Sunday, November 28, 2010
THE CYRUS CYLINDER - THE FIRST CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS
THE CYRUS CYLINDER - FIRST CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ONE MORE FIRST FROM ZOROASTRIANISM
October 29th has been designated as the international day of Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, who declared the first charter of human rights in the world, also known as the Cyrus Cylinder. In 539 BC, Persian troops entered the city of Babylon, without encountering any resistance. On October 29th, Cyrus himself entered the city, assuming the titles of "King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, King of the four corners of the world. The Cyrus Cylinder was placed under the walls of Babylon as a foundation deposit,
following a long Babylonian tradition.
Cyrus the Great proclaimed more than 2500 years ago: Today, I announce that everyone is free to choose a religion. People are free to live in all regions and take up a job provided that they never violate other's rights. Cyrus the Great declared himself not a conqueror, but a liberator and the rightful successor to the crown.
Zoroastrians are proud spiritual descendants of King Cyrus the Great, the author of the first charter of human rights. Some of Cyrus' children live in the patch of land, called Iran. The overwhelming majority free humans with human beliefs live in every country, city, and village of the earth.
Those world-wide people, one and all, irrespective of nationality, color, or creed are Zoroastrians because they all adhere to the Cyrus Charter; they practice and defend its lofty tenets and transfer this humanity's precious treasure to the next generation.
The ancient world held universal admiration for the beliefs and practices of the Persians as enshrined in the Cyrus Charter of Human Rights. Even the Greeks, the traditional adversaries of the Persians, called Cyrus The Lawgiver. History has recorded that Cyrus did accomplish the task for which he was fore-ordained.
Alexander the Great plundered Persia. He destroyed and burned Persepolis, the magnificent palace complex of the Achaemenid kings in the province of Pars. Yet, Alexander paid tribute to Cyrus the Great at his tomb. This shows how much Cyrus the Great was respected, even in the eyes of his fierce enemies.
Cyrus the Great has been given many names: Cyrus the enlightened liberator, Cyrus the benevolent, Cyrus the Law-giver, Cyrus the righteous, Cyrus the heroic conqueror, Cyrus the tolerant King, and many more. No other man so far back in ancient history had been showered with such accolades by kings and emperors who knew of him only by reputation.
Cyrus the Great is the founding father of Persia and the mighty Persian Empire perhaps the most exemplary, magnificent and just king the world has ever seen.
An illustration of the benevolent beliefs and practices launched by this unsurpassed historical figure goes back to the landmark action of King Cyrus the Great of Persia. In 539 B.C., having conquered Babylon, the benevolent King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to the Promised Land and build their temple.
For his acts of kindness, Cyrus the Great is immortalized in the Bible in several passages and called the anointed of the Lord. The Jews, throughout recorded history, looked to Cyrus' people, the Zoroastrians, as their friends and protectors against oppressors such as the Seleucids and the Romans.
To Cyrus the Great, humanity was one widely dispersed family. He believed in this tenet long before unequivocal genetic findings clearly established that biologically there is only one human race; that the genetic variation within a single troop of chimpanzees, for instance, is greater than that of any two human groupings, no matter how different they may appear physically.