Turkey Cultural Tour   
Acropolis Of Pergamum_Western Turkey
Acropolis Of Pergamum_Western Turkey
Acropolis Of Pergamum_Western Turkey
Acropolis Of Pergamum_Western Turkey
Acropolis Of Pergamum_Western Turkey
Acropolis Of Pergamum_Western Turkey
Acropolis Of Pergamum_Western Turkey
 One of the seven churches addressed in Revelation, the city of Pergamum became the center of a large kingdom in the 3rd century BC and retained its status as a political and cultural leader into the Byzantine period.
The acropolis rises 1300 feet above the lower city located on the plain of the Caicus River.
The god of healing, Asclepius received worship in cultic centers around the Greek and Roman world. This large complex at Pergamum was originally constructed in the 4th century B.C. and became an official center in the the 3rd century.
In the 2nd century AD, Hadrian further developed the center and it was added to the list of "wonders of the world."Pergamum Temple to Serapis, Serapeu. A temple to the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld was erected in the lower city of Pergamum. The Serapis cult was founded by Ptolemy I and was centered in Alexandria.Held to be a god of healing, particularly of blindness, Serapis was one of a number of Egyptian deities worshiped in ancient Greece and Rome.
Temple of Trajan Some impressive remains of this 2nd century AD marble temple dedicated to the emperor have been restored. It sits next to the library which housed 200,000 volumes and was the second largest in the ancient world after Alexandria. Parchment was invented in Pergamum after relations with Egypt soured and papyrus became difficult to obtain.
Pergamum Trajan Temple with facade
This theater is one of the steepest ones preserved in Turkey today. It sits on the edge of the city's acropolis. It was built in the Hellenistic period and altered in the Roman period. Seating capacity of this theater is estimated at 10,000 people.
White Stone
This white stone at Pergamum with names inscribed reminds of Jesus' words: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write...He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it" (Rev 2:12, 17).
Pergamum inscription on white stone
The people of Pergamum were known as the "Temple-keepers of Asia." The city had three temples dedicated to the worship of the Roman emperor, another for the goddess Athena, and the Great Altar of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. Many scholars believe this altar is the “Throne of Satan” mentioned in the book of Revelation.
“That word ‘throne’ was used in a personal private residence, and it was a chair for the lord of the house, the master of the house,” says Renner. “The very fact that Jesus would use this word means that Satan felt at home there. He sat on a throne there. It was his territory. He was the master of that house.”
The city also had a healing center called the Asklepion, built in honor of Asklepios, the Greek serpent-god. In the first century, this was a cross between a hospital and a health spa, where patients could get everything from a mud bath to a major surgery. Even the emperors came all the way from Rome to be treated here, but this was no ordinary doctor's visit.
“If you were a terminal patient, you were not allowed to go into the Asklepion,” says Renner. “These Asklepion priests didn’t want anyone hearing that someone had died in the Asklepion. There was a huge sign just above the official entrance to the Asklepion that said, ‘Death is not permitted here.’ So the only way you were going to get in to begin with is if they knew you were going to live.”
Patients entered through an underground tunnel. Then they drank a sedative, and spent the night in the dormitories of the Asklepion, while non-poisonous snakes crawled around them all night. They were told that the serpent-god Asklepios would speak to them in their dreams and give them a diagnosis.
“It was believed that the snakes carried the healing power of Asklepios,” and if a snake slithered across you while you were sleeping at night, that was a divine sign that healing power was coming to you.”
The next morning, the patients told their "dreams" to the priests, who prescribed their treatments. Finally, the patients made clay sculptures of the body parts that needed healing and offered them to Asklepios.
The people of Pergamum worshipped a myriad of Greek and Roman gods, but when Christianity arrived with the belief in just one god, the city's pagan priests went on the attack and their most famous victim was a man named Antipas.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus called Antipas "my faithful martyr." He was the bishop of Pergamum, ordained by the Apostle John, and his faith got the attention of the priests of Asklepios.
“He had cast out so many devils that the demons had been complaining to pagans, saying, ‘You’ve got to do something about this Antipas’,” says Renner.
The pagan priests went to the Roman governor and complained that the prayers of Antipas were driving their spirits out of the city and hindering the worship of their gods. As punishment, the governor ordered Antipas to offer a sacrifice of wine and incense to a statue of the Roman emperor and declare that the emperor was "lord and god."
Antipas refused.
“If you reject the divinity of the emperor, then that is the equivalent of rejecting the city of Rome,” says Renner, “and believers were killed for this.”
Antipas was sentenced to death on the Altar of Zeus. Most of that altar still survives today, and surrounding it are some of the world's most famous marble friezes. They depict the Gigantomachy, or the battle between the Greek gods and the giants. At the top of the altar was a hollow bronze bull, designed for human sacrifice.
Renner describes the method of execution suffered by Antipas.
“They would take the victim, place him inside the bull, and they would tie him in such a way that his head would go into the head of the bull. Then they would light a huge fire under the bull, and as the fire heated the bronze, the person inside of the bull would slowly begin to roast to death. As the victim would begin to moan and to cry out in pain, his cries would echo through the pipes in the head of the bull so it seemed to make the bull come alive.”
Even in the midst of the flames, the elderly bishop Antipas died praying for his church. The year was AD 92.
A few years later, the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation, mentioning the death of Antipas in Pergamum. Today, all that's left there is the foundation; the Altar of Zeus is more than a thousand miles away. In the 19th century, German engineers dismantled the altar and took it to Berlin. The so-called "Throne of Satan" went on display in the city's Pergamon Museum in 1930, just in time to inspire one of the most brutal dictators the world has ever seen.
 
 
Turkey Cultural Tour
Zincirlidere Cd.Sisli-Istanbul/Turkey
• Tel: +90 532 3163653 • Tel: +90 212 2893252 • Fax: +90 212 2893252
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Turkey Cultural Tour
Zincirlidere Cd.Sisli-Istanbul/Turkey
• Tel: +90 532 3163653 • Tel: +90 212 2893252 • Fax: +90 212 2893252
• tours@turkeyculturaltour.com, • http://www.turkeyculturaltour.com