The Birth of The Persian Empire

Astyages had nightmares about his coming grandson, when his daughter Mandana was pregnant. He dreamt that all Asia would be under the shadow of his grandson Cyrus the Great. When Cyrus was born in 576 BC, Astyages ordered him to be killed and gave the responsibility to Harpagus who couldn't kill a baby. So Harpagus handed the baby, along the responsibility of killing him, to a shepherd. The shepherd's wife had a stillborn child at the same day, and she decided to bury her own child instead of Cyrus...

Cyrus grew up and was recognized by Astyages. Cyrus moved to Persia and planned a rebellion against the Medes. Meanwhile, Astyages punished Harpagus, due to his disobedience, when he was ordered to kill Cyrus. Therefore he decided to help Cyrus. He managed to defeat Astyages after several fierce battles, and he eventually managed to gain the loyalty of the Median army in 550 BC. Now The Medes had become the subject of the Persians.

At the same time the Lydian king Croesus was afraid of the growing Persian power, and wanted to stop it's potential expansion into all of Asia Minor. Cyrus decided to expand the Persian Empire to all of Asia Minor. So the two armies met near the river Halys in April 547 BC, where they fought the fierce Battle of Thymbra. Croesus decided to retr
eat to his capital Sardis in order to fight, when it was spring, but he didn't know that Cyrus the Great had followed him all the way in an unbelievable forced march. Cyrus conquered the Lydian Empire and installed Croesus as his personal advisor.

(Cyrus the Great)

Meanwhile, the Jews where praying to God to be released from their Babylonian captivity. Fortunately, Cyrus the Great had planned the conquest of the Babylonian Empire. After the fierce Battle of Opis on September 25, 539 BC, Cyrus defeated the Babylonians. Then he demonstrated the skill of the Persian engineers by letting them dig canals and divert the river away from Babylon. Therefore the Persian soldiers entered Babylon without drawing a single sword, and Cyrus the Great was hailed as a liberator. 

(Campaigns of Cyrus the Great, 552 BC - 530 BC)

Cyrus the Great proved his epithet with a charter, which now is known as the first declaration of human rights. He followed this revolutionary act with releasing the Jews from their captivity and helping them build their temple in Jerusalem. Because of his contribution to humanity Cyrus the Great has been praised in the Koran, Torah & Bible. 

(The Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Pasargadae)

Cyrus the Great decided to form a elite unit known as the 10.000 Immortals. This united was formed by the Persians and Medes who proved themselves as brave and extraordinary warriors. There was also many nobles who were a part of the army, and they had golden pomegranates as the counterweight on their spears. Herodotus also admired the luxury and splendor of the Immortals, when they were marching into Greece.

(Two Immortals from Susa)

Cyrus Now turned eastwards against the Massagetae in Central Asia. In a fierce battle he was defeated and killed in 529 BC. 

After his death he was succeeded by his son Cambyses. The Persian Empire became the superpower of the ancient world. Cyrus the Great created a vast empire, from India to the Ionian Coast. The greatest empire the world had ever seen. But Egypt remained unconquered...

The Persian Empire 529 BC


  1. Heey it's a very very interesting blog you have written, I'm already looking forward to read your next blog! ;-)

  2. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.