The Overthrow of the Heracleids in Lydia

On the western coast of Asia Minor the nation of the Lydians, which possessed the vallies of the Hermus and Mæander, had early arrived at a monarchy and a point of civilization far in advance of the stages of primitive life. The ancient royal house of the Lydians claimed to be sprung from the gods, from Attys, the son of the god Manes. The city of Sardis is said to have been built under the dominion of this dynasty, to have been dedicated to the sun-god and fortified.[765] This house of the Attyadæ was said to have been followed about the year 1200 B.C. by a second dynasty which carried back its genealogy to Sandon, the sun-god himself, a deity whom the Greeks, according to the various aspects of the nature ascribed to him by the Lydians, sometimes identified with their Apollo, and at other times with their Heracles. As the founder of the new dynasty the Greeks call him Heracles. Agron, the fourth descendant of this Sandon-Heracles, is said to have ascended the throne of Lydia in the year 1194 B.C. After him twenty-two kings, the descendants of Agron, bore the crown of Lydia for a space of 505 years, down to the year 689 B.C.[766]

The power possessed by Lydia under this family of rulers cannot have been very considerable. When theGreeks forced the Phenicians from the islands of the Ægean Sea, and then, about the end of the eleventh and beginning of the tenth century B.C., landed on the western coast of Asia Minor, the Lydians were not able any more than the Teucrians and Mysians in the North, or the Carians in the South, to prevent the establishment of the Greeks on their coasts, the loss of the ancient native sanctuaries at Smyrna, Colophon, Ephesus, and the founding of Greek cities in their land on the mouths of the Lydian rivers, the Hermus and the Cayster, though the Greek emigrants came in isolated expeditions over the sea. It was on the Lydian coasts that the most important Greek cities rose; Cyme, Phocæa, Smyrna, Colophon, Ephesus. Priene, Myus, and Miletus were on the land of the Carians. The Homeric poems would hardly have omitted to place a strong body of auxiliaries from Mæonia, which is their name for Lydia, by the side of the oppressed Ilium, if the fame of a powerful Lydian kingdom had then existed among the Greeks of the coast. The land of the Lydians is well-known to the Homeric poems; they give a distinct prominence to the trade, wealth, and horse-breeding of the Mæonians; but they make no mention of any prominent race of rulers;[767] and yet the Sandonids were on the throne at Sardis when the poems were sung, and when they came to an end. The loss of her coasts and the mouths of her rivers must have been heavily felt by Lydia. The trade with the sea and beyond it was henceforth only possible by the intervention of the Greek cities which had grown up there.

Of the exploits and fortunes of the kings of the race of Sandon we have almost no information. It is only of the five or six last rulers that we have the names and a few traces; and to these we may add two or three very doubtful stories of the fall of the last king of the house. According to Eusebius, Ardys, Sadyattes, Meles, and Candaules, brought the series of this dynasty to an end: Ardys reigned from 768 to 732 B.C.; Sadyattes down to 718; Meles down to the year 706 B.C., and he was then succeeded by Candaules.[768] The fragments of Nicolaus of Damascus, which must have been derived from the lost history of the Lydian Xanthus, give us the following account: Alyattes, the predecessor of Ardys, had left his kingdom jointly to his sons Cadys and Ardys. Cadys soon died, and Ardys was driven from the throne by Spermus, a relation of Cadys, who during the life of Cadys had had an intrigue with his wife. Ardys with his wife and daughter fled to Cyme, and there he lived in such poverty that he worked as a wheelwright. Two years after the flight of Ardys the usurper was struck down by an assassin whom he had hired against Ardys, and the Lydians sent messengers to Cyme to invite Ardys to ascend again the throne of his fathers. When restored to the throne, Ardys exercised a mild and just rule, and the Lydians had never known such prosperity since the days of the ancient king Alkimus (I. 561), as they enjoyed under Ardys. The army of the Lydians also was strong under the rule of this king: it numbered 30,000 horsemen.[769] A fragment of Heracleides Ponticus also gives us information about the fortunes of Ardys at Cyme. "Severely oppressed by their ruler the Lydians sent to Cyme, when they found that one of their countrymen was there, to summon him to the throne. The man was the slave of a wheelwright. The Lydians paid his price and took him with them. But a Cymæan who had ordered a wagon kept him back, and told those who remonstrated with him, to put no hindrances in his way, for he considered it a great thing to possess a wagon which the king of the Lydians had made."[770]

Herodotus tells us that Candaules, whom the Greeks call Myrsilus, placed the greatest confidence in Gyges the son of Dascylus, one of his lance-bearers. He went so far in this that he determined to convince Gyges by the evidence of his own eyes that the queen, his consort, was the most beautiful of all women. For this purpose he brought Gyges one evening into his bed-chamber, and bade him place himself behind the open door, so that when the queen undressed herself he might see her naked. This was done. But the queen saw Gyges when he passed out. Enraged at the insult offered to her by Candaules she sent for Gyges on the following morning, and gave him the choice whether he would die on the spot, or slay Candaules on the following night. He chose the latter. She gave him a dagger and concealed him behind the door, and Gyges stabbed Candaules as soon as he was asleep. But the Lydians rose in arms to avenge the death of their king. The adherents of Gyges and the rest of the Lydians came to a compromise, that, if the oracle of the god should declare for Gyges as the king of the Lydians, he should rule, but if not, Gyges was to restore the kingdom to the race of Sandon.

According to the fragments of Nicolaus it was the good king Ardys who laid the foundation for the overthrow of the house of the Sandonids. In his old age, so we are told, Ardys took great delight in a man of the race of the Mermnadæ. This was Dascylus, the son of Gyges. At length Ardys handed over to him the entire government. Sadyattes, the son and heir of Ardys, became apprehensive that, at the death of Ardys, Dascylus would misuse the great power entrusted to him, in order to establish himself on the throne. He caused Dascylus to be secretly put out of the way. Filled with grief, the old king caused the Lydians to be assembled, had himself carried into the assembly in a litter, bade the Lydians discover the murderers, on whose heads he imprecated bitter curses, and ended by saying that any one who discovered them might slay them. But the murderers were not discovered. After the death of Ardys, Sadyattes ascended the throne, and he was succeeded by Meles. In this reign Lydia was visited by a severe famine, and an oracle demanded that the death of Dascylus should be expiated. The wife of Dascylus had fled to Phrygia, her home, and had there brought forth a son, with whom she was pregnant at the time of his father's death. She had given him the name of his father. Dascylus, who had now grown up, was requested by Meles to return to Sardis, in order to receive there the atonement for the murder of his father. But Dascylus feared to return, and retired to the Syrians who dwell in Sinope, on the Pontus, where he married a Syrian woman, who bore him Gyges. After the reigns of Meles and Myrsus, Candaules ascended the throne of Lydia. Then the aged brother of the murdered Dascylus, who had remained in Sardis and was childless, besought the king that his nephew Dascylus might be allowed to return to Sardis, that he might adopt him as his son before his death. This prayer the king granted, but Dascylus refused to leave his abode; he sent his son Gyges, then eighteen years old, to his great-uncle at Sardis. Gyges was a handsome youth. In riding and in all martial exercises he surpassed his comrades; and he had also proved his bravery in war. Owing to his stature and his beauty the king took him into his body-guard, made him his favourite, honoured him before all others, and gave him large presents of land. When Candaules would marry Tudo, the daughter of Arnossus, the king of the Mysians, he sent Gyges to bring home the bride. While Gyges was bringing the princess to Sardis in his chariot, he fell violently in love with her, and, no longer master of himself, attempted to embrace her, in spite of her struggles and threats. On her arrival in Sardis she did not conceal what Gyges had done, and the king swore that the offender should be put to death on the next day. A maid who was devoted to Gyges overheard the words of the king and repeated them to Gyges on the same night. Determined to slay the king rather than allow himself to be slain, Gyges collected his nearest friends, besought their assistance, and reminded them of the curse which Ardys had laid on the murderers of his grandfather. In arms they hastened into the royal citadel. The maid opened the door of the bed-chamber for Gyges, who stabbed the sleeping king with his sword. In the morning a message went forth from the citadel to the chief men in the kingdom; they were to appear before the face of the king. They obeyed without any suspicion, in the belief that they had been summoned by Candaules. Gyges caused those to be slain who, as he thought, would be his enemies, and gave handsome presents to those whom he hoped to win. He armed all whom he gained to his side: the body-guard also took his part, so that the Lydians, when they discovered what had taken place, though they rose against the murderer of the king, did not venture to attack him. But they sent to Delphi to inquire whether they should take Gyges to be their king; and the god bade them do so, and Gyges took Tudo to wife.[771]

In the narrative of Nicolaus it is the curse which Ardys uttered upon the murderers of the first Dascylus, and the late vengeance for this murder which comes upon the descendants of Sadyattes, and causes the overthrow of the kingdom. But the guilt of Sadyattes is not the only cause: Ardys himself sinned by the excessive confidence which he reposed in Dascylus; and Candaules goes further still in his blind confidence in the grandson of Dascylus; he gives him land; he sets him above all others; he commissions the youth of twenty years to bring home the royal bride to her marriage. The same fault of excessive and misplaced confidence, though in another direction, is in Herodotus the cause of the overthrow of Candaules and his house. In a third version, given by Plutarch, we still find the same motive. When Heracles had slain Hippolyte (the queen of the Amazons), he gave her battle-axe to Omphale. The kings who ruled over Lydia after Omphale, had carried this battle-axe, each handing it to his successor, down to Candaules, who disregarded it and gave it to his favourite to carry; but this favourite in Plutarch is not Gyges.[772]

The relation into which Herodotus represents the wife of Candaules as entering, after her dishonour, with Gyges, the guard of her husband, appears to be founded on a similar story, which a legend ascribes to an ancestor of Gyges. Gyges, the forefather of Lydus, so we are told in Plato, was one of the shepherds of the king of the Lydians. After a severe storm of rain and an earthquake, the earth opened where he was keeping his cattle. Out of curiosity he descended into the gulf, and saw marvellous things: among others a brazen horse with windows, through which he saw a dead man of superhuman size, who had nothing on beyond a golden ring on his finger. This ring Gyges took, and climbed out. When he sat among the rest of the shepherds in order to give the king the monthly account of the condition of the flocks, with this ring on his finger, he happened to turn the stone on it towards himself. Then he perceived that the others did not see him, and spoke of him as though absent. When he turned the stone away from himself, he was again seen by them. Having assured himself of this fact, he procured that he should be chosen among the messengers sent to the king. There he won the favour of the queen, united with her for the overthrow of the king, slew him, and seized the throne.[773]

We saw that the Lydians derived the tribes of their nation from Attys and Cotys; the sons of the god Manes, and from the sons of Lydus, Torrhebus and Asius. If the first Gyges could be called an ancestor of Lydus, he must have held a high position in the legend of the Lydians. This conclusion is confirmed by the Homeric poems in which the lake of Gyges is the centre of the Lydian land and the Lydian life. On this lake of Gyges the descendants of the youngest Gyges, his successors on the throne, which he had won for them, had their tombs; but the graves of the kings before them were also to be sought on the same lake. The race of the Mermnadæ, which carried back its origin to the first Gyges, must, therefore, have been ancient and important among the Lydians. Conscious of such a descent, it may have considered itself little inferior to the house of the kings, whose ancestor was the sun-god himself. We might, perhaps, assume that the Mermnadæ, in the later days of Ardys or after him, attained to prominent importance; that anxiety on account of this prominence brought on them persecution and expulsion on the part of the successors of Ardys. The wife of the murdered Dascylus flies to the Phrygians; her son of the same name takes refuge with the Syrians on the Pontus, at Sinope. Hence the exiles sought not only protection but also support among their neighbours against the kings of the Lydians. Pausanias mentions to us a place belonging to Dascylus on the White Plain in Caria, on the borders of Lydia;[774] and Plutarch tells us: "Arselis, the Carian of Mylasa, came to the aid of Gyges, the son of Dascylus the younger, when he fought against Candaules, and helped Gyges to victory. Arselis slew both Candaules and the youth to whom Candaules had given the sacred symbol of the royal office of Lydia, and placed the battle-axe as an ornament in the hand of the statue of Zeus at Mylasa." Hence Gyges was in communication with the Carians when he rebelled against Candaules.

We may go a step further. At the time when Candaules reigned over Lydia (706-689 B.C.), the Cimmerians invaded Phrygia from Pontus, the very region to which the younger Dascylus, the father of Gyges, is said to have fled; king Midas took his own life in consequence of this disaster (696 B.C.). The Magnesians, who inhabited the most inland city of the Greeks on the lower Mæander, suffered at the hands of the Cimmerians a defeat much lamented by the Greeks; and the poet Callinus of Ephesus cried to his countrymen, "the army of the Cimmerians, who have done mighty deeds, is approaching," and urged them to brave resistance.[775]Lydia was not spared. Sardis was taken by the Cimmerians (I. 542). The storm passed over, but it had beyond a doubt deeply shaken the Lydian kingdom and the position of king Candaules. Of this king we only know that he paid the Greek painter, Bularchus, for a picture which represented the battle and defeat of the Magnesians with an equal weight of gold, though the picture was of moderate size only. This was a passion for art little in accordance with the position of his kingdom, and it seems to confirm the account of Plutarch that Candaules reigned with little care, and left the government to a favourite. After the blow which Lydia suffered by the invasion of the Cimmerians, the Mermnadæ must have considered that their time was come. Whether they were really allowed to return, whether Gyges had a place in the body-guard or not, cannot be decided. What is certain is that he did not attain to the throne without an open struggle, whether it was against Candaules himself, or his party, the party of the ancient royal family; it is certain, too, that Carian troops supported him, though the Arselis in Plutarch is not a Carian, but the Carian war-god, or the axe of this war-god of Mylasa.[776] Moreover, it is certain that Gyges was not able to overcome by force of arms the resistance of the Lydians, who adhered to the ancient royal family. In Herodotus, as in Nicolaus, the Lydians take up arms against Gyges; in both the decision which follows is due to the oracle of the god. The arrangement in Herodotus—if the oracle of the god declared for Gyges he was to reign, and if against him, the kingdom was to go back to the race of Heracles, i. e. of the sun-god—may be regarded as historical, and that the decision should be sought from the deity, from whom the house hitherto on the throne sprang, shows that the Lydians adhered firmly to their ancient royal family.

The decision of the civil war in Lydia was sought in Delphi. The fame of the temple at Delphi, which belonged to the light-god of the Hellenes, had long reached the Lydians and Phrygians through the Greeks of the coast. Before this time Midas of Phrygia had dedicated a pedestal and other presents at Delphi (I. 527). As the Greeks recognised their Apollo and their Heracles in the sun-god of the Lydians (I. 564), so did the Lydians regard the god of light, the archer-god of Delphi, as their own sun-god. The impartial sun-god of the stranger was to decide whether the descendants of the native sun-god were to lose or keep the throne. The oracle of the god of Delphi decided for Gyges. In gratitude he sent rich presents, a great mass of silver and gold, to Delphi. Herodotus mentions especially six golden milk-vessels, thirty talents in weight.[777]


[765]Vol. I. p. 563 ff.

[766]Herodotus allows 170 years for the Mermnadæ, the successors of the Heracleidæ of Lydia. If the fall of Crœsus is to be placed, as I shall prove in Book VIII. chap. 6, in the year 549 B.C., his ancestor Gyges must have ascended the throne in 719 B.C. (549 + 170 = 719). In the canon of Eusebius the series of the Lydian kings begins with the Sandonid Ardys, whose accession Eusebius places immediately before Olymp. I., and it continues 230 years. In the same canon the date of the Mermnadæ begins 150 years before the fall of Crœsus, and consequently in the year 699 B.C. (549 + 150 = 699). Hence Eusebius allows 20 years less then Herodotus to the Mermnadæ. The fact that Herodotus allows 106 years to two rulers of the five Mermnadæ, is no reason for departing from his dates. But we have seen above that the first invasion of the west of Asia Minor by the Cimmerians must be placed about the year 700 B.C. The time is fixed more exactly by the fact that Midas of Phrygia, whose wife was the daughter of Agamemnon king of Cyme (I. 527), who dedicated a throne at Delphi, before Gyges sent presents there, reigned, in Eusebius, from 738 B.C. to 696 B.C., in which year he killed himself by bull's blood, because the Cimmerians invaded his land: Strabo, p. 61. It was in this invasion of the Cimmerians that Magnesia succumbed; the fall of which Archilochus mentioned in the line, "I weep for the disaster of the Thasians, not of the Magnesians," fragm. 19, ed. Bergk. When this happened Gyges was not yet king of Lydia. Candaules, the last Sandonid, was still on the throne. "Is it not admitted," says Pliny, "that the picture of Bularchus, which represented the battle of the Magnesians, was purchased for its weight in gold by Candaules, the last king of the race of the Heracleidæ, who is also called Myrsilus?" "Hist. Nat." 35, 34 (35, 8 in Detlefsen). And also "King Candaules paid for the picture of Bularchus representing the defeat of the Magnesians—a work of moderate size—with its weight in gold:" loc. cit. 7, 39 (7, 38 in Detlefsen). According to this Midas was on the throne before Gyges, and Magnesia fell before the Cimmerians when the last Heracleid held sway in Lydia; and as the Cimmerians could only reach Magnesia through Phrygia, Candaules must have sat on the throne in the year 696 B.C. and later. Hence both the numbers of Herodotus which give 719 B.C., and those of Eusebius which give 699 B.C. for the accession of Gyges, are too high. But the latter allow an abbreviation of ten years. In Herodotus twelve years are allowed to Sadyattes, the third Mermnad: in the canon of Eusebius he has fifteen years; but in the list of Lydian kings in the first book, which in the rest agrees with the canon (it is unimportant that Gyges has in the former 35, in the latter 36 years, Ardys 37 in the one and 36 in the other), we find only five years instead of fifteen given to Sadyattes. If we accept this abbreviation Candaules was still on the throne in the year 696 B.C. Gyges ascended the throne after Midas and Candaules in the year 689 B.C. There are other grounds, beside these quoted, which make this necessary. Assurbanipal of Asshur told us of his dealings with Gyges, of the league between Gyges and Psammetichus, to whom Gyges sent help: Assurbanipal began to reign in 668 B.C. Psammetichus was first placed over Sais as a vassal in Assyria in 664, and could not have rebelled against Assyria before 654 B.C. (p. 300). But according to the dates of Herodotus Gyges came to an end in 684 B.C.; and if we follow the date given for the beginning of his reign in Eusebius he died in 663. Hence the only possible solution is to assume the numbers of the first book of Eusebius, with the reduction for Sadyattes. Hence the dates for the reigns are as follows: Gyges, 689-653; Ardys, 653-617; Sadyattes 617-612; Alyattes, 612-563; Crœsus, 563-549 B.C.

[767]The catalogue of the ships ("Il." 2. 864) mentions only Mesthles and Antiphos as the leaders of the Mæonians, sons of Pylæmenes, and the nymph of the lake Gygæa.

[768]According to the reduction established above for the third Mermnad in the canon, Ardys begins 778 B.C.

[769]Nicol. Damasc. fragm. 49, ed. Müller.

[770]Heracl. Pont. fragm. 11, 1, 2, ed. Müller.

[771]Though the last Sandonid is also called Sadyattes in Nicolaus, I have put Candaules in the text because he, like the Candaules of Herodotus, is the son of Myrsus. The reign of Myrsus is not found in the canon or in the other three lists of Lydian kings in Eusebius. The four Mermnads, Gyges, Dascylus, Dascylus, Gyges, must be met by four Heracleids, Ardys, Sadyattes, Meles, and Candaules. Myrsus might have arisen out of the name Myrsilus, which the Greeks gave to Candaules, or Candaules was the son of a Myrsus who did not reign. That the last Sandonid reigned only three years as Nicolaus supposes is impossible. According to this Gyges gained the throne at 21 years of age. And what we know from other sources of Candaules does not agree with so short a reign. We must therefore keep to the statement of Eusebius.

[772]Vol. I. p. 573. Plutarch, "Quæst. Græc." 45.

[773]Plato, "De Rep." p. 359, 360.

[774]Pausan. 4, 35, 11.

[775]Fragm. 2, 3, ed. Bergk.

[776]Vol. I. p. 573.

[777]Herod. 1, 14.

Lydia Under the Mermnadæ

The Delphian priesthood did no service to their countrymen on the western shore of Asia Minor when in the year 689 B.C. they helped Gyges to the throne in spite of the resistance of the Lydians. The cities of the Greeks on these coasts, whose founders had in days past been expelled by war and distress from their cantons, had come to power and prosperity in the course of the three centuries which had since elapsed. Forced to a vigorous exercise of their powers, amid an environment of many new impulses, they surpassed the motherland in poetry and art, in navigation and trade. From their harbours they exported the products of Phrygia and the manufactures of Lydia to the Cyclades, to Chalcis and Eretria, to Corinth and the mainland of Hellas. Thus they gradually grew up into a naval power which drove even the trading ships of the Phenicians from the Ægean Sea, opened the Black Sea, and already began to rival the Phenicians in the south and west of the Mediterranean. Springing up on the soil of Lydia these cities barred the mouths of the Lydian rivers, the highways to the sea, and excluded the Lydian people from intercourse with the sea. Miletus, Myus, and Priene commanded the mouth of the Mæander; Ephesus and Colophon the mouth of the Cayster; Phocæa and Cyme the mouth of the Hermus. An active prince on the throne of Lydia could not endure that the Greeks should remain in possession of the coast, which they had taken from the Lydians, and keep the Lydians for ever cut off from the sea. The new dynasty must attempt to recover the losses which their predecessors had been unable to prevent.

When confronted by the power of the Lydians collected in the hands of a single warrior, the Greek cities could not, for long, avoid falling into a position similar to that in which the Phenicians at that time found themselves as opposed to the Assyrians. Lydia was not indeed so strong as Assyria, but it lay nearer at hand; and the resources of Phocæa, Smyrna, Colophon, Ephesus, and Miletus, could not bear comparison with those of Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus. In spite of their common origin and kindred blood, the Greek cities, like those of the Phenicians, were without any political combination. It is true that the Ionian cities offered each year a common sacrifice to Poseidon, on the sea-shore under the spur of Mount Mycale, but for the rest, not only was each community isolated from the others, but the communities were often at feud among themselves. Even in the bosom of the separate cities the opposition of parties was not wanting: it was not long since the nobles had overthrown the monarchy, and taken the government into their own hands. If the citizens ventured to give battle in the open field, and the Lydians by means of their superior forces drove them back into their walls, and laid waste their crops, the cities which did not lie immediately on the sea were exposed to continued devastation, and with the greater certainty because these devastations could be made more severe by sieges. Even the cities on the sea could hardly support for any length of time the desolation and loss of their land. Ephesus had extended her possessions on land from the mouth of the Cayster as far northward as Tmolus; Colophon too had a considerable acreage of land.

Mysia and the Troad were the districts, which, as it seems, Gyges first subjugated to his dominion.[778] The founding of Dascyleum beyond the Rhyndacus, not far from the shore of the Propontis, which bears the name of his father, may be ascribed to him. Next he turned against the Greek cities, and there he found a vigorous resistance. Established at first in conflict with the nations of the coast, these cities had grown up amid feuds and by navigation, and contained in their walls a brave race of men. From the time that Gyges opened the attack upon them, one hundred and twenty years passed before they lost their independence in spite of their isolation, though the course of the struggle inflicted various losses upon them. Even during the continuance of this struggle they made very considerable progress on the sea, in art and science, and when they fell it was hardly less through the struggles which shattered them from within, than through the arms of the Lydians. Gyges first attacked Magnesia on Sipylus, the Greek city which lay nearest to Sardis. After repeated devastation of the land he finally succeeded in making himself master of the city.[779] The next attack fell on Smyrna. It was a severe struggle. The Smyrnæans thought themselves sufficiently strong to meet the Lydians in the open field. They withstood their attacks in the plain, and their venturous courage was not without success. On one occasion it happened that they were defeated by Gyges and the Lydians, and driven into the city. The Lydians forced their way into the gates along with the fugitives. But the courage and bravery of the Smyrnæans were successful in hurling back the enemies.[780] Nor did any better success attend the attack of Gyges on Miletus; but against Colophon he obtained some advantage.[781]

Such are the accounts given by the Greeks of the deeds of Gyges. From these it appears that Gyges justified his usurpation of the throne by attacks, more or less successful, against the ancient opponents who checked the rise of Lydia. It is also clear from other sources of information, that he had himself to beat off the attacks of a mighty enemy, and that he was by no means fortunate in withstanding them. Among the Greeks we have only a brief and accidental statement, from which we could conclude that Gyges had to deal with other enemies beside the Greek cities. This statement merely tells us that the Cimmerians had settled in Antandrus on the coast of the Troad for a century. The Cimmerians are said to have been first driven out by Alyattes king of Lydia, who reigned down to 563 B.C.; those Cimmerians therefore who inhabited Antandrus, must have come there at the time of Gyges, who reigned from 689 to 653 B.C. That Gyges had really to undergo severe struggles with the Cimmerians we learn from the distant east, from Nineveh. The inscriptions of Esarhaddon of Asshur (681-668 B.C.) told us that Tiuspa, the chief of the distant land of the Cimmerians, had submitted to him (p. 151). As the Assyrians held the Moschi, the Tibarenes, and the Cilicians in dependence, the Cimmerians when settled on the lower Halys, which event took place before the year 700 B.C., became neighbours of the Assyrian kingdom. Assurbanipal of Assyria tells us that Gyges of Lydia submitted to him, that afterwards he was successful against the Cimmerians, and sent in chains to Nineveh chiefs of the Cimmerians whom he had taken in the battle. Assurbanipal, as we saw, ascended the throne in 668 B.C.; the reign of Gyges came to an end in 653 B.C. Hence his messages to Assurbanipal could only fall between the years 668 and 653 B.C. It is quite conceivable that Gyges when pressed by a new advance of the Cimmerians towards the West sought the aid of the king of Assyria, the powerful neighbour of the Cimmerians in the East, in order that pressure might be put from that side on these enemies of Lydia. Assurbanipal does not tell us that he sent any assistance to Gyges; he merely tells us that Gyges after paying homage to him was enabled by the glory of his (Assurbanipal's) name to bring the Cimmerians to his feet, and fought successfully against them. Afterwards Gyges hardened his heart, put confidence in his own power, and sent his soldiers to aid Pisamilki of Egypt, who had thrown off the yoke of Assyria. As a punishment for this the Cimmerians conquered and devastated his whole land; his body was thrown to his enemies, and his servants were carried away captive.

From these statements we must conclude that the wars which Gyges carried on against the Greek cities belonged to the first twenty years of his reign; that new incursions of the Cimmerians into Phrygia, and afresh advance on their part against Lydia, put an end to the attacks of Gyges on the Greeks; and when Gyges had summoned the assistance of Assyria, the Cimmerians were driven back. When delivered from the Cimmerians Gyges intended no doubt to put an end to his dependence on Assyria, and to aid in bringing to destruction this mighty power, which both from Cilicia and from the Halys might bring ruin upon him. With this object he may have entered into connections with Psammetichus, agreeing to send him Ionians and Carians to overpower his fellow-princes, in order to maintain the contest against Assyria at the head of the newly-united Egypt. Lydia had little to fear from Assyria, if Egypt revolted at the same time, since it was probable that all the efforts of that country would be directed against the valley of the Nile. Gyges could not send auxiliary troops into Egypt later than the year 653 B.C. (for his reign came to an end in that year). Hence his relations to Assyria would fall within the years 665-655 B.C. Whether Assurbanipal, in order to punish the defection of Gyges, urged the Cimmerians to resume the war, we cannot certainly say. We cannot contest the statement of the inscriptions of Assurbanipal that Gyges fell in this war, though it is remarkable that the Greeks know nothing or tell us nothing of such an important occurrence. Herodotus tells us expressly that beside the wars against Miletus, Smyrna, and Colophon, Gyges performed no action of importance.[782]

Of the son and successor of Gyges, Assurbanipal tells us that he sent to him, disapproved of his father's breach with Assyria, and pledged his own submission (p. 178). The inscriptions which deal with the relations of Assyria and Lydia are without dates. But from the connection of the narrative, and with reference to the statement that Gyges fell in battle against the Cimmerians, we must assume that the accession of Ardys, the son of Gyges, took place in the midst of the war with the Cimmerians, and that he made his pledge of submission to Assyria in the first year of his reign, in that time of distress. Herodotus tells us that the Cimmerians invaded Lydia in the reign of Ardys—which continued from 653 to 617 B.C.[783]—and took Sardis, except the Acropolis; that the cities of the Ionians were attacked by the Cimmerians, and plundered though not conquered.[784] It would be easy to connect this second capture of Sardis with the narrative of the Assyrians and the fall of Gyges, and thus place it in the commencement of the reign of Ardys. But this connection would destroy the coincidence in time between the Scythian invasion of Asia and the Cimmerian invasion of Ionia, which Herodotus mentions, and at the same time removes the ground which can alone explain the combination of the two (p. 277). Herodotus places the incursion of the Scythians into Media quite definitely in the first year of Cyaxares of Media, i. e. according to his chronology, in the year 633 to 630 B.C. The second capture of Sardis, therefore, and the attack on the Ionian cities, must have taken place about 630 B.C.

It remains to assume that the Cimmerians, after inundating Lydia in the time of Candaules and taking Sardis, after repeated wars with varied success against Gyges in the last decade of his reign, which finally ended in the death of Gyges, were a source of serious danger to Ardys in the first and larger half of his reign. Concerning the campaign of the Cimmerians, which brought Sardis for a second time into their hands, we learn from Greek accounts that the Cimmerians were commanded by Lygdamis,[785] and that they brought Ephesus into great straits.[786] "Lygdamis," so Callimachus says, "led the army of the horse-milking Cimmerians, which lay encamped on the strait of the daughter of Inachus," against Ephesus; in the plain of the Cayster their chariots rested, and he threatened to destroy the temple of Artemis, but the goddess protected her shrine. Another statement tells us, on the contrary, that Lygdamis burnt the temple of Artemis.[787] "It was a passing raid," says Herodotus, "not a subjugation of the cities."

It is clear that Ardys became master of his land, at any rate, in the last third of his reign. In this period, and under his successor Sadyattes (617-612 B.C.), there were no further incursions of the Cimmerians, and Alyattes, the successor of Sadyattes (612-563 B.C.), succeeded in completely breaking their power. Herodotus tells us that Alyattes drove the Cimmerians out of Asia.[788] This was not the case: elsewhere we find it stated that it was they who again attacked Alyattes.[789] They were no doubt confined by the arms of Alyattes to their abode on the banks of the lower Halys; they became subject to the Lydians, and were lost, as we saw, in the Cappadocians, whose name among the Armenians is Gamir, i. e. Gimirai, Cimmerians.[790]

The repeated incursions of the Cimmerians into the west of Asia Minor in the course of the seventh century had important consequences for the lands affected by them on this side of the Halys. The nearest neighbouring states, especially Phrygia, were severely shaken by them, more severely, beyond a doubt, than Lydia.[791] From about the year 630 B.C., under the strong guidance of Ardys, Sadyattes, and Alyattes, Lydia arose with firmness and energy, and became a protecting power against the Cimmerians for the west of Asia Minor. This position, and the superiority which Lydia also possessed in the harder and severer nature of her population, brought about the result that when Gyges had subjugated Mysia, Phrygia as far as the Halys became dependent on the Lydian kingdom in the last years of Ardys, or in the time of his successor Sadyattes. For the Lydian dominion over Asia Minor the Cimmerians had prepared the way even more thoroughly than the Scythians had prepared the way for the Medes in the East. As Lydia and Media were the first to recover, they soon obtained the supremacy in the one case as in the other. If it could be said of Alyattes that he expelled the Cimmerians from Asia Minor, the dominion of Lydia must at least have extended to the Halys. It was on this river that the two new powers, rising on the East and the West, came into collision.

The Greeks of course can only give us precise information about the struggles of Ardys, Sadyattes, and Alyattes against the cities of the coast. Herodotus tells us that Ardys like Gyges attacked Miletus, without achieving any success: he succeeded however in taking Priene, opposite Miletus, at the entrance of the Milesian Gulf. Other accounts and later events show that this conquest was not maintained.[792] We must put the attacks of Ardys on the Greek cities in the last decade of his reign (627-617 B.C.). Sadyattes directed his efforts against Smyrna and Miletus, which at that time was governed by the tyrant Thrasybulus.[793] The Milesians went out to meet the Lydian army in the open field. But they were defeated in two great battles, first at Limeneum, and then on the Mæander, and were thus compelled to shut themselves up in the walls. Behind these Sadyattes could do them no harm.

Herodotus tells us that Sadyattes contented himself with destroying the harvest of the Milesians every year as soon as the corn was ripe in the land of the city, and with cutting down the fruit-trees. This went on for six years till his death, when his son and successor continued the war in the same manner. When at length he believed that the Milesians were brought into distress and scarcity by these continual devastations, in the twelfth year of the war, he was deceived by a stratagem of Thrasybulus. Thrasybulus learnt from Corinth that a herald of the king would come into the city to offer a truce. The citizens were commanded, therefore, to bring out into the market-place all the corn which was to be found in the houses, as though it were for sale there, and to keep holiday with banquets and merry-making. Convinced by the account of his herald that all his efforts hitherto had been in vain, Alyattes concluded a treaty of peace with the Milesians.[794] No weight can be laid on the details of this narrative. In the twelfth year of the war, according to Herodotus, when the fields were being laid waste and the corn burned, the temple of Athene at Assessus was set on fire. Alyattes then fell sick, and as he remained sick a long time he sent to Delphi to inquire about his recovery. Delphi replied: The god would give no answer till the temple was rebuilt. This became known to Periander of Corinth, and he imparted the information to Thrasybulus—such at least, Herodotus remarks, is the story of the Milesians. Thrasybulus assumed that Alyattes would ask for an armistice in order that he might be able to rebuild the temple; and made the arrangements already described. In any case Alyattes was in a position to obtain more accurate information about the condition of Miletus than could be got by a herald. How could it be supposed that there would be a want of provisions in a great trading city like Miletus, which Alyattes had not debarred and could not debar from intercourse with the sea? When the peace and the treaty had been concluded, and Alyattes had built two temples in the place of the one that had been burnt, he recovered his health.

It is certain that Miletus maintained herself against the attacks of the Lydian kings. Undisturbed by them she founded Parium and Lampsacus on the Hellespont. In union with Phocæa, Teos, and Clazomenæ, she entered into trade with Egypt, whose harbours Psammetichus had opened to the Ionians; about the year 640 B.C. she sent her fleet to aid the Eretrians in Eubœa, who were engaged in a severe struggle with the Chalcidians; about the year 630 B.C. she sent out a new colony to Sinope, which had succumbed to the Cimmerians (I. 545), and built Tomi at the mouths of the Danube. That the kings of Lydia directed their efforts mainly against Miletus is intelligible. If the most powerful city of the Greeks were subject to them, the others would submit without any further struggle. It is possible that the rebellion of the people against the nobles, the fierce party struggles which followed from these and allowed Thrasybulus to establish a tyranny in Miletus, may have excited in the Lydians the hope of overcoming the city with less difficulty. It speaks much for the strength of Miletus that her citizens were able to meet the Lydians in the open field. There can hardly be a doubt that the land of the Milesians was devastated for several successive years. The Lydians must have attempted to wear out the city by this means, to rouse dissatisfaction among the landed proprietors by their losses, and among the lower classes by causing a scarcity. The owners of the land lost each year their crops and their sheep; with these the raw material for the important wool industry of the Milesians was destroyed, and trade with the interior was impossible. When, however, the Lydians found that the city held out stubbornly they at length desisted, and preferred to win the first city of the Greeks by treaty rather than by war.

According to the dates which we obtained above for the reign of Gyges and his successors, the twelve years' war against Miletus mentioned by Herodotus must have begun under Ardys, and ended under Sadyattes. It was in the last years of Sadyattes (617-612 B.C.), in the year 615 B.C., as we saw above, that the great war began between the Medes and the Lydians, which Herodotus puts in the time of Alyattes (612-563 B.C.). The advances of the Median power to the West and their approach to the Halys must have compelled the Lydians to put an end to the war with Miletus, in order to protect the eastern border of their kingdom. We know the supposed cause and the course of the war between Lydia and Media, which went on to the year 610 B.C., with varying fortune, but not to the disadvantage of the Lydians.[795] The Lydians, though farweaker in numbers, showed themselves vigorous opponents of the Medes. The severe struggle could find no more honourable close for Media than the treaty which made the Halys the limit between Lydia and Media, and united the two countries by marriage as well as by treaty. Aryanis, the daughter of Alyattes, became the wife of Astyages, the son of Cyaxares of Media (p. 289).

Secured in the east by the alliance with Media Alyattes could direct his whole force to the establishment of the Lydian power within the Halys. The Carians were subjugated.[796] Alyattes did not obtain equal successes over the Greek cities, though Miletus, true to the treaty, held aloof. His attack on Smyrna was perhaps the occasion on which Mimnermus repeated in his poems to his countrymen the brave deeds of the Smyrnæans in old days against Gyges (p. 429), and attempted to rouse the courage of the present generation by the memory of the achievements of the past. He reminded the Smyrnæans how they had once driven the Lydians out of the gates of their city. In some verses which have come down to us he praises the deeds of a hero of olden time, not without a reproachful side-glance at the living generation: "Not of such a kind was the courage and the brave heart of the warrior, of whom the forefathers told me, how that they had seen him, spear in hand, on the plain of the Hermus, driving before him the troops of the mounted Lydians. In the courage of his stout heart Pallas Athene herself could find nothing to reproach, when in the bloody fight he pressed onward with the foremost, beset with the thick volley of the enemy. Never man knew better how to withstand the tumult of battle, so long as the sun shone on him."[797] Perhaps the Smyrnæans were no longer fired with the martial courage of old days; in any case the superiority of the Lydians was very great. Alyattes took Smyrna, and in order to keep the city in more complete subjection, he caused the walls to be thrown down, and forced the Smyrnæans to dwell in an unfortified place.[798] Colophon was also captured. This was a rich city even before the time of Gyges; the greater part of the citizens are said to have been prosperous. Xenophanes reproaches his fellow-citizens of Colophon that they had learnt luxurious habits from the Lydians, that the senators of the city—they were a thousand in number, chosen from all the men of property—came to the market-place in "garments wholly coloured with purple," "pluming themselves on their beautifully-arranged hair, and drenched with the perfumes of costly ointments." According to the account of Athenæus the meals of the Colophonians began in the morning and continued till the lamps were lit, to the sound of harps and flutes played by women after the manner of the Lydians; after this the night was spent in drinking, so that some beheld neither the rising nor the setting sun. In this way the Colophonians had lost their old military valour, and had infected the Milesians.[799] We are not in a position to decide whether the fine clothes of the Colophonians and their delight in feasting and drinking took the vigour out of their defence of the city or not; this only is clear, that isolated cities like Smyrna and Colophon, even with the most heroic resistance, must eventually succumb to a kingdom like that of the Lydians. In any case we have rather to recognise the resistance which unimportant cities such as Priene made, than lament the cowardice of the citizens. Theognis of Megara remarks that Smyrna and Colophon, like Magnesia before them, came to destruction owing to their excess of valour.[800] With the subjugation of Colophon the successes of Alyattes ended. Priene resisted a long siege with success: from Clazomenæ he was compelled to retire with great losses.[801]

Gradually strengthening themselves in severe struggles, the Mermnadæ had approved their position as leaders of the Lydians. How deeply rooted was the attachment of the nation to the expelled royal family, and what respect the Mermnadæ paid to this stubborn preference, is clear from the fact that Gyges himself called his son Ardys after the name of a king of the ancient house; and in the same way his grandson and great-grandson repeat the ancient names Sadyattes and Alyattes. The reign of Alyattes, extended almost to half a century, appears to have borne good fruits for the domestic relations of Lydia. The subject nations, the Mysians, Bithynians, Phrygians, Paphlagonians, and Carians, must without doubt have paid heavy tribute. From this, from the product of the gold washing in the Pactolus, the mines in Tmolus and Sipylus, Alyattes collected a large treasure in the citadel at Sardis. The Lydians preserved a grateful memory of Alyattes,[802]"the most just and wise of their kings," as Xanthus calls him. His guidance had set them entirely free from the risks so often brought upon their country by the Cimmerians, had raised them to be the dominant nation in Asia Minor, and in time of peace the kingdom was no doubt brought into excellent order by him.

Hipponax of Ephesus points out the way to Smyrna to a friend by the following marks: "Go through the region of the Lydians, past the grave of Alyattes, past the monument of Gyges and the pillars, past the monument of Attys, the great king, with your face to the setting sun."[803] Herodotus tells us: "Lydia possesses a work which is the greatest of all, except the works of the Egyptians and the Babylonians, and it is the monument of Alyattes. The lower part consists of great stones, six stades and two plethra in circumference (3800 feet); the remainder is a heap of earth, which the merchants and the traders, the artizans and workmen, and the courtesans built. On the monument above stood, even in my time, five stone pillars, and the inscriptions on these told us what each section had paid, and the measure of that which the courtesans built was the largest."[804] Xenophon also speaks of a large tomb in the neighbourhood of Sardis, on the summit of which were five pillars.[805]

The princes of the Lydians had their sepulchres beyond the Hermus, on a rocky plateau, about five miles to the north of Sardis, between the Hermus and the southern shore of the great Gygæan lake. On this field of the dead, which the Osmans call Bin Tepe, i. e. the thousand hills, there rise to this day from sixty to eighty tombs, among which three huge round tumuli stand pre-eminent. The smallest of these is 2000 feet in the circuit and 110 feet in height; the largest is more than 3500 feet, and rises about 230 feet above the plain. Under this mound, right opposite the acropolis of Sardis, rested king Alyattes. The Lydians preferred to bury their dead in chambers of rock; where these were not to be had, they buried them in chambers of strong masonry, over which were placed layers of stone in a circle, to be finally crowned with the sepulchral tumulus. In the same manner, only on a larger scale, the tombs of the kings were prepared; and the statements of Herodotus about the origin of the mound of Alyattes may have a foundation in so far as the zeal of the people helped to raise it higher than the tombs of his predecessors. In the tomb of Alyattes the flat elevation of rock was changed into a large circular surface, but northwards the natural rock was allowed to remain. On this wall of rock, to the south of the centre of the circle, the sepulchral chamber of Alyattes was made to extend. It was built of large greyish-white blocks of marble, beautifully polished. These were cut with the greatest regularity, and carefully fitted to each other, and united still more firmly by dovetails of molten lead. The length of this quadrangular chamber is ten feet, the breadth six feet, the height is more than six feet. The entrance lies on the south side towards Sardis. This entrance was kept accessible by a portico, which was also paved with squares of marble, furnished on either side with blocks of marble as high as the door, and vaulted over with hewn stones of irregular and angular shapes. The sepulchral chamber and portico were then surrounded by masonry, which filled up the entire area of the circle and was carried up to the same height as the sepulchral chamber and the rock behind it. On this surface the funeral ceremonies were held, and sacrifices offered, as is proved by a layer of cinders two feet thick, which lies on the marble squares of the roof of the sepulchral chamber. When the burial was over, the door of the chamber was closed by marble blocks fitted into it, and other heavy blocks were laid in front of these for the portico. After this the masonry, in order to bear the mound better, was raised above the height of the chamber; and last of all the mound was piled up in regular layers, a layer of lime mixed with sand and large stones, a thinner layer of clay, a layer of earth of equal thickness, on which was again placed a layer of lime and sand broken with large stones. Finally the point of the mound was surmounted with strong masonry of huge stones, the five pillars of Herodotus, one pillar in each corner, and the fifth in the centre. Even now the centre stone lies overthrown on the summit of the mound, half buried in the earth. It is a huge block in the form of a cone, of more than nine feet in diameter, resting on a low base. In the chamber, which had been plundered, there was no longer any sarcophagus; some bones only were found, and beside these jars of alabaster, clay vessels with handles, with remains of other kinds of pottery.[806]

Crœsus, the son of Alyattes, did not ascend the throne in the year 563 B.C. without opposition. His opponents intended to raise Pantaleon, another son of Alyattes by an Ionian wife, to the throne. Among these was Sadyattes the merchant, the richest man of Lydia. Crœsus caused him to be cruelly executed, his possessions to be confiscated, and his landed property sold.[807] The new ruler found himself in the bloom of life (he was 35 years of age) at the head of a well-arranged and powerful kingdom. While for half a century, under the old Heracleids, Lydia had not only been unable to move beyond her ancient borders, but had even lost the land on the coast, she had gradually grown in power since the accession of the Mermnadæ. It is true that the incursions of the Cimmerians had brought upon Gyges and Ardys the most dangerous struggles, and had inflicted the heaviest losses on the land; but in the end these had been withstood successfully, and their immediate consequence had been the extension of the Lydian power as far as the Halys. Even from the dangerous trial of the Median war Lydia had emerged, not only without loss, but even with honour. All Asia Minor on this side of the Halys, with the exception of the Greek cities and the secluded mountain territory of the Lycians, obeyed the kings of the Lydians. Their country was on friendly terms with Babylon, and in close relationship with Media. Even against the Greek cities, the reduction of Smyrna and Colophon had at least opened the way to the sea. In such a position, in the possession of such power, it was impossible but that Crœsus should be filled with the impulse to complete the work of his forefathers, to carry to an end the subjugation of the Greek cities, and thus gain for his kingdom in its full extent the harbours and marts allotted to it by nature, together with a magnificent fleet.

Though for 120 years engaged in contests with the Lydians and not spared by the Cimmerians, though torn asunder in their domestic relations by the strife of parties, these cities continued to advance. The position and the fortunes of Miletus down to the times of Alyattes have been mentioned above. Ever since the attempt to smoothe the opposition of the nation and the nobles by the rule of the "opulent" was wrecked, the party struggles burst out in wilder fury than before, and passed into revolutions and counter-revolutions. Nevertheless, one colony was founded after another: Apollonia and Ordessus on the Thracian coast; Panticapæum on the Cimmerian Bosphorus; Olbia and Tyras on the mouths of the Dniester and the Dnieper. The Phocæans had at an earlier time discovered the northern waters of the Adriatic; they now traded in the land of silver beyond the pillars of Hercules, built Massalia at the mouth of the Rhone, and fought with the Carthaginians on the Tyrrhenian Sea. At the division of the seventh and sixth centuries the Samians built a splendid temple to Hera, the Ephesians began to turn the ancient shrine of Artemis into a magnificent structure, and the Phocæans to erect a beautiful dwelling for Athene. Plastic art rose with architecture: in skill the Greeks surpassed their Lydian teachers, while Thales, Anaximander, and Cadmus of Miletus laid the foundations of Greek science; the splendour of the epic, the bloom of elegiac poetry in Ephesus and Smyrna, was followed in Lesbos by the bold flight of lyric song; practical and political wisdom found representatives like Pittacus and Bias. If the Greeks were more brilliant, more wealthy than in the days of Gyges and Ardys, the dominion over them was the more to be coveted. However splendid the resources which they had at command, there was dissension in their midst: their vigorous colonisation, however much it might advance trade, must at the same time weaken their population available for war, and no city supported the other. Could such isolated communities withstand the sovereigns who had conquered the Cimmerians, and checked the Medes?

Gyges and his successors never intended to make a war of annihilation on the Greek cities. We saw that it was only by the support of the Delphic oracle that Gyges gained the throne; this source of help against his own people he would not and could not give up. It would be utterly lost in a war for life and death with the Greek cities. Such intentions were not, so far as we can see, in the minds of Gyges and his successors, least of all in the mind of Crœsus. These princes wished to make the harbours subject to their supremacy; they did not intend to put the Greeks in a worse position than the Lydians. They worshipped the gods of the Greeks, and gave them richer presents than any Greek city or canton could give. Even Gyges entered into relations with Greek families of distinction, which thus became allied to the royal house; from their cities Alyattes took a wife. In Sardis interest was shown in Greek art; prominent citizens of the Greek cities found a welcome at the Lydian court. When Alyattes recovered from his sickness (p. 436), he dedicated a silver mixing-bowl at Delphi, the base of which was made by Glaucus of Chios. Herodotus mentions this as worthy of admiration among all the dedicatory offerings at Delphi, and Pausanias has preserved a description of it. Of the works of Theodorus of Samos, who first practised the founding of brass among the Greeks, Alyattes obtained a golden and a silver mixing-bowl—the latter contained 600 amphoræ—a golden plane-tree, and a golden vine with bunches of inlaid precious stones. The sculptors, Dipœnus and Skyllis of Crete, were also employed at the Lydian court.[808]

If the Lydian kings came forward to meet the Greeks in this manner, the latter, on their part, were full of admiration for the Lydian power, the splendour of the Lydian court, and the wealth of the Lydian kings. The court of the Lydian kings was a seat of the monarchical life and manners of the East, which the Greeks saw there in immediate proximity. The "golden Sardis," where the treasures of Asia Minor were gathered, was to the Greeks of that time the summit of all imaginable splendour. The palace of the kings on the steep rocks of the citadel on the Pactolus, from which the eye ranged far and wide into the country beyond the blooming valley of the Hermus, the ancient temple of Cybele, were no doubt magnificent buildings, and owing to the great wealth of the land as well as the kings in precious metals, were provided without doubt with ornaments of massive gold, though the houses in the city were built of clay bricks, and roofed with reeds.[809] As might be expected from the amount of treasure heaped together at Sardis, the court of the Lydian kings was one of extraordinary splendour. With astonishment the Greeks beheld the Lydian sovereigns surrounded by their wives, their numerous servants, and a multitude of eunuchs. The Lydian Alcman who at the end of the seventh century came as a slave to Sparta, proudly said, "that he was not of boorish manners, rude and clownish; he was neither a Thessalian, nor an Acarnanian, nor a shepherd; he came from lofty Sardis."[810]

If the Greeks were already half overcome by the advances of the Lydian kings and their own admiration of Lydian power and glory, and Lydian gold, the conduct of Crœsus made resistance more difficult still. He saw that he could never bring matters to an end with great harbour cities, especially with Miletus, which could never be invested without a fleet. Following the example of his forefathers, he entered into a friendly league with the Milesians. The loss of Smyrna and Colophon had failed to teach the Greeks that each city must help the other, that the forces of the cities must be combined into unity, if freedom was to be preserved. Even in the teeth of the warlike preparations of Crœsus they did not listen to the counsel given by one of themselves, which would in all probability have saved them. Thales of Miletus proposed that each city should name representatives; these were to form a council, to the resolutions of which the separate cities were to be subservient, just as the demes of a city were subservient to the resolutions of the council of the city. The seat of this council was to be Teos, because that city was situated in the midst of the Ionian cities (which lay to the north and south along the coast). The Ionians disregarded the advice of Thales; they would not arrange themselves on the basis thus proposed. On the contrary, in spite of the warning of Thales, Miletus again entered into a league with Lydia.[811] It may be that the peace, which after severe internal struggles the decision of the Parians restored to the city, tended to incline them to accept the overtures of the king. They wished to heal the self-inflicted wounds, and shrank from taking upon them a new and serious struggle. Crœsus strengthened his relations to Miletus by sending the most costly offerings to the temple of Apollo at Miletus, the god of which was not in his eyes different from the Lydian sun-god, while the antiquity of the shrine went back beyond the settlement of the Ionians. In these offerings the gold alone weighed more than 270 talents.[812]

By this treaty Crœsus had not only placed Miletus on his side, and separated the cities; he had also shown them that good terms could be got. An armed attack must now be employed to induce the rest to adapt themselves to these terms. When the Ephesians hesitated to recognise the supremacy of Crœsus as he demanded, the city was invested, and the walls attacked. When a tower on the walls fell, the Ephesians connected the temple of Artemis—the new structure was scarcely half finished, and lay 2000 paces from the gates in the depression—with the walls by a long rope, in order to put the city under the immediate protection of the deity. Nevertheless, the city was compelled to submit.[813] Crœsus now aided the building of the temple. He caused the unfinished half of the large monolithic pillars, which were to support the roof of the temple in a double row, to be erected at his own cost, and presented the goddess with golden cattle. After the subjugation of Ephesus, Crœsus proceeded to attack the remaining cities, one after the other; and thus he became master of the whole of the cities, not of the Ionian only, but also of the Æolian and Dorian. He granted them the most favourable conditions: he did not even require the opening of the cities, or their attendance in war; he contented himself with the recognition of his supremacy and with the yearly payment of tribute.[814] Yet in any case freedom for the trade of the Lydians, and protection at law for the Lydians in the walls of the Greek cities, as well as for the settlement of Lydian subjects, must have been secured. Some cities on the Hellespont, like Lampsacus, appear to have remained entirely free.[815]

When the cities of the Greeks had recognised his supremacy, Crœsus is said to have been occupied with the thought how to draw into the circle of his kingdom the rich islands on the coasts—Samos, Chios, and Lesbos. Herodotus tells us that Crœsus asked Bias of Priene, who was in Sardis soon after the subjugation of the Greek cities, what was the news among the Hellenes? Bias answered that the Greeks of the islands were getting together a great army of cavalry in order to march against Sardis. When Crœsus said that he should rejoice to hear that the gods had put such thoughts in the minds of the islanders, Bias replied that the inhabitants of the islands were no less anxious to measure themselves against him in a battle by sea. At this Crœsus is said to have abandoned the preparations he was making against the islands. As a fact, Crœsus could not hide from himself that an attack upon the islands was only possible by means of the naval power of the cities on the coast. Even if these supplied ships against their countrymen in the islands, was it to be expected that they would fight vigorously against them?—was there not rather a fear that they would unite their arms with those of the islands against Lydia?

By a happy combination of war and negotiation, by vigorous attack and far-sighted concession, Crœsus had put an end to the long struggle, had subjugated the cities to his supremacy, and raised Lydia to the summit of her fame and power. If the Lydians were the sovereign nation, the Greeks were not to be a servile nation. They possessed complete municipal freedom, they had not to render service in war, they had only to pay tribute and give the Lydians and the Lydian trade as good a position in their gates and harbours as was enjoyed by their own people and their own trade. Crœsus was at pains in everything to show a favourable inclination to the Greeks. It was not merely that he worshipped their gods, and made presents to their shrines. As he had made the most costly presents to Apollo of Miletus, and Artemis of Ephesus, so he presented a golden tripod to Ismenian Apollo at Thebes. To Apollo of Delphi he gave presents as costly as those given to Apollo of Miletus; to Athene of Delphi he gave a large shield of gold; to the shrine of Amphiaraus at Thebes he gave a golden shield and a golden lance. At other times also he showed himself favourable in every way to the Greeks. When the Spartans wished to erect a golden statue to Apollo on the summit of Mount Thornax, they sent to Sardis in order to purchase the necessary gold. Crœsus gave them as much as they required.[816] A Greek merchant of Ephesus, who lent him money before his accession, Crœsus is said to have brought into the citadel, and given him permission to carry away a cart-load of gold. Alcmæon, an Athenian noble, who led the Athenians in the "sacred war" against Crissa, and conquered at Olympia with his four-horse chariot, in the year 572 B.C., supported an embassy which Crœsus sent to Delphi. In gratitude Crœsus invited him to Sardis, led him into the treasure-chamber, and allowed him to take as much gold as he pleased. Though Alcmæon was now advanced in years, and his son Megacles was in possession of the rich inheritance of Cleisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon, he is said to have placed a very free interpretation on this permission of the king. He put on a loose coat and loose half-boots; these he crammed with gold, put gold-dust in his hair, and filled his mouth with it, so that Crœsus when he saw the old man thus burdened and gilded, burst into laughter and gave him as much again as he carried.[817] In addition to this unbounded liberality Crœsus engaged Greek artists, and bestowed his favour on eminent men in the Greek cities. Miltiades of Athens, who had emigrated to the Chersonese from the tyranny of the Pisistratids, and had been taken in war against Lampsacus by the Lampsacenes, was set at liberty by the powerful interposition of Crœsus. The Greeks were not insensible to the court paid to them by Crœsus and his gold; they were grateful for his liberality to their temples. Pindar in one of his odes exclaims: "The friendly virtue of Crœsus will not be forgotten."[818]

The greatest of the Greeks, whom Crœsus saw at Sardis, was Solon of Athens.[819] Herodotus tells us, thatCrœsus entertained Solon for several days in his palace, and by his servants showed him the splendour of it, the riches and the treasure-chambers, all that he possessed in precious stones, splendid robes, and treasures of art. Then in the pride of the greatness of his dominion, the splendour of his throne, the successes which he had obtained, Crœsus asked Solon, whom he, who had travelled so much in the world, considered the most fortunate of men? Solon answered, Tellus the Athenian. Tellus lived a happy life, according to human calculation; he had worthy sons and grandsons, not one of whom died in his lifetime. In his day the commonwealth was prosperous, and after a happy life he found a fortunate death; he fell in battle for his father-land, when turning the enemy to flight, and the Athenians buried him at the cost of the city, and paid him great honour. Tellus had fallen, under Solon's eye, at Eleusis against the Megarians (about 580 B.C.). Crœsus further inquired, whom Solon considered the happiest man after Tellus? Cleobis and Bito, two brothers of Argos, Solon replied. These had possessions equal to their needs, and were strong of body, so that both won the victory in the games, at one and the same time. And once at the festival of Hera, when the mother of the two young men had to go to the temple, and the oxen had not arrived, the sons placed the yoke upon their necks, and drew their mother a distance of 45 stades to the temple. The Argives assembled at the festival commended the strength of the young men; the Argive women commended the mother who had such sons. But the mother stepped before the statue of the goddess and prayed that she would give to the sons who had done their mother such honour the best reward that could be given to men. When the sacrifice had been offered and the banquet held, the young men went to sleep in the temple, and never woke again. The deed of the two sons of Cydippe was highly praised among the Greeks. Their mother was priestess of the ancient shrine of Hera near Argos. Each year the Argives celebrated a great festival in honour of their goddess, to which they marched in procession from the city to the temple, which lay in the road to Mycenæ on the height of Eubœa, at a distance of more than 40 stades from Argos. They offered a hecatomb to the goddess. The hundred victims were crowned and led in the front of the procession; the young men followed in their armour, and last of all the priestess of the temple in a car drawn by two cows; the sacrifice was followed by a banquet and games. The place of these animals was taken by Cleobis and Bito. In remembrance of the noble deed the Argives caused statues to be set up for the brothers at Delphi, and even at a later date a marble group at Argos exhibited the two youths before the chariot of their mother.[820]

Astonished at the answer of Solon, Crœsus inquired of the Greek, whether he considered the prosperity which had fallen to his (Crœsus') lot to be nothing, that he did not even place him on a level with common men. Then Solon answered: You are asking a man about the fortune of men, one who knows well that the deity is envious and destructive. In a long life a man may see much that he would fain not see, and endure much. I put the limit of man's life at 70 years. These 70 years make 25,200 days, if the intercalary months are not reckoned in. If every other year receives a month in order that the seasons, as is necessary, correspond, the seventy years allow 35 intercalary months, which make up 1050 days. Of all these 26,250 days each brings something new. Hence man is pure chance. You seem to me to be rich and the king of many men, but the question you ask I can only answer when you have brought your life to a happy end. He who has great possessions is no happier than the man who has sufficient for the day, if he do not keep his wealth till the end of life. Many wealthy men are unfortunate, and many men of moderate possessions are fortunate. Only in two respects is the wealthy but unfortunate man in advance of the man who is prosperous with less wealth. The first can satisfy his desires more and bear misfortune better; the second cannot satisfy his desires to the same degree or resist misfortune so well; but his prosperity defends him from misfortune. He is healthy, has worthy children, and is fair to look upon. If in addition to all this he ends his life well, he is worthy to be called happy. Before the end we may call no man happy; we can only say, it is well with him. That a man should attain complete prosperity is impossible; just as a country does not possess everything, but brings forth one product and is in want of another, and the land which possesses the most has the advantage, so it is with man. He does not possess everything: one thing he has, another he has not. He who possesses most to the end of life, and then brings his life to a noble end, he may with justice bear the name of happy. In everything a man must look to the issue, and many to whom the god has shown happiness he has then cast to the ground.

In the bloom and vigour of his years, conqueror of the Greek cities, victorious over the land of the coast, after bringing to completion the political aims of his forefathers, in possession of an inexhaustible treasure, at the head of a state carried to the limit of its natural frontiers, and flourishing in trade, commanding an excellent army, respected by his subjects, and lord of Asia Minor—Crœsus, in the year 560 B.C., had many reasons for counting himself a happy man, a ruler specially favoured by the gods. Like all Oriental princes he was not without a haughty confidence in his power and his success; he was in a high degree self-conscious. Solon, when he saw Sardis, was close upon his eightieth year. Grown up amid violent commotions in his city, amid the fierce strife of parties, with a deed of blood before his eyes, Solon had early had occasion to reflect on the plans and aspirations of men, on their lust of possessions and power, on the fortune allotted to them, on the punishments which though often late the gods awarded to unjust deeds. Beyond other men he had devoted his life to his fatherland, a canton of moderate extent. He had refused the position of tyrant in order to serve his country in a much more difficult position with unwearied devotion and perseverance. If by such fidelity he had succeeded in turning destruction aside from his community, and establishing a constitution which ensured order and freedom to it, this constitution, and with it the work of his life, which he had defended with the dedication of all his powers, was wrecked. If the form given by Herodotus to the conversation of Solon and Crœsus is a part of his mode of narration, and the observation on the envy of the deity a part of his view of life, Solon had nevertheless reason in his own bitter experience to tell the sovereign of Asia Minor that no one could be accounted happy before the end of life. Compared with his own fortune the lot of Cleobis and Bito, who died immediately after their glorious deed, the death of Tellus, who ended a good life by dying in victory for his country, must have appeared a fortune to be envied.


[778]Strabo, p. 590.

[779]Strabo, p. 620. Nicol. Damas. fragm. 62, ed. Müller. Which Magnesia is meant is not clear; Magnesia on Sipylus is more probable than the other.

[780]Herod. 1, 14. Paus. 4, 21, 3; 9, 29, 4.

[781]According to Herodotus, loc. cit. Gyges takes the city but not the citadel of Colophon; according to Athenæus (p. 256) he concluded a friendly treaty with Colophon. In Polyænus also the Colophonians remained for a long time in league with the Lydians, before Alyattes deprived them of their country by treachery; 7, 2, 2.

[782]Herod. 1, 14.

[783]In Herod. from 681 to 632 B.C.; cf. supra, p. 276.

[784]Herod. 1, 6, 15.

[785]Strabo, p. 61. Plut. "Marc." c. 11.

[786]Strabo, p. 627, 647. Athenæus (p. 525), it is true, does not entirely agree with this.

[787]Callim. "Hymn in Dian." 252-260. Hesych. Λύγδαμις.

[788]Herod. 1, 16.

[789]Polyæn. "Strateg." 7, 2, 1.

[790]Vol. I. p. 549.

[791]On the long stay of the Cimmerians in Phrygia, Steph. Byzant. Συασσός.

[792]Herod. 1, 15. Diog. Laert. 1, 83.

[793]The attack of Sadyattes on Smyrna is vouched for by Nicolaus, fragm. 64, ed. Müller.

[794]Herod. 1, 17-19.

[795]The reasons for which I believe it necessary to maintain this date are given above, p. 288, n.

[796]Nicol. Damasc. fragm. 64, ed. Müller. At the time of this Carian campaign of Alyattes, Crœsus, according to this fragment, was viceroy of the region of Adramytteum. It must therefore be placed about the year 580, since Crœsus was born in 598 B.C. Adramytteum is said to have been founded by a brother of Crœsus of the name of Adramyttus: Steph. Byz. s. v. In Nicolaus Adramys is an illegitimate son of Sadyattes. The city was certainly much older. Athenæus, p. 515, mentions an old king of Lydia of the name of Adramyttus.

[797]Mimnerm. fragm. 11, ed. Bergk. If Mimnermus, the contemporary of Solon, is sometimes called a Smyrnæan, and sometimes a Colophonian, the explanation is that Mimnermus derived his race from the Colophonians, who had taken Smyrna from the Achæans. Strabo, p. 634. It is not strange that Mimnermus as a boy may have heard the story of the struggles against Gyges from his fathers and grandfathers. The attack of Alyattes upon Smyrna, belongs to the period after 580, the last decade of Alyattes, because Crœsus continues the war against the Greek cities without any break.

[798]Herod. 1, 16. Nic. Damasc. frag. 64. Strabo (p. 646) tells us that the Smyrnæans had been compelled to dwell separately in several open villages, and that they lived in this manner for 400 years, down to the time of Antigonus. In this reckoning, in any case, there is a century too much; moreover, Pindar (fragm. incert. 152, ed. Dissen) speaks of the charming city of Smyrna. Hence the view given in the text is taken.

[799]Xenophan, fragm. 3. Arist. "Pol." 4, 3, 9. Athenæus, p. 526. Pausan. 7, 5, 4.

[800]Theogn. fragm. 1103, ed. Gaisford.

[801]Herod. 1, 16; Diog. Laert. 1, 83.

[802]Suidas Ἀλυάττης.

[803]Hipponact., fragm. 15, ed. Bergk. Schneidewin's conjecture to read Alyattes for Attales ought certainly to be adopted, though Alyattes had a son called Attales. The way must have been fixed by the largest monument. Ἄττυος for Ὠτυς seems certain; on the other hand Μυρσίλου for Μυτάλιδι is not permissible.

[804]Herod. 1, 93.

[805]Xenophon makes use of it in the Cyropædia for his own object (7, 3). Clearchus of Soli calls the tomb of Alyattes "the tomb of the Hetæra." Athen. p. 573. Gyges loved a paramour so passionately that she governed him and the kingdom. After her death he collected the Lydians and heaped up a mound in her honour, which was still called the grave of the Hetæra; it was so high that all the Lydians had it before their eyes, and every traveller who journeyed within Tmolus. All this may be founded on a participation of the numerous Lydian Hetæræ (vol. I. p. 566) in the tomb of Alyattes. Cf. Strabo, p. 627.

[806]Hamilton, "Asia Minor," p. 144, 145. Spiegelthal, "Monatsber. B. A." 1854, s. 700 ff. Olfers, "Die lydischen Königsgräber, Abhandl. B. A." 1858, s. 539 ff.

[807]Herod. 1, 92. Nicol. Damasc. fragm. 65, ed. Müller.

[808]Herod. 1, 25. Pausan. 10, 16, 1, 2. Athen. p. 210.

[809]Aesch. "Pers." v. 45. Herod. 1, 29; 5, 101.

[810]Fragm. 11, ed. Welcker.

[811]Herod. 1, 170. Diog. Laert. 1, 25.

[812]Herod. 1, 82, says: "as many as to Delphi, and like the Delphian presents."

[813]Æl. "Var. Hist." 3, 26. Polyæn. "Strateg." 6, 50. If Ælian tells us that Pindarus was at that time tyrant of Ephesus, and had received the throne by inheritance, the statement is corrected by the tenor of the narrative in which Pindarus gives advice, not orders, to the Ephesians. The "tyranny" of Pindarus therefore was no more than a prominent position in the city, such as would fall to a man of the race of the Basilidæ, who carried the sceptre and wore purple. This does not set aside the fact that Melas, the father of Pindarus, had to wife a daughter of Alyattes: only I observe that Nicolaus of Damascus calls the Milesian, who had to wife a sister of Sadyattes, a descendant of Melas, the brother-in-law of Gyges.

[814]Herod. 1, 27. That the Ionians did not render service in war is clear from the account which Herodotus gives of the war of Crœsus against Cyrus. Another point is more doubtful. Herodotus remarks, 1, 141, that the cities at the approach of Cyrus had "surrounded themselves with walls." If we take this in the strictest sense, we might draw the conclusion, that the cities had been compelled to throw down their walls when subjugated by Crœsus.

[815]Herod. 6, 37.

[816]Herod. 1, 69.

[817]Herod. 6, 125. If Herodotus on this occasion has in his mind the embassy which Crœsus sent to Delphi in 551 B.C., Alcmæon must at that time have been at least 70 years old. But Crœsus had sent to Delphi earlier (Herod. 1, 85). Xenophon ("Cyr. inst." 7, 2, 7) represents Crœsus as sending to Delphi before he had any sons born to him, and again after the death of Attys. According to the Parian Marble, Ep. 41, 42, the first mission of Crœsus was 14 years before his overthrow, in the first year of his reign.

[818]Pind. "Pyth." 1, 184.

[819]The chronological difficulties which are brought against this meeting, and to which Plutarch refers, "Sol." c. 27, rest on the fact that Plutarch, like Herodotus, represents Solon as going to Sardis after the establishment of the Athenian constitution. According to this the meeting occurred in 593, or rather in 583 B.C. Either date is impossible: in 593 B.C. Crœsus was five years old, in 583 B.C. he was fifteen, and he did not ascend the throne till 563 B.C. The meeting with Crœsus therefore cannot be placed earlier than 560 B.C. when Solon left Athens after Pisistratus became tyrant. After 558 B.C. Crœsus could no longer count as the happiest of mortals, with whom everything went well, for in 558 B.C. Cyrus had already deposed Astyages, the connection of Crœsus. Herodotus says (1, 34, 46), that Crœsus had bewailed the loss of his son Attys for two years before the account of the fall of Astyages was brought to him; Attys must have died in 560 B.C. With this the exact account of Phanias of Eresus, a scholar of Aristotle (Suidas, Φανιάς), entirely agrees. He tells us that Solon did not live two complete years after Pisistratus had seized the tyranny, for Pisistratus became tyrant under the archonship of Comias; Solon died under the archonship of Hegestratus (Plut. "Sol." 32); the archonship of Comias falls in the year 559 B.C.Cf. Ælian, "Var. Hist." 8, 16. Diogenes Laertius, 1, 50, 62, remarks that Solon, after Pisistratus had become tyrant, went to Crœsus, to Cilicia and Cyprus; that he died in Cyprus in his eightieth year. If Suidas tells us that Solon went to Soli in Cilicia after Pisistratus became tyrant, this, like the founding of the city in Diogenes, is a confusion with Soli in Cyprus. Solon went to Cyprus, where he had been so well received between 583 and 573 B.C., where Soli, his own foundation, offered him a worthy refuge. As there can hardly have been direct communication between Athens and Soli, he went by way of the Ionian harbours. The general statement of Heracleides of Pontus, that Solon lived for a long time after the tyranny of Pisistratus (Plut. "Sol." c. 32), proves nothing against the precise statement of Phanias, and that Solon, as Plutarch says without giving his authority, died in Athens as the adviser of Pisistratus, is as much opposed to the character of Solon as to the statement that he died in Cyprus.

[820]Schol. Pind. "Olymp." 7, 152; Aen. Tact. c. 17. Pausan. 2, 20, 3. Plut. fragm. 22, 7, ed. Dübner.