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Cyrus the Great’s Cylinder

Cyrus the Great’s Cylinder

The Cyrus Cylinder is regarded as the first human right charter in history. It is a document issued by the emperor Cyrus the Great of Persia inscribed in Babylonian (Akkadian) cuneiform on a clay cylinder. Read more

Passages in the text, express Cyrus’ respect for humanity, and as promoting a form of religious tolerance and freedom. These are three main premises in the decrees of the Cyrus Cylinder: the political formulization of racial, linguistic and religious equality, slaves and all deported peoples were to be allowed to return to home; and all destroyed temples were to be restored.

The inscription was translated into all six official U.N. languages in 1971. A replica of the cylinder is kept at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in the second floor halfway, between the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council chambers.

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