Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

1177 – Matt Waters on Cyrus the Great

A few months back we mentioned that the tomb of Cyrus the Great was being reconditioned. (Here’s a recent update.) On this program we have a chance to learn a little more about Cyrus and what made him so great. Our guest is Matt Waters, a professor of ancient history at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The Cyrus Cylinder, a monumental inscription by Cyrus the Great, is on display at the British Museum. This article has a new translation of the cylinder and also points out that Cyrus the Great was the world’s first secular leader who championed human rights and freedoms. In the Bible, he championed the rights of Jews and other peoples to return to their homelands, after being captured and exiled by the Assyrians and the Babylonians.

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