|Scale Reconstrction of Temple of Artemis|
Originally founded as an Ionian colony in the 10th century B.C., Ephesus became an important port city and a center of worship for the goddess Artemis. After their membership in the Ionian League of city states, Ephesus was ruled by the Cimmerians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Seljuk Turks, and the Ottoman Empire.
Ephesus was the second largest city in the Roman Empire – and second largest in the world - second only to Rome in importance to the Empire. When the Apostle Paul planted a church there, the city’s population was more than 250,000. During the rule of the Byzantine Empire, Ephesus retained its status as the second city of that empire. When its harbor silted up and an earthquake struck in 614 A.D., the city began to decline.
|Facade of Library|
Today there is a modern town (Efes) nearby the ancient ruins of Ephesus, but it is small and relatively insignificant in comparison to the once-great port city. The ruins of Greco-Roman Ephesus have been partially reconstructed and are truly beautiful.