06 November 2009
Dear Family and Friends,
The "usual suspects" and several "unusual" ones are associated with the ancient seaport known as Ephesus:
Anatolians, Ioanians, Lydians, Persians, and Romans, and historical figures Androclus, Croesus, Herostratus, Alexander, Nero, Hadrian, St John, Virgin Mary, St Paul (Letter to the Ephesians) and Emperor Justinian. Quite a group!
I don't know how many tens of thousands of tourists visit Ephesus each year. I assume that many come for the day from a cruise ship docked at Kuşadasi. They come in groups with a guide who points out the many historical influences on what the guidebook calls "the best preserved classical city in the Eastern Mediterranean." Greeks, Romans, Christians, Jews, Muslims - all played a role in the history here.
I do not dare to describe the ruins of Ephesus. They are extensive and of course include all the "usual suspects" to be found in a classical city: walkways, columns, gates, fountains, temples, a gymnasium and baths, and a grand theatre that seats 25,000 people: each successive range of seating up from the stage is pitched more steeply than the one below, thereby improving the view and acoustics for spectators in the upper seats.