Cyrus of Anšan

Cyrus (Kuraš): king of Anšan, the grandfather of king Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid empire.

Seal of Cyrus of Anšan
Seal of Cyrus of Anšan

Dictating a text to his Babylonian clerks, the Persian conqueror Cyrus the Great mentioned his father Cambyses I and his grandfather Cyrus of Anšan in the Cyrus Cylinder:

I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four rims of the earth, son of Cambyses, great king, king of Anšan, grandson of Cyrus, great king, king of Anšan, descendant of Teispes, great king, king of Anšan, of a family which always exercised kingship, whose rule [the gods] Bêl and Nabû love, whom they want as king to please their hearts.

Cyrus ruled in Anšan, the plain of Marv Dasht in modern Fars, which was later dominated by Persepolis. A seal with the legend Kurraš the Anzanite, son of Šešbes, confirms his existence. Cyrus' reign may have lasted from 600 to 580, which would make him a contemporary of Ariaramnes, who is mentioned as an ancestor of Darius the Great.

It is possible - but unlikely from a chronological point of view - that the "Kuraš of Parsumaš" who sent his son Arukku to pay homage to the Assyrian king Aššurbanipal (r.668-631) is identical to Cyrus.

The idea that Cyrus was buried at Kupan is attractive, but nothing but a hypothesis.

This page was created in 1996; last modified on 12 June 2020.