Ephesos, which was one of the twelve Ion cities, developed as a result of a union of Ionian immigrants with the natives living near the temple of Kybele. Afterwards, the spectacular temple built for this goddess who then took the name of the Greek Goddess Artemis, would be famous as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Like the other Ionian cities, Ephesos was ruled by Lydia, Persia, Macedonia and lastly by the Roman rulers. This city was one of the most popular cities of the ancient world and was given a special attention by many Hellenistic kings. For instance it is known that Lysimakhos built this city and gave it his wife Arsinoe's name, and that the king of Pergamon Attalos II, enlarged the port. Because the Romans made Ephesos the capital of the Asian State, the city became one of the biggest settlements in Anatolia. The city was an important centre for Christianity at this time.

Owing to its wonderful position and associated ports, Ephesos became Anatolia's biggest trade centre. The Celsus library, a theatre, a stadium, a gymnasium, temples and the famous baths are responsible for this city becoming a sport, religious, cultural and entertainment centre especially in the Roman times.