Ephesus, Temple of Hadrian


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

Temple of Hadrian

The elegant monument that today is called the "temple of Hadrian" in Ephesus' Street of the Curetes was dedicated in 118 CE, almost immediately after Hadrian's accession, by a wealthy benefactor named Publius Vedius Antoninus Sabinus. The beautiful sculpture is in the Museum of Selçuk. It is interesting, because its vault-like pediment, resting on Corinthian columns, was probably proposed by an architect from Syria, where this type of structure was common.

The monument was later included in the Varius Baths. Another later addition are four statues of the four tetrarchs in front of the monument. The pedestals are still there. After a destruction that may have been caused by an earthquake, the building was re-erected and redecorated with sculpture that can be dated to the reign of Theodosius I (r.378-395). On one relief, this most Christian emperor is shown standing between a dozen pagan gods.