Ephesus

Ephesus Temple of Artemis from above

Ephesus

In the ancient world, Ephesus was a center of travel and commerce.  Situated on the Aegean Sea at the mouth of the Cayster River, the city was one of the greatest seaports of the ancient world.  

Three major roads led from the seaport: one road went east towards Babylon via Laodicea, another to the north via Smyrna and a third south to the Meander Valley.

 

Temple of Artemis

Considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Ephesus' Temple of Artemis was dedicated to the goddess of the hunt.  Only the foundation and one column remains of this temple which once measured 425 feet long, 220 feet wide and 60 feet high.  

Paul's successful ministry in this city was considered a threat to this very temple (Acts 19:27).

Ephesus Temple of Artemis ruins

 

Ephesus Library of Celsus

Library of Celsus

Originally built in AD 115-25, this restored facade is a highlight of the ruins today.  This style is believed to be the standard architectural form for Roman libraries.  The interior measures 70 by 80 feet and held approximately 15,000 scrolls.

This library was dedicated to Celsus the proconsul of Asia and his sarcophagus was located under the apse.

 

Terrace Houses 

From the time of Augustus, these dwellings of wealthy Ephesians, were decorated with beautiful frescoes and mosaics. The houses had luxurious bedrooms, bathrooms, triclinium, and kitchens.

Built against the mountain south of Ephesus, the roof of one house forms the terrace for the house above it.  These houses were inhabited until the 7th century AD. 

Ephesus frescoes in house

 

Ephesus commercial agora

Commercial Agora

This market area is known as the "Square Agora" because of its dimensions 360 feet square.  It arose in the Hellenistic period and was surrounded on all sides by arched shops about 40 feet deep. It is located next to the harbor and was the city's main commercial center.  It is quite possible that Paul worked here with Priscilla and Aquila in their tent-making business.

 

Theater

Originally holding 25,000 people, this theater was built in the Hellenistic period and was renovated by several Roman emperors.  Designed for theatrical performances, later alterations allowed gladiatorial contests to be held here.

When Paul was accused of hurting the Artemis and her temple, the mob gathered together in this theater (Acts 19:23-41).

Ephesus Great Theater

Related Websites

Ephesus (ephesusguide.com)  Dedicated to every aspect of Ephesus, information from history to hotels can be found on this page.  Note links to sites around the city ("About Ephesus") and a photo gallery.

Ephesus (Christian Travel Study Program)  Highlights the location and history of Ephesus, giving background for the city's place in biblical history.

Ephesus (Explore Turkey)  Features detailed descriptions of the major archaeological finds at the site.  Most offer enlargeable photos.

Ephesus: An Online Panoramic Virtual Tour (Sail Turkey)  Walks you through the archaeological site of Ephesus, showing panning 360-degree photographs and explaining their contents.

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (University of South Florida, Seven Wonders of the Ancient World)  Provides a summary of the location, history and description of this beautiful building.

Focus on Ephesus (The Discerning Eye)  Includes a suggested "tour" of the site, humorous "travelers tips" throughout, and many photographs highlighting the featured sites within the text. 

EPHESUS (Focus Multimedia)  Briefly describes each of the major archaeological discoveries within the site with many links to related topics throughout.

Ephesus (Turkish Odyssey)  A lengthy discussion of many issues connected with this famous city.  Subjects of interest include: Ephesian scholar "Heraclitus," "Ephesus and Christianity," "Ephesus, One of the Seven Churches of Revelation," and the "Kucuk Menderes (Cayster) River".

Ephesus (turizm.net)  Describes the history and legends associated with Ephesus, accompanied by a few small pictures.

Ephesus Guide (Kusadasi.biz) Includes photos and descriptions of more than a dozen sites in the city, with 360 degree photos.

Ephesus (The Catholic Encyclopedia)  A lengthy article detailing the history of the city from its founding to present day.  The beginning of Christianity in Ephesus is summarized, highlighting the New Testament period.

The Temple of Artemis (Museum of Unnatural Mystery)  Traces the historical development of the Temple of Artemis, including the discovery of its remains, against all odds, in the 1800's.

Ephesus (Unbound Bible)  Summarizes the role of this city in Paul's ministry.  For an expansion of this explanation click on Unbound Bible's Mission in Ephesus.

Turkey and Seven Churches of Revelation Photo Album (ArcImaging, Rex Geissler)  Many large photographs from a tour.  Go to "E" section for Ephesus.

Images of Ephesus (Personal Page)  Contains about 50 medium resolution pictures of sites and finds from one traveler.

Ephesus, Turkey (Sacred Destinations)  Concise, accurate description of the site and its history.  Includes links to other sites.

Paul's Ephesus (Brandon Wason)  Detailed, interesting, and accurate website about the city in the time of the apostle.  The "Site Guide" includes a number of photos and the "Ephesus in Acts" section gives helpful information about the harbor, synagogue, theater, hall of Tyrannus, and more.

Ancient Ephesus City (Ephesus Breeze) - History and description of the various attractions in Ephesus by a local tour agency that offers day trips at a reasonable cost.