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On the 29th of October each year, Iranians worldwide are celebrating Cyrus the Great’s entrance to Babylon and, alongside it, the issuing of the Cyrus Cylinder, what it is believed to be the first historically documented declaration of human rights.
People celebrating Cyrus the Great Day Oct, 29, 2015

* * * Cyrus the Great Day or Cyrus Day, October 29 (7th of Aban) is the day that some Iranian nationalists believe it is the anniversary of the entrance of Cyrus into Babylon. It is named the day of Cyrus The Great by "Save Pasargard" Institute, but is not registered in any international calendar. King of Persia, who declared the first charter of human rights in the world, also known as the Cyrus Cylinder.

Photo: The Cyrus Cylinder, the reverse side

* * * In October 539 BC, the Persian king Cyrus took Babylon, the ancient capital of an oriental empire covering modern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Several texts describe this event. In the Nabonidus Chronicle, for instance, is written that in the month of Arahsamna, the third day (29 October), Cyrus entered Babylon.

Cyrus the Great Hood & Helmet reconstructed

* * * The day is celebrated, especially by Iranian communities, in different countries such as Iran (Persia), the United States and the United Kingdom. It was, for instance, celebrated in the city of Cambridge in 2009 and 2010.

The Cyrus Cylinder (Persian: منشور کوروش‎) is an ancient clay cylinder, now broken into several fragments, on which is written a declaration in Akkadian cuneiform script in the name of the Persia's Achaemenid king Cyrus the Great. It dates from the 6th century BC and was discovered in the ruins of Babylon in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) in 1879. It is currently in the possession of the British Museum, which sponsored the expedition that discovered the cylinder. It was created and used as a foundation deposit following the Persian conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, when the Neo-Babylonian Empire was invaded by Cyrus and incorporated into his Persian Empire.

Cyrus Cylinder Getty Villa California USA Tour

* * * The text on the Cylinder praises Cyrus, sets out his genealogy and portrays him as a king from a line of kings. The Babylonian king Nabonidus, who was defeated and deposed by Cyrus, is denounced as an impious oppressor of the people of Babylonia and his low-born origins are implicitly contrasted to Cyrus's kingly heritage. The victorious Cyrus is portrayed as having been chosen by the chief Babylonian god Marduk to restore peace and order to the Babylonians. The text states that Cyrus was welcomed by the people of Babylon as their new ruler and entered the city in peace. It appeals to Marduk to protect and help Cyrus and his son Cambyses. It extols Cyrus as a benefactor of the citizens of Babylonia who improved their lives, repatriated displaced people and restored temples and cult sanctuaries across Mesopotamia and elsewhere in the region. It concludes with a description of how Cyrus repaired the city wall of Babylon and found a similar inscription placed there by an earlier king.

Winged man relief, Pasargadae, Province of Fars, Iran

* * * The Cylinder's text has traditionally been seen by biblical scholars as corroborative evidence of Cyrus’ policy of the repatriation of the Jewish people following their Babylonian captivity (an act that the Book of Ezra attributes to Cyrus), as the text refers to the restoration of cult sanctuaries and repatriation of deported peoples. This interpretation has been disputed, as the text identifies only Mesopotamian sanctuaries, and makes no mention of Jews, Jerusalem, or Judea. The Cylinder has also been called the oldest known charter or symbol of universal human rights, a view rejected by others as anachronistic and a misunderstanding of the Cylinder's generic nature as a typical statement made by a new monarch at the beginning of his reign.

Download Music Video about Cyrus The Great founder of Persia
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