The Ephesos Museum in Vienna– the Friezes and Temple front


This shot looks down the wing of the museum from the Temple front back towards the bronze statue of the athlete and gives you some sense of the size of the hall, and the length of the friezes. These remains were transported from Ephesus to Vienna between 1878 and 1906. Our guide stressed it was done legally and with permission of the government at that time (Sultan Abdul Hamid in this case). Whether it was ethical is another matter. But in any case, the Austrians have been doing archeological work at Ephesos ever sense, including now (see the slope house blog posts from June on this blog).

Cleopatra’s half-sister Arsinoe IV who lost the battle to be the ruler of Egypt moved to Ephesos, and apparently was buried there. Here is a scale model of her tomb. ep10 She was murdered in 41 B.C. despite having been given sanctuary by Caesar at the Temple of Artemis, on the orders of Marc Antony, then Cleopatra’s lover. She was in fact murdered on the temple steps. So much for sanctuary.

The gigantic frieze which you are about to see shots of is the so-called Parthian monument, and depicts battle scenes, some mythological in character. But first we will look at the reassembled pieces of part of the top of the Celsus library.

The frieze is very long indeed and interesting in various ways. ep15ep16ep17ep19ep20ep21ep23

Here we see the traditional garlands put around the bulls neck before they are led off to be sacrificed.

Two of the more interesting parts of the display are the two friezes which show angels, in the first case leading animals to slaughter, in the second case guarding or guiding a charioteer.

Finally we also have this reassembled small entrance to a temple…