Greetings to All,
As you may recall, I had written a humble retort against Spiegel Magazine’s false portrayal of the historiography pertaining to Cyrus the Great:

Response to Spiegel Magazine’s Attack on the Legacy of Cyrus the Great

Some mirrors of above:
at Save Pasargad web site:


Persian translations of my retort:
Shahrbaraz blog (Persian summary):

Save Pasargad website:

Iran-nameh blog by Dr. Shahin Sepanta:

Iran-Shenakht by Dr. Jalil Doostkhah:

Cyrus Kar has also bought the following item to my attention. The “historians” that Mr. Schulz has chosen to quote (i.e. Wiesehöfer, Schaudig) are basing their analyses on a single piece of flawed translation, namely that of the Nabonidus Chronicle, which also narrates the victory of Cyrus the Great at Opis.

Schulz has also cited the fall of Opis on the second page of his article. It was in 1966 that A. K. Grayson published his translation of the Nabonidus Chronicle:

In the month of Tishri when Cyrus(II) did battle at Opis on the

[bank of] the Tigris against the army of Akkad, the people of Akkad retreated. He carried off the plunder (and) slaughtered the people.”

Note the following two words: “slaughtered” and “the people”.

A number of scholars knew that the translation was flawed, however the issue was not academically addressed until 2007, when Shahrokh Razmjou consulted Professor Wilfred G. Lambert of the University of Birmingham, England, who is the world’s foremost expert in the cuneiform. It is worth noting that A. K. Grayson had been a student of Professor Lambert in the past.

Razmjou asked Professor Lambert to review Grayson’s translation. Lambert immediately noted that the translation that had been made by his former student was false. Here is the correct translation:

In Tishri, when Cyrus did battle with the army of Akkad at Opis, on the [bank] of the Tigris, the soldiers of Akkad withdrew. He (Cyrus) took plunder and defeated the soldiers (of Akkad).

Notice the following corrections made by Professor Lambert:

  • a] “slaughter” in Grayson’s translation is incorrect – the correct translation is “defeated”.
  • b] “the people” in Grayson’s translation is incorrect – the correct translation is “the soldiers”.

The Nabonidus Chronicle now housed in the British Museum. 
The flawed translation by A. K. Grayson has now been corrected by 
Professor Wilfred G. Lambert of the University of Birmingham, England.

Mr. Schulz in his article in Speigel has, amongst his numerous errors (as noted in my humble retort cited earlier) has relied on:

  • a] The flawed translation of A. K. Grayson
  • b] “Historians” who reject all of the primary sources in Biblical as well as Greek sources in favour of [a].

Lambert’s translation was published in the 2007 publication of the French journal N.A.B.U which Cyrus Kar has kindly forwarded to me for distribution (please see the three scanned images below this line).

(click on each image for higer resolution)



Suffice it to say that Cyrus had defeated a military opponent at Opis – there is no record of any harm being done to the civilians in the Nabonidus Chronicle. To that end, two further observations may be inferred:

  • 1] The city of Opis and its Babylonian inhabitants remained intact well into Seleucid times, after the fall of Darius III to Alexander’s forces. If the inhabitants had been “massacred” as averred to in the flawed translation, then how and why did it survive centuries after Cyrus had passed away?
  • 2] Opis had stayed in place after the fall of the Achaemenids to the armies Alexander the Great. The successors to Alexander, the Seleucids, built the city of Seleucia-city just across Opis.When the Parthians ejected the Seleucids from Iran, they allowed both Seleucia-city and Opis to thrive. Both would become merged into the larger settlement of Ctesiphon which became the Partho-Sassanian capital. It was only after the fall of Ctesiphon to the Arabo-Muslim armies in 637 AD (following the Battle of Qadissiya) that the city (which included ancient Opis) finally disappeared as an inhabited city, close to 12 centuries after Cyrus had entered Opis.

Ctesiphon the capital of the Pre-Islamic Parthian and Sassanian Empires

Please feel to comment and/or distribute this article as widely as possible to reporters, professors and interested readers.

Best Regards
Kaveh Farrokh