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How much of the cylinder was historical fact and how much was propaganda is open to debate, but even having the cylinder commissioned shows that the Persians were concerned about how they were seen by the inhabitants of the older Mesopotamian civilization. The evidence shows that the Persians certainly allowed the Marduk cult to continue operating in Babylon as it had for centuries and archaeological excavations from other sites in Mesopotamia indicate that the policy was employed there as well. Brick inscriptions from the southern Mesopotamian city of Uruk dated to the reign of Cyrus prove that the Persian king repaired religious temples in that city. A cuneiform inscription dated to Cyrus’ fourth year of rule states that he also funded efforts to reorganize native Mesopotamian cults in the cities of Eshnunna and Akkad. <ref> Jursa, Michael. “The Transition of Babylonia from the Neo-Babylonian Empire to Achaemenid Rule.” In <i>Regime Change in the Ancient Near East and Egypt: From Sargon of Agade to Saddam Hussein.</i> Edited by Harriet Crawford. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pgs. 77-78</ref>
Perhaps the most widely known example of the Achaemenid Persians’ “hands off policy” toward their subject peoples concerned the Jews of the Babylonian captivity. A large number of the people of the Kingdom of Judea had been living in Babylon since the reign of the Neo-Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II (reigned 605-562 BC), who forcefully placed them there after sacking Jerusalem (2 Kings 24-25). It is quite possible that Cyrus worked out an arrangement with the leaders of the Babylonian Jewish community before he entered the city, whereby they would give him intelligence and facilitate the conquest of the city. <ref> Briant, p. 46</ref> It was based on that where a relationship was formed whereby the Jews were allowed to once again freely practice their religion and live in their homeland.