"Selcuk Museum - Artemis Room" Top 5 Page for this destination Ephesus Museum Tip by nicolaitan

Ephesus Museum, Selcuk: 24 reviews and 64 photos

  Beautiful Artemis
by nicolaitan
  • Beautiful Artemis - Selcuk
      Beautiful Artemis
    by nicolaitan
  • Great Artemis - Selcuk
      Great Artemis
    by nicolaitan

Probably the most prized exhibits of the Selcuk Museum are the two statues of Artemis, the goddess of fertility and the most revered god throughout Lydian, Greek, and Roman rule. She was involved with marriage, childbirth, and child care in the Ephesus interpretation, quite different from the Greek goddess of the same name. It is believed that her Greek origin was merged gradually with that of the mother goddess, Cybele. With the introduction of Christianity, cult worship probably declined somewhat but there is anecdotal evidence that she was revered until and even after the abolition of pagan worship by Theodosius in the 4th Century.

The Great Artemis ( image 2 )i s dated to the first century and over 3 meters tall. The Beautiful Artemis ( image 1 ) dates from perhaps the second century and appearsconsiderably more delicate and exquisite, perhaps because it is in better shape. Even the eyeballs remain on the Beautiful Artemis. Both feature lions grasping the arms and dress with lions and bulls. The bee is also featured, the emblem of the city of Ephesus. On this second statue, the goddess is accompanied by two animals probably royal cats.
Of most interest are the large number of protuberances on the lower chest. Originally these were felt to represent multiple breasts but other scholars suggest that they represent bull testicles as bulls were sacrificed to Artemis on feast days. Both these theories have been thrown into doubt by the recent discovery of a similar device made with jewels considerably older than both the statues and the peak of devotion. It was found in an area far removed from the temples. Therefore, these may simply represent a form of jewelry and decoration used by citizens for dressware.

Address: Atatürk Mah. U?ur Mumcu sevgi yolu
Directions: city center of Selcuk
Phone: +90 232 892 6011
Website: http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/ephesusmuseum.htm

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 7, 2008
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