Friday, January 10, 2014

Ephesus - Baths of Varius, Odeon, Sacred Way and Temple of Domitian

Dating from the 10th century BC, Ephesus was built by the Greeks, occupied subsequently by Lydians, the Persians, and Alexander the Great; it flourished under the Romans after Augustus came to power. It's now miles from the sea, due to silting of the harbor. The Goths destroyed the city in 263 AD, but it was largely rebuilt by Emperor Constantine and was very important in the Byzantine era. Apostle Paul lived here and the Gospel of John might have been written in Ephesus. Earthquakes, sackings by the Arabs and Selçuk Turks reduced it over time to a small village. The photos in this and the following posts on Ephesus were taken in both 1990 and 2013.

One of the first structures you encounter on entering Ephesus today is the Baths of Varius, dating to the 2nd century AD:

Next, the Odeon, once a covered structure; it was first used as a meeting place for the Senate, and then as a concert hall seating about 1,500 people. From the first photo below, you can see that there was a gallery in front of it:

The gallery:

Notice lion paw detail on seat aisles:

Capital details:

The Sacred or Processional Way, 1990 -- add 3,000 or so people and you'll have an idea of what it looks like now:

 Not an improvement, eh?

Well, never mind. Next is the Temple of Domitian; I don't remember signs showing what some of the places originally looked like on the recent trip, but in 1990, there were quite a few, which I think is really helpful:
 Bits of a massive statue of Emperor Domitian in the site museum - that forearm is about 4 feet tall, so imagine the scale of the original statue:

These curved stones formed a vaulted doorway once:

More details:

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