A little less than a month ago, we visited the ancient ruins of Ephesus in Turkey. At Ephesus, we soon learned that major players in the history of excavation there were the Austrians. And still are.
While we were there, our attention was drawn to the statues that stood by the entrance to the Library of Celsus. On the ground floor section of the facade, behind the columns, on the left hand side, was a statue of Sophia, deemed to be the personification of wisdom. Given our eldest daughter's name is Sophie, we took a special interest in her. We learned that the statue we saw of Sophia was actually a copy. The original was now in a museum in Vienna. So, we resolved to find the original when we would eventually reach that city.
So, today we found the Ephesus Museum. And we found the original Ephesus Sophia. I say 'Ephesus Sophia' because, in fact, she is a copy of a Greek original from the 3rd century BC. At Ephesus today, to Sophia's left, is a copy of the original Arete (personification of virtue). She also stands today in the Ephesus Museum in Vienna, and is herself a copy of a Greek original from 170-150 BC. (The Library of Celsus was completed at Ephesus between 113 and 117 AD.)
When we visited the Vatican Museum in Rome many weeks ago, we saw a statue of Diana, goddess of fertility. We were told the original Diana was in Ephesus. When we subsequently toured Ephesus, Diana was nowhere to be seen. However, we found her here in Vienna. Mystery solved. But is the mystery really solved? The Vatican Diana has clear physical differences to the one from Ephesus.
The original statues of Sophia and Arete, taken from the Library of Celsus at Ephesus