Library of Celcus

Library of Celcus

The Library of Celsus was one of the most impressive buildings in ancient Ephesus, and it remains one of the most recognizable and iconic ruins in the city today. Here is some detailed information about the library:

Location: The Library of Celsus was located in the heart of ancient Ephesus, in what is now modern-day Turkey. It was situated on the north side of the city's main commercial and political thoroughfare, the Curetes Street.

Construction: The library was built in the 2nd century CE, during the Roman period. It was commissioned by Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, a Roman senator and governor of the province of Asia, in honor of his father, Tiberius Julius Celsus, who had been a consul and a patron of the city.

The library was constructed of marble and brick, and it was designed in a distinctively Roman style. The facade of the library was decorated with columns, reliefs, and statues, all of which were intricately carved and highly detailed.

Dimensions: The Library of Celsus was a large and imposing building, measuring approximately 21 meters wide by 16 meters deep (about 69 feet by 52 feet). It was also quite tall, standing approximately 16 meters (about 52 feet) high.

The library was comprised of two levels, with a central nave flanked by two side aisles. The lower level was the main reading room, while the upper level was a gallery that provided additional space for storing and displaying books and scrolls.

Books and Scrolls: The Library of Celsus was one of the most important centers of learning in the ancient world, and it housed thousands of books and scrolls (approx. 18.000) on a variety of subjects. The collection was diverse and wide-ranging, including works on philosophy, science, literature, and history.

The library's collection was primarily in Greek, which was the language of scholarship in the eastern Mediterranean at the time. However, there were also some works in Latin and other languages.

Destruction: Unfortunately, the Library of Celsus was not destined to survive the ages intact. It was destroyed by a fire that broke out in the city in the 3rd century CE, possibly during an invasion by the Goths.

The facade of the library remained standing for centuries, however, and it was partially reconstructed in the 1970s to give visitors a sense of what the library would have looked like in its prime. Today, the Library of Celsus is one of the most popular and recognizable ruins in Ephesus, and it serves as a testament to the city's rich cultural and intellectual heritage.