Little-Known Facts About Ephesus

Facts About Ephesus

Ephesus is one of Turkey’s great outdoor museums, attracting more than two million visitors every year. It is the best preserved classical city of the Eastern Mediterranean and one of the best in the world, giving a true feeling of life in ancient times.
Did You Know? Little-Known Facts about Ephesus
  • Ephesus was once a busy seaport but is now six miles inland.
  • The Celsus library, with its 12,000 scrolls, was the third biggest in the Roman Empire after those at Alexandria and Pergamum. The library appears from the outside to have two stories but from within seems three stories high.
  • The public toilets had no dividing partitions. Rich people had their slaves sit on the toilets to warm the seats before using them themselves. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus, famous for his statement that no man can step into the same water of a river twice, was born in Ephesus. As early as the first century AD the Romans knew that the Earth is a globe.
  • Evidence of this is an image of the Emperor Trajan resting his foot on a round Earth, symbolizing his mastery of the world. Both Saint John and Saint Paul preached in Ephesus. The first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary was at Ephesus.
  • The same church was the venue for the Third Ecumenical Council and is known as one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse (or revelation). The Virgin Mary spent the last years of her life in a small house near Ephesus which has recently been visited by Pope Paul VII, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
  • That early Christians identified themselves to each other using the sign of a fish. The initial letters of the words in the Greek phrase meaning "Jesus Christ, God’s son, saviour" spell the word Ictus which is Greek for "fish".
  • Seven Christians who fled from persecution in Ephesus are believed to have slept for more than 200 years in the nearby Grotto of the Seven Sleepers. Marble Street is 800 meters long while Curetes Street measure 1 km. The Grand Theatre is 38 meters high and has a seating capacity of more than 24,000. Ephesus was built four times. Most of the buildings we see today are from its third era. The first known advertising sign points the way to the brothel in Ephesus.
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was considered to be one of The Seven Wonders of the World in Roman times. The temple covered an area of 125 meters x 60 meters; its columns were 30 meters tall and it is believed to have been the seventh temple to have been built on the site.


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