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Temple of Artemis

Temple of Artemis

Overview
The Temple of Artemis , also known less precisely as the Temple of Diana
Diana (mythology)
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt and moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy...

, was a Greek temple
Greek temple
Greek temples were structures built to house deity statues within Greek sanctuaries in Greek paganism. The temples themselves did usually not directly serve a cult purpose, since the sacrifices and rituals dedicated to the respective deity took place outside them...

 dedicated to a goddess Greeks identified as Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

 and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Seven Wonders of the World refers to remarkable constructions of classical antiquity listed by various authors in guidebooks popular among the ancient Hellenic tourists, particularly in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC...

. It was situated at Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era...

 (near the modern town of Selçuk
Selçuk
Selçuk is the central town of Selçuk district, İzmir Province in Turkey, 2 km northeast of Ephesus.Its original Greek name, Agios Theológos referred to John the Theologian. Under the Ottoman Empire, it was known as Ayasoluk...

 in present-day Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

), and was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401. Only foundations and sculptural fragments of the latest of the temples at the site remain.

The first sanctuary (temenos
Temenos
Temenos is a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain, especially to kings and chiefs, or a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, a sanctuary, holy grove or holy precinct: The Pythian race-course is called a temenos, the sacred valley of the Nile is the ...

) antedated the Ionic immigration by many years, and dates to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

.
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Encyclopedia
The Temple of Artemis , also known less precisely as the Temple of Diana
Diana (mythology)
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt and moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy...

, was a Greek temple
Greek temple
Greek temples were structures built to house deity statues within Greek sanctuaries in Greek paganism. The temples themselves did usually not directly serve a cult purpose, since the sacrifices and rituals dedicated to the respective deity took place outside them...

 dedicated to a goddess Greeks identified as Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

 and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Seven Wonders of the World refers to remarkable constructions of classical antiquity listed by various authors in guidebooks popular among the ancient Hellenic tourists, particularly in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC...

. It was situated at Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era...

 (near the modern town of Selçuk
Selçuk
Selçuk is the central town of Selçuk district, İzmir Province in Turkey, 2 km northeast of Ephesus.Its original Greek name, Agios Theológos referred to John the Theologian. Under the Ottoman Empire, it was known as Ayasoluk...

 in present-day Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

), and was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401. Only foundations and sculptural fragments of the latest of the temples at the site remain.

The first sanctuary (temenos
Temenos
Temenos is a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain, especially to kings and chiefs, or a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, a sanctuary, holy grove or holy precinct: The Pythian race-course is called a temenos, the sacred valley of the Nile is the ...

) antedated the Ionic immigration by many years, and dates to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. Callimachus
Callimachus
Callimachus was a native of the Greek colony of Cyrene, Libya. He was a noted poet, critic and scholar at the Library of Alexandria and enjoyed the patronage of the Egyptian–Greek Pharaohs Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Ptolemy III Euergetes...

, in his Hymn to Artemis, attributed it to the Amazons
Amazons
The Amazons are a nation of all-female warriors in Greek mythology and Classical antiquity. Herodotus placed them in a region bordering Scythia in Sarmatia...

. In the 7th century the old temple was destroyed by a flood. Its reconstruction began around 550 BC, under the Cretan architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 Chersiphron
Chersiphron
Chersiphron , an architect of Knossos in Crete, was the builder of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, on the Ionian coast. The temple had been begun about 600 BC, and was completed by other architects. Chersiphron and his son Metagenes were co-authors of its building...

 and his son Metagenes
Metagenes
Metagenes son of the Cretan architect Chersiphron, also was an architect. He was co-architect, along with his father, of the construction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World....

, at the expense of Croesus
Croesus
Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC until his defeat by the Persians. The fall of Croesus made a profound impact on the Hellenes, providing a fixed point in their calendar. "By the fifth century at least," J.A.S...

 of Lydia
Lydia
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian....

: the project took 10 years to complete, only to be destroyed in an act of arson by a young arsonist seeking fame named Herostratus
Herostratus
Herostratus was a young man and arsonist; seeking notoriety, he burned down the Temple of Artemis in ancient Greece.-Occurrence:On July 21, 356 BC, Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in what is now Turkey...

. It was later rebuilt.

Antipater of Sidon
Antipater of Sidon
Antipater of Sidon , Antipatros or Antipatros Sidonios in the Anthologies, was a Greek poet in the second half of the 2nd century BC....

, who compiled the list of the Seven Wonders, describes the finished temple:
I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

 on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was made by the Greek sculptor Phidias, circa 432 BC on the site where it was erected in the Temple of Zeus, Olympia, Greece. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.-Description:...

, and the hanging gardens
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were considered to be one of the greatest Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one of the Wonders which may in fact have been legendary. They were purportedly built in the ancient city-state of Babylon, near present-day Al Hillah, Babil, in Iraq...

, and the colossus of the Sun
Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes' victory over the ruler of...

, and the huge labour of the high pyramids
Egyptian pyramids
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt.There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found...

, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, "Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand".



Location and history


The Temple of Artemis was located near the ancient city of Ephesus, about 50 km south from the modern port city of İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

, in Turkey. Today the site lies on the edge of the modern town of Selçuk
Selçuk
Selçuk is the central town of Selçuk district, İzmir Province in Turkey, 2 km northeast of Ephesus.Its original Greek name, Agios Theológos referred to John the Theologian. Under the Ottoman Empire, it was known as Ayasoluk...

.

Earliest phase


The sacred site (temenos
Temenos
Temenos is a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain, especially to kings and chiefs, or a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, a sanctuary, holy grove or holy precinct: The Pythian race-course is called a temenos, the sacred valley of the Nile is the ...

) at Ephesus was far older than the Artemision itself. Pausanias
Pausanias (geographer)
Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece , a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from firsthand observations, and is a crucial link between classical...

 was certain that it antedated the Ionic immigration by many years, being older even than the oracular shrine of Apollo at Didyma
Didyma
Didyma was an ancient Ionian sanctuary, the modern Didim, Turkey, containing a temple and oracle of Apollo, the Didymaion. In Greek didyma means "twin", but the Greeks who sought a "twin" at Didyma ignored the Carian origin of the name...

. He said that the pre-Ionic inhabitants of the city were Leleges
Leleges
The Leleges were one of the aboriginal peoples of southwest Anatolia , who were already there when the Indo-European Hellenes emerged. The distinction between the Leleges and the Carians is unclear. According to Homer the Leleges were a distinct Anatolian tribe Homer...

 and Lydia
Lydia
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian....

ns. Callimachus
Callimachus
Callimachus was a native of the Greek colony of Cyrene, Libya. He was a noted poet, critic and scholar at the Library of Alexandria and enjoyed the patronage of the Egyptian–Greek Pharaohs Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Ptolemy III Euergetes...

, in his Hymn to Artemis, attributed the earliest temenos
Temenos
Temenos is a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain, especially to kings and chiefs, or a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, a sanctuary, holy grove or holy precinct: The Pythian race-course is called a temenos, the sacred valley of the Nile is the ...

at Ephesus to the Amazons
Amazons
The Amazons are a nation of all-female warriors in Greek mythology and Classical antiquity. Herodotus placed them in a region bordering Scythia in Sarmatia...

, whose worship he imagines already centered upon an image (bretas) of Artemis, their patron goddess.

Modern archaeology cannot confirm Pausanias' Amazons, but his account of the site's antiquity seems well-founded. Before World War I, site excavations by David George Hogarth
David George Hogarth
David George Hogarth was a British archaeologist and scholar associated with T. E. Lawrence and Arthur Evans.-Archaeological career:...

 identified three successive temple buildings. Re-excavations in 1987-88 confirmed that the site was occupied as early as the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, with a sequence of pottery finds that extend forward to Middle Geometric times, when the clay-floored peripteral temple was constructed, in the second half of the 8th century BC. The peripteral temple at Ephesus offers the earliest example of a peripteral type on the coast of Asia Minor, and perhaps the earliest Greek temple surrounded by colonnades anywhere.
In the 7th century, a flood destroyed the temple, depositing over half a meter of sand and flotsam over a floor of hard-packed clay. Among the flood debris were the remains of a carved ivory plaque of a griffin
Griffin
The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle...

 and the Tree of Life
Tree of Life
The tree of life in the Book of Genesis is a tree planted by God in midst of the Garden of Eden , whose fruit gives everlasting life, i.e. immortality. Together with the tree of life, God planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil . According to some scholars, however, these are in fact...

, apparently North Syrian, and a number of drilled tear-shaped amber drops of elliptical cross-section. These probably once dressed a wooden effigy (xoanon
Xoanon
A xoanon was an Archaic wooden cult image of Ancient Greece. Classical Greeks associated such cult objects, whether aniconic or effigy, with the legendary Daedalus. Many such cult images were preserved into historical times, though none have survived to the modern day, except where their image...

)
of the Lady of Ephesus, which must have been destroyed or recovered from the flood. Bammer notes that though the site was prone to flooding, and raised by silt deposits about two metres between the eighth and 6th centuries, and a further 2.4 m between the sixth and the fourth, its continued use "indicates that maintaining the identity of the actual location played an important role in the sacred organization".

Second phase


The new temple was sponsored at least in part by Croesus
Croesus
Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC until his defeat by the Persians. The fall of Croesus made a profound impact on the Hellenes, providing a fixed point in their calendar. "By the fifth century at least," J.A.S...

, who founded Lydia
Lydia
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian....

's empire and was overlord of Ephesus, and was designed and constructed from around 550 BC by the Cretan architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 Chersiphron
Chersiphron
Chersiphron , an architect of Knossos in Crete, was the builder of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, on the Ionian coast. The temple had been begun about 600 BC, and was completed by other architects. Chersiphron and his son Metagenes were co-authors of its building...

 and his son Metagenes
Metagenes
Metagenes son of the Cretan architect Chersiphron, also was an architect. He was co-architect, along with his father, of the construction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World....

. It was some 377' long and 180' wide, supposedly the first Greek temple built of marble. Its peripteral columns stood some 40 feet high, in double rows that formed a wide ceremonial passage around the cella
Cella
A cella or naos , is the inner chamber of a temple in classical architecture, or a shop facing the street in domestic Roman architecture...

that housed the goddess' cult image. Thirty-six of these columns were, according to Pliny, decorated by carvings in relief. A new ebony or blackened grapewood cult statue
Cult image
In the practice of religion, a cult image is a human-made object that is venerated for the deity, spirit or daemon that it embodies or represents...

 was sculpted by Endoios, and a naiskos
Naiskos
The naiskos is a small temple in Classical order with columns or pillars and pediment. Often applied as an artificial motif, it is not rare in ancient art...

to house it was erected east of the open-air altar.

A rich foundation deposit from this era yielded more than a thousand items, including what may be the earliest coins made from the silver-gold alloy electrum
Electrum
Electrum is a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver, with trace amounts of copper and other metals. It has also been produced artificially. The ancient Greeks called it 'gold' or 'white gold', as opposed to 'refined gold'. Its color ranges from pale to bright yellow, depending on the...

. Fragments of bas-relief on the lowest drums of the temple, preserved in the British Museum, show that the enriched columns of the later temple, of which a few survive (illustration, below right) were versions of this earlier feature. Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

, seemingly unaware of the ancient continuity of the sacred site, claims that the new temple's architects chose to build it on marshy ground as a precaution against earthquakes. The temple became an important attraction, visited by merchants, kings, and sightseers, many of whom paid homage to Artemis in the form of jewelry and various goods. It also offered sanctuary to those fleeing persecution or punishment, a tradition linked in myth to the Amazons who twice fled there seeking the goddess' protection from punishment, firstly by Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

 and later, by Heracles
Heracles
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

.

Destruction by Herostratus


The "Croesus" Temple was destroyed on July 21, 356 BC, probably very soon after its completion, in a vainglorious act of arson: one Herostratus
Herostratus
Herostratus was a young man and arsonist; seeking notoriety, he burned down the Temple of Artemis in ancient Greece.-Occurrence:On July 21, 356 BC, Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in what is now Turkey...

 set fire to the roof-beams, seeking 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, sentenced Herostratus to death and forbade anyone from mentioning his name
Damnatio memoriae
Damnatio memoriae is the Latin phrase literally meaning "condemnation of memory" in the sense of a judgment that a person must not be remembered. It was a form of dishonor that could be passed by the Roman Senate upon traitors or others who brought discredit to the Roman State...

, under pain of death. However, Theopompus
Theopompus
Theopompus was a Greek historian and rhetorician- Biography :Theopompus was born on Chios. In early youth he seems to have spent some time at Athens, along with his father, who had been exiled on account of his Laconian sympathies...

 later noted the name. The burning supposedly coincided with the birth of Alexander the Great; Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 remarked that Artemis was too preoccupied with Alexander's delivery to save her burning temple.

Third phase


The Ephesians tactfully refused Alexander's offer to pay for the temple's rebuilding, and eventually rebuilt it after his death, at their own expense. Work started in 323 BC and continued for many years. The third temple was larger than the second; 450' long by 225' wide and 60 feet high, with more than 127 columns. Athenagoras of Athens
Athenagoras of Athens
Athenagoras was a Father of the Church, a Proto-orthodox Christian apologist who lived during the second half of the 2nd century of whom little is known for certain, besides that he was Athenian , a philosopher, and a convert to Christianity. In his writings he styles himself as "Athenagoras, the...

 names Endoeus
Endoeus
Endoeus or Endoios was an ancient Greek sculptor who worked at Athens in the middle of the 6th century BC. We are told that he made an image of Athena dedicated by Callias the contemporary of Pisistratus at Athens about 564 BC. An inscription bearing his name has been found at Athens, written in...

, a pupil of Daedalus, as sculptor of Artemis' main cult image. Pausanias (c. 2nd century AD) reports another image and altar in the Temple, dedicated to Artemis Protothronia (Artemis "of the first seat") and a gallery of images above this altar, including an ancient figure of Nyx
Nyx
In Greek mythology, Nyx was the primordial goddess of the night. A shadowy figure, Nyx stood at or near the beginning of creation, and was the mother of personified gods such as Hypnos and Thánatos...

 (the primordial goddess of Night) by the sculptor Rhoecus
Rhoecus
Rhoecus was a Samian sculptor of the 6th century BCE. He and his son Theodorus were especially noted for their work in bronze. Herodotus says that Rhoecus built the temple of Hera at Samos, which was destroyed by fire c. 530 BCE. In the temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a marble figure of night by...

 (6th century BC). Pliny describes images of Amazons, the legendary founders of Ephesus and Ephesian Artemis' original proteges, carved by Scopas
Scopas
Scopas or Skopas was an Ancient Greek sculptor and architect, born on the island of Paros. Scopas worked with Praxiteles, and he sculpted parts of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, especially the reliefs. He led the building of the new temple of Athena Alea at Tegea...

. Literary sources describe the temple's adornment by paintings, gilded columns of gold and silver, and religious works of renowned Greek sculptors Polyclitus, Pheidias, Cresilas, and Phradmon
Phradmon
Phradmon was a little-known sculptor from Argos, whom Pliny places as the contemporary of Polykleitos, Myron, Pythagoras, Scopas, and Perelius, at Olympiad 90 in 420 BC, in giving an anecdotal description of a competition for a Wounded Amazon for the temple of Artemis at Ephesus: in Pliny's...

.
This reconstruction survived some 600 years, and appears multiple times in early Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 accounts of Ephesus. According to the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, the appearance of the first Christian missionary
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

 in Ephesus caused locals to fear for the temple's dishonor. The 2nd-century Acts of John
Acts of John
The Acts of John is a collection of narratives and traditions concerning John the Apostle, well described as a "library of materials" , inspired by the Gospel of John, long known in fragmentary form...

includes an apocryphal tale of the temple's destruction: the apostle John prayed publicly in the Temple of Artemis, exorcising its demons and "of a sudden the altar of Artemis split in many pieces... and half the temple fell down," instantly converting the Ephesians, who wept, prayed or took flight. Against this, a Roman edict of 162 AD acknowledges the importance of Artemesion, the annual Ephesian festival to Artemis, and officially extends it from a few holy days over March–April to a whole month, "one of the largest and most magnificent religious festivals in Ephesus' liturgical calendar".

In 268 AD, the Temple was destroyed or damaged in a raid by the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

, an East Germanic tribe. in the time of emperor Gallienus
Gallienus
Gallienus was Roman Emperor with his father Valerian from 253 to 260, and alone from 260 to 268. He took control of the Empire at a time when it was undergoing great crisis...

: "Respa, Veduc and Thuruar, leaders of the Goths, took ship and sailed across the strait of the Hellespont to Asia. There they laid waste many populous cities and set fire to the renowned temple of Diana at Ephesus," reported Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

 in Getica.

Thereafter it may have been rebuilt, or repaired but this is uncertain, as its later history is highly unclear and the torching of the temple by the Goths may have brought it to a final end. At least some of the stones from the temple were used in construction of other buildings. Some of the columns in Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey...

 originally belonged to the temple of Artemis, and the Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai
Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai
Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai is an eighth- to ninth-century Byzantine text that concentrates on brief commentary connected to the topography of Constantinople and its monuments, notably its Classical Greek sculpture, for which it has been mined by art historians, in spite of its crabbed and...

records the re-use of several statues and other decorative elements throughout Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

.

The main primary sources for the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus are Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

's Natural History XXXVI.xxi.95, Pomponius Mela i:17, and Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

's Life of Alexander III.5 (referencing the burning of the Artemiseum).

Rediscovery of the Temple



After sixty years of searching, the site of the temple was rediscovered in 1869 by an expedition led by John Turtle Wood
John Turtle Wood
John Turtle Wood was a British architect, engineer and archaeologist.-Biography:Wood was born at Hackney, the son of John Wood of Shropshire and his wife Elizabeth Wood, née Turtle. He was educated at Rossall School, Fleetwood, and later studied architecture, under private tutors, at Cambridge and...

 and sponsored by the British Museum. These excavations continued until 1874. A few further fragments of sculpture were found during the 1904-06 excavations directed by David George Hogarth
David George Hogarth
David George Hogarth was a British archaeologist and scholar associated with T. E. Lawrence and Arthur Evans.-Archaeological career:...

. The recovered sculptured fragments of the 4th-century rebuilding and a few from the earlier temple, which had been used in the rubble fill for the rebuilding, were assembled and displayed in the "Ephesus Room" of the British Museum.

Today the site of the temple, which lies just outside Selçuk
Selçuk
Selçuk is the central town of Selçuk district, İzmir Province in Turkey, 2 km northeast of Ephesus.Its original Greek name, Agios Theológos referred to John the Theologian. Under the Ottoman Empire, it was known as Ayasoluk...

, is marked by a single column constructed of dissociated fragments discovered on the site.

Cult and influence


The archaic temeton beneath the later Temples clearly housed some form of "Great Goddess" but nothing is known of her cult. The literary accounts that describe it as "Amazonian" refer to the later founder-myths of Greek emigres who developed the cult and temple of Artemis Ephesia. The wealth and splendour of temple and city were taken as evidence of Artemis Ephesia's power, and were the basis for her local and international prestige: despite the successive traumas of Temple destruction, each rebuilding – a gift and honour to the goddess – brought further prosperity.

Artemis' shrines, temples and festivals (Artemisia) could be found throughout the Greek world, but Ephesian Artemis was unique. The Ephesians considered her theirs, and resented any foreign claims to her protection. Once Persia ousted and replaced their Lydian overlord Croesus
Croesus
Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC until his defeat by the Persians. The fall of Croesus made a profound impact on the Hellenes, providing a fixed point in their calendar. "By the fifth century at least," J.A.S...

, the Ephesians played down his contribution to the Temple's restoration. On the whole, the Persians
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

 dealt fairly with Ephesus, but removed some religious artifacts from Artemis' Temple to Sardis
Sardis
Sardis or Sardes was an ancient city at the location of modern Sart in Turkey's Manisa Province...

 and brought Persian priests into her Ephesian cult; this was not forgiven. When Alexander conquered the Persians, his offer to finance the Temple's second rebuilding was politely but firmly refused. Ephesian Artemis lent her city's diplomacy a powerful religious edge.

Under Hellenic rule, and later, under Roman rule, the Ephesian Artemisia festival was increasingly promoted as a key element in the pan-Hellenic festival circuit. It was part of a definitively Greek political and cultural identity, essential to the economic life of the region, and an excellent opportunity for young, unmarried Greeks of both sexes to seek out marriage partners. Games, contests and theatrical performances were held in the goddess' name, and Pliny
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 describes her procession as a magnificent crowd-puller; one of Apelles
Apelles
Apelles of Kos was a renowned painter of ancient Greece. Pliny the Elder, to whom we owe much of our knowledge of this artist rated him superior to preceding and subsequent artists...

' best paintings showed the goddess' image, carried through the streets and surrounded by maidens. In the Roman Imperial era
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, the emperor Commodus
Commodus
Commodus , was Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180. His name changed throughout his reign; see changes of name for earlier and later forms. His accession as emperor was the first time a son had succeeded...

 lent his name to the festival games, and might have sponsored them.

Ephesian Artemis


From the Greek point of view Ephesian Artemis is a distinctive form of their goddess Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

. In Greek cult and myth, Artemis is the twin of Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

, a virgin huntress who supplanted the Titan
Titan (mythology)
In Greek mythology, the Titans were a race of powerful deities, descendants of Gaia and Uranus, that ruled during the legendary Golden Age....

 Selene
Selene
In Greek mythology, Selene was an archaic lunar deity and the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. In Roman mythology, the moon goddess is called Luna, Latin for "moon"....

 as goddess of the Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

. At Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era...

, a goddess whom the Greeks associated with Artemis was venerated in an archaic, certainly pre-Hellenic cult image
Cult image
In the practice of religion, a cult image is a human-made object that is venerated for the deity, spirit or daemon that it embodies or represents...

 that was carved of wood and kept decorated with jewelry. Robert Fleischer identified as decorations of the primitive xoanon
Xoanon
A xoanon was an Archaic wooden cult image of Ancient Greece. Classical Greeks associated such cult objects, whether aniconic or effigy, with the legendary Daedalus. Many such cult images were preserved into historical times, though none have survived to the modern day, except where their image...

the changeable features that since Minucius Felix and Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

's Christian attacks on pagan popular religion had been read as many breasts or "eggs" — denoting her fertility (others interpret the objects to represent the testicles of sacrificed bulls that would have been strung on the image, with similar meaning). Most similar to Near-Eastern and Egyptian deities, and least similar to Greek ones, her body and legs are enclosed within a tapering pillar-like term
Term (architecture)
In Classical architecture a term or terminal figure is a human head and bust that continues as a square tapering pillarlike form. If the bust is of Hermes as protector of boundaries in ancient Greek culture, with male genitals interrupting the plain base at the appropriate height, it may be...

, from which her feet protrude. On the coins minted at Ephesus, the apparently many-breasted goddess wears a mural crown
Mural crown
-Usage in ancient times:In Hellenistic culture, a mural crown identified the goddess Tyche, the embodiment of the fortune of a city, familiar to Romans as Fortuna...

 (like a city's walls), an attribute of Cybele
Cybele
Cybele , was a Phrygian form of the Earth Mother or Great Mother. As with Greek Gaia , her Minoan equivalent Rhea and some aspects of Demeter, Cybele embodies the fertile Earth...

 (see polos
Polos
Polos generally refers to a high cylindrical crown typically worn by mythological goddesses.Polos may also refer to:* The plural of polo* In music, the polos is one of the interlocking parts of Kotekan...

). On the coins she rests either arm on a staff formed of entwined serpents
Serpent (symbolism)
Serpent in Latin means: Rory Collins :&, in turn, from the Biblical Hebrew word of: "saraf" with root letters of: which refers to something burning-as, the pain of poisonous snake's bite was likened to internal burning.This word is commonly used in a specifically mythic or religious context,...

 or of a stack of ouroboroi
Ouroboros
The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; οὐρά meaning "tail" and βόρος meaning "eating", thus "he who eats the tail"....

, the eternal serpent with its tail in its mouth. Something the Lady of Ephesus had in common with Cybele
Cybele
Cybele , was a Phrygian form of the Earth Mother or Great Mother. As with Greek Gaia , her Minoan equivalent Rhea and some aspects of Demeter, Cybele embodies the fertile Earth...

 was that each was served by temple slave-women, or hierodule
Hierodule
In ancient Greece and Anatolia a hierodule, from the Greek ' , was a temple slave in the service of a specific deity, often with the connotation of religious prostitution. Her prostitution would technically be excused because of the service she provided to the deity...

s (hiero "holy", doule "female slave"), under the direction of a priestess who inherited her role, attended by a college of eunuch priests called "Megabyzoi" and also by young virgins (korai
Kore
Kore is an energy drink distributed by GNC in 250 mL cans.-Ingredients:Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Taurine, Sodium Citrate, Glucuronolactone, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caffeine, Sodium Benzoate, Inositol, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine...

).
The "eggs" or "breasts" of the Lady of Ephesus, it now appears, must be the iconographic descendants of the amber
Amber
Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

 gourd-shaped drops, elliptical in cross-section and drilled for hanging, that were rediscovered in the excavations of 1987-88; they remained in situ where the ancient wooden cult figure of the Lady of Ephesus had been caught by an 8th-century flood (see History below). This form of breast-jewelry, then, had already been developed by the Geometric Period. A hypothesis offered by Gerard Seiterle, that the objects in Classical representations represented bulls' scrotal sacs cannot be maintained.

A votive inscription mentioned by Florence Mary Bennett, which dates probably from about the 3rd century BC, associates Ephesian Artemis with Crete: "To the Healer of diseases, to Apollo, Giver of Light to mortals, Eutyches has set up in votive offering [a statue of] the Cretan Lady of Ephesus, the Light-Bearer."

The Greek habits of syncretism
Syncretism
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means "combining", but see below for the origin of the word...

 assimilated all foreign gods under some form of the Olympian pantheon familiar to them— in interpretatio graeca
Interpretatio graeca
Interpretatio graeca is a Latin term for the common tendency of ancient Greek writers to equate foreign divinities to members of their own pantheon. Herodotus, for example, refers to the ancient Egyptian gods Amon, Osiris and Ptah as "Zeus", "Dionysus" and "Hephaestus", respectively.-Roman...

— and it is clear that at Ephesus, the identification with Artemis that the Ionian settlers made of the "Lady of Ephesus" was slender. The Christian approach was at variance with the tolerant syncretistic approach of pagans to gods who were not theirs. A Christian inscription at Ephesus suggests why so little remains at the site:
"Destroying the delusive image of the demon Artemis, Demeas has erected this symbol of Truth, the God that drives away idols, and the Cross of priests, deathless and victorious sign of Christ."

The assertion that the Ephesians thought that their cult image had fallen from the sky, though it was a familiar origin-myth at other sites, is only known at Ephesus from Acts 19:35:
"What man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the [image] which fell down from Jupiter?"


Lynn LiDonnici observes that modern scholars are likely to be more concerned with origins of the Lady of Ephesus and her iconology than her adherents were at any point in time, and are prone to creating a synthetic account of the Lady of Ephesus by drawing together documentation that ranges over more than a millennium in its origins, creating a falsified, unitary picture, as of an unchanging icon.

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