: Eth. Θυατειρηνός
), a considerable city in the north of Lydia, on the river Lycus, and on the road leading from Sardes in the south to Germa in the north.
It was anciently called Pelopeia, Euhippa, and Semiramis. (Plin. Nat. 5.31
; Steph. B. sub voce Θυάτειρα.
) Strabo (xiii. p.625
) calls it a Macedonian colony, which probably means only that during the Macedonian period it was increased and embellished, for Stephanus B., admitting that it previously existed under other names, relates that Seleucus Nicator gave it the name of Thygateira or Thyateira on being informed that a daughter (Θυγάτηρ
) was born to him.
But whatever we may think of this etymology, it seems clear that the place was not originally a Macedonian colony, but had existed long before under other names, and at one period belonged to Mysia.
After the time of Antiochus Nicator, however, it became an important place, and is often noticed in history. When the two Scipios arrived in Asia on their expedition against Antiochus the Great, the latter was encamped near Thyateira, but retreated to Magnesia. (Liv. 37.8
After the defeat of the Syrian king, the town surrendered to the Romans. (Liv. 37.44
; Plb. 16.1
; comp. Appian, App. Syr. 30
; Strab. xiii. p.646
; Plut. Sull. 15
; Ptol. 5.2.16
; It. Ant.
p. 336.) In Christian times Thyateira appears as one of the seven Churches in the Apocalypse (2.18); in the Acts of the Apostles (16.14) mention is made of one Lydia, a purple-seller of Thyateira, and at a still later period we hear of several bishops whose see it was.
In the middle ages the Turks changed the name of the town into Akhissar,
which it still bears. (Mich. Duc. p. 114.) Sir C. Fellows (Asia
|COIN OF THYATEIRA.|
p. 22), who calls the modern place Aksa,
states that it teems with relics of an ancient splendid city, although he could not discover a trace of the site of any ruin or early building.
These relics consist chiefly of fragments of pillars, many of which have been changed into well-tops or troughs. (Comp. Arundell, Seven Churches,
p. 188, fell.; Wheeler and Spon, vol. i. p. 253; Lucas, Troisième Voy.
p. 192, &c.; Prokesch, Denkwürdigkeiten,
iii. p. 60, foil.)