The biblical city of Philadelphia, one of the seven churches of Asia Minor (Rev. 3:7-13) was founded by Attalus II, king of Pergamum (159–138 BC).
W.M. Ramsay tells us that Attalus II’s “truth and loyalty to his brother Eumenes won him the epithet Philadelphus” (The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, p. 391). Hence the name of the city, Philadelphia, which means brotherly love.
“Because of its strategic location, it [Philadelphia] served as a vital link in communication and trade between Sardis and Pergamum to the west and Laodicea and Hierapolis to the east. It was a center of agriculture, leather production, and textile industry” (Harper’s Bible Dictionary). Today Philadelphia is called Alaşehir.
Attalus II was also the founder of Attalia, mentioned in Acts 14:25-26 in connection with Paul’s return trip on his 1st Missionary Journey. This is the site of today’s Antalya, one of Turkey’s largest cities.
Eumenes, brother of Attalus II, was king of Pergamun 197-157 BC. He was the founder of the city of Hierapolis (Col. 4:13). It is fitting that there is a bust of Eumenes in the museum at Hierapolis.
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