SARDIS (Sart - Revelation 3:1-6)

Sardis was the capital of famous kingdom of Lydia.

Lydians were known to be very successful and creative in the fields of commerce and economics.

The Sardis was ruled by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C. then by the Roman Empire in the 2nd century B.C.

The temple of Artemis next to the Pactolus river (Sart cayi) dates from the 4th century B.C. There was a temple dedicated to goddess Kybele before that during the time of King Croesus. This one was destroyed by Athenians during the revolt of Ionians against the Persian rule. Then Alexander the Great ordered a new one, the temple of Artemis, on the same site. In fact, only the temple of Kybele was destroyed not the spirit of this important Anatolian goddess. She continued to live in the form of Artemis!

The king Croesus was the wealthiest man of his time and Sardis became the richest city of antiquity. The famous wise man of Athens, also the reformer, Solon, came to see this great city and its famous king.

It is thought that the famous story teller Aesop was a Phrygian who lived in Sardis during the reign of king Croesus.

The empire fell to the hands of Persians in 546 B.C. Besides the temple a small Byzantine church and recently a synagogue was unearthed.

On his letter of revelation to the Christians of Sardis, St.John wrote :

"(3:1) To the angel of the church in Sardis write :
This is the message from the one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know what you are doing; I know that you have the reputation of being alive, even though you are dead! (3:2) So wake up, and strengthen what you still have before it dies completely. For I find that what you have done is not yet perfect in the sight of my God. (3:3) Remember, then, what you were taught and what you heard; obey it and turn from your sins. If you do not wake up, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not even know the time when I will come. (3:4) But a few of you there in Sardis have kept your cloths clean. You will walk with me, clothed in white, because you are worthy to do so. (3:5) Those who win the victory will be clothed like this in white, and I will not remove their names from the book of the living. In the presence of my Father and of his angels I will declare openly that they belong to me. (3:6) If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!"

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