Where is Ephesus?

Where is Ephesus located today?

Today, Ephesus Ancient City is located in a small farming town known as Selcuk which is one of the counties within the boundaries of Izmir Province. It lies approximately 50 miles southwest of Izmir
and is 15 miles away from the Port of Kusadasi. It lies on the Western shores of Asia Minor.

Where is Asia Minor?

Asia Minor is TurkModern Turkey is a transcontinental country as it occupies both Europe and Asia continents because of which it is called ''where east meets the west'': Anatolia and Asia Minor are the ancient names of today's Turkish peninsula which is surrounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Aegean Sea to the west. The term ‘Asia Minor’ denotes the westernmost part of the Asian continent, equivalent to modern Turkey between the Aegean and the Euphrates. The term Asia Minor came into use to identify the western half of Asiatic Turkey more specifically from about 400 AD and was mainly used by the Byzantines to describe the part of Asia under their control.

Location of Ephesus in the Antiquity

In Antiquity Ephesus, one of the twelve Ionian cities of the Panionic League founded in the valley of the Cayster River, was renowned for its prosperity, because it became the greatest trading center in western Asia Minor due to its location at the western terminus of the main Roman trading route up the Maeander Valley, and of the Persian Royal Road along which one could travel in ninety-three days to Mesopotamia.

Ephesus had shifted locations a few times throughout its history. Pausanias reports that when the Ionian colony led by Androclus, son of Athenian King Codrus arrived at Mount Pion-probably at around 1000 BC, the local Anatolian tribes had already established a sanctuary to the local Anatolian Mother Goddess Cybele. Ionian settlers constructed a sanctuary for their goddess Artemis sometime in the eighth century BC. According to the legend, Amazon women first established the sacred site upon which Goddess Artemis, Diana of the Ephesians was worshipped later. A series of ever more magnificent temples that we know as the Artemision was built at the same spot. In 560 BC, Ephesus was invaded by Lydian King Croesus. When a treaty was established with Lydians, Ephesus moved off Mt Pion next to the sanctuary of Artemis. In  290 B.C. Lysimachos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great constructed a new fortified city at the shore, in the area between Mounts Pion and Croesus. Ephesus which ruins are visited today is this city that was constructed by Lysimachus. Lysimachus surrounded his new city with over 9 km of fortification walls and a sheltered harbor.
 


Over the centuries, the harbor of Ephesus was completely silted up by the soil and silt carried by river Caystros. When you climb the top of the Amphitheater of Ephesus, you see the view of an alluvial plain instead of the Aegean Sea.

 

 

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