Rory Brown Shares Interesting Facts About Lydian King Croesus

By  //  October 28, 2023

King Croesus ruled over Asia Minor in the sixth century BCE. Rory Brown, Lydian Kingdom researcher, points out that this larger-than-life character is perhaps best known for minting the first coin.

That alone is quite the contribution to society, one that has lasted long after he left the earth. Yet, there is so much more about Croesus that people don’t know.

Here are some interesting facts about Lydian King Croesus.

He Was Very Rich

It’s not a surprise, as he ruled over a large kingdom, but King Croesus was very rich. There aren’t any true estimates that still exist today about just how vast his wealth was. Yet, there are many tales about just how legendary it was.

In fact, there’s even a saying about wealthy people today — that they are “Rich as Croesus.” That goes to show just how much money this man really had.

He Funded the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

King Croesus put some of that wealth to good use by funding the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was a massive temple built all for the goddess of the hunt.

On it, there was a column drum with the inscription “Dedicated by Croesus.” The construction of this temple and several buildings near it started after the king conquered the native Greeks who were settled there.

His Son Was Murderer

King Croesus’s son, Atys, was murdered while traveling to Olympus on a boar hunt. Ironically, the man who killed Atys was hired by Croesus to protect him.

This was perhaps one of the greatest tragedies of the king’s life. He is said to have mourned Atys’ death for more than two years. He only began to move on as the Persian army began to bear down on his empire.

He Knew Some Famous People

Being famous himself, King Croesus certainly put himself in some good company. He is known to be associated with some of the greatest luminaries of that time.

This includes Aesop, who is known today for Aesop’s Fables; Cyrus the Great, who was the Persian king; Thales, a Greek polymath and philosopher; King Midas, who had the golden touch; and Solon the Law-giver, a notable statesman of Athens.

He Was Conquered by the Persians

Rory Brown explains that Lydian’s King Croesus’s ultimate undoing was the Persian Empire. As the empire was bearing down on his kingdom, Croesus asked the Oracle at Delphi whether he should initiate war with Persia, which was led by Cyrus the Great.

The message was direct. It read: “If Croesus goes to war, he will destroy a great empire.”

King Croesus read that he would emerge victorious, but he was wrong. The great empire that was destroyed by the war was his, as Cyrus defeated King Croesus’s army with a surprise attack.

About Rory Brown

Rory Brown is a Managing Partner at Nicklaus Brown & Company. He is the Executive Chair of Goods and Services and Blueriver. Providing excellence in the industry for over two decades, Mr. Brown was chosen as the Financial Services Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and he has founded several companies in the Inc. 500.