On this day - May 28th

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thales

Solar eclipse stops war.

In the year 585 BC the Medians and the Lydians were at war.

The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Thales of Milete predicted an eclipse — we don't know the method Thales used to make his prediction. The method may have been used only once, because we have no other records of the Greeks of this era accurately predicting further eclipses. Thales is believed to have studied the Egyptians' techniques of land measurement (geo metry in Greek) later codified by Euclid. One has to wonder whether Thales made the famous eclipse prediction himself, or if he simply borrowed it from the Egyptians.

However he made the prediction, and however precise or vague it may have been, the eclipse occurred. Aylattes, the king of Lydia, was battling Cyaxares, king of the Medes, probably near the River Halys in what is now central Turkey.

On May 28th, 585 BC, the heavens darkened. Soldiers of both kings put down their weapons. The battle was over. And so was the war.

After 15 years of back-and-forth fighting between the Medes and the Lydians, the kings of Cilicia and Babylon intervened and negotiated a treaty. The River Halys, where the Battle of the Eclipse was fought, became the border between the Lydians and the Medes.

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