Temple of Hadrian

One of the most beautiful structures along Kouretes Street is the so-called Temple of Hadrian, which P. Quintilius built before 138 CE and dedicated to Hadrian.

Temple of Hadrian

Temple of Hadrian

At a later point, statues of the emperors of the tetrarchy, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius I, and Galerius (293-305 CE) were erected on the bases in front of the temple.

The temple consists of a pronaos (porch) and a naos (main room). Two square posts stand on either corner of the facade of the pronaos, with two round columns in the middle supporting a curved arch, in the middle of which is a bust of the city goddess, Tyche.

Over the entrance to the naos itself a human figure, perhaps Medusa, is rising from a bundle of acanthus leaves. A frieze depicting important events in the history of the city decorates both sides of the pronaos interior.

The original, in four parts, is on display in the museum. For many years, people assumed that this small temple in the center of the city must be the imperial neokorate ("temple warden") temple granted to the city under Hadrian.

This now appears doubtful. Hadrian probably visited Ephesus three times, and it hardly seems possible that the Ephesians would have honored him with such a small temple.

Between 1984-86, archaeologists uncovered a massive structure in the northwest part of the city, the Olympieion, which was probably the second neokorate temple.

Ancient Turkey - Travel Guide

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