On October 29 in 539 B.C.E., Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon, an act of conquest that was key in marking the birth of his Achaemenid Empire. For the Jews, the rise of Cyrus marked the end of the Babylonian Exile, which had begun with Nebuchadnezzar II’s taking of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple, in 597-586 (the latter year marking the end of the Judean Kingdom). Nebuchadnezzar made Judea a...