PERGAMUM , ancient city (and kingdom) near the N.W. coast of Asia Minor (now Bergama, Turkey). Independent from the early third century b.c.e., Pergamum thrived primarily during the early Roman advances eastward in the first half of the second century. Following the death of the last king of Pergamum, Attalus iii Philometor (133 b.c.e.), the district came under direct Roman influence as part of the province of Asia. Josephus records a "decree of the people of Pergamum" pertaining to relations with the Jewish nation (Ant., 14:247–55). The document, probably written during the reign of John Hyrcanus i (c. 113–112), refers to a decree of the Roman senate renewing its alliance with the Jews. Of particular interest are its concluding assurances of friendship between Pergamum and Hyrcanus, "remembering that in the time of Abraham, who was the father of all Hebrews, our ancestors were their friends, as we find in the public records." A similar claim, describing the common ancestry of the Jews and Spartans, is recorded elsewhere (cf. Jos., Ant., 12:226; i Macc. 12:21; cf. ii Macc. 5:9), and these should be understood as an accepted mode of Greek diplomatic correspondence. Relations between Judea and Pergamum are further cited by Josephus during the reign of Herod the Great, who included the city among those to which generous donations and gifts were offered (Wars, 1:425). By the first century b.c.e. a Jewish community existed in Pergamum, as Cicero refers to the confiscation of funds in Pergamum intended for the Temple in Jerusalem (Pro Flacco 28:68).
Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19094), 13, 112 n. 45; idem, Hist, 322 n. 30; M. Stern, Ha-Te'udot le-Mered ha-Ḥashmona'im (1965), 151–3, 162–5; A. Schalit, Koenig Herodes (1969), 834 (index), s.v.Pergamon.