Friday, 13 September 2013

Ephesus Museum, Vienna

A little less than a month ago, we visited the ancient ruins of Ephesus in Turkey.  At Ephesus, we soon learned that major players in the history of excavation there were the Austrians.  And still are.

While we were there, our attention was drawn to the statues that stood by the entrance to the Library of Celsus.  On the ground floor section of the facade, behind the columns, on the left hand side, was a statue of Sophia, deemed to be the personification of wisdom.  Given our eldest daughter's name is Sophie,  we took a special interest in her.  We learned that the statue we saw of Sophia was actually a copy.  The original was now in a museum in Vienna.  So, we resolved to find the original when we would eventually reach that city.

So, today we found the Ephesus Museum.  And we found the original Ephesus Sophia.  I say 'Ephesus Sophia' because, in fact, she is a copy of a Greek original from the 3rd century BC.  At Ephesus today, to Sophia's left, is a copy of the original Arete (personification of virtue).  She also stands today in the Ephesus Museum in Vienna, and is herself a copy of a Greek original from 170-150 BC.  (The Library of Celsus was completed at Ephesus between 113 and 117 AD.)

When we visited the Vatican Museum in Rome many weeks ago, we saw a statue of Diana, goddess of fertility.  We were told the original Diana was in Ephesus.  When we subsequently toured Ephesus, Diana was nowhere to be seen.  However, we found her here in Vienna.  Mystery solved.  But is the mystery really solved?  The Vatican Diana has clear physical differences to the one from Ephesus.

The original statues of Sophia and Arete, taken from the Library of Celsus at Ephesus
My photo of the copy of Sophia that now stands outside the Library of Celsus.
This piece was taken from the top of the facade of the Library of Celsus.
A model of the Library of Celsus:  Sophia is at bottom left.  Arete is first statue to her left.
A centaur (half human, half horse) fighting with Hercules: unearthed by the Austrians at Ephesus
A street game: notice the three rows of 12 circles with a full rosette in centre & two half rosettes at either side.  It was played on the ground at Ephesus.  Notice the hole at the end to drain away rainwater.
An athlete
The original Diana, taken from Ephesus
My photo of Diana in the Vatican Museum in Rome

No comments:

Post a Comment