top of page


Roman Period

The region was conquered by the Romans in 188 BC. After 25 BC, the Romans built the Via Sebaste linking Pisidian Antioch in Galatia with Perge.

Under the Romans from the 1st to the 3rd century AD the town became a magnificent city with many impressive buildings. It became one of the most beautiful towns in Anatolia, competing with Side for the status of most important town in Pamphylia. Plancia Magna (d. 122), daughter of the governor Marcus Plancius Varus, was the greatest benefactor and instigator of public buildings and was honoured with statues erected by the town council. She was also a priestess at the Artemis Temple and high priestess at the imperial cult.

In 46 AD, according to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul journeyed to Perga, from there continued on to Antiocheia in Pisidia, then returned to Perga where he preached the word of God (Acts 14:25). Then he left the city and went to Attaleia

Temple in Kaunos / The obelisk was the symbol of king Kaunos, 

Click on the pic. to zoom in

As the Cestrus silted up over the late Roman era, Perga declined as a secular city. In the first half of the 4th century, during the reign of Constantine the Great (324-337), Perga became an important centre of Christianity, which soon became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The city retained its status as a Christian centre in the 5th and 6th centuries.


Click on the pic. to zoom in

Perge Roman Gate

Ecclesiastical history

St. Paul the Apostle and his, companion St. Barnabas, twice visited Perga as recorded in the biblical book, the Acts of the Apostles,  during their first missionary journey, where they "preached the word" before heading for and sailing from Attalia (modern-day Antalya city), 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the southwest, to Antioch.

Paul and Barnabas came to Perge during their first missionary journey, but probably stayed there only a short time, and do not seem to have preached there; it was there that John Mark left Paul to return to Jerusalem. On his return from Pisidia, Paul preached at Perge.

St. Matrona of Perge of the 6th century was a female saint known for temporarily cross-dressing to avoid her abusive husband. She also is known for opposing the Monophysite policy of the emperor Anastasios I. Matrona hid in the monastery of St. Bassion as the enuch Babylos. Once revealed, she was sent to a woman's monastery where she was head of the convent. She was famous for her miraculous gift of healing. She went on to found a nunnery in Constantinople. St Matrona died at the age of 100. Her life was told through a vita prima whose author and exact time period remains a mystery.

Arcyanda Theater


Click on the pic. to zoom in

The Greek Notitiae episcopatuum mentions the city as metropolis of Pamphylia Secunda until the 13th century. Le Quien gives the names of 11 of its bishops: Epidaurus, present at the Council of Ancyra in 312; Callicles at the First Council of Nicaea in 325; Berenianus, at Constantinople (426); Epiphanius at the Second Council of Ephesus (449), at the First Council of Chalcedon (451),[25] and a signatory of the letter from the bishops of the province to Emperor Leo (458); Hilarianus, at a council at Constantinople in 536; Eulogius, at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553; Apergius, condemned as a Monothelite at the Third Council of Constantinople in 680; John, at the Trullan council in 692; Sisinnius Pastillas about 754 (an iconoclast who was condemned at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787); Constans, at the same council of that condemned his predecessor; John, at the Council of Constantinople of 869.

No longer a residential, the bishopric is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.

Perga remained inhabited until the foundation of the Seljuk Empire in roughly 1000.


Click on the pic. to zoom in

An unidentified building in necropolis

bottom of page