Lydia: ancient kingdom in Western Turkey. Its capital was Sardes. In Antiquity, this country was well known for its gold carrying river Pactolus; the wealth of the last Lydian king Croesus, who had been the first to mint gold, was and is proverbial.  Consequently, Lydia was a natural target for the campaigns of the aggressive Persian king Cyrus, who defeated Croesus somewhere east of Ankara and besieged him in Sardes. According to the Greek researcher Herodotus, Croesus was pardoned; according to the cuneiform document known as the Chronicle of Nabonidus, Croesus was killed. (But it is not certain whether the incident in the Chronicle of Nabonidus under the year 547 refers to Lydia; click here for a discussion.)

Lydia rebelled against the Persians once, but this revolt was quickly suppressed by general Harpagus. From now on, Lydia was known as the Persian satrapy Sparda.