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In Greco - Roman mythology, Apollo is a deity of manifold function and meaning. He is one of the most widely revered and influential of all the ancient Greek and Roman gods.


Seven such monuments became the original 'bucket list' when ancient writers such as Herodotus, Callimachus of CyreneAntipater of Sidonand Philo of Byzantium compiled shortlists of the most wonderful sights of the ancient world. The Lydian king Croesus r.

There had already been several versions of the temple over the centuries at Ephesus, and Herodotus describes the Ephesians tying a rope metres ft long between the old temple and the city in a desperate and as it turned out futile hope that their dedication of the entire city to Artemis would save them from the Lydians. The oldest artefacts, typically votive offerings made of precious metals, date to the 7th century BCE.

Several capital and dating a greek Tempe man pieces have been discovered from the 6th-century CE version of the temple, while one of the best finds was a magnificently carved column drum from the Hellenistic version.

Despite these dire predictions, the temple was rebuilt on the same spot and following the same de as the original, even better according to Strabo Geography Excavations, though, have revealed the Hellenistic temple was slightly smaller than its predecessor, measuring some x 55 metres x ft with columns In addition, the new version was placed on a higher base to make the temple more imposing. Once again rebuilt, in CE it was torn down for the last time by a Christian mob.

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus made it onto the established list of Seven Wonders because of its size and beauty; the location right next to the sea which since antiquity has retracted several kilometres must also have contributed to the mesmerising effect of the building. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History It had columns which were The columns were arranged in a double row on all four sides, eight or nine on the short sides and 20 or 21 on the long sides. Excavations at the site in CE did indeed reveal that the foundations of the temple were composed of layers of a soft mortar substance and charcoal.

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Certainly, blocks from the temple were reused in many buildings at Ephesus, a common practice in antiquity. The Ephesians refused the offer, one unnamed man declaring that it was not correct for one god to present gifts to another god, and instead, the Ephesians paid for it themselves by having a collection of the citizens' personal jewellery.

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Ephesus continued to be an important city into Roman times and was made capital of the Roman province of Asia after BCE. This prosperity brought unwelcome attention, though, and the temple of Artemis was destroyed yet again, or at least plundered, by the Goths during their invasion of the Aegean c.

In the following centuries, the area gradually became covered by silt from the regular floods of the nearby river Kaystros, even if Ephesus itself continued as an important Byzantine city until it was captured by the Turks in CE. The Temple of Artemis was not forgotten, and a tradition sprang up in medieval times that some of the columns of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople were looted from it, but the noted Byzantine specialist Cyril Mango points out that this idea is absurd. Last modified July 26, World History Encyclopedia, 26 Jul This lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and their new creations under the identical terms.

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The architect in charge was either Kheirocrates or Deinocrates, according to Vitruvius. Excavations began under the auspices of the British Museum in London, and they discovered several important artefacts such as fine marble figures of Artemis Ephesia dating to the 1st and 2nd century CE. The remains of the great temple were also found, and during another series of excavations from CE, more details were revealed.

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Like most temples to the goddess in the Greek world, it was located a short distance from the city as Artemis was thought to preside over boundaries physical or otherwisewild vegetation, animals, and nature in general. Those columns on the facades were decorated with relief figures from Greek mythology. World History Encyclopedia. Listen to this article. Strabo also notes that Alexander, visiting Ephesus in BCE, offered to pay the expenses of the ongoing construction if his name appeared on an inscription on the finished temple.

Remembering that Artemis was the goddess of childbirth, Plutarch noted:. Translated text available in: French. Vitruviusthe 1st-century BCE Roman architect and writer, has the project begun by the former pair and completed by Paeonius of Ephesus. In the 4th century BCE, the temple partially funded by Croesus was destroyed by a fire deliberately started by a man called Herostratus, who became one of history's most infamous arsonists, his sole ambition in committing the crime. Bibliography Bagnall, R. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

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Some of the monuments of the ancient world so impressed visitors from far and wide with their beauty, artistic and architectural ambition, and sheer scale that their reputation grew as must-see themata sights for the ancient traveller and pilgrim. Indeed, the Temple of Artemis was often cited as the greatest of the seven wonders by those who had seen them. Today all that remains of the temple are its foundations, and a single column has been erected from composite remains which, rather than giving an impression of lost grandeur, gives a melancholic air to the site which was once one of the most wondrous in the ancient Mediterranean.

The Greek goddess Artemis Diana to the Romans was particularly important to the Ephesians, indeed her birthplace was considered by them as nearby Ortygia for other Greeks it was Delos. It was this coincidence which inspired Hegesias of Magnesia to utter a joke which was flat enough to have put the fire out: he said it was no wonder the temple of Artemis was destroyed, since the goddess was busy attending to the birth of Alexander.

Pausaniasthe 2nd-century CE Greek travel writer, in his Description of Greecedescribed the size of the temple as "surpassing all buildings among men" 4.

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The decorative frieze of the temple carried scenes involving Amazons, who were, in Greek mythologysupposed to have sought shelter at Ephesus from Hercules. Today only the foundations and a solitary column stand as a reminder of the site where once stood the greatest temple in the ancient Mediterranean.

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Such was the legendary splendour of the Temple of Artemis that it was the very first ancient site that 19th-century CE western archaeologists deliberately went digging for. The foundations of the temple have received some attention, first by Pliny the Elder who praises the engineer and sculptor Theodorus of Samos for preparing them on marshy ground and thus mitigating the effect of earthquakes.

Destroyed by a deliberate fire in the 4th century BCE and then rebuilt, the great Ionic temple survived until Late Antiquity and the Gothic invasion of c. Experience Seven Wonders AR. Editorial Review This article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication. Cartwright, M. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Begun c. Please help us pay for the servers and web services required to operate our non-profit organization's website. Please note that content linked from this may have different licensing terms.

Although subsequently rebuilt or restored, a Christian mob, inspired by the decree of Roman emperor Theodosius I r. Nevertheless, a treatise on the temple written in the mid-6th century BCE is attributed to Chersiphron and Metagenes. Net Books, Hornblower, S. The Oxford Classical Dictionary.

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Hence, the goddess worshipped at Ephesus is often referred to as Artemis Ephesia. The magnificent new Ionic temple was supervised by, according to the 1st-century CE Roman writer Pliny the Elderthe master architect Chersiphron of Knossos while Strabo, the Greek geographer c. The city had an up and down relationship with the neighbouring kingdom of Lydiaresisting many attacks but at the same absorbing some cultural elements.

Such was its tremendous size, double the dimensions of other Greek temples including the Parthenonthat it was soon regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. An interesting archaeological find at the site was a column drum carrying the inscription 'dedicated by Croesus'. According to Vitruvius in his On Architecture 2.

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Server Costs Fundraiser Please help us pay for the servers and web services required to operate our non-profit organization's website. Oxford University Press, However, both figures may have actually lived in the 8th century BCE and so been involved in the very first version of the temple.

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Get it for free for a limited time. Wiley-Blackwell, Burn, A. The Penguin History of Greece by A. Penguin Books, Erdemgil, S. Ephesus Guide in English. Cartwright, Mark.

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Layers of marble chips and charcoal have also been discovered in 20th century CE excavations, but neither explorations have found evidence of sheepskins. The architrave blocks above the columns are estimated to have weighed 24 tons each, and the feat of engineering that put them in place led to the Ephesians believing it was the work of Artemis herself.

World History Encyclopedia is a non-profit organization.

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Ephesus or Ephesos was a Greek colony on the eastern coast of Asia Minor founded in the 8th century BCE, although there had been Greek settlers in the area from c. Artemis was the goddess of chastity, hunting, wild animals, forests, childbirth, and fertility.


Remove Advertisement. Pliny also notes that alternate layers of sheepskins and packed charcoal were used to provide the necessary stability to support the massive weight of the structures about to be built on top. But those of the Magi who were then at Ephesus interpreted the destruction of the temple as the portent of a far greater disaster, and they ran through the city beating their faces and crying out that that day had brought forth a great scourge and calamity for Asia.

According to the Greek writer Plutarch c. The drum, which has several figures carved in relief including HadesPersephoneand Hermesis now in the British Museum.

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