July 10 - 16, 2016: Issue 271


Looking down Harbour Street from the Great Theatre

By George Repin

Reflections in Issue No. 268 of this publication described the location of Ephesus in Turkey and included a few notes on the city’s history, but most of the article was devoted to one of the most beautiful restored structures in the ruins, dating from the Roman period, The Library of Celsus.  However, a visitor with the time and enthusiasm to explore other parts of the city would find much of interest.  This article describes some such places a visitor might come across and enjoy. 

Ground plan of Ephesus

The Great Theatre
Built in the 1st Century CE and later renovated by several Roman Emperors it is the most impressive and imposing structure in Ephesus.  Its facade faces Harbour Street which led to the harbour, important for the commerce of the city until it silted up.  There were 66 rows of stone seats divided into horizontal sections with enough seating for 25,000 spectators.  The seats in the lower section, which were for important people, had marble backs.  The theatre was used for theatrical plays, music performances, political and religious events.  The theatre was severely damaged in an earthquake in the 4th Century CE and was only partly repaired.  Much of the theatre seating was removed and used in the construction of other buildings.

The Great Theatre seen from Harbour Street

Seating in the Great Theatre

Scolastica Baths
These were the largest baths in the city, consisting of three levels.  Two levels have collapsed leaving only ground floor rooms and an arch of the third floor surviving in good condition.  Initially built in the 1st Century CE a Christian woman undertook their restoration in the 4th Century CE.
The actual baths were on the ground floor and consisted of a caldarium (hot water section), a tepiderium (a warm bath), a frigidarium (a cold bath) and an apodyterium (dressing room).  The water (hot or cold) and steam were delivered by clay pipes (either underground or built in to the walls).

The Scolastica Baths

Latrines (Public Toilets)
These were part of the Scolastica Baths, next to the Temple of Hadrian.  An entrance fee was charged to use them.  The toilets were built as marble benches along the walls surrounding a central pool.  A gutter, in which clean water flowed continuously, ran along in front of the benches.

Latrines - Public Toilets

The Temple of Hadrian
Located on Curates Street, this is one of the best preserved and beautiful buildings in the city.  Constructed in the beginning of the 2nd Century CE it was reconstructed in the 4th Century CE by Theodosius.  There were four Corinthian columns under a triangular pediment on the facade under which was an arch.  In front of the four columns were inscriptions and statues of the four Emperors – Diocletian, Maximiam, Constantinus and Galerius - who ruled the Roman Empire during the years 293 to 305 CE.

Temple of Hadrian

Mosaics across Curetes Street from the Temple of Hadrian

The Prytaneion
The Prytaneion was an administrative building with administrative offices, the archives of the city and a dining room for official visitors.  Hestia’s sacred flame was in the middle of a courtyard and was guarded by priests of the goddess, known as Curettes, to ensure that the flame never went out.  Only two of the original eight columns on the front of the building have survived.

The Prytaneion

Temple of Domitian
Built on the second level of a terrace at Domitian Square the temple consisted of thirteen columns on the long sides and eight on the short.  The ground floor contained warehouses and shops.  Although for a long time believed to have been built to honour the Emperor Domitian recent research suggests that it was, in fact, built to honour the Emperor Titus.

The Temple of Domitian

Sculpture from Temple of Domitian

Memmius Monument
Built in the 1st Century CE by the Emperor Augustus as a memorial to Memmius, son of Caius and grandson of the dictator Sulla who in 87 BCE conquered Mithridates of the Pontic Empire.  Originally the monument had four facades with sculptured figures.  Three hundred years after its construction it was converted to a fountain.

The Monument of Memmius

Detail of the Monument of Memmius.

Spending time wandering through the ruins of Ephesus with a good guide book or, better still, with a dedicated knowledgeable guide is time well spent.  

Photographs by George Repin in 1997 and 2006.

Previous Reflections by George Repin 

The Nineteen Thirties  Remembering Rowe Street  The Sydney Push  Saturday Night at the Movies  Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram  A Stop On The Road To Canberra  City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten  An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes  Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s  Hill End  The Paragon at Katoomba  Seafood In Sydney  How Far From Sydney?  Cockatoo Island Over The Years  The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991  Busby's Bore  The Trocadero In Sydney  Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making  Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service  Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection  Gloucester and the Barrington Tops  A Millenium Apart  Have You Stopped to Look?  Gulgong  Il Porcellino  Olympia  Durham Hall  Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia  Hotels at Bondi  Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone  The Goroka Show - 1958  A Gem On The Quay  Staffa  The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls  The Coal Mine At Balmain  The Hyde Park Barracks  The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky  Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain  J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant  Waldheim  Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955  King Island Kelp  The Mercury Theatre  Around Angkor - 1963  Angkor Wat 1963  Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli  Chairman Mao's Personal Physician  The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross  The Oceaographic  Museum  in Monaco  The Island of Elba Russian Fairy Tale Plates Meteora Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska  Cloisonné  Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories Not A Chagall!  Did You Listen? Did You Ask?  Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand Borobudur  Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells  Murano  University of Padua  Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi   Pula  The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre  Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park   Aphrodisias   The Divine Comedy Caodaism  Sapa and local Hill People  A Few Children  Cappadocia  Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre   Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island    ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997  Hotere Garden Oputae  Children of the Trobriand Islands  Page Park Market - Rabaul  Rabual   Kotor, Montenegro   Galleries of Photographs I   Lascaux  Galleries of Photographs II  The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia  Ivan Meštrović  - Sculptor   Delphi   Gallery of Photographs III  The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point  San Simeon - "Hearst Castle"  Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982  Russian New Year  Mycenae  "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska  The White Pass and Yukon Route  Totem Poles  Tivkin Cemetery  Krka National Park - Croatia Tavistock Square and the BMA  Orthodox Easter  Wieliczka Salt Mine  A Walk on Santorini  Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus

Copyright George Repin 2016. All Rights Reserved.