Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates

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The Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates is a triumphal arch located at the end of Curetes Street in the Celsus Library Court. It was built in 40 A.D by the slaves Mazeus and Mythridates. They built this gate in honor of the emperor Augustus who gave them both their freedom and sent them to Ephesus to serve as officers in charge of maintaining the properties belonging to the Roman Empire.

The side of the Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates that faces the Celsus Library is made entirely of black marble. The opposite side of the gate is made entirely of white marble. The passages of the gate are vaulted and topped with cassettes. Niches on the lateral walls feature a three-fascia architrave, an ivy-embellished frieze and a serrated cornice. A three-sectioned, richly decorated Attic is supported by the strong pilasters of three arched passages. The center passage of the gate was engineered recessed to add depth to the architectural appearance. The stylization of the center passage combined with the ornamented Attic give the gate the appearance of being “crowned”. An inscription with bronze inlaid letters is still visible on one side of the gate. The Latin has been partially translated as stating:

“From the Emperor Caesar Augustus, the son of the god, the greatest of the priests, who was consul twelve and tribune twenty times; and the wife of August Livia; the son of Lucus, Marc Agrippa who was consul three times, Emperor, and tribune six times; and the daughter of Julio Caesar Augustus, Mazeus and Mythridates to their master and the people.”

The square front of the gate would have been used as an auditorium. The steps of the Celsus Library would have served as seats for any spectators who came to listen to lectures. The gate is quite majestic and widely accepted as one of the most pleasant examples of the restorations launched at Ephesus.

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