This empire originally emerged after collapse of the Hittites
in the 12th century BC. Sardis was capital of Maeonia, which
the ancient historian, Herodotus, claimed was changed to Lydia.
He also stated King Alyattes minted the first coins--made of electrum (an alloy of gold and silver).
Kings of Lydia captured cities and lands along the Aegean Sea.
Croesus succeeded to the throne and was famous for great wealth. Circa 550 BC, he paid for construction of the
Artemis Temple at Ephesus,
one of the Seven Wonders of
the ancient world. In 547 BC Croesus besieged and captured
Pteria, a city of the extensive
Persian empire. This action infuriated king
Cyrus the Great, who led an army against the
Lydians. A battle in the same year at Pteria
resulted in a stalemate, but in December 0f 547 BC Cyrus triumphed at
Thymbra and captured Sardis. Lydia became a satrapy until
Alexander the Great conquered Persia
and annexed Lydia to his empire.