Croesus[1] (/ˈkriːsəs/ KREE-səs; Ancient Greek: Κροῖσος, Kroisos; 595 BC – c. 546 BC) was the king of Lydia who, according to Herodotus, reigned for 14 years: from 560 BC until his defeat by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 546 BC[2] (sometimes given as 547 BC).

Croesus was renowned for his wealth; Herodotus and Pausanias noted that his gifts were preserved at Delphi.[3] The fall of Croesus had a profound impact on the Greeks, providing a fixed point in their calendar. "By the fifth century at least," J. A. S. Evans has remarked, "Croesus had become a figure of myth, who stood outside the conventional restraints of chronology."[4]

Croesus portrait
Portrait of Croesus, Attic red-figure amphora, painted ca. 500–490 BC
Lydian King
Reignc. 560 – c. 546 BCE

Legendary biography

Aside from a poetical account of Croesus on the pyre in Bacchylides (composed for Hiero of Syracuse, who won the chariot race at Olympia in 468), there are three classical accounts of Croesus: Herodotus presents the Lydian accounts[5] of the conversation with Solon (Histories 1.29–.33), the tragedy of Croesus' son Atys (Histories 1.34–.45) and the fall of Croesus (Histories 1.85–.89); Xenophon instances Croesus in his panegyric fictionalized biography of Cyrus: Cyropaedia, 7.1; and Ctesias, whose account[6] is also an encomium of Cyrus. Croesus is a descendant of Gyges, of the Myrmnadae Clan, who seized power when Gyges killed Candaules after Candaules's wife found out about a conspiracy to watch her disrobe, according to Herodotus.[7]

Early rule and wealth

Kroisos BMC 31
Gold coin of Croesus, Lydian, around 550 BC, found in what is now modern Turkey

Reportedly, Croesus on the death of his father Alyattes faced a rival claimant to the throne in Pantaleon, son of Alyattes by a different mother. Croesus prevailed, and a number of the opposing faction were executed, and their property confiscated.[8] As soon as his reign was secure, Croesus continued his sires' wars against the Asian Greeks, bringing all the Aeolian and Ionian Settlements on the coasts of Asia-Minor under Lydian rule, from whom he exacted tribute;[9] However, he was willing to be friendly to European and Aegean Greeks, concluding various treaties with them, with Sparta, in particular, later in life.[10]

Croesus is credited with issuing the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation, the Croeseid (following on from his father Alyattes who invented minting with electrum coins). Indeed, the invention of coinage had passed into Greek society through Hermodike II.[11][12] Hermodike II was likely one of Alyettes’ wives so may have been Croesus’ mother because the bull imagery on the croeseid symbolises the Hellenic Zeus -see Europa (consort of Zeus).[13] Zeus, through Hercules, was the divine forefather of his family line.

"While the pyre was burning, it is said that a cloud passed under Hercules and with a peal of thunder wafted him up to heaven. Thereafter he obtained immortality... by Omphale he had Agelaus, from whom the family of Croesus was descended..."[14]

The dynasty which preceded that of Croesus on the throne of Sardes traced their descent from Alcaeus, the son of Hercules by Omphale, Queen of Lydia, during her year of required servitude. Like his ancestor Hercules, Croesus attempted to burn himself on a pyre when the Persians captured Sardes. By emulating the Greek myth, he demonstrated he had - or believed he had - Greek heritage.

Moreover, the first coins were quite crude and made of electrum, a naturally occurring pale yellow alloy of gold and silver. The composition of these first coins was similar to alluvial deposits found in the silt of the Pactolus river (made famous by Midas), which ran through the Lydian capital, Sardis. Later coins, including some in the British Museum, were made from gold purified by heating with common salt to remove the silver.[15]

In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for a wealthy man. He inherited great wealth from his father who had become associated with the Midas mythology because Lydian precious metals came from the river Pactolus in which King Midas supposedly washed away his ability to turn all he touched into gold.[16] Aylettes’ tax revenue may be the real ‘Midas touch’ financing his and Croesus conquests. Croesus' wealth remained proverbial beyond classical antiquity: in English, expressions such as "rich as Croesus" or "richer than Croesus" are used to indicate great wealth to this day. The earliest known such usage in English was John Gower's in Confessio amantis (1390):

Original text:

That if the tresor of Cresus
And al the gold Octovien,
Forth with the richesse Yndien
Of Perles and of riche stones,
Were al togedre myn at ones,
I sette it at nomore acompte
Than wolde a bare straw amonte.[17]

Modern spelling:

That if the treasure of Croesus
And all the gold Octavian,
Forth with the riches Indian
Of pearls and of rich stones,
Were altogether mine at once,
I set it at no more account
Than would a bare straw amount.

Interview with Solon

Banville - Ésope, 1893
Aesop in front of Croesus.
Francken Croesus showing his treasures
Croesus showing his treasures to Solon. Frans Francken the Younger, 17th century.

According to Herodotus, Croesus encountered the Greek sage Solon and showed him his enormous wealth.[18] Croesus, secure in his own wealth and happiness, asked Solon who the happiest man in the world was, and was disappointed by Solon's response that three had been happier than Croesus: Tellus, who died fighting for his country, and the brothers Kleobis and Biton who died peacefully in their sleep after their mother prayed for their perfect happiness because they had demonstrated filial piety by drawing her to a festival in an oxcart themselves. Solon goes on to explain that Croesus cannot be the happiest man because the fickleness of fortune means that the happiness of a man's life cannot be judged until after his death. Sure enough, Croesus' hubristic happiness was reversed by the tragic deaths of his accidentally-killed son and, according to Critias, his wife's suicide at the fall of Sardis, not to mention his defeat at the hands of the Persians.

The interview is in the nature of a philosophical disquisition on the subject "Which man is happy?" It is legendary rather than historical. Thus the "happiness" of Croesus is presented as a moralistic exemplum of the fickleness of Tyche, a theme that gathered strength from the fourth century, revealing its late date. The story was later retold and elaborated by Ausonius in The Masque of the Seven Sages, in the Suda (entry "Μᾶλλον ὁ Φρύξ," which adds Aesop and the Seven Sages of Greece), and by Tolstoy in his short story "Croesus and Fate".

Croesus' votive offerings to Delphi

According to Herodotus,[19] Croesus desired to discover which of the well known oracles of his time gave trustworthy omens. He sent ambassadors to the most important oracles ordering that on the 100th day from their departure from Sardis they should ask what the king of the Lydians, Croesus, son of Alyattes was doing on this exact date. Then on the 100th day the envoys entered the oracle of Delphi in order to ask for the omen, the Pythia answered in verse:

I know the sand's number and the measures of the sea.
I understand the mute and hear him though he does not speak.
The smell has come to my senses of a hard-shelled tortoise
Being cooked in bronze together with lamb's meat;
There is bronze beneath it and with bronze it has been covered.

Silver croeseid protomes CdM
Silver croeseid issued by King Croesus of Lydia (561–545 BC), obverse: lion and bull protomes.

The envoys wrote down the answer and returned to Sardis. Croesus read all the answers brought by his envoys from all the oracles. As soon as he read the answer of the Pythia he bowed, because he was persuaded that it was the only real oracle, along with that of Amphiaraus.[20] Indeed, on the specific date Croesus had put pieces of a tortoise and lamb to boil together in a bronze cauldron, covered with a bronze lid. Then, Croesus wanted to thank and take on his side the oracle of Delphi. He sacrificed three thousand of all kinds of sacrificial animals. Then he lit a bonfire and burned precious objects. After the sacrifice he melted down gold and made golden blocks, each one 2.5 talents. He ordered his artists to make the copy of a lion out of pure gold, weighing ten talents. At the time of Herodotus this was situated at the Treasury of the Corinthians in Delphi, but 3.5 talents lighter, as the priests had melted down part of it. Croesus also sent along two enormous krateres (wine-mixing bowls), one made of gold and one made of silver, situated on one side and the other of the entrance to the temple of Apollo. After the fire which destroyed the temple, these krateres were transferred elsewhere: the golden one was transferred to the treasury of the Klazomenians, whereas the silver one was placed again in the vestibule of the new temple. Within this krater took place the mixing of water and wine during the Theophania. In Delphi they used to say that this one had been made by Theodorus of Samos. The votive offerings of Croesus comprised also four silver pithoi (storage jars), situated at the Treasury of the Corinthians, and two perirrhanteria (basins for purification water) made of precious metals and a statue of a woman made of gold; they said that it depicted the woman who kneaded Croesus' bread. Finally, he dedicated the pendants and belts of his wife as well as other simpler and smaller liturgical objects and a golden shield which he offered to the Archaic temple of Athena Pronaia, later on melted by the Phocians in the course of the Third Sacred War.

Death of son

According to legend, Croesus gave refuge at one point to the Phrygian prince Adrastus. Herodotus tells that Adrastus exiled himself to Lydia after accidentally killing his brother. Croesus later experienced a dream for which he took as prophecy in which Atys, his son and heir, would be killed by an iron spearhead. Taking precautions against this, Croesus kept his son from leading in military expeditions and fighting in any way. However, according to Herodotus, a wild boar began to ravage the neighboring province of Mysia, which soon begged Croesus to send a military expedition led by Atys to kill the boar. Croesus thought this would be safe for his son, as Atys would not be fighting an enemy that could throw a spear. However, he sent Adrastus with Atys as a bodyguard in case they would be waylaid by bandits on the expedition. While fighting the boar, Adrastus accidentally hit Atys with his spear, killing him. Croesus absolved Adrastus for his son's death; however, Adrastus later committed suicide.[21]

Campaign against Persia and testing of oracle

Defeat of Croesus 546 BCE
Defeat of Croesus at the Battle of Thymbra, 546 BCE.

Croesus' uneasy relations with the Ionian Greeks obscures the larger fact that he was the last bastion of the Ionian cities against the increasing Persian power in Anatolia. He began preparing a campaign against Cyrus the Great of Persia.

Before setting out, he turned to the Delphic oracle and the oracle of Amphiaraus to inquire whether he should pursue this campaign and whether he should also seek an alliance. The oracles answered, with typical ambiguity, that if Croesus attacked the Persians, he would destroy a great empire – this would become one of the most famous oracular statements from Delphi.

The oracles also advised Croesus to find out which Greek state was most powerful and to ally himself with it.[22] Croesus, now feeling secure, formed an alliance with Sparta[23] in addition to those he had with Amasis II of Egypt and Nabonidus of Babylonia,[24] and launched his campaign against the Persian Empire in 547 BC. (The scholar Evans in 1978 examines the conflicting dates implied in Herodotus.[4]) Croesus was intercepted near the Halys River in central Anatolia and an inconclusive battle was fought at Pteria. It was the usual practice in those days for the armies to disband for winter and Croesus did so accordingly. Cyrus did not, however, and he attacked and defeated Croesus in Thymbria and later in Sardis, eventually capturing him. It became clear that the powerful empire destroyed by the war was Croesus's own.

Rescue from death and advisor to Cyrus

Croesus and Cyrus
Croesus vanquished, standing in front of Cyrus.

By 546 BC, Croesus was defeated at the Battle of Thymbra under the wall of his capital city of Sardis. After the Siege of Sardis, he was then captured by the Persians. According to various accounts of Croesus's life, Cyrus ordered him to be burned to death on a pyre, but Croesus escaped death. Accounts of his escape vary considerably:

In Bacchylides' ode,[25] Croesus with his wife and family mounted the funeral pyre, but before the flames could envelop the king, he was snatched up by Apollo and spirited away to the Hyperboreans.

Kroisos stake Louvre G197
Croesus on the pyre, Attic red-figure amphora, Louvre (G 197)

Herodotus tells us that in the Lydian account, Croesus was placed upon a great pyre by Cyrus' orders, for Cyrus wanted to see if any of the heavenly powers would appear to save him from being burned alive. The pile was set ablaze, and as Cyrus the Great watched he saw Croesus call out "Solon" three times. He asked the interpreters to find out why he said this word with such resignation and agony. The interpreters returned the answer that Solon had warned Croesus of the fickleness of good fortune (see Interview with Solon above). This touched Cyrus, who realized that he and Croesus were much the same man, and he bade the servants to quench the blazing fire as quickly as they could. They tried to do this, but the flames were not to be mastered. According to the story, Croesus called out to Apollo and prayed to him. The sky had been clear and the day without a breath of wind, but soon dark clouds gathered and a storm with rain of such violence that the flames were speedily extinguished. Cyrus, thus convinced that Croesus was a good man, made him an advisor who served Cyrus "well" and later Cyrus's son by Cassandane, Cambyses.[26]

The Cambridge History of Iran argues that there is no evidence that Cyrus the Great killed Croesus, and in particular rejects the account of burning on a pyre. It interprets Bacchylides' narration as Croesus attempting suicide and then being saved by Cyrus.[27]

Recently, Stephanie West has argued that the historical Croesus did in fact die on the pyre, and that the stories of him as a wise advisor to the courts of Cyrus and Cambyses are purely legendary, showing similarities to the sayings of Ahiqar.[28]

After defeating Croesus, the Persians adopted gold as the main metal for their coins.[29][30]


Xerxes I tomb Lydian soldier circa 470 BCE cleaned up
Lydian soldier in the Achaemenid army, following the Lydian defeat against the Achaemenid Empire. Xerxes I tomb, circa 480 BC.

It is not known when exactly Croesus died, although it could be aligned with the traditional date for Cyrus' conquest of Lydia in 546 BC. In the Nabonidus Chronicle it is said that Cyrus "marched against the country –, killed its king,[31] took his possessions, put there a garrison of his own". Unfortunately, all that remains of the name of the country are traces of the first cuneiform sign. It has long been assumed that this sign should be LU, so that the country referred to would be Lydia, with Croesus as the king that was killed. However, J. Cargill has shown that this restoration was based upon wishful thinking rather than actual traces of the sign LU.[32] Instead, J. Oelsner and R. Rollinger have both read the sign as Ú, which might imply a reference to Urartu.[33] With Herodotus' account also being unreliable chronologically in this case, as J. A. S. Evans has demonstrated,[34] this means that we currently have no way of dating the fall of Sardis; theoretically, it may even have taken place after the fall of Babylon in 539 BC. Evans also asks what happened after the episode at the pyre and suggests that "neither the Greeks nor the Babylonians knew what really happened to Croesus".[35]

In Popular Culture

References to Croesus' legendary power and wealth, often as a symbol of human vanity, are numerous in literature. The following, by Isaac Watts, is from the poem titled "False Greatness":

Thus mingled still with wealth and state,
Croesus himself can never know;
His true dimensions and his weight
Are far inferior to their show.[36][37]

Other literary examples are "Croesus and Fate", a short story by Leo Tolstoy that is a retelling of the account of Croesus as told by Herodotus and Plutarch; and "Crœsus, King of Lydia", a tragedy in five parts by Alfred Bate Richards, first published in 1845.

The Last King of Lydia, and The King and The Slave, both by Tim Leach, are historical novels centered around Croesus and based primarily on Herodotus' depiction of his life, before and after the fall of Lydia.

See also


  1. ^ The English name Croesus comes from the Latin transliteration of the Greek Κροῖσος.
  2. ^ "Croesus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online
  3. ^ Among them a lion of gold, which had tumbled from its perch upon a stack of ingots when the temple at Delphi burned but was preserved and displayed in the Treasury of the Corinthians, where Pausanias saw it (Pausanias 10.5.13). The temple burned in the archonship of Erxicleides, 548-47 BC.
  4. ^ a b Evans, J. A. S. (October 1978). "What Happened to Croesus?". The Classical Journal. 74 (1): 34–40. JSTOR 3296933. examines the legend and the date 547 BC.
  5. ^ Herodotus credits his Lydian sources for the fall of Croesus in Histories 1.87.
  6. ^ Lost: what survives is a meager epitome by Photius.
  7. ^ "Histories, Book 1"
  8. ^ Herodotus, The Histories, (Penguin Books, Suffolk, England, 1983), I., p. 79
  9. ^ Herodotus, I., p. 50
  10. ^ Herodotus, I., pp. 67, 68
  11. ^ Herodotus, I., p. 80
  12. ^ An Encyclopedia Of World History, (Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, 1952), chap. II. Ancient History, p. 37
  13. ^ 1912-1996., Grimal, Pierre, (1991). The Penguin dictionary of classical mythology. Kershaw, Stephen. ([Abridged ed.] ed.). London, England: Penguin Books. ISBN 0140512357. OCLC 25246340.
  14. ^ Perseus 1:2.7 - According to Hdt. 1.7 the dynasty which preceded that of Croesus on the throne of Sardes traced their descent from Alcaeus, the son of Herakles by a slave girl. It is a curious coincidence that Croesus, like his predecessor or ancestor Herakles, is said to have attempted to burn himself on a pyre when the Persians captured Sardes. See Bacch. 3.24-62, ed. Jebb. The tradition is supported by the representation of the scene on a red-figured vase, which may have been painted about forty years after the capture of Sardes and the death or captivity of Croesus. See Baumeister, Denkmäler des klassischen Altertums, ii.796, fig. 860. Compare Adonis, Attis, Osiris, 3rd ed. i.174ff. The Herakles whom Greek tradition associated with Omphale was probably an Oriental deity identical with the Sandan of Tarsus. See Adonis, Attis, Osiris, i.124ff.
  15. ^ "A History of the World-Episode 25 - Gold coin of Croesus". BBC British Museum. Archived from the original on 2010-02-27.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Confessio amantis, v. 4730. "Croesus". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  18. ^ Herodotus 1.29–33.
  19. ^ Herodotus, 1.46-51
  20. ^ Herodotus, 1.49: "As to the reply which the Lydians received from the oracle of Amphiaraus when they had followed the due custom of the temple, I cannot say what it was, for nothing is recorded of it, except that Croesus believed that from this oracle too he had obtained a true answer."
  21. ^ Herodotus, Histories, Book I 34-45.
  22. ^ Herodotus 1.53.
  23. ^ "L'alliance lydo-spartiate", in Ktèma, 39, 2014, p. 271-288.
  24. ^ Herodotus 1.69–70, 77.
  25. ^ Bacchylides Ode 3.23-62.
  26. ^ Just such an intervention in extinguishing a funeral pyre was adapted by Christian hagiographers as a conventional literary topos in the martyrdom of saints.
  27. ^ Fisher, William Bayne; Gershevitch, I. (1968). The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press. pp. 413–414. ISBN 9780521200912.
  28. ^ Stephanie West, "Croesus' Second Reprieve and Other Tales of the Persian Court", Classical Quarterly (n.s.) 53(2003): 416-437, esp. pp. 419-424.
  29. ^ "Gold coins - A Brief History".
  30. ^ "Monetary Episodes from History".
  31. ^ The verb is "annihilate"; F. Cornelius, "Kroisos", Gymnasium 54 (1967:346–47) notes that the verb can also mean "destroy [as a military power]" as well as "kill".
  32. ^ J. Cargill, "The Nabonidus chronicle and the fall of Lydia: Consensus with feet of clay", American Journal of Ancient History 2 (1977:97-116).
  33. ^ J. Oelsner, "Review of R. Rollinger, Herodots babylonischer logos: Eine kritische Untersuchung der Glaubwürdigkeitsdiskussion (Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft 1993)", Archiv für Orientforschung 46/47 (1999/2000:378-80); R. Rollinger, "The Median "empire", the end of Urartu and Cyrus' the Great campaign in 547 BC (Nabonidus Chronicle II 16)", Ancient West & East 7 (2008:forthcoming).
  34. ^ Evans 1978:35-38.
  35. ^ Evans 1978:39.
  36. ^ Watts, Isaac (1762-01-01). Horae lyricae: poems, chiefly of the lyric kind ... /. New York : Printed and sold by Hugh Gaine.
  37. ^ "Horae Lyricae (Isaac Watts) - ChoralWiki". Retrieved 2016-12-20.

External links

Preceded by
King of Lydia
595?–c.547? BC
Succeeded by
Persian conquest
Alyattes of Lydia

Alyattes (Greek Ἀλυάττης Aluáttēs, likely from a Lydian Walwates; reigned c. 610–560 BC), sometimes described as Alyattes I, was the fourth king of the Mermnad dynasty in Lydia, the son of Sadyattes and grandson of Ardys. He was succeeded by his son Croesus. A battle between his forces and those of Cyaxares, king of Media, was interrupted by the solar eclipse of 28 May 584 BC. After this, a truce was agreed and Alyattes married his daughter Aryenis to Astyages, the son of Cyaxares. The alliance preserved Lydia for another generation, during which it enjoyed its most brilliant period. Alyattes continued to wage a war against Miletus for many years but eventually he heeded the Delphic Oracle and rebuilt a temple, dedicated to Athena, which his soldiers had destroyed. He then made peace with Miletus.Alyattes was the first monarch who issued coins, made from electrum (and his successor Croesus was the first to issue gold coins). Alyattes is therefore sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage, or of currency.The Greek form Ἀλυάττης is most likely derived from a name with initial digamma, ϝαλυάττης (walwattes), from a Lydian walwet- (Lydian alphabet: 𐤥𐤠𐤩𐤥𐤤𐤯).

Atys (son of Croesus)

Atys (Greek: Ἄτυς) was the son of Croesus king of Lydia. He had one son named Pythius.According to book one (I, 35 to 45) of the Histories by Herodotus, his father had a dream, in this dream he saw his son Atys being killed by a spear. As a result Croesus, seeking to prevent or stave off the foreseen fate, had his son married immediately and ceased sending him out to war. One day a giant boar began terrorizing Mysian Olympus, and the Mysians sent to Croesus seeking his son and a team of chosen young men and hounds to help drive it off. Croesus initially refused, but Atys talked his father into letting him hunt the boar, since boars do not wield iron weapons. Croesus gave his consent, but he sent Adrastus with him as a body guard. During the hunt, Adrastus accidentally killed Atys when hurling a spear at the boar. Riddled with guilt, Adrastus slew himself over the tomb of Atys.

Battle of Pteria

At the Battle of Pteria (Ancient Greek: Πτερία) in 547 BC, the Persian forces of Cyrus the Great fought a drawn battle with the invading Lydian forces of Croesus, forcing Croesus to withdraw back west into his own kingdom.

Battle of Thymbra

The Battle of Thymbra was the decisive battle in the war between Croesus of the Lydian Kingdom and Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire. Cyrus, having pursued Croesus into Lydia following the drawn Battle of Pteria, met the remains of Croesus' partly disbanded army in battle on the plain north of Sardis in December, 547 BC. Even though Croesus' army was reinforced with many new men, Cyrus utterly defeated it, despite being outnumbered more or less 2:1. This proved decisive, and after the 14-day Siege of Sardis, the city and possibly its king fell, and Lydia was conquered by the Persians.

Chrysiridia croesus

Chrysiridia croesus, the East African sunset moth, is a moth of the family Uraniidae. As suggested by its common name, it is found in East Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The species was first described by Carl Eduard Adolph Gerstaecker in 1871.

Croesus (film)

Croesus (French: Crésus) is a 1960 French comedy film directed by Jean Giono and starring Fernandel, Marcelle Ranson-Hervé and Rellys.

Croesus (opera)

Der hochmütige, gestürzte und wieder erhabene Croesus (The Proud, Overthrown and Again Exalted Croesus) is a three-act opera (described as a "Singe-Spiel") composed by Reinhard Keiser. The German language libretto by Lucas von Bostel was based on Nicolò Minato's 1678 dramma per musica Creso, the music for which was composed by the Emperor Leopold I.

Keiser's Croesus received its first performance at the Theater am Gänsemarkt, Hamburg, in 1711 (exact date unknown). Later, the composer extensively revised the opera for a new version, which premièred at the same theatre on 6 December 1730. In the process, he discarded much of the original material, and, in consequence, only the 1730 version has survived in complete form.The first performance in modern times was given in 1990 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris (conductor René Clemencic), and first full performance in turn was given in 1999 at the Berlin State Opera (conductor: René Jacobs). The first British performance was given, in English, by Opera North on 17 October 2007, at the Grand Theatre, Leeds. It was conducted by Harry Bicket, designed by Leslie Travers and directed by Tim Albery. The opera received its North American premiere on 1 March 2008, when Albery's production was performed (in German) by the Minnesota Opera at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

Croesus and Fate

"Croesus and Fate" is a short story by Leo Tolstoy that is a retelling of a Greek legend, classically told by Herodotus, and Plutarch, about the king Croesus. It was first published in 1886 by Tolstoy's publishing company The Intermediary. Tolstoy's version is shorter than that by Herodotus, and Tolstoy's characterization of Croesus was designed to parallel the title character in his 1886 novella The Death of Ivan Ilych.

Karun Treasure

Karun Treasure is the name given to a collection of 363 valuable Lydian artifacts dating from the 7th century BC and originating from Uşak Province in western Turkey, which were the subject of a legal battle between Turkey and New York Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1987–1993 and which were returned to Turkey in 1993 after the Museum admitted it had known the objects were stolen when they had purchased them. The collection is alternatively known as the Lydian Hoard. The items are exhibited in the Uşak Museum of Archaeology.

The collection made sensational news once again in May 2006 when a key piece, a golden hippocamp, on display in Uşak Museum along with the rest of the collection, was discovered to have been switched with a fake, probably between March and August 2005,Yet another term used for the collection is "Croesus Treasure". Although the artifacts were closely contemporary to Croesus, whether they should be directly associated with the legendary Lydian king or not remains debatable. Croesus' wealth had repercussions on a number of Asian cultures in a vein similar to his fame in the western cultures, and is referred to either as Qarun (Arabic, Persian and Urdu) or Karun (Turkish), or Korah, with the mythical proportions of his fortune also echoed in various ways, parallel to the English language expression "as rich as Croesus". This explains why the term "Karun Treasure" took hold, and in any case, the king Croesus' Treasure consisted of more than 363 pieces and the tomb chamber tumulus where most artifacts were discovered (they originate from close but different sites) was that of a woman.

Kleobis and Biton

Kleobis (Cleobis) and Biton (Ancient Greek: Κλέοβις, gen.: Κλεόβιδος; Βίτων, gen.: Βίτωνος) are two Archaic Greek Kouros brothers from Argos whose stories date back to about 580 BC. Two statues, discovered in Delphi, represent them.

The story can first be seen in Herodotus Histories (1.31), where Solon tells King of Lydia, Croesus about the happiest person in the world.


Lydia (Assyrian: Luddu; Greek: Λυδία, Lydía; Turkish: Lidya) was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian. Its capital was Sardis.The Kingdom of Lydia existed from about 1200 BC to 546 BC. At its greatest extent, during the 7th century BC, it covered all of western Anatolia. In 546 BC, it became a province of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, known as the satrapy of Lydia or Sparda in Old Persian. In 133 BC, it became part of the Roman province of Asia.

Coins are said to have been invented in Lydia around the 7th century BC.


Mazares (Ancient Greek: Μαζάρης) was a Median general who defected to Cyrus the Great when the latter overthrew his grandfather, Astyages and formed the Persian Empire. Mazares is mentioned by Herodotus as a Median general in the service of Cyrus the Great who died while putting down a revolt in Asia Minor.


Midas (; Greek: Μίδας) is the name of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia.

The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This came to be called the golden touch, or the Midas touch. The Phrygian city Midaeum was presumably named after this Midas, and this is probably also the Midas that according to Pausanias founded Ancyra. According to Aristotle, legend held that Midas died of starvation as a result of his "vain prayer" for the gold touch. The legends told about this Midas and his father Gordias, credited with founding the Phrygian capital city Gordium and tying the Gordian Knot, indicate that they were believed to have lived sometime in the 2nd millennium BC, well before the Trojan War. However, Homer does not mention Midas or Gordias, while instead mentioning two other Phrygian kings, Mygdon and Otreus.

Another King Midas ruled Phrygia in the late 8th century BC, up until the sacking of Gordium by the Cimmerians, when he is said to have committed suicide. Most historians believe this Midas is the same person as the Mita, called king of the Mushki in Assyrian texts, who warred with Assyria and its Anatolian provinces during the same period.A third Midas is said by Herodotus to have been a member of the royal house of Phrygia and the grandfather of an Adrastus who fled Phrygia after accidentally killing his brother and took asylum in Lydia during the reign of Croesus. Phrygia was by that time a Lydian subject. Herodotus says that Croesus regarded the Phrygian royal house as "friends" but does not mention whether the Phrygian royal house still ruled as (vassal) kings of Phrygia.

Night in Paradise

Night in Paradise is a 1946 American film produced by Walter Wanger and directed by Arthur Lubin.

In 560 BC King Croesus of Lydia incurs the wrath of the sorceress Queen Attossa he had promised to marry, when he chooses the beautiful Delarai of Persia instead. Attossa, in disembodied form, mocks Croesus nearly to the point of madness, so he seeks a solution from the fortune-teller Aesop, who is very young and handsome, but believes that people only receive wisdom with age, arrived from the Isle of Samos in disguise of an old man with a hunch, a limp, and a cane. But Aesop also has eyes for Delarai.

This expensive, lavish Technicolor production of plaster Grecian temples and painted skies was Wanger's second attempt to film the novel, and ended up costing $1.6 million and losing Universal some $800,000. One source describes it as a kitschy "Maria Montez vehicle without Maria Montez". (The correct title is Night in Paradise, not "A Night in Paradise" as some sources have it.)

Ornithoptera croesus

Ornithoptera croesus, the Wallace's golden birdwing, is a species of birdwing butterfly found in northern Maluku in Indonesia.

It is a member of the Ornithoptera priamus species group which, including croesus, is only found east of Weber's Line. The larval food plants are species of the genus Pararistolochia. Matsuka (2001) illustrates the early stages (from N. Maluku; see also Igarashi, 1979).


The Phrygians (Greek: Φρύγες, Phruges or Phryges) were an ancient Indo-European people, initially dwelling in the southern Balkans – according to Herodotus – under the name of Bryges (Briges), changing it to Phryges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the Hellespont.

From tribal and village beginnings, the state of Phrygia arose in the eighth century BC with its capital at Gordium. During this period, the Phrygians extended eastward and encroached upon the kingdom of Urartu, the descendants of the Hurrians, a former rival of the Hittites.

Meanwhile, the Phrygian Kingdom was overwhelmed by Cimmerian invaders around 690 BC, then briefly conquered by its neighbour Lydia, before it passed successively into the Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great and the empire of Alexander and his successors, was taken by the Attalids of Pergamon, and eventually became part of the Roman Empire. The last mention of the Phrygian language in literature dates to the fifth century AD and it was likely extinct by the seventh century.

Siege of Sardis (547 BC)

In the Siege of Sardis (547/546 BC), the last decisive conflict after the Battle of Thymbra, which was fought between the forces of Croesus of Lydia and Cyrus the Great, Cyrus followed Croesus to his city. He laid siege to it for 14 days, and then captured it.


Tabalus the Persian (Greek: Τάβαλος) was the first satrap of Sardis. Cyrus the Great of Persia put him in place after conquering Lydia, c.546 BC. Herodotus mentions him in his histories (Hdt 1. 153-4):

Presently, entrusting Sardis to a Persian called Tabalus, and charging Pactyes, a Lydian, to take charge of the gold of Croesus and the Lydians, he (Cyrus the Great) himself marched away to Agbatana, taking with him Croesus, and at first making no account of the Ionians. For he had Babylon on his hands and the Bactrian nation and the Sacae and Egyptians; he was minded to lead an army himself against these and to send another commander against the Ionians.

This was the same Tabalus whom Pactyes the Lydian trapped in the acropolis when he revolted and marched upon Sardis later that year:

But no sooner had Cyrus marched away from Sardis than Pactyes made the Lydians to revolt from Tabalus and Cyrus; and he went down to the sea, where, as he had all the gold of Sardis, he hired soldiers and persuaded the men of the coast to join his army. Then marching to Sardis he penned Tabalus in the citadel and besieged him there.

Thokozile Mndaweni

Thokozile Mndaweni (born 8 August 1981) is a South African women's footballer who plays as a goalkeeper. She plays for Croesus Ladies. She represented the South Africa women's national football team at the 2012 London Olympics She is well known for a saving a penalty and later converting her own spot kick during South Africa's win on penalties in the Olympic qualifier return leg match in Tunis in April 2011.


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