Ephesus Columns

Ephesus Columns

A view of Ephesus, looking towards The Theater.

Ephesus, is an ancient city which has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age (about 6000 BC). It was the capital of the Kingdom of Arzawa during the Bronze Age. It was settled by the Achaeans during the Mycenaean expansion. It became an Ionian colony, until it was razed by the Cimmerians at about 650 BC. Then came a period of rule by tyrants. It was then conquered by the Lydians, then by the Achaemenid Empire (Persians). After the Ionian Revolt against Persian rule in the Battle of Ephesus (498 BC), Ephesus joined the Delian League. In 356 BC the Temple of Artemis was burned down by a lunatic arsonist named Herostratus. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great liberated the city. After Attalus III of Pergamon died without male children of his own, Ephesus was left to the Roman Republic. The city briefly came under Pontus rule in 88 BC. The city was back under Roman rule until it was destroyed by the Goths in 263 AD. Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Great rebuilt the city but it was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD.

Ephesus began to lose its prominence as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Kaystros River. The city was sacked twice by the Umayyad Caliphate and in 1090 was conquered Selcuk Turks. By the time of the Crusades, the city had lost all its prominence. After a period of unrest, the city and the region was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. Ephesus was completely abandoned in the 15th century.

Ephesus has an important place in Early Christianity. It also has the largest collection of Roman ruins in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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