About Philadelphia (Alasehir)
Various Names of Philadelphia
The city had several names through its existence. It was called Decapolis because it was considered as one of the ten cities of the plain. It was known as Neo-kaisaria during the 1st century AD. During the reign of Vespasian, it was called Flavia. In the 6th century, it was referred to as “Little Athens” because of its festivals and pagan temples.
History of Philadelphia
The soil around the city was renowned, leading to the production of exceptional grapes and wine. In 92 AD, Emperor Domitian issued an edict for Asia Province which required many vineyards to be cut down and replaced with corn, which probably severely damaged the economy of Philadelphia.
The Faithful Church
The church of Philadelphia was the sixth of the Seven Churches to receive a letter from Apostle John. The church was praised for trusting the Lord and remaining faithful to Him in the face of trials and persecution despite their limited strength.
Points of Interest
A few ruins including cornices of buildings, a portion of a wall and the foundations of churches dating throughout the centuries are still visible today.
- Lacking an heir, Attalus III Philometer, the last of Pergamum’s kings, willed that his kingdom including Philadelphia be given to the Roman empire. Rome’s Asia Province was created in 129 BC.
- The 17 AD earthquake was so devastating that the Roman Emperor Tiberius relieved the city of having to pay taxes.
- Although no archaeological evidence for a synagogue had been found, a 3rd century inscription was found east of the city mentioning a “synagogue of the Hebrews”.