Ephesus was one one of the great cities of the Ionian Greeks in Asia Minor. It was colonized principally from Athens.
The capital of Roman Republic proconsular Asia, which was the western part of Asia Minor. In the time of the Romans it bore the title of "the first and greatest metropolis of Asia." It was distinguished for the Temple of Artemis (Diana), who there had her chief shrine; and for its theatre, which was the largest in the world, capable of containing 50,000 spectators. It was, like all ancient theatres, open to the sky. Here were exhibited the fights of wild beasts and of men with beasts.
Ephesus is mentioned in the Bible.
A part of the site of this once famous city is now occupied by a small Turkish village, Ayasaluk, which is regarded as a corruption of the two Greek words, hagios theologos; i.e., "the holy divine."
Initial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897 -- Please update as needed