Tuesday, May 17, 2011

R is for Ruins

ABC Wednesday

The ancient city of Ephesus

Below is an extract from the poem "The Ruin"  It is an 8th-century Old English Poem from the Exeter Book by an unknown author. The pages of the book have become damaged and so the poem itself is a ruin. The  subject of the poem is ancient Roman ruins, built of stone and having hot water, assumed to be the ruins of Aquae Sulis in Bath Somerset. Turkey is a country littered with the ancient ruins of many civilizations. This is a snapshot of a few of them.

The Ruin

This masonry is wondrous; fates broke it
courtyard pavements were smashed; the work of giants is decaying.
Roofs are fallen, ruinous towers,
the frosty gate with frost on cement is ravaged,
chipped roofs are torn, fallen,
undermined by old age. The grasp of the earth possesses
the mighty builders, perished and fallen,
the hard grasp of earth, until a hundred generations
of people have departed. Often this wall,
lichen-grey and stained with red, experienced one reign after another,
remained standing under storms; the high wide gate has collapsed.

Still the masonry endures in winds cut down...........................................

This was one of the main thoroughfares in Ephesus, lined with shops

The Library of Celsius Ephesus

Part of the communal latrine in Ephesus

Part of the reconstruction of terraced houses Ephesus  

One of the mosaics they uncovered, Ephesus

This was the road to the harbour at Ephesus. The city is now 6 km inland.
 The harbour silted up and the city fell into decline

Temple of Zeus at Euromos near Milas
Pool of Cleopatra at Pamukkale. You swim among the ancient columns in the 
Amphitheatre at Hierapolis, Pamukkale

Temple of Apollo Didim

Two remaining columns at the Temple of Apollo

Lycian tombs Kaunos  near Dalyan
Tumulus on Mt Nemrut, thought to be the tomb of King Antiochus.
Around it are scattered the heads of the Gods

At Mount Nemrut
 Monumental Gate Aphrodisias

Bouleuterion Aphrodisias

A land without ruins is a land without memories -- a land without memories is a land without history.    Ryan, Abram Joseph


  1. What a wonderful quotation to sum up a wonderful post. Thanks so much for contributing.
    Denise ABC Team

  2. Oh my, what a beautiful contribution for R. The pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this to us!

    I am now following your blog.

  3. Even in a state of ruins, all of this looks so splendid and glorious. I can only imagine how grand it really was before decay.

  4. What a fascinating country. A cultural crossroads.

  5. These are facinating, all, but esp the Lycian tombs. And Biblically significant to boot.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  6. I love being part of ABC, it enRiches my vocabulaRy. You choice of R is teRRific!

    Would you mind to visit my R post, please?

  7. Thank you for this interesting post. Ruins are so interesting for they trigger your imagination and make you think about history. When I was in Greece I realised that the Greek and the Romans were at the birth of modern Europe. I like your last quotation:" A country without ruins is....a country without history". Thanks again for showing these beautiful photos.

  8. Those are fantastic ruins! I would love to soak in that water, it looks relaxing!

  9. I had no idea so much is still intact. The library astonished me especially.


  10. What a wonderful place to visit!

  11. WOW!!!!! what a wonderful entry for "R"....Thanks for sharing this to us. Thanks for the visit and comment anyway.

  12. Your photographs are marvelous compositions capturing an ancient past. Thank you!
    ABC Wednesday Team

  13. Thank you everyone for your comments on my first ABC post. Turkey is indeed a cultural crossroads and there are traces of so many different civilizations.
    Roger, there are are so many sites of Christian significance, Cappadocia, Ephesus Urfa, Tarsus to mention just a few.
    Rosey, the water in the pool is 37C and fizzes like soda. But it is the experience of sitting on and swimming between fallen columns over 2000 years old that is so amazing.
    Lucy, Turkey takes great care of it ancient sites. There is constant excavation and restoration underway. I have visited some of these sites a number of times and there is always something new to be seen.

  14. A beautiful post - I love the poem and it goes so well with these absolutely stunning photographs. Wonderful. x

  15. Isn;t it amazing how much of past civilizations is now in crumbles? But we can still get a taste of what life back then must have been like.

  16. Gorgeous! And to think each semester I mention Rufus of Ephesus in one of my courses - his hometown!

  17. Another reason to go to Turkey. Incredible photos, an unforgettable past, those historical sites, its beauty. And I loved that 8th-century poem that fits so well with your photos. Read your blog posts is both entertaining and a true learning experience.


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