Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY

Cyrus is beheaded at the order of the rival Queen Tomyris, according to the historian Herodotus and the artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). The Persian king who rebuilt Jerusalem’s Temple was dubbed “messiah” by at least one biblical author. After his death, the title was reapplied to a future king who would rule at the end of time.