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                                                                       Karpenko I. K.


About the year when "Cyrus got the power in Persia" according to Josephus Flavius and what means this phrase.


In the book's Josephus Flavius "About an antiquity of the Judah people. In front of Apion." is the next fragment: according to our books. There is a message there that Nabu-kudur-usur destroyed our temple by 18 year his reign that that one was in that essence during 50 years till Cyrus (Kurush) funded new temple on the second year of his reign To this I will add of testimony of the phinicians. Computation of time under these indications is next: Nabuhednazar (Nabu-kudur-usur) deposited Tyre during 30 years at the Itobal reign's time. Baal (Abd-Baal) was after him during ten years, then the judges were elected (Shoftym) which managed: Eknabil (Kemi-Baal) (the son of Basleh (Baal-Sileh)) managed for two months; Helbes (Kaleb) (the son of Abdy) managed for 10 months; Abbar (Abd-har ?, Chabar ?) supreme priest was in the power for three months; Both the Judge Mittin (Mattan-Baal) and Herostrat (Ger-Astaret) (the son of Abdalim (Abd-Elim)) administered for 6 years. After them Balator (Baal-Atar) was in a power for a year. And after his death Merbal (Mahar-Baal) was brought on from Babylon, which reigned for four years and when he dyed his brother Hirom (Hiram) was invoked and reigns during 20 years. In that time Cyrus had approved his authority above the Persians. So the whole period of that time comprised for 54 years and 3 months. At the seventh year Nabuhednazars (Nabu-kudur-usur's) authority had started to lay siege to Tyre and by the 14th year Hirom's reign Cyrus reached the power in Persia. (.1, .21)1

Let's check the accuracy of reduced digits, which one can be tested due to another sources before we will use the chronology of the above-stated fragment.

From the Bible (Ezdra, 1, 1-11) we have known Hebrews counted the year of capture of Babylon that the same year when Kurush (ak. Kurash, gr. Cyrus) got the power. Outgoing from this lets check the digit 50 years is. According to Babylon's chronology 52 Nabu-kudur-usur II (Nabuhednazar from Bible) had captured Jerusalem at first time and placed on the throne of Zedekiah by the 7th year his authority (598 B.C.). Per 11 year of board Zedekiah Jerusalem had been captured in second time. From here it is visible that Nabu-kudur-usur II had captured Jerusalem per 18th year his authority (587 B.C.) at the second time. So the Josephus Flavius's date the dip of Jerusalem in 18th year authority Nabu-kudur-usur II more precisely then the date from Bible (19th)3.

Kurush II conquered Babylon per 17th year of Nabu-Naid's reign (Bible: Nabonidus) (539 B.C.). According to chronology of Babylon kings we have got: 26 years (18th- 43th years Nabu-kudur-usur II) + 2 (Amel-Marduk) + 4 (Nergal-shar-usur and Labash-Marduk) + 17 (Nabu-Naid) = 49 years. Let's add here 1-st year of Kurushs reign in Babylon and we get 50 years between dipped of Jerusalem Nabu-kudur-usur II's per 18th year reign and beginning of recovery of the Jerusalem temple per 2-th year Kurush II's reign. So we can see that the digit is 50 years and the date of dip of Jerusalem (18th year of Nabu-kudur-usur II's reign) are coincided with the reality. So, from a large lobe of probability we can count that the digit is 54 years and 3 months is true (the period between of beginning of the siege of Tyre by Nabu-kudur-usur II and reached Kurush II's power in Persia.

Lets try to understand what Josephus Flavius meant behind the phrase: " and per 14th year of Hirom Cyrus got the power in Persia" resting on this digit (54 years and 3 months). There are four ways of this phrase's treatment;

1. Kurush II had gotten the power in Anshana after his father Kambujia I death (gr. Cambyses):

2. Kurush II had gotten the power in Persia (Parsua country) where he had discharged of an authority of Arshama (gr. Arsames)4;

3. Kurush II had gotten an independence due to Astyages (this is a Greek variant of the name; Babylon: Ishtumegu, Ishtuvegu; what is Iranian variant no clear) had been captured and Media had been conquered.

4. Kurush II had gotten the power in Babylon.

Before to disassemble the given question lets look at another problem. Josef Flavius wrote "At king Itobala Nabuhednazar (Nabu-kudur-usur) laid a siege of Tyre during 13 years." But he did not point in what per year of Itobal's reign this siege had been begun (or finished). That's why for the beginning lets count what the years this siege had a place. Lets look at the next table:


Table 1:


Years according

to Josephus Flavius         Tyre's Governors                            


 1-th                               +1-th Itobals

13-th                              +13-th Itobals

19-th                              +19-th Itobals

20-th                                 1-th Baals

29-th                                10-th Baals

30-th                                 1 year (2+10+3 months) judges

31-th                                 1-th Mittins and Gerostrats

36-th                                 6- th Mittins and Gerostrats

37-th                                 1-th Balators

38-th                                 1-th Merbals

41-th                                 4-th Merbals

42-th                                 1-th Hiroms

54-th                                13-th Hiroms

55-th (54+3 months)       14-th Hiroms


            So we got that the siege of Tyre had a place in X+1 - X+13th year of Itobal's administration where X are years before the siege and after this one Itobal managed 6 years yet.

It is as a matter of convenience of further reasoning we shall consider at first version that the 14th year of Hirome is the year by Kurush II capture of Babylon.

Build the table.


Table 2:


Years according          Babylon's Governors

to Josephus Flavius 

 1-th                                    12-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs

32-th                                    43-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs

33-th                                     1-th Amel-Marduks

34-th                                     2-th Amel-Marduks

35-th                                     1-th Nergal-shar-usurs

38-th                                     4-th Nergal-shar-usurs

39-th                                     1-th Nabu-Naids     

55-th                                    17-th Nabu-Naids


From the given table follows that if the 14th year of Hirom is the date of capture of Babylon by Kurush II then the beginning of siege of Tyre should be per 12th year of board of Nabu-kudur-usur II and it contradicts to Josephus Flavius's data. So, this version does not approach.                          

Lets look at the version that the 14th year of Hirome is the date of Astyages's capture and the year of Kurush II country independence. According to the Syppar barrel Nabu-Naid Astiag had been captured by Persians per 3th year Nabu-Naid boarding5. But there is a version that this event had happened per 6th year of Nabu-Naid boarding as in the Babylonian chronicle 7 after the Astyages's capture follows the events of 7th year of Nabu-Naid boarding6. That is why we shall consider both versions and build the table 3.


Table 3:


Years according                         Babylon's Governors

to Josephus Flavius


            var.1 (3-th Nabu-Naids)            var.2 (6-th Nabu-Naids)


 1-th       19-th Nabu-apla-usurs           1-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs

 3-th       21-th Nabu-apla-usurs           3-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs

 4-th         1-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs     4-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs

43-th       40-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs   43-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs

44-th       41-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs    1-th Amel-Marduks

45-th       42-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs    2-th Amel-Marduks

46-th       43-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs    1-th Nergal-shar-usurs

47-th        1-th Amel-Marduks             2-th Nergal-shar-usurs

48-th        2-th Amel-Marduks             3-th Nergal-shar-usurs        

49-th        1-th Nergal-shar-usurs        4-th Nergal-shar-usurs

50-th        2-th Nergal-shar-usurs        1-th Nabu-Naids

52-th        4-th Nergal-shar-usurs        3-th Nabu-Naids

53-th        1-th Nabu-Naids                  4-th Nabu-Naids

55-th        3-th Nabu-Naids                  6-th Nabu-Naids


We have got from the table that Tyre was laid the siege per 1st year of Nabu-kudur-usur II boarding but this impossible so that contradict to Josephus Flavius's data. Consequently the Josephus Flavius's phrase "Cyrus had gotten the power in Persia does not concern to the victory above the Media Astyages. From the table follows that the phrase does not concern and Kurush II got the throne in Anshana because Kurush II substituted his father before 3d year Nabu-Naid's authority.

And so, we have got the version only, that the Josephus Flavius's phrase "Cyrus (Kurush) had gotten the power in Persia (country Parsua)" we can send to Kurush II boarding in Persia when he had discharged of authority of Arshama (Arsames) and had joined all Persian nations under his powerty. The data sources do not give us the date Arshama's (Arsamess) discharged. So we shall count this one according to Josef Flavius's data Tire had been beleaguered by Nabu-kudur-usur II per 7th year of his authority. Lets make up a table 4.


Table 4:


years according                       Babylon's governors

to Josephus Flavius 

 1-th                              7-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs

37-th                             43-th Nabu-kudur-usur IIs

38-th                              1-th Amel-Marduks

39-th                              2-th Amel-Marduks

40-th                              1-th Nergal-shar-usurs

43-th                              4-th Nergal-shar-usurs

44-th                              1-th Nabu-Naids

55-th                             12-th Nabu-Naids


So we counted on that per 12th year of reign Nabu-Naid the king of Babylon (544 B.C.) Kurush II (the king of Anshan) had discharged of Arshama (Arsames) (governor of Persia) and joined all the Persian nations under his power. And else, according to Josephus Flavius and Babylon's chronic 5 Nadur-kudur-ucur II had beleaguered Tyre after the maiden acquisition by him of Jerusalem (598 B.C.).


The notice.

1. . . . ., - .., 1895. .34-46.

2. Grayson A.K. Assyrian and babylonian chronicles.- Locust-Yalley New-York, 1975, p.104.

3. , . ., 2, 25,6; ., 52,12.                

4. .. . . , . . . -, 1985, .7-12.; M. Dandamaev's reasons, that Ashan and Persua (Persia) that the same country, are gentle argued and contradict Assyrian and Elam's documents VII B.C. The last documents precise distinguish two countries Ashan and Persia. The F.Weyssbakh's judgement is more fair in this question.

5. , .17.

6. Grayson, p.108.



1. .                

2. .. . ., , . . . -, 1985.

3. . . . ., - .., 1895.

4. Grayson A.K. Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles. - Locust-Yalley New-York, 1975.

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