In ancient times the Persian Empire, stretching from Egypt to the Indus River, was one of the most powerful and influential empires of its time. It united in itself once great kingdoms: the New Babylonian, Lydian, and Midian kingdoms. It also included conquered Egypt and a large number of peoples and tribes.
In 553 BC the Persians rose against the rule of Midian. The revolt was led by the Persian ruler Cyrus II. He created a strong army, and after three years he managed to conquer Midia. And he did not stop there. With a huge army, he moved further west. He conquered one country after another. He conquered Lydia. Then it was Babylonia's turn. But it was impossible to storm the huge city with extremely strong walls. So Cyrus took it by stealth. One dark night, when Babylon was celebrating a great feast, Cyrus ordered the water of the Euphrates to be diverted to a previously prepared riverbed. The river that flowed through the city had grown shallow. And the warriors, waist-deep in water, waded into the city and attacked the tenants at their lavish feast. Thus in one night Cyrus seized the city and the great kingdom of Babylon.
After this victory, Phoenicia, Syria, and Palestine voluntarily recognized power over them. The state of Cyrus stretched from the borders of India in the east to the Greek cities in the west. Among other conquerors, Cyrus II was characterized by the fact that he respected the laws and religion of the conquered peoples. This protected him from discontent and rebellion in the conquered territories.
Cyrus intended to go to Egypt as well, but the Central Asian Masageti tribes, who threatened the northeastern borders of the Persian state, prevented him from doing so. Cyrus made the trek against the warlike tribes. But it ended tragically for him. On the vast steppes the Persian army was surrounded by enemies and suffered a crushing defeat. Cyrus, who was then 70 years old, was killed in that battle. The furious queen of the Masagetivs ordered to find Cyrus' body, cut off his head and immerse it in a bloodbath. At the same time she said: "Drink to your heart's content, villain."
Even after Cyrus was killed, the Persian conquest did not end. His son Cambyses continued the conquest and in 525 BC conquered Ispeth. To keep power, Cambyses stayed in Egypt for three years, but he soon died. Then his cousin Darius I (Dariwahush) (522-486 BC) became king. The "king of kings" was what his subjects called him. He ruled Persia for 36 years.