Cyrus the Great (King)

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590/580-ca. 529 BCE

King of Persia

Cyrus was the founder of the Achaemenid empire, one of the greatest of the ancient kingdoms, centered on Persia. According to legend Cyrus was the son of prince Cambyses and the daughter of King Astyages. In a dream Astyages was told that the baby Cyrus would overthrow him, and to avoid this he ordered that the baby be killed. But the official delegated to do this gave the baby to a shepherd instead (compare Oedipus, Finn Mac Cumhal and Krishna).

When he was 10 the deception was discovered by Astyages, but because of his outstanding qualities he was allowed to live in exile. But in 550 the prophecy came true, and Cyrus overthrew his grandfather.

A variant of this legend, reported by Herodotus, has Cyrus as a feral child, at least for a while, cared for by dogs.

Cyrus was the king of Babylon who freed the Jews to return to their homeland, and he is remembered as a tolerant and wise king.

References

Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97
Royal Persia: A Commemoration of Cyrus the Great and His Successors on the Occasion of the 2500th Anniversary of the Founding of the Persian Empire. (London: British Museum, 1971)
"Cyrus the Great." Available at: http://www.magna.com.au/~abtir/per/cyrus1.htm
Omidsalar, Mahmoud, and Omidsalar, Teresa P. "The Dog." Available at: http://www.iranian.com/Sep96/Iranica/Dogs/Dogs.html

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Arab, Middle Eastern
Near East
Iran
Bce
Rulers, Nobles, Chiefs, Presidents, Prime Ministers
Birth Identity Disputed or Deliberately Concealed
Figures Whose Adoption or Fostering Is Fictitious, Disputed or Unconfirmed
Birth or Infancy
Foundlings and Feral Children
To Avoid Prophecy Fulfillment
Others ("Strangers")
Animals (i.e., Feral Children)
Temporary Care
Customary or Traditional Adoption, Informal and Extra-Legal Care
Adoptees/Fosterees from Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Birth Families
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