The Achaemenians

The Persians achieved unity under the leadership of Achaemenes, whose descendant Cyrus brought the Achaemenian Empire onto the centre stage of world history. Cyrus was the descendant of a long line of Persian kings and should be referred to as Cyrus II, having been named after his grandfather... According to the writings of Herodotus, the last ruler of the Medes, Astyages (585 - 550 B.C.) was defeated and captured by Cyrus in 549 B.C.. In all probability Cyrus had the support of the Babylonian sovereign Nabonidus. The Persian king overthrew the Median empire and seized Ecbatana (Place of Assembly), which became his capital. He spared the defeated ruler, preferring not to indulge in the mass killings, which until then had been a feature of Assyrian victories. On the contrary he brought nobles and civilian officials, both Median and Persian, into the government of his kingdom.

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