The Basilica

The Basilica of Ephesus is located between the Odeum and the State Agora. It had three naves and a two ridged gable roof. The roof was made of wood and no trace of it has been found. Ionic columns with bulls' head reliefs marked the boundaries between the naves. The side facing the Agora had steps from end to end. We can therefore say that this side of the Basilica was completely open.

The statues of Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia which are displayed at present in the Museum of Ephesus were found at the east end of the Basilica in fragments. During the destruction of the building in the 5-6th centuries these statues were also broken up and crosses were marked on their brows. We understand from the statue of Emperor Augustus that the Basilica was constructed in this period. Borings carried out in recent years in the west end of the building reveal that the Basilica was a stoa in the Hellenistic period and that during the reconstruction undertaken in the Agora and its surroundings in the reign of Augustus it was changed into a trade centre and served as an exchange market. Restoration of the Basilica was begun in 1990 by the Museum of Ephesus.

The ruins visible on the level area between the Odeum and the Preytaneum on the north side of the Basilica are the remains of the Temples of Dea Roma and Augustus. Both of these temples were constructed by the order of Emperor Augustus and were completely destroyed in the Byzantine period. These two edifices of white marble of which only the podiums can be seen today were surrounded by porticoes with slender columns.
 

The Basilica

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