By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises
As we return from Istanbul on our way to Athens and beyond, we are back in Kusadasi, gateway to the global treasure of Ephesus.
Silver Spirit at the dock in Kusadasi today
You can read more details in my blog entry for June 17.
Here are some new photos from ancient Kusadasi, including a statue from the renovated archeological museum in nearby Selcuk.
In the Classical Greek era, Ephesus was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. And then under the Romans, Ephesus was a major city.
In the year 100, it may have been home to as many as 500,000 people. That made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean.
An earthquake partially destroyed the town in 614.
The city’s importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River.
Nevertheless, today Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Perhaps only 15 percent has been excavated.
The Temple of Artemis was completed around 550 BC. The Temple of Artemis was said to be the largest building of the ancient world, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
All that remains today is one imperfectly reconstituted column.
The Greek goddess Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana.
Together with the great Anatolian goddess Cybele, they were together identified as Artemis of Ephesus.
The Library of Celsus was originally built about AD 125 AD in memory of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the Greek governor of Roman Asia in the Roman Empire.
Before he died, Celsus paid for its construction from his considerable personal wealth, and he is buried in a sarcophagus beneath it.
From AD 52–54, Paul lived in Ephesus, working with the local Christians and—according to some—organizing missionary activity in the far reaches.
Also in the area was the apostle John. The Gospel of John may have been written in Ephesus, about A.D. 90–100.
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