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My Favourite Planet > English > Middle East > Turkey > Ephesus > photo gallery
Ephesus, Turkey Ephesus photo gallery 1 19 of 66
The Temple of Hadrian, Kuretes Street, Ephesus, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

The "Temple of Hadrian", built 130 AD, on Kuretes Street, Ephesus.
The Temple of Hadrian

What visitors today see of the so-called "Temple of Hadrian" is merely the entrance porch, reconstructed by archaeologists in the 1950s. The highly ornate portico was covered with intricate marble sculptural reliefs and inscriptions.

The archway on the streetfront is supported by two Corinthian columns, and has at its centre a relief of the head of the Greek goddess Tyche (equivalent to the Roman Fortuna, see photo below). At the back of the porch, the doorway to the sanctuary itself is topped by a marble lunette panel decorated by a relief, which we are told depicts the Gorgon Medusa (see photo on the next page).

Along the top of the walls either side of the doorway are friezes representing scenes from the history and founding legends of Ephesus (see gallery pages 22-23).

The building was excavated 1956-1957 by the Austrian archaeologist Franz Miltner (1901-1959), and the portico was reconstructed 1957-1958. It was named the Temple of Hadrian due to interpretation of inscriptions dedicating the building to the emperor (reigned 117-138). At the time it was thought that this was the official temple of the Neokoros, for the the imperial cult [1], granted to Ephesus by Hadrian himself in 132/3 AD.

However, following more recent investigations, it now appears that it was built by the Ephesian citizen P. Quintilius Valens Varius with his wife and their daughter Varilla, and dedicated to Hadrian. Varius also paid for the construction of the neighbouring "Varius Baths" (also known as the "Baths of Scholastika") in 117-118 AD, and Varius and Varilla are thought to have served some function at the Temple of Artemis. [2]

According to a recent theory, this temple or shrine served as a station on the processional way between the Great Theatre and the Temple of Artemis, of which Kuretes Street was a part, at which Hadrian was ritually honoured, although necessarily not as an official part of the imperial cult.
photos and articles:
© David John
See also:


the nearby town

galleries index
Selcuk photo gallery 1 - town of Selcuk, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 1
around town
Selcuk photo gallery 2 - Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 2
Ephesus Museum
Selcuk photo gallery 3 - Serbian folk dancers in Selcuk, Turkey

Selçuk gallery 3
Serbian dancers
visit Selçuk
A bust of the goddess Tyche on the entrance archway of the Temple of Hadrian, Ephesus at My Favourite Planet

A relief bust of the goddess Tyche on the keystone of the entrance archway to the
"Temple of Hadrian" porch. The fine lettering of the inscription can be seen to either side.
Temple of
Notes, references and links

1. Neokoros

A neokoros (plural neokoroi) was an official centre for the Roman imperial cult - the worship of emperors, often in conjunction with other deities - in a province of the empire. The Greek cities of the province of Asia Minor, such as Ephesus, Pergamon and Smyrna, competed for the honour and prestige of becoming the neokoros and building a temple for the cult.

The title also referred to the priest of the cult. From the Greek νεωκόρος, neokoros, temple-keeper or temple warden. Derived from koreo, to sweep, and hence one who sweeps and cleans a temple; temple servant; one who has charge of a temple, to keep and adorn it (a sacristan).

See also: Pergamon gallery 1, page 14 and Pergamon gallery 2, page 6.

2. Recent research

See: Dr. Sabine Ladstätter, Wissenschaftlicher Jahresbericht des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts (ÖAI) 2012, Wien. Pages 19-20, I.1.1.8 Hadrianstempel.

The report on the Temple of Hadrian is a short summary of investigations led by Dr. Ursula Quatember. It is illustrated by a reconstruction of the building and images of a 3-dimensional scan of the front of the portico, including the dedication to Hadrian around the arch. The lettering of the Greek inscriptions are very fine and worn in places, so that they are hardly visible to the naked eye when standing in front of the monument. However, it is possible to read them with the aid of a zoom lens.
The Temple of Hadrian, Ephesus, Turkey at My Favourite Planet
Map, photos and articles: © David John

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

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Some of the information and photos in this guide to Ephesus
originally appeared in 2004 on
See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays about Turkey:

Istanbul Essentials part 1

Istanbul Essentials part 2

Istanbul Essentials part 3
with video

Ionian Spring part 1

Ionian Spring part 2

Ionian Spring part 3
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