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Here we see the broad valley of the Lesser Lycus River. This name was given to distinguish it from the Lycus River near Laodicea. The Lycus near Thyatira is one of the tributaries of the Hermus River. The ancient city of Thyatira is located further south and in the centre of this valley.
The location of Thyatira on an important land route from Byzantium to Smyrna made it prosperous. Its history is well recorded. The geographer Stephen of Byzantium wrote that it was founded as a Lydian garrison in the 7th century B.C. Strabo mentions that it became a Macedonian colony under the Seleucid ruler, Seleucus I. Because of its strategic location, the Pergamene rulers kept a garrison installed there. When the last King of Pergamum bequeathed his kingdom to the Romans, Thyatira also came under Roman rule. Because of its lack of seclusion and natural protection, Thyatira was easily influenced by new ideas, especially in the sphere of religion. It may have been one of the reasons why the Jezebel cult had a large following. Its location then, made Thyatira both strong and weak.