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date: 01 October 2023


, last king of Lydia, c. 560–546 bce


, last king of Lydia, c. 560–546 bce
  • Percy Neville Ure
  •  and Simon Hornblower


Croesus, last king of *Lydia (c. 560–546 bce), son of *Alyattes. He secured the throne after a struggle with a half-Greek half-brother, and completed the subjugation of the Greek cities on the Asia Minor coast. His subsequent relations with the Greeks were not unfriendly; he contributed to the rebuilding of the Artemisium at *Ephesus (Hdt. 1. 92 and Tod no. 6) and made offerings to Greek shrines, especially *Delphi; anecdotes attest his friendliness to Greek visitors and his wealth. The rise of *Persia turned Croesus to seek support in Greece and Egypt, but *Cyrus (1) anticipated him: Sardis was captured and Croesus overthrown. His subsequent fate soon became the theme of legend: he is cast or casts himself on a pyre, but is miraculously saved by Apollo and translated to the land of the *Hyperboreans or becomes the friend and counsellor of Cyrus.


  • Near East

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