TURKEY Between Two Worlds

 

 

PERGAMUM

 

 

View of modern Bergama

 

Pergamon is also known as Bergama (road signs) and old Pergamum. Roman marble stones wound up in lime kilns or were moved to museums, so what remains is a genuine Hellenistic acropolis of buildings before the Romans came, with one major exception.
Homer and Herodotus studied and wrote here, and the library was the 2nd largest in the world, next to Alexandria's, with over 200,000 books. When Egypt refused to export more papyrus to old Pergamum, people here invented parchment (Latin "Pergamem"="From Pergamum"), using calfskin.
The last King willed the land and library to Rome, and Marc Anthony gave the library's treasures to Cleopatra for the Library of Alexandria, after Julius Caesar inadvertently burned down the latter. The library at Pergamon is now just a small pile of stones. But the Temple of Trajan and the very steep large theater are striking sights.
The famous Head of Alexander the Great was excavated from this site.
 

View of the Acropolis from modern Bergama

 

One of the seven churches addressed in Revelation, the city of Pergamum became the center of a large kingdom in the 3rd century B.C. 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.


Most of the buildings and monuments in Pergamum date to the time of Eumenes II (197-159 BC), including the famed library, the terrace of the spectacularly sited hillside theater, the main palace, the Altar of Zeus, and the propylaeum of the Temple of Athena. In the early Christian era, Pergamum's church was a major center of Christianity and was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 2:12-17).
 

Gallery at lower part of temple


The ancient city is composed of three main parts: the Acropolis, whose main function was social and cultural as much as it was sacred; the Lower City, realm of the lower classes; and the Asklepion, one of the earliest medical centers on record.

 

Temple of Trajan

Trajanus was a Roman Emperor that was turned into a god, and therefore merited a temple. This may be the most striking part of the Acropolis ruins.

 

Some impressive remains of this 2nd c. A.D. 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.


The altar of Zeus

Built in the Hellenistic Age, the Altar has been reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany, where most of the intact pieces went in the 1800s.

 

View of gymnasium

 

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.

 

Aqueduct built in Roman era

 


Aesclepium
The god of healing, Aesclepius 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 c.
In the 2nd c. A.D., Hadrian further developed the center and it was added to the list of "wonders of the world."



Serapeum
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.



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).

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

GOD IS THE LORD WHO DOES MIRACLES

 

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