Library of Celsus




First erected as a mausoleum for Tiberius Julius Celsus in 117 CE by his son, one of Ephesus's most magnificent buildings, the Celsus Library, is one of the finest examples of a building of its type in existence. The front entrance is a two storied façade with large windows over the doors to let in the light, the library having been squeezed into the space available between older buildings.


Set between the columns in the façade are niches, now containing replicas of the original statues representing Wisdom, Excellence, Goodwill, and Knowledge, which were removed to museums. The library was home for thousands of papyrus scripts, which were stored on shelving cut into the walls. The building was destroyed by fire in 262CE during fighting with the Goths. The area in front of it was then converted into a square with fountains in the 4th century, but it was further destroyed in the 10th century by an earthquake.


To the North of the Library a monumental gate stands at the South Eastern corner of the Agora. The gate was built between 4 and 2BCE and dedicated to the Emperor Augustus and his family, by his two former slaves, Mazeus and Mithridates, when they became rich citizens.


It is inscribed to “Augustus Son of the Divine,” in honour of Augustus's adoption by Julius Caesar, who had been raised to the rank of God by the Roman senate. It glorifies Augustus as Caesar, general, and high priest, and was surmounted by his statues.





Library of Celsus


Library and Slaves Gate