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Cyrus the Great, Founder of the Persian Empire, killed by Thamaris, Queen of the Massagetai
Boucicaut Master Illuminator (French, active about 1390 - 1430)
about 1413 - 1415
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
Leaf: 42 x 29.6 cm (16 9/16 x 11 5/8 in.)
Dressed as a warrior, Thamaris, a woman who ruled over a group of nomads who lived to the east of the Caspian Sea, stands over the barrel that catches the blood of her enemy, Cyrus, king of the Medes. An executioner holds Cyrus's head by his hair, while behind him lie the dead bodies of the defeated army. As part of his effort to consolidate his regime's possessions, Cyrus had attempted to subdue the territory of Thamaris. Although he encountered a struggle, he had attacked successfully and captured the queen's son. After her son committed suicide in Cyrus's captivity, Thamaris swore revenge and finally succeeded in both killing Cyrus and defeating his army.