Ephesus Library

In 92 A.D. , Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus was a consul in Rome, and was in charge of all public buildings. Between either 105-106 or 106-107 A.D. he was the proconsul (governor) of the Asian province, the capital of which was Ephesus, when he died in 114 A.D. at the age of seventy his son Tiberius Julius Aquila, built the library as a heroon (mausoleum) for his father. It is assumed that the construction of the library was completed in 117.

The building is made of very good marble and decorated with figures of Eros, Nike, rosettes and garlands in relief . The building reflects the characteristics of the age of Emperor Hadrian. The facade is two-storeyed. On the lower storey, the columns with Corinthian capitals are placed on a 21 meters long podium reached by nine steps. The columns are arranged in pairs and between them there are three doors with richly decorated frames. The door in the middle is wider and taller than the other two.

Ephesus Library Ephesus Library

Statues seen in the niches between the doors, are copies of the originals which were taken to Vienna during the years when the library was being excavated. As the inscriptions on the bases indicate, the statues symbolized the WISDOM (SOPHIA), KNOWLEDGE (EPISTEME), INTELLIGENCE (ENNOIA) and VIRTUE (ARETE) of Celsus.

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Ephesus Library Ephesus Library

The interior of the library measures 10,92 by 16,72 meters and is covered with decorative marble. The section of the western wall above the tomb of Celsus is apsidal. It is agreed that the statue discovered during the excavations either to Celsus or to his son and it must have been located in this semi-circular niche. It is now exhibited in Istanbul Archaeological Museum. On the side walls, there are rows of niches where the scrolls were kept. The same type of niches is seen the upper sections of the walls too. The remains indicate that the interior of the library was not two-storeyed and that there was a balcony with railing in front of the niches, located where the second storey should have been.

In 262, during the Gothic attacts, the interior of the library was burnt completely but the facade was not affected much.

Sections of Ephesus Guide:

Ephesus - Intro

1- Introduction to Ephesus

Ephesus is considered one of the great outdoor museums of Turkey, in fact perhaps of the world. It is located on the south of Izmir's Selcuk county. The links of Ephesus with the Amazons and the myths had survived throughout history.


2- Odeion

This semi-circular structure, known also as the Small Theatre. According to an inscription unearthed, it was built as a bouleuterion (council chamber) around 150 A.D. by Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife FlaviaPapiana.

Temple of Goddess Rome

3- Temples of the Goddess Rome and of Divine Caesar

In the Augustan era, the spread of Imperial-Roman cults was by then a fact in many provinces of Asia Minor. The cult of the Emperor was alive in Nicomedia and in Pergamum, together with that of the Goddess Rome.


4- Prytaneion

The prytaneion was constructed in the 3rd century B.C. and attained its final shape during the reign of Emperor Augustus. After it was destroyed for various reasons, its columns and some of its other architectural elements were used in the construction of the Scholastika Baths.

The Pollio Fountain

5- The Pollio Fountain

This is located to the east of Domitian Square, next to the western side of the Agora. With its wide and high arch which supports the triangular pediment and its small pool, it is quite an appealing structure.

Temple of Domitian

6- Temple of Domitian

Ephesus was granted the temple wardenship for the first time by Emperor Domitian (81-96). The temple dedicated to him was built on a terrace measuring 50 by 100 meters on the south side of Domitian Square.

The Gate of Heracles

7- The Gate of Heracles

The gate is located at the beginning of Curetes Street. It is a two-storeyed edifice. In the lower storey there is a wide arched passageway, and in the upper storey there are six columns in a row.

Curetes Street

8- Curetes Street

In mythology, the Curetes were known as semi-deities. Later "Curetes" referred to a class of priests in Ephesus. Mary inscriptions about the Curetes were discovered in different locations in Ephesus, especially at the Prytaneion.

Trajan Fountain

9- Trajan Fountain

Along the Curetes Street, in a wonderful succession of ancient ruins, sculpted pillars decorated with sculptural figurations, we can see reconstruction on a reduced scale of one of the most remarkable Ephesian monuments.

Temple of Hadrian

10- Temple of Hadrian

This is the one of the most attractive edifices on the Curetes Street, and it must have been built at the latest by the year 138. The temple is consist of a monumental pronaos and a small, bare cella.


11- Latriana

The latrina built in the first century A.D. are the public toilets of Ephesus. The toilets were ranged side by side with no partition between them. In the middle was a square pool. The floor was paved with mosaics.

Hillside Houses

12- Hillside Houses

From the opposite part of the Temple of Hadrian the interesting complex of the so-called "Houses on the slope" faces out onto Curetes Street. These houses were inhibated by the most qualified and wealthy social class and for this reason they are also known as "houses of the rich" or "palaces on the slopes" .

Ephesus Library

13- Ephesus Library

The building is made of very good marble and decorated with figures of Eros, Nike, rosettes and garlands in relief . The building reflects the characteristics of the age of Emperor Hadrian.

Marble Street

14- Marble Street

This street, which practically constitutes the entrance to the theatre for anyone coming from the Library of Celsus, goes along the western slopes of Mount Panayir, in a zone of considerable architectural interest.

Ephesus Theatre

15- Ephesus Theatre

The theatre built on the slopes of Mount Panayir was constructed during the reign of Lysimachos and later it was altered many times. Like all the other ancient theatres, the theatre consisted of three main section.

Harbour Street

16- Harbour Street

Harbour street is 500 meters long and 11 metes wide. On both side of the street there were covered particos. These particos, which were reserved for pedestrians, had the function of protecting them from the bad weather and hosted shops in the inner part.

Ephesus Indoor Museum

17- Ephesus Indoor Museum

The Museum of Ephesus is in the district of Selcuk, and displays works of art found in the excavations in Ephesus since 1964. The museum was enlarged in 1976 with new buildings and thus reached its present state.

Goddess Artemis

18- Goddess Artemis

Artemis is known as the goddess of the night, the huntress, the goddess of fruitfulness, the goddess of childbirth, Lady of the Beasts, the woodland goddess, the bull goddess,

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