The celsus library in ephesus dating from 135 ad

Pergamon is an ancient city dating as the celsus library is the most famous part of the ruins of ephesus in turkey it was built between and ad by. Dating.
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The library was destroyed by a fire caused either by an earthquake in AD, or the Goth invasion of AD. The facade later became part of a fountain built with stone from other buildings, including the Parthian Monument which commemorated the victory of Emperor Lucius Verus over the Parthian Empire in AD.

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The monument featured reliefs depicting the emperor, personifications of conquered cities and battle scenes. The originals are now in the Ephesos Museum in Vienna, but a cast of one of the reliefs can be seen in the Museum for the Visually Impaired in the Lower Agora. The facade was restored again around AD, but was finally demolished by an earthquake during the Byzantine era. Over the following centuries many of the marble parts were carried off to be reduced to lime for building material. The building was excavated in and partially reconstructed from original elements.

Many of these elements, particularly the statues from the facade, were later taken to museums in Vienna and Istanbul, including the statue of Celsus himself see photos, right. The library was restored by archaeologist Volker Michael Strocka and architect Friedmund Hueber [4].


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  • Ephesus, Turkey - the rebuilt 'Library of Celsus' façade | Flickr?
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  • File:Celsus library in Ephesus.jpg.

They incorporated original stones found on the site, copies of architectural members that had been removed to various museums, as well as some new columns and reinforced concrete for structural stability. The reconstructed building is now the best preserved ancient library of the Graeco-Roman world. Head of the statue of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus which originally stood in the central niche of the upper storey of the Celsus Library.

The statue of Celsus in full length. The facade of the Library of Celsus from the lower end of Kuretes Street.

Around the square in front of the library stood several other monuments, including the Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates right to the Lower Commercial Agora. The best time of day to visit Pergamon is usually early in the morning, before the crowds arrive.

Library of Celsus

Since the library facade faces east, morning is also the time to see the building in the best light. As with many steps and stairways on open spaces around the world, especially at grand buildings and monuments the Anteros statue at Piccadilly Circus and the National Gallery in London, the Spanish Steps in Rome, the Temple of Apollo at Didyma In a way you can't blame them, as this is one of the few places in the archaeological site where you can sit down and take a breather. On the other hand, with the huge crowds which now swarm over Ephesus, it does become nearly impossible to actually get a look at the building.

When was the Celsus library in Ephesus built?

The photos above were taken in , before Ephesus became a target of mass tourism, and particularly the advent of mega cruise ships and religious "pilgrimage" tourism on the present huge scale. By comparison, visiting the site in previous decades was very relaxed, and you were most likely to get into interesting conversations with the guards and other visitors.

Now such sites have become big business, with ever more coachloads of tourists being herded around by tour guides who shout their narratives at their groups. Trying to be polite, you wait until the group has moved on before attempting to look at a particular monument, but the next group arrives immediately after the previous one.

Library of Celsus - Wikipedia

This phenomenon is no longer restricted to the summer, as the endless tourist flow now continues all year round. The Greek inscription with the will of Tiberius Iulius Celsus Polemaeanus on the facade of the Library of Celsus, between two pilasters, above the statue of "Sophia Kelsou". The will states that Celsus' son Aquila has built the library with his own money.

It also details how much money Celsus has beqeathed for the building, for purchasing books and for commemorating him annually. The inscription is set quite high, between 6. The letters of the 24 lines of text are 4.


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  8. See translations of the inscription in Geman and English below. A reconstruction of the inscription in Greek, displayed inside the library. A translation of the inscription in German. The inscription in English: Tiberius Iulius Aquila Polmaeanus, consul, his son, built the [after him named] "Celcius" library from his own means with the entire [architectural] decorations and ornaments as well as the books.

    File:Turkey 2798B - Celsus Library - Ephesus (5842491206).jpg

    He bequeathed for its maintenance and the purchase of [further] books 25, dinars, from which [however] were diverted for the expenditures of the current year, so that from the annual interest on the remaining capital of 23, dinars the library will be maintained and its attendants will be paid [] dinars, to be paid out in perpetuity on the birthday of Celsus.

    And in the same way, according to the will of Aquila, new books for the library shall be purchased every year. The one in the middle is higher than the other two. The statues in the niches of the columns today are the copies of the originals, which were taken to Viana on the excavations in The statues symbolize wisdom Sophia , knowledge Episteme , intelligence Ennoia and virtue Arete of Celsus.

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    Ephesus Ancient City - Celsus Library

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