House of Love in Ancient Ephesus
Next to Latrina, the house with figured mosaic floors has long been known as the House of Love. It got this name because of the architrave found here with the inscription “Paidiskeion” (Growing Home or Love House). Actually, the inscribed piece was used here for the second time. This proves the existence of such a structure in the immediate vicinity. Although it is claimed that this building was interpreted incorrectly as the “House of Love“, it seems possible due to the subjects depicted in the mosaics that this house, which is in the most central place of the city, was used for this purpose.
The house, located at the corner of the intersection of two streets and directly opposite the library, was built during the reigns of Emperor Trajan–Hadrianus (AD 98-136) and later repaired. It has two entrances from Marble Street and Curette Street. Although it is understood that the irregularly planned structure was two-story, only the first floor remained.
The walls are frescoed and the floors of some rooms and pools are covered with mosaics. On the floor of a room in the east, there are colorful mosaics symbolizing the four seasons. This hall is probably the dining room called the Triclinium. There is a bathroom right next to it. To the west of the great hall, an elliptical pool with a mosaic floor is interesting. Some new walls were built in the late period to the south of this pool, which should have been open, and the plan of the courtyard was changed.
In the middle of the mosaic, three women drinking and a standing maid, a mouse, and cat figures on the floor are made with fine workmanship. This motif shows that the women of Ephesus were also fond of their taste. Maybe that’s why the building should be a house of love. There is a water well on the Curetes Street side (south) of the house. The statue of God Bes with a large phallus made of terracotta, exhibited in the Ephesus Museum, was removed from this well.
Daily life in Ephesus – About Ephesus