Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Was a territory in western Asia Minor, centred in the lower Hermus and Cayster valleys. Lydia contained much natural wealth, and lying on two main routes from the coast to the interior of Anatolia it was an entrepôt, exposed to Greek and Anatolian influences, which are reflected in its civilization, art, and cults. Under the Mermnad dynasty (c.700–546 bc) Lydia was a powerful kingdom, which by the time of its last king Croesus had incorporated all the plateau of Anatolia up to the river Halys. After his defeat, Lydia became the chief Persian satrapy in the west, with its headquarters at Sardis; this satrapy was in close political contact with the Greek city‐states throughout the Persian period. The conquest by Alexander (2) the Great opened Lydia to Graeco‐Macedonian colonization. Lydian civilization, architecture, and art were influenced by Anatolian, Iranian, and Greek culture. Lydia was reputedly the first realm to mint gold–silver coinage (see coinage, greek) and invented the melodic form known as the Lydian mode. The Lydian language is Indo‐European.

Subjects: Architecture — Classical Studies.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.