Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ephesus, Part 3

Celsus Library
The Celsus library was really built as a mausoleum for Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemananus. Polemananus was a consul in Rome and later governor of the Asian province, the capital of which was Ephesus. When he died, in 114 A.D., his son built the library to entomb Celsus beneath the library.
The library had shelves for 12,000 scrolls.
The structure is three stories.
Apeth Keasoy is one of four statues adorning the library. Apeth represents virtue. The other three reprsent wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), and intelligence (Ennoia). 

What lady? Oh, the blonde? I didn't notice her at first, but since she seems to be posing for me, let's let her represent beauty (Venus). 

To the right of the library is the Gate of Augustus. And as one can guess, it is dedicated to the honor of Emperor Augustus. It is sometimes called the Gate of Mazaeus and Mithridates and leads into a large commerical agora where food and craftwork items were sold.
Also in the vicinity of the library was--just what it looks like.
The latrina are the public toilets of Ephesus. Really public as there are no partitions between the seats. In the middle was a square pool and the floor was paved with mosaics, hence the wooden flooring for tourists.

If one lets his imagination flow, one can see the Ephesians stopping by the library, obtaining their favorite scroll, and going to the latrina.

But what is not a joke: the wealthy patrons had their servants sit on the seat, first to warm it up, and then the occupant could read in comfort.

From the library was a long stroll to the grand theater.
Side streets go to other parts of the city.
As I looked down the street, I could tell why they roped it off. Down at the far end was a shade. As mentioned in the first article, no shades. So plan your trip accordingly, July was not the ideal time. (Editor's note: I could go back again whether it was July or not.)
Approaching the theater.
The theater was built on the slopes of Mount Panayir. Construction began in the reign of Emperor Claudius and completed in the reigh of Emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.).
Sign at the theater entrance with Latin writting. Since most people can't read Latin, I will take the liberty to translate: "Patrons with tickets enter the portal on the right. Patrons without tickets, please que at the ticket window to the left".
On a serious note, as mentioned in part 1, Paul had adverse encounters with the silversmiths and others who created statuettes of Artemis (Diana in Latin) and her temple and sold them to the followers of the goddess. As their business was in danger due to the new religion they led a group against Saint Paul declaring that Artemis was their goddess and that they should keep worshipping her. Saint Paul was brought in the Great Theatre of Ephesus where he was judged and found guilty because he did not respect Artemis of the Ephesians, so he was imprisoned in Ephesus.
The theater had a greater significance to us than "just" a marvelous structure.
The theater is still used today for seating the public during the performances in the auditorium. The original theater could seat about 24,000, but most of the seats had been removed and used in the constuction of later buildings.
On the back wall of the theater is the Hellenistic Fountain House dating back to the Hellenistic period (3rd-1st century B.C.) An inscription on one of the front columns (for real) states that the water collected here was brought in from the Marnas River.
Christine samples the hand washing fountain. Think it was just her imagination and play acting?
Then how did she give this cat some water to drink?
The street leading back to the bus staging area. As usual, tourists taking one more shot for their facebook page. But note the people on the far left. They have found the only shade in Ephesus!!
Home sweet home. Holland America Noordam.
Christine relaxing after an eventful day, and before boarding ship. Note she still has her green tag on her left shoulder. That is not only to identify which group tour a person belongs to, but also helps vendors and pickpockers to easily identify a tourist.
And then we sail off on the beautiful and peaceful Mediterrian Sea to Athens.


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  2. Being a bible student, I had a very special interest in Ephesus. To stand in the very stadium that the Apostle Paul was challenged in...surreal. Yeah for Roy and Christine, doing it all again.
    Thank you. Rosemary

  3. Good pictures and writings; It is obvious that the weather is too hot since the pictures are so bright. :) Yes, July is extremely hot but not intolerable, of course.
    Thank you for visiting my country.
    Merry Christmas.
    Asil Tuncer
    Tour Guide