How powerful was the Persian Empire
Who was Cyrus the Great?
Cyrus as the savior of Judaism
Judaism is the oldest still practiced monotheistic religion, whose roots go back to the second millennium BC. Go back BC. There was nothing more important to the Jews than their faith based on a covenant between them and their God. The story of this special connection is told in the Torah - the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
According to the Torah, God promised his chosen people, the Israelites, the land of Canaan. They founded the Kingdom of Judah and established it around the year 1000 BC. Jerusalem as its capital. The great temple in Jerusalem was built around 587 BC. Destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar II. After Cyrus killed the Jews in 538 BC. After being freed from Babylonian exile, they returned to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple.
The Lydian King Croesus
The Kingdom of Lydia in Asia Minor also belonged to the more numerous conquests of Cyrus. Few ancient rulers were considered as wealthy as their king Croesus. In his empire there were large deposits of electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver. From this he made coins - a practice that began around a century before Croesus' rule around 560 BC. In Lydia and Greece. His wealth made him legendary.
According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Croesus once met the Athenian statesman Solon and asked him if money made people happy. Solon replied: "Those who call great riches are no closer to happiness than those who have what they need for daily life." Herodotus saw Croesus' defeat against Cyrus as proof that wealth did not guarantee a fulfilled life.
The article was originally published in English on NationalGeographic.com.
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