Lydia arises as a Neo-Hittite kingdom following the collapse of the Hittite Empire in the twelfth century BC. In the 7th century they become a rich and powerful state in the interior of Anatolia, with its capital at Sardis. The cultural ancestors appear to have been associated with or part of the Luwian political entity of Arzawa; yet Lydian is not part of the Luwian subgroup (as is Carian and Lycian).
The country was known to Homer under the name Maeonia. It was celebrated for fertile soil, rich deposits of gold and silver, and a magnificent capital, Sardis.Lydia became most powerful under the dynasty of the Mermnadae, beginning about 685 BC. In the 6th century BC Lydian conquests transformed the kingdom into an empire. Under the rule of King Croesus, Lydia attained its greatest splendor. The empire came to an end, however, when the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great captured Sardis about 546 BC and incorporated Lydia into the Persian Empire. After the defeat of Persia by Alexander III, king of Macedonia, Lydia was brought under Greco-Macedonian control. In 133 BC it became part of the Roman province of Asia. The Lydians are said to have been the first people to coin money.According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coin and the first to establish retail shops in permanent locations.
The last king of Lydia, Croesus, has survived in popular memory as a man of legendary wealth (he is the first ruler in history to mint coins of gold and silver).
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian. At its greatest extent, the Kingdom of Lydia covered all of western Anatolia. Lydia was later the name for a Roman province. Coins were invented in Lydia around 610 BC.
Lydian mythology is virtually unknown, and their literature and rituals lost, in the absence of any monuments or archaeological finds with extensive inscriptions; therefore those myths involving Lydia are mainly in the realm of Greek mythology.
Their gods were; * Annat * Anax * Artimus * Asterios* Atergätus* Atysv* Baki (Bacchus * Bassareus* Damasēn* Gugaie/Guge/Gugaia * Hermos * Hipta * Hullos * Kandaulēs * Kaustros * Kubebe * Lamētrus * Lukos * Lydian Lion* Mēles * Moxus * Omfalē * Pldans.. Lefs (Zeus)
KEY SITES: Sardis (Salihli /Manisa-Izmir)