Sunday, March 1, 2015

Library of Celsus in Ephesus

Ephesus was an ancient Greek city in Ionia in western Asia Minor that boasted one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Finished in AD 120-135, the Library of Celsus was erected during the first years of Hadrian’s principate by Gaius Julius Aquila consul in 110, in honor to his father Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus (44-114), consul in 92, whose sarcophagus was placed in a tomb chamber beneath the apse of the library’s reading room.

Polemaeanus had served as the chief of staff for the building programs in Rome, then as counsel in 92 under Domitian and finally as governor. He died in 114 at the age of 70.

The library had a double wall protecting the large number of volumes and papyri from excessive humidity and damaging mildew.

The library façade has two stories of pairs of column grouped to form niches with alternating triangular and curved pediments ion the upper story.


One of the largest libraries in the ancient word the Library of Celsus contained approximately 12,000 scrolls.

The library scrolls also had lecture rooms where visiting officials, sophist, poets, performers and other interested citizens could meet and it became an important cultural center and a meeting place for discussion and philosophical debate.

An earthquake in 262 AD destroyed the interior of the library. The façade was destroyed in the10th century likely by an earthquake as well.
Library of Celsus in Ephesus

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