It can be said That
Ephesus is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the
world. In ancient times its favorable location at the mouth of
the Cayster River made it the foremost commercial city of a
coastal region That also included the cities of Miletus, Smyrna
and Pergamum, but the silting up of its harbor gradually
resulted in the loss of this preeminence.The city has been
excavated for more than one hundred years; the extensive remains
are predominantly from the later Roman period.
Ephesus formed a focal point in the ancient world because of its
protected harbor and as a starting point for the Royal Road via
Sardis to Susa. It was also a cult center attracting thousands
of pilgrims for traditional worship of the female, first Cybele,
then Artemis and finally the Virgin Mary. Ephesus was also home
for the early philosopher Heraclitus.