Pretend it is the year 538 B.C.E., you’re an adviser to the Persian king Cyrus the Great, who just defeated the Babylonians. Within that empire, there is a rumor of a discontented group of Hebrews numbering some forty thousand that may threaten your new conquest.
Pretend it is the year 538 B.C.E., you’re an adviser to the Persian king Cyrus the Great, who just defeated the Babylonians. Within that empire, there is a rumor of a discontented group of Hebrews numbering some forty thousand that may threaten your new conquest. Given your strategy for imperial peace, what do you do?
A. Ignore the Hebrews and allow them to assimilate in Babylonia
B. Allow them to return to Jerusalem
C. Massacre them on site and hopefully alleviate the problem immediately
D. Something else
6) In 150+ words minimum each, discuss the historical content of at least one other student posts. You may reply that is debating and disagreeing with a student who chose a different option than you, but you do not have to.
Like many ancient rulers, the Persian conqueror Cyrus the Great (ca 590– ca 529 B.C.), also known as Cyrus II, was born of royalty. On the death of his father, Cambyses I, Cyrus ruled the Achaemenid dynasty and expanded his ancestral realm into a mighty empire. He triumphed not just through conquest, but also by showing singular tolerance and mercy to those he defeated.
A brilliant military strategist, Cyrus vanquished the king of the Medes, then integrated all the Iranian tribes, whose skill at fighting on horseback gave his army great mobility. His triumph over Lydia, in Asia Minor near the Aegean Sea, filled his treasury with that country’s tremendous wealth.
After conquering lands surrounding Mesopotamia, Cyrus closed in on Babylon. Disgruntled over imposed forced labor and the demotion of their city’s patron deity, Marduk, Babylonians turned against their king and saw no reason to oppose Cyrus, who was known to spare those who yielded to him. In 539 B.C. they opened their gates to the Persians, who entered the city “in peace, amidst joy and jubilation,” according to an inscription touting Cyrus’s triumph.
The benevolent nature of Cyrus’s reign took many forms. He placated the formerly powerful Medes by involving them in government. He adopted habits of dress and ornamentation from the Elamites. Across his conquered lands, he returned images of gods that had been seized in battle and hoarded in Babylon. And in Babylon itself, he publicly worshipped the city’s revered Marduk.
Cyrus’s most renowned act of mercy was to free the captive Jews, whom Nebuchadrezzar II had forced into exile in Babylon. Cyrus allowed them to return to their promised land. The Jews praised the Persian emperor in scripture as a savior to whom God gave power over other kingdoms so that he would restore them to Jerusalem and allow them to rebuild their Temple.