K to Keres Kerigo to Kleomenes I Kleomenes II to Kronikos Kronos to Kyzikos 2

Kleomenes II to Kronikos

Kleomenes II

The twenty-third Agiadai king of the city of Sparta who ruled from 370-309 BCE.

Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Agis I and the other was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon (respectively known as the Agiadai and the Eurypontidai).

Beginning with Leonidas I (the sixteenth Agiadai king who ruled from 490-480 BCE) the names and dates for the Spartan kings became a part of the historical record and are generally accepted as factual; prior to Leonidas I the dates for the Spartan kings are extrapolated back from historical times to approximate the time periods in which each king ruled.

Kleomenes III

The twenty-eighth Agiadai king of the city of Sparta who ruled from 236-222 BCE.

Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Agis I and the other was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon (respectively known as the Agiadai and the Eurypontidai).

Beginning with Leonidas I (the sixteenth Agiadai king who ruled from 490-480 BCE) the names and dates for the Spartan kings became a part of the historical record and are generally accepted as factual; prior to Leonidas I the dates for the Spartan kings are extrapolated back from historical times to approximate the time periods in which each king ruled.


An Athenian general and political opponent of Perikles (Pericles); he died in 422 BCE; he was the subject of scorn and ridicule by orators and playwrights because of his humble origins and dogmatic stance on social issues.

Kleopatra (1)

The second wife of Philip II of Makedon (Macedon); this marriage complicated the direct ascension of Philip’s son, Alexander (the Great) to the throne; Alexander and Philip’s first wife, Olympias, are assumed to have either killed, or arranged to have killed, Kleopatra, her son and her father.

Kleopatra (2)

The daughter of Boreas (North Wind) and the sister of Zetes and Kalais (Calais); the first wife of the blinded seer, Phineus.

After her death, Phineus’ second wife hated the sons of Kleopatra and induced Phineus to blind them; thereafter Phineus was cursed by the winged-women known as the Harpies; Zetes and Kalais were the only ones who could break the curse of the Harpies.

Kleopatra (3)

The wife of Meleagros (Meleager) and the daughter of Marpessa and Idas; as a young girl, she had been kidnapped by Apollon and her mother’s plaintive crying earned Kleopatra the by-name Alkyone, i.e. Sea-Bird.


The wife of Kyzikus (Cyzicus) who hanged herself when her husband was mistakenly hanged by the Argonauts.


One of the Fates; she and her sisters are the daughters of Zeus and Themis.

The three sisters determine the life and death of all mortal beings; Klotho spins the thread of life; her sisters are: Lakhesis (Lachesis) and Atropos; Lakhesis determines the length of the thread; Atropos cuts the thread when the proper time has come for death; the three sisters are also called the Moirai to denote their descent from the original goddess of Fate, Moira.

Klymene (1)

The daughter of king Minyas; the wife of Phylakos (Phylacos) and the mother of Alkimede (Alcimede) and thus the grandmother of Iason (Jason).

Klymene (2)

An Okeanid, i.e. one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys; the wife of Iapetos and the mother of Atlas, Prometheus and Epimetheus and Menoitios.

Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.


The father of the wife of the aged Greek hero Nestor, Eurydike (Eurydice).


The wife of Agamemnon; she and Phoibe (Phoebe) were the daughters of Tyndareus and Leda; she was the half-sister of Helen and the twins, Kastor (Castor) and Polydeukes (Polydeuces or Pollux); her children were: Elektra (Electra), Orestes, Iphianassa (Iphigenia) and Khrysothemis (Chrysothemis).

Klytemnestra was falsely portrayed as the murderess of her husband seven hundred years after her death and the label has become indelibly attached to her name; in The Iliad, Agamemnon was said to have been killed by Aigisthos (Aegisthus) when he returned from the siege of the city of Troy; in the play Agamemnon by Aeskhylus (Aeschylus), the story is retold with Klytemnestra as the villain and Aigisthos as simply an accomplice; Klytemnestra had many reasons to despise Agamemnon and wish him dead but her role as murderess was thrust upon her by a playwright for dramatic effect and not based on the earliest accounts.

Before Agamemnon sailed away to Troy, he gathered his army on the island of Aulis but after offending the goddess, Artemis, the ships could not leave the harbor; the seer, Kalkhas (Calchas), said that unless Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter, Iphianassa, to Artemis, the fleet would not be allowed to leave the island harbor; Agamemnon summoned Iphianassa on the pretext that she was to marry Akhilleus (Achilles) and prepared her as a human sacrifice; when the time for the sacrifice came, Artemis took Iphianassa from the altar and substituted a deer in her stead.

The attempted sacrifice of Iphianassa and Agamemnon’s ten year absence from home led Klytemnestra into the arms of Agamemnon’s cousin, Aigisthos; when Agamemnon finally returned home he was murdered by Aigisthos; Klytemnestra and her lover, Aigisthos, were in turn murdered by her son Orestes; the murder of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra are the subject of three plays by Aeskhylus (Aeschylus) known as Oresteia; the plays are compelling in their drama and tell a very complicated story which tries to differentiate the subtle distinction between “vengeance” and “justice.”

Her name may also be rendered as Klytaemnestra or Clytaemnestra.

If you wish to read Oresteia, I personally recommend Aeschylus I translated by Richmond Lattimore (ISBN 0226307786); you can find Oresteia at your local library or you can order it through the Book Shop on this site which is linked to


An Okeanid, i.e. one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys.

Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.

Klytios (1)

A brother of the last king of Troy, Priam; his name may also be rendered as Klytius or Clytius.

Klytios (2)

He and his brother, Iphitos, were the sons of Eurytos; both brothers became Argonauts; his name may also be rendered as Klytius or Clytius.

Klytios (3)

One of the Giants; his name may also be rendered as Klytius or Clytius.


The father of the Argonaut, Nauplios, and the son of Naubolos.


A comic play by the Athenian poet, Aristophanes, produced in 424 BCE at the Lenaea festival where it won first prize; this was the first play which Aristophanes produced under his own name and is nothing but an attack and belittlement of the presumed Athenian warmonger, Kleon (Cleon).

This play was produced during the early years of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE) and Aristophanes clearly laid the blame for the continuing hostilities on the greedy and egotistical politicians such as Kleon; as to Kleon’s true character, we can only speculate but Aristophanes seems to have truly despised the man.

The play is based on the attempt of two disgruntled slaves to take the power away from an undeserving lout and give the reins of the government of the city of Athens to an even lower and more rapacious lout; the two louts debate one another and are both under the assumption that the more corrupt and dishonest they appear to the public the more they will be loved.

The Knights are the chorus of the play and represent the noble and courageous horsemen who actually have to fight the war the politicians are perpetuating.

One very comic moment of the play is when the existence of the gods is called into question and one of the slaves declares that they surely exist because they obviously hate him.

Aristophanes’ plays are sometimes difficult to appreciate because he was a very contemporary poet, i.e. he was writing for the Athenian audience of his day; he would use puns, parody regional accents and speak directly to the audience in ways that force modern translators to seek out the contextual meaning rather than the literal meaning of the poet’s words; for that reason, I suggest that if you find a translation that is difficult to enjoy, please don’t blame Aristophanes, simply look for a translation that you can enjoy.

When trying to find a readable translator, I suggest Patric Dickinson; you may find his books at your local library in the 882 section but his books are out of print and sometimes difficult to find; I also recommend the Penguin Classics book Lysistrata & Other Plays: The Acharnians, the Clouds, Lysistrata by Aristophanes, Alan H. Sommerstein (Translator), ISBN 0140448144; you can also find this book at your local library or you can purchase it through the Book Shop on this site which is linked to


A ruined city in the north-central area of the island of Crete; the capital of the ancient Minoan civilization.


Koes of Mytilene; when the Persian king, Darius, called Koes to him, he offered Koes anything that he might wish in repayment for the good council Koes had provided in the past; Koes asked to be made the tyrant of the city of Mytilene; Darius granted his wish.


Literally meaning Common but generally used to indicate the dialect of the Greek language which replaced the previous regional versions of the language.


One of the Titans; the son of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (the Heavens); the husband of the Titan, Phoibe (Phoebe), and father of Leto, Asteria and Hekate (Hecate).

His name may also be rendered as Koeus or Coeus.


An epitaph for the goddess Artemis.


A hill in Attika (Attica) noted for the temple of Aphrodite (goddess of Love) which is located there.


An ancient country that borders on the eastern edge of the Euxine (Black Sea) and is south of the Caucasus Mountains; best known as the land of the Golden Fleece and the realm of king Aietes (Aeetes).

The historian Herodotus asserts that the people of Kolkhis were descended from the Egyptians because of their physical appearance and the fact that when the Egyptian king, Sesostris (Rameses II), marched into Europe in the fourteenth century BCE, part of his army was either stationed in Kolkhis or deserted the army and founded their own nation.

The name may also be rendered as Kolchis.


A cape in east-central Greece, southeast of Athens at the tip of the peninsula of Attika (Attica) jutting into the western Aegean Sea; also called Cape Sunium.


A deme of Attika (Attica) about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) northwest of Athens; the name literally means Hill.


An ancient Greek city in Ionia, Asia Minor which was essentially depopulated by circa 286 BCE.


A name referring to the Greek poet, Antimakhus (Antimachus); he was a Greek poet (fl. 410 BCE) from the Greek city of Kolophon (Colophon) in Ionia, Asia Minor; his poems were epic in nature and modeled after the Homeric style; commonly called The Kolophonian.


An ancient city in southwestern Phrygia, in Asia Minor.


Any statue that is larger than life size; the most famous Kolossos in the ancient world was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Kolossos of Rhodes, which stood 100-115 feet (30.5-35 meters) in height.

Kolossos of Rhodes

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; designed and constructed by Khares (Chares) of Lindus as a 110 foot bronze statue of Helios; erected in 290 BCE and toppled in an earthquake, sixty six years later, in 224 BCE.

The popular conception of the statue standing with its legs spanning the entrance to the harbor is imaginative, but inaccurate; the statue was a representation of Helios as a free-standing erect figure at the entrance to the harbor of the city of Rhodes; the statue was situated on a stone base with an iron frame that supported the bronze casing of the body of Helios; the hollow statue was filled with stones to add weight and give stability.


A village without walls; a small country town.


An affectation of dramatic actors in Attika (Attica) where an actor and the chorus would alternate in wild lamentations.


A small town; larger than a kome (a small country town) but not large enough to be called a polis (a city-state with geographical boundaries such as rivers or mountains).


A local festival, i.e. celebrations held in towns or villages with processions and songs.


Lake Kopais; a relatively large lake on the Greek mainland in northern central Boeotia just north of the ancient city of Thebes.


A letter in some early Greek alphabets occurring between Pi and Rho and equivalent to the Latin Q; later superseded by the letter Kappa.

Kore (1)

A name for Persephone in Attika (Attica) as the personification of Virginity; literally, The Daughter, i.e. the daughter of Demeter.

Kore (2)

A sculptured representation of a young woman; especially sculptures produced prior to the fifth century BCE; also rendered as Kora or Cora.

Kore (3)

The daughter of the eccentric king of the Molossians, Aidoneus; her father was named after Hades, her mother was named Persephone and their dog was named Kerberos (Cerberus); Kore was almost kidnapped by Pirithous and Theseus but her father saved her.


An Ionian island which lies off the northwestern coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea; 593 square miles (1,536 square kilometers) in size; called Kerkyra (Corcyra) in ancient times.

Approximate east longitude 19.45 and north latitude 39.40.


One of the wealthiest and most powerful of the ancient Greek cities; located on the Isthmus of Korinth, which connects the Greek mainland to the Peloponnesian Peninsula; due to its location, the city was a thriving artistic center as well as a major trading hub.

Approximate east longitude 22.56 and north latitude 37.56.

Korkyra (1)

The ancient name of the Ionian island, Korfu (Corfu); one of the Ionian Islands near the northwestern coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea; now called Kerkira; 593 square miles (1,536 square kilometers) in size; the dispute between Kerkyra and the city of Korinth (Corinth) over the Ionian city of Epidamnus, was one of the initial causes of the long and bloody Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE).

The name may also be rendered as Korcyra.

Approximate east longitude 19.45 and north latitude 39.40.

Korkyra (2)

The daughter of the spring Asopos who was carried off by Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and relocated on an island which was then named after her; her island is located in the Ionian Sea near the coast of modern Herzegovina; the dense forests of the island made it appear black and thus earned the name Black Kerkyra.

The name may also be rendered as Korcyra.

Koronis (1)

One of the five daughters of Atlas who was placed in the heavens as a star and, with her sisters, formed the asterism, Hyades, in the constellation Taurus (the Bull); her sisters are: Phaesyle, Kleeia (Cleeia), Phaeo and Eudora.

Koronis (2)

The mother of the famous healer, Asklepios (Asclepius), and the daughter of Phlegyas; she was the consort of Apollon and Asklepios was their son; when she was unfaithful to Apollon, he killed her but saved Asklepios and placed him in the care of the Centaur, Kheiron (Chiron), where he learned the art of healing.


One of the Argonauts; the son of Caeneus from Gyrton; his name may also be rendered as Koronos or Coronos.


Musical rattles normally consisting of tuned lengths of bone or hardwood suspended at one end from a hand-held frame.


The title of a priest for the Asiatic goddess, Kybele (Cybele), they wore full armor at her rituals.

Korykian Cave
Corycian Cave

The name of a cave on Mount Parnassus which was sacred to Pan and his nymphs.


The name of the Korykian Cave on Mount Parnassus which was sacred to Pan and his nymphs.


An island close to the southwestern coast of Asia Minor where the Aegean Sea joins the Mediterranean Sea; northwest of the island of Rhodes and southwest of the city of Halikarnassus; the second largest of the Dodecanese Group of islands with an area of approximately 111 square miles (288 square kilometers); located at the entrance to the Gulf of Kos.

Approximate east longitude 27.10 and north latitude 36.50.


A drinking vessel; a cup or mug used in Lakonia (Laconia).


Boots worn by tragic actors to make their roles apparent to the audience.

Kothornos had high heels and, like socks, could be worn on either foot; the Athenian tyrant, Theramenes, was nicknamed Kothornos because his detractors claimed that he would accommodate any political point of view to gain popularity; Kothornos are known today as Buskins.


Kottos and his brothers, Briareos and Gyes are the sons of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (the Heavens); all three have fifty heads and fifty arms sprouting from their massive shoulders.

The brothers were trapped in Gaia’s womb by Ouranos until the Titan, Kronos (Cronos), wounded his father, Ouranos, and they were allowed to be free, but their freedom was not to last; Kronos had helped his mother, Gaia, free the monstrous brothers but he feared their strength and beauty and so he too imprisoned them under the earth where they remained until the war between the Titans and the Olympians began.

Zeus brought the three brothers back into the light and gave them nektar (nectar) and ambrosia to renew their vitality; with their newly acquired freedom and strength, Briareos, Kottos and Gyes joined the Olympians in the war against the Titans; after ten years of war, Zeus let loose all his fury and the earth and heavens trembled under his thunderbolts; at that moment, Briareos, Kottos and Gyes bombarded the Titans with three-hundred boulders that buried the Titans and ended the war.

His name may also be rendered as Kottus or Cottus.


Nymphs of springs; Kraniades are only immortal as long as the spring they inhabit remains vital.


A bowl used to mix wine and water, with a wide mouth and body and two vertical handles projecting from the juncture of the neck and body; the word, Krater, could also be used to denote any cup-shaped depression or basin of any size and made of any material.


The personification of Force or Might; a child of the Titan, Pallas, and the Okeanid, Styx.

Kreon (1)

The brother of Iokaste (Jocasta) and eventually the ruler of the city of Thebes; the tragic life of Kreon is tied to the ill fate which marked the life of Oedipus and his children.

While Oedipus was the king of Thebes, Kreon was content to simply be a member of the royal household; he did not envy the throne because, as the brother of the queen, he had money, respect and power without having the responsibilities or burdens that came with the throne; when a blight afflicted the countryside around Thebes, Oedipus sent Kreon to the oracle at Delphi to ask what the citizens of Thebes might do to regain their prosperity; when Kreon returned to Thebes he informed Oedipus that the prosperity of the country would not be restored until the murderer of king Laius was driven from the city.

After a painful investigation, Oedipus was made to realize that he, as a pawn of the Immortals, had murdered his father, king Laius, and married his mother, Iokaste; this meant that the children of Oedipus were also his brothers and sisters; when they realized their role in this horrible tragedy, Iokaste hanged herself and Oedipus blinded himself and left the city in disgrace.

Oedipus’ eldest son, Eteokles (Eteocles) assumed the throne and Oedipus’ youngest son, Polynikes (Polynices) was exiled to Argos; Polynikes organized an army to retake Thebes but Kreon could see that the inevitable outcome would be a disaster for Thebes regardless of who won the war; in an attempt to consolidate popular support, he went to the exiled Oedipus and begged him to return to the borders of Thebes and help defuse the impending doom that threatened the city; when Oedipus refused to help, Kreon kidnapped Oedipus’ daughters, Ismene and Antigone; the legendary king of Athens, Theseus, intervened and saved the girls and gave Oedipus sanctuary.

Kreon could do nothing but return to Thebes and await the inevitable war between the sons of Oedipus; Polynikes and his army attacked Thebes but the attack failed and both Polynikes and Eteokles were killed on each other’s spear; with the two sons of Oedipus dead, Kreon became the ruler of Thebes; his first decree was that Eteokles would be buried as a hero for defending the city and that Polynikes would be left to the dogs and vultures for his disgraceful attack on the city; Antigone defied Kreon and buried Polynikes; she was punished by being entombed alive in a cave; the blind prophet, Teiresias, warned Kreon that his actions were an affront to the Immortals and that if he did not give Polynikes a decent burial and forgive Antigone, he and his family would suffer dire consequences.

Kreon relented and buried Polynikes but before he could free Antigone from the cave, she hanged herself; Kreon’s son, Haemon, was the first to open the cave where Antigone was entombed and when he saw her dead body he flew into a rage and tried, but failed, to kill his father; Haemon then stabbed himself with his sword and died clinging to the body of Antigone; when Kreon returned to his palace carrying Haemon’s dead body, he was informed that his wife, Eurydike (Eurydice) had also killed herself.

The tragedy, Antigone, by Sophokles (Sophocles) tells the entire tragic story; in the poem, Shield of Herakles (Heracles) by Hesiod, Kreon’s wife is said to be Eniokhe (Enioche); since Hesiod predates Sophokles we should assume that Eniokhe was, in fact, the name of king Kreon’s wife.

I personally recommend the Penguin Classics version of The Theban Plays translated by E. F. Watling (ISBN 0140440038); the book includes the three plays dealing with Oedipus and his family: King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone; I also recommend the Richmond Lattimore translation of Hesiod (ISBN 0472439030 clothbound or ISBN 0472081616 paper bound); you can find these books at your local library or you can order them through the Book Shop on this site which is linked to

Kreon (2)

The king of Korinth (Corinth) who gave sanctuary to Iason (Jason) and Media after they fled Kolkhis (Colchis) with the Golden Fleece.

Iason deserted Media in favor of Kreon’s daughter, Glauke (Glauce); Medea was a sorceress and well skilled in the art of potions and poisons; to avenge herself on Iason, Medea gave Glauke a poisoned cloak and thereby murdered her.


A son of Herakles (Heracles); he became king of Messenia and was murdered by another son of Herakles, Polyphontes; his wife and son, Merope and Aepytus, took their revenge by killing Polyphontes.


A Greek island in the Mediterranean Sea southeast of mainland Greece; referred to as Crete of the hundred cities in The Iliad (book 2, line 649); 8,380 square miles (21,704 square kilometers) in size.

The location of the island made it the ideal for trading with the Greek mainland, Asia Minor, the Middle East and Africa; the Minoan civilization began on Crete prior to 3000 BCE and left its influence on the Greeks with settlements at Mykenae (Mycenae), Boeotia and Asia Minor; the Minoans had a highly developed culture with included art, architecture and metallurgy which they exported throughout the Mediterranean area; the fall of the Minoan civilization has been dated to circa 1100 BCE and has been attributed to a variety of destructive influences ranging from foreign invasions to the volcanic eruption of the island of Thera.


The son of Aiolos (Aeolus) and father of Aeson; he and his wife, Tyro, were the grandparents of Iason (Jason).


A short, loose garment worn at sacred ceremonies; also spelled Kreticon.

Kreusa (1)

The wife of the Trojan hero, Aineias (Aeneas), and mother of Iulus.

Kreusa (2)

The mother of Ion with Apollon as the father.

After Ion was born, Kreusa put the infant in a cave to abandon him; he was saved by Hermes and delivered to the temple of Apollon at Delphi where he remained until Kreusa and her husband, Xuthus, found him through the intervention of the temple priestesses.

Kreusa and Xuthus were childless and the oracle told them to adopt the first child they encountered after leaving the temple; when they met Ion, Kreusa thought that he was the illegitimate son of Xuthus by another woman and she plotted to kill Ion but the priestess of Apollon showed her the swaddling clothing in which the infant was wrapped when he had been presented at the temple; Kreusa accepted the fact that Ion was her abandoned child and she and Xuthus took the child to the city of Athens where, according to the goddess Athene (Athena), a prophecy had been fulfilled and that Ion would become the founder of the Ionian race.


A clay vessel used for the baking of bread; the shape (wide at the bottom and more narrow at the top) allowed hot coals to placed around it for even heating of the contents.


One of the Titans, i.e. one of the children of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (the Heavens); as the consort of another Titan, Eurybia, he was the father of Pallas.


A city west of the city of Delphi in the district of Phokis (Phocis).

Approximate east longitude 22.50 and north latitude 38.46.


One of the Thirty Tyrants elected to rule the city of Athens after the end of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE).

Having lost the war to the Spartans, the citizens of Athens elected thirty men to lead the new post-war government; these men became known as the Thirty Tyrants; the short lived government they comprised was an oligarchy.

The tyrants immediately began to prosecute Athenians who had been Spartan informers and collaborators during the long, hard war; the punishment of the guilty seemed appropriate to the common citizens and aristocrats alike but it soon became clear that the executions and banishments were going beyond the bounds of necessity or prudence; open hostilities soon developed between members of the Thirty and their authority and rule came to an end after one year.

Kritias and Theramenes became the two most dominant tyrants and they clashed openly over matters of public policy; Kritias clearly had the support of the other tyrants and Theramenes stood alone in his call for restraint in the punishment of citizens and aristocrats who were accused of collaborating with the Spartans during the Peloponnesian War; the conflict between Theramenes and the other tyrants was a deciding issue in the collapse of the oligarchy.


A saffron colored robe worn by Dionysus and his followers.


The king of Lydia from 560-546 BCE, i.e. fourteen years; he was the son of Alyattes and the father of Atys.

Kroesus was a barbarian, i.e. a Persian, but his kingdom controlled many areas which were occupied by Greek colonists along the Ionian coast of Asia Minor; the reign and fall of Kroesus was well documented in the Histories by Herodotus; his capital city of Sardis was situated well inside Asia Minor and the land west of Sardis was already strongly held Greek territory protected by alliances with Athens, Sparta and other militarily strong Greek cities.

Kroesus was a respected and feared leader whose reputation allowed him to influence friends and enemies alike; when the tyrant of the Khersonese (Chersonese) fell victim to his own aggression, Kroesus stepped in to save him from certain death; the tyrant of the Khersonese, Miltiades, was attacked and captured by the Lampsakenes; Kroesus sent a message to the Lampsakenes saying that he would destroy them “even like a pine tree,” i.e. once a pine tree is cut down it will no longer put out shoots and therefore utterly die; the Lampsakenes took the message to heart and released Miltiades.

Kroesus turned his aggressive attention towards the east and the Persian Empire; when he consulted the oracle at Delphi he was told that a great empire would fall if he attacked the Persians; although his army was smaller than the Persian forces, Kroesus crossed into Persian territory and engaged the army of the Persian king, Kyrus (Cyrus); the initial battle was indecisive and Kroesus retreated back to Sardis assuming that Kyrus would also retreat and wait for Spring to renew the war; he disbanded the mercenary aspect of his army and asked his allies in Sparta, Egypt and Babylonia to join him five months hence and resume the war; Kyrus did not wait for the Spring but instead marched to Sardis and defeated the diminished Lydian army.

Kroesus was taken prisoner and was due to be executed when a strange event saved his life; as he was being burned at the stake, Kroesus remembered the words of the sage, Solon; Solon had once told Kroesus that no man can be judged as happy until after his death because sadness and misfortune can befall any man up until that final moment; Kroesus uttered the words of Solon and when Kyrus overheard him, he was intrigued and ordered his men to put out the fire that was about to consume Kroesus; the soldiers batted at the flames but they would not be stilled; when Kroesus realized that Kyrus was trying to save him but the fire could not be extinguished, he prayed aloud to Apollon to save him; out of a clear sky, rain clouds appeared and a sudden downpour doused the flames.

Kyrus was duly impressed by the intervention of Apollon and bade Kroesus to sit with him and say whatever he wished; Kroesus looked at his besieged city and asked Kyrus what the Persian army was doing; Kyrus said simply that they were plundering his (Kroesus’) city; Kroesus said that the city was no longer his and the army was plundering the property that rightly belonged to the Persian king; he then suggested that Kyrus should place guards at each city gate and confiscate a tenth of the plunder on the pretext that the confiscated property was a tribute to Zeus; this would make Kyrus appear pious and deprive his army of acquiring too much wealth.

Kyrus was pleased with Kroesus’ advice and told him that he could have anything he wished; instead of asking for his freedom or his kingdom, Kroesus asked that he might send an envoy to Delphi and demand to know why Apollon had treated him so badly and given him such an ambiguous prophecy; an envoy was dispatched and, when confronted, the pythia said that Kroesus was not ill-used by Apollon but that his demise had been the culmination of a family curse that began five generations before when his ancestor, Gyges, had killed Kandaules (Candaules) and assumed the throne of Lydia; Kroesus accepted his fate and resigned himself to be the slave of the Persian king until he died.

After the death of Kyrus, Kroesus was forced into service as the advisor of Kyrus’ son, Kambyses (Cambyses); Kambyses was a tyrant of the worst sort; Kroesus tried to serve him well but when none of the Persians would stand up to Kambyses, Kroesus told him that he was acting unwisely; Kambyses ordered that Kroesus be killed but the Persians knew that Kambyses would probably change his mind and so allowed Kroesus to escape.


The ancient Greek name of the planet we call Saturn.

Kleomenes II to Kronikos

K to Keres Kerigo to Kleomenes I Kleomenes II to Kronikos Kronos to Kyzikos 2


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