The Fountain of Traianus

This is one of the three most magnificent of Ephesus. It was erected to honor the Emperor Traianus in 114 A.D. and was 9.50 m. high and it continued the tradition of the theatre scene (skaenae frons) with its two storey columned front decorated with various statues. It is understood from the frieze and inscription on the architrave of the lower level that this fountain was constructed by Tiberus Claudius Aristion and was dedicated to Emperor Traianus. The two storey columned front of the Fountain of Traianus became more magnificent with the addition of two wings facing the facade on either side. A pool 11.90 m. long and 5.40 m. wide was constructed in front of the fountain between these two wings. In the middle section of the facade, a two storey niche was constructed. In the middle niche, there is a statue of Emperor Traianus twice life-size. The architrave has on its upper face the insitu carved feet remaining from original marble statue of Emperor Traianus. The sqhere under Emperor Traianus’ foot symbolizes the world and emphasizes world domination aspired to by Roman goverment. The pool was filled with water that came from the pipes beneath the plinth. Some of the statues from here are in the British Museum, London others are in the Museum of Ephesus. There are composite capitals on the columns on the lower pedestals in front the fountain. There were aediculas (small niches) between each of the columns on the sides. The columns on the upper level had octagonal pedestals and Corinthian capitals. Wall supports were placed on the rare facede of the structure according with the columns in front. The columns of the mid-section are wider on the (small niche) in the middle is upper level and carry entablatures with pediments. The aedicula emphasized by a triangular pediment, horizantal volutes on the wings and corners of the rear facade, and the curved pediments in front of the wings facing the street. The niches in front of the fountain were decorated with statues of Aphrodite, Dionysus, a young hunter figure which symbolizes the hunter figure which symbolizes the founder of the city, Androklos, Emperor Nerva, some women(portrait or with garments) and a reclining Satyr. This fountain was partially reconstructed after being heavily damaged by seismic activity, probably in the earthquake of 362 A.D. Other architectural parts of the fountain are displayed inside the pool and in front of it. In order to provide an indication of the visual quality of this fountain, it was partially rebuilt with concrete on a smaller scale than the original.