This blog will follow the travels of two Calvert School teachers as they study for twelve days throughout the Mediterranean region. The locations visited were selected from A Child's History of the World, the third grade history textbook written by Calvert's first headmaster, Virgil Hillyer. The trip was generously funded by a Garrett Grant from Calvert School.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Today we traveled to Ephesus, a city on the Asian
side of Turkey. This ancient city was conquered
by Alexander the Great who is an important figure in our Ninth Age history
curriculum. The city had to be relocated four times due to malaria and other
diseases. Some of the highlights of the ruins were the terrace houses. Their
excavation is ongoing, and students and archaeologists from many different
countries, including the United States, are contributing. Fortunately, the excavation
is protected by a roof, shielding these ancient ruins from sun and weather
damage. The houses were built for the wealthy and were very advanced. For
example, they had pipes for clean water and sewage as well as in-floor heating.
The walls were decorated by frescos, and mosaics were used in place of rugs. At
Ephesus we also saw the restored library of Celsus, which was discovered in
We were also fortunate to see the remains of one of
the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. The original
temple was much larger than the Parthenon and was supported by 117 columns;
however, now only a single reconstructed column remains. As he was passing
through the city, Alexander the Great offered to reconstruct the temple. To
increase his fame, he asked for a plaque with his name to be added, but the
citizens politely declined, telling him, “One god cannot give presents to
another.” Alexander was flattered to be called a god and continued to donate to
the construction even without the promise of a plaque.