Cyrus the Great is another narrative history by the scholarly biographer- historian who has made a career of illuminating dim niches of the ancient past. He reconstructs the misty events in the life of Cyrus, the Achaemenian, founder of the obscure Persian Empire which preceded Alexander and existed three centuries before the rise of the Romans. Cyrus, born the prince of mountain kingdom, rose to rule Babylon, the violent metropolis he vigorously reformed. The civilization of his time nurtured the seeds of the first Western art. There are candlelit side-lights: the truth about Croesus, the origin of the Amazon legend and the story of Aesop, the witty slave whose stories cost him his life. With a blending of Biblical style and evocative images Cyrus the Great echoes like a legend in a marble hall and should not disappoint the author's world-wide following.