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 1905.

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.



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