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

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...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $29.42   
  • New (7) from $29.42   
  • Used (2) from $29.53   
Sending request ...

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.

Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780760636
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 867,016
  • 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).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1. The Cyrus Cylinder: the Babylonian Perspective
2. Translation of the Text
3. The Cyrus Cylinder as Object
4. Transliteration of the Text
5. On the Forged Chinese 'bone texts'
6. The Cyrus Cylinder: Discovery
7. The Discovery of the Cyrus Cylinder
8. Mesopotamian Foundation Deposits
9. The Cyrus Cylinder: Display and Replicas
10. The Cyrus Cylinder: The Creation of an Icon and its Loan to Tehran
11. The Cyrus Cylinder: an Iranian Perspective
12. Afterword
Bibliography
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)