Ancient City of Thyateira (Thyatira)

Ancient City of Thyateira (Thyatira) (HM293C)

Location: , Manisa 45200 Akhisar
Country: Turkey
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N 38° 55.215', E 27° 50.154'

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English Text:

The remains of the ancient city of Thyateira, which is located within the borders of the county town of Akhisar, have been uncovered mostly in two areas named as the "Tepe Mezarligi" (Hill Cemetery) and the "Hastane (Hospital) Mound". The excavations being carried out in the Hastane (Hospital) Mound have proven Akhisar to be a settlement inhabited since the Prehistoric ages.

The oldest written data about the ancient city belong to the 3rd century B.C. The first settlement has been determined to be a colony of Macedonians. The expression "The officers and soldiers in Thyateira presented offerings to Seleukos (Nikator)" in the inscription dated to 281 B.C. provides a significant evidence for the presence of Macedonian military colony in the city.

The ancient city of Thyateira is referred to as Pelopia, Semiramis and Euhippa in various texts. The names Thyateira, Semiramis ve Pelopia were mentioned together in an inscription reported to have been uncovered near Akhisar.

Stephanos Byzantios notes that Thyateira as a Lydian city used to be called Pelopia and Semiramis and that the city derived its name from the word Thygater meaning "daughter" and the name was given by the Syrian King Seleukos III who received the news of the birth of his daughter during a war.

Some researchers,

on the other hand, assert that the word "teira" in Thyateira means "fortress" or "Town" in the Lydian language, suggesting that Thyateira had been an important settlement since the Lydian period. The history of the city may therefore be dated back to the period of the Lydian kingdom.

The city is referred to as "Thyatireni" by Plinius, while Strabon uses the following expression: "Thyateira is a katoikia of Macedonians, located on the left of the Sardeis road."

The city and its surrounding fell under the domination of the Pergamon kingdom after 190 B.C. It is in this period that the city was entitled to coin money on its behalf. The earliest known coin of the city belongs to the 2nd century B.C. After the death of the last Pergamon king Attalos III in 133 B.C., his kingdom was taken over by the Roman Empire upon the king's will. Thus, Thyateira and its surrounding, like the greater part of Anatolia, was annexed to the territory of the Roman Empire. However, Aristonikos, who claimed to be son of Eumenes II, renounced this decision and rebelled, and unrest began to prevail in especially the northern parts of Eastern Anatolia, in which Thyateira was located. Thyateira was naturally affected by the events that took place mostly between the northern Lydia and southern Mysia, and the city faced invasions for some time.

Thyateira suffered great damage as a consequence

of the massive earthquakes in 25/24 B.C., 17 A.D. and 178/179 A.D., and was rebuilt with the help of the Emperors Tiberius and Hadrianus. Many constructions or repairs seen in the city belong to this period. During the reign of Caracalla, the city became the center of a "conventus" which also included towns of northern Lydia, such as Attaleia, Apollonis, Hermokapeleia and Hierokome.

Especially in the period of the Roman Empire, Thyateira not only stood out with its agricultural potential, but became a prominent industrial center of agriculture. The most important industry in the city was textile. Besides wool production, wool and fabric painting, and linen production as part of the textile industry; leather manufacturing, shoe making and pottery also progressed. In the 3rd century A.D. there were also craftman's associations founded by those who worked in these lines of work. Coppersmith gained an important place in the mining industry.

The city also raised many renowned figures (lawyers, rehetoricians, physicians). Besides these reputable personas, there were many gladiators affiliated with a gladiator school, the location of which has not been detected yet.

Thyateira, as one of the most important economic centers of northern Aegean region, had one of the seven Christian communities in Western Anatolia in Early Christianity, together with other six cities

located on the main routes. Thyateira is mentioned in two separate sections in the Bible. The most problematic matter about Thyateira today is its condition during the Middle Byzantine Period. The fate of the city is unclear especially due to the Arabian-Muslim threats in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. It is most likely that the city was conquered by the Turks in 11th century A.D., albeit for a short period. The city, which changed hands between the Byzantines and the Turks in this century and the following centuries, probably witnessed the march of the Crusader army at the command of the German Emperor F. Barbarossa in 1190. It is possible to state that the permanent Turkish dominance in Akhisar was established in the 14th century A.D.
HM NumberHM293C
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, July 5th, 2018 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)26S E 427536 N 4308258
Decimal Degrees38.92025000, 27.83590000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 55.215', E 27° 50.154'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 55' 12.9000" N, 27° 50' 9.2400" E
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 37 16. Sk., Manisa 45200, TR
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