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Cyrus the Great


Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire. He is also known as Cyrus II of Persia. He was the son of Cambyses I, the Persian king of Anshan and grandson of the Median king Astyages. He was born between 590 and 580 BC in Anshan, Iran. There is a legend told by Greek historian Herodotus that Astyages had a dream implying that his grandson would overthrow him one day.

He ordered his advisor and general Harpagus to get Cyrus killed.  Harpagus gave this task to a shepherd. The shepherd saved Cyrus and handed his stillborn son to Harpagus. Later, Astyages discovered Cyrus but spared his life.


Quick Facts: –

  • Cyrus the Great conquered the Median Empire in 550 BC. After winning, he spared the life of Astyages and married his daughter Amytis.
  • He conquered the Lydian kingdom in 546 BC and Neo-Babylonian Empire in 539 BC.
  • Cyrus created an empire that was the largest in the history of the world at that point of time.
  • The capital city of his empire was the city of Pasargadae which is in modern day Iran.
  • He developed an elite group of 10,000 army troops that were later called the Immortals.
  • He granted many freedoms to his subjects as he respected the religion and culture of the places he conquered.
  • He considered himself as a liberator of people and not a conqueror.
  • He let the Jews return home to Jerusalem from the exile in Babylon.
  • He had ruled for 30 years and was succeeded by his son Cambyses I.
  • Cyrus the Great died in 530 BC. The reason of his death is still not confirmed.



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