A city of Lydia, in Asia Minor, a Macedonian colony, anciently called Pelopia and Euhippia, now Ak-hisar. It was situated on the confines of Lydia and Mysia, near the river Lycus, between Sardis and Pergamos. It was the seat of one of "the seven churches," Re 1:11; 2:18,24. The art of dyeing purple was particularly cultivated at Thyatira, as appears from an inscription recently found there; and it still sends to Smyrna, sixty miles southwest, large quantities of scarlet cloth, Ac 16:14. Ak-hissar is a poor town, with six thousand inhabitants, chiefly Turks.
a city of Asia Minor, on the borders of Lydia and Mysia. Its modern name is Ak-hissar, i.e., "white castle." Here was one of the seven churches (Re 1:11; 2:18-28). Lydia, the seller of purple, or rather of cloth dyed with this colour, was from this city (Ac 16:14). It was and still is famous for its dyeing. Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in that city in ancient times.
(Lydia, the probable agent of carrying the gospel to her native town.) (See LYDIA.) Thyatira lay a little to the left of the road from Pergamos to Sardis (Strabo 13:4, who calls it "a Macedonian colony"); on the Lycus, a little to the S. of the Hyllus, at the N. end of the valley between Mount Tmolus and the southern ridge of Tetanus. Founded by Seleucus Nicator. On the confines of Mysia and Ionia. A corporate guild of dyers is mentioned in three inscriptions of the times of the Roman empire between Vespasian and Caracalla. To it probably belonged Lydia, the seller of purple (i.e. scarlet, for the ancients called many bright red colors "purple") stuffs (Ac 16:14). The waters are so suited for dyeing that nowhere is the scarlet of fezzes thought to be so brilliant and permanent as that made here. Modern Thyatira contains a population of 17,000.
In Re 2:18-25, "the Son of God who hath eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass," stands in contrast to the sun god. Tyrimnas, the tutelary god of Thyatira, represented with flaming rays and feet of burnished brass. Christ commends Thyatira's works, charity, service, faith, and patience. Thyatira's "last works were more than the first," realizing 1Th 4:1, instead of retrograding from "first love and first works" as Ephesus (Re 2:4-5); the converse of Mt 12:45; 2Pe 2:20. Yet Thyatira "suffered that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." (See JEZEBEL.) Some self-styled prophetess, or collection of prophets (the feminine in Hebrew idiom expressing a multitude), closely attached to and influencing the Thyatira church and its presiding bishop or "angel" (the Alexandrinus and Vaticanus manuscripts read "thy wife" for "that woman") as Jezebel did her weak husband Ahab.
The presiding angel ought to have exercised his authority over the prophetess or prophets so-called, who seduced many into the libertinism of the Balaamites and Nicolaitans of Thyatira's more powerful neighbour Pergamos (Re 2:6,14,16). (See BALAAMITES; NICOLAITANS.) The Lord encourages the faithful section at Thyatira. "Unto you (omit 'and' with the Alexandrinus and the Vaticanus manuscripts, the Sinaiticus manuscript reads: 'among ') the rest in Thyatira I say, ... I will put upon you none other burden (save abstinence from and protestation against these abominations: this the seducers regarded as an intolerable burden, see Mt 11:30); but that which ye have hold fast until I come." A shrine outside Thyatira walls was sacred to the sibyl Sambatha, a Jewess or Chaldaean, in an enclosure called "the Chaldaean court."
There is a long valley extending northward and southward and connecting the valleys of the Hermus and Caicus. Down this valley a stream flows southwards, and on the left bank of this stream was Thyatira. An important road also ran along this valley, the direct route between Constantinople and Smyrna, and the railway takes this route now. Thyatira was also in the 1st cent. a.d. a station on the Imperial Post Road (overland route) from Brundislum and Dyrrhachium by Thessalonica, Neapolis (for Philippi), Troas, Pergamum, Philadelphia
City in the district of Lydia in Asia Minor. The disciple Lydia, of Philippi, was from this city, which was famed for its dyeing. It is not known how the church was formed there, but it was chosen as one of the seven representative churches to which the Revelation was sent, with the special message addressed to this church. Ac 16:14; Re 1:11; 2:18,24. See REVELATION. The city was founded by Seleueus Nicator, who during the war with Lysimachus stationed a colony of Macedonians there. At the commencement of the Christian Era there was a preponderance of the Macedonian element in the population. It is now called Ak-hissar; there are no ancient ruins.
a city on the Lycus, founded by Seleucus Nicator, lay to the left of the road from Pergamos to Sardis, 27 miles from the latter city, and on the very confines of Mysia and Ionia, so as to be sometimes reckoned within the one and sometimes within the other. Dyeing apparently formed an important part of the industrial activity of Thyatira, as it did of that of Colossae and Laodicea. It is first mentioned in connection with Lydia, "a seller of purple."
One of the Seven Churches of Asia was established here.
The principal deity of the city was Apollo; but there was another superstition, of an extremely curious nature which seems to have been brought thither by some of the corrupted Jews of the dispersed tribes. A fane stood outside the walls, dedicated to Sambatha --the name of the sibyl who is sometimes called Chaldean, sometimes Jewish, sometimes Persian-- in the midst of an enclosure designated "the Chaldaeans' court." This seems to lend an illustration to the obscure passage in
which some interpret of the wife of the bishop. Now there is evidence to show that in Thyatira there was a great amalgamation of races. If the sibyl Sambatha was in reality a Jewess, lending her aid to the amalgamation of different religions, and not discountenanced by the authorities of the Judeo-Christian Church at Thyatira, both the censure and its qualification become easy of explanation. (The present name of the city is ak-Hissar ("white castle"). It has a reputation for the manufacture of scarlet cloth. Its present population is 15,000 to 20,000. There are nine mosques. --ED.)
THYATIRA, a city of Lydia, in Asia Minor, and the seat of one of the seven churches in Asia. It was situated nearly midway between Pergamos and Sardis, and is still a tolerable town, considering that it is in the hands of the Turks, and enjoys some trade, chiefly in cottons. It is called by that people Ak-hisar, or White Castle.