Kingdom of Lydia, Croesus, Hemihecte


Kingdom of Lydia, Croesus, Hemihecte (obverse) Kingdom of Lydia, Croesus, Hemihecte (reverse)

The Lydian king Croesus (c. 560-546 BC) was the richest ruler of Antiquity. His gold came not only from trade but primarily from the Paktolos River, which ran through the Lydian capital Sardis.

Legend had it that the gold in the river initially came from another king, Midas, who is said to have wished that everything he touched would change into gold. The gods fulfilled his desire immediately. Poor Midas! Not only his daughter turned into gold when he touched her but also all his food. The king almost starved. Midas was freed of his curse only after a bath in the Paktolos. Since that time the river is said to contain gold.


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