The tomb of Cyrus at Persepolis

Tomb of Cyrus at Persepolis.

Cyrus was the founder of the Persian Empire and one of the greatest kings of the ancient world. He became king of Persia in 558 BC after having brought together under his rule all the Persian tribes. He conquered the powerful Empire of the Medes and, in 538 BC, seized babylon, thereby uniting under his rule all the peoples of western Asia.


Cyrus governed his subjects with wisdom and generosity, respecting their different customs and beliefs. For example, he allowed the Jews, who had been made slaves in babylon, to return to Palestine and practice their own religion. Even the Greek colonies of Asia Minor made submission to this sovereign who was long known as 'King if the World'. He was succeeded by his son, Cambyses.