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Ephesus

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‘’’Ephesus’’’ '''Ephesus''' was an important center for early Christianity. The city, in western Asia Minor, was a significant center along the [[missionary ]] travels of [[Apostle Paul]] during the first century. The Christians of Ephesus were recipients of one of Paul’s letter as well as one from St . [[Ignatius]] in the second century. Ephesus was one of the seven cities mentioned in [[RevelationsBook of Revelation]]. It was the site of the [[Third Ecumenical Council]] in 431, and it was the [[see]] of St . [[Mark of Ephesus]] in the fifteenth century.
==History==
Ephesus (Greek: ‘‘Έφεσος’‘Έφεσος, Turkish: ‘‘Efes’‘''Efes'') was founded as an Ionian Greek city in the tenth century before Christ by colonists from Athens. Founded on the Cayster River where it flowed into the Aegean Sea, Ephesus was a trading center during pre-Christian history with an extensive mythological history. It is the site of the pagan temple of Artemis, one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World.
Ephesus came under Roman rule in 86 BC and became the capital of proconsular Asia in 27 BC. Under Roman rule Ephesus prospered, became a metropolis and a major commercial center, second only is in size to Rome. It was this city that Paul came to on his [[missionary]] journeys. While the destruction of Ephesus by the Goths in 263 reduced the splendor of the city, it continued to be an important city into through the fifth and sixth centuries. It was again partially destroyed in an earthquake in 614.
Over the years the commercial importance of Ephesus declined as the Cayster River silted up the harbor, causing the city to lose access to the Aegean Sea. Attacks by the Arabs in the following centuries furthered the decline of the city such that by the eleventh century it was reduced to a village. After being destroyed by Turks in 1090, the community was rebuilt during the following century on the hills surrounding the nearby church of St. John and was commonly called ‘’Hagios Theologos’’ (holy theologian) referring to St. [[John the Theologian]].
During the following centuries the town prospered for a short time under the Turks, but was finally abandoned during the fifteenth century. Today Ephesus consists of the remains of the temple of Artemis, the theater, stadium, and a “Double Church” "Double Church" that probably is an old cathedral that was dedicated to the [[Virgin Mary]] where the councils of [[Third Ecumenical Council|431]] and 449 were held.
==Christian historysignificance==Ephesus was an early center of Christianity. St. Paul spent three years in Ephesus establishing and organizing the church, before he was forced to leave the city. His letters included one addressed directly to the [[Ephesians]]. Traditionally, the [[Apostle ]] [[John the Theologian ]] spent the last days of his life in Ephesus where his he was buried. Tradition also places the death of St . [[Mary Magdalene]] in Ephesus.
During the early centuries of Christian era , Ephesus continued as a center of Christianity second only to Antioch in Asia Minor. The [[First Ecumenical Council|Council of NicaeaNicea]] conferred on Ephesus ecclesiastical [[jurisdiction ]] over the [[diocese ]] of Asia Minor that included eleven provinces. Ephesus was the site of the [[Third Ecumenical Council]] where [[Cyril of Alexandria]] led the condemnation of [[Nestorianism]]. [[Justinian the Great]] built a large church adjacent to Ephesus that was dedicated to John the Theologian. [[Image:St John Theologian Grave.jpg|right|thumb|150pkx|Grave of St. John the Theologian]]
In the following years the city suffered from the deprecations of the Arabs and later the Turks, while during the [[Iconoclasm|iconoclastic]] period the defenders of images were [[martyr]]ed. After being destroyed by Turks in 1090, the community was rebuilt on the hills surrounding the church of St. John and was commonly called ‘’Hagios Theologos’’ ''Hagios Theologos'' ("Holy Theologian"), referring to St. John the Theologian. After the succession of attacks during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Christian community was greatly reduced such that when Mark of Ephesus attended the Council of Florence in 1439, he represented a community that had become a village.
==External links==
*[[w:Ephesus|''Ephesus'' at Wikipedia]]
*[http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05490a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Ephesus]
*[http://www.abrock.com/Greece-Turkey/ephesus.html Ephesus]
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