The Lydians: 

The Lydian Language

Language Name:


Once Spoken in:


Language Code:

XLD (Former code: XLYD )







Subgrouping Code:


Brief Description:

An ancient language of Western Anatolia. c. 400 BC.



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copyright © 2000 by John Stojko

This paper deals with the most recent decipherment of ancient Lydian inscriptions. The key which made it possible to indentify Lydian letters was a single stele inscribed in both Lydian and Greek alphabets. Based on the present decipherment, the ancient Lydian language appears to be indentical to Etruscan, which survives as the present-day Ukrainian. The subject matter of the inscriptions is religious, and it is also related to the main theme of Voynich Manuscript.

Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Etruscan were Lydians, who immigrated to Italy from Asia Minor. While the cause of Etruscan migration from Lydia to Italy is very difficult to determine, the fact that Herodotus himself was born in Asia Minor, give some hope that there is some truth in his writings.

According to the Linguists the Lydian language is Indo-European. My decipherment also shows that the Etruscan language is basically the same as a present day Ukrainian, hence it is also Indo-European. If Herodotus' statement, that the Lydian migrated to Italy, is true then the Lydian and Etruscan languages may be the same, or closely related to each other.  

To continue on the path of decipherment in a logical way, and to check if there is any truth in Herodotus' statement I began to look for Lydian writings.

In the book "Extinct Languages by Johannes Friedrich" on page 110 I found bilingual inscription in Greek and Lydian alphabets.

The Lydian alphabet is derived from Phoenician and Etruscan, therefore after close examination; I was able to read one name on the grave inscription in Lydian. Because the inscription is apparently bilingual, the name of dead person should read the samein Greek and Lydian alphabets. And it does.

In my previous writing I stated that the dead person name in both languages is HEBRAT BARABASH. Subsequently I made several attempts to verify this original decipherment.

In the Publication of the American Society for the excavation of Sardis in VOL VI, "LYDIAN INSCRIPTIONS Part II" I found additional Lydian inscriptions, which helped me in my continuing efforts.  

When examining these additional samples of Lydian writings from Sardis, I found out that my initial decipherment was in error. The letter initially deciphered as "H" in Hebrat should be "P" and the inscription should be read as "POBRAT BARABASH" which means FRATERNAL BROTHER BARABASH, in both Greek and Lydian alphabets.

At this point I am sure that Lydian alphabet consists of consonants only, and should be read from right to left, like Phoenician or Hebrew. My decipherment of the Greek alphabet from Lydia, at present time, is not yet finalized. When I obtain more samples of Greek inscriptions from Lydia then the study will be finalized and published. 

When I come to the point in my Lydian decipherment where I began to read and understand what is written, I was disappointed. The subject in the Lydian inscriptions is religious, and it is limited in descriptions and use of different words.

The Lydian language is the same as Etruscan (Ukrainian) and it is understandable to enyone who speaks Ukrainian fluently. 

According to the inscriptions two religious factions occupied the site at Sardis at different times. Which religion occupied the site first is difficult to say. From the writings it seems to me, that there was more than one change in occupation of Sardis, because the two religious groups were at war with each other.

In spite of the shortcomings in these religious writings, there is one revealing fact in them about the prevailing religious differences and on going dispute. Also, the Lydian inscriptions will help understand the one-sided writings found in the Voynich Manuscript, deciphered and described in 1978 in my book "Letters To God’s Eye". The main personalities in Voynich Manuscript OKO, SUS, MANIA, KOZA and KOZARS (KHOZARS) from one religious faction and ORA from the other faction, also appear in these Lydian inscriptions. 

The Lydian inscriptions whether they are written by Ora or Kozar side use the same alphabet and language. On the other hand bilingual inscription written in different alphabets, but it seems to be written in the same language, Ukrainian, as can be seen from my decipherment. Also, it seems that some of the inscriptions in Greek alphabet were written later and at that time some letters were modified, or added to the alphabet, which was used at the time of the dispute. I am basing my statement on comparison of the Lydian version to Greek alphabet not from Lydia. Hence, I could be in error. In the future decipherment I will use more samples to ascertain my initial observation.

In the Lydian inscriptions in several places reference is made to the town (place) of BBL which I deciphered as BABLI. But BBL could also be deciphered as BIBLI, BYBLI, BYBLE. May be BYBLI is the same place, which Greek call BYBLOS. Because BYBLOS according to some writers relates to the present-time BYBLE, I decided to decipher BBL as BABLI. 

When I deciphered the whole Voynich Manuscript, I was wondering why Ora never wrote about his own religion to compare it to the Kozar’s religion. The Lydian inscriptions, in skimpy way, show why.

Both religions come from the same source, and from common religious customs, which at that time of dispute the customs were known to everyone. The only difference, as is stated in Voynich Manuscript was how the BOZIA SUS (Baby God Sus) come to this world. On several Lydian steles this difference is stated which substantiates the Voynich Manuscript. 

To explain the basic belief, which is common to both sides in dispute, I will etymologically derive the meaning of Ukrainian word ROZUMITY = to understand, which incorporates the word UM.

In the past, Ukrainian language uses to be phonetic: not any more. Let me break the word ROZUMITY into phonetic syllables RO-Z-UM-I-TY. The meaning of the syllables is:

RO = to open 

Here are few words showing how the syllable RO is used in Ukrainian language. 

RO-WY or RO-VY = ditches, Hence, RO = opening, W or V = in.

RO-T = mouth.

VO-RO-TA = gate, that is, it opens like the mouth.

Z = from within, out of, of

UM = knowledge, wisdom, mind. (U is pronounced as double "O" in ‘room, hence OOM=UM)

I = and.

TY = you.

RO-Z-UM-I-TY = open from knowledge (UM) and you.

This can be compared to the operation of present-day computer and can be restated, ‘open file stored in memory for this information.’

But UM is not physical matter hence it is not perishable. At that time ancients believed that from the day one is born to the time one is dead everything what we see, think or do is stored in our UM and in Heaven this information is transparent to the person and every one who wonts to know it. 

In Lydian writing is shown that Ora and Sus were able to read what is stored in our UM on earth and also in Heaven.  Their communality in beliefs ends due to the following difference:

Ora believed in God Giver (Dazh Boh) religion and it seems that he himself did not pretend to be God. 

Sus on the other hand seems to pretend to be God’s descendant because God Oko confirmed his jurisdiction on earth in Heaven. Ora like Sus instructed the soul of the individual to learn its assigned activsty and to understand it "during and after the dead".

After accomplishment of the questions that were presented to the soul, Ora urged the soul to remember these questions and to make more enquiries. Sus acts likewise but then he accuses (blames, punishes) the soul for this or that action and reserves the option to examine soul's UM for more erroneous actions. It seems that for followers of Sus soul's belief in God Giver and in religious leader Ora was an unforgivable sin. 

The inscriptions do not tell of what color was Ora’s garb.

The color of Sus' garb was white for those who were blameless before him. Apperently the color of  his heavenly garb enabled him to read the soul's UM and to see the errors in the past life of the soul.

Ora as well as Sus were teaching that the past life of the individual determines soul's future destiny. In many inscriptions both religious fractions urge the individual soul to learn (study) during and after a dead. I have given the above brief explanation so anyone who wish to study Lydian inscriptions in detail will be familiar with their meanings in advance. The remaining statements in the inscriptions are self-explanatory. Below is given table of alphabets.

NOTE: To following five steps were taken to present sequence of my decipherment.

STEP I. Etruscan alphabet transcribed to current Ukrainian alphabet.

STEP II. Vowels are added (in lower case) to consonants in STEP I.

STEP III. Etruscan inscription from STEP II transcribed to form sentences in Ukrainian.

(This step shows original Ukrainian at the time the inscriptions were written)

STEP IV. Etruscan inscription from STEP III in current Ukrainian.

STEP V. Etruscan inscriptions from STEP IV translated into English.

LYD-ALPH.gif (8759 bytes)

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The Lydian Treasure

Lydian Art

As we try to assemble the facts we can tentatively establish about Lydian art, there are categories of uneven documentation that call for study. Excavations at Sardis have given us respect for Lydian architectural workmanship exemplified in the ashlar terrace walls of the acropolis) in the marble and limestone masonry of the tomb chamber of Alyattes under one of the largest tumuli, and in the Py'ramid Tomb near the lower city. A new study of the Lvdian contribution to Persian monumental architecture is in progress.

We cannot fathom the Lydian contribution to sculpture in marble and limestone, to sculptural form, image and style on the present evidence. The contact with Greek-lonian art is so strong in the 6th century' BC that the separation of original elements becomes difficult. The same applies to the terracotta revetments with relief design. In the latter category a lively exchange with Phrygian art is also evident.

Ivory priest figurine
(eunuch priest)
from the Artemision at
7th century BC.


Gold female figurine found during excavations at the Artemision at Ephesos in 1993. 7th century BC. 5.15 cm in height and 51.8 gr.

In representational sculpture, the making of cult statues, reliefs and votives, we need to consider the possibility of a Bronze Age inheritance of western Anatolia. The Lydians, as noted by their language, are of Bronze Age Anatolian ancestry. Hittite historical references to Assuwa and Arzawa geographically include the territory of later Lvdia. The Arzawa region was inhabited by ambitious kings and followers who were in historical contact with the Hittite kings and occasionally with Egypt, as born out by the Arzawa letters in Amarna. Hirtite monuments were carved on the rocks of Lydia: a seated goddess on the northeast side of the Sipylos mountain (Wanisa Dagi), and a striding king or god at Karabel, some 30 kilometers south of Manisa. Lydian art could have had its roots in Bronze Age predecessors, which will have to be recognized as different from Hirtite art, whether major or minor. Seals, terracottas, metal figurines and ivory carvings are all potential categories of relevance to the search for Lydian sculptural roots.

There has long been an impression among observers of the minor arts from the Artemision at Ephesos that an old artistic idiom is surviving in the ivory carvings representing priests, worshippers, women in long robes, and votaries in general. The elements of this hypothetical old style are also embodied in lonian art and are among its distinctive hallmarks, especially in the facial features of some lonian marble statues and reliefs.


Recently, the excavation of an undisturbed tumulus in the Elmali plain near the village of Bayindir in northern Lycia has yielded ivories that carry the same Anatolian imprint, and are also related to the Ephesian series from the Artemision. A female figure in Anatolian costume, holding two children, a girl by her side and a nude boy on her shoulder belongs to a native Anatolian, non-Greek tradition which does not look Hittite. The context of the tomb is early 7th century BC, and the tomb and many of its contents display strong Phrygian affinities, but the ivories reveal a west Anatolian art made by members of a tradition of which the Lydians, neighbours of the north Lycian plain of Elmali, may have been the originators and carriers. Viewing this particular ivory we are close to the roots of west Anatolian art as it became known to the East Greeks as well as the Persians. Predecessors can be postulated, and may have circulated in the era when Arzawa was in correspondence with the Hittites and with Egypt, and in neighbourly contact with Aegean settlers on the coast of westem Anatolia.

The earliest major and minor sculptures from
Sardis and the ivories from Ephesos as well as Bayindir appear to us in a fully developed, confident idiom promising the archaeologist and art historian that an investigation of relationships and originality vis-a-vis second millennium and proto-Lydian art may be rewarding.

Ivory figurine of a woman with two children,
Bayindir Tumulus D
7th century BC.


A group of silver objects from tumulus D

In the minor arts we face similar problems of tradition and innovation. The excellent craftsmanship in the making of gold jewellery is a typical outcome of a long tradition of collecting and refining gold from the Pactolos and the Tmolos mountains, starting perhaps in the Early Bronze Age from which there are samples of gold ear plugs from burials. The jewellery from Sardis is well represented in the Istanbul Museum collection of tomb gifts excavated in 1910-1914 on the west bank of the Pactolos; the parallels to the Usak material are evident, and the gold refinery-workshop area excavated on the east bank of the Pactolos gives evidence for the period C. 620-550 BC.

Among the most important items of personal jewellery in the Usak hoard, as well as in the general realm of the Lydian kingdom and elsewhere, are seal rings. These are appropriate tomb gifts indicating a status of responsibility; but it is likelythat seal rings were deposited in lesser tombs as well as in tumuli. Although these rings borrow traits from the Levanto-Egyptian scarab and scaraboid seal shapes and some are frankly Achaemenid in design, the basic association with Lydians is proved by the finds from the Pactolos West cemetery at
Sardis. Unfortunately, however, we have no Lydian tomb context of early 7th century date to check the purest Lydian seal shapes for the days of Gyges and before his rule.

The Lydian Treasure

The Catalogue
by origin

Oinochoe Ladle Pair of Rattles
Pair of Bracelets With Lion-Head Terminals
Necklace With Acorn Pendants
Pair of Boat Shaped Earings
Fragmentary Bracelet
Two Necklaces With Chain Pendants
Brooch in The Form of a Hippocamp
Thirty-Six Square Appliques

Oinochoe Trefoil-Mouthed Jug Phiale
Deep Phiale Bowl Lydion
Platter With Swivel Handle
Lid With Ring Handle Strainer Goblet
Spoon Incense Burner Alabastron
Miror Disk Pyxis With Lid Agate Pendant
Pyramid Stamp Seal Pendant
Seal Ring Ring Signet-Ring
Pair of Bracelets
Cosmetic Box With Lid and Scoop

Couch Supports in the From of Seated Sphinxes
Wall Paintings of a Male Figure

Wall Painting of a Female Figure
Wall Painting of a Male Figure


The Objects Cannot be Assigned to Any Specific Tumulus or Tomb

The hoards grouped by the places they have been excavated. The pieces that are looted and sold to the museums by looters, couldn't be assigned to any specific tumulus or tomb. They are taken back and placed to Usak Museum.

Phiale Bowl Spatula Situla Winged Sun-Disk Pectoral on a Chain Pendant
Pair of Bacelets With Lion-Protome Terminals Necklace With Spiral-Form Beads
Necklace with plain and granulated beads and beech-nut pendants
Necklace with almond shaped pendants Oval Pendant on a Cyrlindrical Tube
Bionical Pendant With Rosette Terminal
Recumbent Ram Recumbent Calf Recumbent Ram Fibula Pair of Pins Double Spool
Applique Circular Disk Lid Alabastron

The pages grouped in 3 categories above. The first portion is about the Lydia and Lydians, second informates you about some major Lydian centers that most of the hoard is founded during excavations, and finaly the catalogue that includes some of the Lydian Hoard, espacially not included in the other pages or their details

Obviously, whatever this site trying to concludes a highly informative knowledge to you, indeed it includes only a small part of the hoard and information. The major parts of the hoard are shown in the
Usak Museum in Usak, and of course, the actual excavation areas that mensioned above. The remainings are in Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara, Burdur Museum in Burdur, Istanbul Archeological Museums in Istanbul.

By the way, if anyone that interested in more spesific and more detailed information about
Lydia and Lydian. Please e-mail me to make me offer to you more spesific resources about the concepts that you interested in.

So enjoy while learning now...



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Lydia was an ancient kingdom of Asia Minor, also known as Męonia. Its principal city was Sardis.

The boundaries of Lydia varied across the centuries. It was first bounded by Mysia Major, Caria, Phrygia and Ionia. Later on, it grew to contain all the land between the Halys river and the Aegean sea. The empire's name became synonymous with wealth and Sardis was renowned as a beautiful city.

It is also one of the first countries to make coins.

The name Lydia is derived from Lydus, a king of Męonia.

The last Lydian king, Croesus was beaten by Cyrus in 548 BC and the kingdom became a province of the Persian empire.

Selected Monarchs of Lydia with date of accession.

Civilizzazione Di Lydian

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Il Lydians era una gente occidentale di Anatolian distinta dalla lingua e dalle tradizioni culturali. Alcune funzioni della lingua di Lydian (un sottogruppo palaic-Anatolian di indoeuropeo) e della coltura erano relative o compartecipi con quelle dell'altra gente di Anatolian come il Carians ed il Phrygians.

Sotto i re del dynasty di Mermnad, comincianti con Gyges, il Lydians si č transformato in in padroni di un impero occidentale di Anatolian che si č esteso verso est fino il fiume di Halys (Kizilirmak). Il regno di Lydian ha esistito per un secolo e una metą ed ha raggiunto il relativo apogeo sotto l'ultimo re Kroisos, che era renowned per i riches, il extravagance, l'orgoglio e le fortune mercurial. All'altezza o alla sua alimentazione in 547/6 BC, Kroisos ed il suo impero sono stati conquistati dai persiani sotto il loro re, Kyros il grande. Per pił di due secoli da allora in poi fino a Alexander la conquista grande di s di 334 BC.
Lydia era una provincia dell'impero persiano.




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The Archaeological Exploration of Sardis

Display of Lydian architectural tiles: modern reconstruction from examples of the 6th century B.C.

© Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/Harvard University 1996


Lydian language

Lydian belongs to New Anatolian languages, derived from Old Anatolian - Hittite, Luwian and Palaic. When the Hittite Empire fell, Anatolian city-states started a new epoch of Indo-European settlers of Asia Minor. These cities were inhabited both by Indo-European Hittites and non-Indo-European tribes like Hatti, Assyrians, Aramaeans. In the 7th century B.C. all East and Central Anatolian Indo-Europeans were practically assimilated by Semitic and other tribes, and Indo-European Hittites and Luwians had to move farther to the West, to the shores of the Aegean Sea.

Lydia was situated in the Western part of Asia Minor, on the river Galis, with its main city Sardis. It was first mentioned by Homer already in the 8th century B.C. under the name Maeonia. It was celebrated for fertile soil, rich deposits of gold and silver. Lydia became most powerful under the dynasty of the Mermnadae, beginning about 685 BC. In the 6th century BC Lydian conquests transformed the kingdom into an empire. Under the rule of King Croesus, Lydia attained its greatest splendor. The empire came to an end, however, when the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great captured Sardis about 546 BC and incorporated Lydia into the Persian Empire. After the defeat of Persia by Alexander III, king of Macedonia, Lydia was brought under Greek-Macedonian control. Soon after that, Lydians were assimilated by Greeks, Greek language and Greek culture, and though Strabo in the 1st century A.D. talks about Lydians as an ethnos, they did not have much of their original language at that moment.

Lydian was inherited directly from Hittite, but has a lot of its own new features. Lydian phonetics is more complicated: nasal vowels [a], [e] appeared; consonant system has several palatals for [s], [t], [d], [l], [n] very widely used. Palatals came from the combination of i + a consonant.

Lydian morphology also differs somehow from Hittite. Nouns are declined in pronominal declension, Hittite noun declension was almost completely lost. Accusative case is being replaced by dative in the meaning of direct object of the verb. Some verbal forms have endings derived not from Hittite same forms but from participles (for example, 3rd person plural has -l ending) or other verbal nouns.

Lydian has a wide choice of prefixes and particles with practically every word. Sometimes a personal pronoun has 3 particles before it, all of them meaning just emphasis.

Linguistic science has not yet learned much about Lydian, but the language is obviously Indo-European, and a lot of words represent their IE origin. Soon we will publish the Historical Lydian Grammar in our Indo-European Grammars section for everyone interested in Indo-European languages on the Web.

Ancient Lydia (Maeonia)

Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology

Lydia was situated in the Western part of Asia Minor on the river Galis with its main city Sardis. It was first mentioned by Homer in the 8th century BC under the name Maeonia. It was celebrated for fertile soil and rich deposits of gold and silver. Lydia became most powerful under the dynasty of the Mermnadae [royal family to rule Lydia to the time of Cyrus]. In the 6th century BC Lydian conquests transformed the kingdom into an empire. Under the rule of King Croesus Lydia attained its greatest splendor. The empire came to an end however when the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great captured Sardis about 546 BC and incorporated Lydia into the Persian Empire. After the defeat of Persia by Alexander III Lydia was brought under Greek and Macedonian control. Soon after that Lydians were assimilated by the Greek language and Greek culture and though Strabo in the 1st century AD talks about Lydians as an ethnos they did not have much of their original language at that moment .....

Burak Sansal (All About Turkey)

Anatolia: The Last Ten Thousand Years

Bluffer's Guide to the Anatolian Iron Age

By Roger Norman / Turkish Daily News

This is the second Bluffer's Guide, and takes over more or less where the first one ended, at the close of the Anatolian Bronze Age and the time of the upheavals of the 13th and 12th centuries B.C. caused by largescale migrations in the Aegean region. The end of the 13th century saw the end of the Hittite Empire that had dominated Anatolian history for 500 years.
When to date the end of the Iron Age is a matter of taste, since in some ways it can be said to be still continuing. For the purposes of this guide, the end of the 6th century B.C. has been somewhat arbitrarily taken as the terminal date, on the grounds that the 5th century onwards can better be considered under the heading of Anatolia in classical times. We are thus dealing approximately with the period 1200 to 500 B.C. As in the Bronze Age, the center of power in the region remains the Near East, first in the shape of the vast Assyrian Empire of Sargon II, afterwards with the emergence of the Medes and Persians. Phrygia, and then Lydia, were the dominant Anatolian powers, and Greek cities were starting to appear on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and, later, on the Black Sea. Cyrus the Great died in 530 B.C. and Croesus of Lydia around the same time.

ARMENIANS -- A tribe, possibly of PHRYGIAN origin, which gradually occupied the region of URARTIA towards the end of the 7th century. The position of a kingdom sandwiched between the MEDES, the ASSYRIANS and whoever was the dominant power in Anatolia proper guaranteed a chequered career for the first Armenians, and for most of their successors. Armenia was to be ruled successively by Medes, Persians, Seleucids, Romans etc. etc.

ASSYRIANS -- After a period of relative decline in the 12th and 11th centuries, the Assyrian Empire not only recovered but expanded rapidly, especially during the reign of Sargon II (722-706), so that by the end of the 8th century B.C., Assyria comprised the whole of present day Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Palestine and extensive territories in present day Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Assyrian kings even ruled in Egypt for 20 years in the mid 7th century. The empire collapsed with impressive speed, however, during the final decades of the 7th century, defeated by a coalition of MEDES and Babylonians. The Assyrian capital Nineveh fell in 612.

CIMMERIANS -- One of the "destroyers" of historical record and, like others before and after them, originating from somewhere in the broad steppes of southern Russia. Swept into Anatolian history at the end of the 8th century, first harrying the URARTIANS, then destroying the Phrygian capital GORDIUM in 695 and burning Lydian SARDIS 50 years later. Always described as historians as advancing in "hordes", technically an anachronism, since the word horde comes from the Turkish <ITALIK ordu ITALIK> meaning army.

CROESUS -- Lydian king who reigned c. 560 to 547 B.C. Like the Phrygian Midas, a byword for great wealth, possibly because the LYDIANS were the first to mint coins. Croesus was the subject of the famous dialogue with Solon related by Herodotus. In reply to Croesus' leading question "Who is the most fortunate of men?", Solon irritatingly replied by naming various unknown and defunct Greeks, making the point that no man could be called happy until he was dead. It was also Croesus who was fooled by the ambiguous reply of the Delphic oracle -- "If you attack, you will destroy a great nation". It turned out to be his own, and Croesus became an (honored) captive of the Persian king Cyrus. Croesus has come down to us as a very human and rather sympathetic character, thanks largely to Herodotus. History proper starts somewhere here, one might say.

CYBELE -- The chief Phrygian divinity and their version of the Anatolian mother goddess. She was suckled by wild creatures as an infant, ministered to as a deity by castrated priests and her cult was apparently characterized by frenzied orgies. A symbol of fertility, often depicted as pregnant, sometimes many-breasted. Atys was her omprehensively defeated (although somewhat unfairly, some would say, because Cyrus apparently used the smell of his pack camels to deter the Lydian cavalry) in 547 B.C. Sardis was taken and Lydia became a Persian satrapy.

MEDES -- An Iranian tribe who first appear as the Mada and start threatening the power of Assyria in the 7th century. Together with Babylonian forces they destroyed Nineveh in 612 and soon afterwards took control of URARTIA. They were later defeated by the Persian King Cyrus and were incorporated into the empire of the PERSIANS. The Greeks tended to refer to the Persians as Medes and Cyrus as "the Mede". In the later Persian Empire, the Medes were associated with the Magi, a sacerdotal caste who followed the teachings of Zoroaster (Zarathustra).

MIDAS -- Known as Mita to the Assyrians and Egyptians. Famous in legend for the "Midas touch" which turned everything, even his food, to gold. Yet oddly there was no gold found in the immense burial mound near GORDIUM that has come to be known as Midas' tomb. There were however, a large number of wonderful bronze cauldrons and other vessels which can now be seen in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Actually, there is a second so-called Tomb of Midas, an intriguing temple, possibly dedicated to CYBELE and to be found some 60 kilometers southeast of Eskisehir. It consists of a huge facade sculptured on the living rock. Midas himself was probably the last of the independent PHRYGIAN kings and is said to have committed suicide after the defeat by the CIMMERIANS.

MOPSUS -- A Greek by the name of Mopsus has the honor of being the very first figure of Greek legend to be authenticated as a historical personality. (Remember that there is still no <ITALIK proof ITALIK> that there were ever such people as Agamemnon or Achilles.) Legend said that one Mopsus wandered the Anatolian peninsula after the fall of Troy and ended up founding Greek colonies in Pamphylia and Cilicia (on the Mediterranean coast). He appears in a Hittite document with the unappealing name of Mukshush and also in an inscription at Karatepe in Cilicia. He is said to have founded Aspendus, Phaselis and Mopsuestia.

NEO-HITTITES -- Remnants of the Hittites, mixed with Hurrians, Hattians and others, who occupied a series of city states in the northern regions of present day Syria and southern Turkey. The art and architecture of the Neo-Hittite cities owe a good deal to Hittite traditions. Carchemish and Zincirli, close to the present day Turco-Syrian border are the best known of these.

PERSIANS -- An Iranian people who probably arrived in the region of present day Iran during the 8th century B.C., a little later than the MEDES, whom they later defeated and assimilated. It was under Cyrus the Great that the Persians began to build the great empire that was to be the dominant power of the Near East on and off for nearly a millennium. The early period of Persian glory is usually referred to by the name of its ruling dynasty, the Achaemenids, who were overthrown by Alexander. (They were succeeded in turn by the Seleucids -- named after Alexander's general Seleucus, the Parthians -- who fought the Romans over three centuries, and the Sassanians -- who were finally defeated by the Arabs.) Cyrus took Lydia and Babylonia; his son Cambyses occupied Egypt; and Darius I, who became king in 486 B.C., was responsible for introducing a gold coinage, building a huge network of roads -- including the Royal Road from SARDIS to Susa and fostering commerce throughout the empire.

PHRYGIANS -- Federation of tribes who moved into Anatolia from Eastern Europe during the last century of the Bronze Age and who established a powerful kingdom centered on GORDIUM which included Troy and Hierapolis. Replaced the Hittite Empire as the dominant force in central Anatolia, building modest walled towns on the ruins of the old Hittite cities -- at Bogazkoy, Alaca Hoyuk, Kultepe and elsewhere. Came up against Sargon II of ASSYRIA in the 8th century and were wiped out by the fierce CIMMERIANS at the beginning of the 7th century. Phrygian inscriptions remain unintelligible and the reputation the Phrygian people have left behind them makes strange reading. Stubborn, effeminate, servile and voluptuous according to various Greek readers, they were famous as makers of grave and solemn music and also for the wearing of a peculiar conical cap which was later worn by freed Roman slaves and thus became a symbol of liberty to the French revolutionaries of 1789. Phrygia was also known among Greeks as a land of fabulous wealth (see MIDAS).Their Chief divinity was CYBELE.

SARDIS -- Lydian capital, situated in the broad and fertile valley of the Gediz Cayi. There's not much left now of the Lydian city, although American excavators claim to have found the remains of the first ever mint (see CROESUS). Ten kilometers to the north lies Bin Tepe, the Lydian necropolis, where there are scores of burial mounds dating from the great age of the Lydian kingdom. The largest of these, the Tomb of Alyattes (father of Croesus), took ten minutes to ride around according to the nineteenth century traveller W.J. Hamilton.

URARTIANS -- Possibly a Hurrian people, since their language is closely related. Settled the area around Lake Van and established a kingdom that included Mt. Ararat and the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates. First mentioned in ASSYRIAN texts in the 13th century B.C., reached their zenith three or four centuries later when they built a characteristic series of massive hill fortresses in the region. Came into conflict with the Assyrian Empire in the 8th century B.C. and disappeared from history somewhat mysteriously in the 6th century at which period they were replaced by the ARMENIANS. Urartia is sometimes known as the Kingdom of Van, or the Vannic kingdom.