History of Ephesus

Earliest findings of Ephesus city dates back to early Chalcolithic period (late 7th millennium BC.) and was discovered in Catalici Hoyuk ( local tumulus). Since then Ephesus was inhabited by Amazons Carians, Lelegians, Lydians, Ionians, Romans and Turks.

Ephesus was  identified with Apasa, the capital of the Luwian Kingdom of Arzawa (16th–13th BC). It’s name was converted by Greek people to Ephesus and used by Roman empire aswell.

Ephesus Curetes Street

Curetes Street

The foundation myth of Ephesus refers to Androclos, the son of a legendary Attic king. According to legend, after his father’s death Androclos decides not to challenge with his brothers and chooses to start a new city. First he went to Delphi Temple to ask oracle where is the best place for new city, answer was  a fish and wild boar will identify the place’ Without understanding oracle Androclos sails across Aegean Sea. When he lands and cooks a fish flames spread to nearby bush, frightened a wild boar. Riding after it on his horse, he kills wild boar then understands he has found location of new city. After that he wrested Ephesus from the indigenous Carians, Lelegians and Lydians.

After Ephesus City was founded, it was dedicated to Greek Goddess Artemis, the huntress. Before her name was mentioned; Carians and Lelegiansused to call her the Great Mother; Goddes of giving birth and fertility. The largest temple ever dedicated to Artemis name in history was built in Ephesus and known one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World; Temple of Artemis 6.centry BC.

During Androcles’s reign, Ephesus joined  the Ionian League and Androclos’ descendants ruled the city for a long period. In time, Ephesus grew to a prosperous trade city and banking centre .Sure this city be wanted by different kings of region. King of Lydia, Kroisos conquered Ephesus The Lydians ruled Ephesus until the Persians conquered the Lydian Kingdom and also Ephesos. However, Alexander the Great set the city free in 334 BC and after his death it was ruled by Lysimachus.

After last king, King Attalos III died in 133 B.C , Ephesus as given to Roman Empire as a gift in his last will.  It became the capital of the Asian province of the Roman Empire and the most important trading center of Asia Minor with population of  250,000 people. Most of the monuments, that have survived and being visited today, date back to Roman Era.

Ephesus - Marble Street

Marble Street

Ephesus City lived it’s Golden age in Roman Empire and christianized during 1 centry AD by visits of Apostle St. John and St. Paul. It’s name written in Holy Bible 16 times and known as one of the most important Early Christian City.

After Ephesus City was invaded by Goths  in 263 AD and they destroyed both the city and the Temple of Artemis. Ephesus lost it’s importance and never rebuilt again. After Roman Empire, Ephesus was ruled by Byzantine.

A big part of the city was rebuilt by Constantine I. In 614 AD the city was destroyed again due to an earthquake. Continuously, the harbor of the city was silted up and city had trouble with malaria disease.

Lastly Ephesus City was invated by Arabs and after city was occupied by the Turks in 1390. After Turkish Era started, Ephesus was abandoned during the 15thAd.