Ephesus: Close view of gymnasium

Department Archive
Collection SPHS BSA Image Collection
Reference No. BSA SPHS 01/1224.3140
Level Item
Description Glass negative, full plate size, a copy negative.
Dimensions 21.5 x 16 cm
Place Ephesus
Dates 1872-1873
Creator Trotman, Corporal J.
Trotman, Mrs
Scope and Content Part of a collection of images photographed by Corporal Trotman around the area of Ephesus and the Seven Cities of Asia Minor, taken between 1871-1873. The original description in the SPHS register reads: "Ephesus: Gymnasium, close view of 3135".
Notes Date based on Corporal Trotman's time at Ephesus based on entries in the 1877 book, Discoveries at Ephesus by J.T. Wood. Trotman was with Wood for three seasons from 1872 until early 1874. Wood indicates that Trotman used the summer of 1873 to travel to the 'seven cities' of Asia Minor to photograph. The images were made available to the Hellenic Society (by Mrs Trotman according to the negative register) in 1892 (JHS 13: xxxvii).
Further information The ancient Greek city of Ephesus (Efes), one the most prosperous Ionian cities/seaports in Asia Minor, is located close to the modern town of Selcuk. The original location of the first settlement is disputable: it was established either on the Aegean seashore or, more likely, on Ayasuluk hill where recent excavations have revealed material that dates from the Prehistoric to Archaeic among the later Byzantine and the Turkish remains. Ephesus was conquered by the Lydians in about 560 BC.

After the death of Alexander the Great it was ruled by Lysimachus and the Seleucids before entering an era of prosperity as part of the Roman Republic. A new Hellenistic and Roman city was constructed with many major monuments: monumental arched gateways, a large theatre, an odeon, a library, temples, gymnasia, etc. and away from the Ayasuluk Hill toward the coast. Ephesus remained equally important during the Byzantine era. Although it served as the seat of the 431 Church Council, it was reduced (following the upheaval of the seventh/eighth-century invasions) to about half of its original size. Another period of prosperity and wealth lasted until about 1090 when a series of newly-formed independent Turkish states were established on the Aegean coast.

After 1209 the city flourished under the control of Theodoros Laskaris. The new period of prosperity lasted until 1304 when Ephesus was conquered by the Seljuks (Selçuk Turks) who renamed it Ayasuluk, a Turkish translation of the Greek name ‘Theologos’ which refers to the monumental basilica erected by Justinian over the small chapel which marked the tomb of Hagios Ioannis ho Theologos- St John the Theologian spend his last years in the region writing his gospel. The slow decline of the city lasted until the beginning of the 20th c. In 1914 the town was renamed Selçuk after the Selçuk Turks.