Now called Sart, a city of Asia Minor, formerly the capital of Croesus king of Lydia, proverbial for the immensity of his wealth. It was situated at the foot of Mount Tmolus on the north, having a spacious and delightful plain before it, watered by several streams that flow from the neighboring hill and by the Pactolus. It lay upon the route of Xerxes to Greece; and its inhabitants were noted for their profligacy, Revelation 3:4. It is now a pitiful village, but contains a large khan for the accommodation of travellers, it being the road for the caravans that come out of Persia to Smyrna with silk. The inhabitants are for the most part shepherds, who have charge of the numerous flocks and herds, which feed in the plains.
To the southward of the town are very considerable ruins still remaining, chiefly those of a theatre, a stadium, and two churches. The height on which the citadel was built is shattered by an earthquake. There are two remarkable pillars, remnants, it is thought, of an ancient temple of Cybele, built only three hundred years after Solomonís temple. These ruins, and the countless sepulchral mounds in the vicinity, remind us of what Sardis was, before earthquake and the sword had laid it desolate.
The Turks have a mosque here, formerly a Christian church, at the entrance of which are several curious pillars of polished marble. Some few nominal Christians still reside here, working in gardens, or otherwise employed in such like drudgery. The church in Sardis was reproached by our Savior for its declension in vital religion. It had a name to live, but was really dead, Revelation 3:1-6.