Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometers southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capital by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists.

During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC.

According to estimates Ephesus had a population of 33,600 to 56,000 people in the Roman period, making it the third largest city of Roman Asia Minor after Sardis and Alexandria Troas.

The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In 268 AD, the Temple was destroyed or damaged in a raid by the Goths.

The town was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD.

Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation.The Gospel of John may have been written here. The city was the site of several 5th-century Christian Councils, It is also the site of a large gladiators' graveyard.

The ruins of Ephesus are a favorite international and local tourist attraction.