This surname of CYRUS was an English baptismal name meaning 'the son of CYRUS' (sun). Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. CYRUS the Younger (died 401) was the son of Darius II (reigned 423-404) of Persia. He was appointed commander of Persian forces in Asia Minor in 407, and helped the Sparton admiral Lysander, defeat Athens in the Peloponnesian War. When in the year 404 CYRUS's brother succeeded their father, CYRUS led a Greek mercenary army, against him. He died leading a cavalry charge. Cyrus II, the Great (died. 529 BC) was the king of Persia (559-529), who founded the Achaemenian Empire. He staged a successful revolt against his overlord Astyages, gaining control of the empire of the Medes. He then conquered Lydia, Ionia and Babylonia thereby gaining Syria and Palestine, and territories in Central Asia. He was not noted for his humane and tolerant policies towards conquered peoples. He was killed fighting in Central Asia. His tombe at 'Pasargadae' is still to be seen. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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