Thursday, June 11, 2009
Assos and Pergamum
From Troas we went down the coast to Assos, a port city just south of Troas a bit. Paul walked from Troas to Assos on his 3rd missionary journey, possibly to see people along the way or because he did not wish to sail that leg. A few remaining ruins can be seen of the city.
We then went down to Pergamum. This city was renowned for its production of parchment, a type of paper made from animal skins that was smoothed and dried. While likely more expensive than papyrus, parchment lasted longer and could be washed clean and reused. Pergamum was also one of the 7 churches address in Revelation.
"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13I know where you live—where Satan has his throne." Revelation 2:12-13
It is widely believed that "Satan's throne" refers to this temple of Zeus. Though we view Greek gods intriguing examples of mythological literature, the worship surrounding these gods was extremely vile and pagan. Our Christian brothers and sisters felt the oppression that came from opposing this part of their culture.
Here's a view of Pergamum from below. You can barely make out the large theater on the front side of the hill, and the temple of Zeus stood where the trees on the right side of the hill are now.