THE GOLDEN CITY OF UNESCO: EPHESUS
It’s a city that changed the course of time and history… The charm that became the passion of leaders, heroes and believers, the magic that created the myth which was told generation after generation.
The capital of the ancient world, The Golden City of Ephsus.
This was the geographical spot where the word cosmopolitan evolved from the words cosmos and polites. The city’s wisdom helped create the concept of universal citizenship.
EPHESUS WAS FOUNDED THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO… BY WOMEN… KYBELE, ARTEMIS AND LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST, VIRGIN MARY
Ephesus was one of the few metropolises of the ancient world and it was Asia Minor’s financial, political and cultural capital. The relics found in excavations prove it was a glorious city in its time.
Ephesus is Anatolia’s largest ancient city in terms of areas that can be visited. The city has around 2 million visitors annually and displays the reminders of her glamourous wealth.
THE CAPITAL OF NOMARCHY, EPHESUS, WAS A BIG CITY OF AROUND 250 THOUSAND PEOPLE
Try to imagine Ephesus in its glory days. A diversity of people wandering around the streets like the colours of a rainbow, Greeks, Romans, even Egyptians… The symbol of prosperity, faith and wealth, the magnetically enchanting city.
Now, picture the agora of such a place. The Agora of Ephesus in its golden age was the meeting hub of the world. The goods from overseas were traded in the market while sailors and merchants negotiated fiercely, the agora of the 250-thousand-people city was an inspiration for the sociologists, writers and poets of its era.
The most recent excavations on Ayasuluk Hill aka Selçuk Castle, which is on the northwest of Ephesus prove that the earliest settlements in the region date back to 7000 BC. The research and excavations around the tells (höyük) of Ephesus and the castle of Ayasuluk unearthed early settlements that reach back to Neolithic, Chalcolitic, Bronze eras and to the Hitites.
A CAPITAL MADE OF MARBLE
The Celsus Library, the huge amphitheatre, Hadrianus Temple, agoras, baths, love house, public washrooms and tomb monuments make Ephesus one of the most glorious ancient cities of the world.
When you enter Ephesus through Magnesia Gate, you will see the Varius Bath, Government Agora, Odeion, Municipal Palace, Herakles Gate, Water Palace, Pollio Fountain, Memmius Monument and Domitian Temple in that order.
Walking along Kurets Street, Trajan Fountain, Scolastic Baths, Hadrian Temple, Hillside Houses, Love House, Celsus Library, Trade Agora, Marble Street, Theater, Gymnasium, Baths and Double Churches are located on the sides.
WALKING DOWN THE STREETS OF EPHESUS, OBSERVE YOUR SURROUNDINGS, YOU MIGHT SEE FIGURES THAT INSIRED THE WORLD BRANDS
The first very well known figure you will see is the relief of Nike, the goddess of victory which dates back to 4th or 5th century BC, the late Roman period. The Greek goddess of victory, Nike is Victoria in Roman mythology and she is depicted as holding a palm leaf with her right hand while carrying a laurel wreath on the other. The goddess also represents speed and strength as she has an extraordinary power to run with a lightning speed and fly. It will instantly remind you of the world known sports brand, Nike and you’re right, it is no coincidence. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike company was inspired by the Greek Goddess of Victory and the logo is derived from the relief of Nike. We may as well say that behind the success of the brand stands a goddess.
When in Ephesusus, you will learn many legends.
CLEOPATRA’S SISTER, THE MIGHTY ARSENOI LIES IN EPHESUS
This one is a sad story. Did you know that Cleopatra, the last Helenistic queen of Ancient Egypt was actually Greek? The wife of the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, then the lover of Eastern Rome’s sovereign Marcus Antonius, Cleopatra had the same dreams as the Great Alexander, to dominate the world by merging Egyptian and Roman Empires. However, her sister Arsenoi had a different view. She thought the merge would mean Egypt surrendering to Rome, so she and her sister butted heads over the matter. Cleopatra, ruthlessly ambitious, sent her sister to exile in Ephesus. Arsenoi came to Ephesus and took refuge in the Artemis Temple as no one would be allowed to harm her in a temple guarded by the priests of Artemis. Nevertheless, Marcus Antonius had her killed on the stairs. She was of the royal family so a monumental tomb was constructed for her. With no opposition left for Cleopatra, Egypt merged with Roman Empire. The enchantingly beautiful and strong Arsenoi became a legend for many generations to come. She lies within the Octagon tomb, in front of the Hillside houses to the south of Kurets Street.The tomb has an octagonal plan with Corynthian style and it sits on a square, 3.4 metres high podium. It is very obvious that the architecture of the monument is different from Roman or Greek styles. This is because this monument is almost a miniature replica of the Alexandria Lighthouse in the beautiful and strong Arsenoi’s homeland, Egypt. Hundreds of years later, during excavations, the archaeologists indeed found the remainders of a young girl of about 15 or 16 years old inside the tomb.
HOME OF THE DARK PHILOSOPHER HERACLITUS
The philosopher was born around 535-475 BC and he was the first one to ask questions on humans, society and nature, founding the unity of opposites thesis way before Socrates. Heraclitus is also the father of many philosophical schools that lasted for centuries. He is the owmer of the famous verses which are thought to be anonymous: “You can’t wash twice in the same river” and “ The only thing that does not change is change itself.” The Ephesian philosopher dedicated his philosophy books to the Artemis Temple. We believe you will find his life story very interesting if you make a little research on him.
ONCE UPON A TIME STATES BOASTED WITH THE SIZE OF THEIR LIBRARIES