The Temple of Aphrodite was begun in the first century BC. The initial construction (a pseudo-dipteros with 8 columns on the small side and 15 along the length; remains of it were found in the nave of the later church) was paid for by Zoilos, a leading citizen who also sponsored the construction of the Agora and Theatre. In the second century AD the temple was enclosed in an elaborate colonnaded court, framed by a two-storied columnar fašade on the east, and by porticos on the north, west and south side. Around 500 AD the temple was converted into a Christian church. The conversion was an enormous undertaking, in which the columns of the east and west ends of the temple were moved from their original positions and used to extend the north and south colonnades. The interior of the temple was also dismantled, and the stone was reused in the construction of new walls enclosing the building on all sides. In this way the building was converted into a church of basilical plan, much larger than the pagan temple it replaced. The church remained in use until the Seljuk conquest of the region around Aphrodisias about 1200 AD.