According to ancient legends, an entirely unique city Ephesus (Ephesus) was founded by female warriors known as the Amazon. It is thought that its name came from Apzas, a city in the kingdom of Arzawa, which means the city of Mother Goddess.
According to ancient myths; Ephesus, founded by female warriors known as the Amazon. It is thought that its name came from Apzas, a city in the kingdom of Arzawa, which means the city of Mother Goddess. The Carian and Leleves were probably among the first inhabitants of the city. According to the legend, the city was founded by Androklos , the son of Kodros for the second time on the shore of the Kayster River where he went to the sea, guided by a fish and wild pig on the advice of the priests. On the other hand, archaeological evidence shows that indigenous people lived in the region until the end of the 2nd millennium BC. This place is probably Apasah the capital city of Arzawa, which can be paired with the Ayasuluk Hill that takes place in the Hittite resources. If this assumption is true, we should expect a regional power that is closely related to the Hittite Empire, although it does not much mention about the Aegean, Mycenae and Crete influences. There is an observable increase in Greek influence in 100 BC and after. It is highly probable that the first colonists from the Greek island settled along the eastern shore of the Aegean Sea today, what is now called Ionia. The cities of Ionia evolve after the Ionia migrations join a confederation under the leadership of Ephesus. During the reign of Lydian King Croesus, Ephesus became one of the richest cities of the Mediterranean world.
The defeat of the Lydian King Croesus by the Persian King Kyros paved the way for the spread of Persian sovereignty over the entire Aegean coastline. At the beginning of the 5th century, when the cities of Ionia rose up against the Persians, they quickly separated from the others and thus were saved from being destroyed. When Ephesus entered a period of peace and tranquility of fifty years, it remained under Persian rule until the reign of Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Lysimakhos gets ready to develop the city he called Arsinoeia after his wife Arsinoe. By building a new port, a defensive wall on the slopes of Mount Panayır and Mount Nightingale, the city runs 2.5 km southwest. In 281 BC, the city was rebuilt in the name of Ephesus and became one of the most important commercial ports of the Mediterranean. In 129 BC, King Attalos of Pergamum inherited his kingdom to the Romans for the sake of joining the entire region as an Asian state to the Roman Empire, and they benefited from the conditions of this will.
Ephesus became a very important trade center in the period of Augustus and after. Historian Aelius Aristes describes Ephesus as the most important trade center in Asia. At the same time, with the second philosophy school in Aegean Region, it is a leading political and intellectual center. Ephesus enjoys the privileged position where the East meets the West with its exceptionally good climate, and it also has the importance of having the Artemis cult. Artemision also had an economic role, apart from a civilization. It had become increasingly an investment because of being multifunctional as a bank, the most important local landlord and being a refuge for refugees. From the 1st century onwards, Ephesus was visited by disciple who tried to spread the belief of one God of Christianity and therefore forced to escape from the Roman cruelty and seek refuge. As we know from the written sources, this is where Saint Paul stayed for three years from 65 to 68, gave famous sermons and told his listeners to embrace one God’s faith. Later in the 1st century, Evangelical St. John came to Ephesus – along with the legendary Virgin Mary – and was eventually buried in Ayasuluk Hill. The 2nd century AD witnesses the golden age of Ephesus. Numerous honorary monuments are given to the public and the people of Ephesus by private citizens. Ephesus earns the privilege of building two emperor cults, one in honor of Hadrianus, the other of Domitianus.
In the 3rd century, Ephesus and its surrounding country were destroyed by Goths. In addition, the entire city was demolished with a severe earthquake that took place around 270 AD. At that time, the Temple, where Artemis cult was still practiced, was destroyed by Gothic tribes, and the earthquake resulted in serious consequences for future religious development. Although the temple continued to function until 381 and continued to be worshiped, the people of Ephesus turned to religious imaginations based on salvation. The Egyptian god Serapis and Christian Jesus Christ had grown up and became more popular alternatives to the old official cults.
During the reign of Emperor I. Theodosius in 380 AD, Catholic faith in the empire was imposed to everyone and paganism was ‘officially’ dead. This new appearance, rising with the spread of Christianity, led to the gradual abandonment of all the structures that witnessed the existence of a very god-shaped cult, and to the building of Christian churches in their places. In 431 the third ecumenical consul was held in Ephesus. The city center was transported to the old port area where public structures, churches and habitats were established. Life in this area lasted until the 14th century. However, at the beginning of the 10th century a second Byzantine settlement developed around the summit of Ayasuluk Hill. The exchange of power relations manifested itself in the 11th and 13th centuries. After 1206, for the first time under the sovereignty of the Laskarid Dynasty, a longer peace period was provided. As it is named in Italian sources, the center of Ephesus / Ayasuluk or Altaluogo settlement was deployed around St. John’s Basilica. Eventually, in 1304 Ephesus passed through the Turks, but continues to be an important center for Christian crucifixion and is visited by countless travelers on the Holy Land route.
Despite the economic difficulties, Ephesus / Ayasuluk remains an important commercial center and regional maritime power. Ephesus is the most important port of the city of Aydın and after 1348 it became the capital of the empires. The city passes the last years of prosperity at the beginning of the 14th century and at the beginning of the 15th century under the rule of the Aydinids of the Seljuk Emirate. In 1402 the city was attacked by the Mongols under the command of Timur. After the Mongols had left the city, the emirate was reestablished. After 20 years of power relations, the Ottomans conquered the city in 1425. Prosperity continues throughout the 15th century. But there was a remarkable decline soon. In the 17th century, in this old metropolis, which had been wrecked, only 100 people lived, and malaria was common among people and animals.
By the 20th century, the sand carried by Menderes had extended the lowland to 5 km. After Ephesus was abandoned and slowly began to collapse, the ruins of the ancient glorious structures provided a source of raw material, and these ruins were disintegrated, reused, and processed. In the early modern period, these tremendous ruins, which provide information about Ephesus and Ayasuluk for travel reports and sketches, had been the targets of numerous tradesmen. During the following centuries the settlement was often mentioned in the descriptions of travelers primarily in English and French sources. Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi had made the most detailed and best description of the Turkish remains while European travelers mainly deal with ancient relics.