The leading city in the valley during the first century, Laodicea was destroyed by an earthquake in AD 60. According to Roman writer Tacticus, Rome offered to pay for the city to be rebuilt, but the people declined, saying that they were wealthy enough to restore their own city.
The city was renowned for three main industries:
A banking center for the province of Asia Minor, including a gold exchange; The textile center where glossy, black wool was woven into garments called trimata that were prized in the Roman world; The location of a major medical school known worldwide and where an eye salve called Phyrigian powder was made from a local stone.
Located in the fertile Lycus River Valley, the city had no nearby water source, so tepid, mineral-filled, and nauseating water was piped in from six miles away.
What Happened to the Church in Laodicea?
Church history records that the church in Laodicea remained dynamic after most churches in Asia disappeared. One of its bishops was martyred for his faith in AD 161, about seventy years after John wrote his warning to the city in Revelation. In AD 363, Laodicea was the location chosen for a significant church council. So, it appears that the church in Laodicea learned its lesson and God continued to bless the Christian community there for sometime.
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