himself "king of Babylon, king of countries". Following the capital surrendered to the Persians and the Babylonian province of Syria. In 538 g. Cyrus allowed the Jews, who once led into captivity, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, to return to Palestine and rebuild the destroyed temple in Jerusalem. According Ctesias, Cyrus defeated Bactrians and Saks. Historians of Alexander of Macedonia (Arrian, Strabo) mentioned as a hike through Gedrosiyu Cyrus, in which he lost his entire army, with the exception of the seven soldiers, as well as the base on the shores of Yaksarta (Syr) Kiropolisa city.
. After the fall of Babylon all the countries situated to the west of it to the borders with Egypt, apparently, voluntarily surrendered to the Persians
The tomb of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae
Then the Persians took control of part of the Arabian peninsula, captured before Nabonidus. In 530 g. Cyrus, making his son Cambyses king of Babylon, began a new campaign to the East.
His last campaign against Cyrus the Great took Massagetae - nomads who inhabited the steppes between the Caspian and Aral Seas, north-eastern borders of his powers. Here luck, so long run of the Persian king, he has changed: during the battle on the eastern bank of the Amu Darya Cyrus totally defeated and killed himself. According to Herodotus, the triumphant enemies cut off his head and threw it in the bag of blood. However, since we know for certain that Cyrus was buried in Pasargadae (where his body is still seen Alexander of Macedon), this episode is considered to be unreliable. The tomb of Cyrus the Great is in Pasargadae (now Murgab), a city that he built in his homeland, and which also raised the royal palace.
. In a short time the leader of a small, little-known tribe founded a mighty empire, prostrate on the Indus and Yaksarta to the Aegean Sea and the border of Egypt
. Cyrus was a great warrior and statesman. He became famous for his mercy to the conquered peoples. In Babylon he was acting under a kind of "constitutional monarchy". In memory of the Persians he was left as the "father of the people". Opponents also recognized his greatness, which confirms the Hellenic tradition.

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Cyrus II the Great, photo, biography
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