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by Wayne Blank
Pergamum, or Pergamos, was a major city of Mysia, in Asia Minor, in what is today Turkey. Located about 15 miles / 24 kilometers inland from The Aegean Sea, it was the capital for the Pergamenian kings until about 133 BC when it came under Roman control. The Romans, who were yet to attain their greatest extent of territorial greatness (see Ancient Empires - Rome), made it the central city of their new province of "Asia."
In 29 BC a temple for the worship of Caesar Augustus (the Roman emperor who later called that famous census that resulted in Jesus Christ being born in Bethlehem i.e. Luke 2:1) was erected in Pergamum, however worship of him and subsequent emperors (see Emperor) was long rivaled there by the cult of the pagan god Zeus, the symbol of which was a serpent. Pergamum's throne-like altar of Zeus, that some have speculated was the symbolic "Satan's throne" reference in Revelation 2:13, is now in the Berlin Museum.
Parchment, an ancient writing material made from the processed skins of animals, most often that of calves, sheep and goats, was invented in Pergamum to free the great library there from dependence upon imported papyrus, mainly from Egypt.
Pergamum is mentioned in The Bible as one of the "seven churches of Asia." Christians there were rebuked for deviating from the truth that they once held by following the idolatrous and immoral teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. Antipas, a true and faithful Christian of whom little else is known, was martyred in Pergamum.
"And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:"
Fact Finder: From Whom did the Book of Revelation originate?