From his modest beginnings in southern Iran, the Persian king Cyrus II went on to conquer three of the dominant kingdoms of the ancient Near East those of the Medians, the Lydians, and the Babylonians and establish the first world empire. In Discovering Cyrus: The Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World
(Mage Pub, 2013), Reza Zarghamee draws upon the available written sources and archaeological record to provide the first comprehensive biography of Cyrus written since the middle of the 19th century. In it he describes Cyrus's background, the context for his rise to power, and the empire he built. By detailing the forces he used, the organization of his empire, and his relationship with various groups, Zarghamee provides us with a portrait of a bold conqueror and shrewd ruler who understood the effectiveness of cooperating with the local elites in conquered lands and who established a multicultural realm that would endure for the next two centuries and serve as a model for future empires.