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Cyrus the Great (c. 600 BC or 576 BC to December 530 BC), also known as Cyrus II or Cyrus of Persia, was the founder of the Persian Empire. It was under his own rule that the empire embraced all previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia, parts of Europe and Caucasus, from the Mediterranean sea and the Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, to create the largest empire the world had yet seen. The reign of Cyrus lasted between 29 and 31 years. Cyrus built his empire by fighting and conquering first the Median Empire, then the Lydian Empire and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Either before or after Babylon, he led an expedition into central Asia, which resulted in major campaigns that brought into subjection every nation without exception. Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, as he himself died in battle, fighting the Massagetae along the Syr Darya in December 530 BC. He was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to add to the empire by conquering Egypt, Nubia, and Cyrenaica during his short rule.
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