Solar Eclipse Prediction of 585 BC


On May 28, 585 BC, a solar eclipse occurred, which was accurately predicted by the Greek philosopher and scientist Thales of Miletus. The prediction was recorded in The Histories by Herodotus. This solar event took place during the Battle of Halys while Alyattes, king of Lydia was engaged in war with Cyaxares, King of Media. The eclipse precipitated a truce between the two armies. According to Herodotus, the appearance of the eclipse was interpreted as an omen, and interrupted a battle in a long-standing war between the Medes and the Lydians. Because astronomers can calculate the dates of historical eclipses, this battle has been described as being the earliest historical event whose date is known with precision down to the exact day.