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Ephesus

Samos. At that time a permission  from the Gods  had to be taken to found a city. Androklos sailed to Delphi, to the Apollon Temple to ask the oracles where to found the city. Oracles said "A boar and a fish will guide you and will mark the place where the city should be founded."  This did not sound very logical to Androklos how a boar and a fish is going to  meet. One day, during a barbecue. A fish jumped out from the grill with a burning coal sticked to it and caused a fire. This fire scared a wild boar close by and Androkos hunted the boar and decided to found the city where the boar is killed.   

Ephesus was under Lydian and Persian rule till 4th century BC. Ephesus was in Attika-Delos alliance and her contribution was 7 talents a year while Colophon was contributing with 3 talents. Afterwards the famous Commander Alexander the Great librated the city from Persians. After his death, one of his  generals and successors Lysimachos ruled the city. During his time: The alluvial  deposits carried by Kaystros river silted the harbour and constantly rising sea  level submerged the old settlement and made the harbour impassable. The  unfavourable condition of the harbour affected trade. Ephesus was located on low ground, and was completely flooded by the sea. A new enriched settlement including Gymnasiums, stadiums, fountains... is ordered by Lysimachos. The reasons for the new conception of the city were, the rise in level of the ground water, and the necessity of a new harbour due to silting. Inhabitants were  transferred to the new city where it stands today; between two hills Preon and  Pion. The new city followed the grid plan set down by Hypodomos of Miletus. The  streets crossing each other at right angles. The plots, buildings appears as a chess board when viewed from the air.   

Ephesus was distinguished with the  Temple of Artemis (Diana). Great crowds of people were attracted to Ephesus by the cult of Artemis and her  famous  temple.  Temple of Artemis is considered to be one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Turkey houses another wonder, which is 120 miles away from Ephesus in the Carian city of Halicarnasus. "Mauselleum of King Mosolos"  

In 2nd century BC Ephesus sided with Antiochus, the king of Syria against the Romans. After the defeat at Magnesia (Manisa) which is 100 miles north of  Ephesus. Ephesus went under the rule of the King of Pergamon, an ally of Rome.  After the Kings death, it became a Roman city. During the reign of Roman Emperror Antonius Pius, the city bore the title of "the first and greatest metropolis of  Asia."  

The peak times of Ephesus were during Hellenistic and Roman times. Ephesus, the jewel of Ionia, the largest Metropolis of Asia Minor, consisted of 200.000 citizens and 25.000 slaves (2nd century AD). During the feast days honouring Artemis, the population tripled. The city became the capital of Province Asia during the Roman Emperror Augustus in the eartly first century AD. During this time Ephesus became a center for Art & Culture and a meeting place for Philosophy. The most famous  philosopher from Ephesus is Heraklitos who lived at 4th century BC. In 2nd century AD many  marble buildings were build and the streets were decorated with marble statues.  %46 of the marble reserves & quaries of the world are located in Turkey. The  city had one of the most advanced aqueduct & sewage systems in the ancient  world, with multiple aqueducts of various sizes to supply different areas of the city, including 4 major aqueducts.These advanced aqueduct system used to supply 120lt of water per second. Today in Kusadasi 200lt supplied per second.  

 

Why was Ephesus abandoned?  

​Although sacked by the Goths in 263 AD, Ephesus remained one of  the most important city of the Byzantine Empire after the city of Constantinople in the 5th and 6th centuries. However, other destruction by the Arabs in the year 8th century AD caused a quick decline: the city was largely abandoned when the harbor was completely filled in with river silt despite repeated dredges during the city's history. The silt removed its access to the Aegean Sea. When the Seljuk Turks conquered it in 11th century, it was a small village. The Byzantines resumed control in 1100 and kept control of the region until the end of the 13th century.  During  Byzantine period the major settlement was in its first place at Ayasoluk (Hagios  Theologos) Hill. Emir of Aydin, a Turkish state conquered the city in 14th century. Starting from 16th century city lost its importance and ruled by the Ottoman  Empire. 

Where is Ephesus today ?  

Today the modern name of Ephesus is Selcuk. A small Turkish town which has a population of 36.000 people and located at the Western Turkey. The main industry of Selcuk is agriculture. Selcuk is 60 km south of Izmir and 18 km away from Kusadasi Port.
Is Ephesus worth visiting ?  
Ephesus is one of the most preserved Greco-Roman cities of the world. It is the largest archaeological park of Turkey. Visited by 200.000 travelers annually. It is one of the main highlights of Turkey.

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