"State Agora and Basilica" Top 5 Page for this destination Upper Agora and Basilica Tip by nicolaitan
Upper Agora and Basilica, Ephesus: 13 reviews and 29 photos
The concept of agora, or open assembly place, dates to the ancient Greeks and was part of the original city plan composed in the 3rd C BC during Hellenistic control of Ephesus. Excavations reveal that this area was originally a cemetery in the 6th C BC but became a center for governmental discussions during the Greek period. It was rebuilt in the 1st C during the reigns of Augustus and Claudius. Only the foundations of a central temple remain which may have been for Isis or Augustus according to historians. The temple was dismantled in the 4th C by Theodosius who banned pagan worship and endorsed Christianity as the state religion. The statues depicting the legend of Odysseus and Polyphemus from this temple are now a highlight of the Selcuk Museum.
The large plot measured up to 170 x 70 yards, surrounded by covered public walkways called stoas in which commerce was conducted - stores and shops, art displays. etc. - but the State Agora was commerce free and used only for business and governmental discussions and meetings.
On the north border of the State Agora was the Basilica, the center for commercial business and legal activities. Originally covered with a wooden roof, today the impressive columns which supported it are all that remain. The columns are of different styles (image 5) reflecting renovations over the centuries until the building was demolished by a 4th C earthquake. Statues of several emperors as well as Livia wife of Augustus were discovered here, now also in the Selcuk Museum. Today the floor of the Basilica is the main walkway from the entrance to the Curetes Way filled with tourists.
Directions: in front of Odeon-Bouleuterion
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