Interesting places in Turkey

  One of the largest cities of the Roman Empire  


  Antique metropolis  




  The Library of Celsus  



What do you show of Ephesus? One could fill 20 pages (and more), one would still not do justice to the place. You have to see for yourself. Here is just a small selection.

The Celsus Library is one of the most famous ancient monuments in Turkey.
It was built between 117 and 125 by the family of Consul Iulius Celsus. How long the library was in operation is unknown. It is not only a library building, but also the tomb of the founder Tiberius Iulius Celsus Polemaeanus. At the latest in the 3rd or 4th century the building was integrated into a residential house.

  The Hadrian Gate next to the Celsus Library  

Ephesus was one of the most important and largest cities of the Roman Empire. Numerous public buildings were financed by both the city and rich citizens. Temples for the emperors Vespasian and Hadrian were built within the framework of the Emperor's cult. Ephesus was the seat of the governor of the province of Asia.


  The great theatre of Ephesus  



The (Greek) theatre of Ephesos is one of the largest theatre buildings of antiquity. In its last phase of expansion, it was able to accommodate a good 25,000 spectators. The marble panelling of the cavea, the auditorium, was lost over the centuries.
Under the Roman Emperor Domitian (81 - 96 A.D.), a major reconstruction of the theatre was completed. Around the middle of the 2nd century AD, the orchestra and stage were completely redesigned so that gladiator fights and fights with animals became possible.
People's assemblies have been handed down, such as the scene of the Apostle Paul with the devotional merchants of the Artemis Temple described in Acts. Paul had visited Ephesus in 52-56 AD.


  The public latrine  



Here they sat, discussed and made deals. The construction of latrines was mostly privately financed, because the Romans only invested money in hygiene if there was a measurable benefit.
That is why there are no latrines in large public buildings such as the amphitheatres and imperial forums; not even in the Colosseum in Rome!
Fees were charged in the more prestigious public public amenities. For those who could not afford this, the amphorae in the side street remained, which the tanners and cloth walkers set up because they needed the urine for their work.
The Emperor Vespasian even had the establishment of such amphorae taxed. Here comes the saying "pecunia non olet" - Money does not stink.

  The trade agora, looking towards Mazeus Mithridates Gate and Celsus Library  



The trade agora was the most important commercial centre of a city. The function and form of the Agora are partly identical to those of a Roman forum.
In classical times, the state agora was built at the upper end of Kureten Street. Like many Agorai, the offices of local magistrates were built here, including a Bouleuterion (town hall) and a Prytaneion were part of the architectural design of the state agora.


  The Mazeus Mithridates Gate, named after its builders  



The gate with three passages on the right side of the Celsus Library was built in 40 AD by the slaves Mazeus and Mythridates for Emperor Augustus, who gave them freedom.


The Front of the Hadrian Temple


Like Trajan and Domitian later on, Hadrian's temple was built in honour of Ephesus.
Sacrifices were offered to the dead or living rulers, some of whom worshiped their image and thereby made them not a god, but a deified one. The cult of the emperor was only ended by Emperor Constantine, who in 312 put Christianity on an equal footing with other religions.


Ancient advertising on the Marble Road between the theatre and Celsu library (reference to the whorehouse)


The way the Romans dealt with prostitution was different from ours. As usual at all times, prostitutes in Roman antiquity also had to draw attention to themselves in order to attract customers.
This form of self-presentation was called artes meretriciae. It was passed on between prostitutes and includes social rules, beauty tips, but also more general rules of conduct.


In the covered "terrace house 2". The state of preservation is for the most part excellent




The so-called Terrace houses are two complexes of ancient private houses in Ephesos.

Both complexes are located on the southern slope of Bülbüldağ, the larger of the two city mountains of Ephesos. The better preserved "Terrace house 2" occupies an area of about 4000 m² and borders on the so-called Kuretenstraße in the north.
The Roman residential development in the form visible today began in the Roman Imperial period, its use in the structure visible today ended with the destruction of Terrace house 2 by an earthquake in the 3rd quarter of the 3rd century AD.
Terrace house 2 is particularly remarkable for its well-preserved mural paintings, most of which date back to the 3rd century AD. It is the most extensive and best preserved find of wall paintings of this period from the east of the Roman Empire to date.


View from above into the peristyle courtyard of apartment 2


The Kureten street, main street in Ephesos




After Gaius Julius Caesar effectively gave all power over Egypt to his beloved Cleopatra, he at the same time had her younger sister Arsinoë expelled and had her perform in Rome during his great triumphal procession in July 46 BC. Arsinoë aroused the regret of the watching Romans and was subsequently allowed to go into exile in the temple of Artemis in Ephesus.
When Cleopatra had made the Roman triumvirate Marcus Antonius her lover in the footsteps of the murdered Caesar, she had him execute her hated sister Arsinoë in her exile. In 41 B.C. she was murdered in the temple of Artemis.

The tomb of Arsinoë was almost certainly identified with an octagonal tomb on Kuretenstrasse in the centre of Ephesos. The tomb inscription is missing, but the monument can be dated from 50 to 20 B.C., and in the underground tomb the skeleton of an approximately 20-year-old woman was found in 1926, who apparently belonged to the high aristocracy of the time. Only Arsinoë knows of their representatives that she died in Ephesus. If it were indeed their final resting place, their mortal remains would have been the only ones of their dynasty preserved to this day.


  To the left of the tree stood the octagonal tomb of Arsinoë on a square pedestal  
  Temple Reconstruction of Artemision                                                                             copyright by Magnus Manske

The temple of Artemis in Ephesos or briefly the Artemision of Ephesos was dedicated to the Olympic deity Artemis in its special form as Artemis Ephesia. It is said to have been founded by the Amazon Queen Otrere and was one of the "Seven Wonders of the World" of antiquity. The Temple of Artemis brought the city of Ephesus considerable wealth through foundations and countless pilgrims.

The temple fell victim to an arson by Herostratos on July 21, 356 B.C. He committed the act out of craving for recognition - his plan to become famous and thus immortal through the burning of the wonder of the world was successful.
According to the legend, Alexander the Great was born on the night of the fire, who later also provided great financial support for the reconstruction of the temple, which is why Artemis, who supervised his birth in Pella, could not protect her own sanctuary.
The new building, which began soon after the fire, was built around 100 years ago. According to Plinius, a Roman senator, he had 127 columns with a height of around 18 metres and had a stone roof. 36 of the 127 columns are said to have been decorated with reliefs. The substructure of the new temple is said to have measured 125.67 × 65.05 meters and 2.7 meters in height.
The Ephesians did not abandon the cult of Artemis until the 4th century. Today, only an erected column bears witness to the former wonder of the world.