In the ancient world, Ephesus was a center
of travel and commerce. Situated on the Aegean Sea at the mouth of the
Cayster River, the city was one of the greatest seaports of the ancient world.
Three major roads led from the seaport: one
road went east towards Babylon via Laodicea, another to the north via Smyrna and
a third south to the Meander Valley.
Considered one of the seven wonders of the
ancient world, Ephesus' Temple of Artemis was dedicated to the goddess of the
hunt. Only the foundation and one column remains of this temple which once
measured 425 feet long, 220 feet wide and 60 feet high.
Paul's successful ministry in this city was
considered a threat to this very temple (Acts 19:27).
Originally built in AD 115-25, this restored
facade is a highlight of the ruins today. This style is believed to be the
standard architectural form for Roman libraries. The interior measures 70
by 80 feet and held approximately 15,000 scrolls.
This library was dedicated to Celsus the
proconsul of Asia and his sarcophagus was located under the apse.
Originally holding 25,000 people, this
theater was built in the Hellenistic period and was renovated by several Roman
emperors. Designed for theatrical performances, later alterations allowed
gladiatorial contests to be held here. When Paul was accused of hurting the Artemis
and her temple, the mob gathered together in this theater.
they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying,
“Great is Artemis
of the Ephesians!” The
city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with
one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s
traveling companions from Macedonia." NASB Acts 19:28
when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is
Diana of the Ephesians!” 29 So
the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one
accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel
companions. 30 And
when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him. 31 Then
some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that
he would not venture into the theater. 32 Some
therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and
most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 And
they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And
Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people. 34 But
when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about
two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” NKJV Acts 19:28
This became known to all, both Jews and
Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of
the Lord Jesus was being magnified. Acts 19:17
After quieting the crowd, the town clerk
*said, “Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know
that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis
and of the image which fell down from heaven? Acts 19:35
You see and hear that not only in Ephesus,
but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a
considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at
all. Acts 19:26
The road to old port. Antony and Cleopatra
walked here in 35 B.C.E.
to GREECE Index
HOUR OF APOSTLE PAUL
OF APOSTLE PAUL