Commercial Agora and Theater

Commercial Agora and Theater

View looking east–northeast over the Commercial Agora that fills the lower portion of the image towards the Large Theater that is built into the side of Mount Pion.

Commercial Agora is very large, measuring 360 ft. x 360 ft. [110 m. x 110 m.].  It was probably here that Demetrius and other silversmiths produced and sold their silver shrines of Artemis. These were the men who caused a riot over their loss of trade as Paul’s preaching of Christ became more successful (Acts 19:23-28).

Paul may have even had a tent (leather/canvas) shop in this agora during his three-year stay in Ephesus – on his third journey. Indeed, he may have even "witnessed" to those who came to this agora.

The Theater was originally constructed in the Hellenistic period, but Claudius and Trajan made significant alterations during their reigns (A.D. 41-54 and 98-117) – thus it was under renovation when Paul was in Ephesus on his Third Journey.

The riot of the silversmiths and other Ephesians described in Acts (19:28-41) - when they shouted: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians" for about two hours (19:34) - took place here. There is no evidence that Paul was presented to the mob, nor that he ever actually preached in the Theater.