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A Quest: Cyrus's Life and Legacy

By Sara Monajem


Yahveh's appointed shepherd


O Man, whosoever you are and from wherever you come... I am Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire. Begrudge me not, therefore, little earth which covers my body.




Alexander of Macedon, standing triumphant at the violated tomb of Cyrus, was moved by this inscription. He demanded that it be engraved in Greek characters and ordered his architect to restore the tomb, and produce the exact replicas of every single object with which it had been previously adorned. More than 2500 years later, we can see the tomb as Alexander saw it - a six tiered pedestal of white stone holding a windowless chamber with its hexagonal roof top. It imprints a memorable impression of dignity, simplicity and strength - attributes that suited the monument's illustrious inhabitant. Cyrus emerged from nowhere and left behind the first ordered world-state. He rose to high distinction, exhibiting qualities that had been novel and unknown to the rulers who came before and after him. The evidence of classical writers points to the same qualities of greatness, goodness, gentleness and justice that the great prophets of Israel assigned to him. Herodotus immortalized his birth and death, but so wedded the historical and fictional elements together that their disentanglement has been proven to be an impossible task. After centuries of digging and sifting, the inherited debate on his origin and fate is still with us. He had a life rich of events and inspiring, but one for which Plutarch and Livy chose not to write a systematic account.


Cyrus has been this author's lifetime quest. The aim has been to consolidate all that is written about him, his life and legacy. All interested readers are invited to join in to help initiate the depository that the author is preparing. Kindly contact


... Payvand News - 04/24/08 ... --

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