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What are some facts about Ephesus?

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Quick Answer

The city of Ephesus, known as of 2015 as Selçuk in modern-day Turkey, was one of the most important cities of the Mediterranean region and home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. The city was first founded during the bronze age and served as a crossroads for both Eastern and Western civilizations.

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Along with the Temple of Artemis, ruins of an ancient library dedicated to Proconsul Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemeanus have been unearthed. The Library, called the Library of Celsus, was said to hold 12,000 to 15,000 scrolls and was damaged in an earthquake in A.D. 262.

The city also served as an important Christian site during antiquity, as it was the home of St. Paul's ministry, where he baptized many of his followers. Several artists and thinkers worked in the city, including Hipponax the poet, two painters, Parrhasius and Apelles, and Alexander the orator.

The city was destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 17, but it was rebuilt as an even larger city than it was before. The city would come to develop many of the luxuries associated with both Greek and Roman cities, including a theater that could hold up to 25,000 people and public toilets.

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