Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 550-530 BCE. He was born in Persis (modern-day Iran) and his father was the king of Anshan. Cyrus took the throne after his father’s death, and set out to conquer neighboring territories. He conquered the Medes in 550 BCE and then went on to conquer the Lydians, Babylonians, and others, creating a vast empire that stretched from the Aegean Sea to the Indus River. Despite his military conquests, Cyrus was known for his benevolent rule and his respect for the religions and customs of his subjects. He allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple, earning him praise in the Old Testament. He also established a code of law that became the basis for later Persian law. Cyrus died in battle in 530 BCE, but his legacy lived on as his empire continued to thrive under his successors. He is remembered as one of the most important figures in Persian history and a model of good governance.