Cyrus the Great

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Cyrus the Great Builds the Persian Empire by Governing With Toleration and Kindness

The greatest leaders in history often leave behind some sort of legacy. Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Persian Empire around 500 B.C., which was the largest empire of its time (Cyrus II, the Great). The empire stretched from ancient Iran, and grew to include an area reaching from Greece to India (Persian Empire). Cyrus’ reign saw some of the first contacts between Persia and Greece, and helped Persia gain the political power that had once been held by the people of Mesopotamia (Cyrus, the Great). Cyrus the Great proved to be an effective leader who developed a strong military that was stationed strategically throughout the empire to stop
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Persia took over the Medes' kingdom, thus beginning the rise in power of the Persian Empire. Cyrus established a new capital at Pasargadae to commemorate his victory (Cyrus II, the Great). Cyrus was very ambitious, so he continued to work on increasing his empire. In 547 B.C. he went to war against the wealthy King Croesus of Lydia and defeated him at the Battle of Ptyerum. He went on to capture the Greek city states along the coast of Anatolia. At this point Cyrus’ empire was 3,000 miles wide, but Cyrus was most interested in capturing Babylon because of the power and importance it represented. In 540 B.C., Cyrus set his sights on Babylon, which had been his ally up to that time. The people of Babylon were unhappy with King Nabonidus because he did not honor the God Marduk (Pettman). Without warning, the King left for Arabia, and in his ten-year absence left his son Belshazzar in charge. King Nabonidus eventually returned to Babylon in 543 B.C. and brought all of the gods from the surrounding area into Babylon. Then, in the spring of 539 B.C., he tried to win back his people’s favor by celebrating the New Year’s rite, but failed to do so (Cyrus II, The Great). The people of Babylon were ready for a new ruler. The Persians finally attacked while Babylon was celebrating a festival that was known for its’
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