Deliberating whether to attack the Persians, Croesus asked the oracle of Delphi if the undertaking would prosper. The oracle replied that if he went to war, he would destroy a great empire. Encouraged, Croesus invaded the Persian realms. He was decisively beaten and the Persians then invaded Lydia, captured its capital, and threw Croesus himself into chains. Croesus again sent an envoy to Delphi, this time with the question, “Why did you deceive me?”
The priestess of the oracle replied that she had not deceived him — Croesus had indeed destroyed a great empire.