Abbott Cyrus the Great

Abbott, J. – Cyrus the Great is a straight historical work, so if you are researching into rulers around the biblical times, this work would be helpful, otherwise probably better not to download it.

by Jacob Abbott

Summary of Abbott Cyrus the Great

Abbott_Cyrus the Great is a 12 chapter work over the life and death of Cyrus the Great.

Abbott, J. – Cyrus the Great is a straight historical work, so if you are researching into rulers around the biblical times, this work would be helpful, otherwise probably better not to download it.

Wikipedia Article on Cyrus

Chapter Content of Abbott Cyrus the Great

Chapter 1. Herodotus And Xenophon.
Chapter 2. The Birth Of Cyrus.
Chapter 3. The Visit To Media.
Chapter 4. Croesus.
Chapter 5. Accession Of Cyrus To The Throne.
Chapter 6. The Oracles.
Chapter 7. The Conquest Of Lydia.
Chapter 8. The Conquest Of Babylon.
Chapter 9. The Restoration Of The Jews.
Chapter 10. The Story Of Panthea.
Chapter 11. Conversations.
Chapter 12. The Death Of Cyrus.

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Excerpt from the Module

CHAPTER I. HERODOTUS AND XENOPHON. B.C. 550-401

The Persian monarchy.–Singular principle of human nature.–Grandeur of the Persian monarchy.–Its origin.–The republics of Greece.–Written characters Greek and Persian.–Preservation of the Greek language.–Herodotus and Xenophon.–Birth of Herodotus.–Education of the Greeks.–How public affairs were discussed.–Literary entertainments.–Herodotus’s early love of knowledge.–Intercourse of nations.–Military expeditions.–Plan of Herodotus’s tour.–Herodotus visits Egypt.–Libya and the Straits of Gibraltar.–Route of Herodotus in Asia.–His return to Greece.–Doubts as to the extent of Herodotus’s tour.–His history “adorned.”–Herodotus’s credibility questioned.–Sources of bias.–Samos.–Patmos.–The Olympiads.–Herodotus at Olympia.–History received with applause.–Herodotus at Athens.–His literary fame.–Birth of Xenophon.–Cyrus the Younger.–Ambition of Cyrus.–He attempts to assassinate his brother.–Rebellion of Cyrus.–The Greek auxiliaries.–Artaxerxes assembles his army.–The battle.–Cyrus slain.–Murder of the Greek generals.–Critical situation of the Greeks.–Xenophon’s proposal.–Retreat of the Ten Thousand.–Xenophon’s retirement.–Xenophon’s writings.–Credibility of Herodotus and Xenophon.–Importance of the story.–Object of this work.

Cyrus was the founder of the ancient Persian empire–a monarchy, perhaps, the most wealthy and magnificent which the world has ever seen. Of that strange and incomprehensible principle of human nature, under the influence of which vast masses of men, notwithstanding the universal instinct of aversion to control, combine, under certain circumstances, by millions and millions, to maintain, for many successive centuries, the representatives of some one great family in a condition of exalted, and absolute, and utterly irresponsible ascendancy over themselves, while they toil for them, watch over them, submit to endless and most humiliating privations in their behalf, and commit, if commanded to do so, the most

CHAPTER I. 7

inexcusable and atrocious crimes to sustain the demigods they have thus made in their lofty estate, we have, in the case of this Persian monarchy, one of the most extraordinary exhibitions. The Persian monarchy appears, in fact, even as we look back upon it from this remote distance both of space and of time, as a very vast wave of human power and grandeur. It swelled up among the populations of Asia, between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, about five hundred years before Christ, and rolled on in undiminished magnitude and glory for many centuries. It bore upon its crest the royal line of Astyages and his successors.

Cyrus was, however, the first of the princes whom it held up conspicuously to the admiration of the world and he rode so gracefully and gallantly on the lofty crest that mankind have given him the credit of raising and sustaining the magnificent billow on which he was borne. How far we are to consider him as founding the monarchy, or the monarchy as raising and illustrating him, will appear more fully in the course of this narrative. Contemporaneous with this Persian monarchy in the East, there flourished in the West the small but very efficient and vigorous republics of Greece. The Greeks had a written character for their language which could be easily and rapidly executed, while the ordinary language of the Persians was scarcely written at all.

There was, it is true, in this latter nation, a certain learned character, which was used by the priests for their mystic records, and also for certain sacred books which constituted the only national archives. It was, however, only slowly and with difficulty that this character could be penned, and, when penned, it was unintelligible to the great mass of the population.

For this reason, among others, the Greeks wrote narratives of the great events which occurred in their day, which narratives they so embellished and adorned by the picturesque lights and shades in which their genius enabled them to present the scenes and characters described as to make them universally admired, while the surrounding nations produced nothing but formal governmental records, not worth to the community at large the toil and labor necessary to decipher them and make them intelligible. Thus the Greek writers became the historians, not only of their own republics, but also of all the nations around them; and with such

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admirable genius and power did they fulfill this function, that, while the records of all other nations contemporary with them have been almost entirely neglected and forgotten, the language of the Greeks has been preserved among mankind, with infinite labor and toil, by successive generations of scholars, in every civilized nation, for two thousand years, solely in order that men may continue to read these tales.

Two Greek historians have given us a narrative of the events connected with the life of Cyrus–Herodotus and Xenophon. These writers disagree very materially in the statements which they make, and modern readers are divided in opinion on the question which to believe. In order to present this question fairly to the minds of our readers, we must commence this volume with some account of these two authorities, whose guidance, conflicting as it is, furnishes all the light which we have to follow. Herodotus was a philosopher and scholar. Xenophon was a great general.

The one spent his life in solitary study, or in visiting various countries in the pursuit of knowledge; the other distinguished himself in the command of armies, and in distant military expeditions, which he conducted with great energy and skill. They were both, by birth, men of wealth and high station, so that they occupied, from the beginning, conspicuous positions in society; and as they were both energetic and enterprising in character, they were led, each, to a very romantic and adventurous career, the one in his travels, the other in his campaigns, so that their personal history and their exploits attracted great attention even while they lived.

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Date:February 5, 2015