Friday, June 19, 2009


(Epic Library of Celsus, constructed 120AD, Ephesus)

One of the greatest ancient sites to go see in the world is Ephesus. Paul spent nearly 3 years at this coastal city, and the community was transformed by the Christian message. You can read about his experiences there in Acts 19, but before you do, check out some of these pictures. It really brings Paul's world to life. (I'm pointing to a Greek inscription that reads "Ephesus".)

Here we are on "government road." Unlike most cities of the time, Ephesus had two agoras (market place), one main agora and one primarily for the government and aristocracy. This road leads up to the government agora. You can see statues of Ephesian patrons and pillars lining both sides of the road.

We rarely think of advanced plumbing in the first century, but they had it here. First, you see the clay water pipes.

Then you see the public latrines, which featured constantly running water... automatic flushing.

And then you see the public bath house. The baths featured hot and cold water, and the "ruts" in the wall were actually chambers where steam was piped in to heat the room.

The wealthy patrons lived in rather large, multi-room homes with slaves and extended family. Here are some similar remaining homes built onto the base of the hill.

And here are the ornate insides of a typical wealthy Greco-Roman home. Notice the mosaics and the frescoes.

It is likely that many of the early house churches met in the homes of patrons similar to these. In particular, we know that Paul stayed at the home of Lydia in Acts 16.

That's all you get for now. I don't want to saturate your capacity to be wowed by this stuff, so you've got to come back on Wednesday for more. By the way, the best is yet to come!

1 comment:

beckymcp said...

Wow, I had no idea Ephesus was so well-preserved! Looking forward to Wednesday's post, so don't let your viewing public down! ;-)