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Croesus, legendary for his enormous wealth, was king of Lydia from 560 BC to his death in about 547 BC. He was the son of Alyattes and continued his father's policy of conquering the Ionian cities of Asia Minor, but was friendlier to the Greekss than his father had been, giving refuge at one point to the Athenian statesman Solon.

It was said that Adrastus exiled himself to Lydia after accidentally killing his brother. King Croesus welcomed him but then Adrastus accidentally killed Croesus' son, and then committed suicide.

Croesus allied himself with Amasis II of Egypt and Nabonidus of Babylonia, while preparing a campaign against Cyrus the Great of Persia in 547 BC.

Before starting his campaign he turned to the Oracle of Delphi to ask about the fate of his campaign , the priestess said: "You shall destroy a powerful empire".

Croesus, now feeling secure, launched his campaign into the Persian Empire. He was intercepted near the river Halys in central Anatolia and an undecided battle was fought. As was usual in those days, the armies would disband for winter and Croesus did accordingly. Unfortunately for him Cyrus didn't and he attacked Croesus in Sardis and captured him. It painfully became clear that the powerful empire Croesus was about to destroy was his own.

According to Herodotus, Croesus cast himself upon a funeral pyre. Other sources say that he survived and that Cyrus allowed him to live at his court as his advisor.