80 CONSTANTINOPLE, AND ITS ENVIRONS;
waters of the city, to compel the inhabitants to comply with it. The state from that
time became a Roman province; and it was thus, by force or fraud, this ambitious
people finally became masters of the then known world.
When Christianity expanded itself in Asia, Pergamos became the third church of the
Apocalypse; but it appears, from the reproach of the evangelist, that it was early infected
with that heresy, which has caused, in all ages, such injury to the church of Christ.
" So hast thou also them which hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which I hate," says
St. John.* These heretics were the followers of Nicolas—a proselyte of Antioch, and
one of the seven deacons mentioned in the Acts-i* They were " addicted to the vain
babblings of science falsely so called,"^ pretended to a more deep and mysterious knowledge of spirits and angels, and were the origin of the sect of " Gnostics," who, in the
early ages of the Gospel, degraded it by absurd opinions and foul practices. This church
fell like the others, and less perhaps to be regretted, under the dominion of the Osmanli,
when, with the sword in one hand, and the Koran in the other, they left the inhabitants
of Asia no alternative but death or Mahomed. As they advanced among the Greek
cities, they made their perfection in the arts the means of subduing them. They not
only cut their beautiful marble columns into portions, and rounded them into cannon-
balls, but they perforated the larger pillars into artillery for throwing the pieces of the
smaller. At Pergamus many of the shafts of the columns of their temples were thus
converted into cannon.
The present city, now called Bergamo, by a slight corruption of the original name,
contains 50,000 inhabitants, of whom 1700 are Christians of the Greek and Armenian
churches, and 100 Jews, who have a synagogue. It is approached by an ancient bridge
passing over a tributary stream of the Caicus. It forms the front ground of our illustration, with a caravan passing it. In the back-ground is seen the Acropolis, commanding a splendid view over the vast and rich plain below, as far as the Egean sea.
On this grand elevation stood the magnificent temple, extensive remains of which still
exist, visible from the sea. On the plain below was the Naumachia, where naval
combats were held, supposed to be the most splendid in Asia; and among the remains
of ruder works is a portion of a common sewer, consisting of a cylinder of brick, thirty
feet in diameter. But the ruin most interesting to the Christian traveller is that of
Agios Theologus, the Evangelist St. John, erected by Theodosius, when he surmounted
the Globe he held in hand with a Cross—to declare that Christianity had now become
the paramount religion of the world.
* Rev ii. 15 f Acts vi. 5. J 1 Tim. vi. 20.