Sardis sits under the shadow of Mount Tmolus. The ancient cities here may have fallen into antiquity should it have not been an enormous earthquake of AD17. Tiberius ordered the cities of the area rebuilt, and gave exemption from taxes for five years to assist in the reconstruction, (Tacitus 2.42). Sardis being built on a rocky spur of this mountain and near the Pactolus river. This mountain was the stuff of legends for at the pinnacle of its glory Croesus ruled from here across vast tracks of Asia minor. Legend has the Persians and later the Greeks under Antiochus scaled the impossible cliffs to take the city, and in the first instance, take the fortunes of Croesus.

This appears to be the historical background to the comments of Rev 3:5 “Remember therefore how thou has received  and heard, and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shalt not WATCH, I will come on thee as a thief and thous shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee”.

Sardis was the capital of the Lydian empire, and was the terminus of the Persian road ending in Susa and Persepolis. The consecutive kings and change in empires to rule from this place are listed as follows: Gyges 710BC, Ardyes 680BC, Sadyattes 631BC, Alyattes 619BC, Croesus 560BC, Alexander 334BC, Antiochus 214BC and finally the Romans from 190BC.

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