Encyclopaedia Islamica

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Encyclopaedia Islamica Online is based on the abridged and edited translation of the Persian Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī, one of the most comprehensive sources on Islam and the Muslim world. A unique feature of the Encyclopaedia Islamica Online lies in the attention given to Shiʿi Islam and its rich and diverse heritage. In addition to providing entries on important themes, subjects and personages in Islam generally, Encyclopaedia Islamica Online offers the Western reader an opportunity to appreciate the various dimensions of Shiʿi Islam, the Persian contribution to Islamic civilization, and the spiritual dimensions of the Islamic tradition.

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Cyrus the Great

(9,183 words)

Author(s): Baghbidi, Hassan Rezai | Negahban, Farzin | Pakatchi, Ahmad | Sajjadi, Sadeq | Khodaverdian, Shahram
, founder of the Achaemenid Dynasty and its most distinguished king. According to historical sources, he was born in ca. 600 bce, and first ruled over Anshan (Anshān), a minor Elamite kingdom located in what would come to be known as Pārsa (Persis), the modern province of Fārs in southwestern Iran. In 550 bce Cyrus deposed the last Median king Astyages (r. 585–550 bce), who was both his maternal grandfather and brother-in-law of Croesus, the ruler of Lydia (in Asia Minor). Thus Cyrus founded his rule by uniting the two kingdoms of Persia and Media, the trad…