Croesus, the last king of Lydia, reigned from about 560 to 546 B.C. He was reputed to be the wealthiest man in the world, and from this reputation we have the eponym Croesus, meaning an extremely wealthy man. He had subjugated the Ionian cities and made the Greeks in Asia Minor tributary to him. The fame of his power and wealth drew many of the wisest Greeks to his court at Sardis, among them Aesop and Solon. His interview with Solon was celebrated in antiquity. In reply to Croesus's question, "Who is the happiest man you have ever seen?" Solon taught the king that no man should be deemed happy till he finishes his life in a happy way.
   In a war with Cyrus, king of Persia, the army of Croesus was defeated, and his capital, Sardis, was taken. Croesus was condemned by the conqueror to be burned to death. As he stood before the pyre, the warning of Solon came to his mind, and he thrice uttered the name Solon. Cyrus inquired who it was whom he called on. Upon hearing the story, he reprieved his victim, and not only spared his life but made him his friend. Croesus survived Cyrus and, in a show of his friendship in return, accompanied Cambyses, son of Cyrus, in his expedition against Egypt.
   In Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn said, "Rich as creosote." Tom replied, "Rich as. Croesus, you mean."

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • CROESUS — Rex Lydorum, ex Mermnadis, quae Dynastia fuit III. quintus, et ultimus, Alyattae fil. omnium, quos hominum memoria celebrat, ditissimus. Unde etiam hodie, cum immensas opes significare volumus, Craesi Divitias dicim us. Ovid. l. 4. De Ponto, Ep.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Croesus — Cr[oe] sus (kr[=e] s[u^]s), n. [L., fr. G. Kroi^sos.] A king of Lydia who flourished in the 6th century b. c., and was renowned for his vast wealth; hence, a common appellation for a very rich man; as, he is a veritable Cr[oe]sus. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Croesus — from Latinized form of Gk. Kroisis, 6c. B.C.E. king of Lydia in Asia Minor, famously wealthy; hence rich man or in other allusions to riches, from late 14c …   Etymology dictionary

  • Croesus — ► NOUN ▪ a person of great wealth. ORIGIN from the name of a famously wealthy king of Lydia c.560 546 BC …   English terms dictionary

  • Croesus — Croesus1 [krē′səs] n. [after CROESUS2] a very rich man Croesus2 [krē′səs] fl. 6th cent. B.C.; last king of Lydia (560 546), noted for his great wealth …   English World dictionary

  • Croesus — For the opera, see Croesus (opera). Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant, by Claude Vignon. Croesus (   …   Wikipedia

  • Croesus — /kree seuhs/, n., pl. Croesuses, Croesi / suy/ for 2. 1. died 546 B.C., king of Lydia 560 546: noted for his great wealth. 2. a very rich man. * * * died с 546 BC Last king of Lydia, famous for his great wealth. He succeeded his father as king с… …   Universalium

  • Croesus — I. noun Etymology: Croesus, king of Lydia, famed for his wealth Date: 1621 a very rich man II. biographical name died circa 546 B.C. king of Lydia (circa 560 546) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Croesus — Der Begriff Croesus ist: der lateinische Name des letzten Königs Lydiens, siehe Krösus der veraltete wissenschaftliche Name einer Gattung der Blattwespen, siehe Craesus Diese Seite ist eine B …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • CROESUS —    the last of the kings of Lydia, in the 6th century B.C.; celebrated for his wealth, so that his name became a synonym for a man overwhelmed by the favours of fortune; being visited by Solon, he asked him one day if he knew any one happier than …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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