Ephesus was governed by a two assembly system of administration. These were the advisory council and the assembly of citizens. The advisory council (Boule) held its meetings in the Odeum. Therefore the building is also called the Bouleuterion.
The assembly of citizens was made up of all the Ephesians. On certain days of the year the assembly of citizens held its meetings in the Grand Theatre. The Odeum had the aspect of a small theatre. Its difference from a theatre was that it was once covered. The seating section of the building of which restoration is at present going on, was reached by stepped side streets covered by vaults on two sides. The holding capacity was about 500. The benches were of marble, and their legs were in the shape of lions' paws. The stage building was two storeyed. It opened to the inner part by five doors with the centre one built higher than the others.