→Croesus on the Throne
===Croesus on the Throne===
[[File: SiverCoinofCroesus.jpg|390px|thumbnail|left|Silver Lydian Coin from the Reign of Croesus]]
When Croesus came to the throne at the age of thirty-five, he set about to make his already powerful and wealthy kingdom even more so through a combination of conquest and diplomacy. The king used his wealth to field an army that was able to overcome most of his neighbors, including the Phrygians and Ionian Greeks. Once established as the ruler of Anatolia, Croesus then decided to invite some of the most learned men of the world to visit Sardis. Herodotus noted that during this time “all the great Greek teachers of that epoch . . . paid visits to the capital.” <ref>Herodotus, p. 29</ref> Croesus may have invited these men to his kingdom at least partially to show off his wealth, but the end result was
the Sardis’ intellectual and cultural wealth was increased. Artists as well as philosophers traveled to Lydia to hone their skills and help make the kingdom a financial and cultural center. As Greek, Egyptian, and Babylonian scholars, artists, and statesmen visited Lydia to admire its wealth and culture, Croesus became a victim of hubris.
From his palace on the acropolis far above the city of Sardis, Croesus began to think that all of his wealth could influence his friends and foes alike in order to preserve his mighty kingdom. He seemed to believe what all of his sycophants told him until he learned that the mighty Persian Empire in the east was quickly encroaching on his kingdom. Unable to get good consul from his confidants, Croesus decided to visit the famed Oracle of Delphi in Greece for an answer. The Oracle required minor offerings of its patrons, but Croesus turned the normally spiritual occasion into an ostentatious demonstration. Herodotus wrote: