The Theater at Pergamos, Turkey

by David Padfield

Pergamos, Turkey, Asia Minor


Pergamos was one of the "seven churches of Asia" mentioned in Revelation.

At one time the city of Pergamos housed one of the greatest libraries in the world, consisting of more than 200,000 volumes. After the great library at Alexandria, Egypt was destroyed by fire, Marc Antony plundered the library of Pergamos and sent the books to Cleopatra to replace the lost volumes.

Pergamos was also home of one of the world's greatest artistic treasures, the Altar of Zeus. Many scholars believe this altar was what Jesus referred to when He said that Pergamos was the home of "Satan's throne" (Rev. 2:13). This altar can now be seen at Pergamun Museum in Berlin, Germany.

The largest building in Pergamos is the theater on the acropolis of the city. The theater was built into the hill and could seat 20,000 people. It is said that the acoustics of the theater were so good that no one would have any difficulty in either hearing or seeing anything that happened on stage. Above the theater is the Temple to Trajan and Hadrian.

Southwest of the city was the medical center, the Asclepion, with its temple to the god of medicine, Asclepius. The famous physician, Galen, was born in Pergamos.