Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Portent

By 585 BC, the Lydians of what is now Turkey, and the Medes of what is now Iran, had had enough of each other. After a diplomatic incident involving escaped murderers proved to be the last straw, the two armies faced off on the banks of the river Halys. As fate would have it, just as the two armies were about to erupt into violent combat, a complete solar eclipse occurred; both sides interpreted this as a sign from the gods, and they immediately declared a divinely-ordered cease-fire. A Lydian Princess was married to a Median Prince to seal the treaty, and the river on whose banks they stood became the official border between the two kingdoms. Both armies then packed up and went home.

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