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Turkey, Ephesos, Fašade of the Celsus library, in Ephesus, near Selšuk, west Turkey.
Turkey, Ephesos, Fašade of the Celsus library, in Ephesus, near Selšuk, west Turkey.

The Library of Celsus is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selšuk, Turkey. The building was commissioned in the 110s A.D. by a consul, Gaius Julius Aquila, as a funerary monument for his father, former proconsul of Asia Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, and completed during the reign of Hadrian, sometime after Aquila's death. The library is considered an architectural marvel, and is one of the only remaining examples of a library from the Roman Empire. The Library of Celsus was the third-largest library in the Roman world behind only Alexandria and Pergamum, believed to have held around twelve thousand scrolls. Celsus is buried in a crypt beneath the library in a decorated marble sarcophagus. The interior measured roughly 180 square metres (2,000 square feet). The interior of the library and its contents were destroyed in a fire that resulted either from an earthquake or a Gothic invasion in 262 C.E., and the fašade by an earthquake in the tenth or eleventh century. It lay in ruins for centuries until the fašade was re-erected by archaeologists between 1970 and 1978.

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Benh LIEU SONG, 21 June 2010
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