×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Cyrus Cylinder: The King of Persia's Proclamation from Ancient Babylon
     

The Cyrus Cylinder: The King of Persia's Proclamation from Ancient Babylon

by Irving Finkel (Editor)
 

Some historical artifacts are destined forever to alter how the ancient world is perceived. The unearthing in today's Iraq (in 1879) of a clay cylinder-shaped decree from Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia, stands in the same tradition of game-changing discoveries from antiquity as Hammurabi's famous law code or the intact tomb of the

Overview

Some historical artifacts are destined forever to alter how the ancient world is perceived. The unearthing in today's Iraq (in 1879) of a clay cylinder-shaped decree from Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia, stands in the same tradition of game-changing discoveries from antiquity as Hammurabi's famous law code or the intact tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun. For the Cyrus Cylinder contains in microcosm the whole history of its period. Inscribed with an account of the conquest of Babylon in 539 BCE by the Persian King, it records an event which launched one of the greatest imperial adventures in history. It describes Cyrus' capture and deposition of Nabonidus, last native Babylonian ruler (represented by the Cylinder text as an oppressor of his own people) and proclaims the Persian as a liberator. His annexation of Babylon was to become the platform upon which the Achaemenid military machine built its later vast imperium. But the Cylinder is more than an ancient exercise in propaganda. It has also been called the world's first declaration of human rights, setting out the decree by which Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity in Babylon. This important volume is the first to discuss the Cylinder and its remarkable history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most important records of antiquity, from the greatest of the near eastern empires: the Achaemenid Persian. The Cylinder is fascinating for the story of its discovery, its reconstruction and later history, even its forgery on Chinese bone. This presentation of it by several experts, fully illustrated and in color, offers a great deal for any reader engaged by how we reconstruct antiquity, as well as for dedicated scholars." - Sir John Boardman, FBA, Emeritus Lincoln Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford

"The Cyrus Cylinder represents a very significant addition to existing studies of this iconic object, which only seems to grow in stature with the passage of time. With reference to Irving Finkel's observations, it is of great interest to learn that the text existed in more than one format. That is to say that two newly identified fragments from a conventional tablet show that Cyrus' exceptional message was not only written on barrel-shaped cylinders that were intended for interment in the foundations of major structures, but that it was also written on large flat tablets that were very possibly intended for public display. In line with certain statements in the Book of Ezra, this finding could also lend new authority to a supposition that Cyrus issued separate proclamations addressed to separate components of the population of Babylon." – David Stronach, OBE, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Archaeology, University of California, Berkeley

'Few ancient testimonies have had as fascinating a history or as controversial an interpretation as Cyrus's building inscription from Babylon. The more it is used as a historical source and/or a political tool, the more grateful we are not only to have an edition of the text based on state-of-the-art research but also reliable information on the historical background of Cyrus's message and on the history of the artefact itself.'- Josef Wiesehöfer, Professor of Ancient History, Kiel University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781780760636
Publisher:
I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date:
03/26/2013
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,253,157
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

I. L. Finkel is Assistant Keeper of Ancient Mesopotamian Script, Languages and Cultures in the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum, UK. He is co-author (with M J Seymour) of Babylon: Myth and Reality (2008), and editor of Ancient Board Games in Perspective (2007).

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews