A Brief Overview of the History of the Median Empire:
The first king of Media was Deioces, who was chosen for his wisdom, honesty and judgment after the Medes revolted from their Assyrian overlords,. He built the city of Agbatana and established himself firmly on his throne, being careful always to display the same kind of wise and impartial judgment in his dealings with the people now that he was king, as he always had.
Deioces was succeeded by his son, Phraortes, who extended the kingdom significantly, conquering first Persia, and then all of Asia east of the River Halys, with the exception of Babylon. Phraortes even laid siege to the Assyrian capital, Nineveh and would most certainly have taken the city, had it not been for the sudden invasion of a horde of nomadic Scythians, who were following a band of Cimmerians whom they had chased out of Europe. These Scythians tyrannized and oppressed Asia for the next twenty-eight years spreading waste and destruction throughout the entire region until finally all of their leaders were slain at a treacherous feast planned by Cyaxares, the son of Phraortes.
Cyaxares, the third king of Media, finally drove the Scythian invaders out of Media, thus returning to her the dominion over Asia which had originally been won by his father; and which he saw as his birthright. Cyaxares finally conquered Nineveh, and thus subjected the Assyrians, who had formerly ruled all of Asia, to the dominion of their former subjects, the Medes, with the exception of the remnant of the Assyrian aristocracy, who had fled to Babylon, the final stronghold of the Assyrian Empire, to establish a government in exile.
When Cyaxares died the throne passed to his son, Astyages, who was thus absolutely determined that the fledgling kingdom of Media would never again fall so easily to invading foreigners…
(to be continued)
In the next thrilling instalment of ‘Cyrus’, hear all about the prophetic dream which threatens Astyages’ kingdom and how Astyages decides to deal with it.