TURKEY Between Two Worlds
The ancient city of Ephesus, located near the Aegean Sea in modern day Turkey (about an hour south of Izmir), was one of the great cities of the Greeks in Asia Minor and home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today, the ruins of Ephesus are a major tourist attraction, especially for travelers on Mediterranean cruises.
Ephesus is also a sacred site for Christians due to its association with several biblical figures, including St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary. The religious history of ancient Ephesus was the subject of the webmaster's thesis at Oxford (completed in June 2007), so this section is even more comprehensive than most - including the most detailed map of Ephesus on the website.
Harbor street leading to the silted up harbor of Ephesus, a cause of the city's decline
In the ancient world, Ephesus was a center of travel and commerce. Situated on the Aegean Sea at the mouth of the Cayster River, the city was one of the greatest seaports of the ancient world.
Three major roads led from the seaport: one road went east towards Babylon via Laodicea, another to the north via Smyrna and a third south to the Meander Valley.
Considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Ephesus' Temple of Artemis was dedicated to the goddess of the hunt. Only the foundation and one column remains of this temple which once measured 425 ft long, 220 ft wide and 60 ft high.
Paul's successful ministry in this city was considered a threat to this very temple (Acts 19:27).
From the time of Augustus, these dwellings of wealthy Ephesians, were decorated with beautiful frescoes and mosaics. The houses had luxurious bedrooms, bathrooms, triclinium, and kitchens.
Built against the mountain south of Ephesus, the roof of one house forms the terrace for the house above it. These houses were inhabited until the 7th c. A.D.
This market area is known as the "Square Agora" because of its dimensions 360 ft square. It arose in the Hellenistic period and was surrounded on all sides by arched shops about 40 ft deep. It is located next to the harbor and was the city's main commercial center. It is quite possible that Paul worked here with Priscilla and Aquila in their tent-making business.
Great theatre of Ephesus
Originally holding 25,000 people, this theater was built in the Hellenistic period and was renovated by several Roman emperors. Designed for theatrical performances, later alterations allowed gladiatorial contests to be held here.
When Paul was accused of hurting the Artemis and her temple, the mob gathered together in this theater (Acts 19:23-41)
Library of Celsus
Originally built in 115-25 A.D., this restored facade is a highlight of the ruins today. This style is believed to be the standard architectural form for Roman libraries. The interior measures 70 by 80 feet and held approximately 15,000 scrolls. This library was dedicated to Celsus the proconsul of Asia and his sarcophagus was located under the apse.
GOD IS THE LORD WHO DOES MIRACLES