The Temple of Artemis

An artist view of Artemis' Temple

 

I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for Chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the Hanging Gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high Pyramids, 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.”
                                                                                                                                                                                        Antipater of Sidon


The Temple of Artemis or Artemision, was a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis, the Greek goddess of Hunt  and was located in present-day Turkey. The Temple was a magnificent place of worship. It was also known as the Temple of Diana, the equivalent Roman goddess to Artemis.

Significance

It’s one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

End

It was completely rebuilt several times before its eventual destruction in 401 and only foundations and sculptural fragments of the latest of the temples at the site remain.

Temple of Artemis now

Location and history

The Temple of Artemis, built in 560BC was located near the ancient city of Ephesus , about 75km south from the modern port city of Izmir, Turkey and today the site lies on the edge of the modern town of Selcuk.

Builder

Croesus, King of Lydia

Destruction and Re-building

In 356 BC, Herostratus burned the Temple but it was rebuilt.
In AD 262 or 268, Invading Goths made unrecoverable destruction to the temple.
In AD 401, the Temple of Artemis was torn down by St John Chrysostom and it was the end.

Size

It had a great size, measuring over 350ft in length and by 180ft in width.

Still want to see???

There are remnants, especially of sculptured columns, in the British Museum.

 Remnants of sculptured columns  Remnants of sculptured columns Remnants of sculptured columns

Discovery

John Turtle Wood, an Engineer, Archeologist and Architect, sponsored by the British Museum, having searched for 6 years, rediscovered the site of the temple in 1869.

Architect

Chersiphron

Columns

Probably, 127 each 60ft high.

Duration of Construction

The temple took around 120 years to complete but a variant reading indicates 200 years

Facts

The first Temple was built in 800BC but it was destroyed either in war or a flood then the temple which became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was built.

It was constructed on marshy ground so as not to be in much danger from earthquakes.

The huge column drums and architraves were moved from the quarry by fitting them with large wheels and then, like rolling axles, pulled by oxen.

Herostratus burned the temple to get fame at any cost.

The ruins of the temple were used as a quarry for building the Byzantine city at Ephesus.

Artemis was an Olympian God, the daughter of Zeus and Leto and was also the twin sister of Apollo.

The fire that Herostratus set, took place on the same day that Alexander the Great was born on.

Years later, Alexander the Great visited the town and offered to help pay the cost of rebuilding it if they would put his name on it but the towns’ people did not want to put his name on it.

Some of the columns that were built in Hagia Sophia (a church in Istanbul, Turkey) are thought to have been originally part of the Temple of Artemis.

Columns of Hagia Sophia

The site where the temple once stood is now a swamp.

The temple was every time re-built on the same site.

No expense was spared in the reconstruction of the temple.

It was made completely of marble except for a tile-covered wooden roof and probably the biggest Greek temple.

It’s also assumed that there was a statue of Artemis in the middle.

Statue of Artemis

At one time, the temple was a marketplace (souvenir shops were popular) as well as a religious structure but now, a single column with some fragments is standing to welcome you but being its Guest would turn your Frown, Upside down 🙂

Sight of Ruins

 

 

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