On page 404 of Volume 4, The Jewish Encyclopedia says: “Cyrus always conformed to the traditions of the thrones he usurped, and, together with his son Cambyses, rendered homage to the native deities. On the first day of the year, Nisan 1 (March 20), 538, in conformity with Babylonian custom, he grasped the hands of the golden statue of Bel-Marduk, and thus became consecrated as monarch. From this ceremony dates the first year of his reign as ‘King of Babylon, King of all the Lands.’” Cyrus thus had himself proclaimed as king of Babylon and as the legitimate successor to the deposed King Nabonidus. By doing this he did not have to reconquer the Babylonian Empire. Babylon’s foreign possessions, Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine and the borderlands of the desert, all came to be tributary to Cyrus.—See The Westminster Historical Atlas to the Bible (1956), page 75, paragraph 3.