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What is written on the Library of Celsus and is it still readable easily for a modern average Greek?
Well, there’s a whole bunch of writing on the Library. In order of size:
- The four statues: ΣΟΦΙΑ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ, ΑΡΕΤΗ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ, ΕΝΝΟΙΑ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ, ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΗ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ. “Wisdom of Celsus, Virtue of Celsus, Meaning of Celsus, Science [Knowledge] of Celsus”. False friend in “Science”, but no problem.
- The facade: I actually got this from a Google Books publication of the inscription (“����������� ὕ�����” – ��������� Google —Année Épigraphique 1968), it is faded (and reconstructed—the stuff in brackets was not legible in 1968, and the library was reconstructed in the 70s).
Τι. Ἰού[λιον Πολεμαιανὸν] ὕπατον ἀνθύπατον Ἀσίας Τι. Ἰούλιος Ἀκύλας ὁ υἱὸς κ[α]τεσκεύασεν τὴν βιβλιοθήκην [ἀπα]ρτ[ισάντ]ων τῶν Ἀκύλα κ[λη]ρ[ονόμων καθιερώσα]ντος Τι. Κλαυδίου Ἀριστίωνος Γ Ἀσιάρχου
Haven’t sighted a translation, but don’t really need to:
Tiberius Julius Polemaeanus, consul, proconsul of Asia: Tiberius Julius Aquila his son built the library, which Aquila’s heirs completed, and Tiberius Claudius Aristion three-times Asiarch dedicated.
Two things throw an educated Modern Greek speaker like me: the use of ἀπαρτίζω to mean “complete”; the word has been reborrowed into Modern Greek, but there it only means “constitute”; and the use of Γ to mean “three times” instead of “the third”.
Then there’s the more detailed inscription in the middle; see Library of Celsus Ephesus. With no spaces between the words, it’s harder to read, but it’s mostly understandable. I beg you not to ask me to do a line by line of it.