Another building constructed by Eumenes II is
the Library of Pergamum. It was the second of the three famous ancient libraries
which contained two hundred thousand volumes and which were given to Cleopatra a
century later as a wedding present by Mark Antony to be added to the ones in the
library of Alexandria. The library is located north of the Athena Sanctuary. The
Library of Pergamum was rich in sources but when the Egyptians prohibited the
export of papyrus, Pergamum King ordered a new material to be found which can
take the place of papyrus. What they found was called parchment which was a
material made of sheep or goat skin. It was polished first with pumice stone and
then slit into sheets. Because of this, the word parchment is used as a synonym
of the name Pergamum.
In the 2nd century Hadrian who was the successor
of Trojan have the Temple of Trojan built in Pergamum in Corinthian order and
dedicated it to Trojan itself. It was built of marble.
The ancient city is composed of three main parts: the Acropolis, whose main function was social and cultural as much as it was religious; the Red Basilica which was built as a Serapis Temple converted into a Byzantine church; and the Asklepion, one of the earliest medical centers in antiquity.
The Asklepion is a famed ancient medical center built in honor of Asklepios, the god of healing. Asklepios was the son of the sun god Apollo. Apollo had a mortal lover, Koronis. Apollo, as was his duty, carrying the sun from the east to the west was able to see everything on earth as he was on the Mountain of Olympia. One day Koronis betrayed him. So Apollo saw it and killed her with a thunderbolt. But he remembered that she was pregnant. He came to the earth and saved the baby from her womb.The baby was called Asklepios. Apollo gave him to the horse Chiron. He taught Asklepios every secrets of healing. Even he became so wise to raise the dead. The God of underworld and deaths was so nervous and complaint about him to Zeus. Zeus had to kill Asklepios when he was working on a formula.On that rainy that the formula went into the earth and grew the useful garlic as a remedy of many sickness. Asklepions were the only hospitals of the ancient times.There were many different kinds of treatments. The treatments included psychotherapy, massage, herbal remedies, mud and bathing treatments, the interpretation of dreams, and the drinking of water.The famous physician Galen was born in Pergamum.Emperors Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Caracalla were patients of this hospital.
The Theatre of Pergamum is said to be the
steepest raked Hellenistic theatre in the world. The cavea of the theatre
consists of eighty rows of seats is divided into three sections by two diazomas.
The theatre is designed for ten thousand people in which andesite was used to
construct. One can see the typical Hellenistic characteristics of a theatre.
Firstly it had no permanent stage building and people were able to see outside
and beyond the playing area from where they were seated.
Zeus Altar can be accepted as the finest altar
ever built. It was built in 180BC without a temple which is
unusual. The altar
which is a marble offering-table is on a huge stone plinth which also supports
the double colonnade of Ionic columns.
How to Go?
Pergamum is 190km
away from Kusadasi. You can either go to Pergamum by busses from Izmir or
have a tour arranged by one of the travel agencies in Kusadasi.