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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Sar´dis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, situated at the foot of Mount Tmolus, in a fine plain watered by the river Pactolus, is in N. lat. 38° 30′; E. long. 27° 57′. Sardis was a great and ancient city, and from its wealth and importance was the object of much cupidity and of many sieges. When taken by Cyrus, under Croesus, its last king, who has become proverbial for his riches, Sardis was one of the most splendid and opulent cities of the East. After their victory over Antiochus it passed to the Romans, under whom it rapidly declined in rank and importance. In the time of Tiberius it was destroyed by an earthquake, but was rebuilt by order of the emperor. The inhabitants of Sardis bore an ill repute among the ancients for their voluptuous habits of life. The place that Sardis holds in the Apocalypse, as one of the 'Seven Churches of Asia,' is the source of the peculiar interest with which the Christian reader regards it. From what is said it appears that it had already declined much in real religion, although it still maintained the name and external aspect of a Christian church, 'having a name to live, while it was dead' ().

Successive earthquakes, and the ravages of the Saracens and Turks, have reduced this once flourishing city to a heap of ruins, presenting many remains of its former splendor. The habitations of the living are confined to a few miserable cottages, forming a village called Sart.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Sardis'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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