Ephesus (pronounced ef uh sis), on the western coast of Turkey, is an archaeological time warp and the best preserved ancient city in the world. Once Greek, then Roman, changing hands according to the dominant empire of the time. A place where John the Baptist swayed audiences in its grand coliseum. Where slaves or peasants or hired help carried Cleopatra in her sedan chair along the length of its main thoroughfare. And where today, visitors from all over the world come to tread the same ancient streets, gazing at Hercules’ Gate and the magnificent Celsus Library façade and the Temple of Hadrian and even the public latrines, where slaves warmed up the cold marble before their masters sat.
One of the great Greek cities of Asia minor, Ephesus was originally founded by Ionian Greeks around 1000 BC at the mouth of the now silted Kayster river. The city flourished during the 7th and 6th centuries BC and again from the 4th century BC when it came under the authority of Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successor Lysinachus. Under Roman rule Ephesus became the principle port and commercial center on the Aegean Sea, and the city was also a key to the development of Christianity.
Our guide told us that Roman men who wanted to get away in the evening would say to their wives, “I’m going to the library, dear.” Once at the library, however, they entered the tunnel that led to the brothel next door. Those sneaky Roman men.
Check out my Ephesus photo gallery at http://www.jennifercritesphotography.com/Stock-Photography/Europe/Turkey/10980932_Z9MsjV#!i=803384905&k=gAKoM.
Do you have an Ephesus story?