What are some basic facts about the ancient city of Ephesus during the time of Paul?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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There are so many thing that can be stated, since Ephesus was a major city. In addition, it is one of the best archaeological sites in the world today, next to Pompeii. Here are some facts to get you started:
  1. Ephesus was the capital city of the Roman province of Asia Minor. This alone makes it important and powerful. 
  2. The population of Ephesus is hard to estimate, but scholars believe that it was 250,000 – 400,000 during Paul’s day. Keep in mind that numbers are notoriously hard to calculate. This would make Ephesus the third largest in the Roman world next to Rome and Alexandria. 
  3. The main theater could probably seat 20,000 people. So, we can see that Ephesus was a place of culture. 
  4. The library in Ephesus is one of the most famous, next to Alexandria and Pergamum. The remains are still there. 
  5. Ephesus had one of the most advanced aqueduct systems of the world at that time. This was an amazing feat of engineering. 
  6. There were many temples in the city. The temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonder of the world. According to Pliny, the Roman writer, the temple was measured at 425 feet in length and the width at 225 feet. There were also 127 columns, 60 feet in height. To give a sense of size, it over two times bigger than the Parthenon. 
In light of these points we can say that Ephesus was: rich, sophisticated, populated, and influential.
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