Saturday, June 9, 2007

Altar of Pergamon

You've seen the little Hecate altar a few posts back. It was used for private magic by someone living in Pergamon. Well, here's what might be thought of as its direct opposite: the Great Altar of Zeus at Pergamon (now in Berlin's State Museum). Originally built in the 2nd cent BCE, this altar is decorated with images from the myth of the Battle of the Gods and the Giants. (Hecate also features on it, see the second shot). The magazine "Biblical Archaeology Review" has a very interesting article by Adela Yarbro Collins on this altar entitled "Satan's Throne" (Vol # 32, No.3 May/June 2006). Apparently the prophet John, in the Book of Revelations from the Christian Bible, conveys a message from the risen Christ to the seven congregations in Asia Minor. The message to the Christians in Pergamon declares "I know where you dwell, where the throne of Satan is, and you hold fast to my name and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas, my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells." The article goes on to say that Revelation refers to a specific structure when it speaks of Satan's throne - The Pergamon Altar. This is a fascinating article and I encourage those interested to look it up. Just like the author of Revelation people today, in 2007, still mistake the plethora of individual Pagan gods, with their own names and personalities, for one particular god called Satan. I hope one day they will bother to do some actual research before they bang on about whose who in the world pantheon.


Unknown said...

The alter was dedicated to Zeus though--one god. I'm sure this is what early Christians had in mind when they called it the "throne of satan" not just what's sculpted on it. Zeus and lucifer have many common characteristics. I'm not Christian but you should research further before making conclusions and accusations.

Anonymous said...

It was also dedicated to the Roman emperor at the time, Domitian. Maybe you should do some as well.