Croesus(redirected from Croesuses)
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Born 595 B.C.; died 546 B.C. Last ruler of Lydia, governing from 560 to 546.
Croesus expanded significantly the territory of the Kingdom of Lydia; he brought under his authority the Greek towns of Asia Minor (Ephesus, Miletus, and others) and conquered almost all of the western part of Asia Minor up to the Halys River. His wealth became proverbial, and many legends were created about him. Croesus was a Hellenophile; he sent generous gifts to Greek temples (Delphi and Ephesus) and sought to adapt Lydia to Greek culture. In a war with the Persian ruler Cyrus II he was defeated at Pteria (Cappadocia); the capital of Lydia, Sardis, was seized, and Croesus was taken prisoner (546). According to one version (Herodotus and the majority of ancient Greek historians), he was sentenced to be burned to death but was pardoned by Cyrus; according to another version (ancient Eastern cuneiform sources), he was executed.