INTRODUCTION OF LYDIA
Lydia, ancient country of Asia Minor (now Turkey), in the valleys of the Hermus and Cayster rivers (now the Gediz and Büyükmenderes rivers). The country was known to Homer under the name Maeonia. It was celebrated for fertile soil, rich deposits of gold and silver, and a magnificent capital, Sardis. Lydia became most powerful under the dynasty of the Mermnadae, beginning about 685 BC. In the 6th century BC Lydian conquests transformed the kingdom into an empire. Under the rule of King Croesus, Lydia attained its greatest splendor. The empire came to an end, however, when the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great captured Sardis about 546 BC and incorporated Lydia into the Persian Empire. After the defeat of Persia by Alexander III, king of Macedonia, Lydia was brought under Greco-Macedonian control. In 133 BC it became part of the Roman province of Asia. The Lydians are said to have been the first people to coin money.