About Laodicea

The ancient Laodicea was built on the site of an earlier settlement known originally as Diospolis (“the city of Jupiter”) and later as Rhoas. Laodicea was built by King Antiochus II of Syria in honour of his wife Laodice. He populated it with Syrians and Jews who migrated from Babylonia.

Wealthy City

In its prime, Laodicea was famed for its black wool, banking and medical schools. The Laodicean physicians were skilled at compounding medicines and ointments for sick people. The city was so wealthy that when an earthquake destroyed it in AD 60, the city was rebuilt without any outside help from Rome. The city was also a centre for the worship of pagan deities and Roman emperors.

The Lukewarm Church

The church of Laodicea was the last of the Seven Churches to receive a letter from Apostle John. Lacking in every way, the church was compromising, conceited and Christless. However, the letter to the church ends with an invitation and the promise of limitless life.

Points of Interest

Laodicea is spread over 5km2 – most of which is still unexcavated and unrestored. Excavations have uncovered thousands of ancient artifacts, signs of textile and dye workshops, temples, a Greek Agora, a stadium, a gymnasium, baths, theatres and a Senate House.

Interesting Facts

  • Laodicea means “the judging of the people or just people”.
  • Laodicea is referred to as Eskihisar (meaning Old Castle) by the locals.
  • By the early 1200s, the city fell into decay and had been reduced to rubble. Most of it still lies in ruin today though restoration has been underway since the early 2000s.

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