Ephesus is an amazing ancient city which was established by Greeks and enlarged by Romans. During it’s history city was an important metropolitan of ancient world. Beside being an important ancient settlement, Ephesus is also most visited ancient city of Modern Turkish Republic. From all over the world people come Ephesus to feel 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 Goddes Artemis who is known as maiden huntress goddes of Greek culture. Artemis is more than this in Ephesus as Ephesus is not only a Greek setlement but also it was an Anatolian setlement. Artemis was goddes of Fertility, goddes of giving birth shortly; Artemis was the Mother Goddess of Ephesus who controlls every single inch of 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.
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 goddes Artemis, Ephesians built a giantic temple for her and this temple became centre of her belief, sure it help a lot to cities economy too.
This city was the one of the gate of Asia to Europe this opprtinity 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 belivers 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 was destroyed by Goths during its history, also local river (Cayster River (Küçük Menderes))silted up the port of 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 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 excation 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.