Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia
(Olympiad 55, year 1)

560 BC

Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia
(Olympiad 62, year 2)

530 BC

9 years

Cyrusconquest of Babylon
(Cuneiform tablets)

539 BC

In Persian Chronology a number of important Biblical events took place during the Persian period: the fall of Babylon, followed by Cyrus’ release of the Jews and the end of the 70-year desolation of Judah; the reconstruction of the temple at Jerusalem, completed “in the sixth year of the reign of Darius [I, Persian]”; and the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls by Nehemiah, according to the decree given in the 20th year of Artaxerxes Longimanus.—2Ch 36:20-23; Ezr 3:8-10; 4:23, 24; 6:14, 15; Ne 2:1, 7, 8.[1]

The date of 539 BC for the fall of Babylon can be arrived at not only by Ptolemy’s canon but by other sources as well. The historian Diodorus, as well as Africanus and Eusebius, shows that Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia corresponded to Olympiad 55, year 1 (560/559 BCE), while Cyrus’ last year is placed at Olympiad 62, year 2 (531/530 BCE). Cuneiform tablets give Cyrus a rule of nine years over Babylon, which would therefore substantiate the year 539 as the date of his conquest of Babylon.[2][3][1]

Several inscriptions of Persian kings have come down to us, yet they are not useful for establishing the length of the reigns of Persian kings. For example, a number of dated tablets were found at Persepolis, but the names of the kings are not included.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 it-1 pp. 447-467 Chronology
  2. Handbook of Biblical Chronology, by Jack Finegan, 1964, pp. 112, 168-170
  3. Babylonian Chronology, 626 B.C.–A.D. 75, p. 14