Okay everyone… grab your calendars and write down on November 8th “Suzanne walks around Ephesus”… (you don’t really have to do that.. but that is what I will be doing on November 8th…)
Another shout out to my high school World History teacher! This time I say “Shame on you!”… why don’t I know about these historical areas of the world? And if I don’t know them, I am sure that most people under the age of 25 definitely don’t know them! (But I bet they know ALL about the Jersey Shore!)
So… thanks Wikipedia for saving me and for giving me a reader’s digest version of the history and importance of Ephesus (of course I must interject some of my own comments among theirs)
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League (not to be confused with the Justice League) during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world.
The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Emperor Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected new public baths. Following the Edict of Thessalonica from emperor Theodosius I, (not to be confused with emperor Theodosius II) the temple was destroyed in 401 AD by a mob led by St. John Chrysostom. (I didn’t realize that people who led destructive mobs could then become Saints… hmm, I think my mother might have lied to me!)
The town was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD. The city’s importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River. It’s other “claims to fame” include:
- Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation
- The Gospel of John may have been written here.
- The city was the site of several 5th century Christian Councils
- It is also the site of a large gladiators’ graveyard.
Needless to say a major draw of Kusadasi is Ephesus… but our tour is only 4 hours which leaves us plenty of time to see this beautiful city.
The city lies on the Aegean Sea and is tourist resort for mostly Northern Europeans, Balkans and Turks. Now I know what you are asking “Where did they get a name like that?” Glad you asked! The name comes from ‘kuş’ (bird) and ‘ada’ (island) as the peninsula has the shape of a bird’s head (as seen from the sea). Try to work that little bit of knowledge into your next dinner party conversation!
We are in port until 11 pm so we will be able to, after what I know will be a delicious dinner, take some time to stroll the town and take in a beautiful sunset!
How can this trip get any better? Well grab your calendar again and on the 9th right down “that good-for-nothing Suzanne is walking around Mykonos, Greece today”! Find out next week what our plans are for this Greek isle!