A land and a people regularly mentioned along with, and evidently related to, the Medes. In their early history, the Persians held only the southwestern part of the Iranian plateau. Under Cyrus the Great (who according to some ancient historians was born of a Persian father and a Median mother), the Persians became dominant over the Medes, though the empire continued to be dual. Cyrus conquered the Babylonian Empire in 539 B.C.E. and allowed the Jews in captivity to return to their homeland. The Persian Empire extended from the Indus River on the east to the Aegean Sea on the west. The Jews were under Persian rule until Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 331 B.C.E. The Persian Empire was foreseen in a vision by Daniel, and it figures in the Bible books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. (Ezr 1:1; Da 5:28)—See App. B9.