On Ephesus History

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the founding legend, Androclos, the son of Kodros, the King of Athens in the 1000s BC, wants to establish a new city in the Aegean, and they set sail to find a suitable place in the Aegean. They anchor in a cove with green shores, many islands, and flat lands behind it. They want to establish a city here, but due to the beliefs of that period, they have to get approval from the oracles, and the gods believed to have communicated through them for the city they want to establish. He sends one of Androclos’ friends to the city of Delphi, to a holy temple. The oracles prophesy and said, “When the fish jumps and the pig escapes, you will know that the city you need to build is the right city.” The man who returned after this prophecy reports this to Androclos.

Visit Library of Celsus with Ephesus Tour Guide Hasan Gulday
Visit the Library of Celsus with Ephesus Tour Guide Hasan Gulday

In the intervening few days, while Androclos and his friends are frying the fish they caught, the oil in the pan explodes, the fried fish in the pan splash, and the fire that jumps around with the fish sets the surrounding bushes on fire. The pig, hiding behind the bushes, starts to run away, afraid of the fire. As a result of all these, the prophecy given by the oracle comes true and the foundations of Ephesus are laid.

From the prehistoric times, including the Archaic, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Aydınoğulları, Ottoman, and modern periods, life in Ephesus continued regularly without any pause. In all these periods, Ephesus was called by different names. Apasa, Alope, Arsinoe, Ortygia, Amorge, Smynra Trakhia, Haimonion, Ptelia, Hagiog Theologos, Ayasuluk, Viranşehir, Akçaabad and Akıncılar are the names used for Ephesus so far.

During all periods of Ephesus, Ephesus was the center stage of several wars. There has never been a period of peace which exceeds a century. The city has always found itself in the middle of wars due to the attacks of nations such as the Hittites, then the Ions, Cimmerians, Lydians, Persians, Ancient Greece, Sparta, Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, Goths, and Arabs to this city. Despite all these wars, Ephesus has survived to this day and has left a great historical legacy.

Come and visit Ephesus to unravel the history and importance of this city with me. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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