The Stadion

It was situated on the Northwestern foothills of Mount Pion (Panayır Dağı) on the path leading to Seljuk from from the Koresos gate of Ephesus. When first constructed there was seating on the southern hillside, a running course in front and a Hellenistic apse on its western side. The Roman Stadium was constructed by C. Stertinius Orpex, a freed slave, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) and it was then transformed into a monumental structure with aid from a foundation. While the Stadium was being turned into a monumental structure, a very large chamber, a vaulted infrastructure and seating benches on the southern side. There were interior stairs leading to this seating area. The high northern front, constructed of ashlar masonry, had a monumental appearance. The arched Gates of the magnificent western front led to the tunnels beneath the seating benches. Beside the running course there were bossed orthostatic panels and the track had a floor of pressed earth and was approximately 180 m. long and the stadium could hold 30.000-people. İt is not certainly known how the elliptical area (sphendone=pit area) leading to the corner in the east was used during its first phase. Athletics, chariot races and gladiatorial games were held in Stadium. After the earthquake of 262 A.D., even though the southern gate and the western side were repaired, it is thought that the Stadium was greatly damaged after the eartquakes of 356 and 366. In the 5th century a church on the western end of the northern tunnel was added, only the entrance atrium was exposed in excavations and graveyard was created around this church. This late phase of use continue at least until the 12th century.