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As the old philosopher had replied, a man's happiness can only be measured when he is dead.

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The first coils of smoke wrap around Croesus' neck like a noose An impressive debut novel centred on the famously rich king Croesus of Lydia. On one level a page-turning romp through the ancient world, on another it is a moving reflective human story full of ideas Beautifully and poetically written novel about Croesus, the "last king of [the country of] Lydia".

The Last King of Lydia

In his war with Persia he is defeated and reprieved from death by fire. Before the war, we first see The Last King of Lydia.

Tim Leach. Beginning in the mids B. After defeating his half-brother in a struggle for the throne, Croesus conquered Ephesus and other Greek cities on the coast of Asia Minor.


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Despite these conquests, Croesus admired Greek culture and wanted to remain on good terms with the people of Greece. His hospitality to Greek visitors was famous as were his lavish gifts to Greek temples.


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  • His golden gifts to the temples at Delphi helped spread the story that he was enormously rich. Alarmed by the rising power of the Persian Empire under its leader, Cyrus the Great, Croesus urged Babylon, Egypt, and the Greek city-state of Sparta to form an alliance with him against the Persians.

    Before the alliance formed, however, Croesus and Cyrus found themselves at war.