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King of Lydia
Reign637-c. 635 BC
Diedc. 635 BC (?)
DynastyMermnad dynasty

Sadyattes (Ancient Greek: Σαδυαττης, romanizedSaduattēs; Latin: Sadyattēs; reigned 637–c. 635 BC) was the third king of the Mermnad dynasty in Lydia, the son of Ardys and the grandson of Gyges of Lydia. Sadyattes reigned 12 years according to Herodotus.



Sadyattes came to power during period of severe crisis that Lydia was facing because of several waves of invasions by the Cimmerians,[1] a nomadic people from the Eurasian Steppe who had invaded the Western Asia. The Cimmerians attacked Lydia several times but had been repelled by Sadyattes's grandfather, Gyges, but in 644 BC, the Cimmerians attacked Lydia for the third time, led by their king Lygdamis. The Lydians were defeated, Sardis was sacked, and Gyges was killed, following which he was succeeded by his son, Ardys, who was the father of Sadyattes.[2]

In 637 BC, that is in Ardys's seventh regnal year, the Thracian Treres tribe who had migrated across the Thracian Bosporus and invaded Anatolia,[3] under their king Kobos, and in alliance with the Cimmerians and the Lycians, attacked Lydia.[2] They defeated the Lydians again and for a second time sacked the Lydian capital of Sardis, except for its citadel. It is probable that Ardys was killed during this Cimmerian attack, or that he was deposed for being unable to protect Lydia from the Cimmerian attacks.[1][4]


Sadyattes's reign was even more short-lived than that of his father Ardys:[1] although Herodotus claimed that Ardys had reigned for twelve years, modern estimates give him a much shorter reign of only two years.[1] Little is known about the reign of Sadyattes except that he began a war with the Ionian Greek maritime city of Miletus.[5]

End of reign[edit]

Sadyattes's reign ended in 635 BC. It is possible that, like his grandfather Gyges, he died fighting the Cimmerians. Alternatively, Sadyattes might have been deposed for failing to protect Lydia from the Cimmerian attacks.[1] He was succeeded by his son Alyattes, who continued the war against Miletus and would transform Lydia into a powerful empire.[5]


Soon after 635 BC, with Assyrian approval[6] and in alliance with the Lydians,[7] the Scythians under their king Madyes entered Anatolia, expelled the Treres from Asia Minor, and defeated the Cimmerians so that they no longer constituted a threat again, following which the Scythians extended their domination to Central Anatolia[8] until they were themselves expelled by the Medes from Western Asia in the 600s BC.[2] This final defeat of the Cimmerians was carried out by the joint forces of Madyes, whom Strabo credits with expelling the Treres and Cimmerians from Asia Minor, and of Sadyattes's son, the king Alyattes of Lydia, whom Herodotus and Polyaenus claim finally defeated the Cimmerians.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e Dale, Alexander (2015). "WALWET and KUKALIM: Lydian coin legends, dynastic succession, and the chronology of Mermnad kings". Kadmos. 54: 151–166. doi:10.1515/kadmos-2015-0008. S2CID 165043567. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Spalinger, Anthony J. (1978). "The Date of the Death of Gyges and Its Historical Implications". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 98 (4): 400–409. doi:10.2307/599752. JSTOR 599752. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  3. ^ Diakonoff 1985, p. 94-55.
  4. ^ Kristensen, Anne Katrine Gade (1988). Who were the Cimmerians, and where did they come from?: Sargon II, and the Cimmerians, and Rusa I. Copenhagen, Denmark: The Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters.
  5. ^ a b Herodotus 1975, p. 46
  6. ^ Grousset, René (1970). The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press. pp. 9. ISBN 0-8135-1304-9. A Scythian army, acting in conformity with Assyrian policy, entered Pontis to crush the last of the Cimmerians
  7. ^ Diakonoff 1985, p. 126.
  8. ^ Phillips, E. D. (1972). "The Scythian Domination in Western Asia: Its Record in History, Scripture and Archaeology". World Archaeology. 4 (2): 129–138. doi:10.1080/00438243.1972.9979527. JSTOR 123971. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  9. ^ Ivantchik 1993, p. 95-125.
  10. ^ Ivantchik 2006, p. 151.


Mermnad dynasty
 Died: c. 635 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Lydia
637–c. 635 BC
Succeeded by