Mar 25, 2009

The death of Cyrus the Great

We all know, and have read of "Cyrus the Great" (Kourosh the Great), the First Iranian King of the Achaemenid dynasty who founded the Persian Empire around 550BC., to reflect his legacy, we only need to remind the world of the names attributed to him by friends and foes; The Iranians call him "The Father" , whereas the Greeks call him the "Law Giver" The Babylonians called him "The Liberator" and the Jews call him "Anointed of the Lord" . His achievements are historically manifested but little is known of the circumstances of his death, which we shall shed light on .

The Persians called them "Saka" meaning archers, and their country was called Sakastan, their inhabitants were of an Iranic tribe , situated north of the, then Persian Empire, Tah-Mures was the queen of Sakstan and known to have been very stubborn in resisting Cyrus's advances in joining the empire. Tah-Mures rejected Cyrus's offer of marriage and thus made way for a military showdown, it is known that the Persian army was susceptible to the very capable archers of Sakastan and so, upon Tah-Mures's challenge of their armies meeting in a specific location to fight it out, but first to meet, Cyrus knew this to be a trap. Cyrus hurried to the location and set up camp, leaving plenty of food and wine with some of his forces just to make sure, and then left with his army and waited. Tah-Mures, sent her son as her General and they considered the waiting Persian army in this camp as easy prey, attacked and killed everyone in it, then started to celebrate with the food and drinks left behind.

The Sakastan army, intoxicated from the supposed victory and wine,were suddenly confronted by the Persian army which had a very easy job in punishing this foray. The General was taken captive, knowing him to be Tah-Mures's son, he was left in a noble tent, treated well and not even his sword was taken from him, nothing was left out in trying to eventually reach a deal with Tah-Mures, but he committed suicide. The inconsolable Tah-Mures, swore vengeance and so launched a massive attack upon the armies of Cyrus with everything she had and thus one of the fiercest battles of history took place, in which Cyrus the Great, was wounded and subsequently killed. The Persian army retreated upon hearing of their fallen King, and so his corps fell into the hands of a grieving mother. Tah-Mures, decapitated the dead body of Cyrus the Great, for the death of her suicidal son, this tragedy happened in late summer of 530 BC. Nevertheless, the Persian army exchanged the bodies of Cyrus (with his head) with that of Tah-Mures's son and then retreated back to Persia, where Cyrus the Great was laid to rest in Passargad, his tomb still exists and has the following inscription;

"O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know you will come, I am Cyrus who won the Persians their empire. Do not therefore grudge me this little earth that covers my body"


Anonymous said...

Hi, do you know who did this engraving of Cyrus the Great on horse ? It seems to be a XIX century engraving...I did some Internet research, but I never found the author's name. In case you have a 100% sure answer, please contact me at