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About Ephesus, Ephesus Harbor Street

In the middle of the first century A.D the city of Ephesus was flourishing. It had been built near the mouth of the river Cayster and had one of the busiest inland harbours of the Aegean coast. The illustration is of Harbour Street which, when originally built, led from the harbour to the theatre which is mentioned by Luke in Acts chapter 19. Harbour Street is 530 metres long and 11 metres wide.
The theatre is still there, but the harbour gradually silted up and there are now fields where once there was water. The ruins of Ephesus, which are well worth a visit, are now 7 miles inland. The building of the theatre was begun in the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius (41-54 A.D.).
There was seating for about 25,000 people and one of its uses was the regular meetings of the city assembly. At Ephesus pagan religions flourished. Here was one of the wonders of the world, the temple of Artemis (Diana). The making of small silver shrines of the goddess was a trade involving many craftsmen. The shrines were sold as souvenirs to visitors to the pagan temple. Paul made two visits to Ephesus, his second lasting three years. As a result of the preaching of the gospel, many renounced paganism and received Christ. Those whose trades depended on the cult felt their livelihoods threatened by the fall in demand for their silver shrines.

Demetrius, an influential member of the guild of smiths, called his colleagues to a mass meeting in the theatre.
Many of the general public joined in the demonstration. "and they rushed with one accord into the theatre, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel"(Acts 19:29).

Paul was intent on confronting the riotous assembly, but was strongly advised against entering the theatre by his converts and also some influential citizens of the city. It was the town clerk who eventually restored some measure of order and sent them home. No doubt he was concerned that the Roman authorities would take a serious view of the riotous behaviour. Paul's work in Ephesus and beyond was a triumph of the gospel over occultism and idolatry. His subsequent letter to the church is a valued part of our spiritual inheritance.

1. Harbor Street 8. Hillside houses. 15. Trajan's Fountain. 22. Freshwater pipes.
2. Theater  9. Public toilets  16. Curetes Street. 23. The Fountain of Pollio.
3. Commercial Agora.   10. Latrina  17. Hercules Gate. 24. Prytaneon.
4. Library of Celsus. 11. Scholastica Baths  18. Memmius Monument. 25. Odeon.
5. Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates  12. The Mosaic - Paved sidewalk  19. Temple of Domitian. 26. Isis Temple.
6. Marble Street  13. Entrance Scholastica Baths. 20. An altar. 27. Stage Agora.
7. Brothel  14. Hadrian's Temple. 21. The list of Curetes. 28. Baths of Varius.


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