When in Ancient Ephesus, Turkey.
The ancient home of the Ephesians is one of the world greatest classical sites.
The west coast of what we call Turkey was once a cultural heartland of ancient Greece. Ephesus blossomed as a Greek city in about the 4th century B.C. It was later consumed by the expanding Roman empire and eventually became a great Roman city. It was one of the biggest metropolises of the Roman period that housed 250.000 people! Even thought what we experience now is a huge city, only 15% of it has ben excavated.
Unfortunately, as Rome fell, also Ephesus did.
The library – the third largest library of the Roman empire – is overwhelming. The facade is striking! The library was “one of the most impressive buildings in the Roman Empire” and built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a mausoleum for Celsus, who is buried in a crypt beneath the library in a decorated marble sarcophagus.
The city’s main street is lined with buildings like the Hadrian’s Temple. Furthermore, we see Roman baths, puplic toilets and of course an ancient theatre.
Ancient Theatre of Ephesus
A standard feature of a Roman city, this theatre had a capacity of 25,000 people and is believed to be the largest in the ancient world.
The city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was in this theatre that the Apostle Paul planned to give his speech instructing the Ephesians to stop worshiping other Gods. The local craftmanships produced statues of Artemis. When the industry realized Paul message they created a riot. The latest for his own safety had to cancel his talk. Finally he ended up writing his message by letters. For this reason we have Paul letter’s to the Ephesians in the Bible.