Cyrus_LongPaper1

Cyrus_LongPaper1 - LONG PAPER ASSIGNMENT#1 THE DECAY OF...

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LONG PAPER ASSIGNMENT #1: THE DECAY OF CYRUS’ EMPIRE CAUSED MAINLY BY THE DEATH OF CYRUS Po041-03/04 Fundamentals Concepts of Politics I Professors Nasser Behnegar and Kenji Hayao November 9, 2007
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As a conquering tyrant, Cyrus acquired a large and loyal empire, which he maintained rule over for many years, as seen in Xenophon’s The Education of Cyrus . However, with his death came the death of the empire. Cyrus’ subjects were loyal to him, but his empire was not united strongly enough under the idea of Persian loyalty to be maintained when Cyrus was no longer the leader. Many factors contributed to the decay of Cyrus’ empire after his death. The most pertinent and prominent factor in the decline was the sudden removal of Cyrus from the empire with his death. He personally built up his empire through many years of invasion and the conquering of diverse lands. However, Cyrus was able to get people to listen to and follow him by creating strong, personal relationships with them. He was a fair and just ruler who created allies out of enemies. Whenever Cyrus conquered a group of people or came to rule over them, instead of feeling oppressed, the people were often grateful and willingly submitted to his rule. This was shown when he overtook the Armenian, but let him remain in power over his people. The Armenian was so pleased, that even though he has been captured, he still “… [sent] presents to Cyrus and to his entire army, and he told those of his own troops who had to go on the campaign to report in three days,” (3.1.42). The Armenian was a much more loyal subject to Cyrus than a friend would have been, for he had a greater reason to appreciate Cyrus and owed his life to him. This was one way Cyrus gained respect and loyalty within his empire from his subjects. At the same time, this directly contributed to the decay of his empire after his death. Clearly Cyrus gained loyalty and unity within his empire through the commonality that all the people in his empire felt a strong adoration for him directly. “His subjects 1
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venerated Cyrus as a father,” (8.8.1), which shows how much they revered and loved
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