(550–330 BC)

It was Cyrus who rebelled against the Medes, captured their king and built the Persia into the greatest empire the world had ever seen. Spanning from Egypt to present-day Afghanistan, the empire was built at a speed and on a scale as had never been seen.

When Cyrus and his army occupied Babylon in 539 BC, he freed the Hebrews from slavery and permitted them to return to their ancestral homeland, an action for which he was hailed as a liberator in the Book of Isaiah. Known as being benevolent and tolerant, Cyrus also declared the first Charter of Human Rights known to mankind.

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