Sardis was the principal city in the ancient history, being off the main western Turkey route, unfortunately it hardly gets deserved attention on most inland Turkey tours.
Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, in the western part of Asia Minor. After Persian invasion by Cyrus the great in 546 BC Sardis became an important city and later in Roman domination it was the seat of the Roman proconsul. The city was also home for one of the seven communities of the Book of Revelation.
Sardis was credited to have issued the first mint coins in history, this was in the reign of King Croesus who was known in the ancient world as the wealthiest king, made several gold offerings to the famous temples as distant as Delphi.
One interesting legend is that King Midas of Phrigia who was cursed with the golden touch washed himself off gold in the river Pactolus which is also running through the Lydian territories.
Under all ruling powers Sardis managed to sustain its wealth and importance mainly due to the wide fertile valley of the Hermus river. The famous Royal Road started from Sardis and ended at the Persepolis, Persian capital.
In the background the hill where the Lydian Fortress situated is seen. Persian conquest was a shock to the Lydians as they thought that their fortress was impregnable against enemy assaults.
Dates are related to Herototus history
Gyges 716-678 BC (or c.680-644) (husband of Candaules's widow)
Ardys II (Ardysus II) 678-629 BC (or 644-c.625) (son of Gyges)
Sadyattes 629-617 BC (or c.625-c.600) (son of Ardys II)
Alyattes II 617-560 BC (or c.600-560) (son of Sadyattes)
Croesus 560-546 BC (or 560-547) (son of Alyattes II) 1557.