THE PRYTHANEION (Ephesus)
An important management center for the religious and ceremonial tasks in the city is named as the Prythaneion. Except the Artemis temple all the other sacred matters are controlled and managed by this authority.
The building was located to the west of the Basilica. It was surrounded by the other buildings and the marble road in the front. It had a courtyard in the front and a big ceremony hall at the back. There were eight large columns in the front, two of which is still standing today. On the corners of the building there existed columns and two of those had heart shaped sections. These sections contained the immortal fire dedicated to the heart of goddess Hestia.
The managers of the building came from the elite families of the city. Their main duty was to keep this fire on forever. Also they had to take care of the daily sacrifices to the names of different gods and goddesses. They usually covered all the expenses for the sacrificial ceremonies.
Until the Roman period Curettes (priests of Artemis temple) maintained a special category involving with only the affairs of the Artemis temple. After Emperor Augustus they took a place in the Prythaneion.
The building collapsed in the 4th century A.D. during a strong earthquake and has never been repaired.
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