Temple of Hadrian

The most attractive edifice on the Curetes Street is the temple dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian. The Emperor came to Ephesus several times. And at one of these times was built the big temple to the north of the Council Church called the Olypeion and at another the temple of Hadrian.

This temple has gained a rightful fame through the rich workmanship on its facade. In front, two columns with Corinthian capitals in the middle and two angular piers also with Corinthian capitals at the sides supported a semicircular pediment of Syrian type. On the keystone of the pediment there is a bust of Tyche, the goddess of the city, wearing a crown on her head. The lintel of the door behind the columns is richly decorated with classical rows of egg and dart moldings.

On the front of the upper lintel there is a relief of Medusa in the shape of a young girl among acanthus leaves. In the pronaos the frieze on the upper lintel of the door is a copy; the original is on display in the Museum of Ephesus. The frieze consisted of four parts. On the first three parts from the left were depicted gods and goddesses and the myth of Androclus, the founder of Ephesus, hunting the boar; gods and Amazons and Amazons and the procession of Dionysus.

The subject of the fourth part of the frieze is different. Here are shown side by side from the left Athena,Selena, a man, Apollo, a woman, Androclus, Hercules, Emperor Theodosius, Artemis the wife and son of Theodosius, and Athena. The inner part of the temple was very simple. As Roman religious buildings were more structures which were not entered their outer parts were constructed particularly ostentatiously.

As understood from the inscription on the architrave the edifice was dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian in 138 AD. Statue bases with inscriptions in front of the temple belonged to the bronze statues of Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius Chlorus and Qalerius who were emperors at the same time. The statues of the same emperors stood in front of the fountain near the Memmius Monument also.

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