1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ak-Hissar

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AK-HISSAR (anc. Thyateira, the “town of Thya”), a town situated in a fertile plain on the Gürdük Chai (Lycus), in the Aidin vilayet, 58 m. N.E. of Smyrna. Pop. about 20,000, Mussulmans forming two-thirds. Thyateira was an ancient town re-peopled with Macedonians by Seleucus about 290 B.C. It became an important station on the Roman road from Pergamum to Laodicea, and one of the “Seven Churches” of Asia (Rev. ii. 18), but was never a metropolis or honoured with a neocorate, though made the centre of a conventus by Caracalla. The modern town is connected with Smyrna by railway, and exports cotton, wool, opium, cocoons and cereals. The inhabitants are Greeks, Armenians and Turks. The Greeks are of an especially fine type, physical and moral, and noted all through Anatolia for energy and stability. W. M. Ramsay believes them to be direct descendants of the ancient Christian population; but there is reason to think they are partly sprung from more recent immigrants who moved in the 18th century from western Greece into the domain of the Karasmans of Manisa and Bergama, as recorded by W. M. Leake. Cotton of excellent quality is grown in the neighbourhood, and the place is celebrated for its scarlet dyes.

See W. M. Ramsay, Letters to the Seven Churches (1904); M. Clerc, De rebus Thyatirenorum (1893).