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Library of Celsus

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Kaylee Ma, Cheryl Fok Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Sep 25, 2023 08:43 AM History
The Library of Celsus is a library and monumental tomb in Ephesus which was constructed ca. 110-120 CE.

37.9393127, 27.3408057

tomb, architectural complex


The Library of Celsus, constructed ca. 110-120 CE, was both a library and a monumental tomb for Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, a Roman senator and consul who also served as proconsul of Asia under Trajan. Celsus’ son Tiberius Julius Aquila, also a Roman consul, commissioned the building, and his heirs completed it. The deceased was buried in a marble sarcophagus within a vaulted chamber, which remains on-site but is not open to the public. This dual function is particularly significant as burial within the limits of a Roman city was a rare honor that signified the deceased’s social status. Fire in the wake of an earthquake destroyed most of the building in 262 CE, and around 400 CE the remaining facade was repurposed into a nymphaeum; this was destroyed later in the 10th or 11th century CE.

The library was first excavated in 1904 under the supervision of Joseph Keil. Archaeologists in the 1970s later reconstructed the library's facade.

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Kaylee Ma, Cheryl Fok, Jeffrey Becker, and Thomas Landvatter, 'Library of Celsus: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2023 <> [accessed: 26 September 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 165409128 (Library of Celsus) |author=Ma, K., C. Fok |accessdate=September 26, 2023 1:47 am |publisher=Pleiades}}