Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ephesus


We went to Ephesus. WOW! What a colossal monument to the classical world. We saw the places where Heraclitus thought, St. Paul preached (and was imprisoned) and where much of Asia Minor was governed (Ionia, I believe) eventually by the Romans.

The outdoor theatre holds 25,000 and is spectacular by today’s standards. The various temples, marble roads, and tons of baths, gymnasiums, fountains and memorials were piled into a classical orgy of architectural wonder and cultural flowering. The temple of Artemis (Anatolian fertility goddess), a wonder of the world in its time (larger than the Parthenon in Athens), is pretty well completely destroyed, but massive swaths of the city are well preserved, and some pieces have undergone restoration.

It was truly awe-inspiring.

Afterward, in the town we were staying in, we ran up to see the Church of St John, built over the author of the fourth gospel’s grave (or so it is thought). Quite a humbling experience. There is something mystifying about the sense of awe one gets at standing where such men have stood, and praying over the place they lie.

Outstanding.



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