When Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC he was employed in leading religious ceremonies (Chronicle of Nabonidus), and in the cylinder which contains Cyrus's proclamation to the Babylonians his name is joined to that of his father in the prayers to Marduk.
Meanwhile in Persia a usurper, the Magian Gaumata, arose in the spring of 522, who pretended to be the murdered Bardiya (Smerdis) and was acknowledged throughout Asia.
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