Daily Life in Ephesus


Ephesus Ancient City included all infrastructures needed both architecturally and aesthetically. For example, in the middle of the Ephesus Houses had been a pool that open top. And the houses had been lit thanks to sunlight which was reflected. These pools were named ‘impluvium’.

Ephesus Ancient City has a variety of house buildings, and these houses show us that time's people economic situation. Homes could be with garden, single-story, side by side or multi-story block buildings. But it's clearly understood that up to now, founded houses belong to the elite due to qualities.

They cared more about the internal structure than their home's exterior structure, so they decorated the inner wall of their houses with various descriptions. It's clearly understood from the findings that they draw a picture on the wall with a natural view, daily life routines, and famous mythological descriptions.

Household items were various, and among these items, the bed named 'Kline' was the most valuable and weird. People sat on the Kline and conversed with each other when they ate their meal. Ephesians at that time having used desk. And the desk which was used had one leg, usually made of marble or bronze, and was equipped with various reliefs and sculptures. The research conducted found kitchen utensils, decoration items, and jewelry boxes.

Besides, in Ephesus, the lighting in the house used a candlestick, lampion, and torch. Streets of which crowded and busy at the Ephesus were lit up at night with a torch. But on special days, all of the streets in this city were light.

To arrange their own time, they used sundials and water clocks. These clocks had in the middle of the streets. Not every house, but some houses had sundials and water clocks too. Having such a clock at home was a sign of the wealth of family among Ephesians. (In Ephesus Museum you can see nice examples of sundials.)

People in Ephesus had Greek and Roman cultures and lifestyles. They had to wear a “white-colored toga,” a sort of dress when they were adolescents in Roman time. In the Greek period, they had different types of dresses similar to the toga. The age of puberty was 14 for boys, and 12 for girls. Greek girls’ education was not considered, but boys were sent to the gymnasium at the age of seven to learn music and how to read and write. In Roman time both girls and boys attended primary school together at the age of seven. At the gymnasiums, the students used to study history, music, logic, astronomy, Greek language, poetry, units of measurement, philosophy, mathematics, mythology, etc. Reading and writing were learned by numerous people in Roman times. If the child was born disabled, the father could reject him or her. In this case, the baby was either sold or left in the agora. In later centuries due to poverty, it became common and legal to sell newborn children.

Greeks and Romans have the same sort of calculation. Daily selling and buying were conducted by counting on their fingers. Still, for the calculation of big numbers over thousands, they were showing a specific organ with their fingers; each organ had a certain number meaning.

They had a tradition of sacrificing animals for their gods and goddesses during daily ceremonies, festivals, celebrations, etc. The life of people in ancient times was connected with God and Goddesses. Almost every ancient city had a cult center dedicated to one of the gods or goddesses. For example, in Ephesus, they had a temple for their Goddess Artemis.

During ancient times people believed in reincarnation, and when someone died his body would be either buried or cremated in the cemetery. Because of reincarnation belief, they put some of the belongings he/she had used and liked.

There were no public baths until the Late Greek period, but then baths were built; especially in Roman times, baths became one of the most popular buildings in the cities. During the day and night, baths were open but women and men were not allowed to bathe together. Women and children could go to the bath for the free charge for 7 hours after sunrise and then men could go without paying an entrance fee. Especially Romans enjoyed arranging eating and drinking parties in the baths.

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