A Brief History of Famous Temple Artemis
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, also known as the Artemesium, was constructed in the mid 6th century BC. It was located in Ephesus (modern Turkey), and was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Antipater of Sidon included it on his definitive list of monuments, partly because of its size and grandeur, but also because of its location. Its location on the rim of the Greek world helped to provoke admiration to non-Greeks of the vastness of the Greek world.
What to See at the Temple of Artemis
Rising out of the marsh, a lone surviving column suggests the immensity of the Wonder of the World, four times as large as the Parthenon and the first monumental building to be entirely constructed of marble. As an illustration of its immensity, consider that the one remaining column stood an incredible 4m (13 ft.) below the point of the architrave. The site is best appreciated in the summer months, when the marshy waters are at their lowest, and the foundations of previous structures are recognizable.Most of the description of the original Temple of Artemis comes from Pliny, though there are different and sometimes contradictory accounts. Pliny describes the temple as 377 feet long and 180 feet wide made almost entirely of marble. The Temple consisted of 127 columns, each 60 feet in height; many of which were carved decoratively. The columns were Ionic in style.
The temple became a worship center for people of all faiths from many lands, including a sect of Ephesians who worshiped Cybele, the Greek Earth Mother goddess. It was also known as the Temple of Diana, the equivalent Roman goddess to Artemis. The temple was said to be a fantastic structure made of marble, with gold and silver decoration and the finest art and statuary of the age. It was burned down on July 21, 356 B.C.E. by agents of a man called Herostratus, who reportedly sought worldwide fame by destroying the world’s most beautiful building. It was later rebuilt several times. Its ultimate destruction occurred at the hands of a Christian mob led by St. John Chrysostom, then archbishop of Ephesus, in 401 C.E.
The Temple of Artemis is located on the west coast of modern Turkey, south of Selcuk county about 50 km south of Smyrna. This place was called Ephesus during ancient times. The God Artemis in Ephesus is a goddess of fertility. This earliest temple supposedly contained a sacred stone, probably fallen from Jupiter. In some instances Artemis is linked closely to the Roman goddess, Diana. She also is goddess of night, fruitfulness, childbirth, beasts, bull and an eternal virgin. The temple was so huge and magnificent that it took about 120 years to build it. Referred to as the great marble temple it was sponsored by the Lydian king Croesus and was designed by the Greek architect Chersiphron.
The design of the temple was not of the typical rectangle portico that was common to Greek tamples of the time, but a mixture of Classic Greek and Near-Eastern design and execution. It was decorated with 127 Ionic columns that stood 60 feet high. The temple was a large marble building, measuring 377 feet by 180 feet, and it featured columns drums with high-relief sculptural scenes (rather than having simple flutes carved into them). The interior of the temple featured sculptures of Amazon warriors (who had hidden from pursuant Greek gods at Ephesus) by some of the most well respected Greek sculptors, such as Polyclitus and Pheidias.
Architecture and art
Most of the physical description and art within the Temple of Artemis comes from Pliny, though there are different accounts and the actual size varies. Pliny describes the temple as 377 feet long and 180 feet wide, made almost entirely of marble. The temple consisted of 127 Ionic-styled columns, each 60 feet in height.The Temple of Artemis housed many fine artworks. 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 are said to have founded the city of Ephesus.Pliny tells us that Scopas, who also worked on the Mausoleum of Mausollos, worked carved reliefs into the temple’s columns. Athenagoras of Athens names Endoeus, a pupil of Daedalus, as the sculptor of the main statue of Artemis in Ephesus.