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Inside Ephesus - 2


The gate beside the library is a three-arch gateway in the style of Roman victory monuments. Rich friezes are on the three sections above the plaster supports between doorways. The upper portion is in Attic style. There are two niches in each of the side openings.

Mazeus and Mithridates were slaves of Emperor Augustus who, upon manumission, received permission from their former master and built this lovely archway dedicated to Augustus, his wife Livia, and daughter Julia and her husband just a few years before Christ.

There are two other important gates into the agora on the west and north. The western gate was ornately decorated and had many columns. There is no information about the other gate. The agora was 111 m one each side, built first in the 3rd century BC. Its final form being given in the time of the emperor Caracalla (211-217 AD).

Finds from the agora were unearthed 2.5 m below the present surface of the area. Outside the agora on the north side was an area with small, vaulted shops on three sides. Those on the south and east sides were two-story. There were also two rows of columns in front of the shops.

The "Sacred Road" along Mt. Panayir is called the "Marble Street" between the Celsus Library to the Grand Theater. It was paved with large, smooth marble blocks. Like the Curates' Avenue, the western edge was lined with a porch that was two meters high in the time of Nero (54-68 AD).

Various figures of gladiators from all parts of the city were on display along this porch. In sections that were restored in early times tracks from chariots are visible.

The theater was first built in the time of Lysimachus, taking advantage of the natural slope of Mt. Panayir.
As with other ancient theaters, there are three main sections, which are the scene, the orchestra, and the seating area. The most beautiful part was the 18-meter building that made up the scene area.

It was a three-story, multi-column structure facing the spectators. There were statues in the niches in between columns. The ground floor is still standing. It runs north and south and has eight rooms opening onto the western side. There is a narrow door leading into the orchestra and a small terrace on each end.

During the Classic Period there was another scene section where performers would be on the same level as the choir section in the orchestra. This area was sometimes slightly raised. In the Hellenistic Period the orchestra was reduced in size and a narrow stage area was used by the actors. This configuration allowed those seated at the back to hear better and those at the front to see better.

The second floor of the scene structure has been preserved, revealing a different plan than that of the first floor. There was a long corridor in the center with five doors opening onto the proscene and two rows of rooms on the western side. The semicircular orchestra was 34 m in width.

During the plays the choir would come in on either side of the orchestra and speak their lines in unison. There was a ceremony in front of the altar at the front of the orchestra before each performance in honor of the god Dionysius. In the beginning there were ceremonies at these plays to the god of wine, Dionysius, hence the tradition of offering a sacrifice to him in the beginning. In the Hellenistic Period the orchestra was smaller and expanded by 5 meters in Roman times. Part of the orchestra was floored EPHESUS - GRAND THEATER
with green marble. The seating area was a semicircle with a radius of 154 m and 38 m high. It could hold as many as 24,000 spectators. The area was divided into three sections and had two rows of steps through the middle.

All the performers were male. As can be seen in the frescoes in the hillside houses, the actors used masks while performing. There were also meetings held here for the citizens of Ephesus.


At the right-hand corner of the theater facing the street was a small but beautiful fountain that had two columns with Ionic capitals and a small pool. Water came into the pool from two lion heads. It was built in the 2nd century AD and two shabby columns were added in the 4th century.


This was built during Roman times, perhaps at the beginning of the 2nd century AD, however only the palaestra has been uncovered. The other sections have been partially excavated, revealing a lovely plan. On the north of the 30 by 70 m palaestra, instead of a stoa there are steps that were used as a sitting area.

This made the area both a small "stadium" as well as an activity area for sports.

The avenue from the theater to the harbor was called the Arcadian Avenue. Arcadius the son of the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, Theodosius (395-408), erected an inscription upon restoring the avenue to its present condition, hence the name of the avenue. The avenue is 500 m long and 11 m wide.

On either side were covered shops in mosaic-floored porches. The avenue was first built in the 1st century BC and was an avenue for parades. Highways coming from central Anatolia ended here. There were many visitors coming from over the seas with emperors and proconsuls entering the city via this avenue. The pictures below show several views of the avenue.

In the middle of Arcadian Avenue was a four-column monument to four of the apostles, with a statue of each.


To the north of the stadium was a large structure, which was a gymnasium built by two well-known Vedius families in Ephesus, P. Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Papiana. It was dedicated to Artemis and to a close family friend, Emperor Antonius Pius (138-161 AD).


To the north of the Harbor Baths if the Church of Mary (The Council Church). The main entrance faces the Ephesus-Selcuk road. The church was built dedicated to Mary and is an important structure in the history of Christianity. It was also the site of a Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.

The original structure was built as a Museion in the 2nd century and was 260 m long and 30 m wide. The building was a place for higher education in medical, as well as other sciences and for debates.

It occupies an area of 229 m. by 295 m. It is the space between the arches on the left and the gate on the right. Different sports contests such as horse-racing and chariot-racing were performed here. There was a around arena on the east side where gladiators fought.

The covered arches on the left side along the stadium were made for keeping the animals brought from hot countries. There were stone steps on the slope on which spectators sat. The seating places were formed by filling the spaces with soil.


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