Cyrus the Great.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
Isaiah mentions Cyrus in the bible. This Cyrus was the servant of God to deliver the Jews from captivity, and get the temple foundations laid.
Cyrus was doing great until he came up against the queen of the Massagetai. The book is by Herodotus, and is worth a read.

Submitted: July 20, 2019

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Submitted: July 20, 2019



Cyrus took Babylon easily, and was now preparing to take the Massagetai  whose queen was very powerful. She had warned him not to be so foolish to do so.
The Massagetai are a very warlike nation swelling eastward toward the rising of the sun, beyond the river Araxes, and opposite the Issedonians. They are regarded as a Scythian race. They fight on horseback and on foot.. They use bows and lances. Their best weapon is the battle-axe. Their arms are of gold or brass.They use brass for their spear-points and arrow- heads. For their battle-axes, they use brass. Head gear, belts and girdles, they use gold. On their horses they have breastplates of brass. Gold will be found on the reins, the bits, and the chhek-plates. They have no iron or silver in their country.

Their customs:

Each man only has one wife. All the wives are held in common. When a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; also offering cattle. After the sacrifice, they boil the flesh and feast on it. If a man dies of disease, they do not eat him, they bury him in the ground, crying for him, that he did not come to be sacrificed. They sow no grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of which there is great plenty in the Araxes. Milk is what they chiefly drink. The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the horse in sacrifice.

The Massagetai were ruled by a queen, named Tonyris, who at the death of her husband, the late king had mounted the throne. To her, Cyrus sent ambassadors, with instructions to court her on his part, pretending that he wished to take her to wife. Tomyris, however, aware that it was her kingdom, and not herself, that he courted, forbade the men to approach.

Cyrus therefore, finding that he did not advance his designs by this deceit, marched towards the Araxes, and openly displaying his hostile intentions; set to work to construct a bridge on which his army might cross the river, and began building towers upon boats which were to be used in the passage. While the Persiaqn leader was occupied in these labors, Tomyris sent a herald to him, who said, ''King of the Medes, cease to press this enterprise, for you cannot know if what you're doing will be of real advantage to you. Be content to rule in peace your own kingdom, and bear to see us reign over countries that are ours to govern. As however, I know you will not choose to hearken to this counsel, since there is nothing you less desirest than peace and quietness, come now, If you're so mightily desirous of meeting the Massagetai in arms leave your useless toil of bridge- making; let us retire 3 days march from the river bank, and do you come across with your soldiers; or if you like better to give us battle on your side the stream, retire yoursel and equal distance.''

Cyrus, on this offer, called together the chiefs of the Persians, and laid the matter before them, requesting them to advise him what he should do. All the votes were in favor of leeting Tomyris cross the stream and giving battle on Persian ground.

Note: I think that's enough to give you an idea of what is going to take place. Herodotus described it very well but there are other versions how Cyrus met his end.

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