Sardis: Wikis

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Sardis(Σάρδεις)
Ancient Lydian City in Turkey
(Sart)
The Gymnasium of Sardis
Sardis is located in Turkey
Sardis
Sardis

Sardis, also Sardes (Lydian: Sfard, Greek: Σάρδεις, Persian: Sparda), modern Sart in the Manisa province of Turkey, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by the author of the Book of Revelation in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Its importance was due, first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus.

Contents

Geography

Map of Sardis and Other Cities within the Lydian Empire

Sardis was situated in the middle of Hermus valley, at the foot of Mount Tmolus, a steep and lofty spur which formed the citadel. It was about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of the Hermus. Today, the site is located by the present day village of Sart, near Salihli in the Manisa province of Turkey, close to the Ankara - İzmir highway (approximately 72 kilometres (45 mi) from İzmir). The part of remains including the bath-gymnasium complex, synagogue and Byzantine shops is open to visitors year-round.

History

Remains of the Byzantine shops in Sardis

The earliest reference to Sardis is in the The Persians of Aeschylus (472 BC); in the Iliad the name Hyde seems to be given to the city of the Maeonian (i.e. Lydian) chiefs, and in later times Hyde was said to be the older name of Sardis, or the name of its citadel. It is, however, more probable that Sardis was not the original capital of the Maeonians, but that it became so amid the changes which produced the powerful Lydian empire of the 8th century BC.

The city was captured by the Cimmerians in the 7th century, by the Persians and by the Athenians in the 6th, and by Antiochus III the Great at the end of the 3rd century. In the Persian era Sardis was conquered by Cyrus the Great and formed the end station for the Persian Royal Road which began in Persepolis, capital of Persia. During the Ionian Revolt, the Athenians burnt down the city. Sardis remained under Persian domination until it surrendered to Alexander the Great in 334 B.C..

Once at least, under the emperor Tiberius, in 17 AD, it was destroyed by an earthquake; but it was always rebuilt. It was one of the great cities of western Asia Minor until the later Byzantine period.

The early Lydian kingdom was far advanced in the industrial arts and Sardis was the chief seat of its manufactures. The most important of these trades was the manufacture and dyeing of delicate woolen stuffs and carpets. The stream Pactolus which flowed through the market-place "carried golden sands" in early antiquity, in reality gold dust out of Mt. Tmolus; later, trade and the organization of commerce continued to be sources of great wealth. After Constantinople became the capital of the East, a new road system grew up connecting the provinces with the capital. Sardis then lay rather apart from the great lines of communication and lost some of its importance. It still, however, retained its titular supremacy and continued to be the seat of the metropolitan bishop of the province of Lydia, formed in 295 AD. It is enumerated as third, after Ephesus and Smyrna, in the list of cities of the Thracesion thema given by Constantine Porphyrogenitus in the 10th century; but over the next four centuries it is in the shadow of the provinces of Magnesia-upon-Sipylum and Philadelphia, which retained their importance in the region.

After 1071 the Hermus valley began to suffer from the inroads of the Seljuk Turks but the successes of the general Philokales in 1118 relieved the district and the ability of the Comneni dynasty together with the gradual decay of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum retained it under Byzantine dominion. When Constantinople was taken by the Venetians and Franks in 1204 Sardis came under the rule of the Byzantine Empire of Nicea. However once the Byzantines retook Constantinople in 1261, Sardis with the entire Asia Minor was neglected and the region eventually fell under the control of Ghazi (Ghazw) emirs, the Cayster valleys and a fort on the citadel of Sardis was handed over to them by treaty in 1306. The city continued its decline until its capture (and probable destruction) by the Mongol warlord Timur in 1402.

Archaeological expeditions

By the nineteenth century, Sardis was in ruins, showing construction chiefly of the Roman period. The first large scale archaeological expedition in Sardis was directed by a Princeton University team between years 1910 - 1914, unearthing the Temple of Artemis, and more than a thousand Lydian tombs. The excavation campaign was halted by World War I, followed by the Turkish War of Independence. Some surviving artifacts from the Butler excavation were added to the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The excavation is currently under the directorship of Nick Cahill, professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 4The laws governing archaeological expeditions in Turkey ensure that all archaeological artifacts remain in Turkey. Some of the important finds from the site of Sardis are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Manisa, including Late Roman mosaics and sculpture, a helmet from the mid-6th century BC, and pottery from various periods.

Sardis synagogue

A recent view of the Sardis Synagogue

Since 1958, both Harvard and Cornell Universities have sponsored annual archeological expeditions to Sardis. These excavations unearthed perhaps the most impressive synagogue in the western diaspora yet discovered from antiquity, yielding over eighty Greek and seven Hebrew inscriptions as well as numerous mosaic floors. (For evidence in the east, see Dura Europos in Syria.) The discovery of the Sardis synagogue has reversed previous assumptions about Judaism in the later Roman empire. Along with the discovery of the godfearers/theosebeis inscription from the Aphrodisias, it provides indisputable evidence for the continued vitality of Jewish communities in Asia Minor, their integration into general Roman imperial civic life, and their size and importance at a time when many scholars previously assumed that Christianity had eclipsed Judaism.

The synagogue was a section of a large bath-gymnasium complex, that was in use for about 450 – 500 years. In the beginning, middle of the second century AD, the rooms the synagogue is situated in were used as changing rooms or resting rooms. The complex was destroyed in 616 AD by the Sassanian-Persians.

See also

External links

Bibliography

  • Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman Times: Results of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis 1958-1975, George M. A. Hanfmann et al., ISBN 0-674-78925-3, Harvard University Press

Coordinates: 38°29′18″N 28°02′25″E / 38.48833°N 28.04028°E / 38.48833; 28.04028

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SARDIS, more correctly Sardes (al Xap& ts), the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, the seat of a conventus under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times, was situated in the middle Hermus valley, at the foot of Mt. Tmolus, a steep and lofty spur of which formed the citadel. It was about 22 m. S. of the Hermus. The earliest reference to Sardis is in the Persae of Aeschylus (472 B.C.); in the Iliad the name Hyde seems to be given to the city of the Maeonian (i.e. Lydian) chiefs, and in later times Hyde was said to be the older name of Sardis, or the name of its citadel. It is, however, more probable that Sardis was not the original capital of the Maeonians, but that it became so amid the changes which produced the powerful Lydian empire of the 8th century B.C. The city was captured by the Cimmerians in the 7th century, by the Persians and by the Athenians in the 6th, and by Antiochus the Great at the end of the 3rd century. Once at least, under the emperor Tiberius, in A.D. 17, it was destroyed by an earthquake; but it was always rebuilt, and was one of the great cities of western Asia Minor till the later Byzantine time. As one of the Seven Churches of Asia, it was addressed by the author of the Apocalypse in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Its importance was due, first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus.

The early Lydian kingdom was far advanced in the industrial arts (see Lydia), and Sardis was the chief seat of its manufactures. The most important of these trades was the manufacture and dyeing of delicate woollen stuffs and carpets. The statement that the little stream Pactolus which flowed through the market-place rolled over golden sands is probably little more than a metaphor, due to the wealth of the city to which the Greeks of the 6th century B.C. resorted for supplies of gold; but trade and the organization of commerce were the real sources of this wealth. After Constantinople became the capital of the East a new road system grew up connecting the provinces with the capital. Sardis then lay rather apart from the great lines of communication and lost some of its importance. It still, however, retained its titular supremacy and continued to be the seat of the metropolitan bishop of the province of Lydia, formed in A.D. 295. It is enumerated as third, after Ephesus and Smyrna, in the list of cities of the Thracesian thema given by Constantine Porphyrogenitus in the 10th century; but in the actual history of the next four centuries it plays a part very inferior to Magnesia ad Sipylum and Philadelphia (see ALA-Shehe), which have retained their pre-eminence in the district. The Hermus valley began to suffer from the inroads of the Seljuk Turks about the end of the 11th century; but the successes of the Greek general Philocales in 1118 relieved the district for the time, and the ability of the Comneni, together with the gradual decay of the Seljuk power, retained it in the Byzantine dominions. The country round Sardis was frequently ravaged both by Christians and by Turks during the 13th century. Soon after 1301 the Seljuk amirs overran the whole of the Hermus and Cayster valleys, and a fort on the citadel of Sardis was handed over to Aragonese period. Modern history.' them by treaty in 1306. Finally in 1390 Philadelphia, which had for some time been an independent Christian city, surrendered to Sultan Bayezid's mixed army of Ottoman Turks and Byzantine Christians, and the Seljuk power in the Hermus valley was merged in the Ottoman empire. The latest reference to the city of Sardis relates its capture (and probable destruction) by Timur in 1402. Its site is now absolutely deserted, except that a tiny village, Sart, merely a few huts inhabited by seminomadic Yuruks, exists beside the Pactolus, and that there is a station of the Smyrna & Cassaba railway 1 m. north of the principal ruins.

The ruins of Sardis, so far as they are now visible, are, chiefly of the Roman time; but though few ancient sites offered better hope of results, the necessity for heavy initial expenditure was a deterrent (e.g. to H. Schliemann). On the banks of the Pactolus two columns of a temple of the Greek period, probably the great temple of Cybele, are still standing. More than one attempt to excavate this temple, the last by G. Dennis in 1882, has been made and prematurely brought to an end by lack of funds. In 1904 a few trial pits were sunk by M. Mendel for the Constantinople Museum, and the site was ultimately conceded to an American syndicate, for whom H. C. Butler of Princeton University undertook the task of excavation. The necropolis of the old Lydian city, a vast series of mounds, some of enormous size, lies on the north side of the Hermus, 4 or 5 m. from Sardis, a little south of the sacred Gygaean Lake, Coloe; here the Maeonian chiefs, sons, according to Homer, of the lake, were brought to sleep beside their mother. The series of mounds is now called Bin Tepe (Thousand Mounds). Several of them have been opened by modern excavators, but in every case it was found that treasure-seekers of an earlier time had removed any articles of value which had been deposited in the sepulchral chambers.

See K. Buresch, Aus Lydien (1898); G. Radet, La Lydie (1893) Kybebe (1908); W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Several Churches (1904), and article in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible (1902). (D. G. H.)


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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


the metropolis of Lydia in Asia Minor. It stood on the river Pactolus, at the foot of mount Tmolus. Here was one of the seven Asiatic churches (Rev 3:1-6). It is now a ruin called Sert-Kalessi.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

This article needs to be merged with SARDIS (Jewish Encyclopedia).

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