The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New BeginningRoundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits
tags: Smithsonian, WSJ, museum reviews
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
March 9 through April 28
When Thomas Jefferson was in need of guidance he turned, as many statesmen did, to that handbook of political subtleties, Machiavelli's "The Prince." But arguably more important to the third U.S. president was a biography by the Greek historian Xenophon called "Cyropedia." In fact, he seems to have admired the book so much he owned two copies. With many an imaginative flourish, it told the story of King Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire, whose realm stretched from the Mediterranean to eastern Iran and from the Black Sea to the borders of Arabia in the south.
Xenophon, who lived between 430 and 355 B.C., described how Cyrus owed his triumphs to "the sheer terror of his personality," but what made him attractive to Jefferson was not his military prowess but his enlightened approach to government....
On Saturday, the Cyrus Cylinder is embarking on a nine-month tour of the U.S., starting with the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, where it will inevitably provoke comparisons with the Bill of Rights. As British Museum Director Neil MacGregor said in a recent lecture: "It bears comparison with the American Constitution, in spite of the centuries that divide them, as an historic statement of how a disparate polity may be humanely governed."...
comments powered by Disqus
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- The man behind the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum
- Greece vows pressure on Germany to get WWII reparations
- Islamist: Sorry I Wrecked Heritage Site
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum
- Speaker Ryan loves pseudo-historian David Barton