There was a time when I read through the Bible every year and the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians remains a favourite of mine. The nuns were sticklers for indoctrination and once upon a time I knew all of Paul’s journeys through the ancient holy lands. It was a part of our catechism lessons, no choice. The nuns wrote on the blackboards, and we copied every word into our catechism books.
The once glorious city would have been a wonderful place to live. Periodically we found ourselves as part of a tour group with an informative guide who added snippets of interest to our own Lonely Planet guided tour around this exquisite archaeological site. The ancients must have thought they were in paradise living within the walls of a city newly carved from marble with all the modern conveniences of the day.
In Ephesus, the public toilets, were part of the Scholastica Baths (named after a Christian lady responsible for the bath house renovations) and entry was gained by the payment of a fee. Water flowed underneath the latrines – built around the walls of the bath house – and the fall of the drains so constructed that the waste was carried away from the bath house.
The library of Celsus is probably the most famous as well as being the most beautiful building in Ephesus. Construction began in 110 AD and completed 135 AD. It was built in memory of Celsus Polemeanus, a Roman senator. A book lover, Polemeanus, bequeathed a sum of money to ensure the library was built and continue to be stocked with new books each year. When he died, he was buried under the ground floor inside a marble tomb.
With its 2, 000 year old buildings Ephesus is a stunningly beautiful place. We spent several hours walking the cobbled streets imagining what our lives might have been like in that city. For the wealthy it would have been a wonderful existence with its opulent marble structures and civil engineering feats. I don’t imagine the slaves would have had such a fine time.
I loved walking around Ephesus, as did the thousands of others there on the same day. One of my regrets is that I spent so much time behind the lens of the camera rather than soaking up the history and revelling in the biblical wonder of it all.
This post is part of the April, 2015 A – Z Blogging Challenge.