The Zoroastrian APPG held their Cyrus the Great Day celebration in Parliament on Monday 26th October.
The event centred on Cyrus the Great Day, the day when Cyrus entered Babylon, while also focusing on the similarities between Cyrus’ achievements, such as his Cylinder, and the Magna Carta – which celebrates its 800th anniversary this year.
Dr Rashna Writer, a former lecturer on Zoroastrianism in Ancient and Modern Worlds at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), gave a lecture at the event and she was joined by Professor Almut Hintze FBA, also of SOAS, and Dr John E. Curtis OBE FBA,of the British Library.
The lectures focused on the importance of the Magna Carta, often described as the origin of Parliamentary Constitutionalism, and Cyrus Cylinder, known by many as the origin of Human Rights, and the way in which both documents inform the modern parliament of today.
Cyrus the Great’s magnanimity and the religious freedoms afforded to those in his empire was remarkable and distinguished him as an extraordinary leader. His tolerance and Cylinder certainly left their mark in history and laid the foundations of religious tolerance for future generations.