Philadelphia (Greek Φιλαδέλφεια, Turkish Alasehir) was established in Asia Minor, 189 BC by King Eumenes II of Pergamos (197-160 BC). Eumenes II named the city for the love of his brother, who would be his successor, Attalus II (159-138 BC), whose loyalty earned him the nickname, "Philadelphos", literally meaning "one who loves his brother". The city is perhaps best-known as the site of one of the seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation. The city lies in an earthquake-prone area.
Alasehir is located approximately 100 miles east of Smyrna and 26 miles southwest of Sardis on the Cogamis River, a tributary of the Hermus river. Lacking an heir, Attalus III Philometer, the last of the Attalid kings of Pergamum, bequeathed his kingdom, including Philadelphia, to his Roman allies when he died in 133 BC. Rome set up the province of Asia in 129 BC by combining Ionia and the former Kingdom of Pergamos.
Book of Revelation
It is this ancient Philadelphia site that is commonly surmised to have been the headquarters of one of the seven churches referred by John the Revelator in Revelation 1:11. Philadelphia is the sixth church mentioned.
- The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia And their place in the plan of the Apocalypse, W. M. Ramsay, D.C.L, Litt.D., LL.D., Professor of Humanity in the University of Aberdeen, 1904