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Diversity in counsel, unity in command.
— Cyrus the Great

Cyrus II of Persia was the founder and first ruler of the Achaemenid Empire, the first empire to unite all of Persia. Commonly known as Cyrus the Great, he is recognized for his skill as a general and ruler, and his magnanimity towards his enemies.

Cyrus was born around 599 BC, as the son of the ruler of the Kingdom of Anshan. Cyrus ascended to the throne forty years later, but Anshan was not an independent kingdom, and was made to pay homage to the Median Empire. Shortly after Cyrus's ascension, the Median Emperor decided to annex Anshan, and sent an army to conquer Cyrus.

Cyrus instead convinced a large portion of the Median army to side with him, and he conquered Medes instead. Now independent, Cyrus began a campaign to unite all of Persia under his rule.

He first took the lands of the Lydian Empire, and then all of Asia Minor, including the Greek cities in the west. Then he marched on the lands of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the last major power not yet under his control. He crushed the Babylonian forces at the Battle of Opis, and took Babylon with little resistance. Upon entering the city, Cyrus announced himself to be the "King of the Four Corners of the World". Cyrus's empire was larger than any the world had ever seen, and remain a major world power until it was dismantled by Alexander the Great.

Cyrus died in 530 BC. Historians have many different conflicting accounts of the events that lead to his death, but most of them involve the Scythians, and sometimes their queen, Tomyris.

Battle vs. Tomoe Gozen (by Codgod13)[]

No battle was written.


Expert's Opinion[]


To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Pyrrhus of Epirus (by Thornclaw Braveheart)[]

Pyrrhos of Epeiros, three Hypaspist bodyguards, and a Rhodian slinger march across the Thessalian plains. One of the Hypaspists waks up to the mounted Pyrrhos. Suddenly, they hear a scrambling. Pyrrhos turns his head to see several rocks falling from a hill. He halts his retinue. "Someone is up there! Find them!"

The perpetrator of the noise was a Persian scout, who slides down the other side of the large hill to alert his commander, King Cyrus. The Achaemenid warlord is on horseback, surrounded by three Persian spearmen and an archer. He kneels before the Great King of Persia.

"My liege, the Macedonian lord is here! We should strike!"

Cyrus nods in agreement. "Indeed we should. Did you not by any mistake alert them to our presence?"

The trembling scout nods, "Yes, my liege, I stumbled upon my return and may have caught the ears of the Macedonians."

"Then I fear you will not be needed any longer," Cyrus replies. He raises his hand: "Kill him." One of the Persian spearmen runs the scout through with his spear; the scout crumples to the ground as the blood pours around him. He shudders for several moments before he moves no more.

"The fool has given us away! However, he was right. We should attack this so-called Macedonian king before he discovers where we are! Warriors, quick march!"

Pyrrhos and his warriors reach the top of the hill, but nobody else is in sight. Pyrrhos sighs atop his Thessalian steed. "We undoubtly heard something. But where..."

As Pyrrhos ponders, an arrow whizzes from a direction and bounces off the iron shield of one of the Hypaspists. As one person, all five warriors turn to see a row of three Persian spearmen, their wicker shields covering them, and a horseman in the back. Pyrrhos stares at the horseman: He knows this is a person of great importance based on his regalia and fine armor. He orders his Hypaspists to form a shield wall with the slinger behind them; little does he know, his opponent has done the exactly same thing. Pyrrhos points his xyston forward and charges, his infantrymen just behind him.

The slinger fires a rock at the Persian line but it hits one of the spearmen's shields, bouncing off. The Persian archer fires again, this time aiming for Pyrrhos, but the arrow deflects off his helmet, only slowing him down slightly. Then, as the Hypaspists are almost at the Persian line, Cyrus yells out an order, and as one his spearmen throw their javelins; most of the time they deflect but one does catch the Rhodian Slinger in the chest as he falls.

Pyrrhos: 4 Cyrus: 5

Then, the Macedonians clash with the Persians, their shields smacking each other and spears trying to find points. Pyrrhos rides around the skirmish and charges at the Persian archer, who runs out of the way, discarding his bow and drawing his Akinaka. Pyrrhos wheels his horse around for a second charge; the archer runs aside again and tries to slash at Pyrrhos' leg, but the Epeirote king quickly swings with the butt end of his xyston, deflecting the sword blow and knocking the archer down. Pyrrhos halts by the stunned body of the Persian and stabs him with the xyston.

Pyrrhos: 4 Cyrus: 4

At the Macedonian line, one of the Hypaspists finally gets his spear through the wicker shield of one of the spearmen, tearing it apart, then stabs again into the Persian's face.

Pyrrhos: 4 Cyrus: 3

As he tramples over his fallen enemy's corpse, the Hypaspist is stabbed in the leg by the Akinaka of one of the other Persians, however he turns around and swings his spear at the spearman, but the wreckless attack misses. The spearman follows up with a slash over the Macedonian's cuirass, which just leaves a scrape, and the Hypaspist bowls the Persian over with his shield. As the Greek raises his Doru for a killing blow, he feels a pain in the back of his neck and falls, another Persian withdrawing his own Akinaka.

Pyrrhos: 3 Cyrus: 3

Pyrrhos charges at Cyrus, who yells out and retreats from the Epeirote. One of the Persian spearmen still fighting pushes his opponent toward his ally and runs for his king. They meet, and the king asks for the spearman's javelins. The spearman gives him the bundle of projectiles from his back before a thrown Doru meets his spine.

Pyrrhos: 3 Cyrus: 2

Cyrus only just misses a stab from Pyrrhos' xyston and throws a javelin at the Epeirote, which nicks him in the elbow, but he can barely feel it. Cyrus continues to play cat-and-mouse with Pyrrhos, peppering him with mostly-missing javelins, those that aren't either leaving tiny scratches on the king or his horse, or deflecting off his iron armor. Meanwhile, the last Persian spearman is holding his ground against two Hypaspists and swings his Akinaka at one's leg, cutting the greave but not the skin. He swings his battered shield at the Kopis of the Hypaspist who threw his spear, disarming the shieldbearer and knocking him aside. The Persian then bullrushes the other Greek, catching him by surprise and impaling him on his Akinaka.

Pyrrhos: 2 Cyrus: 2

However, as the Persian not-really-a-spearman withdraws his sword and shouts in victory, the other Hypaspist runs up to him and swings his Kopis down, taking off the Persian's arm at the elbow. The spearman cries in pain and crumples before the Hypaspist hacks the man's head off in two quick strikes.

Pyrrhos: 2 Cyrus: 1

Soon, Cyrus runs out of javelins, and just chooses to evade the Macedonian; both kings are tired now. Then, the Hypaspist who is remaining scoops up his dropped Doru and runs over to where the two kings are chasing each other. Pyrrhos catches him out of the corner of his eye and tries to catch the Persian up near the hill where it all started; the Hypaspist raises his Doru in a throwing position and runs as fast as he can, until he is very close to the kings, and throws his spear. It is a poor aim though and only grazes Cyrus' side, but the king is knocked back by the force of the throw and falls from his horse. However, he quickly scrambles up as Pyrrhos lunges down at him with his xyston; Cyrus grabs the shaft of the lance and wrenches it from Pyrrhos' grasp, then swings the butt end at the Epeirote king, knocking him off his horse as well. Cyrus rushes to his own horse but neglects to remount, realizing it would only buy Pyrrhos more time; instead, he grabs his Sagaris and turns to Pyrrhos, who has also gotten up and drawn his Kopis. The two raise their weapons and charge...

Cyrus smashes his Sagaris onto Pyrrhos' helmet but it deflects off, only shaking the Epeirote slightly. He swings his kopis but Cyrus dodges, and they continue to swing and miss at each other repeatedly until Cyrus hooks the spike of his Sagaris on the top of Pyrrhos' helmet, and tries to pull it towards him, but Pyrrhos bullrushes his way forward and knocks the axe out of Cyrus' hand. Pyrrhos realizes there is a puncture in his helmet and quickly throws it aside, swinging down at the fallen Cyrus, but the Persian rolls away quickly and draws an Akinaka. The two clash blades, each managing to block or dodge the other's blows until Cyrus makes a cut in Pyrrhos' shin; however, the Macedonian king knows what's coming...he falls to his knees as if in pain, and Cyrus lifts up his sword to deal the final blow. His Akinaka is held over his shoulder, ready to cut the Greek's neck. He wonders why the Epeirote is smiling, and turns around just in time to see the last Hypaspist lunging at him with his own Kopis. Cyrus quickly evades, strikes the Macedonian in the side which, although not killing him, does shake the man considerably, then slices his Akinaka into the Hypaspist's neck. The shieldbearer coughs up blood before crumpling, and Cyrus quickly turns around to meet Pyrrhos' new onslaught. They continue to match each other in swordplay, but then Pyrrhos scoops up some dirt from the ground and throws it at Cyrus' face. Cyrus covers his eyes in instinct and Pyrrhos charges into the Persian, knocking him to the ground. The Epeirote raises his Kopis up high and brings it down on the Great King of Persia's neck; Cyrus's neck is all but cut apart, and a second strike properly decapitates him. Pyrrhos raises his sword in the air and cries out, "Doxa Ipeiros!" [Glory to Epeiros!]


Expert's Opinion[]

I find, and I'm sure you all do too, that Pyrrhos won narrowly due to more advanced weaponry and armor, better talent on horseback, and especially the power of both the Xyston and the Kopis.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.