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Cyrus Cylinder. "...I am Cyrus. King of the world. When I entered Babylon...I did not allow anyone to terrorize the land...I kept in view the needs of the people and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being...I put an end to their misfortune. The Great God has delivered all the lands into my hand; the lands that I have made to dwell in a peaceful habitation..." Site of Babylon, archaeologists discover a clay cylinder, inscribed record of capture of Babylon by the Persian king Cyrus…


Cyrus Cylinder (c. 539 B.C.E.) -- an archaeological artifact that independently confirms a Biblical account told in the Book of Ezra. King Cyrus of Persia issued an edict that permitted the Jewish exiles in Babylonia (which Cyrus had just conquered) “ ‘to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel,’ ” which the Babylonian troops had destroyed, and to return to their homes (Ezra 1:1–4).


CYRUS THE GREAT. In 539 B.C., the armies of Cyrus the Great, the first king of ancient Persia, conquered the city of Babylon. But it was his next actions that marked a major advance for Man. He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their own religion, and established racial equality.


The Cyrus Cylinder is an important artifact from the Persian Empire. Made during Cyrus's reign, the writing on the cylinder describes one of the great conquests of Cyrus that added to the power of the empire, the capture of Babylon.

OXUS TREASURE - Gold plaque. Achaemenid 5thC BC-4thC BC . © The Trustees of the British Museum | The Oxus treasure is a collection of about 180 surviving pieces of metalwork in gold and silver, the majority rather small, plus perhaps about 200 coins, from the Achaemenid Persian period which were found by the Oxus river about 1877-1880.


18 TEDTalks for World History Classrooms


The Cyrus Cylinder, Achaemenid, after 539 B.C. Terracotta, 22.9 x 10 cm. Image courtesy of and © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved

Amitis - Shahbanu Wife of Cyrus the Great


The Cyrus Cylinder. Front view of a barrel-shaped clay cylinder resting on a stand. The cylinder is covered with lines of cuneiform text. This documents the decision by Cyrus in 539 B.C. (or B.C.E. if you prefer) to allow a high degree of tolerance to different religions within the Persian Empire.