Ephesus: Theatre, alcove in the back of the proscenium

Department Archive
Collection SPHS BSA Image Collection
Reference No. BSA SPHS 01/2115.5588
Level Item
Description Film negative, approximately half plate size, an original negative. Written on the border of the negative: "Goldsmith 5".
Dimensions 12 x 9 cm
Place Ephesus
Dates 1903-1904
Creator Ashby, H. T.
Goldsmith, Dr Harvey
Scope and Content Part of a group of images donated by the Argonaut Camera Club, taken on excursions and cruises in Greece and Asia Minor. The original description in the SPHS register reads: "Ephesus: theatre, alcove in back of proscenium".
Notes The image may come from an Easter cruise of the Hellenic Travellers Club on the S.Y. Argonaut. According to the Times account of the first "Argonaut" schoolmaster cruise in 1901 (April 26, 1901, p. 11), Ephesus was not on the itinerary. Therefore, dates must be either 1903 or 1904 as there were no schoolmaster cruises in 1902. The photograph was probably taken by Goldsmith, although Ashby is listed as the donor in the SPHS register.
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.