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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Lyd´ia, a province in the west of Asia Minor, supposed to have derived its name from Lud, the fourth son of Shem (; see Nations, Dispersion of). It was bounded on the east by Greater Phrygia, on the north by Aeolis or Mysia, on the west by Ionia and the Aegean Sea, and on the south it was separated from Caria by the Maeander. The country is for the most part level. Among the mountains, that of Tmolus was celebrated for its saffron and red wine. In the palmy days of Lydia its kings ruled from the shores of the Aegean to the river Halys; and Croesus, who was its king in the time of Solon and of Cyrus, was reputed the richest monarch in the world. He was able to bring into the field an army of 420,000 foot and 60,000 horse against Cyrus, by whom, however, he was defeated, and his kingdom annexed to the Persian Empire (Herod. i. 6). Lydia afterwards formed part of the kingdom of the Seleucidae; and it is related in , that Antiochus the Great was compelled by the Romans to cede Lydia to King Enmenes. In the time of the travels of the Apostles it was a province of the Roman Empire. Its chief towns were Sardis (the capital), Thyatira, and Philadelphia, all of which are mentioned in the New Testament, although the name of the province itself does not occur. The manners of the Lydians were corrupt even to a proverb.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Lydia'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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