The Cyrus Cylinder
Founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, Cyrus the Great, in my belief proved to be an upstanding soldier and tolerant ruler. It has been said that Cyrus supported basic human rights in which those he conquered would be treated with dignity and humanity. Therefore of his many accomplishments, I feel the defeat of Nabonidus proved most significant to which he conquered Babylon. This event encouraged Cyrus to assemble the cuneiform clay cylinder today known as The Cyrus Cylinder. As this document allowed freedom of religion to his people I also feel as though it set forth a ruling structure for the emperors that would follow him.
Cyrus appeared to be a faithful man to his beliefs and obedient to his lord, Marduk. This, in turn, allowed him to enter Babylon without conflict as not to cause damage or distress. It appears through his conquering, Cyrus believed in bringing peace and relief to the people he would then rule. One can only imagine the difficulties that arose in ruling a small kingdom. It seems as though Cyrus conquered an immense area including many territories of diverse cultures, languages, and religions. As a result of Cyrus’ beliefs, he felt that people of diverse ethnicity and religion could live together as well as have stability. Although he believed in one god, he also respected the religious beliefs of others, which I feel allowed him to embrace that diversity. In giving the people of Babylon back their freedom, religious rights, as well as rebuilding their temples, he was able to set a precedent for a commendable relationship between a ruler and his people.
It’s understandable that in those days a leader had to obtain a strong military backing as well as be a ruler of fear in order to maintain control of an empire. From what I have learned in my studies, one of the most profound difficulties an emperor would face could be rebellion of its people. It is my belief in order to ensure the people did not rebel there had to...