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Cyrus Cylinder : ウィキペディア英語版
Cyrus Cylinder

The Cyrus Cylinder ((ペルシア語:منشور کوروش)) is an ancient clay cylinder, now broken into several fragments, on which is written a declaration in Akkadian cuneiform script〔 in the name of Persia's Achaemenid king Cyrus the Great.〔Kuhrt (2007), p. 70, 72〕 It dates from the 6th century BCE and was discovered in the ruins of Babylon in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) in 1879.〔Dandamayev, (2010-01-26)〕 It is currently in the possession of the British Museum, which sponsored the expedition that discovered the cylinder. It was created and used as a foundation deposit following the Persian conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, when the Neo-Babylonian Empire was invaded by Cyrus and incorporated into his Persian Empire.
The text on the Cylinder praises Cyrus, sets out his genealogy and portrays him as a king from a line of kings. The Babylonian king Nabonidus, who was defeated and deposed by Cyrus, is denounced as an impious oppressor of the people of Babylonia and his low-born origins are implicitly contrasted to Cyrus's kingly heritage. The victorious Cyrus is portrayed as having been chosen by the chief Babylonian god Marduk to restore peace and order to the Babylonians. The text states that Cyrus was welcomed by the people of Babylon as their new ruler and entered the city in peace. It appeals to Marduk to protect and help Cyrus and his son Cambyses. It extols Cyrus as a benefactor of the citizens of Babylonia who improved their lives, repatriated displaced people and restored temples and cult sanctuaries across Mesopotamia and elsewhere in the region. It concludes with a description of how Cyrus repaired the city wall of Babylon and found a similar inscription placed there by an earlier king.〔
The Cylinder's text has traditionally been seen by biblical scholars as corroborative evidence of Cyrus' policy of the repatriation of the Jewish people following their Babylonian captivity〔 (an act that the Book of Ezra attributes to Cyrus〔Free & Vos (1992), p. 204〕), as the text refers to the restoration of cult sanctuaries and repatriation of deported peoples.〔 This interpretation has been disputed, as the text identifies only Mesopotamian sanctuaries, and makes no mention of Jews, Jerusalem, or Judea.〔 The Cylinder has also been called the oldest known charter or symbol of universal human rights, a view rejected by others as anachronistic〔 and a misunderstanding〔 of the Cylinder's generic nature as a typical statement made by a new monarch at the beginning of his reign.〔 Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, has stated that the cylinder was "the first attempt we know about running a society, a state with different nationalities and faiths—a new kind of statecraft." It was adopted as a national symbol of Iran by the Imperial State which put it on display in Tehran in 1971 to commemorate 2,500 years of the Iranian monarchy.〔
== Discovery ==

The Assyro-British archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam discovered the Cyrus Cylinder in March 1879 during a lengthy programme of excavations in Mesopotamia carried out for the British Museum.〔Finkel (2009), p. 172〕 It had been placed as a foundation deposit in the foundations of the Ésagila, the city's main temple.〔 Rassam's expedition followed on from an earlier dig carried out in 1850 by the British archaeologist Austen Henry Layard, who excavated three mounds in the same area but found little of importance.〔 In 1877, Layard became Britain's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Mesopotamia at the time. He helped Rassam, who had been his assistant in the 1850 dig, to obtain a ''firman'' (decree) from the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II to continue the earlier excavations. The ''firman'' was only valid for a year but a second ''firman'', with much more liberal terms, was issued in 1878. It was granted for two years (through to 15 October 1880) with the promise of an extension to 1882 if required.〔Hilprecht (1903), pp. 204–05〕 The Sultan's decree authorised Rassam to "pack and dispatch to England any antiquities () found … provided, however, there were no duplicates." A representative of the Sultan was instructed to be present at the dig to examine the objects as they were uncovered.〔Rassam (1897), p. 223〕
With permission secured, Rassam initiated a large-scale excavation at Babylon and other sites on behalf of the Trustees of the British Museum.〔 He undertook the excavations in four distinct phases. In between each phase, he returned to England to bring back his finds and raise more funds for further work. The Cyrus Cylinder was found on the second of his four expeditions to Mesopotamia, which began with his departure from London on 8 October 1878. He arrived in his home town of Mosul on 16 November and travelled down the Tigris to Baghdad, which he reached on 30 January 1879. During February and March, he supervised excavations on a number of Babylonian sites, including Babylon itself.〔
He soon uncovered a number of important buildings including the Ésagila temple. This was a major shrine to the chief Babylonian god Marduk, although its identity was not fully confirmed until the German archaeologist Robert Koldewey's excavation of 1900.〔Koldewey, p. vi〕 The excavators found a large number of business documents written on clay tablets buried in the temple's foundations where they discovered the Cyrus Cylinder.〔Vos (1995), p. 267〕 Rassam gave conflicting accounts of where his discoveries were made. He wrote in his memoirs, ''Asshur and the land of Nimrod'', that the Cylinder had been found in a mound at the southern end of Babylon near the village of Jumjuma or Jimjima.〔Rassam, p. 267〕〔Hilprecht (1903), p. 264〕 However, in a letter sent on 20 November 1879 to Samuel Birch, the Keeper of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum, he wrote, "The Cylinder of Cyrus was found at Omran (Amran-ibn-Ali ) with about six hundred pieces of inscribed terracottas before I left Baghdad."〔Walker, pp. 158–159〕 He left Baghdad on 2 April, returning to Mosul and departing from there on 2 May for a journey to London which lasted until 19 June.〔
The discovery was announced to the public by Sir Henry Rawlinson, the President of the Royal Asiatic Society, at a meeting of the Society on 17 November 1879.〔''The Times'' (18 November 1879)〕 He described it as "one of the most interesting historical records in the cuneiform character that has yet been brought to light," though he erroneously described it as coming from the ancient city of Borsippa rather than Babylon.〔''The Oriental Journal'' (January 1880)〕 Rawlinson's "Notes on a newly-discovered Clay Cylinder of Cyrus the Great" were published in the society's journal the following year, including the first partial translation of the text.〔Rawlinson (1880), pp. 70–97〕

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