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History of Ephesus

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In 1961 the Mycenaean tomb findingsat the entrance of St. John's Church were believed to be the oldest known in Ephesus. In 1990 the Museum Directorate undertook excavations between the church and the castle finally, great number of earthenware objects and mud walls dating back 3000 years were discovered. It was thought to be the site of Arzawa Kingdom's capital city Apasa, which is mentioned in Hitite documented sources.Except that, language experts further reinforced this thesis saying that the word Ephesus is derived from the word 'Apasa'. 

We can say that the first capital city of Ephesus was Arwaza Kinkdom's 'Apasa' establishedon Ayasuluk Hill. The city remained in this location until the Lidyan king Kroisos's attack in 560 BC. After this date, by the force of the famous king, the city was rebuilt at the foot of the hill in the area surrounding the Temple of Artemis.

In 1992 during excavations carried out by the museum in the Cukurici area at 500 m east of Ephesus Magnesia Gate a man made hillock was found. this discovery dated 2000 years before the Apasa which meant that it dated back to 5000 B.C. At that time this mound was located on the boundary of the Seljuk Region within the bay. Opsidien knives, awl and arrow tips were found in the mound. In time the alluvial landfills of the Marnas Stream and K.Menderes river caused the city to move from the sea. In order to provide security the city was then relocated to the Ayasuluk Hill, which was then an island In the year 1200 B.C. the Mycenaean Civilization was destroyed. The Hitite Empire was beaten by Frigites who moved to Anotolia from Thracia during this time. The gap created by the Hitite and Mycenaean defeats was filled by escapees fleeing the Dorlars. After year 1200 B.C. this migration from north west Greece to the south brought the Ion and Aiol dialects to the area. This movement was completed about 1050 B.C.Heredot's story about the colonisation of Ephesus is told the frieze found on the Adrian's  Gate in Kurets street tells the story. It says that before a war the Athenian King Kodros would ask the wise man what the outcome of the war would be. The answer was always 'The king that dies first will come beck victorious.'' As a result King Kodros would knowingly allow the enemy soldiers to kill him. In later times his sons disputed about the Kingdom of Athens. In consequence one of them Androkolos decides to establish a new city located far from Athens. He, like his father, also consults the wise man as to where this city should be located. he received this poetic style answer 'A fish and a wild boar will show you' Androklos was not able to interpret anything from this. And his men boarded on a boat. After a long journey they came to this shore. They caught fish, lit fire and while they were cooking them the surrounding grass caught on fire. By fear, a wild boar hiding in the shrub tried to escape. On horseback Androkolos pursued him and killed it. After this, he recalled the words of the wise man and decided to found the new city here.   Primary era writers pausanius and Strabon claim that Ephesus was formed by Amozons. For this reason, in Ephesus the Amozons were remembered with love end respect. In 500 B.C, in order to put in the Temple of Artemis, a sculpture competition was held. Some famous sculptors like Kresilas, Polikleitos, Phidias and Phardmon articipated in this competition. Plinius states that in order to win the competition the sculptors used all their artisticskills.

The selection of the winner sculpture is left to the competitors. Eachof them voted firstly for them Thselves and secondly for Polykletios. In this way Polykletios's work was the winner. Reproductions of this sculpture made at the Roman and Hellenic periods can be found in many of the world's museums. A head from these reproductions is exhibited at the Artemision Hall at the Ephesus Museum. On 7th cebtury B.C. there was an attack by kimmers who were relatives of Iskits. Taking strength from the city poet Kallinos's encouragement, the Ephesians resisted the Kemmers attack. The Kimmers, being a warring tribe, butnt and completely destroyed the Artemis Temple. Later, the great number of gold ivory, amber, bronze and terracotta artifacts that were found in the Temple and that survived this fire were left as gifts. After the Kimmer attacks Ephesus quickly recovered to its original position. In the 6th century B.C., the city with the other Ionian cities were leaders in culture and science. World culture that since 3000 B.C. had been in the hands of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians was transferred to west Anatolia. At this stage Ephesus, as an important port city took leading role in sea trade. Trade coming by road from Anotolia was an importanat factor in the development of the city.

In year 560 B.C. the Lydian king of whose capital was SardeS attacked and invaded Ephesus. However, contrary to belief that he would be harsh towards the community, Kroisos treated well to people and paid for the rebıilding of Artemis Temple. He also had the relieved columns made for the temple as gift.  The writing 'ordered by Kroisos' can be seen on one of them in Brirish Museum. At the time Lydians appointed the Tyrans to rule the city. Lydian rule did not last long; a bigger force,from east, the Persians attacked Anatolia. In 546 B.C. persian commander Harpagos, starting from Phocai (Foca) attacked and occupied lonian cities. Kroisos was taken prisoner. The Persians, combined Karia, Likya Pamphilia and Ionya and administered with satraps. Ephesus internal affairs were left free and taxes were given to Persians as ships if wanted. Records state that Ephesus was the highest taxpayer in the region. When Persian king Kyros, in the times of Kambyses and Derios, continuously increased taxes and with satrap pressure caused uprising known as the Ionian Uprising. 500 B.C. The Miletos took the lead and in year 494 B.C the rebellion was suppressed. In year 479 B.C. during the Platae War Persians invaded Greece after Anatolia. The Macedonian King Alexander the Great, after eliminating the Persians from Greece and Therace, moved to Biga crek (GRANİKOS)BY PASSİNG the Dardanelles and has beaten Persians army there Alexander the great comes to Sardes easily and then goes to Ephesus and gives the city freedom Alexander the great wanted to pay for for the restoration expenses of the Temple called Artemis which was wrecked by a crazy man Herostratos, on the day Alexander was born but the Ephesian didn't allow that because they accept him as  half god. Thay say '' A god cannod do a temple for another god'' and they refuse this offer. After Alexander dies, the region changes rulers. On 287 (B.C) General Lysimakhos, rules the region. Lysimakhos knows the importance of the region, and re-establishes the city between the mounts Bülbül (Koressos) and Panayir (Pion). He places the city walls in the way that it covers the little village at the west and Smyrna at the east.According to Isodomic plan (streets cross each other with right angle) he rebuilts the city by dividing it into parcels. Also gives the name of his dear wife Arsinoe, then so, Lysimakhos blocks the watercanalsand forces them to move due to flood. Lysimakhos put his share from the Threasure of Alexander in the care of philatarios who was the commander of the highly protected castle Pergamon. He may thought to make Ephesus the capital. But when Lysimakhos askes for the treasure back Philatarios didn'tgive it. There was trouble. Lysimakhos besieges Pergamon castle. At this time hears about the attack of Seleukoses, and stars fighting against them. Lysimakhosdies while fighting at Koroupedion. His land goes to Ltsimakhos the grave monument with a pyramid shaped roof and its marble tomb in belevi village of Ephesus was made for Lysimakhos but was used for someone else later. The commander of the Pergamon castle creates his kingdom with the treasure left from Lysimakhos and it becomes quite powerful after a while and takes the area from Anotolia to Antalye under their rule. On 133 (B.C.) Pergamon kingdom was left to Roman Empire by the will. The big progress at Ephesus was made at the time of emperor Augustus. At this period Ephesus became the capital of the Asian province and was quite far eway at richness and culture. It became the most important province of the empire with the African province. The work of arts called, Trade agora, Mazeus Mithridates door and Bazilika Roman and Augustus temples belong to this period. At the earthquake on 17 (A.D.) big part of west Anatolia was wrecked. Emperor Tiberius, had the damaged cities repaired, and helped the cities to become lively. It is predicted that the population of Ephesus at this time was more than 200.000. At the time of emperor Domitian, developments continued and the first emperor temple called Domitian was made. Emperor Hadrian comes to the city twice. At the first visit the temple at Kurets street was dedicated to him. At the second visit the big temple which is close to Konsil church, was built and dedicated to the emperor. At thatperiod having an emperor temple was big prestige. By that Ephesus got soperiority over the rival cities Pergamon and Smyrna. On 262 (A.D) a big Goth fleet attacks to Ephesus and causes fear. Goths loots and wrecks the Artemis temple. After this attack Ephesus gathers itself but connot regain its power, because the harbour was filled and wasn't in use. This blocks the sea trade. The harbour was cleaned many times. but it was filled again. The sea taday is 6 km. away from once it has been. At the 5 th and 6th centuries the population was decreased. The defence of the city, which was surrounded by broad city walls became quite hard thats why the city walls were narrowed . The door made by unhewn stones, in front of to the Celsus library belongs to this period. At the first century (A.D) Ephesus church which was established by St John was strengthened by the efforts of St.Paul. Year 431, universal council got together in Ephesus. Ephesus importance among Christian cities, it also caused troubles. The meeting broke up after 3 months without any result. On 449 there was 2nd  meeting called '' Bandit's meeting''v there was no results either. On the 6th century the city moved to Ayasuluk Hill the place where it was first established, due to easy defence. Emperor Justinien and his wife had e big 6 domed church built on the grave of St John who was a gospel writer. In spite of everything,there were people living at Ephesus until the 7th century. The 7th and 8th centuries brought the most depressing times of Ephesus. The Arabic navy attacks to these shores quite often. The armies of caliph Süleyman spends the winter at Ephesus. In the 10th century, the name of the city was changed to Hagios Theolohos in relation with St.John. Turks changed thename to Ayasusuk. Traveler Ibn-i Batuta in the 14th century says St. john church was used as a mosque. According to him this city was rich and a center for bishops There were consulates of Venice and Genoa in the city.