Question: What do the seven heads of the beast represent in Revelation 17?
Answer: Seven hills on which a city sits. (Revelation 17:9)
Comments: At the time that Revelation was written, the early Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire, which itself was historically known as the "City of Seven Hills". The seven hills of early Rome were the Cermalus, Cispius, Fagutal, Oppius, Palatium, Sucusa and Velia. They figured prominently in Roman mythology, religion, and politics. Though the meaning of much of Revelation's imagery is subject to great debate, the "seven hills" mentioned in Revelation 17:9 referring to the seven hills of Rome is not.
"Here is the mind which has wisdom The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, (Revelation 17:9, NASB)