Smyrna

Smyrna was a port city in Asia Minor, in what today is Turkey. In ancient times Smyrna contended with Ephesus and Pergamum for the honor of being called the foremost city of Asia. Streets and buildings extended from the bay up the sides of the surrounding hills. Fountains flowed with the water from the city’s aqueducts. A theater on one of the highest slopes overlooked the lower city. Smyrna claimed to be the birthplace of the poet Homer and built a shrine in his honor. A library, gymnasiums, baths, and a stadium contributed to Smyrna's cultural life. The city attracted speakers like Apollonius of Tyanna in the first century and other renowned rhetors in the second century.