National Geographic : 1960 Dec
The king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and IN 539 B.C. Cyrus II descended upon Baby lon with a formidable Persian army. Be fore "his widespread troops-their number, like that of the water of a river, could not be established-" the Chaldean dynasty collapsed, and Babylon capitulated without a battle. "All the inhabitants..." continues a cunei form inscription, "as well as of the entire country of Sumer and Akkad, princes and governors [included], bowed to [Cyrus] and kissed his feet, jubilant that he [had received] the kingship, and with shining faces." Cyrus ruled with relative benevolence. Re 848 pudiating the Babylonian practice of relocat ing subject populations, he permitted the Jews and other captive peoples to return to their homelands. The prophet Isaiah hailed the monarch as the "anointed" of the Lord, who had "made him rule over kings." At its zenith the Persian Empire stretched from northern Greece to India. On a tablet found in the ruins of the Persian capital at Persepolis, a successor to King Cyrus proudly proclaimed: "I am Xerxes the Great King... King in this great earth far and wide."