Ancient city of Asia Minor (now Turkey), known for hosting one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Temple of Artemis, as well as being one of the early centers (with Antioch) of the Christian Church (folklore has it as the final resting place of St. John the Apostle, Mary Magdalene, and the Virgin Mary).

Located at a bend in the loop of the Kucuk Menderes river, it's not a bad place to site a harbor, and a town, and become a trading center, with three small hitches:

  1. An active fault zone. Earthquakes leveled the city in 17 AD and 262 AD.
  2. Asia Minor is at the crossroads of two continents, and so you're right in the way of any wandering nomads, barbarians, and empires. Since its founding, Ephesus passed through the hands of the Hittites, the Myceneans, the Ionians, the Cimmerians, the Lydians, the Persians, the Athenians, the Persians again, Alexander the Great, the Syrians, the Pergamons, and the Romans. Then the Goths. And then the Arabs. And the Seljuk Turks, followed by the Byzantine Turks, and various Turk factions, sometimes employing Catalonian mercenaries. Depending on the invaders' customs, the town might be leveled, burned, looted, and/or rebuilt.
  3. That bend in the river catches silt, and eventually your harbor fills up. The harbor was dredged repeatedly, but even as early as 294 BC the city was being re-sited in the hills. In the 6th century, the harbor was abandoned, and the inhabitants moved to the hills of Ayasoluk.
Famous Ephesians: St. Timothy, Xenophon, and Heraclitus.

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