CYRUS (Gr. KDpos; Pers. Kuru-sh; Babyl. Kurash; Hebr. Koresh) , the Latinized
See also:form of a Persian name
See also:borne by two prominent members of the Achaemenid
See also:house . 1 . CYRUS THE
See also:GREAT, the founder of the Persian
See also:empire, was the son of Cambyses I . His
See also:family belonged to the
See also:clan of the Achaemenidae—in the inscription on the pillars and columns of the palace of
See also:Pasargadae (
See also:Murghab) he says: " I am Cyrus the
See also:king, the Achaemenid "—the
See also:principal clan (4pilrpq) of the Persian tribe of the Pasargadae (q.v.) . But in his proclamation to the Babylonians (V.R . 35;
See also:Sir H .
See also:Rawlinson, Journal of the R . 'Asiat .
See also:Soc., n.s., xii., 188o;
See also:Schrader, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, iii . 2, 120 ff.; Hagen, in Delitzsch and
See also:Haupt, Beitrage zur Assyriologie, 1894, where the
See also:chronicle of Nabonidus is also published anew with a much improved
See also:translation) he calls his ancestors, Teispes, Cyrus I. and Cambyses I., "
See also:kings of Anshan," and the same title is given to him in the inscriptions and in the chronicle of Nabonidus of
See also:Babylon before his victory over
See also:Astyages . Anshan is a
See also:district of
See also:Elam or Susiana, the exact position of which is still subject to much discussion . As we know from
See also:Jeremiah xlix .
34 if . (cf .Ezekiel xxxii . 24 ff.) that the Elamites suffered a heavy defeat in 596 B.C., it is very probable that the Pasargadian dynast Teispes conquered Anshan in this
See also:year .
See also:Modern authors have often supposed that Cyrus and his ancestors were in reality Elamites; but this is contrary to all tradition, and there can be no doubt that Cyrus was a genuine Persian and a true believer in the Zoroastrian religion . In
See also:Herodotus vii. i r the genealogy of Cyrus is given in exactly the same way as in the proclamation of Cyrus himself; Teispes is called here the son of the eponym
See also:Achaemenes . The Pasargadian kings of Anshan were vassals of the Median empire . Their
See also:kingdom cannot have been of large extent, as Nabonidus in a contemporary inscription (Cylinder from
See also:Abu Habba, VR . 64, Schrader, Keilinschriftl . Bibliothek, iii . 2, 96), where he mentions his
See also:rebellion against Astyages, calls Cyrus " king of Anshan, his (i.e . Astyages') small servant (vassal)." From this inscription we learn that the rebellion of Cyrus (who seems to have become king in 558 B.C., as Herod. i .
214 gives him a reign of 29 years) began in 553 B.C., and from the
See also:annals that in 55o Astyages marched against Cyrus, but was defeated; his troops revolted against him, he was taken prisoner, and Cyrus occupied and plundered
See also:Ecbatana . The relation of
See also:Ctesias (preserved by Nic .
See also:Dam. fr . 66; Anaximenes of
See also:Lampsacus in Steph . Byz. s.v . Havapyabau,
See also:Strabo xv. p . 729; Polyaen. vii . 6 . 1, 9, 45 . 2) that Cyrus was three times beaten by Astyages and that the decisive
See also:battle took place in the mountains of Pasargadae, is certainly in the
See also:historical although Herodotus (i . 127 ff.) only mentions the treason of the Median general Harpagus and the defeat and captivity of Astyages . In the rebellion the Persian tribes of the Maraphians and Maspians joined the Pasargadae (Herod. i .
125), while the other tribes appear not to have acknowledged Cyrus till after his victory (see
See also:PERSIS) . From then he calls himself " king of the Persians." The
See also:history of Cyrus very soon became involved and quite overgrown with legends . Herodotus (i . 95) tells us that he knew four different traditions about him . One makes him the son of Mandane, a daughter of Astyages (originally evidently by a
See also:god), who is exposed in the mountains by his grandfather on account of an
See also:oracle, but suckled by a
See also:dog (a sacred animal of the Iranians) and educated by a shepherd; i.e. the myth which we know from the stories of
See also:Perseus, Telephus,
See also:Pelias and
See also:Sargon of Agade, Moses, the
See also:Indian hero
See also:Krishna, and many others, has been transferred to the founder of the Persian empire . At the same
See also:time, the
See also:rule of Cyrus and the Persians is legitimated by his family connexion with Astyages . This account is partly preserved in
See also:Justin i . 4. ro (probably from
See also:Charon of Lampsacus) and in Aelian,
See also:Var . Hist. xiv . 42, and alluded to by Herodotus i . 95 and 122 . The second account, which Herodotus follows, is a rationalized version of the first, where the dog is changed into a woman (the wife of the shepherd) named Spako (bitch) .
In the later
See also:part of his
See also:story Herodotus is dependent on the family traditions of Harpagus, whose treason is justified by the cruelty with which Astyages had treated him (the story of
See also:Atreus and Thyestes is transferred to them) . Harpagus afterwards stood in high favour with Cyrus, and commanded the army which subdued the coasts of
See also:Asia Minor; his family seems to have been settled in
See also:Lycia . In a third version, preserved from Ctesias in Nicolaus Damasc. p . 66 (cf . Dinon ap . Athen. xiv . 633 C), Cyrus is the son of a poor Mardian bandit Atradates (the Mardians are a nomadic Persian tribe, Herod. i . 125), who comes as a voluntary slave to the
See also:court of Astyages, and finds favour with the king . A Chaldaean
See also:sage prophesies to him his future greatness, and another Persian slave, Oebares, becomes his associate . He flies to
See also:Persia, evades the pursuers whom Astyages sends after him, and begins the rebellion . After the victory Oebares kills Astyages against the will of Cyrus, and afterwards kills himself to evade the wrath of Cyrus . Parts of this story are preserved also in Strabo xv. p .
729, and Justin i . 6 . 1-3; 7 . 1; cf . Ctesias ap . Photium 2-7; many traces of it were afterwards transferred to the story of
See also:Ardashir I . (q.v.), the founder of the Sassanid empire . With this version Ctesias and Nicolaus have connected another, in which Cyrus is the son of a Persian shepherd who lives at Pasargadae, and fights the decisive battle at this place . The didactic novel of
See also:Xenophon, the Cyropaedia, is a
See also:free invention adapted to the purposes of the-author, based upon the account of Herodotus and occasionally influenced by Ctesias,without any
See also:independent traditional
See also:element . The account of
See also:Aeschylus, Pers . 765 if., is a mixture of Greek traditions with a few
See also:oriental elements; here the first king is Medos (the Median empire) ; his nameless son is succeeded by Cyrus, a blessed ruler, beloved by the gods, who gave peace to all his friends and conquered
See also:Ionia . Then comes his nameless son, then Mardos (i.e .
See also:Smerdis, to whom the name of the Mardians is transferred) who is killed by Artaphrenes (i.e .
See also:Artaphernes, Herod. iii . 78, one of the associates of Darius), then Maraphis (eponym of the Maraphian tribe), then another Artaphrenes, then Darius . The principal events of the later history of Cyrus are in the main correctly stated by Herodotus, although his account contains many legendary traditions . The
See also:short excerpt from Ctesias, which Photius has preserved, contains useful information, although we must always mistrust him . Of great value are a short
See also:notice in the fragments of
See also:Berossus and another in the Old Testament . The
See also:sources are very scanty, besides the cylinder containing his proclamation to the Babylonians we possess only a great many dated private documents from Babylon . These serve to
See also:fix the chronology, which is here as every-where quite in accordance with the
See also:dates of the
See also:canon of
See also:Ptolemy . Soon after the
See also:conquest of the Median empire, Cyrus was attacked by a coalition of the other
See also:powers of the East, Babylon,
See also:Egypt and Lydia, joined by
See also:Sparta, the greatest military power of
See also:Greece . In the
See also:spring of S46
See also:Croesus of Lydia began the attack and advanced into
See also:Cappadocia, while the other powers were still gathering their troops . But Cyrus anticipated them; he defeated Croesus and followed him to his capital . In the autumn of 546
See also:Sardis was taken and the Lydian kingdom became a province of the Persians .
The famous story of Herodotus, that the conqueror condemned Croesus to the stake, from which he was saved by the intervention of the gods, is quite inconsistent with the Persian religion (see CROESUS) . During the next years the Persian army under Harpagus suppressed a rebellion of the Lydians under Pactyas, and subjugated the Ionian cities, the Carians and the Lycians (when the
See also:Xanthus resisted to the utmost) . The king of
See also:Cilicia (Syennesis) voluntarily acknowledged the Persian supremacy . Why the war with Babylon, which had become inevitable, was delayed until 539, we do not know . Here too Cyrus in a single
See also:campaign destroyed a mighty state . The army of Nabonidus was defeated; Babylon itself attempted no resistance, but surrendered on the 16th Tishri (loth of
See also:October) 539, to the Persian general Gobryas (Gaubaruva, see the chronicle of the reign of Nabonidus; the name Gobryas is preserved also by Xenophon, Cyrop. vii . 4 . 24); it is possible that the Chaldaean priests, who were hostile to Nabonidus, betrayed the town . In a proclamation issued after his victory Cyrus guarantees
See also:life and
See also:property to all the inhabitants and designates himself as the favourite of
See also:Marduk, the great
See also:local god (
See also:Bel, Bel-Merodak) of
See also:Babel . It is very
See also:odd that modorn authors have considered this proclamation as inconsistent with the Zoroastrian creed . From the beginning of 538 Cyrus dates his years as " king of Babylon and king of the countries " (i.e. of the
See also:world) . With the capital, the Babylonian provinces in
See also:Syria fell to the Persians; in 538 Cyrus granted to the Jews, whom
See also:Nebuchadrezzar had transported to Babylonia, the return to
See also:Palestine and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its
See also:temple (see JEws, § 19) .
It is probable that Cyrus had fought more than one war against the peoples of eastern
See also:Iran; according to Ctesias he had, before the war with Croesus, defeated the Bactrians and the Sacae (in
See also:Ferghana; their king Amorges is the eponym of the Amyrgian Sacae, Herod. vii . 64, called by Darius Haumavarka); and the historians of
See also:Alexander mention a
See also:march through Gedrosia, where he lost his whole army but seven men (
See also:Arrian vi . 24 . 2; Strabo xv . 722), a tribe Ariaspae on the Etymandros (in Sijistan), who, on account of the support which they gave him against the Scythians, were called Euergetae (Arrian iii . 27 . 4; Diod. xvii . 81; Curt. vii . 3 . 1), and a town Cyropolis, founded by him on the Jaxartes (Arrian iv . 2 . 3; Curt .
Vii . 6 . 16; Strabo xi . 517, called Cyreskhata by Ptolem. vi . 12 . 5) . In 530, having appointed his son Cambyses king of Babel, he set out for a new expedition against the East . In this war he was killed (Herod.) or mortally wounded (Ctesias) . According to Herodotus he attacked the
See also:Massagetae beyond the Jaxartes; according to Ctesias, the Derbices, a very barbarous tribe (cf . Strabo xi . 520; Aelian, Var . Hist. iv. i) on the border of the
See also:Caspian, near the Hyrcanians (Strabo xi .
514; Steph . Byz.; Curt. vii . 2 . 7;
See also:Dion . Perieg . 734 ff.; Pomp . .
See also:Mela iii . 5), or on the
See also:Oxus (Plin. vi . 48; Ptolem. vi. to . 2; Tab . Peuting.) . Berossus (ap .
Euseb . Chron. i . 29) simply says that he fell against the Dahae, i.e. the nomads of the Turanian
See also:desert . His
See also:death occurred in 528 B.C., as we have a Babylonian tablet from the Adar of the tenth year of Cyrus, i.e .
See also:February 528; for in Babylon the first year of Cyrus began in the spring of 538 . In his native district Cyrus had built a city with a palace, called after his tribe Pasargadae (now Murghab), and here he was buried (see PASARGADAE) . In a short time he, the
See also:prince of an almost unknown tribe, had founded a mighty empire, which extended from the
See also:Indus and Jaxartes to the Aegaean and the
See also:borders of Egypt . This result shows that Cyrus must have been a great
See also:warrior and statesman . Nor is his character without
See also:nobility . He excels in the humanity with which he treated the vanquished . He destroyed no town nor did he put the
See also:captive kings to death; in Babylonia he behaved like a constitutional monarch; by the Persians his memory was cherished as " the
See also:father of the
See also:people " (Herod. iii . 89), and the Greek tradition preserved by Aeschylus (cf. above) shows that his greatness was acknowledged also by his enemies .
He therefore deserves thehomage which Xenophon paid to him in choosing him as hero for his didactic novel . 2 . CYRUS THE YOUNGER, son of Darius II. and
See also:Parysatis, was
See also:born after the accession of his father in 424 . When, after the victories of
See also:Alcibiades, Darius II. decided to continue the war against Athens and give strong support to the Spartans, he sent in 408 the
See also:young prince into Asia Minor, as
See also:satrap of Lydia and Phrygia Major with Cappadocia, and
See also:commander of the Persian troops, " which gather into the
See also:field of Castolos " (Xen .
See also:Hell. i . 4 . 3; Anab. i . 9 . 7), i.e. of the army of the district of Asia Minor . He gave strenuous support to the Spartans; evidently he had already then formed the design, in which he was supported by his
See also:mother, of gaining the
See also:throne for himself after the death of his father; he pretended to have stronger claims to it than his elder
See also:Artaxerxes, who was not born in the
See also:purple . For this plan he hoped to gain the assistance of Sparta . In the Spartan general
See also:Lysander he found a man who was wilkag to help him, as Lysander himself hoped to become absolute ruler of Greece by the aid of the Persian prince .
So Cyrus put all his means at the disposal of Lysander in the Peloponnesian War, but denied them to his successor Callicratidas; by exerting hisinfluence in Sparta, he brought it about that after the battle of Arginusae Lysander was sent out a second time as the real commander ',shough under a nominal chief) of the Spartan
See also:fleet in 405 (Xen . Hell. ii . 1 . 14) . At the same time Darius fell
See also:ill and called his son to his deathbed; Cyrus handed over all his treasures to Lysander and went to Susa . After the accession of Artaxerxes II. in 404,
See also:Tissaphernes denounced the plans of Cyrus against his brother (cf . Plut . Artax . 3); but by the intercession of Parysatis he was pardoned and sent back to his satrapy . Meanwhile Lysander had gained the battle of
See also:Aegospotami and Sparta was supreme in the Greek world . Cyrus managed very cleverly to gather a large army by beginning a
See also:quarrel with Tissaphernes, satrap of
See also:Caria, about the Ionian towns; he also pretended to prepare an expedition against the Pisidians, a mountainous tribe in the
See also:Taurus, which was never obedient to the Empire . Although the dominant position of Lysander had been broken in 403 by King
See also:Pausanias, the Spartan
See also:government gave him all the support which was possible without going into open war against the king; it caused a
See also:partisan of Lysander,
See also:Clearchus, condemned to death on account of atrocious crimes which he had committed as
See also:governor of
See also:Byzantium,to gather an army of mercenaries on the Thracian Chersonesus, and in
See also:Thessaly Menon of Pharsalus,
See also:head of a party which was connected with Sparta, collected another army .
In the spring of 401 Cyrus
See also:united all his forces and advanced from Sardis, without announcing the
See also:object of his expedition . By dexterous management and large promises he overcame the scruples of the Greek troops against the length and danger of the war; a Spartan fleet of
See also:thirty-five triremes sent to Cilicia opened the passes of the Amanus into Syria and conveyed to him a Spartan detachment of 700 men under Cheirisophus . The king had only been warned at the last moment by Tissaphernes and gathered an army in all haste; Cyrus advanced into Babylonia, before he met with an enemy . Here ensued, in October 401, the battle of Cunaxa . Cyrus had 10,400 Greek hoplites and 2500 peltasts, and besides an
See also:Asiatic army under the command of Ariaeus, for which Xenophon gives the absurd number of 1oo,000 men; the army of Artaxerxes he puts down at 900,000 . These numbers only show that he, although an eyewitness, has no idea of large numbers; in reality the army of Cyrus may at the very utmost have consisted of 30,000, that of Artaxerxes of 40,000 men . Cyrus saw that the decision depended on the
See also:fate of the king; he therefore wanted Clearchus, the commander of the Greeks, to take the centre against Artaxerxes . But Clearchus, a tactician of the old school, disobeyed . The
See also:left wing of the Persians under Tissaphernes avoided a serious conflict with the Greeks; Cyrus in the centre threw himself upon Artaxerxes, but was slain in a desperate struggle . Afterwards Artaxerxes pretended to have killed the
See also:rebel himself, with the result that Parysatis took cruel vengeance upon the slayer of her favourite son . The Persian troops dared not attack the Greeks, but decoyed them into the interior, beyond the
See also:Tigris, and tried to annihilate them by treachery . But after their commanders had been taken prisoners the Greeks forced their way to the Black
See also:Sea, By this achievement they had demonstrated the
See also:internal weakness of the Persian empire and the absolute superiority of the Greek arms .
The history of Cyrus and of theretreat of the Greeks is told by Xenophon in his
See also:Anabasis (where he tries to veil the actual participation of the Spartans) . Another account, probably from Sophaenetus of Stymphalus, was used by
See also:Ephorus, and is preserved in Diodor. xiv . 19 ff . Further information is contained in the excerpts from Ctesias by Photius; cf. also Plutarch's life of Artaxerxes . The character of Cyrus is highly praised by the ancients, especially by Xenophon (cf. also his Oeconomics, c. iv.) ; and certainly he was much
See also:superior to his weak brother in energy and as a general and statesman . If he had ascended the throne he might have regenerated the empire for a while, whereas it utterly decayed under the rule of Artaxerxes II . (See also PERSIA:
See also:Ancient History.) (ED .
CYSTOFLAGELLATA (so named by E. Haeckel)
There are no comments yet for this article.
Do not copy, download, transfer, or otherwise replicate the site content in whole or in part.
Links to articles and home page are encouraged.