7/24 Support +90 542 341 25 50

Ephesus The temple of hadrian

Ephesus The temple of hadrian

The Temple of Hadrian on the lower end of Kouretes Street is the logo of Ephesus. The inscription on the architrave telis us that P. Quintilius built this temple and dedicated it to the emperor ELadrian. The temple dates to the second century CE. The restoration made after the excavations in 1959, hovvever, shows how it looked in the fourth century CE. The Corinthian facade had a porch with an additional façade in a style typical of Syria. Behind the porch is a small room, the cella. The architrave of the porch façade curves into an arch, carried by two columns, in its çenter. A relief of Tyche decorates the middle of this arch. Över the entrance to the main building is a human figüre that rises out from a bunch of acanthus leaves. Frieze blocks with reliefs portraying the legend of the foundation of Ephesus decorated both sides of the porch. Only the casts can be seen on site, since the originals are in the Ephesus Museum. The western part of the frieze shows Androklos killing the wild boar. The other reliefs illustrate the Amazons, the council of the gods, the war between Theseus and Herakles, and a scene with Dionysos. During repairs in the fourth century CE, the eastem frieze was brought here from some other structure in Ephesus. On it, one can see Athena, the moon goddess Selene, Apollo, Androklos, Herakles, Theodosius, the Ephesian Artemis, and the wife and son of Theodosius.

Bronze statues of the emperors Galerius, Maximianus, Diocletian, and Constantius Chlorus stood on the bases in front of the temple.

Archaeologists first concluded that this was an imperial temple because of the inscription on the architrave, and since the temple is an omate structure, made of high-quality marble and placed in a select location in the city. But a monumental structure (the Olympieion), found during excavations and investigations between 1984 and 1986 in the northwest part of the city, casts doubt on this hypothcsis. Hadrian came to Ephesus three times, the last time with the honorary title “Zeus Olympios.” The argument is that a little temple, squeezed in between other structures, would hardly have satisfied him. If this is true, the monumental structure called the Olympieion must really be the Temple of Hadrian. The inscription dedicating this structure to Hadrian may have been brought here from another building during the repair work in the fourth century CE. This smaller building would then have been a monument which Antinoos, the close friend of Hadrian, dedicated to Hadrian when they visited Ephesus together in 129.