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understanding it. Of course it would not have done to have represented this beau ideal of a philosophic king as the dethroner of his own grandfather, as the true Asiatic despot and conqueror, and as the victim of his own ambitious schemes. It seems incredible that any one should rise from the perusal of the Cyropaedeia without the firm conviction that it is a romance, and, moreover, that its author never meant it to be taken for anything else; and still more incredible is it that any one should have recognized in the picture of Xenophon the verisimilitude of an Asiatic conqueror in the sixth century before Christ. That Cyrus was a great man, is proved by the empire he established; that he was a good man, according to the virtues of his age and country, we need not doubt; but if we would seek further for his likeness, we must assuredly look rather at Genghis Khan or Timour than at the Cyrus of Xenophon.
It has, however, been supposed, that the statement of Xenophon about Cyaxares II. is confirmed by Scripture ; for that Dareius the Mede, who, according to Daniel, reigns after the taking of Babylon (for two years, according to the chronologers) and before the first year of Cyrus, can be no other (this is the utmost that can be asserted) than Cyaxares II. This matter seems susceptible of a better explanation than it has yet received.
1. Xenophon'>s Cyaxares is the son of Astyages; Dareius the Mede is the son of Ahasuenis. Now, it is almost beyond a doubt that Aliasueras is the Hebrew form of the Persian name or title which the Greeks called Xerxes, and Cyaxares seems to be simply the form of the same word used in the Median dialect. Cyaxares, the son of Phraortes, is called Ahasuerus in Tobit xiv. 15. It is granted that this argument is not decisive, but, so far as it goes, it is against the identification.
2. After the taking of Babylon, Dareius the Mede receives the kingdom, and exercises all the functions of royalty, with great power and splendour, evidently at Babylon. But in Xenophon it is Cyrus who does this, and Cyaxares never comes near Babylon at all after its capture, but remains in Media, totally eclipsed and almost superseded by Cyrus. There are other arguments which seem to shew clearly that, whoever Dareius the Mede may have been (a point difficult enough to decide), he was not the Cyaxares of Xenophon. The matter cannot be further discussed here; but the result of a most careful examination of it is, that in some important points the statements of Xenophon cannot be reconciled with those of Daniel; and that a much more probable explanation is, that Dareius was a noble Median, who held the sovereignty as the viceroy of Cyrus, until the latter found it convenient to fix his court at Babylon ; and there are some indications on which a conjecture might be founded that this viceroy was Astyages. It is quite natural that the year in which Cyrus began to reign in person at Babylon should be reckoned (as it is by the Hebrew writers) the first year of his reign over the whole empire. This view is confirmed by the fact, that in the prophecies of the destruction of Babylon it is Cyrus, and not any Median king, that is spoken of. Regarding this difficulty, then, as capable of being explained, it remains that Xenophon's statement about Cyaxares II. is entirely unsupported. Xenophon seems to have introduced Cyaxares simply as a foil to set off the virtues of Cyrus.
In the passage of Aeschylus, which is sometimes quoted as confirming Xenophon [ astyages], the two kings before Cyrus are clearly Phraortes and Cyaxares, or Cyaxares and Astyages. At all events, no room is left for Cyaxares II. The most natural explanation seems to be, that Phraortes, in whose reign the Persians were subjected to the Medes, and who was therefore the first king of the united Medes and Persians, is meant in the line
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None but the sacred writers mention the edict of Cyrus for the return of the Jews. A motive for that step may be perhaps found in what Herodotus says about his designs on Egypt. The very remarkable prophecy relating to the destruction of Babylon and the restoration of the Jews by Cyrus is in Isaiah xliv. xlv., besides other important passages in Isaiah and Jeremiah, which predict the fall of Babylon without mentioning the name of Cyrus, and the corresponding history is in the books of Daniel, Ezra, and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23. The language of the proclamation of Cyrus, as recorded both in Ezra i. 2 and Chron. xxxvi. 22, seems to countenance the idea that he was acquainted, as he might easily be through Daniel, with the prophecy of Isaiah. " The Lord God of heaven . . . hath charged me to build him an houses at Jerusalem, which is in Judah" (compare Isaiah xliv. 28, xlv. 13); but beyond this one point there is nothing to sustain the notion of Hales and others, that Cyrus was more than an unconscious instrument in accomplishing the designs of Providence, The contrary is intimated in Isaiah xlv. 5.
In the East Cyrus was long regarded as the greatest hero of antiquity, and hence the fables by which his history is obscured. The Persians remembered him as a father (Herod, iii. 89, 160), and his tame passed, through the Greeks, to the Europeans, and the classical writers abound with allusions to him. His sepulchre at Pasargadae was visited by Alexander the Great. ( Arrian, vi. 29 ; Plut. Alcx. 69.) Pasargadae is said to have been built on the spot where Cyrus placed his camp when he defeated Astyages, and in its immediate neighbourhood the city of Persepolis grew up. The tomb of Cyrus has perished, but his name is found on monuments at JVIurghab, north of Persepolis, which place, indeed, some antiquarians take