Introduction to Ephesus
Ephesus is considered one of the great outdoor museums of Turkey, in fact perhaps of the world. It is located on the south of Izmir's Selcuk county. The links of Ephesus with the Amazons and the myths had survived throughout history. So, there was a competition for statue of an Amazon for the Temple of Artemis to be made by the famous sculptors in the 5th century B.C.. The town of Apasas under the rule of Ahhiyava Kingdom mentioned in the written records of the Hittites of the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. is Ephesus. The linguists accept that the word Ephesus was derived from Apasas. An important number of the findings revealed by the excavations carried on at southern slopes of Ayasuluk (Selcuk) castle by the Ephesus Museum since 1990 are dated to second millennium B.C.. Therefore, we can surely say that Apasas was founded on the Ayasuluk Hill. The findings from this place are exhibited in the Ephesus Museum.
After the fall of Troy and ensuing looting, the Thracians started migrating south. They joined the other Thracian groups who came from the sea and settled in Western Anatolia, forming colonies. The written Egyptian sources of the 12th century, mention the destruction of cities during these migrations, regions called Aeolis and Ionia appeared on the map. The region of Ionia where Ephesus is located is referred to as "Yavan" in the Bible, "Yavnai" in the Assyrian inscriptions and as "Yauna" in the Persian inscriptions. To Ensure their security, the immigrants preferred to settle on islands near the coast and on peninsulas. The colonization of Ephesus, as in the other Ionian cities, was completed in the 10th century B.C. Strabo and Pausanians tell the story of the settlement: Androklos, son of Kodros ( the King of Athens), and his friends who were about to migrate to Anatolia, could not decide on the location of the new city they were going to establish . They consulted the oracle of Apollo, which told them to establish their new city at the location which would be indicated by fish and a boar. Androklos and his friends who came to the region wanted to cook fish, but the fish they were frying jumped off the pan, scattering flames that set the dry bushes on fire. A boar ran out of the burning bushes and Androklos started to chase the boar, caught it and killed it. Convinced that the prophesy of the oracle had come true, Androklos and his friends established their new city in this location. And Ephesus existed here for 400 years and was ruled by Androklos and his descendents. When Androklos died during a war with the Carians he was buried near the Magnesia Gate and heroon ( a shrine dedicated to a deified person) was built on the site.
Ephesus was attacked by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BC but got back onto its feet again soon afterwards. The 6th century BC brought a prosperous period for Ephesus. Later, Ephesus came under the rule of the Lydians and then under the Perisans. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great captured Ephesus, which offered no resistance. The death of Alexander brought dark days to Ephesus, which was ruled in 287 BC by Lysimachos. Most of the works of art seen today came into being during this period. Later on Ephesus came under the sovereignty of Rome, and Emperor Augustus declared Ephesus a metropolis. In the year 262 AD Ephesus was attacked and destroyed by the Goths and after this, it never regained its previous importance.
Sections of Ephesus Guide:
Ephesus is considered one of the great outdoor museums of Turkey, in fact perhaps of the world. It is located on the south of Izmir's Selcuk county. The links of Ephesus with the Amazons and the myths had survived throughout history.
This semi-circular structure, known also as the Small Theatre. According to an inscription unearthed, it was built as a bouleuterion (council chamber) around 150 A.D. by Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife FlaviaPapiana.
In the Augustan era, the spread of Imperial-Roman cults was by then a fact in many provinces of Asia Minor. The cult of the Emperor was alive in Nicomedia and in Pergamum, together with that of the Goddess Rome.
The prytaneion was constructed in the 3rd century B.C. and attained its final shape during the reign of Emperor Augustus. After it was destroyed for various reasons, its columns and some of its other architectural elements were used in the construction of the Scholastika Baths.
This is located to the east of Domitian Square, next to the western side of the Agora. With its wide and high arch which supports the triangular pediment and its small pool, it is quite an appealing structure.
Ephesus was granted the temple wardenship for the first time by Emperor Domitian (81-96). The temple dedicated to him was built on a terrace measuring 50 by 100 meters on the south side of Domitian Square.
The gate is located at the beginning of Curetes Street. It is a two-storeyed edifice. In the lower storey there is a wide arched passageway, and in the upper storey there are six columns in a row.
In mythology, the Curetes were known as semi-deities. Later "Curetes" referred to a class of priests in Ephesus. Mary inscriptions about the Curetes were discovered in different locations in Ephesus, especially at the Prytaneion.
Along the Curetes Street, in a wonderful succession of ancient ruins, sculpted pillars decorated with sculptural figurations, we can see reconstruction on a reduced scale of one of the most remarkable Ephesian monuments.
This is the one of the most attractive edifices on the Curetes Street, and it must have been built at the latest by the year 138. The temple is consist of a monumental pronaos and a small, bare cella.
The latrina built in the first century A.D. are the public toilets of Ephesus. The toilets were ranged side by side with no partition between them. In the middle was a square pool. The floor was paved with mosaics.
12- Hillside Houses
From the opposite part of the Temple of Hadrian the interesting complex of the so-called "Houses on the slope" faces out onto Curetes Street. These houses were inhibated by the most qualified and wealthy social class and for this reason they are also known as "houses of the rich" or "palaces on the slopes" .
13- Ephesus Library
The building is made of very good marble and decorated with figures of Eros, Nike, rosettes and garlands in relief . The building reflects the characteristics of the age of Emperor Hadrian.
14- Marble Street
This street, which practically constitutes the entrance to the theatre for anyone coming from the Library of Celsus, goes along the western slopes of Mount Panayir, in a zone of considerable architectural interest.
15- Ephesus Theatre
The theatre built on the slopes of Mount Panayir was constructed during the reign of Lysimachos and later it was altered many times. Like all the other ancient theatres, the theatre consisted of three main section.
16- Harbour Street
Harbour street is 500 meters long and 11 metes wide. On both side of the street there were covered particos. These particos, which were reserved for pedestrians, had the function of protecting them from the bad weather and hosted shops in the inner part.
The Museum of Ephesus is in the district of Selcuk, and displays works of art found in the excavations in Ephesus since 1964. The museum was enlarged in 1976 with new buildings and thus reached its present state.
18- Goddess Artemis
Artemis is known as the goddess of the night, the huntress, the goddess of fruitfulness, the goddess of childbirth, Lady of the Beasts, the woodland goddess, the bull goddess,