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Picture of the week: Curetes Street and the Temple of Hadrian, Ephesus (Turkey)

Curetes Street and the Temple of Hadrian, Ephesus, Turkey
Curetes Street and the Temple of Hadrian, Ephesus, Turkey
© Carole Raddato

It is one of the best preserved and most beautiful structures on Curetes Street. The temple of Hadrian was built before 138 A.D by P. Quintilius and was dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian, who came to visit the city from Athens in 129 A.D. The facade of the temple has four Corinthian columns supporting a curved arch, in the middle of which contains a relief of Tyche, goddess of victory. The side columns are square. The pedestal with inscriptions in front of the temple, are the bases for the statues of the emperors between 293-305 CE, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius I, and Galerius; the originals of the statues have not been found yet.

Inside the temple above the door, a human figure, probably Medusa stands with ornaments of acanthus leaves. On both sides there are friezes depicting the story of the foundation of Ephesus – Androklos shooting a boar, Dionysus in ceremonial procession and the Amazons. The fourth frieze portrays two male figures, one of which is Apollo; Athena, goddess of the moon; a female figure, Androkles, Herakles, the wife and son of Theodosius and the goddess Athena. The friezes that are seen today are copies, and the originals are displayed in Ephesus Museum.

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