Persia: Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great

After the Persians had aided the Medes in establishing the power of the Medes, Cyrus, who later became known as Cyrus the Great, took over the rule of Media from Astyages in the middle of the 6th cent. b.c. In an amazingly short time Cyrus had extended his conquests from Elam and Media west and north. He pushed into Asia Minor, where Croesus, the king of Lydia, vainly sought by an alliance with Nabonidus of Babylonia and Amasis II of Egypt to withstand the conqueror. Cyrus crushed the coalition, and by 546 b.c. the greatness of the Persian Empire was established. It was to endure long under his successors, the Achaemenids. From the beginning the Persians built on the foundations of the earlier states. The organization of the Assyrians was taken over and improved, and Cyrus himself imported artists and artisans from Babylonia and Egypt to create his palace and tomb at Pasargadae.

Sections in this article:

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Middle East