From antiquity, the king of the Mediterranean nation of Lydia. See Croesus. According to legend and somewhat supported by archaeology, he started the practice of trading bright, shiny objects with his face stamped on them for goods. These coins allowed wealth to be much more concentrated and easily transported than under the then-current barter system. With this advantage, the merchants of Lydia were able easily and efficiently trade with all other nations in the Mediterranean, making the King of Lydia richer than God. Because of this, Croesus was synonymous with excessive wealth, even into Shakespeare's day.