The Monument of Memmius

In 3rd quarter of the first century B.C. a monument of honor was constructed north of Domitian Square, at the north corner of Kuretes Street. It is one of the few architectural monuments dating from the Late Hellenistic Period that has survived to the present day at Ephesus. In this monument discovered in 1959/60, an inscription was found on the first level on an architrave which recorded the name Memmius in both Greek and Latin. The monument was erected in honor of C. Memmius, the nephew of the Roman dictator Sulla, by Gaius Memmius, who was one the prominent people of the city. Regarding the architectural finds made during these excavations, it was found that there was a structure above the pedestal, which had circular niches facing east, south and west. The arches of niches were supported by Caryatids, which carried capitals in the form of the baskets. The northern side which faces the hillside was probably not decorated. From the architectural finds, the Memmius Monument of Honor had a lower niched layer and ended with an upper Attica layer, decoration extending half a storey in height. From the recent researches it is stated many architectural pieces also belonged to this structure and it was understood that this structure had the same plan as traditional tower-shaped Hellenistic tombs and monuments. According to the plan there was an upper level facing in three directions, supported by columns. It is thought that the reliefs, which are embedded in the appropriate spaces between the columns on the walls of the Cella (The inner chamber of a temple), concerned the prominent people of the Memmius’ relations depicted in a personalized manner. It is possible that the oval structure, adorned with garlands and bull capitals, and the marble tile pieces, which are displayed in proximity to this monument of honor, also belonged to this structure.