A new beginning for the Middle East: The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia
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A new beginning for the Middle East: The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia

October 10, 2019


One of the great things about the objects
we make is that they live longer than we do. So they can have many different lives. In every one of their lives, in every different
generation, they can acquire different meanings. So the meaning can become richer as time goes
on. One of the most extraordinary objects in that
regard, is the so called Cyrus Cylinder. It’s about two and a half thousand years old, it’s a small barrel shaped piece of clay covered in cuneiform inscriptions. Discovered in 1879 by a British Museum expedition
to Babylon, now in modern Iraq But to understand the Cyrus Cylinder, we need to start with the world from which
it came. A world in which Iran/Persia reigned supreme. Our story begins five hundred and fifty years
before Christ with Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian
Empire. After uniting the Persian and Median tribes, Cyrus came into conflict with King Croesus
of Lydia, in what’s now modern day Turkey. He defeated Croesus in battle, Cyrus then clashed with the powerful Babylonian
empire to the West. In 539 B.C. he besieged their capital Babylon, it fell with barely a fight. Persia under Cyrus became a superpower of
the ancient world. Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon had been predicted and was described in the old Testament by
the Jewish prophet Daniel. That very night, the Babylonian region Belshazzar
had held a feast. He feasted using the sacred gold vessels from
the temple in Jerusalem and then suddenly miraculously there was a
hand writing on the wall and the writing said “you have been weighed
in the balance, you’ve been found wanting and your kingdom
will be given to the Medes and the Persians”. So from this we have the expression ‘the writing
is on the wall’ and we have Rembrandt’s great painting Balshaazar’s
feast. Within hours the great empire of Babylon was
no more. Cyrus justified his invasion to the Babylonian
people in a proclamation written on clay tablets such as this one which are likely to have
been widely distributed. Surviving fragments along with the Cyrus Cylinder
carry identical wording. Because the Cyrus Cylinder was meant for a
Babylonian audience, it was written in the Babylonian language which is a Semitic tongue related to the modern languages of Hebrew
and Arabic and Aramaic. The writing system which Cyrus’ officials
used was the traditional cuneiform script which had been invented in Ancient Iraq well
before 3000 B.C it is written by pressing a stylus, something
a bit like a chopstick into the surface of the clay which is nearly
dry and the signs which convey the sound of the
language consist of different arrangements of these
strokes, they’re written one by one and the reader has to join them up and the sound emerges from the clay. This is the line that says “I am Kurash, shar kishshati King of the world, the Great King, King of Babylon” and so it
goes on. So we’re going to write Kurash… So the first sign ‘Ku’, has a big vertical, two small horizontals, one bigger horizontal a little vertical and another horizontal like a box. This is ‘Ku’. Then ‘Ra’, we have three strong horizontals
to begin, one big one next to it, and then one little vertical wedge and one bigger vertical wedge. “Ku-Ra’. Now we do ‘Ash’, which is three long horizontals comme ça and then a vertical in the middle. So we can read this Kurash, the name of Cyrus. The early lines on the Cylinder extol Cyrus’
virtues and his reasons for invading Babylon but it’s lines 30-35 that set Cyrus up as
a great leader in the modern liberal sense. One of Cyrus’ first acts after his conquest was to release those who had been made captive
by the Babylonians. Now this was a mark of his style of rule and it’s this very event that is recorded
on the cylinder. So this was a key moment in the history of
the Jewish people, they had spent many years weeping by the rivers
of Babylon and now finally they were allowed to return
to Jerusalem and then to rebuild the temple. The return to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, the permission from Cyrus to rebuild the second
temple reshaped Judaism and the notion of return is central to Jewish
life and mythology. No lesser person than David Ben-Gurion wrote
– ‘Cyrus displayed a spirit of charity towards
his adversaries, a unique tolerance towards all religions, he Cyrus played a decisive role in the first
return to Zion’. Although Cyrus’ empire was eventually broken
up the idea of Cyrus himself remained, Cyrus as the model ruler. The principle source for that view of Cyrus came from the Greek historian Xenophon, his book Cyropaedia was really about how to
run an empire with Cyrus as the model. It was very popular all through the Renaissance and particularly with the founding fathers
of America. And we know that Jefferson had two, possibly
three copies of Xenophon’s ‘Life of Cyrus’ and referred
to it regularly, so there’s a very direct link between the
Cyrus Cylinder and the making of the United States. The Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great reached its peak under the later King Darius. Extending from Libya in the the Central Mediterranean to the Indus Valley, in modern day Pakistan. It is the beginning of the idea of the Middle
East, an idea that we still live with today. And when we use the words the ‘Near East’, the ‘Middle East’, we’re talking about exactly the area that
was the Persian Empire. The frieze behind me is a cast of the frieze
in the Royal Palace at Persepolis, the Persian capital. And it shows the different peoples of the
Empire, bringing their different tributes. It’s a perfect emblem of the variety of the
Empire. Every people brings their own kind of tribute and the Persian Empire, unlike others didn’t try to crush people into
one way of being or doing, it allowed a great diversity of habits and
patterns, language and faith to live together. It became the great model of how to run an
empire of dizzying diversity. Because it was such a vast area, new practices and techniques had to be introduced to administer this vast space. The exhibition has tried to highlight some
of these all as the introduction of old Persian cuneiform, there are technological introductions, wonderful new forms of jewelery and gold and silver bowls, we find Aramaic becoming widely used at this
time and we’ve got the introduction on a large
scale of coinage. The King of Lydia is Croesus who rules a very
prosperous nation and Cyrus sees Lydian coinage in silver and
in gold and he adopts that coinage and produces Croesids as we call these coins. These coins show a lion attacking a bull and it is until the time of Darius in 522
that this coinage is continued. Darius introduces a completely new monetary
coinage, the gold daric, named after him. And the silver siglos which derives from the
Hebrew word for silver shekel. He describes himself as a competent archer, as a competent horseman, as a competent spearman. So this imagery of the archer on his coins is something definitely that the Persians
would like to be portrayed as. This armlet is actually one of a pair, from the Oxus treasure, the griffin terminals possibly show these
are Zoroastrian Veragna bird the surface is covered with lots of little
cavities for inlaying with semi-precious stone, glass
or coloured paste characteristic of the Achaemanid period. Armlets were particularly precious diplomatic
gifts at this time, they’re shown being brought by four of the
different delegations on the Apadana reliefs at Persepolis. Amongst the objects of the Oxus treasure, there are some fascinating votive objects
in the form of gold plaques. These figures wear a soft cap perhaps made
of felt. They had a chin guard this could be pulled
up to cover the mouth . When they were engaged in a religious act
or ritual act in front of the fire they had to protect the fire which is a holy
element and must not be polluted. They hold consecrated wooden sticks the barsom. We think the Achaemenids were Zoroastrians,
an ancient religion which gets its name from the prophet Zarathustra
or Zoraster in Greek. At a time when a number of Gods were worshiped Zarathustra came and said no the creator of
all is Ahura Mazda. This is the official seal of the later King
Darius who put the Empire on a secure administrative
and financial footing. King Darius hunts a lion, above him is a winged
figure with the head of a human being thought to be the Zoroastrian God Ahura Mazda, the wording declares; ‘I am Darius, the Great King’. It’s in three languages, old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian. These monumental official languages which
sometimes also include Egyptian hieroglyphs are another sign of the multi-cultural nature
of the empire. Almost everything that we know about the Persian
Empire actually comes from Greek sources, so was written by their enemies. So it’s a bit like knowing the story of 20th
America entirely through Soviet sources. And thats why this cylinder is so important this is the Persians speaking as the Persians
addressing the world it’s a message direct from Cyrus. When the Cyrus Cylinder was excavated in 1879, it brings Cyrus and indeed the cylinder into
a totally different kind of debate not about government, but about the reliability
of scripture. The middle of the 19th Century was of course a moment when the authenticity and the authority of scripture was being challenged. Darwin is writing about evolution, the discoveries of geology are making people
wonder whether you can rely on scripture. The Cylinder tells us that Cyrus is governed, led by the God of Babylon Marduk, the Hebrew Bible tells us that it was the
Lord God of Israel who governed Cyrus who conducts him through
the whole military campaign and so what we have in the Cyrus Cylinder put beside the Hebrew Bible, the book of Chronicles,
the book of Ezra are two different priestly interpretations
of the same military campaign. It suggested that the Hebrew scriptures must be part of a much bigger Middle Eastern
religious tradition. But the life that the Cyrus Cylinder could
breathe into contemporary affairs was only just beginning. In 1971 for the two thousand five hundred
year anniversary of the Persian monarchy. The shah of Iran held lavish celebrations
in the ancient capital Persepolis and in Pasargadae the site of Cyrus’ mausoleum. The Cyrus Cylinder was the official symbol
of the celebrations once again it took on a new story. The invention by the Shah of a return to Iranian
history to put him at the centre of a great tradition. Coins were minted portraying the Shah and
the Cylinder. The Cyrus Cylinder as guarantor of the Shah but soon the Shah was gone and revolutionary Iranians wanted an Islamic
history. Since the Iran-Iraq war, it’s become a symbol of unity for all Iranians to remember when two and a half thousand years
ago they fought Iraq and won. It’s worth reflecting on a moment when a Persian
released the Jews enabling them to go back to Jerusalem. When the Cyrus Cylinder went to Tehran for
exhibition in 2010 it was seen by about half a million people. Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, Jews, everybody, and it became the focus of a very particular
debate about what Iran is today., What are the histories that will shape Iran
now and in the future and how will those affect therefore the future
of the whole of the region and indeed of the world. In that intense debate I think it’s possible
that one of the most persuasive and most powerful voices may well be the voice
of this mute broken clay cylinder.

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  1. The Saddam Hussein & Muammar Gaddafi 'deposements' were a smokescreen for the extraction of illicit and secret history that the multinational zionist criminal cabal felt was a threat to their worldwide standing.

  2. “God’s purpose in sending His Prophets unto
    men is twofold. The first is to liberate the children of men from the darkness
    of ignorance, and guide them to the light of true understanding. The second is
    to ensure the peace and tranquility of mankind, and provide all the means by
    which they can be established.”

                                 (Baha'u'llah,
    Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 79)

  3. What a waste of clay, instead of a doodle pad, could have been used to make a useful pot.back then they didn't practice conservation. Save the mud.

  4. the question is why Jews are held captive by Lydia goverment?? and why they are always included in every political turmoil ??

  5. The war was a carefully diverted construct, the real prize is the "artifact"(s). Black people's secrets. Quickly stealing the 'cornerstones.' Black people "are the motor of the world". America never had an original idea.

  6. Though it’s so difficult,ones mind has to believe in another’s beliefs in and with a form of acceptance. There is no right way of religion. We should be beyond that.

  7. The Jewish and christian chroniclers are underappreciated in our time. Without them, I wonder how much longer it would have taken us to discover great empires of the past.

  8. People like to talk about Alexander the Great. I prefer Cyrus the Great–I just wish the damn Greeks hadn't smashed it all to bits, just to reanimate the corpse in the Greek style. Funny old world.

  9. The British Museum cant be trusted. Also why the fuck are there North American Indian artifacts there?? They belong to America!!!

  10. Bad plug for "diversity." Thomas Jefferson would be horrified by what America has become. Cyrus' "multiculturalism" was not a forced, soft genocide, Arians as 2nd class citizens, inviting foreign racial groups & hostile religions to "take."
    How dare you insinuate this dystopian multicultural nightmare is what those Great Men envisioned.

  11. anyone notice the chunk missing out of the Cyrus Cylinder looks eerily similar to the Dragon that covers Burma and Thailand

  12. If Archaeologists dig deeper, literally, they will find older Civilizations and it will further stress their *Fraternal 19th Century Darwin Theory"

    They continue to try to put "Cinderella's Shoe on Drucella's Foot" …

  13. Wow! The British Museum steals other countries' treasures and broadcasts it to the world. And not only that, but they try to whitewash it by claiming that it is evidence of the veracity of the bible.

  14. Why give a shit what the Sumerians wrote? why is it that all of the oldest text come from brown people countries? why are there no Celtic texts that predate or are within the same time period as

    The Rigveda
    The Epic of Gilgamesh
    The Samaveda
    The Pyramid Texts

    My hypothesis is that the Celtics are from other planets…

  15. There is a reason why all the Kings of the time referred to Cyrus "King of all kings", its only because Persia is Iran, they either ignore Persian history or lie and portray it in a negative manner. Reality was the world at the time was truly jungle rules all around the world, and wherever Cyrus conquered he freed/banned slaves/slavery, and invented currency, so people of all colour and belief could work for money and have paid holiday, human rights and the list goes on including connecting Asia and and Europe by a bridge. The current world still works with the same principles from what the Persian culture created. In the movie 300 persians are portrayed as barbaric merciless killers.

  16. I watched this a couple of times so far, this is my third time, and it keeps sinking into my head that it was extremely fortuitous to make this Cyrus scroll find. Almost too fortuitous. We have a detailed account of Persia all second hand except for this roll. Seems kind of fishy to have so many details about the defeated army second hand by the Greeks and Romans. We don't have any of that data from WWII on the Nazi's, except from the European union and the former German super state itself. Everything is completely subjective when it comes to history based upon your opinion of the dating system and the authenticity of the artifacts. When it is coming to light now that over 80% of historical artifacts are faked on purpose to make money, the veracity of any find needs to be questioned to the extreme. If anything doesn't mesh up there needs to be a concise explanation.

    Here historians are claiming the Cyrus scroll is at odds with the Biblical translations, well then you are gonna have to come out an say it, that one or the other is forged. You can't say it was all just a misunderstanding when the Bible itself claims the scriptures can't be altered according to the fundamentalists. However, if you appeal to Jermiah 8:8 you will find this is not the case. The case in Jermiah 8:8 is that the original scriptures will be forged to support the priest class and teaching class of the nature of the world, in this case either the Jewish priesthood who wrote the bible,with the exception of the Jewish disciples who wrote most of the new testament, or the archeologists right here are lying straight up and forging history right in front of you. Call out the Jewish priests or the University professors, they both have a vested interest in the non agreeance of these texts vs. artifacts.

  17. Isn't that amazing that the average American only knows about Russia from the Revolution onward with Lenin and Trotsky etc. However, even well educated American college graduates do not even get most of the advent of the USSR and the fall of the Russian monarchy correct in the 20th century. Not blaming, just believe it may not be even possible. When both USSR and USA are practicing propaganda against each other supposedly even in the schooling system down to Kindergarten, you have to question the official narrative. Isn't the official narrative of arch enemies more than likely to be false as proven by modern world history in each of our own lifetimes. So there literally can be no way the Greeks or Romans could have given even a partially accurate view of the Persians, and by design every remnant was wiped clean off the face of the earth until modern times when the remnants of the Greek/Roman system uncover more evidence of the "perfect" history for university professors and priests of the churches of the world.

  18. If there was a mysterious and ghostly hand writing on the walls of the Regent of Babylon, I may have to rethink my agnosticism…

  19. This is proof of iran ( Persia) power and 5000 years civilization . and thats why arabs and trump and so many other countries jealous to iran(Persia) .

  20. The Mediterranean is a body of water, which borders Spain Italy Greece Turkey and other countries. @ 6:21.. Libya is a place/land on the continent of Africa and it also borders the Mediterranean Sea. This is a travesty of facts and history. The Indus valley in modern day Pakistan is not labeled as being "Central" Arabian Sea.

  21. Thank God his cylinder wasn't in the Baghdad museum. It along with nearly everything else inside was either destroyed or stolen, with US military within a stone's throw.
    Even though I know what the lady and gentleman's words were – still I cannot imagine their grief-stricken horror as this took place – and afterward.
    All that happened in nearly every country that has endured severe upheaval, was because of US foreign policy.

  22. The ancient Egyptians were actually the fleeing Atlanteans, which makes sense as far as the thier epic abilities in Stone cobstriction and hieroglyphics and worshiping the Sun God Ra,

  23. I can only smell an overwhelming stench of parasite dung – I only got to 5:20 and returned 2 bitch u te
    – Jewish integrating diversity ? – https://www.bitchute.com/video/NrXB2SnKE2cf/

  24. 1:59 in the video, the hebrew script is incorrect. Someone did not do their research.
    It should read מְנֵ֥א מְנֵ֖א תְּקֵ֥ל וּפַרְסִֽין׃ (MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN)
    Hebrew is read right to left

  25. 1Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
    2I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
    3And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
    4For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
    5I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

  26. BTW – how is it, that Jews were always slaves? In the West /Egypt/, in the East /Babylon/ or Persia? such a good people, always persecuted as slaves, as useless tribe… What Is the Truth?

  27. 5:15 – a notion of 'return' is nothing else than a notion of 'revenge' – there is no human mercy in any of Hebrew subcultures, except Christianism…

  28. is all of this stuff true is every thing that we know about the king James bible bin manipulated I know some people thats so stubborn that there is not now ways too get them to believe it all ?

  29. If GOD'S name is Marduk to the Zoroastrians and King Cyrus acknowledged YHWH why did the Zoroastrians keep calling out to Marduk? Clearly Marduk is a demon whom people today worship as a filthy demon. There is no hiding who he is?

  30. What a load of crap. Babylonian IS NOT a Semitic language. Sorry "Professor" Irving Finkel, Babylonian IS NOT related to Hebrew, Arabic OR Aramaic. These theories are firmly stuck in the past and the old orthodoxy that has kept the truth from the world for many hundreds of years. Babylonian is a language that originated in the Carpathian Basin and the language closest to it, the one that contains OVER two thousand common words is HUNGARIAN. No other language has these commonalities. Hebrew has maybe 20 common words with Babylonian in comparison. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE you say? Well it is called fraud and conspiracy to elevate one group over another by obscuring the truth. There will of course be haters that immediately attack this post, but the scholarship that clearly proves my point is out there and readily available to anyone that actually cares about the truth and real history.

  31. I'm always amazed by the fact that so much history, science, and religion mirror exactly whats been forced to the public through this magical wonder that spreads darkness through the use of light penetrating and influencing even those who were once protected by the light. This magical device that was given to us through technology given to mankind through the fallen ones is now completely controlled in its content by the descendants of the Israelite's. The magical wonder that serves us all to better serve the god of this world is known as the TV or as I call it Satan's Dark Light that penetrates directly into one's soul.

  32. Ustedes se equivocan a lo pendejo, creen que toda esa historia les afecta el coco, babosos, vivan el presente y dejen que los de antes se jodan

  33. Liars and bastards. The azkenazie Jewish settlers in Jerusalem are Babylonians? This is 2019, murderers, thieves, racist, inbred etc.

  34. nothing to see here , that we already know , dont waist your time ! sorry finky , you guys keep repeteing the same things over and over ! give it a rest !

  35. What a good idea, you roll it in some wet clay, rinse it off and voila, you have a fresh copy on a tablet…. Not quite cut and paste but pretty useful….. Many included pictures of naked ladies and gentlemen's parts because clay tablets are for porn.

  36. Here is why, for whomever is wondering, why aliens are more believeable.
    Anything that provably exists is flesh and blood, or solid matter. We can see them, touch them.. animate and inanimate objects.. people, animals, etc.
    I guess, God could be a ruler of another type of species, that came from the sky, and had an army or at least, a few henchmen to protect him. The less believable part, to me, is religion.
    God would be, an alien, by definition, and angels too. Being doomed for not trusting in something because it can't be seen or proven is the insane part, because any rational being would at least half expect, ANY living thing to not blindly follow what is in a book. To think that because one's individual family dictates what "they" believe in, ruins the whole God and angels fiasco. Because it turns into opinion and the greediness of taking credit for "KNOWING" why all thing exist, is just too funny.
    Something closer to the neighborhood of Sirius, who can see it clearly, knows something more than we do. It could have been an alien who is a bartender, and in a form or organized crime in some far away planet(it has to be a planet, they're solid matter). Who came 40000 by years ago to collect a debt from a aborigine(sp?), or a damn puma… it's going to be complicated as shit, maybe he just messed with some folks head years ago. See…. we can all think of dumb ideas, but the facts stated in this video are too real. And I tend to not lean towards religion obviously, good video and not a dumb idea at all.
    It is actually reasonable, . .oreso than my dumb alien bartender or an all knowing being who wants you to not deny he exists, or you're just an asshole and deserves to be forever tortured

  37. What amazing man, Cyrus was. The abillity to bring together so many ethnic groups, was a masterpiece of humanistiske political skill. We should have him today,in darkened Persia.

  38. Academics! To talk about how Cyrus met his end, along with the prophesy of the writing on the wall, without acknowledgement of the prophesy, and it’s meaning, is rather like describing the ashes of Hiroshima as if someone started it with a chip pan fire.

  39. 4.18. Det da et hånd avtryg det på pladen hva måtte der ikke komme med der var dem ved magten lige så kuråbt som politikerne idag sygt grådighed betyder så meget for folk

  40. They actually relied on the bible for some shit. That book is just a big bunch of lies put together to make people bow down, the bible is just full of lies why would they even go by that in the first place. How stupid.

  41. The Persians had nothing original. They simply copied over from the Assyrian/Babylonian civilisations. Later Persian empires were one of the cruelest in human history.

  42. Uumm not for nothing but they wrote and read from right to left not left to right. Reading and writing from left to right is part of leviathan

  43. Well, I say, If the Middle East wants Nuclear weapon capabilities, I say "we" should give it to them, Deliver it by Air-Mail. We can do that within 24 hours I figure it. ( Disappear in a brilliant, bright Purple flash ).

  44. I have had my fill with British, Smithsonian, Rockefeller, UNESCO, Vatican, Text Book writers Board of Ed =B.E.D Kindlefire Book Burning rewriting and deleting History as I type this..
    BS His Story Lesson … of these Lying liars THE CONTROLLERS .. Eph 6:12 Who took from us so much of our life story in ORDER to hide Our Heavenly Father so They keep Power and Dominion
    Matt 23: 13 Woes to Scribes and Pharisees
    …12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter. …

  45. Persians don't call him syrus. They call him koorosh. Or koorosh e kabir. Meaning koorosh the great. Or syrus the great.
    Alexander or as Persians call him skandar is very rarely called the great. Neither by people nor by historians and writers of persia.

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