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Ephesus (Ancient Greek Ἔφεσος, Turkish Efes) was an ancient Greek city on the west coast of Anatolia, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, it was for many years the second largest city of the Roman Empire; ranking behind Rome, the empire’s capital. Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it the second largest city in the world.

Construction of the Great Theatre of Ephesus may have begun during Hellenistic times: Lysimachus is traditionally credited with building the theater, but so far there is no archaeological evidence for its existence before 100 BC. However, Lysimachus may have chosen the building site and begun the preparation of the site, a process that required 60 years of digging in the mountainside.

The theatre was capable of holding 25,000 spectators. This open-air theater was used initially for drama, but during later Roman times gladiatorial combats were also held on its stage, with the first archaeological evidence of a gladiator graveyard found in May 2007.

Built into the northern base of Panayır Dağı (Mt. Pion), the theater rises 30m (100 feet) high and can seat 25,000 people. There are magnificent views to be had from the top. Most of the marble paving and some lower elements of the backdrop remain on the stage.

A small Hellenistic theater was probably built here around 200 BC, but the theater seen today dates almost exclusively from Roman times. Constructed primarily in the 1st century (beginning about 40 AD), it was expanded periodically and used continously until the 5th century.

Earthquakes damaged the theater in the 4th century, after which it was only partially repaired. By the 8th century, the theater was incorporated into the city defense system.

Today, the theater is restored and is put to use every May during the Selçuk Ephesus Festival of Culture and Art.

In the 1st century AD, the Apostle Paul spent over three years in Ephesus preaching the Gospel. This magnificent classical theater is considered an important biblical site: the probable place where Paul preached to the pagans as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

According to the Acts, the theater was the site of the riot of the silversmiths in which those who made silver figures of Artemis rioted because Paul’s preaching was bad for business.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm
ISO: 200

Two RAW images PhotoMerged in Photoshop CS4.


Related shots can be found at Turkey or Eastern Meditteranean.

Featured in : Preserving History : 5 Apr 10

All images shown in this redbubble portfolio are owned by the artist, Tom Gomez and are protected under UK and International copyright laws. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any part of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. All rights reserved. My images are NOT part of the public domain.

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  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKalmost 5 years ago

    Awesome Tom. Ephesus eh??? You’re in a place I’d love to be. So many wonderful recorded events of this place in the Bible.

  • Cheers Don, it is a fantastic place, well worth a visit …

    – Tom Gomez

  • gibbandy
    gibbandyalmost 5 years ago

    Great shot Tom, and a great history lesson too

  • Cheers Andy, glad you like it …

    – Tom Gomez

  • John44
    John44almost 5 years ago

    Man think what a SOCCER / Football games could have been played there.. Arsenal versus AJAX
    Nice Shot Tommy

  • Cheers John, it is a huge arena …

    – Tom Gomez

  • dinghysailor1
    dinghysailor1almost 5 years ago

    such an astounding place isnt it – on such a scale – loved our visit here and thanks for posting this – great capture

  • Thank you so much Maggie, it is an amazing place …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Sean Farragher
    Sean Farragheralmost 5 years ago

    great shot,,,,,,,,,

  • Cheers Sean …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Robin Brown
    Robin Brownalmost 5 years ago

    Ah Easter Road; not been there for a while Tom, see they’ve still not got the new soft seats installed!! Superb shot!!

  • There is more blood on the field at Easter Road then there ever was in the Epheses Theatre. Gladiators would not stand a chance against today’s football players. At least in Epheses, the spectators stayed in their seats. The gladiators would have to fight them off at Easter Road – hehehe

    – Tom Gomez

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1almost 5 years ago

    Magnificant shot tom!!

  • Thank you so much Cheryl …

    – Tom Gomez

  • AliceDoodles
    AliceDoodlesalmost 5 years ago

    Your cohosts Cee and Chris

  • Shaun Whiteman
    Shaun Whitemanover 4 years ago

    Great shot of this amazing structure, I bet you could feel the history when you were there!!

  • You certainly could Shaun. The only problem was the number of people there. I think there were about 4 cruise ships in that day so everyone was there at the same time …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerover 4 years ago

    The few scattered people give a sense of the dimensions of this wonderful ancient/modern theatre! Fabulous history … wonderful to see that it is still used!

  • Thank you so much Trish. It does look like there are a few folk there but that is deceiving, the place was absolutely mobbed with tourists, so much so that it was fifficult to make any headway on the path through the site …

    – Tom Gomez

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