The Innocents Abroad - Chapter 40

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The Innocents Abroad - Chapter 40
Journeying Toward Ancient Ephesus—Ancient Ayassalook—The Villanous Donkey—A Fantastic Procession—Bygone Magnificence—Fragments of History—The Legend of the Seven Sleepers
 
 

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Submitted by scott on

Twain remarks on being taken to a site of "ponderous blocks of marble" where St Paul was said to have been imprisoned. Ian Strathcarron, in Innocence and War reports that this claim has been discredited and that the marble blocks were actually lain some three hundred (300) years later. He also mentions that this particular site has since been removed from the tourist itinerary and is in fact off-limits, and that this is a loss for tourists as it provided the best vista of the amphitheater and surrounding ruins.

Submitted by scott on

Ian Strathcarron in Innocence and War mentions that John Turtle Wood, mentioned earlier as the railway station architect, was the only working archaeologist in Ephesus and he was primarily interested in locating the Temple of Artemis, "five miles off-site". It would be another thirty (30) years before an Austrian team would begin work uncovering the Roman ruins found there. However, Twain was quite aware of the historical significance of the place but his facts were colored by guidebooks and other sources of a less than accurate nature. From War and Innocence:

"One hates to quibble, and Mark Twain had a journalist's rather than an historian's view of the facts, but his history of Ephesus has rather improved with the telling. Apollo was born in Delos, and Mark Twain confused his sister Artemis with her Roman counterpart Diana; Pan and Syrinx dwelt on Mount Olympus; the Amazons lived mostly elsewhere in Anatolia; there is a statue of the Cyclops in Ephesus, but nothing more than that. But there's no gainsaying that Ephesus was the great Greek and Roman capital of Asis Minor, a mighty cultural and trading center, and certainly Lysander and Alexander the Great strode through there, and Antony and Cleopatra wintered there, and as were all the other prominent Romans listed above and many more besides."

Submitted by scott on

Mark Twain mentions Ephesus as the site where both Marys had possibly died. At that time "Rome has since judged it best to locate her grave elsewhere;...". Ian Strathcarron carries this topic even further reporting that because of a dream of a German nun, Anne Emmerich, Rome has changed it's mind back to Ephesus again and in fact locating the exact spot. Unfortunately for such true believers, archaeologists have dated the house at 500 years CE. Nevertheless the site is now a successful tourist destination.