The Gate Magazine – February 2001

The Obscure Philosopher of Ephesus

When the ruler of Ephesus died shortly after the Persians took over the region in the 6th century B.C., eyes turned to his eldest son, Heracleitos. it was supposed that he would take over responsibility for city affairs. However, he refused this privilege, choosing instead to become a hermit. He went on to become one of the world’s greatest thinkers and was to write one rather obscure book in his lifetime, called ‘About Nature’. In it, Heracleitos focused on the correlation between such opposites as health and illness, and good and bad.

Strolling along Harbor Avenue, one feels a sense of timelessness, thinking about the carts that traversed these roads centuries ago, and how the marble facades have endured through the ages.

The City of Heracleitos: Ephesus

Besides being the city of Heracleitos, Ephesus was one of the finest cities of antiquity. Ephesus was a cult center that attracted pilgrims who came to worship various mother figures.

Some sites to see in Ephesus: St. Johns Basilica, the Temple of Artemis, the House of the Virgin Mary. There are also ruins of the agora, prytaneion, baths, Memmius Monument, the Temple of Domitianus, Traianus Fountain, Celsus Library, the Grand Theater, Marble Avenue and Harbor Avenue.

How to get there?

Buses depart Izmir for the 75 -km. trip to Selcuk every halfhour. It is convenient to take a minibus to Ephesus from there.

Where to stay

With no place to stay in Ephesus, there is lodging in the Selcuk district of Sirince, in Kusadasi and in Izmir.

Nisanyan Evleri
Tel: 0232-898 3209Kusadasi Fantasia
Tel: 0256-614 8550Kismet Hotel
Tel: 0256-618 1290Merit Sunset
Tel: 0256-614 4502
Izmir Hilton
Tel: 0232-441 6060Buyuk Efes
Tel: 0232-484 4300Mercure
Tel: 0232-489 1500

Helpful Hints

  • Be prepared to set aside at least one full doy to wander around the ruins in the area.
  • Ephesus Museum, Tel: 0232-892 60 10
  • Try the wine and gözleme of Sirince.
  • You can find most of the works be longing to Ephesus in the Vienna Ephesos Museum.
  • According to a survey conducted by Conde Nast Traveller, Ephesus is number two on their listing of historical sites to visit in the world.