History – Cyrus and Babylon

History – Cyrus and Babylon

Cyrus and Babylon

In this article we will see: “Cyrus and Babylon”, history, the chronicle of human civilization, serves as a window to the past, illuminating the triumphs, struggles, and evolution of societies over millennia. Through the study of historical events, we unravel the complexities of our collective heritage and gain insight into the forces shaping our present and future.

Summary : History – Cyrus and Babylon

The story of Cyrus and Babylon unfolds against the backdrop of ancient Mesopotamia, where empires rose and fell, leaving their mark on history. At its heart, the tale intertwines the conquests of Cyrus the Great and the cultural richness of Babylon. Through their interactions, we witness the clash of civilizations and the emergence of new power dynamics that shaped the ancient world. From the heights of Persian conquest to the depths of Babylonian civilization, this narrative offers a glimpse into a pivotal era of human history.

History – Cyrus and Babylon

Cyrus truly lived up to his reputation. He forbade his soldiers from sacking the city. A true gentleman, he delivered the Jews from their long captivity and ensured their safe return to Jerusalem. A diplomat as well as a conqueror, he brought the former Babylonian Empire under Persian control without causing major upheavals. He allowed the different peoples who inhabited it – Jews, Greeks, Babylonians, and others – to retain their own gods, customs, and even their particular government.

He gained the respect of all. His people called him “father,” and when he died, he was buried in a gigantic tomb on the eastern borders. This happened in 530 BC. Cyrus’s son, Cambyses, had to fight many battles to maintain his kingdom. He even succeeded in conquering Egypt. As a leader, he was infinitely harsher than his father. His people murmured under his rule. A Mede, a certain Gaumâta, one day proclaimed that he was Cambyses’s brother and claimed the throne.

No one protested when he ascended to it… until the day when Darius, a true descendant of the royal family, seized power after killing Gaumâta. Having thus arranged things – from his point of view, Darius thought of justifying his actions. He explained that he had been inspired by Ahura Mazda and, to leave no doubt, decided to celebrate the event by erecting a monument. He chose a high cliff overlooking the road from the plains of Iran to Mesopotamia and there, on the rock itself, had gigantic figures sculpted.

Darius himself was depicted, one foot on the defeated Gaumâta. To be quite sure that everyone understood the meaning of this symbolic group, Darius took the precaution of recounting, still on the stone, his story in three different languages. The text began as follows: “I, Darius, the great king, the king of kings, king of a territory inhabited by people of all races, reign as absolute sovereign.” One cannot be more modest.

To tell the truth, this proclamation may have seemed highly exaggerated when Darius had it engraved. But it proved to be accurate later on. Through conquests and alliances, Darius indeed carved out a vast empire for himself. His kingdom stretched northward from the Bulgarian Danube to the plains and mountains of Central Asia, crossing Turkey.

To the south, it extended from Egypt and the Mediterranean shores… to the Indus, in India. Darius and his Persians controlled these vast territories with great skill. They knew how to borrow from the various peoples while maintaining overall unity. After conquering their empire by force, they governed it methodically, without ever resorting to force or terror.

The Persian Empire was divided into twenty satrapies or provinces. Each was administered by a satrap or governor: this man generally belonged to the Persian nobility, and if his management was good, his son automatically succeeded him in his position. Judges, military commanders, and tax collectors were paid by the emperor. A remarkable road network crisscrossed the country. Some roads were even paved. One of them, which ran from Susa to the Mediterranean, was 1,600 miles long. 

The main roads were dotted with relay stations equipped with horses and couriers, ready at any moment to transmit messages. Trade was international. Caravans traveled the country, bringing what was lacking in one province from another, and vice versa. Business prospered. Some banks even granted loans. However, agriculture remained the primary occupation of the different peoples. In addition, a certain number of workers were required for the realization of vast public projects: the construction of roads, for example. But brutal slavery no longer existed.

Laws protected all men. If they were infringed upon, the penalties were severe. The Lydians had more or less invented money. The Persians, for their part, spread its use. The governors of the provinces had the right to mint copper and silver. Only the emperor could mint gold coins. In fact, Darius had such a sense of commerce and business that his subjects secretly called him “the merchant.” To maintain order, troops were stationed throughout the empire. Originally, the army consisted entirely of Medes and Persians. Gradually, mercenaries supplied by the vassal peoples were incorporated into it.

During Cyrus and Babylon Era, the Persian fleet, meanwhile, consisted mainly of Phoenicians and Greeks from the shores of the Mediterranean. Only Persians by birth had the privilege of entering the royal guard, whose ten thousand members bore the name of “immortals.” Unlike our “immortals,” these royal guards had an embryonic brain but powerfully developed biceps. Trained from their early youth,

Also during Cyrus and Babylon Era, Persian archers fought on horseback. They were able to shoot their arrows while charging the enemy… and even when fleeing from him. On some occasions, the Persians used elephants and camels in combat. They even attached sharp blades to their chariots before charging into the enemy ranks, an invention not much appreciated by their opponents, as one might imagine.

Last word about : History – Cyrus and Babylon

In the annals of history, the legacy of Cyrus and Babylon endures as a testament to the complexities of empire and the enduring resilience of human civilization. Their story encapsulates the ebb and flow of power, the triumphs of conquest, and the enduring cultural legacies that transcend time. As we reflect on their journey, we are reminded of the enduring lessons of history and the timeless nature of human ambition and ingenuity. Through the lens of Cyrus and Babylon, we glimpse the richness of our shared past and the tapestry of civilizations that have shaped our world

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