Domitian Square

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The Domitian square is a partially excavated area near the Temple of Domitian, from which the square takes its name. From the center of the Square, visitors can easily see the Memmius Monument and the Pollio Fountain which flank either side.

The square would have been a busy area and a center of commerce in ancient times. The crowded corner leads to important temples, agora and administration buildings as well as to meeting places. Some columns have been unearthed and are believed to have belonged to the buildings surrounding the area.

On the Agora side of the square much of the excavation has been completed. Several small vaulted buildings that would have been used as shops are clearly visible. Ephesus has a higher volume of shops than most Roman cities, which gives archaeologists evidence of the city’s wealth and vast oversea trade.  The square also houses a two story building made of large squared calcareous stone blocks. The second story of the building opens up onto the Agora. Archeologists have not yet discovered the purpose of this building.

On the road from the Prythaneion to Domitian Square visitors will find a number of pedestals adorned with figures of gods and goddesses. Two of the most well-known figures that can be seen are the god Hermes, herald of the gods and protector of herds, and Nike, the winged goddess of victory. God Hermes holds the horns of a ram with one hand and a caduceus (a symbol of his) with the other. Nike has her wings spread with a knitted crown of olive leaves which symbolizing victory in one hand and a palm tree branch, symbolizing the fruits of victory in her other hand. The purpose of these pedestals and figures along the road is not known yet.

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