Ephesus

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I remember sitting in a lecture at University years ago and hearing about this great Roman city  in Turkey, the biggest and best preserved ruined city in the area.  When I looked at a map I realised I had travelled right past it  and never even heard of it!

(We were young, naive and possibly a tad stupid….or maybe just didn’t read our travel guide that day…?)

So this time it was written firmly on the agenda.  And I was not disappointed.

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A stunningly beautiful city we only wished we could have travelled back in time to see it full of  Romans out and about on their daily business.

 

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The old library is a highlight.  It must have been spectacular, a rival to the great one at Alexandria.

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It is so well preserved you really get a sense of the streets and the buildings.

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I had never heard of Nike – a cute little winged Greek Goddess – the Goddess of Victory.  (Maybe a good name for a sportswear company….?)

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The ever fascinating communal toilets! The Romans never seemed to miss an opportunity to socialise….The next door baths were incredible feats of engineering too.

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The highlight was the massive amphitheatre. Incredible.  After a rest in the shade we all climbed up to the back seats.  The acoustics were amazing, I held myself back from delivering a full soliquoy to the assembled crowd, although one lady was testing them by singing  ‘Doh a dear…”  and I sang along softly with her. I may have muttered ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen…” at one stage too. But only quietly…

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The kids centre stage – it really brings out the performer in you, just imaging
20 000 toga clad, cheering Romans urging you on.
I think Ollie was glad we hadn’t brought our Ukuleles with us as there would have been no holding us back then.

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The not -so-ancient Goddess of world-schooling….

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Ephesus was the city of Artemis.  She was the Greek  Goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, childbirth,virginity and the protector of young girls, becoming  the  Roman  Goddess Diana.
Ephesus is also  the site of the very first Christian  church to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  Here it was decided that Mary was the Mother of God and her staus  in Christianity was elevated.   The cult of Mary was relatively easy to lay over  the Artemis infrastructure already in place. I say relatively.  The religious history is fascinating, having majored in it years ago this reminds me of how complex and also how all incompasing religion was especially when a new fangled cult arrived and had to be fitted in to the exsisting cultural climate.

Which of course took hundreds of years.

Perspective and hindsight are great things.

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