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Ephesus was at one time a major port city for the Greek and Roman empires. Saint Paul wrote his Letter to the Ephesians to its early 1st century Christian community. Today Ephesus is some five miles from the coast due to the river plain being filled with silt over the centuries. For this reason (and possibly because of mosquito carried diseases) the city was eventually abandoned.
Ephesus is one of the most completely excavated major cities in Greece and Turkey. It's library is one of the most outstanding libraries of the ancient world. One of the most interesting things in the library is an inscription found on one of its lintels. It is a dedication to Caesar, the divine son of God, pontifex maximus. It is clear evidence of the imperial cult worship. Saint Paul and the other early Christians were preaching a contradictory--and even treasonous--message.
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