Thyatira

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Thyateira (also Thyatira) is the name of the modern Turkish city of Akhisar ("white castle"). The name comes from Koine Greek "Θυάτειρα" (Thuateira)[1]. The Turkish equivalent of Thyateira is Tepe Mezarligi. 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 Mediterranean.

History

The city was known as "Pelopia" (Greek language: Πελοπία) but it was named Thyateira (Θυάτειρα) by king Seleucus I Nicator in 290 BCE because being at war with Lysimachus and hearing that he had a daughter born, called this city "thuateira", from Greek "θυγατήρ", "θυγατέρα" (thugater, thugatera), meaning "daughter"[2][3]. In classical times, Thyatira stood on the border between Lydia and Mysia. It was famous for its dyeing and was a center of the indigo 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 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]

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 the Roman usurper Procopius.

In 1922 the Patriarch of Constantinople appointed an Exarch for Western and Central Europe with the title Archbishop of Thyateira. The current Archbishop of Thyateira since 1988 is Gregorios Theocharous.[7] The Archbishop of Thyateira resides in London and has pastoral responsibility for the Greek Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom.

Thyatira is also the name of a titular see in the Roman Catholic church.[8]

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