Built essentially by Eumenes II, Pergamum (modern Bergama) is famous in antiquity for its library. Eumenes II was a passionate book collector and his library (said to have held over 200,000 volumes) was a symbol of the cultural and social power of Pergamum. In its time, it was thought to have rivalled the great library in ancient Alexandria. In fact, the Egyptians were so greatly afraid Pergamum and its library would attract famous scholars away from Alexandria, they cut off the supply and importation to Turkey of Nile papyrus (used to make books). Instead, Eumenes, set his scientific henchmen to work, and they came up with pergamen (Latin for parchment),
a writing surface made from animal hides as opposed to pressed papyrus reeds! Sitting in a stunning location on top of a hill, Pergamum is also famous for it’s awesome hillside amphitheatre, one of the steepest in the classical world. Down the hill (and viewable from the ancient city) is Pergamum’s Asclepion (medical centre).
The centre came to the fore under Galen (AD131-210). Born here, he studied in Alexandria, Greece and Asia Minor before setting up shop as a physician to Pergamum’s gladiatorial combatants. Recognised as perhaps the greatest early physician, Pergamum’s Asclepion became renowned. His work was the basis for all Western medicine until at least the 16th century! The Asclepion is entered along a Roman street where upon entering, there is a Roman column carved with snakes, the symbol of Asclepios.
Pergamum is near Kusadasi. Listed below are some of our Holidays with Kusadasi
Perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown, Cappadocia consists of whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses, all hewn from the ...