"Temple of Artemis" Artemis Temple Tip by apbeaches

Artemis Temple, Ephesus: 12 reviews and 25 photos


Artemis was a Greek goddess, the virginal huntress and twin of Apollo, who supplanted the Titan Selene as goddess of the Moon. Of the Olympian goddesses who inherited aspects of the Great goddess of Crete, Athene was more honored than Artemis at Athens. At Ephesus, a goddess whom the Greeks associated with Artemis was passionately venerated in an archaic, certainly pre-Hellenic.

The temple was described as 377 feet long and 180 feet wide, made almost entirely of marble, making its area about three times as large as the Parthenon. The temple's cella was enclosed in colonnades of 127 Ionic columns, each 18 meters (60 feet) in height. The Temple of Artemis housed many fine works of art. Sculptures by renowned Greek sculptors Polyclitus, Pheidias, Cresilas, and Phradmon adorned the temple, as well as paintings and gilded columns of gold and silver. The sculptors often competed at creating the finest sculpture. Many of these sculptures were of Amazons, who were said to have founded the city of Ephesus.

The temple of Artemis at Ephesus was destroyed on July 21, 356 BCE in an act of arson committed by Herostratus. According to the story, his motivation was fame at any cost, thus the term herostratic fame. A man was found to plan the burning of the temple of Ephesian Diana so that through the destruction of this most beautiful building his name might be spread through the whole world. The Ephesians, outraged, announced that Herostratus' name never be recorded.
That very same night, Alexander the Great was born. Plutarch remarked that Artemis was too preoccupied with Alexander's delivery to save her burning temple. Alexander later offered to pay for the temple's rebuilding, but the Ephesians refused. Eventually, the temple was restored after Alexander's death, in 323 BCE. After sixty years of searching, the site of a the temple was rediscoved in 1869 by an expedition sponsored by the British Museum led by John Turtle Wood

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  • Written Jul 17, 2008
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