Lydia was an ancient country in Asia, in, what is now, Northwest Turkey. The little kingdom grew to an empire in the chaos that was left after the fall of the Neo-Hittites. Lydia was proverbially golden in wealth, and the capital, Sardis, was magnificent. To Lydian rulers is given the credit for the first use of coined money. It had close ties to Greece, but was eventually absorbed into the Persian Empire.
Croesus was the last king of Lydia before it was conquered by Cyrus the Great of Persia. Croesus continued his father’s policy of conquering the Ionian cities of Asia Minor, but on the whole he was friendly with the Greeks. When Cyrus threatened Lydia, Croesus allied himself with Egypt and Babylonia, however the strategy failed and, according to legend, in defeat, Croesus cast himself upon a funeral pyre.