The Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates in Ephesus

The Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates located between the Agora and the Celsus library has three passages like a Roman triumphal arch. Wide and strong pilasters between The passages support the arch and the frieze which is on top of the arch.

The Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates
The Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates

This picture shows one of the two inscriptions inscribed in Greek and Latin on the marble between the south of the Agora and the Library. These tablets were the front part of a colossal portal erected by two slaves in order to render their indebtedness to Emperor Augustus, Empress Liviae, and their daughter Julia and son-in-law Agruppa, who had forgiven them and bestowed their freedom upon them. Let us pass through the relics of this portal, 16 m. in height, which has four niches. Parts above these inscriptions were embellished with bronze and golden covers.

The Celsus Library and Augustus Gate
The Celsus Library and Augustus Gate

Architectural Features of the Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates

The frieze consists of three sections and is richly decorated. The attic walls are found on top of the frieze. The passage in the middle was built recessed to give depth to the structure. Also, together with the walls of the attic. it makes the structure look “crowned”.

There are two apsidal niches in each side passage. “Whoever urinates here will be tried in court is written in the second niche in the eastern passage. The main inscription of the gate is seen on the attics located above the side passages.

Inscriptions on the Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates
Inscriptions on the Gate

The inscription on the western states:

Im (peratori) Caesari Divi f(ilio) Augusto pontifici maximo co(n)s (uli) XI. tribunic (ia) potest (ate) XX et Liviae Caesaris Augsti Mazeus et.

The inscription on the east states:

M. Agrippae L(ucii) f(ilio) co(n)s (uli) tert(ium) imb(eratori) tribunic(ia) potest(ate) VI et luliae Caesaris Augusti fil(iae) Mithridates patronis.

Latin to English Translate of the Inscriptions

The inscription is in Latin. The bronze letters were mounted on the attics. In the second line of the inscription on the eastern attic, “imp” was spelled as “imb” by mistake. The inscription states verbatim: To Emperor Caesar, Augustus, son of a god, the high priest, twelve times consul, twenty times tribune, and Livia, wife of Caesar Augustus, to Marc Agrippa, son of Lucius, three times consul, emperor, six times tribune and daughter of Julio Caesar Augustus, our patrons Mazeus and Mithridates (dedicate this arch).

The Gate of Mazeus and Mithridates ephesus

Who were Mazeus and Mithridates?

Mazeus and Mithridates were slaves of Emperor Augustus and his family.

When they were emancipated, after receiving permission from Emperor Augustus, they built this gate either in 4 or 3 B.C. and dedicated it to Augustus, his wife Livia, his daughter Julia and his son-in-law Agrippa.

The restoration of Ephesus Ancient City is still going on. During excavations, it was discovered that the wide drainage system from Curetes Street passed under this gate.

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