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Ephesus (1)

 Ancient Greek city of Asia Minor, near the mouth of the Menderes River, in what is today West Turkey, South of Smyrna (now Izmir). One of the greatest of the Ionian cities, it became the leading seaport of the region. Its wealth was proverbial.

 The great temple of Artemis, or Artemis, called by the Romans the temple of Diana, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. From c.100 B.C. to c. A.D. 100 Ephesus was the world capital of the slave trade.

The city was sacked by the Goths in A.D. 262, and the temple was destroyed. The seat of a church council in 431, Ephesus was abandoned after the harbour silted up. Excavations (1869-74) of the ruins of the temple brought to light many artefacts. Later excavations uncovered important Roman and Byzantine remains.

In a Christian version of a widespread story, martyrs immured in a cave near Ephesus during the persecutions by Decius (c.250). Long afterward, in the 5th cent., they awoke (as from sleep) and were taken before Theodosius II, Roman emperor of the east. Their story reassured the emperor, who had been wavering in his faith. The youths returned to their cave, to sleep again until Judgment. The story, thought to be of Syrian origin, was popularized by Gregory of Tours.

The site is large. In fact, Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins East of the Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15% has been excavated. The ruins that are visible give some idea of the city's original splendour, and the names associated with the ruins are evocative of its former life. The theatre dominates the view down Harbour Street which leads to the long silted-up harbour.

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famous efesos antique city
 

the alley in efesos antique city


theatre in efesos antique city