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The Wisest Fool (11 of 16)
Antipas-A Faithful Martyr
Clarence E. Macartney
This is the greatest epitaph of the Bible. In the days
of His flesh Christ promised eternal life and eternal
reward to those who are faithful to Him. If they
confess His name before the world, He will confess
their names before His Father in heaven. But here
Christ, speaking to John on Patmos, singles out and
names one man as having been faithful to death, and
that one man is Antipas, his faithful witness, who
died for Christ at Pergamos.
Pergamos was one of the cities of the Seven churches
to which Christ sent His message through John. It is
located some seventy miles north of Smyrna, and on the
highway which led across that part of Asia Minor from
Philadelphia to Sardis, to Thyatira, and on to Troas.
The ruins at Pergamos are the most imposing of any of
the cities of the Seven churches. Following the
ancient road which winds up the mountainside to the
Acropolis, and where the ruts worn in the stones of
the road by the chariot wheels are clearly visible,
one reaches the plateau on the top of the mount. The
plain is strewn with the ruins of palaces, temples,
amphitheaters, forums, and marketplaces.
Pergamos was the center of the worship of the god of
healing, Aesculapius. This god was worshiped under the
symbol of the serpent, and one was kept there in his
temple. There too was the famous altar of Zeus, on the
base of which were depicted the battles between the
giants and the gods. There too, when Pergamos was in
its glory, one might have seen the famous sculpture
"The Dying Galatian," celebrating the victory of the
king of Pergamos over the Galatians or the Gauls. "The
Dying Gladiator," or "Dying Gaul," in the Capitoline
Museum at Rome, and so familiar to thousands of
travelers, is a copy of the original statue on the
walls of Pergamos. In Pergamos too was one of the
world's greatest libraries. It was f ...
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