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City in western Anatolia (near Izmir, Turkey), associated with Croesus and the Lydians, the capital city of Lydia. The Lydian city, of the 7th-6th centuries BC, had an acropolis and walled lower settlement. From about 560-546 BC, Sardis was ruled by Croesus, who was renowned for his great wealth and was the last king of Lydia. Taken by the Persians (c 546 BC), Sardis fell in turn to the Athenians, the Seleucids, and the Attalids until bequeathed to the Romans in 133 BC. Among the ruins are the Palace of Croesus, Temple of Artemis, gold works, and grave mounds of the royal cemetery. It was first occupied in the Early Bronze Age and became the first city where gold and silver coins were minted. Leveled by an earthquake in 17 AD, the city was rebuilt and remained one of the great cities of Anatolia until the later Byzantine period. The Mongol Timur (Tamerlane) then destroyed it in 1402. Its ruins include the ancient Lydian citadel and about 1,000 Lydian graves. Excavations of Sardis have uncovered more remains of the Hellenistic and Byzantine city than of the Lydian town described by the Greek historian Herodotus.