The State Agora

There are two agoras in Ephesus,  the State Agora and the Trade Agora. The Trade Agora lies to the west of the city near the Celsus Library. The level area looking like a square to the south of the Basilica with not very many remains on it is the famous State Agora of Ephesus. Of the columned portico which once surrounded it on three sides not much remains. In the middle of the square are the remains of a rectangular building which were the foundations of the Temple of Isis. It is known that because of Cleopatra and Antonius the Emperor Augustus did not like Egyptians much. Therefore it is thought that the temple was destroyed during the reign of Augustus.

After the destruction of the temple the group of statues Polyphemus which was in the pediment was taken from there and placed on the side of the pool of the Pollio Fountain which was constructed on the west side of the Agora with its face towards the Domitian Square. The ranging of these statues in the pediment of the temple and on the side of the pool of the Pollio Fountain are shown separately today in the Museum of Ephesus.

As the statues were dated back to the 1st century BC from a stylistic point of view, it was assumed that the temple was also built at this time. The Agora took its last shape in the period of Augustus. Also the existence of an earlier Agora was learned through borings. A columned road ran along the south side, but in spite of this the north side must have been the main orientation of the Agora. The Prytaneum, the Odeum and the Bouleuterion stood side by side there. The State Agora was used together with the buildings surrounding it as Ephesus1 centre of administration.

At its southeast end there was an important cistern of the city, and at its southwest corner stood the Fountain of Laecanius Bassus. This structure of which restoration is not yet begun had a facade with two tiers of columns. With the large pool in front it was of quite a splendid aspect. The statues of Nymphs and Tritons are on display in the Museum of Ephesus.

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