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Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (Gr. Philadelphia, brotherly love). A Lydian city founded by Attalus II Philadelphus (159-138 b.c.). The king was so named from his devotion to his brother Eumenes, and the city perpetuated his title. Philadelphia was an outpost of Hellenism in native Anatolia. It lies under Mount Tmolus, in a wide vale that opens into the Hermus Valley, and along which the post road ran. It is on a broad, low, easily defended hill, and this explains Philadelphia’s long stand against the Turks. The district is disastrously seismic, and the great earthquake of a.d. 17 ruined it completely. Placed right above the fault, Philadelphia was tormented by twenty years of recurrent quakes after the disaster of 17. Hence, says Ramsay, is derived the imagery of Rev.3.12 (“Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it.”). The new name is certainly a reference to the proposal to rename the city Neocaesarea in gratitude for Tiberius’s generous earthquake