A famed artifact, the Cyrus Cylinder, has often been cited as an early proclamation of human rights. The Shah of Iran, the UN, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and an American president all hailed Cyrus the Great as an early innovator of liberalism and tolerance. Unfortunately, though, the historical record does not bear those claims out. Cyrus the Great was a monarch, and the world still falls for his ancient propaganda thousands of years later.
View the Cylinder at the British Museum’s site.
Read the text of Shirin Ebadi’s (sadly erroneous) Nobel lecture.
Spiegel Online International on the fake translation and the use and abuse of the Cylinder.
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