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Fourth Lydian king (c.610–560 bc), of the house of Gyges and father of Croesus, finally drove back the Cimmerians, extended Lydian control to the Halys, and made war on Cyaxarēs the Mede (585), during which occurred a solar eclipse (supposedly foretold by Thales). Peace was concluded with the marriage of Alyattes' daughter to Astyages. He continued Lydian campaigns against Ionia, captured Smyrna, but failed against Clazomenae and Miletus. Lydia prospered, electrum coinage was used for the first time, and there was increasing interaction with the Greeks. Alyattes built two temples to Athena near Miletus and sent offerings to Delphi; he has been seen as the founder of the Lydian empire. His vast burial mound, praised by Herodotus and Strabo, is now excavated.

Subjects: Classical studies

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