It is a synagogue located in Manisa Province, Turkey. Sardis was under numerous foreign rulers until its incorporation into the Roman Empire in 133 BCE. The city then served as the administrative center of the Roman province of Lydia. Sardis was rebuilt after the catastrophic Lydia earthquake in AD 17 and enjoyed a long period of prosperity under Roman rule.
WHY THIS PLACE
Sardis is believed to have conquered its Jewish community in the 3rd century BC, as it was when King Antiochus III (223-187 BC) encouraged Jews from various countries, including Babylonia, to move to Sardis. Josephus Flavius wrote about a decree of Lucius Antonius, a Roman pro-quaestor from 50-49 BC: ""Lucius Antonius ... to [the people of Sardinia] sends his greetings. These Jews, who are fellow citizens of Rome, came to me, and showed that they had an assembly of their own, according to their ancestral laws. [They had this assembly] from the beginning, as well as a place of their own, where they determined their processes and controversies among themselves. for me, that it may be lawful for them, I have ordained that their privileges should be preserved, and permitted to them accordingly. ""1 (Ant., XIV: 10, 17).
"A place of its own" is generally considered a reference to the synagogue in Sardis. Josephus Flavius noted that Caius Norbanus Flaccus, a Roman proconsul in the late 1st century BC, defended the rights of Sardinian Jews to practice their religion, including the right to donate to the temple in Jerusalem.