Temple of Domitian

One of the famous edifices in Ephesus is the temple built for the Emperor Domitian on the terrace to thé south of the square. When the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) was stabbed to death in the back by a servant of his the temple was dedicated to his father Vespasian and when later Domitian was damned by the people the temple was destroyed and even the name Domitian was erased from the inscriptions.

It is famous for being the first temple built for an emperor in Ephesus. In the Roman period the building of temples for emperors was made a matter of honour among similar cities.

The temple stood on the approximately 100 metres long terrace to the south of the square. On the east and west sides of the podium which was surrounded by an eight stepped crépis were large pediments supported by eight columns each.  The long sides between these two had thirteen columns each. This structure made the edifice a prostyle. The altar which was decorated with the reliefs of weapons on display in the Museum of Ephesus stood 10 metres in front of the temple.

The Ephesians in order to thank the emperor had his statue made measuring 7 metres together with the base and placed it in the temple. The large head and arm of this statue are on display in the museum. The terrace on which stood the temple was reached from the square by wide steps.

Taking the road running along the east side of the terrace one reaches the cryptoportico of the terrace of the temple which is arranged as a gallery for written documents. Mere are displayed some of the inscriptions found in Ephesus together with their translations.
The round base decorated with garlands carried by bulls' heads standing in the middle of the Domitian Square was put there about the middle of the 4th century.

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