13 Casson reports that the “lofty rectangular chamber” was 55 feet across and 36 feet in length. The roof was probably flat with an oculus (an opening, as in the Roman Pantheon). The cavity between the inner and outer walls helped protect parchments and papyri from mildew and pests. Narrow walkways and stairs in this cavity lead to the upper level. ORNAMENTATION The vaulting, two-story gallery in Ephesus was lavishly decorated with door ornaments and carvings. The floors and walls were faced with colored marble. Low Ionian pillars supported reading tables. The interior of the library was burned during a Goth invasion in A.D. 262, and in the tenth century, an earthquake brought down the facade. The building we see today was carefully restored by the Austrian Archaeological Institute. SIGNS TO THE BROTHEL OF EPHESUS Directly across the courtyard from the Library of Celsus was the Ephesus town brothel. Engravings in the marble street pavement show the way. The left foot and the woman’s figure indicate that the brothel is on the left side of the road. THE GREAT THEATER AT EPHESUS The Ephesus Library was not the only cultural architecture in the a¨uent Ephesus. In fact, well before the Library of Celsus was built, the grand Hellenistic amphitheater was carved into the side of an Ephesian hill centuries before the birth of Christ. In the Holy Bible, this theater is mentioned in conjunction with the teachings and letters of Paul the Apostle, who had been born in present-day Turkey and lived in Ephesus from around 52 to 55. The Book of Ephesians is part of the Holy Bible’s New Testament. HOUSES OF THE RICH Ongoing archeology at Ephesus has revealed a series of terrace houses that pique the imagination of what life might have been like in an ancient Roman city. Researchers have uncovered intricate paintings and mosaics as well as more modern comforts such as indoor toilets. EPHESUS Ephesus was located east of Athens, across the Aegean Sea, in an area of Asia Minor known as Ionia — home of the Greek Ionic column. Well before the fourth century Byzantine architecture from present-day Istanbul, the coastal town of Ephesus was “laid out on orderly lines by Lysimachus soon after 300 B.C.” Ward-Perkins tells us — more Hellenistic than Byzantine. European archeologists and explorers of the 19th century rediscovered many of the ancient ruins. The Temple of Artemis had been destroyed and pillaged before English explorers arrived to take pieces back to the British Museum in London. Austrians excavated other Ephesian ruins, taking many of the original pieces of art and architecture to the Ephesos Museum in Vienna, Austria. Today Ephesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great tourist destination, although pieces of the ancient city remain showcased in the museums of European cities. Jackie Craven is a widely-published and award-winning arts writer and poet with credits spanning both digital and print. She covered architecture, literature and the visual arts for ThoughtCo (formerly About Education) for 20 years. ThoughtCo is a premier reference site focusing on expert-created education content. They are one of the top-10 information sites in the world as rated by comScore, a leading Internet measurement company.