The ruins of the Prytaneion. Ephesus. Turkey. Originally dating from the 3rd century BC, the building was remodelled over time and attained it final form during the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus. It consisted of a large central square surrounded by a portico of Ionic columns and houses of the priests whose names are carved into the columns. The city sacred fire was continually burning within its walls and the building functioned as a place to host civic and religious dignitaries and house important events, receptions and banquets.