A celebrated Ionian city situated at the head of a deep gulf on the western coast of Asia Minor, forty miles north by west of Ephesus. It was one of the richest and most powerful cities of that region, and was frequented by great numbers of Jews. A Christian church was established there at an early day, and was one of the seven churches addressed by Christ in the Revelation of John 1:11 2:8-11. It is still a prosperous commercial city, being visited by many foreign ships and by numerous caravans of camels from the interior.
It’s population is nearly 150,000; of whom one-half are Turks, one-forth Greeks, and the remainder chiefly Armenians, Jews, and Franks. So many of its inhabitants are not Mohammedan, that it is called by the Turks Giaour Izmir, or Infidel Smyrna. It has a deep and capacious harbor, well protected except towards the west by the hills, which rise to a great height in the rear of the city, inclosing it on three sides. On these hills lie the scanty remains of the ancient city; among which is the ground-plot of the stadium, where is said to have occurred the martyrdom of Polycarp-the pupil of the apostle John, and very probably "the angel of the church in Ephesus," Revelation 2:8. Smyrna has been often devastated by earthquakes and conflagrations; multitudes perished there of the cholera in 1831, and 60,000 died of the plague in 1824; yet its fine situation secures a prompt recovery from every disaster. It is now the seat of important missionary efforts, and enjoys the ordinances of a Protestant church.