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Ephesus Archaeological Site

Ephesus

Ephesus Archaeological Site is an ancient city situated 3 km (2 mi) West of Selçuk in Turkey. Ephesus is one of the most magnificent and important sites in the Hellenistic World famous for beautiful buildings, majestic statues and a house where Saint Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, lived along with disciples of her son.

 

 

 

 

 

Location: 3 km (2 mi) West of Selçuk   Map

Tel. (0232) 892 60 10

Info: Selçuk tourist office

Tel. (0232) 892 69 45

 

Open: 8:30am- 4:30pm daily

8:30am- 7pm daily (summer)

 

 

 

 

 

General Layout of Ephesus Archaeological Site

There were three entrances to the ancient Ephesus. The harbor was the most common since Ephesus was an important trade city and thousands of sailors and traders came here annually. Additionally there was Koressos Gate that is situated behind a Stadium and the Magnesian Gate that stood on the road that led to the house of Saint Mary, Holy Virgin. It was discovered by engineer and architect J.T. Wood in 1869 in his search for legendary Wonder of the World, Temple of Artemis. Much of the original gate was destroyed. Its stones were probably re used in construction of farmers' houses near by. But by the layout of the ruins we can tell that the gate was just about 3.70 meters in width and contained a small square courtyard on the city side. Apparently it was a way to secure the city by checking every person who entered the city. New comer would be surrounded by soldiers on all sides of the courtyard walls before his or her identity would be checked.

 

 

Eastern Group of Buildings in Ephesus Archaeological Site

Theatre (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

The Great Theatre of Ephesus is the largest well preserved structure in the city. It is situated on the slopes of Panayir Hill. Ancient Greek engineers used natural terrain of the city to create semi- circular structure to fit maximal number of residents here. It is possible that this area was used by locals for thousands of years, but a permanent Hellenistic Theatre was constructed in the third century BC during reign of king Lysimachos. During the Roman period its was further enlarged to fit growing population of the city. The theatre in the ancient Hellenistic World was more than just a site for theatrical performance, plays and concerts. It was also a site for political and philosophical debates that could be viewed publically by the residents of the city. Additionally religious ceremonies were commonly performed here devoted to numerous Greek and Anatolian deities. Later in the Roman period a number of shows were also diversified by gladiator and animal fights. At its heyday the Great Theater could seat over 25,000 spectators on its sixty six rows of seats. These rows were divided by two diazoma or simply walkways between seats so that citizens could quickly reach their seats and leave them as well. Most prominent residents of Ephesus obviously got the best seats for the show right in front of the center stage. Additionally their seats were made of marble with backs for more support. Surprisingly many of the elements of the ancient structure were preserved despite of centuries of abandonment. However the most prominent portion of the theatre was its Stage structure. It measured 18 meters high with three stories of columns, reliefs and beautiful carvings. Much of it is gone however.

 

   

Celsius Library or Celsus Library (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

 

Celsius Library or Celsus Library is probably most famous structure in this ancient city. It was constructed in 117 AD as a monumental mausoleum in honor of Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the Roman province of Asia. His body was entombed underneath the ground floor. Statue of Greek goddess of wisdom Athena stood above it as a commemoration of wisdom of this famous political figure. Additionally the tomb served as a library with over 12,000 ancient scrolls stored in the niches of the building. Two rows of Corinthian columns surround three entrances. Four statues that stand at the entrance symbolize certain virtues like wisdom (sophia), knowledge (episteme), intelligence (ennoia) and valor (arete). However these are copies. The original statues are stored in the museum in Vienna of Austria.

Slope Houses (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Ephesus  Ephesus

Slope Houses are fairly well preserved ruins of rich and affluent neighborhood of Ephesus. Its construction dates back to the Roman and early Byzantium period.

 

 

Marble Road (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Marble Road is a beautiful road that lead from the Great Theatre to the Celsus Library. It is entirely paved in marble and it was part of the older main road that lead to the Temple of the Artemis. The road was constructed in its present orientation in the middle of the 1st century AD (reign of Roman emperor Nero) and later its was reconstructed in the 5th century. Unfortunately vandals and hooligans existed in the ancient times. You can see plenty of graffiti and pictures carved in the marble blocks. Some have no significant meanings, while others are political statements as well as directions to the nearest brother in the area.

Curetes Street (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Brothel (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Temple of Domitian (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Temple of Domitian was dedicated by the citizens of Ephesus to the ancient Roman emperor Domitian (51- 96 AD). Among other things he became famous for his persecution of Saint John the Evangelist, author of one of the Gospel, book of Revelation as well as a former resident of Ephesus. However unpopular ruler did last very long. He was assassinated in 96 AD and residents simply re- dedicated the temple in honor of emperor Vespasian, father of Domition.

 

State Agora (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

State Agora was an important plaza in the center of Ephesus. It was a gathering place for important political and business discussions and agreements. It measures 160 meters by 73 meters with stoas on its three sides with a small temple devoted to Egyptian goddess of fertility Isis in the center.

Odeon or Odeion (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Odeon is a small version of the Great Theatre. It was constructed in the 2nd century AD with resources provided by wealthy citizen of Ephesus: Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Paiana. It served as a place for play performances as well as a site of Bouleuterion or meeting of the Boulea, Roman version of the Roman city senate. It could seat over 1500 residents and it was covered by a wooden roof that is long gone.

Varius Baths (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Varius Baths or Baths of Varius is a complex that date back to the 2nd century AD. The mosaics in the 40 meter corridor of the baths was added in the early Byzantine period in the 5th century. It was constructed mostly out of splendid marble. Baths in the Roman empire served more than just a place to wash yourself. It was a social gathering place where people could met each other, discuss important and less important matters of the city, strike agreements and many other things. Basically it was a social network before the invention of a Facebook. Archeological excavations are still to be commenced here, but most Roman baths consisted of three main sections. One was called caldarium that contained hot water for its visitors, tepidarium with warm water and finally frigidarium with cold water.

 

Northern Group in Ephesus Archaeological Site

Temple of Artemis (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

 

Temple of Artemis was one of the largest and one of the most beautiful temples of the Antiquity. It was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Greeks devoted to the goddess Artemis, but local cult of this Greek deity is somewhat different from the usual cult that was practiced in the mainland Greece. While most Greeks viewed Artemis as a virgin huntress and sister of Apollo, Ephesian Artemis was viewed as a goddess of fertility. Its many breasts or eggs represented prosperity. Today temple lies largely north of Ephesus center. Today only few pieces of the former structure can tell about its former grandiosity.

 

The first sanctuary on this place was constructed by Greek settlers during the Bronze Age. However the original complex was destroyed in the 7th century BC by violent floods. The second temple that became famous in the whole Greek World was started around 550 BC by the Cretan architect Chersiphron along with his son Metagenes. Resources for the new temple were provided by legendary king Croesus of Lydia. It took about 10 years to complete. New shrine was destroyed on July 20th (or 21st) 356 BC in an act of arson by Herostratus. The legend goes that the man was psychologically disturbed and wanted to make it into history books and be remembered. Ironically this idiotic act did pay off. He is still remembered for his actions, but the temple was later reconstructed shortly thereafter. Ancient Greek historian Plutarch claimed that the fire coincided with birth of great Greek/ Macedonian king Alexander the Great. Goddess Artemis was apparently too busy with attending to birth of the great general so she missed her chance to save her shrine.

 

The temple of Artemis was destroyed in 269 AD during raid of the Gothic tribes, one of East Germanic tribe. Former religious shrine was abandoned. Former plaza eventually turned into a swampy area. Local residents occasionally used ruins as a source for quarry for stones. It wouldn't be surprising if you see various blocks of the ancient structure in the walls of later buildings. The site of the former temple was re- discovered in 1869 by John Turtle Wood and his expedition sponsored by the British Museum.

Basilica of Saint John (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

 

Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist is a Byzantine Christian church that was constructed in the 6th century (circa 530) on the orders of Byzantine emperor Justinian (527- 65 AD) to replace smaller and more modest chapel that once stood here. It stood on a site that was alleged to be a burial site of Saint John, apostle of Jesus Christ and author of several books in the Bible. This included Gospel of John as well as book of Revelation. The basilica fell in disrepair after constant raids by the Arab armies. In 1330 Seljuk Aydinoglu converted Basilica into a mosque. Most of frescoes inside were destroyed around this time since Islam prohibits any depictions of humans and animals. However in 1402 the church/ mosque was destroyed by the Mongol armies of Tamerlane. It was abandoned ever since.

 

Isabey Mosque (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Isabey Mosque was constructed by Seljuk Turks in 1375 under orders of Emir of Aydin. Some parts of this Muslim temple contains stones and columns from the destroyed Temple of Artemis that was found near by.

 

Stadium (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

Original stadium was constructed during Hellenistic age somewhere in the late 4th century BC. However it was largely increased in the middle of the first century AD during reign of Roman emperor Nero. Like many Roman stadiums it had a U shape to its alignment. The best preserved portion of this massive structure are ruins that were constructed on the Mount Pion (Panayirdag) adjacent to this sports arena. Originally it was intended for sports activities and various mass religious ceremonies. However over time it became a center of other types of entertainment which included gladiator fights, animals fights and execution of criminals as well as Christians. With the growth of Christianity in the country bloody sports were put to an end. The Persecution Gate was added in memory of many Christian martyrs who died here. Many of the seats were later reused in various construction projects. Some of the former marble seats were used in the construction of Basilica of Saint John.

 

 

Western Group in Ephesus Archaeological Site

House of the Virgin Mary (Ephesus Archaeological Site)

   

House of the Virgin Mary is a small shrine that is believed by some Christians as the site where Mary, Mother of God lived after Crucifixion of her son Jesus Christ. It is situated at some distance from the ancient Ephesus about 9 km from the ancient archaeological site. It is a typical ancient Roman building constructed entirely of stone with few windows, since glass was very expensive at the time. In the 4th century AD this became the first Christian temple devoted to Saint Mary.

 

Ephesus and New Testament

Ephesians 1

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

 

Ephesians 2

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

 

Ephesians 3

1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

 

Ephesians 4

1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;

21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place to the devil.

28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 

Ephesians 5

1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

Ephesians 6

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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