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Dick Osseman | all galleries >> Ephesus pictures - Turkey >> Library of Celsus in Ephesus > Efes Celsus library
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Efes Celsus library

Efes Celsus library

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The library of Celsus was reconstructed in the end of the last century, Built in 135 AD it held 12.000 scrolls, it was destroyed in 262. The front is great (elsewhere on the web you rightly find the advise to visit it early in the morning, when light shines on it). As it is one of the best sights in Efes I took many pictures of it.


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Dick Osseman24-Jul-2004 05:26
I am not an historian, but from what I read I'd say the people mostly were "Greek" (that is, speaking that language. 130 BC the Romans (who had been extending their borders by means of war and negotiation)turned most of Western Anatolia (the Turkish mainland) into the Roman province "Asia". So the people there just kept on speaking Greek, but under Roman rule. I think one might say that most high-ranking Romans spoke Greek as a second language, a bit like in the 19th century it was habitual to speak French in the European bourgeoisie. Celsus had been "proconsul" of the province of Asia, effectively governor of that province. He had done well, and the library was a monument, and actually his mausoleum. For his son managed to have him buried within the library (ordinary dead were never buried within the city walls), where his sarcophagus remained untouched until it was dug up in 1904. Given the international character of the Roman empire the people who actually built the thing may have been from anywhere, say Brittish or Egyptian, but they probably were local, and spoke Greek, under the supervision of a Greek speaking master builder, but in the pay of a Roman.

Kindest regards,

Dick
Nick Richter23-Jul-2004 19:02
I notice alot of Greek inscriptions. Was the library built by Greeks or Romans?