Introduction to Miletus
Miletus is an ancient city located in the Ionian region of Anatolia. It was an important city of antiquity established two thousand years before Christ. According to mythology, Miletos, who was exiled from Crete, founded this city. Today, Miletos, located inland nearby the Yenişehir district of Aydın, was a port where the Menderes River flowed into the sea. Nearby river Meander silted the port of Miletus which made it inland today. Thales who is considered to be one of the founders of Greek philosophy, astronomy and geometry lived in Miletos between 640-546. Inhabitants of Miletus were subjected to genocide by Persian forces under Darius in 494 BC. Later the city was conquered by Alexander the Great in 334. The most important temple of the city, Apollo, was established in Didim, 20 km south. The Temple of Apollo was the largest in the Hellenistic world after the temple in Artemis in Ephesus.
Apostle Paul in Miletus
As soon as Paul arrived at Miletus, he called the leaders of the Ephesus church which was 50 kilometers away. After giving a long speech to the church leaders coming from Ephesus, Paul explained how he worked day and night in Anatolia. Paul’s speech to the church leaders in Miletus was a farewell speech in which everyone had emotional moments (Acts 20:14-16). When Paul said, “You will no longer be able to see my face,” no one could keep their tears away. Some of Paul’s most important works were made in this section of his life. The part he had spent in Western Anatolia. This farewell made in Miletus seals Paul’s journeys in Asia Minor. Paul wrote the letters of the Romans and Corinthians during this period.
Miletus Today and Tours to Miletus
Miletus today is still a very well standing Greco / Roman city. There are some perfectly preserved buildings such as the grand theater and the roman baths. Also the spot called ‘’Great Harbor Monument’’ can be seen. This monument is believed to be the place where Paul made his speech to Miletians and Ephesians. You can always write to me if you have more questions about Paul’s journeys around Asia Minor and the rest of Anatolia. You can always contact me if you wish to hire a professional licensed tour guide to Miletus ancient city. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.