7/24 Support +90 542 341 25 50

Ephesus Basilica

Ephesus Basilica

The three-aisled basilica, 165 meters long and dating from the first century CE, stands between the odeon and the state agora. It is a typical example of a Roman basilica. Its purpose was to foster trade, so it approximated the function of an exchange. Its location among government buildings such as the state agora, the prytaneion, and the odeon facilitated this role.

Excavations uncovered traces of a one-aisled Hellenistic colonnaded gallery beneath the basilica. In the east end of the basilica, which had a roof of wooden shingles, stood a stoa that led to the Varius Baths. From this stoa, amonumental gate with three doors opened into the basilica. The statues of Augustus and Livia found in the excavations, which are on display in the Ephesus Museum, clearly show that the stoa was richly decorated with statues. Two rows columns, with Ionian capitals decorated with bulls heads, separated the three aisles of the basilica. An earthquake in the fourth century CE destroyed a large part of the basilica, and the stoa was altered a great deal in the Byzantine period. The structure was restored immediately after the excavations, during which time the columns were reerected. The columns show the marks of restorations from later periods.