Ephesus City Ruins

Ancient City of Ephesus Ruins

Ephesus is an amazing ancient city in Turkey, which was established by Greeks and enlarged by Romans. During its history city was an important metropolitan of an ancient world. Besides being an important ancient settlement, Ephesus is also most visited ancient city of Modern Turkish Republic. From all over the world people come to Ephesus to feel the breeze of history.

After a short introduction, here is brief history of Ephesus City.

History of Ephesus

Ephesus founded by Athens as a colony in the 10th century BC. When it was first founded, people dedicated city to Goddess Artemis who is known as maiden huntress goddess of Greek culture.  Artemis is more than this in Ephesus as Ephesus is not only a Greek settlement but also it was an Anatolian settlement. Artemis was a goddess of Fertility, goddess of giving birth shortly; Artemis was the Mother Goddess of Ephesus who controls every single inch of the city. During the Classical Greek era, Ephesus was one of the 12 cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it was given to the Roman Republic by Greek King Attalos III in 133 BCE.

Ephesus Curetes Street
Ephesus Curetes Street

During Roman Empire era, Ephesus enlarged and flourished so lived its golden age and became one of the biggest city of ancient world. Ephesus economy was fed by port trade and idol trade of Artemis. As Ephesus dedicated to mother goddess Artemis, Ephesians built a gigantic temple for her and this temple became centre of her belief, sure it helps a lot to cities economy too.

This city was the one of the gates of Asia to Europe this opportunity made Ephesus also an early biblical city of Cristianty. During 1.A.d city was visited by St. Paul and St. john. During missionary visits, apostles cristianized city of Ephesus. Sure it was not easy and many people were persecuted by pagan believers to protect Artemis culture and gigantic income of Artemis idol trade.

In the years, Ephesus became one of the bishop of cristianity, and survived long years as a christian city.

Ephesus Celsus Library
Ephesus Celsus Library

Ephesus was destroyed by Goths during its history, also the local river (Cayster River (Küçük Menderes))silted up the port of the city. Big earthquakes and malarial mosquitoes finally finished Ephesus sometime between the 6th and 10th century. The site was completely abandoned after the 14th century. After the city was abandoned, it was covered naturally in time and most of the city was buried by dust and dirt. Archaeological research in Ephesus started in 1863, when British architect John Turtle Wood, sponsored by the British Museum, began to search for the Artemision. In 1869, he discovered the pavement of the temple and stopped execution in 1874. In 1895 German archaeologist Otto Benndorf resumed excavations. In 1898, Benndorf founded the Austrian Archaeological Institute which plays a leading role in Ephesus today.