Let’s Drink a Toast to Old Cyrus (sorry, 2549 years and a couple weeks late…)

I can’t believe no one reminded me about this:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies reminds us that yesterday [October 29th] was the International Day of Cyrus the Great. On October 29, 539 BCE, the Persian king, Cyrus, ordered what some have called the first human rights decree to be inscribed on a clay cylinder. The Cyrus Cylinder describes the king’s policy of allowing local cults to return their gods to their shrines. It also makes specific reference to the Jews who Cyrus encouraged to return from their exile in Babylon to Judea to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

from Howard Friedman via Religion Clause.

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