Dear darling blog readers,
We started out our day at the leisurely hour of nine. Then we had a nice short walk to the Temple of Artemis which was built in circa 550BCE. This temple to the fertility goddesses featured a cult image of Artemis that had several extra breasts. The temple was huge with a grand total of 127 columns.
Our next adventure was to a mosque that was built in the early Ottoman period. We got to go into a beautiful courtyard that had several tombstones that featured turbans as decoration. Then we got to enter the mosque and our fearless leader Iskander told us about Islam and the five pillars of Islam and cleared up some common inconceptions about Islam.
Then we got to go to the church of St. John the apostle. This is where it was believed that St. John brought Mary to Ephesus. The church of St. John was rebuilt by Emperor Justinian. The church is believed to be the burial place of St. John. In the medieval period it was believed by pilgrims that St. John had not died but, was sleeping underneath the alter and when he breathed in his sleep he kicked up the dust in the church. That dust was put in flasks and sold to the pilgrims.
We had a lovely lunch. Then were able to climb up to the cave of the seven sleepers.
After lunch we got to the archaeological site in Ephesus. It was wonderful. We got to explore the agora/forum. Then we walked along the road looking at greek inscriptions as we went. It was so exciting for students who were lucky enough to study Greek to look at Greek inscriptions since we really only have Latin inscriptions in Rome. We went to the terrace houses, which were beautiful. We all lamented that Pompeii is not as well preserved as this block of terrace houses. One house in particular was very cool because it had a huge apse where the patron of the house met his clients. I imagined he sat there like the godfather “you come to on the day of my only daughters wedding” . We went to the library of Celsus where Aaron “This is a metaphor but, for what I know not what” Pellowski, got to tell up about the Hellenistic virtues of knowledge. Inside the library there was an undisturbed grave, one of the few in the ancient world.
Professor Ulrich then urged us to continue despite our tired feet by tempting the students with promises of a ruined church and a bath complex. We dutifully followed him out to more remains. We went to the ruined chuch of Mary in which the Council of Ephesus was held in 431 AD. This council determined that Mary was in fact mother of God. There was also a bath building students explored but, the author of this blog might have been busy exploring the church
We trekked back down to the gate, had a lovely meal and finally went to bed. Safe and sound.
Photos courtesy of Thomas:
The lone standing column of Artemis of Ephesus, one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient World.
Group photo time!
What's left of the temple (plus a dog friend).
The group gets a crash-course on mosque architecture.
So much ashlar masonry.
Basilica of John the Apostle.
One of the little old ladies making bread at our lunch stop.
Time to climb things (and by things I mean the path to the Cave of the Seven Sleepers).
It's nice to know they are genuinely fake. We might have been confused otherwise.
Ok, let's get down to business. There are buildings to see and inscriptions to read.
Damnatio memoriae at its finest. Sorry, Domitian.
“What a fine selection of column capitals.”
One of the world's most frustrating puzzles.
Bridget-Kate puts on a performance in the theater.
“Alright. Enough is enough. Time to go.”