Thursday, August 4, 2016

Gold of Croesus

Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 BC until his defeat by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 547 BC. In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for great wealth.

Croesus is credited with issuing the first true gold coins with a standardized purity for general circulation. Coins were made from gold purified by heating with common salt to remove the silver.
Head of Croesus on a vase in the LouvreAround 550 BC, near the beginning of his reign, Croesus paid for the construction of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, which became one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

Greek literature for generations held up Croesus as a symbol of enormous wealth but one whose gold could not assure him happiness or ultimate success.

Experts have determined it was definitely in ancient Sardis in the time of Croesus that the first coins of pure gold and pure silver were struck, an important step leading to a monetary economy as it is practiced today.