How did Philadelphia get its name?

Ok, so this is really bizarre. Philadelphia is mentioned once in the Bible, in Revelation 3:7 where Jesus conveys a letter to the Christians there. So, I got curious, why was the city named “Philadelphia.” Of course, everyone knows that Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love. And the original Philadelphia was in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey–not Pennsylavania! So the original Philadelphia was founded by a king of Pergamon named Attalus II Philadelphus (or “philadelphos” in Greek). “Philadelphos” was this king’s nickname because he loved his brother so much.

Right, so how does that work? How is your love for your brother famous? Well, here’s how the story goes: Attalus II’s brother, Eumenes II, was the king of Pergamon. Once, when he was traveling back from Rome, his convoy came under attack and he was presumed dead. Word got back to Pergamon and so Attalus II ascended to the throne and married his brother’s wife, Stratonice. Well, a little while later, Eumenes shows up alive at Pergamon! Attalus II returns Stratonice to Eumenes and the two brothers reign together as co-regents. At a certain point during their co-regency, the Romans approach Attalus and try to get him to betray his brother for their benefit. Attalus refuses the offer and thus becomes renowned for his faithfulness to his brother. Finally, two years after Eumenes brief disappearance, he actually dies. Attalus II becomes sole monarch over Pergamon and re-marries Eumenes’ widow, Stratonice. How bizarre is that?! How often does a queen marry a king’s brother twice?

One thought on “How did Philadelphia get its name?

  1. Martha

    First time I have seen the story about Eumenes thought Dead & reappearing after Attalus takes his place as King of Pergamom & marries his brother’s wife, then Eumenes turns up & Attalus gives him back his wife & then they are co-kings &
    Romans try to bribe Attalus but could not then 2yrs later Eumenes died & Attalus becomes the only King & re-marries Stratonice ‼️ Thanks

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