Today a conqueror set people free.
He would have answered to the name Kurash, but history calls the founder of the Achaemenid Empire Cyrus, who arose to lead the people of Parsua (who’d become Persians of Iran, eventually) to take control of the neighboring and far more established Median Empire through some courtly intrigue, and then defeat the Lydians to the south in the Battle of Thymbra. In 539, Cyrus’ forces overcame the defenses of Babylon — diverting water from the Euphrates so his soldiers could walk into the city from an undefended direction, thereby taking over without a fight — and his empire became the largest the world had ever known.
One of the first things he did was on this day in 539 BCE was to restore all of the old religions that the last Babylonian ruler had suppressed, which was part of his normal ‘hands off’ approach to ruling conquered lands (presuming his subjects paid their taxes and willingly died in his military service, of course). This respect for human rights included freeing the Jews who’d been exiled from their homes in Judah 50 years prior. Cyrus would die soon thereafter and then everything would fall apart until Alexander the Great assembled another empire. Though most Jews chose to stay in Babylon, those who returned founded the Second Temple (which wouldn’t get destroyed until the Romans raze Jerusalem in the late 1st century CE), and brought with them the habits of distributed worship instead of relying on official temples. These practices would give rise to the Pharisees and the movement lead by someone named Yeshua, who history calls Jesus.
You never know what actions will influence other actions.