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Chapter Summary

The historian must approach early Christianity in the Lycus Valley with very modest goals: not only has the source material been reduced to a few vestiges, as is generally true in the history of antiquity, it is also characterized by a special "grammar" shaped by Christianity, accessible to the classically trained historian only with difficulty. As the works of William Mitchell Ramsay show, scholarship is indebted to epigraphy and archaeology for important insights into the history of the three cities of the Lycus Valley. In Hierapolis and more recently in Laodicea also, the analysis and publication of inscriptions and excavation findings have made considerable progress; Colossae, however, still stands in the shadow of the other two. The Lycus and its tributaries flow through a hilly alluvial landscape, including some ravines, that allows the cultivation of several crops.

Keywords: Colossae; early Christianity; Hierapolis; Laodicea; Lycus Valley



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