The analysis below is very Eurocentric and ahistorical. «Rights» is the sense we use them are a post-enlightenment development, with no ontological basis. We often examine Magna Carta as a charter for individual liberty and as a progenitor for our bill of rights, and in more ways than not the declaration by Cyrus is a better approximation. It does embody religious pluralism and the «right» to exist as a community and recognized freedom of conscience and belief, articles relevant to which can be seen in the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as positive rights.
Kavian S. Milani
On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 5:15 AM, David @comcast.net> wrote:
Cyrus, as Xenophon shows in The Education of Cyrus, replaces republican
political liberty with an imperial regime which protects some ‹rights» .
He does away with the most important right from the Greek point of view, the
right of self government . Not a good model for liberty loving Greeks, or
و اين هم موردی دیگر که یک نویسنده مطرح به فرمان کورش ایراد گرفته بود:
I went over this paper on Cyrus and his alleged proclamations on human
rights, and I don’t think any of them can be interpreted as expressions
embodying principles of human rights.
The author, HIRAD ABTAHI, cites these words from Cyrus: «Cyrus, the king,
his worshipper» or «May all the gods [.] say to Marduk, my lord that Cyrus,
the king who worships you.»
— about which he then writes, «Thus, Cyrus manifested a solemn respect
towards gods alien to his, the conqueror’s.»
Sorry, I don’t read here any idea of religious freedom.
HIRAD ABTAHI further writes: «By referring to a reality beyond human
reality, which constitutes humans› last resort to defend their rights
against authoritarianism, Cyrus refers to what would be called natural law,
that is a means which enables humans to transcend positive law in that it
may be filled with a passionate force otherwise stronger than the strict
legalism of positive law.38 Cyrus› liberal attitude in his recognition of
the religious and spiritual freedom of others constitutes the real freedom
But there are no passages cited from Cyrus to back up this interpretation,
unless we are to think that the following passage cited earlier merits this
interpretation: «May all the gods whom I have resettled in their sacred
cities ask Marduk and Nabu each day for a long life for me and speak well of
me to him; may they say to Marduk, my lord that Cyrus, the king who worships
you, and Canbyses, his son . their . I settled all the people of Babylon who
prayed for my kingship and all their lands in a peaceful place. Daily I
supplied (the temple) [with offerings of x geese, two ducks, and ten
turtledoves above the former (offerings) of geese, ducks, and turtledoves.»
It is not clear to me what a peaceful place with offerings of geese, ducks
and turtles have to do with natural law and liberalism.
I cannot see, furthermore, how the announcement by Cyrus — «I also gathered
all their people and returned to them their habitations» — can be
interpreted as having the same meaning as the following words taken from the
UN Declaration: «No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or
The expression by Cyrus — «I resettled all the gods of Sumer and Akkad whom
Nabonidus had brought into Babylon to the anger of the lord of the gods in
their shrines, the places which they enjoy»
— is a far cry from the UN declaration that «Everyone has the right to
freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to
change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community
with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in
teaching, practice, worship and observance».
Cyrus may have been «a compassionate ruler» but this personal disposition
should not be confused with any proclamation of human rights.