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LYDUS—LYELL, SIR CHARLES

Hittites have left memorials in Lydia. G. Dennis discovered an inscription in Hittite hieroglyphics attached to the figure of “ Niobe ” on Sipylus, and a similar inscription accompanies the figure (in which Herodotus, ii. 106, wished to see Sesostris or Rameses II.) in the pass of Karabel. We learn from Eusebius that Sardis was first captured by the Cimmerii 1078 B.C.; and since it was four centuries later before the real Cimmerii (q.v.) appeared on the horizon of history, we may perhaps find in the statement a tradition of the Hittite conquest. As the authority of the Hittite satraps at Sardis began to decay the Heraclid dynasty arose. According to Xanthus, Sadyattes and Lixus were the successors of Tylon the son of Omphale. After lasting five hundred and five years, the dynasty came to an end in the person of Sadyattes, as he is called by Nicolas of Damascus, whose account is doubtless derived from Xanthus. The name Candaules, given him by Herodotus, meant “ dog strangler ” and was a title of the Lydian Hermes. Gyges (q.v.) put him to death and established the dynasty of the Mermnads, 687 B.C. Gyges initiated a new policy, that of making Lydia a maritime power; but towards the middle of his reign the kingdom was overrun by the Cimmerii. The lower town of Sardis was taken, and Gyges sent tribute to Assur-bani-pal, as well as two Cimmerian chieftains he had himself captured in battle. A few years later Gyges joined in the revolt against Assyria, and the Ionic and Carian mercenaries he dispatched to Egypt enabled Psammetichus to make himself independent. Assyria, however, was soon avenged. The Cimmerian hordes returned, Gyges was slain in battle (652 B.C.), and Ardys his son and successor returned to his allegiance to Nineveh. The second capture of Sardis on this occasion was alluded to by Callisthenes (Strabo xiii. 627). Alyattes, the grandson of Ardys, finally succeeded in extirpating the Cimmerii, as well as in taking Smyrna, and thus providing his kingdom with a port. The trade and wealth of Lydia rapidly increased, and the Greek towns fell one after the other before the attacks of the Lydian kings. Alyattes's long reign of fifty-seven years saw the foundation of the Lydian empire. All Asia Minor west of the Halys acknowledged his sway, and the six years contest he carried on with the Medes was closed by the marriage of his daughter Aryenis to Astyages. The Greek cities were allowed to retain their own institutions and government on condition of paying taxes and dues to the Lydian monarch, and the proceeds of their commerce thus flowed into the imperial exchequer. The result was that the king of Lydia became the richest prince of his age, Alyattes was succeeded by Croesus (q.v.), who had probably already for some years shared the royal power with his father, or perhaps grandfather, as V. Floigl thinks (Geschichte des semitischen Alterthums, p. 20). He reigned alone only fifteen years, Cyrus the Persian, after an indecisive battle on the Halys, marching upon Sardis, and capturing both acropolis and monarch (546 B.C.). The place where the acropolis was entered was believed to have been overlooked by the mythical Meles when he carried the lion round his fortress to make it invulnerable; it was really a path opened by one of the landslips, which have reduced the sandstone cliff of the acropolis to a mere shell, and threaten to carry it altogether into the plain below. The revolt of the Lydians under Pactyas, whom Cyrus had appointed to collect the taxes, caused the Persian king to disarm them, though we can hardly credit the statement that by this measure their warlike spirit was crushed. Sardis now beca.me the western capital of the Persian empire, and its burning by the Athenians was the indirect cause of the Persian War. After Alexander the Great's death, Lydia passed to Antigonus; then Achaeus made himself king at Sardis, but was defeated and put to death by Antiochus. The country was presented by the Romans to Eumenes, and subsequently formed part of the proconsular province of Asia. By the time of Strabo (xiii. 631) its old language was entirely supplanted by Greek.

The Lydian empire may be described as the industrial power of the ancient world. The Lydians were credited with being the inventors, not only of games such as dice, huckle-bones and ball (Herod. 1. 94), but also of coined money. The oldest known coins are the electrum coins of the earlier Mermnads (Madden, Coins of the Jews, pp. 19–21), stamped on one side with a lion's head or the figure of a king with bow and quiver; these were replaced by Croesus with a coinage of pure gold and silver. To the latter monarch were probably due the earliest gold coins of Ephesus (Head, Coinage of Ephesus, p. 16). The electrum coins of Lydia were of two kinds, one weighing 168.4 grains for the inland trade, and another of 224 grains for the trade with Ionia. The standard was the silver mina of Carchemish (as the Assyrians called it) which contained 8656 grains. Originally derived by the Hittites from Babylonia, but modified by themselves, this standard was passed on to the nations of Asia Minor during the period of Hittite conquest, but was eventually superseded by the Phoenician mina of 11,225 grains, and continued to survive only in Cyprus and Cilicia (see also Numismatics). The inns, which the Lydians were said to have been the first to establish (Herod. i. 94), were connected with their attention to commercial pursuits. Their literature has wholly perished. They were celebrated for their music and gymnastic exercises, and their art formed a link between that of Asia Minor and that of Greece. R. Heberdey's excavations at Ephesus since 1896, like those of D. G. Hogarth in 1905, belong to the history of Greek and not native art. The ivory figures, however, found by Hogarth on the level of the earliest temple of Artemis show Asiatic influence, and resemble the so-called “ Phoenician " ivories from the palace of Sargon at Calah (Nimrud). For a description of a pectoral of white gold, ornamented with the heads of animals, human faces and the figure of a goddess, discovered in a tomb on Tmolus, see Academy, January 15, 1881, p. 45. Lydian sculpture was probably similar to that of the Phrygians. Phallic emblems, for averting evil, were plentiful; the summit of the tomb of Alyattes is crowned with an enormous one of stone, about 9 ft. in diameter. The tumulus itself is 281 yds. in diameter and about half a mile in circumference. It has been partially excavated by G. Spiegelthal and G. Dennis, and a sepulchral chamber discovered in the middle, composed of large well-cut and highly polished blocks of marble, the chamber being 11 ft. long, nearly 8 ft. broad and 7 ft. high. Nothing was found in it except a few ashes and a broken vase of Egyptian alabaster. The stone basement which, according to Herodotus, formerly surrounded the mound has disappeared.

Bibliography.—A. von Ölfers, Über die lyrischen Königsgräber bei Sardes (1858); H. Gelzer in the Rheinisches Museum (1874); R. Schubert, Geschichte der Könige von Lydien (1884)5 G. Perrot and C. Chipiez, Histoire de l'art dans l'antiquité, v. (1890); O. Radet, La Lydie el le monde grec au temps des Mermnades (1893); G. Maspero, Dawn of Civilization, pp. 232–301 (1892) and Passing of the Empires, pp. 339, 388, 603–621 (1900); J. Keil and A. von Premerstein, Bericht über eine Reise in Lydien (1908).  (A. H. S.) 


LYDUS (“The Lydian”), JOANNES LAURENTIUS, Byzantine writer on antiquarian subjects, was born at Philadelphia in Lydia about A.D. 490. At an early age he set out to seek his fortune in Constantinople, and held high court and state offices under Anastasius and Justinian. In 552 he lost favour, and was dismissed. The date of his death is not known, but he was probably alive during the early years of Justin II. (reigned 565-578). During his retirement he occupied himself in the compilation of works on the antiquities of Rome, three of which have been preserved: (1) De Ostentis (Hepi étomuetév), on the origin and progress of the art of divination; (2) De M agistraiibus reipublicae Romanae (Hepi épxéiv T58 'Pw;w.iw1/ vrohvreias), especially valuable for the administrative details of the time of Justinian; (3) De Mensibus (Hepi /.ml/<T.>1/), a history of the different festivals of the year. The chief value of these books consists in the fact that the author made use of the works (now lost) of old Roman writers on similar subjects. Lydus was also commissioned by Justinian to compose a panegyric on the emperor, and a history of his successful campaign against Persia; but these, as well as some poetical compositions, are lost.

Editions of (I) by C. Wachsmuth (1897), with full account of the authorities in the prolegomena; of (2) and (3) by R. Wfmsch (1898-1903); see also the essay by C. B. Hase (the first editor of the De Ostentis) prefixed to I. Bekker's edition of Lydus (1837) in the Bonn Corpus Scriptorum hist. Byzantinae.


LYE (O. Eng. léag, cf. Dutch loog, Ger. Lauge, from the root meaning to wash, see in Lat. lavare, and Eng. “ lather,” froth of soap and water, and “ laundry ”), the name given to the solution of alkaline salts obtained by leaching or lixiviating wood ashes with water, and sometimes to a solution of a caustic alkali. Lixiviation (Lat. lixiviim, lye, lix, ashes) is the action of separating, by the percolation of water, a soluble from an insoluble substance. “ Leaching,” the native English term for this process, is from “ leach,” to water, the root probably being the same as in “ lake.”


LYELL, SIR CHARLES (1797–1875), British geologist, was the eldest son of Charles Lyell of Kinnordy, Forfarshire, and