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Sadyattes II

Q374756

Sadyattes II: third king of the Mermnad dynasty. His reign lasted from c.625 to c.600.

The third king of Lydia, Sadyattes II, is almost unknown. His grandfather Gyges had benefited from the Cimmerian invasions and the consequent fall of the Phrygian kingdom to create a state of his own, and his father Ardys had kept it together - this was Sadyattes' inheritance. He also inherited a well-defined foreign policy: accept Assyrian power in the east, even pay tribute, and you will have ample opportunity to expand your power to the west.

The Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus writes in the first book of his Histories that Sadyattes ruled Lydia for twelve years. This must be too short; a reign of a quarter of a century -say 625 to 600- is more plausible.

Sadyattes, whose name seems to mean something like 'strong father' (more), was married to his sister Lyde. They had a son Alyattes, who was to succeed his father. As crown prince, he waged war against Miletus, the most important Greek town in the west. This war lasted for six years; then, his father died. As king, Alyattes continued the war, but was forced to accept that it was not possible to take the town.

Sadyattes was, like all kings of the Mermnad dynasty, buried at the royal cemetery of Bin Tepe, on the plain of Sardes.