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Roman Bourse or double church of the Virgin Mary

Roman Bourse or double church of the Virgin MaryThis Roman building is dated to the 2nd century A.D. It is a three-aisled church measuring 265 x 90 m. Until its conversion into a church in the 4th century A.D. it performed a secular function. Its proximity to the harbour allowed important commercial goods to be marketed here without the necessity of transporting them into the city itself. The Byzantine church was added to the western side.

Austrian archaeologists are engaged here in endeavours to locate the site of the bishop's palace. The church itself housed the third Ecumenical counsil at which the divine character of Christ and the Virgin Mary was discussed. Nestorius (380-451), the founder of the school of Antioch and the Patriarchate of Istanbul, put' forward the view opposing the divine nature of Christ and regarding Mary not as the mother of God but as the mother of a human being. The Alexandrian school, on the other hand, put foward the more mystical, more traditional view that Mary was the mother of God and in the end Nestorius was exiled. Ephesus thus became one of the most important centres of the Christian world and the reverence for the Virgin Mary at Ephesus was greatly increased.

The so called Robber Council of 449 accepted the thesis of the purely divine nature of Christ in which his human character was completely ignored. This doctrine was later in the East as Monophysitism.

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