Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD
International Day of Cyrus the Great
29 October 2007
International Day of Cyrus the Great, to all humanity and
lovers, protectors and seekers of freedom, humanity and religious tolerance.
(CAIS) -- October 29th has been designated as the international day of
Great, king of Persia, who declared the first charter of human rights in the world, also known as the
In October 12th, 539 BCE, Persian forces entered the city of Babylon, without encountering any resistance.
in the middle of October, Cyrus
the Great himself entered the city, assuming the titles of "King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, King of the four corners of the world." The Cyrus Cylinder was placed under the walls of Babylon as a foundation deposit, following a long Babylonian tradition.
Cyrus the Great proclaimed more than 2500 years ago: "Today, I announce that everyone is free to choose a religion. People are free to live in all regions and take up a job provided that they never violate other's rights." Cyrus the Great declared himself not a conqueror, but a liberator and the rightful successor to the crown.
The ancient world held universal admiration for the beliefs and practices of the
Iranians as enshrined in the Cyrus Charter of Human Rights. Even the Greeks, the traditional adversaries of the Persians, called Cyrus "The Lawgiver." History has recorded that Cyrus did accomplish the task for which he was foreordained.
Alexander II of Macedon plundered Persia. He destroyed and burned Persepolis, the magnificent palace complex of the Achaemenid kings in the province of Pars. Yet, Alexander paid tribute to Cyrus the Great at his
mausoleum. This shows how much Cyrus the Great was respected, even in the eyes of his fierce enemies.
Cyrus the Great was an adherent to the faith of Zoroaster, which was based on the triad of Good Thoughts, Good
Words and Good Deeds and constituted the standard of life for the ancient Iranians. Other teachings of the
religion of Zoroaster, arguably the most ancient divine religion, have inspired the teachings of other faiths.
Cyrus the Great has been given many names: Cyrus the enlightened liberator, Cyrus the benevolent, Cyrus the Law-giver, Cyrus the righteous, Cyrus the heroic conqueror, Cyrus the tolerant King, and many more. No other man so far back in ancient history had been showered with such accolades by kings and emperors who knew of him only by reputation.
Cyrus the Great is the founding father of Iran and the mighty Persian Empire- perhaps the most exemplary, magnificent and just king the world has ever seen.
An illustration of the benevolent beliefs and practices launched by this unsurpassed historical figure goes back to the landmark action of King Cyrus the Great of Persia. In 539
BCE, having conquered Babylon, the benevolent King freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to their Promised Land and build their temple.
For his acts of kindness, Cyrus the Great is immortalised in the Bible in several passages and called "the anointed of the Lord." The Jews, throughout recorded history, looked to Cyrus' people, the Iranians, as their friends and protectors against oppressors such as the Seleucids and the Romans.
In the book of Isaiah, Cyrus the Great, a non-Jew was called the "mash'aka" by God, according to Isaiah when he wrote: "Thus said the Lord to his 'mash'aka (anointed), to Cyrus" (Isaiah 45:1). Jeremiah also told that Cyrus was commissioned by God to go to Jerusalem and build the Second Temple.
"Who carry the vessels of the
Lord" (v. 11b). Ezra tells the story of the departure of the exiles from Babylonia: "King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods" (Ezra 1:7).
"This says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom I have seized by the right, to subdue nations before him. Yes, I will open the loins of kings, to open the two-leaved doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before you and make hills level; I will tear apart the bronze doors and cut the iron bars in two. And I will give you the treasures of darkness, even treasures in secret places, that you may know that I am the Lord who calls you by your name, I the God of Israel" (vs.1-3 Para.)."
To Cyrus the Great, humanity was one widely dispersed family. He believed in this tenet long before unequivocal genetic findings clearly established that biologically there is only one human race; that the genetic variation within a single troop of chimpanzees, for instance, is greater than that of any two human groupings, no matter how different they may appear physically.
What makes people different is not their biology, but the "software" that runs them. People are as good as their software - their beliefs.
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