The Library of Original Sources, Vol 1


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The Conquest of Babylon by Cyrus

About 540 B.C. Cylinder in the British Museum. Translated by
Rev. A. H. Sayce, M.A.

The rulers of E-SAGGIL he has (appointed) . . . for UR and the rest of the cities, he (Nabonidos, King of BABYLON) commanded what did not adorn them . . . daily did he plan; and the costly duty of the daily sacrifice did he cause to cease. . . He had established within the city the worship of MERODACH the king of gods; in (?) . . . his hand hostility to his city had planned (?); daily (his) hand . . . his (people?) in the unquiet submission had destroyed all of them.

At their complaining BEL(-MERODACH the lord) of the gods was mightily wrathful, and (the men deserted?) their entrenchment. The gods who dwelt among them left their habitations in wrath when they were made to enter BABYLON. MERODACH in . . . journeyed to all peoples wherever they are found, and the men of SUMER and ACCAD who are like his own body did he visit . . . he granted pardon to all peoples, even all of them; he rejoiced (and) fed them.

He appointed also a prince who should guide right the wish of the heart which his hand upholds, even Cyrus the king of the city of ANSAN; he has proclaimed his title; for the sovereignty of all the world does he commemorate his name. The country of QUTI (and) all the people of the MANDA he has subjected to his feet; the menof the black heads he has caused his hand to conquer. In justice and righteousness has he governed them. MERODACH the great lord, the restorer of his people, beheld with joy the deeds of his vicegerent who was righteous in hand and heart.

To his city of BABYLON he (MERODACH) summoned his march; he bade him also take the road to BABYLON; like a friend and a comrade he went at his side. The weapons of his vast army, whose number, like the waters of a river, could not be known, were marshalled in order, and it spread itself at his side.

Without fighting and battle (MERODACH) caused him to enter into BABYLON; his city of BABYLON he spared; in a hiding place Nabonidos the king, who revered him not, did he give into his hand. The men of BABYLON, all of them, (and) the whole of SUMER and ACCAD, the nobles and the high-priest, bowed themselves beneath him; they kissed his feet; they rejoiced at his sovereignty; their faces shone. The lord (MERODACH) who through trust therein raises the dead to life, who benefits all men in difficulty and fear, has in goodness drawn nigh to him, has made strong his name.

I (am) Cyrus the king of multitudes, the great king, the powerful king, the king of BABYLON, the king of SUMER and ACCAD, the king of the four zones, the son of Kambyses, the great king, the king of the city of ANSAN; the great grandson of Teispes, the great king, the king of the city of ANSAN; of the ancient seed-royal, whose rule BEL and NEBO love, whose sovereignty they desire according to the goodness of their hearts. At that time I entered into BABYLON in peace.

With joy and gladness in the palace of the princes I founded the seat of dominion. MERODACH the great lord enlarged my heart; the son(s) of BABYLON and . . . on that day I appointed his ministers(?). My vast army spread itself peacefully in the midst of BABYLON; throughout (SUMER and) ACCAD I permitted no gainsayer. BABYLON and all its cities in peace I governed. The sons of BABYLON (and . . . gave me?) the fulness of (their) heart(s), and my yoke they bore, and their lives, their seat, (and) their ruins I restored. I delivered their prisoners. For my work . . . MERODACH the great lord, the . . ., established a decree; unto me, Cyrus, the king, his worshiper, and Kambyses (my) son, the offspring of my heart, (and to) all my people he graciously drew nigh, and in peace before them we duly . . .

All the king(s) who inhabit the high places of all the regions from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea, the inhabitants of the in(lands), the kings of SYRIA, (and) the inhabitants of tents, all of them brought their rich tribute and in BABYLON kissed my feet.

I restored the gods who dwelt within them to their places and I rounded (for them) a seat that should be long-enduring; all their peoples I collected and I restored to their habitations. And the gods of SUMER and ACCAD whom Nabonidos, to the anger of (MERODACH) the lord of gods, had brought into BABYLON, by the command of MERODACH the great lord in peace in their sanctuaries I settled in seats according to (their) hearts. May all the gods whom I have brought into their own cities intercede daily before BEL and NEBO that my days be long, may they pronounce blessings upon me, and may they say to MERODACH my lord: Let Cyrus the king, thy worshiper, and Kambyses his son, (accomplish the desire?) of their heart, (let them enjoy length?) of days . . . I have settled (the peoples) of all countries in a place of rest.


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Chicago: "The Conquest of Babylon by Cyrus," The Library of Original Sources, Vol 1 in The Library of Original Sources, ed. Oliver J. Thatcher (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: University Research Extension Co., 1907), 419–420. Original Sources, accessed July 6, 2020,

MLA: . "The Conquest of Babylon by Cyrus." The Library of Original Sources, Vol 1, in The Library of Original Sources, edited by Oliver J. Thatcher, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, University Research Extension Co., 1907, pp. 419–420. Original Sources. 6 Jul. 2020.

Harvard: , 'The Conquest of Babylon by Cyrus' in The Library of Original Sources, Vol 1. cited in 1907, The Library of Original Sources, ed. , University Research Extension Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pp.419–420. Original Sources, retrieved 6 July 2020, from