Sonia Halliday Photographs/Photo by Jane Taylor

The library of Celsus at Ephesus. Located at the end of what is now called the Street of the Curetes, the city’s main street, this grand repository of ancient learning testifies to Ephesus’ past glory (the Curetes were officials in Ephesus’ temple to Artemis). According to inscriptions on its steps, the library was built in about 120 C.E. A team of Austrian excavators restored the building between 1970 and 1978.

Ephesus plays a significant role in the New Testament as one of Paul’s destinations in Asia Minor. As author Steven Friesen explains in the accompanying article, the cosmopolitan city was also a center of Roman emperor worship—a fact that helps illuminate the vision of the two beasts in Revelation 12–13.