Cyrus the Great

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Cyrus (580-529 B.C.) was the first Archaemedid emperor and was most famous for founding Persia by uniting the two Iranian tribes, the Medes and the Persians. Cyrus was known for ruling one of the greatest empires in the history of the world and the largest the world had yet seen, stretching from Egypt to Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east. Cyrus presented himself as a liberator rather than a conquerer, well known for showing great respect to the culture and religious beliefs of the people he conquered.

After conquering Asia Minor, Cyrus looked to the east, conquering Drangiana, Arachosia, Margiana, and Bactria. After successful invasions in the east, Cyrus prepared to conquer Babylon and Egypt. The Jews greeted Cyrus as a liberator after he conquered Babylon and let over 40,000 Jews return to Palestine.