Can knowledge of astronomy stop the war?

6th century BC, Anatolia (present-day Turkey). The Medes and the Lydians have been fighting for 6 long years.

One man wants to stop the war. But nobody pays attention to him.

Then he goes to the king of the Medes and says: ‘If you don’t stop killing the Lydians, I will make the Sun black’.

‘Guards!’ the king shouts. ‘Throw this madman away!’

‘Who are you, a man trying to attack the Sun?’ the king of the Lydians asks laughing.

‘I am Thales of Miletus,’ he answered. ‘And I will take the Sun away from you, if you don’t stop killing the Medes.’

‘Guards!’ In this the two kings fully agree with each other.

On May 28, 585 BC both armies met near the Halys river, and the battle started. Out of a sudden a black shadow started to swallow the Sun. Terrified people stopped fighting.

Both kings of the Medes and the Lydians rushed to the humble innocent-faced Thales sitting on a rock near the river.

Then I want to say that they both were groveling at his feet begging for mercy. And he took his robes away from their lips and said something like:

‘Live in the dark now, you stupid boys!’

But ancient Greek historian Herodotus, just claims officially that the battle was interrupted by “day turning into night”. After that peace was negotiated and the six years war ended.

Did you like the story about the Battle of the Eclipse? Share your thoughts in the comments please! 

Stay strong!

Love astronomy!

Use science for the good!

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