Sardis

Sardis (/ˈsɑːrdɪs/) or Sardes (/ˈsɑːrdiːz/; Lydian: 𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣 Sfard; Ancient Greek: Σάρδεις Sardeis; Old Persian: Sparda; Biblical Hebrew: ספרדSfarad) was an ancient city at the location of modern Sart (Sartmahmut before 19 October 2005), near the Salihli in Turkey's Manisa Province. Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia,[1] one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a Seleucid Satrap, 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 John, the author of the Book of Revelation in the New Testament,[2] in terms which seem to imply that its church members did not finish what they started, that they were about image and not substance[3]. 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.

Sardis
Σάρδεις ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)
The Bath-Gymnasium complex at Sardis, late 2nd - early 3rd century AD, Sardis, Turkey (17098680002)
The Greek gymnasium of Sardis
Sardis is located in Turkey
Sardis
Shown within Turkey
Alternative nameSardes
LocationSart, Manisa Province, Turkey
RegionLydia
Coordinates38°29′18″N 28°02′25″E / 38.48833°N 28.04028°ECoordinates: 38°29′18″N 28°02′25″E / 38.48833°N 28.04028°E
TypeSettlement
History
AbandonedAround 1402 AD
CulturesGreek, Lydian, Persian, Roman
Site notes
Excavation dates1910–1914, 1922, 1958–present
ArchaeologistsHoward Crosby Butler, G.M.A. Hanfmann, Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr., Nicholas Cahill
ConditionRuined
OwnershipPublic
Public accessYes
WebsiteArchaeological Exploration of Sardis

Geography

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

Map of Lydia ancient times-en
Map of Sardis and other cities within the Lydian Empire
Lydia circa 50 AD - English legend
Sardis in the middle of Lydia, c. 50 AD

Foundation stories

The Greek historian and father of history, Herodotus, notes that the city was founded by the sons of Hercules, the Heraclides. According to Herodotus, the Heraclides ruled for five hundred and five years beginning with Agron, 1220 BC, and ending with Candaules, 716 BC. They were followed by the Mermnades, which began with Gyges, 716 BC, and ended with Croesus, 546 BC.[4] The earliest reference to Sardis is in 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.

Target of conquest

The city was captured by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BC, by the Persians in the 6th, by the Athenians in the 5th, and by Antiochus III the Great at the end of the 3rd century BC.

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. Sardis was the site of the most important Persian satrapy.[5]

During the Ionian Revolt, the Athenians burnt down the city. Sardis remained under Persian domination until it surrendered to Alexander the Great in 334 BC.

Reliable gold coins

The early Lydian kingdom was very 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, which was in reality gold dust out of Mount Tmolus. It was during the reign of King Croesus that the metallurgists of Sardis discovered the secret of separating gold from silver, thereby producing both metals of a purity never known before.[6]

This was an economic revolution, for while gold nuggets panned or mined were used as currency, their purity was always suspect and a hindrance to trade. Such nuggets or coinage were naturally occurring alloys of gold and silver known as electrum and one could never know how much of it was gold and how much was silver. Sardis now could mint nearly pure silver and gold coins, the value of which could be – and was – trusted throughout the known world. This revolution made Sardis rich and Croesus' name synonymous with wealth itself. For this reason, Sardis is famed in history as the place where modern currency was invented.

Desolation in 17 AD earthquake

Disaster came to the great city under the reign of the emperor Tiberius, when in 17 AD, Sardis was destroyed by an earthquake, but it was rebuilt with the help of ten million sesterces from the Emperor and exempted from paying taxes for five years.[7] It was one of the great cities of western Asia Minor until the later Byzantine period.

SardisByzantineShops1February2003
Remains of the Greek Byzantine shops in Sardis

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 was enumerated as third, after Ephesus and Smyrna, in the list of cities of the Thracesion thema given by Constantine Porphyrogenitus in the 10th century. However, over the next four centuries it was in the shadow of the provinces of Magnesia-upon-Sipylum and Philadelphia, which retained their importance in the region.

Decline and fall in the second millennium, AD

After 1071, the Hermus valley began to suffer from the inroads of the Seljuk Turks but the Byzantine general John Doukas reconquered the city in 1097. The successes of the general Philokales in 1118 relieved the district from later Turkish pressure and the ability of the Comneni dynasty together with the gradual decay of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum meant that it remained 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 Turco-Mongol warlord Timur in 1402.

Archaeological expeditions

Temple of Artemis Sardis Turkey4
The Greek Temple of Artemis at Sardis

Current laws governing archaeological expeditions in Turkey ensure that all 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 BCE, and pottery from various periods.

Roman antiquities

By the 19th century, Sardis was in ruins, showing construction chiefly of the Roman period. Early excavators included the British explorer George Dennis, who uncovered an enormous marble head of Faustina the Elder, wife of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. Found in the precinct of the Temple of Artemis, it probably formed part of a pair of colossal statues devoted to the Imperial couple. The 1.76 metre high head is now kept at the British Museum.[8]

The first large-scale archaeological expedition in Sardis was directed by a Princeton University team led by Howard Crosby Butler between years 1910–1914, unearthing a temple to Artemis, and more than a thousand Lydian tombs. The excavation campaign was halted by World War I, followed by the Turkish War of Independence, though it briefly resumed in 1922. Some surviving artifacts from the Butler excavation were added to the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Sardis synagogue

The Hebrew place-name Sepharad may have meant Sardis.

A new expedition known as the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis was founded in 1958 by G.M.A. Hanfmann, professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Harvard University, and by Henry Detweiler, dean of the Architecture School at Cornell University. Hanfmann excavated widely in the city and the region, excavating and restoring the major Roman bath-gymnasium complex, the synagogue, late Roman houses and shops, a Lydian industrial area for processing electrum into pure gold and silver, Lydian occupation areas, and tumulus tombs at Bin Tepe.[9]

From 1976 until 2007, the excavation was directed by Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr., professor in the Department of Classics at the University of California, Berkeley.[10] Since 2008, the excavation has been under the directorship of Nicholas Cahill, professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[11]

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 Aphrodisias, it provides indisputable evidence for the continued presence of Jewish communities in Asia Minor and their integration into general Roman life 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 5th century, the Marble Court of the previous bath-gymnasium complex was changed into a synagogue.

See also

References

  1. ^ Rhodes, P.J. A History of the Classical Greek World 478-323 BC. 2nd edition. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, p. 6.
  2. ^ Revelation 3:1-6
  3. ^ revelation 3:2
  4. ^ Cockayne, O. (1844). "On the Lydian Dynasty which preceded the Mermnadæ". Proceedings of the Philological Society. 1 (24): 274.
  5. ^ Raditsa 1983, p. 105.
  6. ^ Ramage, A.; Craddock, P. (2001). "King Croesus' Gold: Excavations at Sardis and the history of gold refining". Archaeological Exploration of Sardis.
  7. ^ Tacitus, The Annals 2.47
  8. ^ "Research collection online". British Museum.
  9. ^ Hanfmann, George M.A., Et al. 1983. Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman Times: Results of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis 1958–1975, Harvard University Press.
  10. ^ Cahill, Nicholas D., ed. 2008. "Love for Lydia. A Sardis Anniversary Volume Presented to Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr.", Archaeological Exploration of Sardis.
  11. ^ "Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Harvard Art Museums". Retrieved January 9, 2013.

Sources

  • Raditsa, Leo (1983). "Iranians in Asia Minor". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 3 (1): The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian periods. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1139054942.

Further reading

  • Hanfmann, George M.A., Et al. 1983. Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman Times: Results of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis 1958–1975, Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-78925-3
  • Cahill, Nicholas D., ed. 2008. "Love for Lydia. A Sardis Anniversary Volume Presented to Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr.", Archaeological Exploration of Sardis. ISBN 9780674031951.

External links

Apollonia (Mysia)

Apollonia (Ancient Greek: Ἀπολλωνία) was a town of ancient Mysia, Anatolia, situated on an eminence east of Pergamum, on the way to Sardis. It seems to have been near the borders of Mysia and Lydia.

The site of Apollonia is located between the modern Turkish towns of Yenice and Duvarlar.

Apollonis (Lydia)

Apollonis (Ancient Greek: Ἀπολλωνίς), also known as Apollonia (Ἀπολλωνία), Apollones (Ἀπολλώνης), and Apollonias (Ἀπολλωνίας), was a city in ancient Lydia. It was located south of Apollonia in Mysia, where there is a ridge of hills, after crossing which the road to Sardis had on the left Thyatira, and on the right Apollonis, which was 300 stadia from Pergamum, and the same distance from Sardis. It was named after the queen Apollonis, the mother of Eumenes II and Attalus II of Pergamum, in the place of an older city; possibly Doidye. It was mentioned by Cicero. It was destroyed in 17 CE by the great earthquake that destroyed twelve cities of Asia Minor. Tiberius rebuilt the city. It issued coins; those from Marcus Aurelius to Severus Alexander are extant. Apollonis is a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church.The site of Apollonis is located near Palamut Kalesi, Mecidiye.

Eunapius

Eunapius (Greek: Εὐνάπιος; fl. 4th–5th century AD) was a Greek sophist and historian of the 4th century AD. His principal surviving work is the Lives of Philosophers and Sophists (Greek: Βίοι Φιλοσόφων καὶ Σοφιστῶν; Latin: Vitae sophistarum), a collection of the biographies of 23 philosophers and sophists.

Ionian Revolt

The Ionian Revolt, and associated revolts in Aeolis, Doris, Cyprus and Caria, were military rebellions by several Greek regions of Asia Minor against Persian rule, lasting from 499 BC to 493 BC. At the heart of the rebellion was the dissatisfaction of the Greek cities of Asia Minor with the tyrants appointed by Persia to rule them, along with the individual actions of two Milesian tyrants, Histiaeus and Aristagoras. The cities of Ionia had been conquered by Persia around 540 BC, and thereafter were ruled by native tyrants, nominated by the Persian satrap in Sardis. In 499 BC, the tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras, launched a joint expedition with the Persian satrap Artaphernes to conquer Naxos, in an attempt to bolster his position. The mission was a debacle, and sensing his imminent removal as tyrant, Aristagoras chose to incite the whole of Ionia into rebellion against the Persian king Darius the Great.

In 498 BC, supported by troops from Athens and Eretria, the Ionians marched on, captured, and burnt Sardis. However, on their return journey to Ionia, they were followed by Persian troops, and decisively beaten at the Battle of Ephesus. This campaign was the only offensive action by the Ionians, who subsequently went on the defensive. The Persians responded in 497 BC with a three pronged attack aimed at recapturing the outlying areas of the rebellion, but the spread of the revolt to Caria meant that the largest army, under Daurises, relocated there. While initially campaigning successfully in Caria, this army was annihilated in an ambush at the Battle of Pedasus. This resulted in a stalemate for the rest of 496 BC and 495 BC.

By 494 BC the Persian army and navy had regrouped, and they made straight for the epicentre of the rebellion at Miletus. The Ionian fleet sought to defend Miletus by sea, but was decisively beaten at the Battle of Lade, after the defection of the Samians. Miletus was then besieged, captured, and its population was brought under Persian rule. This double defeat effectively ended the revolt, and the Carians surrendered to the Persians as a result. The Persians spent 493 BC reducing the cities along the west coast that still held out against them, before finally imposing a peace settlement on Ionia which was generally considered to be both just and fair.

The Ionian Revolt constituted the first major conflict between Greece and the Persian Empire, and as such represents the first phase of the Greco-Persian Wars. Although Asia Minor had been brought back into the Persian fold, Darius vowed to punish Athens and Eretria for their support of the revolt. Moreover, seeing that the myriad city states of Greece posed a continued threat to the stability of his Empire, according to Herodotus, Darius decided to conquer the whole of Greece. In 492 BC, the first Persian invasion of Greece, the next phase of the Greco-Persian Wars, began as a direct consequence of the Ionian Revolt.

Lydia

Lydia (Assyrian: Luddu; Greek: Λυδία, Lydía; Turkish: Lidya) was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian. Its capital was Sardis.The Kingdom of Lydia existed from about 1200 BC to 546 BC. At its greatest extent, during the 7th century BC, it covered all of western Anatolia. In 546 BC, it became a province of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, known as the satrapy of Lydia or Sparda in Old Persian. In 133 BC, it became part of the Roman province of Asia.

Coins are said to have been invented in Lydia around the 7th century BC.

Melito of Sardis

Melito of Sardis (Greek: Μελίτων Σάρδεων Melítōn Sárdeōn) (died c. 180) was the bishop of Sardis near Smyrna in western Anatolia, and a great authority in early Christianity. Melito held a foremost place in terms of Bishops in Asia due to his personal influence on Christianity and his literary works, most of which have been lost but of what has been recovered has provided a great insight into Christianity during the second century. Jerome, speaking of the Old Testament canon established by Melito, quotes Tertullian to the effect that he was esteemed as a prophet by many of the faithful. This work by Tertullian has been lost but Jerome quotes pieces regarding Melito for the high regard in which he was held at that time. Melito is remembered for his work on developing the first Old Testament Canon. Though it cannot be determined what date he was elevated to an episcopacy, it is probable that he was bishop during the arising controversy at Laodicea in regard to the observance of Easter, which resulted in him writing his most famous work, an Apology for Christianity to Marcus Aurelius. Little is known of his life outside what works are quoted or read by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Eusebius. A letter of Polycrates of Ephesus to Pope Victor about 194 (Eusebius, Church History V.24) states that "Melito the eunuch [this is interpreted "the virgin" by Rufinus in his translation of Eusebius], whose whole walk was in the Holy Spirit", was buried at Sardis. His feast day is celebrated on April 1.

Sardis, Chilliwack

Sardis is a small community on the south side of Chilliwack about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Downtown in the Fraser River Valley. Sardis is the urban core of the south side of Chilliwack and a popular shopping destination.

Sardis, Georgia

Sardis is a city in Burke County, Georgia, United States. The population is 971 based on 2017 US Census estimates. It is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).

Sardis, Mississippi

Sardis is a town in Panola County, Mississippi. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 2,038. Sardis is one of two county seats for Panola County, Mississippi; the other is Batesville, on the south side of the Tallahatchie River.

Sardis, Ohio

Sardis is a census-designated place (CDP) in southeastern Lee Township, Monroe County, Ohio, United States. It is unincorporated, but has a post office with the ZIP code of 43946. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 559.Sardis is at the intersection of Ohio State Routes 7 and 255, lying between Duffy and Fly.

Among the early settlers in this area was Major Earl Sproat, one of the 48 members of the Ohio Company. The Ohio Company founded Marietta, the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory in 1788. The village of Sardis was laid out by James Patton in 1843.Sardis shares a high school, River High Local School, in the Switzerland of Ohio school district, with other nearby and riverfront communities including: Antioch, Duffy, Fly, Hannibal, Laings, Powhatan Point (of neighboring Belmont County), and Clarington.

Sardis, West Virginia

Sardis is an unincorporated community in Sardis District, Harrison County, West Virginia, USA. It is situated near Katys Lick Creek.

Sardis City, Alabama

Sardis City is a town in Etowah and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. It originally incorporated in May 1963 under the name of Sardis. It later became Sardis City in the 1980s. At the 2010 census the population was 1,704.

Sardis Road

Sardis Road is a rugby union stadium situated in Pontypridd, Wales. It is home to the Principality Premiership team, Pontypridd RFC and previously the Celtic Warriors, the now defunct regional rugby union team. It is commonly known as the "House of Pain".

School District 33 Chilliwack

School District 33 Chilliwack is a school district in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia. It has an enrollment of approximately 14,000 full and part-time students, and approximately 1,800 teachers and support staff. Its annual budget for the 2016/17 school year is $137,534,588 CAD.

See of Sardis

The See of Sardis or Sardes (Greek: Σάρδεις, Sardeis) was an episcopal see in the city of that name. It was one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse, held by metropolitan bishops since the middle to late 1st century, with jurisdiction over the province of Lydia, when this was formed in 295. After 1369 it became a titular see both for the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Seven churches of Asia

The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and the Seven Churches of Asia, are seven major churches of Early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation. All of them are located in the Asia Minor, present-day Turkey.

Siege of Sardis (547 BC)

In the Siege of Sardis (547/546 BC), the last decisive conflict after the Battle of Thymbra, which was fought between the forces of Croesus of Lydia and Cyrus the Great, Cyrus followed Croesus to his city. He laid siege to it for 14 days, and then captured it.

Tabalus

Tabalus the Persian (Greek: Τάβαλος) was the first satrap of Sardis. Cyrus the Great of Persia put him in place after conquering Lydia, c.546 BC. Herodotus mentions him in his histories (Hdt 1. 153-4):

Presently, entrusting Sardis to a Persian called Tabalus, and charging Pactyes, a Lydian, to take charge of the gold of Croesus and the Lydians, he (Cyrus the Great) himself marched away to Agbatana, taking with him Croesus, and at first making no account of the Ionians. For he had Babylon on his hands and the Bactrian nation and the Sacae and Egyptians; he was minded to lead an army himself against these and to send another commander against the Ionians.

This was the same Tabalus whom Pactyes the Lydian trapped in the acropolis when he revolted and marched upon Sardis later that year:

But no sooner had Cyrus marched away from Sardis than Pactyes made the Lydians to revolt from Tabalus and Cyrus; and he went down to the sea, where, as he had all the gold of Sardis, he hired soldiers and persuaded the men of the coast to join his army. Then marching to Sardis he penned Tabalus in the citadel and besieged him there.

WKFF

WKFF (102.1 FM, "K-Love") is a radio station broadcasting a contemporary Christian format. Licensed to Sardis, Mississippi, United States, the station is currently owned by George S. Flinn, Jr.

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