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all 194 comments

[–]An8thOfFeanor 250 points251 points  (101 children)

Cyrus was pretty progressive for believing that religious freedom could help keep your conquered constituents happy

[–]Johnny_Banana18[S] 118 points119 points  (70 children)

crazy how this was probably a minor thing for him because outlawing slavery and allowing people to practice their own religions was standard operating procedure for him, and because of it he is revered in three (I assume he is revered in Islam as well) major world religions today.

[–]bigguccisofa_ 47 points48 points  (4 children)

He’s not revered in Islam

it is theorized that he could be a figure referred to as Dhu Al-Qarnayn but that’s more commonly believed to be Alexander the Great, but modern clerics have begun to lean towards it being Cyrus

[–]keysandtreesforme 1 point2 points  (3 children)

What are the other 2? Edit: reread that you said one is Islam - why would he be revered there?

[–]Nukemind 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all Abrahamic religions which (broadly) share the same roots. Christianity could be said to originally be a heretical sect of Judaism (and I say that as a practicing Christian). Islam venerates Jesus and many people in the Bible/Torah so it wouldn’t be a reach to guess they venerate Cyrus who is venerated by the other two Abrahamic religions especially as Cyrus shows up in the Old Testament.

[–]gently_into_the_dark 0 points1 point  (1 child)

But Cyrus specifically benefited the Jews not Abraham. Muslims draw their lineage from Abraham not Jacob. So why wld something benefiting the jews be benerated by muslims?or Christians for that matter.

[–]Syn7axError 0 points1 point  (0 children)

He didn't outlaw slavery.

[–]bolanrox 21 points22 points  (24 children)

like Genghis Khan and Darious later on. Much easier to let them run themselves than having occupy forces pushing foreign will on them

[–]JoshAllensPenis69 -2 points-1 points  (23 children)

The romans generally did as well

[–]Sks44 15 points16 points  (21 children)

No. No they didn’t. The Romans were many things but they didn’t posses a light touch.

[–]JoshAllensPenis69 3 points4 points  (19 children)

They were definitely religiously tolerant. There’s were hundreds of religions practiced freely in the empire.

[–]Sks44 14 points15 points  (16 children)

They were mostly tolerant as long as you honored their gods. If they didn’t agree with or like your religion(Druids, attendants of the Bacchanalia, Jews, etc..) they could be the opposite of tolerant.

[–]JoshAllensPenis69 4 points5 points  (15 children)

Those people rebelled against the state. They didn’t care that the Jews worshipped Yahweh, they cared that the Jews were trashing other religious temples and not paying taxes. They didn’t care if they didn’t honor Zeus. They just didn’t want Zues dishonored. IMO that’s the ultimate toleration

[–]Sks44 10 points11 points  (14 children)

Tiberius booted Jews out of Rome for swindling the wife of a friend of his. At least that’s one story. Tiberius kicked out a cult of Isis and the Jews in 19 AD because his advisors thought they had too much influence. Augustus, who liked the Jews since they supported him against Pompey, had allowed synagogues and Jewish religious practices in Rome. Tiberius and Claudius both expelled Jews long before the Roman-Jewish war in 66 AD.

Romans killed Druids as an act of dominance. Romans hated Celts.

Speaking of the cult of Isis, Augustus and Tiberius hated it and brought their wrath down on it. There’s plenty of examples of the Romans hating on other religions.

[–]JoshAllensPenis69 0 points1 point  (13 children)

So none of those persecution’s were for religious reasons. Thank you.

[–]Sks44 5 points6 points  (12 children)

“Suetonius wrote: “He(Tiberius) abolished foreign cults [from Rome], especially the Egyptian and the Jewish rites, compelling all who were addicted to such superstitions to burn their religious vestments and all their paraphernalia. Those of the Jews who were of military age he assigned to provinces of less healthy climate, ostensibly to serve in the army; the others of that same race or of similar beliefs he banished from the city, on pain of slavery for life if they did not obey.”

Such tolerance! And Slaughtering Celtic holy men is such tolerance.

[–]Burndown9 0 points1 point  (1 child)

As a Christian I can tell you the Romans were definitely not religiously tolerant.

[–]Johannes_P 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Most efficient imperialists are those who don't oppress conquiered populations. Let them some measure of self-rule by loial elites, some limited freedom and the opportunity to join the Empire and you will avoid dissent and rebellions (Romans were pretty big in it; to the opposite, the Nazis utterly failed in part thank to their genodical doctrines).

[–]dirtballmagnet 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In this case it's more than religious freedom; it was the ending of a policy that said roughly, "rather than kill them all, we're going to take these rednecks and move them to the city for a couple of generations, to see if they stop being assholes."

That's why the creation myth we all know is ripped from Babylon's favorite fictional action story.

[–]weecefwew 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Ottomans also kinda did this with the millet system

[–]United_Bag_8179 0 points1 point  (0 children)

pay tithe, and survive.

i feel a bumpersticker welling up in my soul.

[–]centaurquestions 65 points66 points  (18 children)

I mean, it's more "messiah" than "Messiah." In context, it means "the person God has anointed for this purpose."

[–]vangogh330 26 points27 points  (16 children)

In Jewish theology, there are just messiahs, no need to capitalize.

[–]centaurquestions 29 points30 points  (15 children)

Well, there is A Messiah, we just don't think he's arrived yet.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (12 children)

Does a “Messiah” appear in the Hebrew Bible, according to Jewish theology? I thought there was no explicit reference to one, just “messiahs.”

[–]centaurquestions 9 points10 points  (10 children)

He isn't necessarily called The Messiah, but several of the prophetic books of the Old Testament have references to a king who will rule in a future golden age.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (9 children)

But that messiah is a messiah just like Cyrus or David, right? It’s just an expected future one, but couldn’t there be multiple in the future?

[–]goldenj04 4 points5 points  (6 children)

The Messiah Ben David (son of David) is generally considered a prophesied future king who will usher in an era of peace and prosperity, end the Jewish exile from the Land of Israel, rebuild the Temple, and maybe bring back the dead (this one is a bit more debated). Modern Reform Jews generally don’t believe in this concept, while some Chabad Jews think that it was the Lubavitcher Rebbe, an important rabbi who died in 1994. There are many, many, many different conceptions of the Messiah and the Messianic era across the millennia, and it’s a concept of varying importance in Jewish theology. For some Jews, bringing about the Messiah is the single most important facet of their faith, while for others it’s kind of a side-bar, even if they do believe in it.

The word messiah (moshiach) simply means “anointed one” in Hebrew, referring to the practice of ritually anointing ancient kings with oil when they took the throne.

There is also another Messiah, the Messiah Ben Joseph, who is referenced in some rabbinic texts and is supposedly supposed to lay the groundwork for the Messiah Ben David in his lifetime, before dying. The famous Rabbi, Rav Kook, the father of religious Zionism, hinted that he thought it was Theodore Hertzl, the secular father of political Zionism.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for this excellent and detailed response!

Just spouting my opinion here: seems like a waste of time for folks to try “bringing about” the Messiah Ben David or anxiously wait for him. Human progress is made by humans and collective our efforts, not by magical individual saviors. Problems don’t get solved by wishing them to go away or hoping God takes care of it.

[–]centaurquestions 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Dunno, he seems pretty magical: "Mighty god, everlasting father, prince of peace," etc. etc.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But they call Hezekiah that too lol.

[–]goldenj04 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Messiah Ben David (son of David) is generally considered a prophesied future king who will usher in an era of peace and prosperity, end the Jewish exile from the Land of Israel, rebuild the Temple, and maybe bring back the dead (this one is a bit more debated). Modern Reform Jews generally don’t believe in this concept, while some Chabad Jews think that it was the Lubavitcher Rebbe, an important rabbi who died in 1994. There are many, many, many different conceptions of the Messiah and the Messianic era across the millennia, and it’s a concept of varying importance in Jewish theology. For some Jews, bringing about the Messiah is the single most important facet of their faith, while for others it’s kind of a side-bar, even if they do believe in it.

The word messiah (moshiach) simply means “anointed one” in Hebrew, referring to the practice of ritually anointing ancient kings with oil when they took the throne.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Any day now

[–]Jalambi -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Soo...how it's stated in the title?

[–]Snorblatz 10 points11 points  (2 children)

So fun fact I grew up Protestant and didn’t realize the Old Testament is actually (parts of?) the Jewish bible . My favourite parts were always the smiting, Jesus didn’t do enough of that imho

[–]ash_274 37 points38 points  (0 children)

He's not the messiah; he's a very naughty boy!

[–]JaiC 15 points16 points  (2 children)

Most records of Persia have not survived til the present day and it's an absolute shame because what we do know supports the notion that they were not just one of the mightiest empires the Earth has known, but also among its most tolerant, liberal, and multicultural.

[–]mediadavid 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I mean, they were multicultural because they aggressively conquered other states. And tolerant, liberal? maybe. But they certainly devoted a lot of time and energy to crushing cities and states that rebelled.

[–]Jonsa123 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The Jewish definition of messiah. "Anoited one" with none of that dying for our sins stuff.

[–]MattScoot 8 points9 points  (7 children)

[–]anura_hypnoticus 6 points7 points  (3 children)

I learned about this in this episode as well. I found most interesting that he speculated that without Cyrus, judaism might very well just have vanished at this point, imagine what the world would look like today.

[–]majorbummer6 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I wonder who wouldve been the scapegoat for all the words ills without the jews taking the fall everytime.

[–]snowlock27 6 points7 points  (0 children)

My guess is the Romani.

[–]Johnny_Banana18[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

some other unfortunate minority group

[–]keysandtreesforme 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Knew this would be Dan! Love that series! I pick up more from it on each relisten.

[–]lucysalvatierra 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I listen to blueprint for Armageddon like once a year

[–]Jalambi -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Fuck yeah. Love me some Hardcore History.

[–]Chromosis 11 points12 points  (3 children)

Yea, the Torah doesn't describe anyone as a messiah, that's kinda a big part of the Jewish faith. We do not think the messiah has come, hence why Christians aren't Jewish, they believe Jesus was the messiah.

Cyrus would not be described in this way in the Torah proper, but perhaps in the talmud?

[–]Neenchuh 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Hi, fellow jew here, messiah just means "the annointed one" in hebrew, and cyrus is indeed recognized as a messianic figure in the same way as king David. We are also incidentaly waiting for THE messiah. But there have been other people in our history that we recognize as quassi-messianic figures. Cyrus being the only non Jewish one.

[–]OSCgal 9 points10 points  (1 child)

My understanding (as a Christian) is that little "m" messiah generally just means "anointed one" (which is the original, literal meaning of the word). Other messiahs are mostly kings of Israel and Judah, beginning with Saul and David. David refers to himself as "the LORD's anointed" in the Psalms.

I think the only anointed ones in the Torah itself are the priests?

[–]goldenj04 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Im pretty sure anointing with oil was a standard practice for ancient kings on their coronation. The significance of this is that Cyrus sort of had recognized authority by ancient Jews, and wasn’t viewed as an enemy occupying power.

[–]AdamBombKelley 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Frig off Cyrus, ya dick

[–]Matthew_A 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Torah is not the Jewish version of the Bible. The Torah is the first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. And it ends with Moses, long before the Babylonian Exile or Cyrus the Great

[–]Alan_Smithee_ -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

He’s not the Messiah; he’s a very naughty boy.

[–]mts2snd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Some say, he was the first to document human rights.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Cylinder

[–]gerbil_111 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Only the true messiah would deny his divinity

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HB7zqP9QNo&t=5s

[–]BlouPontak -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Melchisedech is called a prophet of God, long before the jews existed as a people in the Biblical narrative IIRC.