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Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Cylinder of Great Cyrus

Original image by :Prioryman(License:Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
The Cyrus Cylinder is a document released by The Cyrus the Great, with a clay cylinder engraved in the Akkadian cuneiform script. The cylinder was built in 539 BCE, certainly by order of Cyrus the Great, when he moved from Babylon to Babylon, ending the Neo-Babylonian Empire. This document is clearly publicized, praising the Achaemenid ruler Cyrus and treating Nabonidus like an unworthy and evil king.The text can be divided into two parts:

First Part

Lines 1 to 18 tell a story of Cyrus' deeds in the third person: the document tells of the last Babylonian king of Nabonidus, whom he is said to have prohibited the cult of Marduk, among others, and his subjects. Have tortured Consequently, the subjects complained to the gods, and Marduk found Cyrus to be the ruler of the world. All the inhabitants of his new kingdom were then very happy to see him as their new king.

Second part 

In which Cyrus speaks as the first person. He begins with his headlines, and continues to say that he cared for the cult of Marduk in Babylonian, and that he "allowed them to take rest from their weariness, their service". He also states that a lot of kings bring levies to him, and he restored those creeds to all the former kingdoms that are now part of it, and he released former exiles.

Various readings of this document can be made further.In the past some distinguished historians took the text as evidence of reality, but today this interpretation is mostly out of use.
Some others confirm the Bible in its historicity in this document, assimilating Yahvi with Marduk. In fact in the Bible, Cyrus is shown as an object of Yahweh, which gives him the power to build his kingdom and helps release the captive Jews and rebuild their temple. The Cyrus cylinder shows that Cyrus saying: "I came back to the place of the divine beings who were there and permitted them to be taken to an endless habitation." I gathered all their people and brought them back to their homes, ”(line 32) which may be a confirmation of the release of the captive Jews, even if they are not named in the text. One thing is clear: Cyrus chooses to show that he has a powerful god, Marduk, who gives him the legitimacy to overthrow Nabonidus and win his empire.
Many historians today agree that this document is propaganda, in which Nabonidus is treated badly, using this false character to depict the anger of Marduk's peasants against the previous Babylonian king.
A recent extant theory is to understand the Cyrus Cylinder as the first charter of human rights. This translation started when, in 1971, on the 2500th birthday celebration of the Persian government, Shah Mohammad Raza Pahlavi made Cyrus a significant figure in government belief system to build up the pre-Islamic legitimacy of his government. In the same year, his dynasty introduced a replica of the Cyrus cylinder at the United Nations, with an English "translation" that was extensively trimmed and manipulated to show that Cyrus had created the first charter of human rights.
The problem is that this latter translation is largely isolated by the United Nations and on the web, contributing to the idea that speaking of human rights or charter is a salutation. In fact, Cyrus had effectively made a policy of tolerance in a few small points, especially regarding faults, and this policy was continued by his successors even after 200 years.

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