Ephesus, Fountain of Trajan

Ephesus (modern Selçuk): ancient Greek town in western Turkey, one of the largest and best excavated cities of the ancient world.

Fountain of Trajan

Fountain of Trajan

According to the building inscription on the lower storey of this monument, the nymphaeum or fountain of Trajan was built in the year 114 CE by the asiarch (chairman of a priestly college) Tiberius Claudius Aristion, who dedicated it to the emperor. Standing along the Street of the Curetes, it was the end of the main aqueduct of Ephesus.

Resembling the stage of a theater, this fountain surrounded a basin with a length of almost 12 meters and a width of 5½ meters. The "stage wall" was 9½ meters high. In the center was a high, temple-shaped apse in which the statue of the emperor was placed. To judge from the foot that has survived, it must have been almost four meters tall. In the other niches were other statues, mainly gods (including the deified emperor Nerva) and mythical figures like Androclus, the legendary founder of Ephesus.

The building was destroyed by an earthquake - probably the one that shattered the region in 362 CE - but there were repairs.