Ephesus(redirected from Ephesu)
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an ancient city in Caria, on the western coast of Asia Minor. Ephesus was founded in the 12th century B.C. by Greeks on the site of a Carian settlement. The city’s advantageous location promoted its rapid growth as a commercial and religious center; its Temple of Artemis was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
In 560 B.C., Ephesus was conquered by Lydia, and in 546 B.C., by Persia. After the Greco-Persian Wars (500–449 B.C.), when it was freed from Persian rule, the city joined the Delian League, and during the Peloponnesian War (431–404 B.C.) it sided with Sparta. After 386 B.C., Ephesus was again conquered by Persia, and in 334 B.C., by Alexander the Great. In the third century B.C. it was under the rule of the Seleucids. It came under the power of Pergamum in 190 B.C. and of Rome in 133 B.C. In the late first century B.C., Ephesus became the capital of the Roman province of Asia. In A.D. 263 it was sacked by the Goths, who destroyed the Temple of Artemis, which had been rebuilt after it was burned down by Herostratus in 356 B.C. In A.D. 358 and 365, Ephesus was damaged by earthquakes, but it was rebuilt both times. In the Middle Ages the city gradually lost its importance because of the shallowing of its harbor.
Thorough excavations have been conducted since the late 19th century by the Austrian Archaeological Institute. Structures that have survived from ancient Ephesus include ruins of various Roman buildings, the agora, the theater, the Library of Celsus, the temples of Serapion and Hadrian, and the odeum (first-second centuries). Also of interest are the early Christian burial-ground complex known as the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and the Byzantine Hagia Maria Basilica (second-third centuries). Northeast of Ephesus, in Selçuk, are remains of the Temple of Artemis (eighth, seventh, mid-sixth centuries B.C.), and in Belevi there is a mausoleum of the third century B.C. The Museum of Ephesus is located in Selçuk.
REFERENCESForschungen in Ephesos, vols. 1–5. Vienna, 1906–53.
Miltner, F. Ephesos. Vienna, 1958.
Alzinger, W. Die Stadt dessiebenten Weltwunders. Vienna, 1962.