The Palaestra
In this large (six hundred by one hundred fifty feet) open area in front of the Marble Court, physical education was done on the sand floor. Smaller rooms around the outside were also used for physical training, conditioning (weights and calisthenics), skill development (discus, javelin, jumping), and cardiovascular training (running). Also in these rooms the students relaxed with massage and oil treatments after their exercise and classroom learning.

The Didaskelion
Located on the outside of the open area, this school for academics provided rooms in which students learned and recited lessons. There were three levels of education: elementary (boys and girls ages five through twelve who studied reading and writing); secondary (boys and girls ages twelve to sixteen who studied philosophy, math, science, and music); and advanced (boys sixteen through adulthood who studied philosophy, medicine, music and science).

The Marble Court
This three-story, colonnaded courtyard was dedicated to the cult of the Roman emperor, believed to be the guardian of the truth being taught and exemplified in his life. All learning was devoted to him. Many niches in the walls served as pediments for statues. In the main apse was a statue of the emperor, who was honored with sacrifices and ceremonies during the educational process.

The Bath Complex
In the western section was the largest pool, the heated caldarium. East of this was a large, central hall and the warm pool (tepidarium). A nearby oblong hall held the cold pool (frigidarium) where students completed their bathing. There were also fountains in niches in the walls.

The Synagogue
Holding more than one thousand people (estimated), this is the largest synagogue ever found in the ancient world. It was not part of the original gymnasium and was added later, just after the time of the New Testament. Here, impressive mosaic floors added to the beauty of the structure and testify to the community’s wealth. More than eighty inscriptions have been found in the synagogue that indicated that some Jews had significant statues and wealth in Sardis and that others were Gentile coverts.

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Upcoming Tours

We would love to walk with you in the Holy Land. Here are upcoming opportunities:

Jun 28 — Jul 12, 2020
Out of Egypt, Into a Good Land
Led by George DeJong
Sep 19 — Oct 02, 2020
Israel & Turkey in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Nov 01 — Nov 15, 2020
Walking with the Patriarchs
Led by George DeJong
Spring 2021
Israel in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Summer 2021
Ancient Paths to Modern Leadership
Led by George DeJong
Fall 2021
Through the Roof
Led by George DeJong