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Published: August 11th 2015
EPHESUS or EFES for short.
This place is chock a block full of history..
It existed in the bronze age.
Efes is said to have been founded by female warriors known as the Amazons.
Then around 1200BC it became part of the Ionian migration.
It may have been a Greek “colony” then.
Efes became one of the wealthiest cities of the Mediterranean.
When Cyrus ( king of Persia) defeated the Lydian king around 700 BC there was a shake up in the Mediterranean region. By 500 BC, Ionian cities were rebelling against Persia and were destroyed. But Ephesus distanced itself from the other Ionians and so escaped destruction.
When Alexander the Great took hold of the region in 334 BC Ephesus was able to take advantage of a period of peace and tranquillity for the next few decades.
After poor old Alex’s death, Lysimachus took over and wanted to shift the city to a new site. But the Efes did not want to leave. So Lysimachus blocked up the sewerage system of Ephesus during a big storm - so as to “smoke them out”
with a bit of pong. Everyone decamped and moved to the new site .
Later in 281 BC the old city of Ephesus was re-inhabited and re-established itself as one of the region’s most important trade centres.
In 129 BC the Romans took the city over in a deal done with Attiois ( King of Pergamon) and Ephesus prospered, growing it’s population to about 200,000.
Romans taxed it until it was almost economically dead. They must have had lefty tendencies at the end. You can see it happening again - partying throwing money at their left wing mates etc
So in an early model revolt against taxation without representation, all latin speakers were slain in 88BC.
Rome did not take kindly to the loss of its loyalists and its tax base, and sent in General Sulla with an army to sack and pillage Ephesus.
Efes rose from its beating to be rebuilt under Augustus’ reign and again became one of the most important trade and commerce centres in Asia. Along with wealth Efes became a centre of political and intellectual influence. It was home to the
second school of philosophy in the Aegean.
Then there was an earthquake in 17AD.
From the 1st
century AD Christian disciples visited to spread the Word and keep under the radar of Roman persecutors.
In 431 AD Ephesus hosted the 3rd
Ecumenical Council ( Mary Mother of God Council). The Council was held in the large ( 145m x 30m) church which boasted 3 aisles-a Bishop’s Church ( Church of Mary).
Efes is now in ruins. But good quality ruins by all standards of ruins.
The city lay out is fairly discernible and many of the public buildings footprint’s are visible. There are a stadium, a bouleutrion (outdoor council meeting and concert place / mini stadium), a library building and some “streets” in fairly “easy to imagine past glory “ order.
So now the site of ruins of Ephesus is truly one of the worlds most visited.
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