Friday, October 29, 2010
Merry Cyrus the Great Day, est. 529BCE! On this day in history Cyrus the Great officially recognized the undeniable rights of all individuals by publishing the Cyrus Cylinder. The Cylinder thanks the god Marduk for sending Cyrus to Babylon, liberating the city from the tyrannical King Nabonidas. According to Herodotus, Cyrus arrived at the gates of the city unarmed, refusing to meet Nabonidas' troops in battle. Cyrus declared that such a battle would only prove who was the better general, not the better king. Afraid Cyrus' nonviolent civil disobedience would lead the Babylonians to embrace the Perian would-be conquerer, Nabonidas decided to ride out and face him in person. If Cyrus would not fight, then he would die. But Cyrus' sage serenity had been a ploy. Once Nabonidas was outside of his city gates, he was immediately ambushed by jewish guerrillas to whom Cyrus had promised the Babylonian Captivity would end under his watch. The Cyrus Cylander does not, as some claim, affirm the abolition of slavery, a minimum wage, national determination, political asylum, a flat tax, and freedom from state-mandated re-distrobution of wealth. However, the Yale University's JB Nies confirms the Cylander protects Babylonians' right to embrace Cyrus as their sole sovreign and to prohibits the building of a synagogue at the spot where Nabonidas was slayn. The Cyrus Cylander was later shattered by Cyrus son, the mad king Cambyses, in an effort to kill the god Marduk if he lived inside. When Cambyses found the cylander contained only rock and no god, he promptly raised and army to march against the Apis Bull, "a more killable god."