Croesus was the ruler of Lydia (part of modern Turkey) from 560 – 547 BC. He has always been synonymous with great wealth, in part because he is said to have been the first king to mint gold coins. He also profited from trade and various conquests. Herodotus wrote that his riches were such that he told departing guests to take as much gold as they could carry. His life and reign ended when he was defeated by the Persians, led by their king, Cyrus the Great.