539 before our time: The Persian King Cyrus II (590-530) takes Babylon, in today's Iraq, and liberates the Jews. King Kyros guaranteed freedom of religion, slave prohibition and equality, as well as "freedom for all," as Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi said in her Nobel Prize in 2003. Cyrus became a role model for Thomas Jefferson and the US Constitutional Fathers.
399 BCE: The philosopher Socrates (469-369) is sentenced to death by the Athens National Assembly. The accusation was that he was "corrupting the youth" and not believing in the right Greek gods. He drinks the poison cup.
265 BCE: Emperor Ashoka (304-232) unites India, goes over to Buddhism. Ashoka sets up stupas with her philosophy, which is based on non-violence, animal protection, religious freedom and tolerance for the opinion of others: "Other peoples' traditions deserve to be honored, for one reason or another"
221 BCE: The founder of the United China, Emperor Qin Shi Huang (260-210), bans all books. . .
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