Pergamum


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Pergamum

(pûr`gəməm), ancient city of NW Asia Minor, in Mysia (modern Turkey), in the fertile valley of the Caicus. It became important c.300 B.C., after the breakup of the Macedonian empire, when a Greek family (the Attalids) established a brilliant center of Hellenistic civilization. The kingdom achieved major importance under Attalus I (d. 197 B.C.), Eumenes II (d. 160 or 159), and Attalus II (d. 138). These kings followed a pro-Roman policy through fear of the imperialism of Philip V of Macedon and of Antiochus III of Syria. The independence of Pergamum ended dramatically when Attalus III (d.133) bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman people. The chief glory of Pergamum was its sculpture, at two periods. The first Pergamene school (c.250–200) celebrated the decisive victory (c.230) of Attalus I over the Galatians; the Dying Gaul is an example of the realism of the art. The later period (200–150) produced a frieze for a great altar of Zeus, glorifying especially the defeat (190) of Antiochus III of Syria at MagnesiaMagnesia
, two ancient cities of Lydia, W Asia Minor (now W Turkey). They were colonies of the Magnetes, a tribe of E Thessaly. One city (Magnesia ad Maeandrum), SE of Smyrna (Izmir), was later colonized by Ionians and given by Artaxerxes I to Themistocles, who died there.
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. Pergamum was the birthplace of GalenGalen
, c.130–c.200, physician and writer, b. Pergamum, of Greek parents. After study in Greece and Asia Minor and at Alexandria, he returned to Pergamum, where he served as physician to the gladiatorial school. He resided chiefly in Rome from c.162.
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. The cultured Pergamene rulers also built up a library second only to the one at Alexandria. One of the library's specialties was the use of parchmentparchment,
untanned skins of animals, especially of the sheep, calf, and goat, prepared for use as a writing material. The name is a corruption of Pergamum, the ancient city of Asia Minor where preparation of parchment suitable for use on both sides was achieved in the 2d cent.
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, which takes its name from the city. Eventually the library was given by Antony to Cleopatra. Under Rome, Pergamum was reconstituted as the province of Asia, and Ephesus rapidly eclipsed Pergamum as the chief city of Asia Minor. Pergamum accepted Christianity early; it was one of the Seven Churches of Asia (Rev.1.11; 2.12). Various forms of the name are Pergamus, Pergamon, and Pergamos. The modern town of Bergama, Izmir prov., is on the site of ancient Pergamum.

Bibliography

See R. B. McShane, Foreign Policy of the Attalids of Pergamum (1964).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pergamum

 

(Greek Pergamos), an ancient kingdom (283–133 B.C.) in northwestern Asia Minor. Its capital was the city of Pergamum.

The founder of the kingdom of Pergamum was the Greek Philetaerus, who was in charge of Lysimachus’ treasury in the Pergamum fortress. In 283 he rose against Lysimachus and seized the treasury. Philetaerus created a new Hellenistic state in Mysia and founded the Attalid dynasty. From 231 the rulers of Pergamum were called kings.

Pergamum was inhabited by local tribes—Mysians, Maz-dyenes, and Paphlagonians—and by Greeks and Macedonians. Its natural resources, including wood, marble, ores, and pasture-land, and its strategic geographic position on the Mediterranean Sea contributed to rapid economic development. The most developed sectors of the economy were land cultivation, stock raising, trades (weaving, pottery-making, the manufacture of arms and armor, dyeing, building, and tanning), and foreign trade (in grain, tars, leather, dyes, cloth, ships’ timbers, ceramics, perfumes, and parchment). The main port was Elaea. The main agricultural producers were dependent and semidependent peasants, who paid taxes in kind and in money to the king’s treasury. Part of the land was held by military settlers (katoikiai), who did military service and paid taxes for their land. More than one-half of Pergamum’s army consisted of various categories of mercenaries. Slave labor was used in the quarries, mines, and workshops, which usually belonged to the king. Included in the kingdom of Pergamum were a number of city-states, some of which were subject to the rulers of Pergamum. The king maintained garrisons in the subject city-states, which paid direct taxes and included Teos, Tralles, and, until 167, Ephesus. Others were autonomous and formed part of the state on the basis of treaties; these included Lampsacus and Magnesia. Some large holy cities, including Pessinus in Galatia, were dependent on the Attalids. The king appointed strategi to administer the subject territories.

Pergamum warred against the Seleucid Kingdom, Macedonia, and Galatia. During the Second Macedonian War (200–197) and the Syrian War (192–188), the kings of Pergamum were allied with Rome. For its part in the two wars (under the Apamea Treaty of 188 B.C.), Pergamum received Chersonesus, a region of Lydia, Phrygia, part of Caria and Pamphylia, and a number of Greek cities of Asia Minor. In 183 B.C. Pergamum seized Galatia but lost it after the uprising of the Galatians in 168–167. Increased Roman influence under Attalus II (160/159–138) and Attalus III (138–133) led to a gradual decline in Pergamum’s importance. In 133 B.C., Attalus III bequeathed this kingdom to Rome, thus ensuring the freedom of several cities in Pergamum, in particular the capital. In 133 (or 132) an anti-Roman uprising headed by Aristonicus broke out in Pergamum. After crushing it in 129, the Romans made Pergamum a province of Rome and renamed it Asia, creating a provincial administration in 126 B.C.

REFERENCES

Iulkina, O. N. “Pergamskii dekret 133 g. do n.e.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1947, no. 4.
Kolobova, K. M. “Attal III i ego zaveshchanie.” In the collection Drevnii mir. Moscow, 1962.
Sventsitskaia, I. S. Sotsial’no-ekonomicheskie osobennosti ellinisticheskikh gosudarstv. Moscow, 1963.
Hansen, E. The Attalids of Pergamon. New York, 1947.
Magie, D. Roman Rule in Asia Minor, vols. 1–2. Princeton, N. J., 1950.
McShane, R. B. The Foreign Policy of the Attalids of Pergamum. Urbana, Ill., 1964.

Pergamum

 

(Greek Pergamos), an ancient city in Asia Minor, the modern Bergama. It was founded in the 12th century B.C. by people from mainland Greece. From 283 to 133 B.C. it was the capital of the kingdom of Pergamum. The city reached its zenith under Eumenes I (263–241 B.C.) and Eumenes II (197–159 B.C.). It was one of the most important economic and cultural centers of the Hellenistic world. The library of Pergamum, which held 200,000 scrolls, was second only to the library at Alexandria. It was in Pergamum that parchment first replaced papyrus as a writing material. The city was renowned for its medical school. The German archaeologists C. Humann and E. Curtius and others conducted excavations from 1878 to 1886, from 1900 to 1906, and in subsequent years.

Hellenistic Pergamum was surrounded by a massive wall with gates known as the gates of Eumenes. The city was dominated by an acropolis, whose main structures, dating from the second century B.C., were situated on terraces in a dynamic and picturesque arrangement. On the higher terraces were the palaces of the kings of Pergamum, the arsenal, and a temple dedicated to Trajan. Somewhat lower was the shrine to Athena Niceph-orus. Next to this, statues were erected in the second half of the third century B.C. that were remarkable for their realistic expressiveness; they included depictions of Gauls by the sculptor Epigonos, which are known only from Roman marble copies. Also on the lower level were the library, the temple to Demeter (third century B.C.), the Great Altar of Zeus, richly decorated with a high-relief frieze depicting a gigantomachy (marble, c. 180, Antiquities Collection, Berlin), and a theater from the second century B.C. On the plain are the ruins of the Roman city, including the Red Hall from the first half of the second century A.D.

REFERENCES

Altertümer von Pergamon, vols. 1–11. Berlin, 1885–1969.
Rohde, E. Pergamon: Burgberg und Altar. Berlin, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pergamum

an ancient city in NW Asia Minor, in Mysia: capital of a major Hellenistic monarchy of the same name that later became a Roman province
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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