Philadelphia (Lydia)

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Philadelphia or Philadelpheia (Greek Φιλαδελφία or Φιλαδελφεῖα) was an ancient city in the Lydia countryside in Asia Minor (now Turkey ). It was south of the Kogamis at the foot of the Tmolos on the road connecting Sardis and Kolossai , on the site of today's Alaşehir .

Philadelphia was founded in the 2nd century BC. Founded by the Pergamene King Attalus II Philadelphos . The name (Philadelphia = "brotherly love") goes back to the close relationship between Attalus and his brother Eumenes II .

The city was destroyed several times by earthquakes and in Strabon's time (63 BC - 23 AD) was almost completely in ruins. The city has been rebuilt over and over again. In the 1st century AD, an early Christian community gathered here, of which the Revelation of John speaks. It was the last Byzantine city in Asia Minor to defend itself against the Ottomans until 1390. When Philadelphia fell , the rest of Asia Minor had been under Ottoman rule for about 50 years (except for the Empire of Trebizond , which the Ottomans did not occupy until 1461). Under Ottoman rule, the city was renamed Alaşehir ("piebald, colorful city").

When the Mongol Khan Timur (Tamerlan, died 1405) destroyed the Christian communities in Asia Minor, Philadelphia was miraculously saved according to Ludwig Albrecht . The inhabitants of the small town were the only ones among the Muslim population of the region to keep the Christian faith. A Christian community is documented until at least the beginning of the 20th century.

The early Christian church there was like Ephesus one of the seven churches in Asia Minor addressed in Revelation . To the church at Philadelphia in the was of Revelation traditional 3.7-13 missive addressed. It highlighted her perseverance during the persecution of Christians .

To this day there is a district in Athens called New Philadelphia ( Greek Νέα Φιλαδέλφεια), which was founded in northern Athens by former residents of Philadelphia after the population exchange between Greece and Turkey .


  • Theodora Stillwell MacKay:  Philadelphia (Alaşehir) Turkey . In: Richard Stillwell et al. a. (Ed.): The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ 1976, ISBN 0-691-03542-3 .
  • Georg Petzl : Tituli Asiae minoris . Volume 5. Tituli Lydiae linguis Graeca et Latina conscripti . Fasc. 3. Philadelpheia et ager Philadelphenus . Verl. D. Austrian Akad. D. Wiss., Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-7001-3736-8 .
  • Marko Suica: The Serbs in the Siege of Philadelphia in 1390 , in: Byzantine Themes (2012) 385-396
  • Peter Schreiner : On the history of Philadelphias in the 14th century (1293-1390) , in: Orientalia Christiana periodica, Pont. Institutum Orientalium studiorum Roma 35.2 (1969) 375-431.

Individual evidence

  1. Ludwig Albrecht : footnote in the Albrecht testament to Revelation 3, 11

Coordinates: 38 ° 21 '  N , 28 ° 31'  E