SHORT INFORMATION EPHESUS.
Efes) was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman
city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk,
Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of
the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the
Roman period, Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000
in the 1st century BC, which also made it one of the largest
cities in the Mediterranean world.
The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around
550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Emperor
Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected new public
baths. Following the Edict of Thessalonica from emperor Theodosius
I, the temple was destroyed in 401 AD by a mob led by St.
John Chrysostom. The town was partially destroyed by an
earthquake in 614 AD. The city's importance as a commercial
center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the
Cayster River (Küçük Menderes).
Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited
in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have
been written here. The city was the site of several 5th
century Christian Councils, see Council of Ephesus. It is
also the site of a large gladiators' graveyard.
Today's archaeological site lies 3 kilometers southwest of
the town of Selçuk, in the Selçuk district
of Izmir Province, Turkey. The ruins of Ephesus are a favorite
international and local tourist attraction, partly owing
to their easy access from Adnan Menderes Airport and via
the port of Kusadasi.
Ephesus was founded as an Attic-Ionian colony in the 10th
century BC on the Ayasuluk Hill, three kilometers from the
center of ancient Ephesus (as attested by excavations at
the Seljuk castle during the 1990s). The mythical founder
of the city was a prince of Athens named Androklos, who had
to leave his country after the death of his father, King
Kadros. According to the legend, he founded Ephesus on the
place where the oracle of Delphi became reality ("A
fish and a boar will show you the way"). Androklos drove
away most of the native Carian and Lelegian inhabitants of
the city and united his people with the remainder. He was
a successful warrior, and as a king he was able to join the
twelve cities of Ionia together into the Ionian League. During
his reign the city began to prosper. He died in a battle
against the Carians when he came to the aid of Priene, another
city of the Ionian League. Androklos and his dog are
depicted on the Hadrian temple frieze, dating from the 2nd
century. Later, Greek historians such as Pausanias, Strabo,
the poet Kallinos, and the historian Herodotos reassigned
the city's mythological foundation to Ephos, queen of the
The Greek goddess Artemis and the great Anatolian goddess
Kybele were identified together as Artemis of Ephesus. The
many-breasted "Lady of Ephesus", identified with
Artemis, was venerated in the Temple of Artemis, one of the
Seven Wonders of the World and the largest building of the
ancient world according to Pausanias (4.31.8). Pausanias
mentions that the temple was built by Ephesus, son of the
river god Caystrus before the arrival of the Ionians.
Of this structure, scarcely a trace remains.