Library of Hadrian

The Library of Hadrian. Part of the interior peristyle with the (later) remains of the "tetraconch" building. View from the southeast. In the left foreground is the southeastern corner of the interior peristyle. Originally the columns of the peristyle were made of marble imported from Phrygia (modern Turkey), but those columns were later removed. The peristyle seems to have been restored in the the 5th century A.D., and the columns whose base you see in the photo were added at that time. Also probably dating to the same time is the original phase of the unusually shaped "tetraconch" building on the center of the peristyle (that is, right on top of the Hadrianic pool). The original function of the tetraconch building is a matter of debate (church? meeting place for political assemblies? lecture hall?). It was later torn down and at least 2 large churches were built above it in successive phases. The archaeology and architectural history of the Library of Hadrian is extremely complicated!