Now Bergamo, a city of Mysia, in Asia Minor, and the residence of the Attalian princes. There was here collected by the kings of this race a noble library of two hundred thousand volumes, which, after the country was ceded to the Romans, was transported to Egypt for Cleopatra, and added to the library at Alexandria. Hence the word parchment, from the Latin pergamentum, Greek pergamene; great quantities of this material being here used, and its manufacture perfected. Pogroms was the birthplace of Galen, and contained a famous temple of Esculapius the god of medicine, who was worshipped under the form of a living serpent. A Christian church was established here in the apostolic age, and was addressed by St. John, Re 1:11; 2:12. The modern city, called Bergamo, lies twenty miles from the sea on the north side of the river Caicus, and contains twelve thousand inhabitants. A large castle in ruins stands on the highest of three mountains, which environ the town, and many remains of the ancient city still exist.
the chief city of Mysia, in Asia Minor. One of the "seven churches" was planted here (Re 1:11; 2:17). It was noted for its wickedness, insomuch that our Lord says "Satan's seat" was there. The church of Pergamos was rebuked for swerving from the truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes. Antipas, Christ's "faithful martyr," here sealed his testimony with his blood.
This city stood on the banks of the river Caicus, about 20 miles from the sea. It is now called Bergama, and has a population of some twenty thousand, of whom about two thousand profess to be Christians. Parchment (q.v.) was first made here, and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the city.
A city of Mysia, three miles N. of the River Caicus. Eumenes II (197-159 B.C.) built a beautiful city round an impregnable castle on "the pine-coned rock." Attalus II bequeathed his kingdom to Rome 133 B.C. The library was its great boast; founded by Earaches and destroyed by Caliph Omar. The prepared sheepskins were called pergamena charta from whence our "parchment" is derived. The Nicephorium, or thank offering grove for victory over Antiochus, had an assemblage of temples of idols, Zeus, Athene, Apollo, Aesculapius, Dionysus, Aphrodite. Aesculapius the healing god (Tacitus, Ann. 3:63) was the prominent Pergamean idol (Martial); the Pergamenes on coins are called "the principal "temple care-takers" (neokoroi) of Asia," and their ritual is made by Pausanias a standard. The grove of Aesculapius was recognized by the Roman senate under Tiberius as having right of sanctuary.
The serpent (Satan's image) was sacred to him, charms and incantations were among medical agencies then, and Aesculapius was called "saviour." How appropriately the address to the Pergamos church says, "I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat (throne) is," etc. Here Antipas, Jesus' "faithful martyr," was slain (Re 2:12-16). (See ANTIPAS.) "Thou hast them that hold the doctrine of Beldam who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before ... Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols and to commit fornication"; this naturally would happen in such an idol-devoted city. The Nicolaitanes persuaded some to escape obloquy by yielding in the test of faithfulness, the eating of idol meats; even further, on the plea of Christian "liberty," to join in fornication which was a regular concomitant of certain idols' worship.
Jesus will compensate with "the hidden manna" (in contrast to the occult arts of Aesculapius) the Pergamene Christian who rejects the world's dainties for Christ. Like the incorruptible manna preserved in the sanctuary, the spiritual feast Jesus offers, an incorruptible life of body and soul, is everlasting. The "white stone" is the glistering diamond, the Urim ("light") in the high priest's breast-plate; "none" but the high priest "knew the name" on it, probably Jehovah. As Phinehas was rewarded for his zeal against idol compliances and fornication (to which Balaam seduced Israel), with "an everlasting priesthood," so the heavenly priesthood is the reward of those zealous against New Testament Balaamites. Now Bergamo.
Royal city of Mysia in Asia Minor: it was not visited by Paul as far as is recorded. The church there is one of the seven in Asia to which the addresses in the Revelation were sent. The saints dwelt where Satan's throne was (the city was renowned for its idolatry). Re 1:11; 2:12. The city is still in existence, and is called Bergama, with a population of about 20,000, some 2,000 of whom are nominally christian. See REVELATION.
(in Revised Version Pergamum) (height, elevation), a city of Mysia, about 3 miles to the north of the river Caicus, and 20 miles from its present mouth. It was the residence of a dynasty of Greek princes founded after the time of Alexander the Great, and usually called the Attalic dynasty, from its founder, Attalus. The sumptuousness of the Attalic princes hall raised Pergamos to the rank of the first city in Asia as regards splendor. The city was noted for its vast, library, containing 200,000 volumes. Here were splendid temples of Zeus or Jupiter, Athene, Apollo and AEsculapius. One of "the seven churches of Asia" was in Pergamos.
It is called "Satan's seat" by John, which some suppose to refer to the worship of AEsculapius, from the serpent being his characteristic emblem. Others refer it to the persecutions of Christians, which was work of Satan. The modern name of the city is Bergama.