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Oldest Inscription of Cyrus Translated to Persian Language

April 14, 2007


The oldest inscription of Cyrus the Great in which his conquests were carved in Neo Babylonian or Akkadian language chronologically has been translated into Persian language.

The most ancient inscription of Cyrus the Great, the Achaemenid king (559-530 BC), in which the conquests of Cyrus was written in chronological order in Neo Babylonian language has been translated in Persian language.

Reza Moradi Ghiasabadi, astro -archeoloigst and researcher in historian studies, who has undertaken this major project, told CHN: “Nabonid-Cyrus chronology is an earthen inscription in Neo Babylonian (Akkadian) language which was written by order of Cyrus the Great and now is being kept in British Museum in London. Destruction of great parts of this inscription over time has made the decoding of some parts of this tablet impossible. The detailed chronology of Cyrus the Great’s conquests which was unearthed in Babylon’s royal palace is even older than the famous Cyrus Cylinder. By referring to versions which have been already translated into English language and its original text in Babylonian language, we succeeded in interpreting the inscription to Persian language for the first time.” 

A number of chronology inscriptions have been unearthed so far in Babylon and evidence such as what have been written in Bible indicate that this type of history interpretation was also practiced in ancient Persia.

According to Ghiasabadi, although this invaluable document has been destroyed to a large extent, since it is the most ancient written document denoting to Cyrus the Great it is considered very important. Besides, this inscription is a valid historical resource in which Cyrus’ conquests including invasion of Babylon has been described in a chronological order.

This tablet forms part of a series, and summarizes the principal events of each year from the accession of Nabonidus in 556 until the 530s BC. The chronicle stresses that Nabonidus was absent in Arabia for much of his reign, thereby interrupting performances of the annual spring festival in Babylon where the king’s presence was essential.

Meanwhile, Cyrus, the king of Anshan and Persia in south-west Iran, defeated king Astyges of Media (western Iran). This gave Cyrus territory from eastern Iran to the Halys River in Anatolia. Croesus, the king of Lydia, felt threatened and confronted with Persian army in a battle in 547 BC. The Persians pursued Croesus back to the Lydian capital at Sardis which was defeated after a two-week siege. The Babylonians were allied with Lydia and eventually in September/October 539 BC the Persian and Babylonian armies met at Opis, east of the Tirgris River. The cities of Sippar and Babylon were surrendered and the Persian king defeated Babylonians and captured Babylon, Naubonidus and the empire.

Soudabeh Sadigh: CHN

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