The stone contained a decree from King Ptolemy V in 196 BCE, inscribed in Egyptian hieroglyphics and one other Egyptian script, as well as in Ancient Greek. The Rosetta Stone is considered the key that unlocked the ability to understand ancient Egyptian civilization. Sparta was a closed society, suspicious of foreigners, secretive toward the outside world, and contemptuous of book learning. Around 650 BCE, a three-part class system emerged consisting of helots, perioikoi, and Spartiate. Far to the east, the Persian Empire—what is modern-day Iran—began in 550 BCE with Cyrus the Great, who united several nearby empires, including the Babylonians, under one banner establishing what was at the time the largest empire in history. The inscription on the Rosetta Stone is a copy of a decree passed by the General Council of Egyptian priests in Egypt in 196 BCE to celebrate the coronation of Ptolemy V.