Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire

Biography bits
1. Also known as Cyrus II or Cyrus of Persia.

2. He was related to the royal families of Babylon, Media, Lydia, and Persia.

3. His grandfather, Astyages, was a king of the Medes and Persians, who ruled from Esbatana city. He sent his daughter, Mandane, to marry the heir of Persian leadership, Cambyses, far away to Anshan city.

4. Cyrus II is named after his Persian grandfather Cyrus.

5. His Median grandfather, Astyages, ordered Harpagus, his cousin, to kill Cyrus II when he was born and report that the child was a stillborn. Why? He had a dream that his grandson will take away all that Astyages has.

6. Harpagus handed the job to one of herdsmen, who kept the child but reported the killing.

7. At the age of 10, Cyrus II was discovered by his Median grandfather, Astyages. How? Astyages saw boys playing a game in the village’s public square. One boy (Cyrus II) ruled over the other boys of the village.

8. It was now too late to kill Cyrus II. So, Astyages acknowledged the Cyrus parentage and sent him to the house of his parents, who had never seen him, far way to Anshan. Astyages also punishes Harpagus by murdering his young son. How do Mandane and Harpagus feel about Astyages now? Still serving Astyages quietly, they was planninig their revenges.

9. In Anshan, Cyrus II was growing in the house of Persian lord with the mother who hated her Median father.

10. After his father, Cambyses, died in 559, young Cyrus II became ruler of the Persians. He remained loyal to his Median king.

11. Cyrus II started gaining support of Persians tribes in order to rebel against Median dominance. Helping him, Harpagus met with all important Medes trying to convince them of setting up Cyrus II as their leader.

12. Cyrus II and his Persian took control of the capital, Ecbatana, without a fight, captured Astyages prisoner and pronounced himself king of Medes and the Persians. Cyrus II did not kill his own grandfather. He kept him comfortably until the old man died of natural causes.

14. Cyrus II had ambitions to rule an empire. After Astyages death, he considered the treaty between the Lydians and Medes valid no more. He attacked Lydia, the domain of his great-uncle Croesus. While Croesus was waiting for aid from Babylon, Cyrus II cornered the Lydian army in front of Lydia capital, Sardis, scattered the Lydian cavalry using camels, sieged the city and brought it down after 14 days.

15. Cyrus II excelled in creating fear, so no one attempted anything against him. What he could not accomplish with fear, he bought. He knew the power of generosity and rewarded others with gifts if it would further his advantage. He used his gifts to successfully convince people all over his empire to become “the Eyes and Ears of the King”.

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