Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
St. Louis, Missouri
August 26, 2003
From the front you see nine steps gong up to the entrance level. On either side of the main entrance there are two niches each which hold replica copies of 4 statues that had their names inscribed below them. They were Wisdom, Knowledge, Intelligence, and Virtue, and there is a picture of the wisdom statue below. The large columns that hold up the 'porch' roof are topped off with ornate Corinthian capitals. The entire building is done in Marble. One interesting effect you can see in the picture of the entire library is that the center door is a taller opening that the doors on either side. Also, the platform the library sits on is a bit concave to make the middle columns taller. Together these architectural tricks were used to make the building appear taller and not squeezed together by buildings on either side.
Their were several important libraries in the ancient world. Alexandria, Herculaneum and here. Nothing is left of the scrolls from Alexandria or here. However, there is a race against time to save the scrolls found in Herculaneum. All these libraries used a hollow space behind the wall to prevent mold and moisture from destroying the scrolls in their niches.
Very often as you visit ruins in the Mediterranean you'll come across brothels. But nowhere else have we seen such an ingenious plan, by the men of the city, to hide their dalliances from their wives. During excavations, a tunnel was found under the library. Where'd it go? To the brothel across the street!
"Honey, I'm going to the library. I need enlightenment! Be gone most of the evening". And the winner is, for both ancient and modern, testosterone! We smile at this knowledge but it makes the people of Ephesus seem a bit more like us than before.
The Library is at the foot of Curetes Street and it will not be hard to find. Enjoy!
From journal Ancient Ephesus
Bayside, New York
February 20, 2002
You cannot help but be awed as you approach this structure, still having a second story after so many centuries. It has certainly been well preserved, and I noticed the work of not so recent restoration by Austrian archaeologists. The facade is truly regal: Corithian columns and niches filled with statues. The statues in the niches of the facade are copies of the originals and symbolize the wisdom (sophia), knowledge (episteme), intelligence (ennoia) and virtue (arete) of Celsus. Here again, the original statues are now in Vienna, Austria.
Behind the doors was a reading room whose roof was wooden in those times, and where a statue of Athena stood in its center; that statue is now to be found at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Parchment scrolls were kept in marble niches, and numbered somewhere in the tens of thousands. Ingeniously, they constructed hollow spaces behind the walls to prevent moisture from eroding the scrolls.
The Library lies on the Street of Curetes, not far from the main agora (which is currently a mess of rubble and stones) where people used to sell their wares and catch up on the latest gossip.
Don't you wonder why the majority of important original work ends up in Austria and Germany?
From journal Ephesus: city of greatness
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
July 2, 2001
At one time, the Library held thousands of scrolls (remember no books in those days) and the men of Ephesus met here to discuss weighty matters and other things. The Library was surrounded by a set of walls that were designed to keep the humidity and temperature fluctuations under control to protect the scrolls.
A tunnel was built between the Library and the brothel across the street. While the women thought their husbands were engaged in literary pursuits, they were actually engaged in other kinds of pursuits - oh, those lusty, but well read, Ephesians!
From journal Always & Forever Impressive - Ephesus
August 2, 2000
From journal Ephesus, famous ancient city