Monday, January 08, 2007

Smyrna (Modern Izmir)

***Emily has been battling a very bad cold, would you please take a few seconds to pray for her? We'd greatly appreciate it.***

We spent today in the third largest city in Turkey, Izmir. Izmir used to be known by a differnet name, Smyrna. The same Smyrna referred to as the "suffering church" in Revelation chapter 2.

In addition to claiming to be the birthplace of Homer (of Iliad and Odyssey fame) Smyrna is also well known for being the location that Polycarp, a disciple and friend of the disciple John, was the Bishop for over 40 years. It was also the place he was martyred (first by burning and when that failed, by stabbing).

Just before he was executed he was given one last chance to spare his life and denouce Christ, in response he said:

"For 86 years I have served [Christ] and he has done me no wrong, how can I blaspheme my King who saved me?"

The agora (marketplace) of ancient Smyrna.

Beautiful archways under the agora (marketplace).

This is the best preserved Roman road in all of Asia Minor.

View of modern day Smyrna (Izmir). This is also the place where the old theatre used to be and where Polycarp was martyred.

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