Day One, Ephesus, Turkey

November 11, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I continue with my biblical photographic tour (See March 2012 for Israel Blog entries) - Over the next 30 days I will blog images from the book of Acts, the Epistles and Revelation, as well as beauty shots.  I am starting this trip in Turkey then on to Greece and finishing up with Italy.

Here is a list of the SEVEN CHURCHES OF REVELATION that I will be covering in this first week:

Ephesus : Revelation 1:11, 2:1-7, Acts 18:19-28, 19:1-41, Ephesians
Laodicea : Revelation 3:14-22, Colossions 2:1, 4:13-16
Pergamum : Revelation 2:12-17
Philadelphia : Revelation 3:7-13
Sardis : Revelation 3:1-6
Smyrna : Revelation 2:8-11
Thyatira : Revelation 2:18-29, Acts 16:14


Great link to MAP of this location - Click Here



Celsus Library - This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor across the entrance, and there was a statue of Athena over it because she was the goddess of wisdom.


The Celsus Library facade has two-stories with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There are three windows openings in the upper story. They used an optical trick. The columns on the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size.


The statues in the niches of the columns today are copies of the originals. The statues symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete). These are the virtues of Celsus.


The library scrolls and the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent the them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls. It was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandra and Pergamum Libraries.



The Gate of Mazeus and Mythridates - The gate with three passage ways at the right of the Celsus Library was built in 40 A.D by the slaves Mazeus and Mythridates for their emperor, Augustus, who gave them their freedom.

The passages are vaulted, the front side of the vault facing the Celsus Library is made of black marble, while the other side is white. A Latin inscription with inlaid letters made of bronze is still visible on one side of the structure. Part of the inscription states: "From the Emperor Caesar Augustus, the son of the god, the greatest of the priests, who was consul twelve and tribune twenty times; and the wife of August Livia; the son of Lucus, Marc Agrippa who was consul three times, Emperor, and tribune six times; and the daughter of Julio Caesar Augustus, Mazeus and Mythridates to their master and the people."

The small area in front of the gate was used as an auditorium. The steps around the gate in front of the library and the round pedestal were used as seats. 


This feline struck the pose... I think she was feeling pretty good about living in historical Ephesus.  


Odeon (Bouleuterion) - This building has the shape of a small theatre. It had a double function in use. First, it was used as a Bouleuterion for the meetings of the Boulea or the Senate. The second fuction was the Odeum - a concert hall for performances. It was constructed in the 2nd century A.D by the order of Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Paiana, two wealthy citizens in Ephesus.


Odeon (Bouleuterion) - It had a capacity of 1500 spectators. It had three doors opening from the stage to the podium. The podium was narrow and one meter higher than the orchestra section. The stage building was two-storied and embellished with columns. The podium in front of the stage building and some parts of the seating were restored. The Odeon used to be enclosed with a wooden roof.


Large Theatre - I thought there was only one theatre in the Ancient ruins of Ephesus... However, a couple of hours later at the lower end of my walk, "there it was"... and I thought I was done with walking stadium stairs - This one was huge; there was a seating level even one higher that was fenced off to visitors.

The Big Riot Against Paul at the Theatre of Ephesus - Acts 19:23-41 -  Verse 29 So the city became filled with confusion, and with one accord they rushed into the theatre, taking forcibly along with them Ga´ius and Ar·is·tar´chus, Mac·e·do´ni·ans, traveling companions of Paul. 30 For his part, Paul was willing to go inside to the people, but the disciples would not permit him. 31 Even some of the commissioners of festivals and games, who were friendly to him, sent to him and began pleading for him not to risk himself in the theatre... /

This theatre is the most magnificent structure in ancient city of Ephesus. The Great Theatre is located on the slope of Panayir Hill, opposite the Harbor Street, and easily seen when entering from the south entrance to Ephesus. It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today.

It is the largest in Anatolia and has the capacity of 25,000 seats. The cavea has sixty-six rows of seats, divided by two diazoma (walkway between seats) into three horizontal sections. There are three sections of seats. In the lower section marble pieces, used for restoration, and the Emperor's Box were found. The seats with backs ,made of marble, were reserved for important people. The audience entered from the upper cavea.

The stage building is three-storied and 18 meters high. The facade facing the audience was ornamented with relieves, columns with niches, windows and statues. There are five doors opening to the orchestra area, the middle one of which is wider than the rest. This enhanced the appearance of the stage, giving it a bigger, monumental look.

The theatre was used not only for concerts and plays, but also for religious, political and philosophical discussions and for gladiator and animal fights.


The Pollio Fountain was located to the south of the State Agora, across the Odeion. It was built in 97 A.D by the rich Ephesian C.S.Pollio and his family.

The water was brought to the fountains of Ephesus from three main sources through aqueducts and distributed from fountains by a branching system of baked clay pipes (see the pipe at the bottom of picture that is now at ground level). The sources were Kencherios (42km) at Kuşadası, Çamlık village stream of Marnas (15km), and the Cayster River (20km). Water was free of charge by the city in the public fountains.

It has a high arch facing the temple of Domitian. It is known to be decorated with a number of statues. One of these statues is the Head of Zeus which is on display in the Ephesus Museum today.


Temple of Hadrian - It is one of the best preserved and most beautiful structures on Curetes Street. It was built before138 A.D by P.Quintilius and was dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian, who came to visit the city from Athens in 128 A.D The facade of the temple has four Corinthian columns supporting a curved arch, in the middle of which contains a relief of Tyche, goddess of victory. The side columns are square. The pedestal with inscriptions in front of the temple are the bases for the statues of the emperors between 293-305 CE, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius I, and Galerius; the originals of the statues have not been found yet. Inside the temple above the door a human figure, probably Medusa, stands with ornaments of acanthus leaves.


Pillars were everywhere - here you can see four or five different styles.


Commercial Agora - Being the most important trade center of Ephesus, Agora was built in the 3rd Century B.C in the Hellenistic Period, but the ruins date from the reign of Caracalla (211-217 C.E).

It is in the form of a square, each side 110 meters, and surrounded completely by columns. The Agora has three gates, one from the front of the theatre on the northeast, the other one opening to the harbor on the west and the third one from the Celsius Library. The north side of the Agora is left open, and the other three sides are surrounded by a portico, in which there are rows of shops. At the center of the Agora was a sundial and a water-clock.


Ancient public toilets - All I can say is that I appreciate modern dividers.  These were part of the Scholastica Baths and built in the 1st Century AD. They were the public toilets of the city. There was an entrance fee to use them. There was a drainage system under the toilets that surrounded on three sides the bath area in the middle.  These bathroom toilets could accommodate up to 36 men at one time.  This was a place to talk to your neighbour and perhaps shake hands on a business deal... The "Right" hand.

Great link to MAP of ancient Ephesus - Click Here

Thought this would be a good way to end my "Day One" pictorial blog... Thanks for following along.



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