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Cyrus cylinder
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This clay cylinder is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform with an account by Cyrus, king of Persia (559-530 вс) of his conquest of Babylon in 539 вс and capture of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king.

Cyrus also describes measures of relief he brought to the inhabitants of the city, and tells how he returned a number of images of gods, that Nabonidus had collected in Babylon, to their proper temples throughout Mesopotamia and western Iran. At the same time he arranged for the restoration of these temples, and organized the return to their homelands of a number of people who had been held in Babylonia by the Babylonian kings.

This cylinder has sometimes been described as the 'first charter of human rights', but it in fact reflects a long tradition in Mesopotamia where, from as early as the third millennium вс, kings began their reigns with declarations of reforms.

Cyrus cylinder


From Babylon, southern Iraq, c. 539-530 вс
L. 22.5 cm



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