The Cyrus Cylinder is now recognized as the world’s first charter of human rights. The Persian king Cyrus the Great wrote the charter in 539 BC, after the conquest of Babylon. He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their own religion, and established racial equality. These decrees were recorded on a baked-clay cylinder known as Cyrus Cylinder. Documents such as the Magna Carta (1215), the Petition of Right (1628), the US Constitution (1787), the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), and the US Bill of Rights (1791) are precursors to many of today’s human rights documents.