History Of Hierapolis

Early colonization of Hierapolis is thought to have been initiated by the Pergamenes, under the rule and guidance of King Eumenes II. The city was named after Hiera, the wife of the legendary Telephos, founder of Pergamum. As part of the Kingdom of Pergamum, Hierapolis came under the jurisdiction of the Roman empire in 133 B.C. The city was famous for the health-giving properties of its mineral waters and hot springs, and gained great popularity as a spa during the Roman period. The great earthquake of 17 A.D., which destroyed many of the ancient cities in Anatolia, also took its toll of Hierapolis. It was quickly rebuilt, largely through Roman participation, and experienced its most prosperous period during the second and third centuries, During the Byzantine era, the city became the seat of a diocese with a large Christian church dedicated to Saint Philip. Long after the city was named for Pergamene Queen Hiera, the word Hierapolis took on another meaning, «Templevilie». This is because of the extraordinary number of temples erected on the site. The exact number of these religious edifaces has not been determined since very little of the early history of the area has come down in written form. Modern excavations have revealed only one, the Temple of Apollo. Not much is known about the earliest settlers of Hierapolis other than that the area was controlled by the Seleucld Kings in the third century B:C. The Pergamum king gained control after the battle of Magnesia in the second century B.C. In 129 B.C., Hierapolis was united with the Province of Asia, and, later, the important title of Neocorus was bestowed upon the city by Emperor Caracalla.One of the city’s most famous citizens was the sophist Antipater He served as lecturer and educator to the imperial family of Septimius-Severus. Antipater’s pupils included Caracalla and Geta, later h’eirs to the Roman empire. The city itself was famous primarily as a spa and tourist resort during the Roman era, but it also distinguished itself in industry. The producta of Hierapolis were, for the most part, derived from the sheep industry. Carpet weaving, wool dyeing and other specialized crafts prospered in the city. A large number of guilds, merchants and traders were establishend in the city. Hierapolis was also famous for its marble. This was exported to all parts of the empire. Also, the tombs of copper workers, nail makers and a variety of other craftsmen have been found.

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