Ephesus was an old Roman port, located on the Aegean Sea, in what is now western Turkey. It was a wealthy city due to commerce and its position on the edge of Asia and Europe. As the sea receded, the city lost its significance and its major source of income, so it descended into disrepair and ruin. Today, these ruins are a popular stop for cruises ships which frequent the Aegean Sea.
Our visit was part of a cruise through the Greek Islands. Ephesus, during its heyday, featured one of the world’s great libraries, favorably compared to others at Alexandria and Pergamum.
Here are some of the highlights from this fascinating look at life in the Roman Empire.
Most important is the Celsius Library, discussed above as one of the ancient world’s greatest repositories of books and other writings.
The Fountain of Trajan, an elaborate two-story structure, reminds visitors of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
The main streets of the city were paved with marble, an indication of the wealth and importance of Ephesus.
The city even had public toilets.
A visit here captures the spirit of Roman citizens on the fringe of the Empire.