Celsus Library

Celsus Library was built in 135 A.D. as a monumental tomb for Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the Roman governor of the province of Asia; by his son Galius Julius Aquila. How do we know that? When you enter the library, on the right you can see a broken inscription as follows:

“In the name of proconsul of Asia Tibernus Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, his son consul Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus found Celsus library building, with all the decorations, works of art and books with his own fortune”. In addition to building the complete library with his own possibilities, he has donated 25,000 gold coins (today 400,000 US dollars) for books only. There were 12,000 scrolls and parchments in the library within this context.

From the outside it was a 2-storey building, but inside it was 3-storey. In addition to its great architecture, four female statues were placed on the front facade. These statues symbolize wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and valor. (Today the originals of these statues are in Ephesus Museum in Vienna.) The library served for 150 years approximately. The library was invaded in 262 by Goths and both the art works and the books inside were looted and burnt.

There is a lot to tell about the Celcus Library… We should not concentrate on the architecture only. Even though we do not know anything about Ephesus, we can understand that we live among great civilizations when we stand in front of the library.

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