Biblical Turkey Guide
Laodicea, which was located in a very fertile valley, was established in the Hellenistic period. It was established by the Syrian king , Antiochus. The city which is located on the major trade road, is surrounded by three major rivers. First name of the city was Diospolis and it was a great center for fashion and textiles. Laodiciea got under the control of Pergamon Kingdom in 188 and Roman empire 129 BC. During the Mihridatic Wars, between Rome and Mihridates, the king of Pontus, the people of Laodicea took the Roman side. During the Roman centuries, it became one of the greatest and most powerful cities of the region. The citizens could restore their city to its former glory after the earthquake of 60 AD which destroyed the city completely. Before the Christian times, the most powerful divinity of was Zeus. A large Jewish community is mentioned by the ancient writers.
People of Laodicea are accused for being lukewarm. They did nothing for the Lord and for the Satan. Because of that reason they drew no persecutions.
About 40 miles in the south east of Philedephia, three famous cities Laodicea, Hieropolis and Clossea clustered in the Lycus valley. Laodicea is the most southerly of these seven churches, and located almost in the east of Ephesus. Although it is not not known when the seeds of the new church is sown there or when the church took its roots there, the letters addressing the church in Laodicea is the sternest of the seven letters, containing much censure but no praise. Although there is no mention of heretics, persecutors and evil doers, the people of Laodicea are blamed being neither cold or hot. They lack wholehearthessness. The word Laodicean is used as an adjective to describe someone who is lukewarm in politiques, in religion or other matters.
Christ further tells them that although Laodiceans pretend that they are rich, wealthy and they don't need anything, they are wredged, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. He advises them to buy the refined gold from him to become rich; white clothes to cover their nakedness; eye salve to cure their blindness. Laodiceans are advised to give up their complacency and forget about their famous banks, textiles endusries suppling beautiful garments and well known Laodician eye salve and get them from Christ.
Known as Diospolis in the Hellenistic Period, the city was either named after the name of Antiochus Soter's sister or Antiochus II's wife. Laodicea was a lady name for sure. Located on the crossroads running from south to north and east to west Laodicea is situated in the midle of very fertile valley irrigated by Lycus and tributiries. Thanks to its privilaged location, Laodicea became city of various trades. 188 BC, Laodicea entered under the rule of Pergamon kindom. After the last will of Attalos III who left his kingdom to Romans Empire in 133 BC, the Romans become new masters of the region and Laodicea During the strugle between Romans and Mihridates, the king of Pontus, Laodocians sided with Romans (took the side of Romans) even hiding one of the Roman generals from the persecutions of Mihridates soldiers. Laodicea suffered and partly destroyed during the civil wars after the assasination of Julius Ceaser. During the Imperial period of Roman Empire, Laodicea became one of the greatest and richest cities of the empire. One of the important indications showing us the the richness of the Laodicea was revealed after the eartquake of 60. the city was rebuilt by its citicens without getting help of the Roman Empire.
The richness of the city came from its famous trades and banking affairs. The wool and the textiles made out of this wool was one of the major incomes of the city.
This was followed by the eye cream produced Laodicea and exported all over the ancient world. There was a school of medicine in Laodicea and Laodicean doctors were experts of ear and eye deseases. Even some cources mention the the school of mecine treating the eye deseases. The famous eye cream was exported in the form of pills. the medicine produced here were exported to all over the world. Galen mentioned the medicine called Nard came only from Laodicea. Zeuxis and Alexander were two famous doctors of the region. The city was a place for treatment and recreation.
The most powerfull divinity of Laodicea was Zeus Aseis. Since the word Aseis is very close to word Aziz (powerfull) in Arabic, it is suggested the name was given by the Laodiceans with Syrian origine.
There was an important and powerfull Jewish comminity who had freedom of practising their religion. We learn that every year Laodicean Jews sent gold to Jerusalem and in 62.BC the gold was confiscated by the Romans.
Christinaity in Laodicea started with the Saint Paul's Ministery. Epaphras from nearby Colossea brought Cristianty to Laodicea first time. Laodicean Cristians suffered great persecutions during the 2. and 4. centuries. During the 2. century AD, the church of Laodicea was situated 5 stadia (1500 meters or nealy a mile) outside of the city. Laodicean took part 3 major Eucumenical Councils
449 Ephesus Robber Council
451 Chalcedon Council
The church in laodicea was self satisfying. It did not have the vigor of life. It had no heyecan, no in hurry, no ambitions and they left the god outside.
Located on the major trade roads and situated in the center of fertile valleys, Laodicea was wall street of Asia. The city which controlled the banking and money affairs of the region was the city of millioners, bankers and men of trade.
Laodician wool, which had a fine texture, was soft and had black color. According to ancient writers the color came from the water which the sheep drank. Using the black wool Laodiceans produced a outer garmnet called "trimita"which became a great income for city. Because of the famous outer garmnet the city was called TRIMITARIA for a while. So Laodicea was the city of textiles and fashion.
The city suffered from everal earthquakes. Strabo mentions the existence of mant holes. The region was on the earthquake fault line. Two major were
495 A D
After the earthquake of 60. AD. the city was rebuilt without getting imperial help. This shows the richmess and power of the city.
The strongest and most accusing letter is the one written to church in laodicea. Nothing good can be said about the residents of Laodicea.
No sign of life, self satisfying, their nose is in the air, complacent. lukewarm, no ambitious, no heyecan, they left the god outside.
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