Monday, March 1, 2010
Celsus [Ephesus] Library
Kindle and Internet books are not allowed.
The Library of Celsus is a Roman mausoleum and library built in the early 2nd century AD. As one of the most beautifully reconstructed buildings in Ephesus, it has become an icon of the ancient city.
The Library of Celsus was comissioned by the Consul Julius Aquila as a mausoleum for his father, Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, Roman governor of the Asian Provinces. It may be that Celsus was granted heroic honors, which would furthur justify the expense.
The monument was constructed between 110 and 135 AD, after which Celsus was buried in a niche on the right side of the back wall.
With a few centuries of its construction a fire destroyed the reading room and the library fell into disuse. Around 400 AD, the courtyard below the exterior steps was converted into a pool. The facade collapsed in an earthquake in the 10th century.
The Library of Celsus was raised from the rubble to its present splendid state by F. Hueber of the Austrian Archaeological Institute between 1970 and 1978.
Ephesus Library [view the panoramic images]