-story of very rich people-"count no man happy until his death" said SOLON -to.-"king of Lydia -In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for a wealthy man.

Croesus (pronounced /ˈkriːsəs/, CREE-sus; Greek: Κροῖσος)  was the

 king of Lydia  { from 560 to 546 BC until his defeat by the Persians in about 547 BC.}

Croesus is credited with the issuing the first true gold coins, in about 643 to 630 BC, with a standardised purity for general circulation.
Gold coin (stater) of king Croesus of Lydia.Gold coin from Lydia


 They were quite crude. Croesus was defeated and captured by the Persians, who then adopted gold as the main metal for their coins.

  1. Croesus was so wealthy, his name became synonymous with wealth. Thus, Croesus is the subject of the simile "rich as Croesus"
    1. Solon of Athens was a very wise man who made laws for Athens, for which reason he is called Solon the law-giver. It was in conversation with Croesus, who had all the wealth he could want and was, seemingly, perfectly happy, that Solon said, "count no man happy until his death."Croesus, secure in his own wealth and happiness, poses the question "Which man is happy?"Croesus'  happiness was reversed by the tragic deaths of his accidentally-murdered son and, in Critias, his wife's suicide at the fall of Sardis
      1. Croesus is said to have derived his wealth from King Midas' (the man with the golden touch) gold deposits in the river Pacto
      2. He began preparing a campaign against Cyrus the Great of Persia. Before setting out he turned to the Delphic oracle and the oracle of Amphiaraus to inquire whether he should pursue this campaign and whether he should also seek an alliance. The oracles answered, with typical ambiguity, that if Croesus attacked the Persians, he would destroy a great empire 

        Croesus, now feeling secure, formed an alliance with Sparta in addition to those he had with Amasis II of Egypt and Nabonidus of Babylonia, and launched his campaign against the Persian Empire in 547 BC.[ He was intercepted near the Halys River in central Anatolia and an inconclusive battle was fought. As was usual in those days, the armies would disband for winter and Croesus did accordingly. Cyrus did not, however, and he attacked Croesus in Sardis, capturing him. It became clear that the powerful empire Croesus was about to destroy was his own.

        Herodotus tells us that in the Lydian account, Croesus was placed upon a great pyre by Cyrus' orders, for Cyrus wanted to see if any of the heavenly powers would appear to save him from being burned alive. The pile was set ablaze, and as Cyrus watched he saw Croesus call out "Solon" three times.
                                              Croesus on the pyre, Attic red-figure amphora,500490 BC,
         He asked the interpreters to find out why he said this word with such resignation and agony. The interpreters returned the answer that Solon had warned Croesus of the fickleness of good fortune: see Interview with Solon . This touched Cyrus, who realized that he and Croesus were much the same man, and he bade the servants to quench the blazing fire as quickly as they could. They tried to do this, but the flames were not to be mastered

        the question:-
            1. Which man is happy?
        Oh! Croesus," replied the other, "thou askedst a question concerning the condition of man,
            1. oh! Croesus, I see that thou art wonderfully rich, and art the lord of many nations; but with respect to that whereon thou questionest me, I have no answer to give, until I hear that thou hast closed thy life happily. For assuredly he who possesses great store of riches is no nearer happiness than he who has what suffices for his daily needs, unless it so hap that luck attend upon him, and so he continue in the enjoyment of all his good things to the end of life. For many of the wealthiest men have been unfavoured of fortune, and many whose means were moderate have had excellent luck. Men of the former class excel those of the latter but in two respects; these last excel the former in many. The wealthy man is better able to content his desires, and to bear up against a sudden buffet of calamity. The other has less ability to withstand these evils (from which, however, his good luck keeps him clear), but he enjoys all these following blessings: he is whole of limb, a stranger to disease, free from misfortune, happy in his children, and comely to look upon. If, in addition to all this, he end his life well, he is of a truth the man of whom thou art in search, the man who may rightly be termed happy. Call him, however, until he die, not happy but fortunate. Scarcely, indeed, can any man unite all these advantages: as there is no country which contains within it all that it needs, but each, while it possesses some things, lacks others, and the best country is that which contains the most; so no single human being is complete in every respect- something is always lacking. He who unites the greatest number of advantages, and retaining them to the day of his death, then dies peaceably, that man alone, sire, is, in my judgment, entitled to bear the name of 'happy.' But in every matter it behoves us to mark well the end: for oftentimes God gives men a gleam of happiness, and then plunges them into ruin."


        File:Herodotus world map-en.svg
        Reconstruction of the Oikumene (inhabited world) ancient map from Herodotus, c. 450 BC.