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Destination Details

Ephesus, Turkey

 

The library of Celsus is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selçuk, Turkey. It was built in honor of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus(completed in 135 AD) by Celsus' son, Gaius Julius Aquila (consul, 110 AD). Celsus had been consul in 92 AD, governor of Asia in 115 AD, and a wealthy and popular local citizen. He was a native of nearby Sardis and amongst the earliest men of purely Greek origin[4] to become a consul in the Roman Empire and is honored both as a Greek and a Roman on the library itself.Celsus paid for the construction of the library with his own personal wealth.
 
It was built in Ephesus,in territory that was traditionally Greek to the core.The building is important as one of few remaining examples of an ancient Roman-influenced library. It also shows that public libraries were built not only in Rome itself but throughout the Roman Empire.
 
 
 
The scrolls of 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.
 
The facade of the library has two-stories, with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There is three windows openings in the upper story. They used an optical trick that the columns at 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 the copies of the originals. The statues symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete). These are the virtues of Celsus. The library was restored with the aid of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and  the originals of the statues were taken to Ephesus Museum in Vienna in 1910.
 
There was an auditorium ,which was for lectures or presentations between the library and the Marble Road, was built during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian.
 

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