The Detroit Institute of Arts, USA/Bridgeman Art Library

When Cyrus invaded Babylon, he made his son Cambyses, the crown prince, ruler of the city. In keeping with his royal duties, Cambyses participated in the annual New Year’s Akitu festival, in which he escorted a statue of the god Nabu to the holy temple complex (known as the Esagil), where he visited the temple of his divine “father,” the Babylonian high god Marduk, often depicted as a dragon, as in the tiles pictured here from the Ishtar Gate.