Celsus Library, Ephesus

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  • Library of Celsus  - Exterior
    Library of Celsus - Exterior
    by Mikebb
  • Library of Celsus - Inside
    Library of Celsus - Inside
    by Mikebb
  • Library of Celsus - Outside Decoration
    Library of Celsus - Outside Decoration
    by Mikebb
  • cbeaujean's Profile Photo

    a library as funerary monument!

    by cbeaujean Written Nov 14, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    celsus library

    in the ancient cities,necropolis stood always outside city walls (as e.g. in pamukkale).
    to make the tomb monument possible inside ephesus,they had to change the monument into library!(no sooner said than done!)
    marble sarcophagus was found in ...1904

    because of sun,best pics of library are tooken in the morning.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Celsus Library

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 19, 2009

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    Ephesus - Celsus Library
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    This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in the 2nd century A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus who was the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor, across the entrance and there was a statue of Athena over it.

    The facade is highly ornamented on two levels, and there are three main portals. Over the portals were columns and statues arranged in niches. These statues were female figures representing the virtues wisdom, fate and intelligence. Niches on the interior of the building were designed to hold books. The tomb of Celsus was placed in a crypt below the central large niche.

    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 library was restored with the aid of the Austrian Archaeological Institute.

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  • whitecliff62's Profile Photo

    THE LIBRARY OF CELSUS

    by whitecliff62 Updated Jan 7, 2006

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    THE LIBRARY OF CELSUS

    This i think is what everybody who visits Ephesus comes to see, its the Library of Celsus. Having seen it for the first time this year i was amazed at the site, the photos does not really give it justice, its much more impresive seeing it for yourself. Restoration on the library started back in 1970 and now its the most beautiful monument in the whole of Ephisus. The library when built was the third largest of its time and was built at a cost of 2000 dinarii and every year 23000 dinarii was spent on the purchase of new books. In 262 A.D. the library was torched by the Goths and although the building survived all the several thousand books were destroyed. In 400 A.D. the library was restored and turned into a fountain and pool but in the middle ages a huge earthquake brought the library crashing to the ground once more. since then 85 of the original pieces of the library have been found and reconstructed to the sight you see today

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  • fachd's Profile Photo

    Library for the Roman

    by fachd Written Dec 21, 2007

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    Approaching the Celcus library from Curetes street
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    In ancient time the Celcus Library is the second largest to the library in Alexandria in Egypt.

    It was built in the 2nd century by Julius Aquila for his father Celsus Polemaeanus as a monumental tomb. Almost the whole remnant is built from marble.

    The library contained 12,000 hand written scrolls probably from papyrus paper rolls, which most likely they imported from Egypt.

    Looking from the front is a two storey buildings. Inside the building I can only see a single large hall.

    Outside between the two marble columns is a fake statue of Sophia who is the goddess of wisdom, the statue of Arete who represents virtue and two others Episteme and Ennoia represent destiny and knowledge respectively. They say the original is in Vienna or the British museum.

    The photos is taken from the front and inside the library

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  • guell's Profile Photo

    Library of Celsus

    by guell Updated Aug 2, 2004

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    Library of Celsus, up close

    The Library of Celsus is unquestionably the first image that comes to mind when thinking of Ephesus. The Consul of Aquila built the library in 135 A.D. in honor of his father Celsus Polemaeanus. The library has a magnificently ornamented facade composed of three main portals. Over the portals we can see statues of female figures representing the virtues of wisdom, fate and intelligence.

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  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    The Iconic Image of Ephesus

    by nicolaitan Updated Dec 4, 2008

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    The most beautiful facade in Ephesus is the Library of Celsius built between 117-135 AD as a tomb and monument for Celsius Polemaeanus the governor of Rome's Asian province between 107-114 AD by his son Galius Julius Aquila. Burial within city limits was only allowed as part of a public building, allowing Galius to honor his father as well as lend status to himself by private benefaction, a Roman prerequisite for public office and prestige. Celsius was buried in a white marble tomb within the lower level of the building.

    The architect is not known, but his work lends him credit. The Library was built in a narrow space between two other buildings. To give the impression of greater size and majesty, the central columns are larger than the side columns and the entire building was built on a slope downward, an optical illusion. The columns for the second level are shorter than those for the first. Many of these contrivances can be seen on the accompanying images.
    The library faces east to allow for greater light within as recommended by Vitruvius, Rome's most famous early architect. Nine steps lead to the facade which features four statues said to reflect the virtues of Celsius (goodness - Arete, Ennoia - thought, Episteme - knowledge, and Sophia - wisdom ). The original statues were removed by early Austrian architects to Vienna and only copies remain.
    While only the facade remains today, excavations suggest an interesting inner architecture, two outside walls separated by a meter wide space designed to protect the scrolls from moisture, mildew, and insects. The Library is said to have upwards of 12,000 scrolls making it the third largest library of its time.

    The library would be burned and destroyed by the Goth invasion of 262 AD, leaving the facade alone undamaged. It was restored around 400 but totally destroyed including the famed facade in a 10th C earthquake. Restoration began in the 1970's by a Turkish team of architects funded by Austria. The facade is held together today by a hidden steel and concrete structure said to be earthquake resistant. One need not pass through the three famed doors to knowledge - there is only the front of the building.

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  • whitecliff62's Profile Photo

    THE LIBRARY OF CELSUS

    by whitecliff62 Updated Jan 7, 2006

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    THE LIBRARY OF CELSUS

    This is one of the top facades of the library which is 2 storys high and mesures 16 meters. The back of the library has been fitted with a concrete and steel support which can stand an earthquake mesuring up to 9 on the Richter scale

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  • Paul2001's Profile Photo

    The Library of Celsus

    by Paul2001 Written Jun 25, 2004

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    The Library of Celsus

    The Library of Celsus is considered to be the most spectacular of the many ruins at Ephesus. It was built in the 2nd Century A.D. by Consul Tiberius Julius Aquilus in honour of his father Celsus Polemaeanus, the Roman Govenor of Asia Minor. The library at one time contained 12,000 scrolls. The Library is famed for its facade. It features four statues representing the four virtues, goodness, thought, knowledge and wisdom.

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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Celsus Library

    by JLBG Written Jan 2, 2009

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    Celsus Library
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    Celsus library is the prominent and most beautiful building on the site of Ephesus. The Library was erected in110 AD by Consul Gaius Julius Aquila for his father Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, formerly Roman Consul and governor of the province Asia minor, now Turkey. The library was completed in 135 AD by his heirs and Celsus buried in a marble sarcophagus. During the first diggings, in 1904, it was found that it contained a lead sarcophagus with Celsus skeleton. The front of the library has been reconstructed and gives a unique example of what were libraries in the Roman Empire. It could house 12,000 scrolls. It was the third richest library of the Empire after Alexandria and Pergame

    For more on Celsus library, you can read the article in Wikipedia.
    The first photo shows Celsus library from the square in front.
    The second photo shows Celsus library from half way on Curetes Street.

    Note that the monument is often wrongly named “Celsius library”. This is most probably a confusion with the name of Magnus Nicolai Celsius (1621-1679), who established the Centigrade scale of temperature, also named Celsius scale.

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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Celsus Library, the goddess

    by JLBG Updated Jan 2, 2009

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    Ar��ti, symbol of virtue
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    Man size statues of goddess stand in the four niches of the ground level of Celsus library.

    First from left (first photo): Arèti, symbol of virtue.

    Second from left (second photo): Sophia, symbol of wisdom

    Second from right: Episteme, symbol of knowledge

    First from right: Ennoia, symbol of faith

    The originals are on display in Vienna museum. Copies have been installed in the niches.

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  • TomorrowsAngel's Profile Photo

    Celsus Library

    by TomorrowsAngel Written Sep 14, 2003

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    celsus library

    One of the finest structures in Ephesus, the Celsus Library has recently been restored. Raised on a high plinth, the building is approached via a broad flight of steps.
    It was built by the Consul Gaius Julius Aquila in 135 AD, in honour of his father, Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of Asia Minor. The facade is highly ornamented on two levels, and there are three main portals. Over the portals were columns and statues arranged in niches. These statues were female figures representing the virtues wisdom, fate and intellegence. Niches on the interior of the building were designed to hold books. The tomb of Celsus was placed in a crypt below the central large niche.
    According to the inscription on the architrave of the building, its patron, C.Aquila, died before it was completed, and the construction was carried on by his heirs.

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Efeze - the Celcus Library

    by Luchonda Updated Sep 8, 2003

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    Sophia Statue
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    One of the four facade monuments !!
    The statue of Sophia - at the left of the building !
    The statues were removed during the restauration.
    On the bottom of each statue you will find some inscriptions - 4 statues - four names :
    -Sophia : symbol of wisdom
    -Episterne : symbol of knowledge
    -Ennoia - symbol of faith
    -Arete - symbol of virtueness

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Must see - the Library

    by Luchonda Updated Dec 9, 2007

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    The Library
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    The Library - builded 2nd century B.C.
    The most famous building in Efeze.
    Tiberius Aquila - son of the gouvernor Julius Celsus Ploemaeanius - ordered to this monumental Library in that century..
    Austrian archeologics found it in 1904 - the restauration started only in 1970.
    First impreesive view arriving at this Library are the four statues at the base !
    But older paintings are showing also four statues at the first floor !
    Pic 2 shows the teather in Sabratha/Libya : When i was visiting this historical site, i always had a remembrance at Efeze

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    The most famous and beautiful image of Ephesus

    by Willettsworld Written Mar 7, 2010

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    This is perhaps the most famous and beautiful image of Ephesus. It was started in 117 AD in honour of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus and completed in 135 AD by Celsus’ son, Gaius Julius Aquila. Celsus had been consul in 92 AD, governor of Asia in 115 AD, and a wealthy and popular local citizen. The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus. It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within the city limits, so this was a special honour for Celsus. It was the third richest library in ancient times after those in Alexandra and Pergamum.

    Although heavily reconstructed, the library's facade is breathtaking. It has two-storeys with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances. There are three window openings in the upper store and they used an optical trick that the columns at the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the centre, giving the illusion that the building was greater in size than it actually was. The statues in the niches of the columns today are copies of the originals. The statues symbolise wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete). These are the virtues of Celsus.

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  • Lyndra's Profile Photo

    Hillside Houses, Ephesus

    by Lyndra Updated Nov 21, 2007

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    Interior of a hillside house
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    There is a current excavation in Ephesus that has brought to light a group of houses built into the hillside along the main street of Ephesus. The site is easily found by the tents that cover it to protect the dig from the elements. There is an extra cost to get into this part of the site but is worth it to see the houses that are the most important discovery for many years. They are the houses of upper class Ephesians from sometime betwen the 1st and 7th Century when Ephesus was at it's heyday. When the site was abandoned so were these great houses, luckily they were preserved by the mudslides on the hill where they are built.
    It costs about 10YTL to see this part of the excavation. The level of preservation in this part of the site is magnificent and well worth the extra 10YTL - in particular the mosaics are a delight.

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