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Thyatira (Θυάτειρα)

Ancient City of Greece

Paul's third journey
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Coordinates: 38°55′12″N27°50′10″E / 38.92°N 27.836111°E / 38.92; 27.836111
Ruins of the city. Ruins of Thyateira.jpg
Ruins of the city.

Thyateira (also Thyatira) (Ancient Greek : Θυάτειρα) was the name of an ancient Greek city in Asia Minor, now the modern Turkish city of Akhisar ("white castle"). The name is probably Lydian. It lies in the far west of Turkey, south of Istanbul and almost due east of Athens. It is about 50 miles (80 km) from the Aegean Sea.



It was an ancient Greek city called Pelopia (Ancient Greek : Πελόπεια) and Semiramis (Ancient Greek : Σεμίραμις), [1] before it was renamed to Thyateira (Θυάτειρα), during the Hellenistic era in 290 BC, by the King Seleucus I Nicator. He was at war with Lysimachus when he learned that his wife had given birth to a daughter. According to Stephanus of Byzantium, he called this city "Thuateira" from Greek θυγάτηρ, θυγατέρα (thugatēr, thugatera), meaning "daughter", although it is likely that it is an older, Lydian name. [2] [3] In classical times, Thyatira stood on the border between Lydia and Mysia. During the Roman era, (1st century AD), it was famous for its dyeing facilities and was a center of the purple cloth trade. [4] Among the ancient ruins of the city, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in the city. Indeed, more guilds συντεχνία suntechuia (syndicate) are known in Thyatira than any other contemporary city in the Roman province of Asia (inscriptions mention the following: wool-workers, linen-workers, makers of outer garments, dyers, leather-workers, tanners, potters, bakers, slave-dealers, and bronze-smiths). [5]

In early Christian times, Thyateira was home to a significant Christian church, mentioned as one of the seven Churches of the Book of Revelation in the Book of Revelation. [6] According to Revelation, a woman named Jezebel (who called herself a prophetess) taught and seduced the Christians of Thyateira to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. [7] However, some commentators such as Benson and Doddridge have concluded that what is being here practised in Thyatira is the same apostasy promoted in Israel by Jezebel as mentioned in the Books of Kings and that use of her name here is a direct reference to such. Indeed, as Doddridge notes, "the resemblance appears so great" that, in his view, it is the "same heresy which is represented" [8] Similarly, James L. Resseguie concludes that the Thyatiran Jezebel “is a false prophet who advocates compromise and assimilation with the dominant culture.” [9]

The Apostle Paul and Silas might have visited Thyateira during Paul's second or third journey, although the evidence is entirely circumstantial. They visited several small unnamed towns in the general vicinity during the second journey. While in Philippi, Paul and Silas stayed with a woman named Lydia from Thyateira, who continued to help them even after they were jailed and released.

In 366, a battle fought near Thyateira saw the army of Roman emperor Valens defeat Roman usurper Procopius.

Notable people

Artemidorus (Ancient Greek : Ἀρτεμίδωρος) of Thyateira was an ancient Greek Olympic winners of the Stadion race, in the 193rd Olympiad at 8 BC. [10]

Nicander (Ancient Greek : Νίκανδρος), also known as Nicander of Thyateira (Ancient Greek : Νίκανδρος ὁ Θυατειρηνός) was an ancient Greek grammarian. [11] [12]


19th-century Thyatira A dictionary of the Bible.. (1887) (14595164770).jpg
19th-century Thyatira

The city was home to a Christian community from the apostolic period. The community continued until 1922, when the Orthodox Christian population was deported.

Byzantine basilica of Thatira ThyatiraBasilika.jpg
Byzantine basilica of Thatira

In 1922, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople appointed an exarch for Western and Central Europe with the title Archbishop of Thyateira. The current Archbishop of Thyateira (since 2019) is Nikitas Lulias. [14] The Archbishop of Thyateira resides in London and has pastoral responsibility for the Greek Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta.

The see of Thyatira is also included, without archiepiscopal rank, in the Roman Catholic Church's list of titular sees. [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

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In Greek mythology, Carius or Karios was the son of Zeus and Torrhebia. His mother's name is connected to Torrhebos, name of a city in Lydia. According to Hellanicus, there was a mountain named Karios (Carius) near this city, with the sanctuary of Carius situated on it. Nicolaus Damascenus related of him the following tale. As Carius was wandering by a lake which later received the name Torrhebis, he heard the voices of nymphs singing; these nymphs, Nicolaus remarked, were also called the Muses by the Lydians. Carius learned the music from them, and taught it to the Lydians. This kind of music was known as "Torrhebian songs".

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Thyatira (titular see) Catholic titular see

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Apollonis , 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.

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Dios Hieron was a town of ancient Lydia, in the upper valley of the Cayster River. The city became part of the Roman Republic and the Roman province of Asia with the annexation of the Kingdom of Pergamon. It also bore the name Diospolis (Διόσπολις), and was cited by the sixth century Byzantine geographer Stephanus of Byzantium under that name. It was renamed to Christopolis or Christoupolis in the 7th century and was known as Pyrgium or Pyrgion (Πυργίον) from the 12th century on. Pyrgion fell to the Turks in 1307, and became the capital of the beylik of Aydin. The town minted coins in antiquity, often with the inscription "Διοσιερειτων".

Germa or Germe or Germae or Germai (Γέρμαι), or Hiera Germa or Hiera Germe, meaning 'holy Germa', also known as Germa in Hellesponto to distinguish it from several other towns named Germa, was a town of ancient Mysia, situated between the rivers Macestus and Rhyndacus. It appears in episcopal notices as a archbishopric. and was represented at the Council of Ephesus and Calcedon by the towns bishop. No longer the seat of a residential archbishop, it remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church.


  1. Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica, Th319.1
  2. Stephanus of Byzantium, De Urbibus ("On cities")
  3. Θυγάτηρ, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, at Perseus project
  4. Acts 16:14.
  5. W.M. Ramsey, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, (Hodder, 1904), pp. 324-35.
  6. Rev. 1:11; 2:18-28.
  7. Rev. 2:20
  8. Benson. "Revelation 2 Benson Commentary". Biblehub. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  9. James L. Resseguie, The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009), 93.
  10. Eusebius, Chronography, 79
  11. Harpokration, Lexicon of the Ten Orators, Th33
  12. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, § 11.5
  13. Schaff, Philip, A dictionary of the Bible(1887).
  14. - Biography at the website of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain
  15. Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN   978-88-209-9070-1), p. 988

Coordinates: 38°55′15″N27°50′30″E / 38.9208333333°N 27.8416666667°E / 38.9208333333; 27.8416666667