Room with a Spew
Saturday September 09th 2006, 3:01 am
Filed under: Archeology,Patristics

A late Roman villa was recently unearthed in the ancient city of Laodicea. Its rooms were lavishly decorated with expensive mosaics.

You might remember the city from the Book of Revelation (3:14-19), where it is the subject of this oracle: “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘…I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.”

According to archeologists, the site indeed shows signs of tremendous prosperity: “The city was at its most famous and important in the first century B.C., with most of the remains of the city dating from this era … Many monumental buildings were constructed via donations from local residents.”

And then comes the apocalyptic stuff: “Laodicea was eventually almost completely destroyed by an earthquake and subsequently abandoned. Two theaters of different sizes, a stadium and gymnasium … and a large church are the most notable ruins in the ancient city.”

Kind of makes you glad Christians in your town aren’t prosperous or lukewarm, huh?

Source: Turkish Daily News.


5 Comments so far
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May God have mercy upon us!

Comment by Fred K. 09.09.06 @ 11:59 am

Mike: I couldn’t determine from the article the dating of the Church itself. Are they saying it dates from the first century A.D. or later?

Comment by SteveG 09.09.06 @ 1:23 pm

It’s unclear from the story. At some point an earthquake cleared the place out, but I don’t know when that was. I’ll try to find that information. Meantime, if anyone else knows, go ahead and chime in.

Comment by Mike Aquilina 09.09.06 @ 3:23 pm

Steve: You’ll find great photos and information about Laodicea here. “In the 4th century Laodicea emerged as the prominent Christian center … and was the site of an important Church council … Its prosperity continued into the fifth century, but it was devastated by an earthquake in 494 AD. The growth of Denizli nearby led to the immigration of the natives. Under Turkish rule it was named ‘Ladik,’ but it could not be revived. Gradually it lost its former prominence and was finally abandoned in the 13th century AD.”

Comment by Mike Aquilina 09.09.06 @ 9:25 pm

Thanks Mike! I’ll check out the link.

Comment by SteveG 09.10.06 @ 8:30 pm



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