Croesus krē´səs [key], d. c.547 BC, king of Lydia (560–c.547 BC), noted for his great wealth. He was the son of Alyattes. He continued his father's policy of conquering the Ionian cities of Asia Minor, but on the whole he was friendly to the Greeks, and he is supposed to have given refuge to the Athenian statesman Solon. Threatened by Cyrus the Great of Persia, Croesus allied himself with Amasis II of Egypt and Nabonidus of Babylonia against the Persian might, but the alliance was of no avail. Cyrus defeated and captured Croesus, and, according to Herodotus, Croesus cast himself upon a funeral pyre.
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