Cyrus the Great Day / some points about this great king

10/30/2017 2:34:00 PM
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Tehran (KNA): 7th Aban ( 29th October) is the unofficial anniversary in Iran for Cyrus the great ( famous emperor of ancient Persia) .

To all surprise it is an unofficial holliday in Iran that takes place every year in Iran and sometimes in  Tomb of Cyrus on October 29th, (7th of Aban on Persian calendar), to commemorate Cyrus the Great.

Some historians think October 29th is the day of entrance of Cyrus the Great to Babylon. He founded the first ever Persian Empire, also known as Achaemenid Empire.There are many stories about Cyrus the Great . Some of them are rumors and not factual and some of them are real. The world knows Cyrus the Great from the books and inscriptions of Herodotus and Xenophon. They were greek or helenistics and perhaps because of Greco-Persian Wars , they had no positive view on Cyrus the Great.

Based on their inscriptions, specially Herodotus , Cyrus the Great was a cruel emperor who killed many innocent people and is the symbol of barbarism. On the other hand , there are other historians who think that Cyrus the Great was not cruel but a real righteous king and the father of civilization who created  the first  human rights. Some went so far to say that Cyrus the Great is a God man or prophet. Some muslim theologists went so far to call him "Zolgharnein" ( A famous sacred king who is described in Quran) .

We had an interview with professor  Daniel T. Potts  ( historian and Professor of ancient near eastern archaeology and history ) about this issue. We asked him: Some experts  think  that he (Cyrus) was a great king and symbol of civilization. But some other experts think that he is symbol of barbarism. How Cyrus the Great has provided services to civilization and what are his actions on this field?

Professor D. Potts asserted that Herodotus is not a good and reliable source and said : "Rather than relying on Herodotus or Xenophon, whose Cyropaedia is highly fictionalized, consider the Nabonidus Chronicle." According to this source, after the cult statues of the east Tigridian cities lying in Cyrus’ path were taken to Babylon, Cyrus ‘did battle at Opis on the bank of the Tigris against the army of Akkad, the people of Akkad retreated. He carried off the plunder (and) slaughtered the people. Of course, this is the point of view of a Babylonian; "the Cyrus Cylinder is written in the first person as though it were Cyrus' own words (though written in Babylonian by a scribe of course). I don't think Cyrus was cruel. There's no evidence of that. On the other hand, he was an ancient Near Eastern ruler and he did not come to power, conquer widely and retain power, without his army having to kill a lot of people. His empire was created through conquest, it's as simple as that."

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