Friday, October 10, 2008

All form is impermanent


These is the the remains of the Library of Celsus in Ephesus (now part of modern Turkey). Around 100 AD, Ephesus was a major port, a Roman regional capital and with up to 500,000 people then one of the largest cities in the world.

As the sea gradually moved out and after waves of attacks from Barbarians and then Arabs, the city entered a terminal decline. It was finally abandoned altogether by the Turkish population in the 15th Century.

The ruins seen are as the result of restoration work.

It is a wonderful place steeped in history both religious and political.

This abandoned city now thronged with tourists from every continent of the world which we recently visited, is a sombre reminder that history shows no civilisation lasts forever.

While London is someway off collapse and abandonment (!), the same fate of Ephesus may one day touch London.

A global financial centre that until last year seemed ever growing and invincible, now feels slightly rocked by the waves of crisis running accross the globe. I still remain confident that this can be resolved in the way other troubles have (after all the fact we are all here shows life continued after 1929).

However the ruins of Ephesus remind us that even great cities, of which London is one, do not last forever and all physical form is impermanent.

1 comment:

Steve G said...

great photo !