I first saw a shot of the Library of Celsus and the Gate of Mazeus and Mithradates on TN around 4 years ago and thought “I must go and see that someday”. Well earlier this year my dream came true and I arrived at Ephesus on a beautiful winter’s day. I was one of the first people into the complex and thus had the library to myself, a fantastic experience. Later, hoards of tourists streamed in and out of this beautiful ruin like ants, quite amusing to watch. I know this ruin has appeared on TN many times, but this is my version, thanks for looking.
This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor, across the entrance and there was a statue of Athena over it.
The scrolls of the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent the them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. 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 reading room was destroyed by fire in the 4th C and the façade collapsed during an earthwauke in the 10th C.
The facade of the library has two-stories, with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There is three windows openings in the upper story. They used an optical trick that the columns at the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the centre, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size.
The statues in the niches of the columns today are the copies of the originals. The statues symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete). These are the virtues of Celsus. The library was restored with the aid of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the originals of the statues were taken to Ephesus Museum in Vienna in 1910.
There was an auditorium ,which was for lectures or presentations between the library and the Marble Road, was built during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian.
The gate with three passage ways at the right of the Celsus Library was built in 40 A.D by the slaves Mazeus and Mythridates for their emperor, Augustus, who gave them their freedom.
The passages are vaulted, the front side of the vault facing the Celsus Library is made of black marble, while the other side is white. A Latin inscription with inlaid letters made of bronze is still visible on one side of the structure. Part of the inscription states: "From the Emperor Caesar Augustus, the son of the god, the greatest of the priests, who was consul twelve and tribune twenty times; and the wife of August Livia; the son of Lucus, Marc Agrippa who was consul three times, Emperor, and tribune six times; and the daughter of Julio Caesar Augustus, Mazeus and Mythridates to their master and the people."
The small area in front of the gate was used as an auditorium. The steps around the gate, in front of the library and the round pedestal were used as seats. In Byzantine Period, the walls in the small area were built when the city walls were reduced in length.
Critiques | Translate
asajernigan (21427) 2009-09-17 3:49
Great shot of these impressive ruins taken from a good POV. The deep blue sky provides nice contrast to the yellow color of the ruins. The lighting and colors are fine and the photo has good sharpness and crisp details.
Clementi (52514) 2009-09-18 4:59
a fantastic place, a very beautiful and well taken care of image in the particular ones, splendid the colors interesting note.
jhm (157788) 2009-09-19 3:42
Thank you very much for your excellent note.
This remain always a very nice image of the old facades in white stone.
Good quality and sharpness.
Composition and colours are very nice, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
fabianoleite (11971) 2009-09-19 18:32
The structure is spectacular, and you highlighted well its features, such as texture and color. Great framing, too. Congratulations and regards from Brazil!
danos (101714) 2009-09-20 12:22
just before four days i was there and I saw this extraordinary rebuild monument of the Lirary of Celsus.A fascinating place with hundreds of visitors to walk and admire the ancient Ephesus.I was surprised that no one tourist were in front of the library,in regard of hundreds when i was there.Well done.
Have a nice week,Danos
PixelTerror (0) 2009-09-22 11:56
Fine light here, it allows a strong contrast of the clean ruines structures against the spotless blue sky
have a nice day JY
arnie (1805) 2009-09-23 4:21
A great shot, everything stands out so well.
great sharpness. Oh to have been able to take a shot with the tourists.
Silvio1953 (150127) 2009-09-24 10:09
Ciao Chris, wonderful of splendid architecture, fantastic colors and great perspective, very well done, ciao Silvio
bebbetto (40) 2009-09-24 12:04
Splendid picture with great perspective and excellent written note
john1 (4028) 2009-09-24 12:22
I see that Turkey is very interesting perspective architural.
Here the details are clearly visible, nice color and good clarity.
Your notes are very rich, beautiful depth of field.
The composition is excellent.
mikolaj_kawa (0) 2009-09-25 0:32
Hello Chris! Wonderful ruins, amazing architecture, excellent sky, superb colours, perfect contrast and sharpness. Well done!
lousat (95760) 2009-10-03 16:50
Hi Chris,i been there 2 monts ago me too and i must give you my great compliments for this fantastic point of view.Impressive sharpness and beautifuls warm colors,you was lucky,there wasn't a lot of people like in July...eheh...my best compliments,have a nice Sunday,LUCIANO
vasilpro (41661) 2009-10-05 13:13
Excellent composition, interesting ruins, very good light management, very nice contrast, clarity and sharpness.
Have a nice week, Vasilis.
aristo (3214) 2010-04-09 1:51
Outstanding shot!The light and colours are just perfect!
Beautiful place.Lirary of Celsus is one of the fameous place in Turkey,and you captured this place with no tourist,lucky you!
- Copyright: Chris Chafer (sandpiper) (6788)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-02-17
- Categories: Architecture, Ruins
- Camera: Pentax K100D Super, Sigma 18-50 1:3,5-5,6 DC, ISO 200, Hoya Cir. Polarizer 58 mm
- Exposure: f/8, 1/750 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Archeology. Mysterious. Historical. Ancient. Old, My trip to Egypt & Turkey [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2009-09-17 0:24