The Lydians were an Indo-Germanic people who lived in the countryside named after them Lydia in western Asia Minor. Their language, Lydian, is related to the Indo-European Luwian language, but also includes elements of pre-Indo - old Anatolian language.

The rise of the Lydian power began with the destruction of the Phrygian empire in the 7th century BC Under the royal dynasty of Mermnadae that begins about 680 BC with Gyges, the Lydian expanded their empire with its capital at Sardis to the eastern Ionian coast and up the river Halys. The eastern Ionian cities came under increasing pressure and were conquered in some cases. Setbacks had BC but suffered repeatedly by the Cimmerians, BC, who were in Asia Minor in the 7th century, the Lyderreich to about 630. So Sardis was about 652 BC conquered by the Cimmerians. Gyges died in the defensive fighting.

Beginning of the 6th century became the Lydian Empire under King II Alyattes its peak. A war against the Medes was ended by the solar eclipse of 28 May 585 BC ( lately is this date, however, in the ancient historians in the discussion). Both sides were frightened by the weather event such that they made ​​peace. Henceforth the Halys formed the boundary between the Lydians and the Medes. To the west of it could conquer all regions except Lycia Alyattes. Lydia was now equal power alongside Media, Babylonia and Egypt.

The successor of the Alyattes, King Croesus crossed the Halys 547 BC and marched against the Persians, who had annexed the Mederreich. According to Herodotus (I, 53) the oracle at Delphi Croesus had prophesied that he would destroy a great empire, when it exceeded any Halys. In ( Irr ) faith, so was the Persian Empire meant he attacked the Persians. 547 BC defeated Croesus in Pteria the Persians. The Persians invaded and conquered the Lyderreich 546 BC, the capital of Sardis. Lydia became a Persian satrapy.

The Lydians are said to have the invention of coined money in the ancient sources. There is strong evidence that the Lydians were the first actually used the coins embossed on both sides. The earliest of their coins to be regarded as means of payment are from the last third of the 7th century BC