When I go for a pleasant stroll I’m often lazy. I’ll note interesting things from afar, but fail to walk up for a closer look.
Recently I took a good close look at a large plaque located conspicuously near the House of Iran in Balboa Park. The House of Iran is one of the couple dozen cottages built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. The furnishings in the colorful little buildings exemplify life in their respective countries. Many members of each “house” trace their ancestry to the old country.
The shining plaque lies in a bed of flowers. I approached it and paused to read. It’s dedicated to the First Declaration of Human Rights by Cyrus the Great.
According to the plaque Cyrus the Great (585-529 BC) was an enlightened Iranian emperor. Unlike many rulers of old, he upheld human dignity throughout his vast empire and treated his subjects humanely. He opposed slavery and supported the freedom of religion.
This ancient declaration of human rights was inscribed in cuneiform on a clay cylinder, which is now on display in the British Museum.