Being so close to Turkey and the ancient city of Ephesus was too irresistible for our insatiable curiosity to resist. So on Thursday we travelled by ferry to the city of Kusadasi from there we met a tour group
Ephesus was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the Greek Arzawan capital. Ephesus particularly flourished during the roman occupation in the year 129 BC. The ancient city was abandoned in the 15th century AD.
Ephesus was an important centre for early Christianity, the apostle Paul lived in Ephesus and during that time he worked with the congregation and organised missionary activity. It is also believed that whilst residing in Ephesus Paul wrote 1 Corinthians.
It is also believed that John resided in Ephesus and possibly wrote the gospel of John whilst he was there. It is also believed that Mary resided in Ephesus during the last years of her life.
The city had one of the most advanced acqueduct systems in the ancient world, this was abundantly apparent as we wandered throughout the ruined city we seen clay pipes throughout the ruins.
Was a small roofed theatre, constructed around 150AD, originally it was used as a small salon for plays and concerts and accommodated approximately 1500 persons. During roman occupation it was used as the house of the roman senate.
The block above is believed to be the sign for the Hospital/ medical school of Ephesus. In the site directly behind this block a brass lancet was found also surgeon’s drills, needles, spatulas, curettes, hooks etc for surgeries and mortars, pestles etc for mixing medicines have been found in the building opposite that had a similar block which appears to indicate that it was the pharmacy. The famous ancient physicians Soranus and Rufus both practiced in Ephesus and their written work is of great importance in the history of medicine.
The temple of Hadrian
The temple of Hadrian was built around the 2nd century AD. The current building has been reerected from the archaeological fragments found around its sight. The carving on this temple was exquisite with images portraying the Emperor Theodosius his wife and his eldest son.
The library of Celsus
The facade of this building has been carefully reconstructed from its original pieces. Was originally built in 125AD in the memory of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaenus, primarily by his son, using his fathers funds. Celsus is buried in a sarcophagus below the library. Designed with an exaggerated entrance to make it look larger, the library faces east to facilitate better light from the sun.
The image carved in stone above tells a story. If you are looking for love ( heart on upper left) keep walking ( foot) to the crossroad ( cross above foot) on the left ( cross is exagerated on the left side) there are beautiful women ( on bottom right you can make out what could be a woman's head with headdress). The very bottom right has a box that is no longer legible, our tour guide believes it says " no money, no honey".
The great theatre
Is one of the most magnificent structures in ancient Ephesus, built to accomodate over 25 000 people. It has 66 rows of seats, divided by two walkways. Some of the seats had marble backs as well and are believed to have belonged to persons of importance.
The stage building has three stories and the facade that faces the audience was ornamented with relieves, columns and niches. The theatre was used for various important events including, concerts and plays , political and philosophical discussions . Religious discussions and gladiatorial and animal fights.
In the past 18 months I have had the great fortune to walk in 3 ancient cities, it is a wonderful thing to be able to see the amazingly clever things our ancestors have created, to walk down the same roads were history was written is an amazing feeling.