"DIDYMA – THE FUTURE IS REVEALED" Top 5 Page for this destination Didyma by mtncorg

Didyma Travel Guide: 30 reviews and 91 photos

One of the most sacred sites in ancient Anatolia, Didyma’s Temple of Apollo has been dated back to at least the end of the 8th Century BC, though it may be much older than that. Within the temple was the second most renowned oracle – next to Delphi – of the Hellenistic world. Th age of the oracle predates even the Greek colonization of Ionia. The temple and the oracle was administered by the Branchids, a priestly clan said to have been descended from Branchus a youth whom Apollo loved. In 494 BC the original temple was destroyed by Darius I of Persia whose army looted the vast treasury and carried away the large cult statue of Apollo to Ectbana. The Branchids were exiled to Sogdiana – NE Iran. While the Persians also destroyed the Greek temples at Ephesus and Delphi, those were quickly rebuilt. Didyma had to wait for Alexander the Great who had the oracle reconsecrated in 334 BC after a successful siege in nearby Miletus. He put the city of Miletus in charge of administering the temple which they did for the next 600 years. Reconstruction continued through the 3rd and 2nd Centuries BC and even during the roman period, though the temple was never completed. If it had been, the temple would have been the largest in the ancient world. Even as it is, it ranks as the third largest after the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus and the Temple of Hera on Samos. Roman Emperor Diocletian received oracular advice to begin persecuting Christians in 303 CE. This advice turned out to be the wrong answer in the long run. Diocletian’s successor Constantine brought Christianity to the forefront of the newly reunited Roman world. He then had the oracle closed and the priests executed. A church was built inside the temple in the 5th Century. Both the temple and the church were collapsed by a huge earthquake in the 15th Century.

  • Last visit to Didyma: May 2012
  • Intro Updated May 29, 2012
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