Thursday, February 3, 2011

Miletus, Turkey: Walking With The Ancient Ones

It was spine-tingling, beautiful and inspirational. This is another day I walked with the ancient ones.

After our enriching visit of Ephesus, our bus took us to Miletus. Miletus is about two hours away from Ephesus and according to our guide, Miletus is well known for its colossal Hellenistic theater. As our guide used the bus ride to fill us in with Miletus' history and facts, I was too busy staring out through the window admiring the beautiful countryside in that region of Turkey.

We passed through sleepy towns, fruit orchards, meadows and farm lands. I even glanced in passing the gathering of families and witnessed people butchering animals in their yards when we stopped for traffic; it was timely that we visited Turkey during the Eid-Al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) holiday. This reminded me of my Igorot roots; we also make animal sacrifices on certain occasions. Cultures and beliefs can be so similar in so many ways. We may be born in different countries but all the same, we look back to the past for guidance.
We unscramble the debris that time had left us. Every rubble, every chipped marble and every rock are like pages of a book waiting to be turned, waiting to be understood. My question is, "Do we have the capability to understand them all?"
A carved flower.
Weeds cover an ancient view.
Entered damp and mossy passageways.
Some light at last.
Here I stood in awe and struggled to find the right words to describe this moment. Words failed me. But when words are not enough, maybe a photograph would do and a deep breath to simply live that moment.
It was spine-tingling, beautiful and inspirational.
This is another day I walked with the ancient ones.
Apart from the ruins and the few stores below, Miletus is isolated for miles.
Its four harbors and strategic location on the west coast of Asia Minor made it a major player in the commerce of the ancient world. It was also repeatedly captured by envious invaders. But eventually, Miletus met its fate not at the hands of foreign powers but the gentle Meander River, which silted up over the centuries.(Source here.)
Stairs and frieze of a gladiator fighting an animal.

Interesting facts about Miletus:
  • Thales of Miletus - pre-Socratic Greek philosopher and regarded as one of the Seven Sages of Greece (Source here.) 
  • Isidore of Miletus -  one of  two Greek architects who designed the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, now Istanbul. (Source here.)
  • Hippodamos of Miletus - a Greek (Ionian) architect and urban planner, known to be the “father” of urban planning. Does the "Hippodamian plan of city layouts" ring a bell?
  • It was also in Miletus that St. Paul met with the Ephesians before his journey to Rome. (Source here.)

8 comments:

  1. Impressive. Thanks for sharing. I love all the photos and info about Miletus. Never realised how rich in ancient history Turkey is. I should know but since Turkey was never referred to as Turkey back them I guess I got a bit confused.

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  3. here i am, looking at your pics, and i'm awestruck. what more kaya kung andyan ako talaga! amazing!

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  4. oh, wow! i want to go there too.

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  5. oh my! will add to my ever growing travel bucket list...

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  6. Woooow! That's breathtaking! I want to go to Turkey na tuloy.

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  7. a friend of mine told me that Turkey is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Seeing your photos, i can't help but agree.

    yes, your photographs say it all...i can understand why it's so hard to describe what you felt especially in the photo where you stood in awe. i can see how wonderful the place is.

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