A stroll down the marble-coated Curetes Way provides myriad photo opportunities; at the bottom are the pillared facade of the Library of Celsus and, offering incredible insight into the daily lives of the city’s elite, the Terraced Houses complex.
The remarkably preserved ruins were rediscovered in the late 1800s and excavations have been going on for nearly a century. The site is a pleasure to explore: marble-paved streets with grooves made by chariot wheels lead past partially reconstructed buildings and monuments.
The library is near Marble Avenue’s intersection with the
Curetes Street, a still-impressive thoroughfare named for the college of priests
once located there. At this corner is a large house believed to have been a
brothel. Look for the floor mosaics of four women representing the four seasons.
1. The street derived its name from the Curetes (priests), who guarded the sacred fire of the hestia (hearth) in the prytaneion.
2. The Curetes were a college of priests attached to the service of Artemis.
3. Many inscriptions and reliefs may be seen along the street.
a) Inscription bearing name of Emperor Diocletian ( A .D . 284–305), who gave severe persecution to Christians and burned copies of the Bible.
b) Inscription bearing name of Emperor Constantine ( A . D. 306–337).
c) Caduceus, the staff of Hermes or Mercury, the symbol of physicians.
(1) The serpent was commonly associated with Asklepios.
(2) The city of Pergamum had a marvelous temple of Asklepios.
d) A relief representing Nike, the goddess of victory, with a wreath in her left hand and a spike in the right.