Revelation resources -- Revelation and Asia Minor

Most recent revision May 26th, 2002

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Description: This page presents scholarly works which treats various aspects of Asia Minor, including its history, archaeology, sociology and geography. Some special topics have its own page: persecutions and the imperial cult. To qualify for inclusion on this page, the work must be either well-known and used or well documented and argued. Unfortunately, some works qualify on the first reason, but not on the second. (January 1st, 1997)


Bean, G.E.: Aegean Turkey. An Archaeological Guide. London: Ernest Benn, 1966.

No description yet ... (27. december 1996 17:32:24)

Friesen, Steven J.: Twice Neokoros. Ephesus, Asia and the Cult of the Flavian Imperial Family. (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World, 116). E.J. Brill: Leiden; New York; Köln 1993.

Friesen's Ph.D. dissertation is a well argued treatment of the problem that Ephesus was granted the honour of being "temple warden" twice, which was quite unusual. On the basis of the archaeological data (coins, epigraphs, buildings, and literature), Friesen analyses the terms neochoros (temple warden), asiarch* (asiarchs, asiarchate) and koinon tes asias (the council of Asia) as well as their content and reference. Friesen also has managed to establish a chronological list of asiarchs which enables him to date the Domitian building complex. Friesen also detects who took the initiative to this enormous project. This sheds light on the imperial cult in Ephesus. Apparently, Ephesus build this major edifice in order to celebrate the Domitian games. To judge from the archaeological data, both the buildings and the games should liken the edifices on Olympia as well as the Olympian games honoring Zeus. The edifices in Ephesus may very well be inaugurated and the games took their start on the birthday of Domitian in October 89 A.D. Domitian did not at all command Ephesus to do all this, but it was a volantary act of Ephesus with the permission of Domitian. Friesen does not explain the overall functin of the imperial cult (see Price, Rituals who does do that), but does correct some minor errors in Price's work. Friesen has announced a second book on the relationship between Revelation and Asia, but the publication date is not very near, AFAIK. What can probably be said on the basis of this already published book is that there is no evidence that Domitian ever commanded any persecution of the Christians, but that local persecutions could perhaps (or according to Friesen: very well) be explained as local initiated persecutions which could be the results of the Christians' refusal to participate in the imperial cult because this was a threat to the stability of Asia as well as the whole Roman Empire. (27. december 1996 21:10:53)

Gates, M. "Archaeology in Turkey." AJA 99 (1995) 207-55.
Gates, M. "Archaeology in Turkey." AJA 100 (1996) 277-335.

No description yet. (28 Dec 1998)

Jones, A.H.M.: The Cities of the Eastern Roman Empire. Revised by Michael Avi-Yonah, George Bean, Michael Gough, T.B. Mitford, George Mihailov, Joyce Reynolds, Henri Seyrig, J. David Thomas, David Wilson. Oxford: Clarendon, 1971 2.ed

No description yet. (27 Dec 1996)

Jones, A.H.M.: The Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces. Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1983.

No description yet ... (27 Dec 1996)

Magie, David: Roman Rule in Asia Minor to then End of the Third Century after Christ. 2 volumes. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton UP, 1950.

A monumental work (almost 1500 pages) scrutinizing the Roman rule in Asia. (27 Dec 1996)

Millar, Fergus: The Roman Near East. 31 B.C. – A.D. 337. Cambridge, Mass., 1994.

This work by one of the most learned scholars and experts on ancient Rome is a valuable investigation of the history of the Roman Near East from 31 B.C. to A.D. 337. (27 Dec 1996)

Mitchell, Stephen: Anatolia. Land, Men, and Gods in Asia Minor. Volume 1: The Celts in Anatolia and the Impact of Roman Rule. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995. (= 1993)

---: Anatolia. Land, Men, and Gods in Asia Minor. Volume 2: The Rise of the Church. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995 (= 1993)

These two volumes are presentations of the Anatolian history from the Celts to the sixth century. They are clearly written and well documented and informed from historical, archaeological and - although to a lesser degree - theological studies. Mitchell concentrates upon central Anatolia, viz. the province of Galatia but is nevertheless usefull for Revelation studies with regard to the relationship between the empire and the Eastern provinces. (19 May 1997)

Reviewed by Raymond Van Dam in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1995 no. 2

Trebilco, Paul R.: Jewish Communities in Asia Minor. Cambridge etc.: CUP, 1991.

This book based on Trebilco's dissertation describes throughout 330 pages the various aspects of the Jewish communities in Asia which is important because Revelation shows that the relationship between Christians and Jews were not necessarily a good one. Although this relationship is debated among Revelation scholars, Trebilco's research is valuable giving precise information about the Jews in Asia. Unfortunately, of the seven cities mentioned in Revelation, only Sardis is treated by Trebilco. Chapter 1 is a survey of the Jewish communities in Asia Minor in literary sources. Chapter 2 treats inter alia Sardis and Chapter 6-7 discusses the question of syncretism and 'God-Worshippers' in Asia Minor. Chapter 8 discusses the general position of Jews in the Greek city in Asia Minor (20 Jan 1997)

Yamauchi, Edwin M.: The Archaeology of New Testament Cities in Western Asia Minor. London; Glasgow: Pickering & Inglis, 1980.

Book written by a well-known scholar without technicalities. (27 Dec 1996).


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