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The First Charter of Human Right by King Cyrus, Founder of the Persian Empire


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Cyrus Charter of Human Rights Cylinder
First Charter of Human Rights

  • The charter of Cyrus the Great, a baked-clay Aryan language (Old Persian) cuneiform cylinder, was discovered in 1878 in excavation of the site of Babylon. In it, Cyrus the Great described his human treatment of the inhabitants of Babylonia after its conquest by the Iranians.

    The document has been hailed as the first charter of human rights, and in 1971 the United Nations was published translation of it in all the official U.N. languages. "May Ahura Mazda protect this land, this nation, from rancor, from foes, from falsehood, and from drought". Selected from the book "The Eternal Land".

    I am Cyrus.
    King of the world. When I entered Babylon... I did not allow anyone to terrorise the land... I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being... I put an end to their misfortune.

    From The First Charter of the Rights of Nations

    Cyrus, The Great, 539 B.C.
    Founder of The First Persian Empire

    Cyrus The Great

    Portrait of Cyrus King of Persia Cyrus (580-529 BC) was the first Achaemenid Emperor. He founded Persia by uniting the two original Iranian Tribes- the Medes and the Persians. Although he was known to be a great conqueror, who at one point controlled one of the greatest Empires ever seen, he is best remembered for his unprecedented tolerance and magnanimous attitude towards those he defeated.

    Upon his victory over the Medes, he founded a government for his new kingdom, incorporating both Median and Persian nobles as civilian officials. The conquest of Asia Minor completed, he led his armies to the eastern frontiers. Hyrcania and Parthia were already part of the Median Kingdom. Further east, he conquered Drangiana, Arachosia, Margiana and Bactria. After crossing the Oxus, he reached the Jaxartes, where he built fortified towns with the object of defending the farthest frontier of his kingdom against nomadic tribes of Central Asia.

    The victories to the east led him again to the west and sounded the hour for attack on Babylon and Egypt. When he conquered Babylon, he did so to cheers from the Jewish Community, who welcomed him as a liberator- he allowed the Jews to return to the promised Land. He showed great forbearance and respect towards the religious beliefs and cultural traditions of other races. These qualities earned him the respect and homage of all the people over whom he ruled.

    First Human Rights Declaration by Cyrus The Great, Persian King in 539 B.C.
    Charter of the Rights of Nations
    Inscribed on a clay cylinder in cuneiform
    discovered in 1879 now in The British Museum, London.

    2500 Years of Persian Empire Celebration Gold Coin
    Language: Akkadian
    Medium: clay cylinder
    Size: 23 cm long
    11 cm wide
    Length: 40+ lines of writing
    (although broken)
    Genre:
    Date: 538 BCE
    Cyrus's reign: 557–529 BCE
    Place of Discovery: Nineveh, Iraq
    Date of Discovery: 1879
    Discoverer: Hormuzd Rassam
    Current Location: British Museum
    Inventory number: BM WAA 90920
    (BM = British Museum;
    WAA = Western Asiastic Antiquities)
    متن کامل اعلاميه جهانی حقوق بشر
    (Complete Text of Cyrus' Charter of the Rights of Nations in Persian)
    In the Charter, after introducing himself and mentioning the names of his father, first, second, and third ancestors, Cyrus says that he is the monarch of Iran, Babylon, and the four continents: I am Kourosh (Cyrus), King of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Camboujiyah (Cambyases), great king, king of Anshan, grandson of Kourosh (Cyrus), great king, king of Anshan, descendant of Chaish-Pesh (Teispes), great king, king of Anshan, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingship they desire for their hearts, pleasure. When I well-disposed, entered Babylon, I set up a seat of domination in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk the great god, caused the big-hearted inhabitations of Babylon to .................. me, I sought daily to worship him.

    He continues:

    At my deeds Marduk, the great lord, rejoiced and to me, Kourosh (Cyrus), the king who worshipped him, and to Camboujiyah (Cambyases), my son, the offspring of (my) loins, and to all my troops he graciously gave his blessing, and in good sprit before him we glorified exceedingly his high divinity. All the kings who sat in throne rooms, throughout the four quarters, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, those who dwelt in ..................., all the kings of the West Country, who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in Babylon. From ... to the cities of Ashur, Susa, Agade and Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Meurnu, Der as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the gods whose abode is in the midst of them, I returned to their places and housed them in lasting abodes. I gathered together all their inhabitations and restored (to them) their dwellings. The gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabounids had, to the anger of the lord of the gods, brought into Babylon. I, at the bidding of Marduk, the great lord, made to dwell in peace in their habitations, delightful abodes. May all the gods whom I have placed within their sanctuaries address a daily prayer in my favour before Bel and Nabu, that my days may be long, and may they say to Marduk my lord, "May Kourosh (Cyrus) the King, who reveres thee, and Camboujiyah (Cambyases) his son ..."

    And:

    Now that I put the crown of kingdom of Iran, Babylon, and the nations of the four directions on the head with the help of (Ahura) Mazda, I announce that I will respect the traditions, customs and religions of the nations of my empire and never let any of my governors and subordinates look down on or insult them until I am alive. From now on, till (Ahura) Mazda grants me the kingdom favor, I will impose my monarchy on no nation. Each is free to accept it , and if any one of them rejects it , I never resolve on war to reign. Until I am the king of Iran, Babylon, and the nations of the four directions, I never let anyone oppress any others, and if it occurs , I will take his or her right back and penalize the oppressor. And until I am the monarch, I will never let anyone take possession of movable and landed properties of the others by force or without compensation. Until I am alive, I prevent unpaid, forced labor. To day, I announce that everyone is free to choose a religion. People are free to live in all regions and take up a job provided that they never violate other's rights. No one could be penalized for his or her relatives' faults. I prevent slavery and my governors and subordinates are obliged to prohibit exchanging men and women as slaves within their own ruling domains. Such a traditions should be exterminated the world over. I implore to (Ahura) Mazda to make me succeed in fulfilling my obligations to the nations of Iran (Persia), Babylon, and the ones of the four directions.

    ماده ۱:   تمام افراد بشر آزاد به دنیا می آیند و از لحاظ حیثیت و حقوق با هم برابرند . همه دارای عقل و وجدان می باشند و باید نسبت به یکدیگر با روح برادری رفتار کنند.
     ماده۲:   هر کس می تواند بدون هیچ گونه تمایز ، خصوصا از حیث نژاد ، رنگ ، جنس ، زبان ، مذهب ، عقیده سیاسی یا هر عقیده دیگر و همچنین ملیت ، وضع اجتماعی ، ثروت ، ولادت یا هر موقعیت  دیگر ، از تمام حقوق و کلیه آزادی هایی که در اعلامیه حاضر ذکر شده است ، بهره مند گردد. به علاوه هیچ تبعیضی به عمل نخواهد آمد که مبتنی بر وضع سیاسی ، اداری و قضایی یا بین المللی کشور یا سرزمینی باشد که شخص به آن تعلق دارد . گواه این کشور مستقل ، تحت قیمومیت یا غیر خود مختار بوده یا حاکمیت آن به شکل محدودی شده  باشد.
    ماده ۳:  هر کس حق زندگی ، آزادی و امنیت شخصی دارد .
    ماده ۴:  احدی را نمی توان در بردگی نگه داشت و داد و ستد بردگان به هر شکلی که باشد ممنوع  است.
    ماده ۵:  احدی  را نمی توان تحت شکنجه یا مجازات یا رفتاری قرار داد که ظالمانه و یا بر خلاف انسانیت و شئون بشری یا موهن باشد .
    ماده ۶:  هر کس حق دارد که شخصیت حقوق او در همه جا به عنوان یک انسان در مقابل قانون شناخته شود .
    ماده ۷:  همه در برابر قانون ، مساوی هستند و حق دارند بدون تبعیض و بالسویه از حمایت قانون برخوردار شوند.همه حق دارند در مقابل هر تبعیضی که ناقض اعلامیه حاضر باشد و بر علیه هر تحریکی که برای چنین تبعیضی به عمل آید به طور تساوی از حمایت قانون بهره مند شوند.
    ماده ۸:  در برابر اعمالی که حقوق اساسی فرد را مورد تجاوز قرار بدهد و آن حقوق به وسیله قانون اساسی یا قانون دیگری برای او شناخته شده  باشد ، هر کس حق رجوع به محاکم ملی صالحه دارد .
    ماده ۹:  احدی  را نمی توان خود سرانه توقیف ، حبس یا تبعید نمود .
    ماده ۱۰:  هرکس با مساوات کامل حق دارد که دعوایش به وسیله دادگاه مساوی و بی طرفی ، منصفانه و علنا رسیدگی بشود و چنین دادگاهی درباره حقوق و الزامات او یا هر اتهام جزایی که به او توجه پیدا کرده باشند، اتخاذ تصمیم بنماید.
    ماده ۱۱:  الف) هر کس به بزه کاری متهم شده باشد بی گناه  محسوب خواهد شد تا وقتی  که در جریان یک دعوای عمومی که در آن کلیه تضمین های لازم برای دفاع ازاو تامین شده باشد ، تقصیر او قانونا محرز گردد.
    ب) هیچ کس برای انجام یا عدم انجام عملی که در موقع ارتکاب ، آن عمل به موجب حقوق ملی یا بین المللی جرم شناخته نمی شده است محکوم نخواهد شد . به همین طریق هیچ مجازاتی شدیدتر از آنچه که در موقع ارتکاب جرم بدان تعلق می گرفت درباره احدی اعمال نخواهد شد.
    ماده ۱۲:  احدی در زندگی  خصوصی ، امور خانوادگی ، اقامتگاه یا مکاتبات خود نباید مورد مداخله های  خود سرانه واقع شود و شرافت و اسم و رسمش نباید مورد حمله قرار گیرد . هر کس حق دارد که در مقابل این گونه مداخلات و حملات ، مورد حمایت قانون قرار گیرد.
    ماده ۱۳:  الف) هر کس حق دارد که در داخل هر کشوری آزادانه عبور و مرور کند و محل اقامت خود را انتخاب نماید.
    ب) هر کی حق دارد هر کشوری و از جمله کشور خود را ترک کند یا به کشور خود باز گردد.
    ماده ۱۴:  الف) هر کس حق دارد در برابر تعقیب ، شکنجه و آزار ، پناهگاهی جسنجو کند و در کشورهای دیگر پناه اختیار کند.
     ب) در موردی که تعقیب واقعا مبتنی به جرم عمومی و غیر سیاسی و رفتارهایی مخالف با اصول  و مقاصد ملل متحد باشد ، نمی توان از این حق استفاده نمود .
    ماده ۱۵:  الف) هر کس حق دارد ، که دارای تابعیت باشد.
     ب) احدی را تمی توان خود سرانه از تابعیت خود یا از حق تغییر تابعیت محروم کرد.
    ماده ۱۶:  الف) هر زن و مرد بالغی حق دارند بدون هیچ محدودیت از نظر نژاد ، ملیت ، تابعیت یا مذهب با هم دیگر زناشویی و هنگام انحلال آن ، زن و شوهر در کلیه امور مربوط به ازدواج دارای حقوق مساوی می باشند.
    ب) ازدواج باید با رضایت کامل و آزادانه زن ومرد واقع شود .
    پ) خانواده رکن طبیعی و اساسی اجتماع است و حق دارد از حمایت جامعه و دولت بهره مند شود.
    ماده ۱۷:  الف) هر شخص ، منفردا یا به طور اجتماعی حق مالکیت دارد.
    ب) احدی را تمی توان خود سرانه از حق مالکیت محروم نمود .
    ماده ۱۸:  هر کس حق دارد که از آزادی فکر ، وجدان و مذهب بهره مند شود .این حق متضمن آزادی تغییر مذهب یا عقیده  و ایمان می باشد و نیز شامل تعلیمات مذهبی و اجرای مراسم دینی است . هرکس می تواند از این حقوق یا مجتمعاً به طور خصوصی یا به طور عمومی بر خوردار باشد.
    ماده ۱۹:  هر کس حق آزادی عقیده وبیان دارد و حق  مزبورشامل آن است که از داشتن عقاید خود بیم و اضطرابی نداشته باشد و در کسب اطلاعات و افکار و در اخذ و انتشار آن ، به تمام وسایل ممکن و بدون ملاحضات مرزی، آزاد باشد .
    ماده ۲۰:  الف) هرکس حق دارد آزادانه مجامع و جمعیت های مسالمت آ میز تشکیل دهد.
    ب) هیچ کس را تمی توان مجبور به شرکت در اجتماعی کرد.
    ماده ۲۱:  الف) هر کس حق دارد که در اداره امور عمومی کشور خود ،  خواه مستقیما و خواه با وساطت  نمایندگانی که آزادانه انتخاب شده باشد شرکت جوید.
    ب) هر کس حق دارد با تساوی شرایط ، به مشاغل عمومی کشور خود نایل آید
    پ) اساس و منشا قدرت حکومت  ، اراده مردم است . این اراده  باید به وسیله انتخاباتی ابراز گردد که از روی صداقت و به طور ادواری ، صورت پذیرد .انتخابات باید عمومی و با رعایت مساوات باشد و با رای مخفی یا طریقهای نظیر آن انجام گیرد که آزادی  رای  را تامین  نماید .
    ماده ۲۲:  هر کس به عنوان عضو اجتماع ، حق امنیت اجتماعی دارد و مجاز است به وسیله مساعی ملی و همکاری بین المللی ، حقوق اقتصادی ، اجتماعی و فرهنگی خود را که لازمه مقام و نمو آزادانه شخصیت اوست با رعایت تشکیلات و منابع هر کشور به دست آورد.
    ماده ۲۳:  الف) هر کس حق دارد کار کند، کار خود را آزادانه انتخاب نماید ، شرایط منصفانه و رضایت بخشی برای کار خواستار باشد و در مقابل بیکاری مورد حمایت قرار گیرد.
    ب) همه حق دارند که بدون هیچ  تبعیضی در مقابل کار مساوی ، اجرت مساوی دریافت نمايند
    پ) هر کس که کار میکند به مزد منصفانه و رضایت بخشی ذیحق می شود که زندگی او و خانواده اش را موافق شئون انسانی تامین کند و آن را در صورت لزوم با هر نوع وسایل دیگر حمایت اجتماعی، تکمیل نماید
    ت) هر کس حق دارد که برای دفاع از منافع خود با دیگران اتحادیه تشکیل دهد و در اتحادیه ها نیز شرکت کند.
    ماده ۲۴:  هر کس حق استراحت و فراغت و تفریح دارد و به خصوص به محدودیت معقول ساعات کار و مرخصی های ادواری ، با اخذ حقوق، ذیحق می باشد.
    ماده ۲۵:  الف) هرکس حق دارد که سطح زندگی او ، سلامتی و رفاه خود و خانواده اش را از حیث خوراک ومسکن ومراقبتهای طبی و خدمات لازم اجتماعی تامین کند و همچنین حق دارد که در مواقع بیکاری ، بیماری ، نقص اعضا ، بیوگی ، پیری یا در تمام موارد دیگری  که به علل خارج از اراده  انسان ، وسایل امرار معاش او از بین رفته باشد از شرایط آبرومندانه زندگی برخوردار شود.
    ب) مادران وکودکان حق دارند که از کمک و مراقبت مخصوصی بهره مند شوند . کودکان چه براثر ازدواج و چه بدون ازدواج  به دنیا آمده باشند ، حق دارند که همه از یک نوع حمایت اجتماعی برخوردار شوند.
    ماده ۲۶:  الف) هر کس حق دارد که از آموزش و پرورش بهره مند شود . آموزش و پرورش لااقل تا حدودی که مربوط به تعلیمات ابتدایی و اساسی است باید مجانی باشد . آموزش ابتدایی اجباری است . آموزش حرفه ای باید عمومیت پیدا کند و آموزش عالی باید با شرایط تساوی کامل ، به روی همه باز باشد تا همه ، بنا به استعداد خود بتواند از آن بهره مند گردند.
    ب) آموزش و پرورش باید به طوری هدایت شود که شخصیت انسانی هر کس را به حد اکمل رشد آن برساند و احترام حقوق و آزادی های بشری را تقویت کند . آموزش و پرورش باید حسن تفاهم ، گذشت و احترام عقاید مخالف و دوستی بین تمام ملل و جمعیت های نژادی یا مذهبی و همچنین توسعه فعالیت های ملل متحد را در راه حفظ صلح ، تسهیل نماید.
    پ) پدر و مادر در انتخاب نوع آموزش و پرورش فرزندان خود نسبت به دیگران اولویت دارند.
    ماده ۲۷:  الف) هر کس حق دارد در زندگی فرهنگی اجتماع شرکت کند ، از فنون و هنرها متمتع گردد و در پیشرفت علمی و فوائد آن سهیم باشد.
    ب) هر کس حق دارد از حمایت منافع معنوی و مادی آثارعلمی ، فرهنگی یا هنری خود برخوردار شود.
    ماده ۲۸:  هر کس حق دارد برقراری نظمی را بخواهد که از لحاظ اجتماع و بین المللی ، حقوق و آزادی هایی را که در این اعلامیه ذکر گردیده ، تامین کند و آنها را به مورد عمل بگذارد.
    ماده ۲۹:  الف) هرکس در مقابل آن جامعه ای وظیفه دارد که رشد آزاد کامل شخصیت او را میسر سازد
    ب) هر کس در اجرای حقوق و استفاده از آزادی های خود ، فقط تابع محدودیت هایی است که به وسیله قانون ، منحصرا به منظور تامین شناسایی و مراعات حقوق و آزادی های دیگران و برای مقتضیات صحیح اخلاقی و نظم عمومی و رفاه همگانی ، در شرایط یک جامعه دموکراتیک  وضع  گردیده  است.
    پ) این حقوق و آزادی ها ، در هیچ موردی نمی تواند بر خلاف مقاصد و اصول ملل متحد اجرا گردد.
    ماده ۳۰:  هیچ یک از مقررات اعلامیه حاضر نباید طوری تفسیر شود که متضمن حقی برای دولتی یا جمعیتی یا فردی باشد که به موجب آن بتواند هر یک از حقوق و آزادی های مندرج در اعلامیه را ازبین ببرد ویا در آن راه ، فعالیتی بنماید.


    Tomb of Cyrus The Great Near Shiraz in Southern Iran, A simple Limestone Structure is the Resting Place of a great humniterin Ancient King that rules the great EMpire of Persia and His Wisdom still rules the Chrter of the United Nations
    Tomb of Cyrus The Great - A simple Limestone Structure - Near Shiraz


    After victory over Babylonia, Cyrus The Great presented himself not as a conqueror, but a liberator and the legitimate successor to the crown. He took the title of "King of Babylon and King of the Land". Cyrus had no thought of forcing conquered people into a single mould, and had the wisdom to leave unchanged the institution of each kingdom he attached to the Persian Crown. In 537 BC he allowed more than 40,000 Jews to leave Babylon and return to Palestine.

    He also declared the first Charter of Human Rights known to mankind, which is written on a clay cylinder: Statue of Cyrus The Great in the Bicentenil Park in Australia

    "I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Cambyses, great king, king of Anshan, grandson of Cyrus, great king, king of Anshan, descendant of Teispes, great king, king of Anshan, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingship they desire for their hearts' pleasures.

    When I, well-disposed, entered Babylon, I established the seat of government in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk, the great God, caused the big-hearted inhabitants of Babylon to...me. I sought daily to worship him. My numerous troops moved about undisturbed in the midst of Babylon.

    I did not allow any to terrorize the land of Sumer and Akkad. I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being. The citizens of Babylon... I lifted their unbecoming yoke. Their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end to their misfortunes.

    At my deeds Marduk, the great Lord, rejoiced, and to me, Cyrus, the king who worshipped, and to Cambyses, my son, the offspring of my loins, and to all my troops, he graciously gave his blessing, and in good spirit is before him we/glorified/exceedingly his high divinity.

    All the kings who sat in the throne rooms, throughout the four quarters, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, those who dwelt in ... all the kings of the West Country who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in Babylon. From ... to the cities of Ashur and Susa, Agade, Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Meurnu, Der, as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the Gods whose abode is in the midst of them. I returned to the places and housed them in lasting abodes. I gathered together all their inhabitants and restored to them their dwellings. The Gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus had, to the anger of the Lord of the Gods, brought into Babylon, I at the bidding of Marduk, the great Lord made to dwell in peace in their habitations, delightful abodes.

    May all the gods whom I have placed within their sanctuaries address a daily prayer in my favour before Bel and Nabu, that my days may long, and may they say to Marduk my Lord, May Cyrus the King who reveres thee, and Cambyses his son ..."

    Iran to celebrate Cyrus's birthday - October 29 - Cyrus Day

    Iran's Fars Province will celebrate the birthday of the Persian king, Cyrus the Great, in the 1st Achaemenid capital of Persepolis.

    The ceremony will be held to highlight the historical magnificence of Persepolis and examine the numerous existing legends about Cyrus.

    The event will be attended by researchers and historians who will deliver speeches about the history of Fars Province and the Achaemenid dynasty.

    Cyrus the Great (529-580 BC) united the two original Iranian Tribes- the Medes and the Persians.

    Cyrus is best remembered for his great tolerance and noble attitude towards the conquered nations. He is also famous for the declaration of the first Charter of Human Rights.

    He is buried in Pasargade, 70 kilometers north of Persepolis in Fars.


    Happy Cyrus Day - Oct 29, 2007

    October 29th has been designated as the international day of Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, who declared the first charter of human rights in the world, also known as the Cyrus Cylinder. In 539 BC, Persian troops entered the city of Babylon, without encountering any resistance. On October 29th, Cyrus himself entered the city, assuming the titles of "King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, King of the four corners of the world.. The Cyrus Cylinder was placed under the walls of Babylon as a foundation deposit, following a long Babylonian tradition.

    Cyrus the Great proclaimed more than 2500 years ago: "Today, I announce that everyone is free to choose a religion. People are free to live in all regions and take up a job provided that they never violate other's rights." Cyrus the Great declared himself not a conqueror, but a liberator and the rightful successor to the crown.

    The ancient world held universal admiration for the beliefs and practices of the Persians as enshrined in the Cyrus Charter of Human Rights. Even the Greeks, the traditional adversaries of the Persians, called Cyrus "The Lawgiver". History has recorded that Cyrus did accomplish the task for which he was foreordained.

    Alexander the Great plundered Persia. He destroyed and burned Persepolis, the magnificent palace complex of the Achaemenid kings in the province of Pars. Yet, Alexander paid tribute to Cyrus the Great at his tomb. This shows how much Cyrus the Great was respected, even in the eyes of his fierce enemies.

    Cyrus the Great has been given many names: Cyrus the enlightened liberator, Cyrus the benevolent, Cyrus the Law-giver, Cyrus the righteous, Cyrus the heroic conqueror, Cyrus the tolerant King, and many more. No other man so far back in ancient history had been showered with such accolades by kings and emperors who knew of him only by reputation.

    Cyrus the Great is the founding father of Persia and the mighty Persian Empire . perhaps the most exemplary, magnificent and just king the world has ever seen.

    An illustration of the benevolent beliefs and practices launched by this unsurpassed historical figure goes back to the landmark action of King Cyrus the Great of Persia. In 539 B.C., having conquered Babylon, the benevolent King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to the Promised Land and build their temple.

    For his acts of kindness, Cyrus the Great is immortalized in the Bible in several passages and called "the anointed of the Lord". The Jews, throughout recorded history, looked to Cyrus' people, the Iranians, as their friends and protectors against oppressors such as the Seleucids and the Romans.

    In the book of Isaiah, Cyrus, the King of Persia, a non-Jew was called the "mash'aka" God, according to Isaiah when he wrote: .Thus said the Lord to his 'mash'aka (anointed), to Cyrus. (Isaiah 45:1). Jeremiah also told that Cyrus was commissioned by God to go to Jerusalem and build the Second Temple.

    "Who carry the vessels of the Lord" (v. 11b). Ezra tells the story of the departure of the exiles from Babylonia: "King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods" (Ezra 1:7).

    "This says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom I have seized by the right, to subdue nations before him. Yes, I will open the loins of kings, to open the two-leaved doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before you and make hills level; I will tear apart the bronze doors and cut the iron bars in two. And I will give you the treasures of darkness, even treasures in secret places, that you may know that I am the Lord who calls you by your name, I the God of Israel" (vs.1-3 Para.)..

    To Cyrus the Great, humanity was one widely dispersed family. He believed in this tenet long before unequivocal genetic findings clearly established that biologically there is only one human race; that the genetic variation within a single troop of chimpanzees, for instance, is greater than that of any two human groupings, no matter how different they may appear physically.

    Excerpts from an article by Amil Imani

    The British Museum presented an extensive "The Persian Empire Gallery" in 2005. After the well recieved gallery, the Charter of the Rights of the Nations, known as Cyrus Charter of Rights of Nations Cylinder, was loaned to the National Museum of Iran for three months for display in Tehran.

    Cyrus, The Great, The First Charter of Human Rights Cylinder, loaned to Iran by UK Museum for 3 months

    British Museum in battle with Iran over ancient 'charter of rights'

    01/23/2010 - Tehran alleges time-wasting as curator trawls through thousands of cuneiform clay fragments for Cyrus the Great's legacy The discovery of fragments of ancient cuneiform tablets – hidden in a British Museum storeroom since 1881 – has sparked a diplomatic row between the UK and Iran. In dispute is a proposed loan of the Cyrus cylinder, one of the most important objects in the museum's collection, and regarded by some historians as the world's first human rights charter.

    The Iranian government has threatened to "sever all cultural relations" with Britain unless the artefact is sent to Tehran immediately. Museum director Neil MacGregor has been accused by an Iranian vice-president of "wasting time" and "making excuses" not to make the loan of the 2,500-year-old clay object, as was agreed last year. The museum says that two newly discovered clay fragments hold the key to an important new understanding of the cylinder and need to be studied in London for at least six months.

    The pieces of clay, inscribed in the world's oldest written language, look like "nothing more than dog biscuits", says MacGregor. Since being discovered at the end of last year, they have revealed verbatim copies of the proclamation made by Persian king Cyrus the Great, as recorded on the cylinder. The artefact itself was broken when it was excavated from the remains of Babylon in 1879. Curators say the new fragments are the missing pieces of an ancient jigsaw puzzle. Irving Finkel, curator in the museum's ancient near east department, said he "nearly had a coronary" when he realised what he had in his hands. "We always thought the Cyrus cylinder was unique," he said. "No one had even imagined that copies of the text might have been made, let alone that bits of it have been here all along."

    Finkel must now trawl through 130,000 objects, housed in hundreds of floor-to ceiling shelving units. His task is to locate other fragments inscribed with Cyrus's words. The aim is to complete the missing sections of one of history's most important political documents. The Iranians have been planning to host a major exhibition of the Cyrus cylinder ever since MacGregor signed a loan agreement in Tehran in January 2009. I was in Iran with the museum director, reporting for BBC Radio 4 on his mission of cultural diplomacy.

    Six months before pro-democracy protests were met with violence in the wake of the presidential election, tea and sweet pastries were offered to the British guests at the Iranian cultural heritage ministry. MacGregor was there to meet Hamid Baqaei, a vice-president and close ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Their friendly discussion was a significant diplomatic breakthrough at a time when tensions between Britain and Iran had been strained to breaking point after the expulsion of British Council representatives from Tehran. The recent launch of the BBC Persian television service had also been interpreted as a provocation by London.

    With even the British ambassador in Tehran struggling to maintain a dialogue, MacGregor was the sole conduit of bilateral exchange in January 2009. The sight of a miniature union flag standing alongside the Iranian flag on the table between the British Museum boss and his Iranian counterparts boded well for an amicable meeting. In previous weeks, the only British flags seen in public in Tehran were those being burned on the streets outside the embassy. MacGregor's objective was to secure the loan of treasures from Iranian palaces, mosques and museums for the museum's exhibition on the life and times of 16th-century ruler Shah Abbas. Discussions over the loan of treasures relating to one great Persian leader prompted the suggestion that another – Cyrus – could play a part in a reciprocal deal. MacGregor may have been put on the spot by Baqaei, but he agreed to a three-month loan by the end of 2009. A year later, Baqaei's tone towards MacGregor is not so friendly. Quoted by the Fars news agency in Iran, he accused the museum of "acting politically". Further "British procrastination" would result in a "serious response" from Iran.

    The Cyrus cylinder remains a compelling political tract more than two and half millennia after its creation. Accepting her Nobel peace prize in 2003, the Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi cited Cyrus as a leader who "guaranteed freedoms for all". She hailed his charter as "one of the most important documents that should be studied in the history of human rights". In 2006, the then foreign secretary, Jack Straw contrasted the freeing of Jewish slaves by Cyrus with Ahmadinejad's "sickening calls for Israel to be wiped from the face of the map".

    David Miliband, the current foreign secretary, has yet to reflect on the contemporary resonance of Cyrus in a country in which human rights have been violently curtailed of late. But a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "It is a shame that the British Museum has felt compelled to make this decision." She added that "we share the British Museum's concern that this would not be a good time for the cylinder to come to Iran" owing to the "unsettled" situation in the country. Last week MacGregor presided over a launch, at the British Museum, of the History of the World in 100 Objects, his collaborative project with the BBC. The director is presenting a 100-part series on Radio 4, in which the story of mankind is told through individual artefacts. The Cyrus cylinder was considered for inclusion, but did not make the final hundred. Some guests at the launch, when told how the discovery of the new fragments had delayed the loan of the Cyrus cylinder, were suspicious. "Fancy that, what a stroke of luck," said one. "That gets Neil out of a jam for now."

    The director himself says he is determined that the cylinder will eventually be lent to Tehran, along with the newly discovered fragments, to tell a better story about Cyrus. He says he can understand the frustration and anger in Tehran, but it will be worth their wait. They may well be getting more than they bargained for. To the Ahmadinejad regime, the cylinder is an iconic object, one that fuels collective pride in national heritage. But to those who are fighting for freedom of expression in Iran in the face of violence, the return of Cyrus could offer a potent new rallying point.

  • Cyrus the Great Became Top Leader Of His Era By Championing Just Rule
  • Cyrus Charter of Human Rights
  • Major Human Rights Documents
       - Cyrus Cylinder, Virginia Declaration of Rights, U.S. Declaration of Independence, U.S. Bill of Rights, French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

  • Kings of Iran:
    Reza Shah - His Rise & Fall Story

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