Temple of Artemis

Coordinates: 37°56′59″N 27°21′50″E / 37.94972°N 27.36389°E

Miniaturk 009
This model of the Temple of Artemis, at Miniatürk Park, Istanbul, Turkey, attempts to recreate the probable appearance of the first temple.
The site of the temple today.
Ancient seven wonders timeline
Timeline and map of the Temple of Artemis and the other Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Temple of Artemis or Artemision (Greek: Ἀρτεμίσιον; Turkish: Artemis Tapınağı), also known less precisely as the Temple of Diana, was a Greek temple dedicated to an ancient, local form of the goddess Artemis (associated with Diana, a Roman goddess). It was located in Ephesus (near the modern town of Selçuk in present-day Turkey). It was completely rebuilt twice, once after a devastating flood and three hundred years later after an act of arson, and in its final form was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. By 401 AD it had been ruined or destroyed.[1] Only foundations and fragments of the last temple remain at the site.

The earliest version of the temple (a temenos) antedated the Ionic immigration by many years, and dates to the Bronze Age. Callimachus, in his Hymn to Artemis, attributed it to the Amazons. In the 7th century BC, it was destroyed by a flood. Its reconstruction, in more grandiose form, began around 550 BC, under Chersiphron, the Cretan architect, and his son Metagenes. The project was funded by Croesus of Lydia, and took 10 years to complete. This version of the temple was destroyed in 356 BC by Herostratus in an act of arson.

The next, greatest and last form of the temple, funded by the Ephesians themselves, is described in Antipater of Sidon's list of the world's Seven Wonders:

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, and I said, "Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand".[2]

Location and history

Temple of Artemis
The fame of the Temple of Artemis was known in the Renaissance, as demonstrated in this imagined portrayal of the temple in a 16th-century hand-colored engraving by Martin Heemskerck

The Temple of Artemis was located near the ancient city of Ephesus, about 75 kilometres (47 mi) south from the modern port city of İzmir, in Turkey. Today the site lies on the edge of the modern town of Selçuk.

The sacred site (temenos) at Ephesus was far older than the Artemision itself. Pausanias was certain that it antedated the Ionic immigration by many years, being older even than the oracular shrine of Apollo at Didyma.[3] He said that the pre-Ionic inhabitants of the city were Leleges and Lydians. Callimachus, in his Hymn to Artemis attributed the earliest temenos at Ephesus to the Amazons, whose worship he imagined already centered upon an image (bretas) of Artemis, their matron goddess. Pausanias says that Pindar believed the temple's founding Amazons to have been involved with the siege at Athens. Tacitus also believed in the Amazon foundation, however Pausanias believed the temple predated the Amazons.[4]

Modern archaeology cannot confirm Callimachus's Amazons, but Pausanias's account of the site's antiquity seems well-founded. Before World War I, site excavations by David George Hogarth identified three successive temple buildings.[5] Re-excavations in 1987–88[6] confirmed that the site was occupied as early as the Bronze Age, with a sequence of pottery finds that extend forward to Middle Geometric times, when a peripteral temple with a floor of hard-packed clay was constructed in the second half of the 8th century BC.[7] 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 BC, a flood[8] destroyed the temple, depositing over half a meter of sand and flotsam over the original clay floor. Among the flood debris were the remains of a carved ivory plaque of a griffin and the Tree of Life, apparently North Syrian, and some drilled tear-shaped amber drops of elliptical cross-section. These probably once dressed a wooden effigy (xoanon) 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 8th 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".[9]

Heraclitus deposited his book "On Nature" as a dedication to Artemis in the great temple.

Second phase

The new temple was sponsored at least in part by Croesus,[10] who founded Lydia's empire and was overlord of Ephesus,[11] and was designed and constructed from around 550 BC by the Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes. It was 115 m (377 ft) long and 46 m (151 ft) wide, supposedly the first Greek temple built of marble. Its peripteral columns stood some 13 m (40 ft) high, in double rows that formed a wide ceremonial passage around the cella that housed the goddess's cult image. Thirty-six of these columns were, according to Pliny, decorated by carvings in relief. A new ebony or blackened grapewood cult statue was sculpted by Endoios,[12] and a naiskos to house it was erected east of the open-air altar.

Foundation deposit

Triti, Phanes, 625-600 BC, Ionia - 301224
The earliest known inscribed coinage, from the foundation deposit of the Temple of Athena: electrum coin of Phanes from Ephesus, 625-600 BC. Obverse: Stag grazing right, ΦΑΝΕΩΣ (retrograde). Reverse: Two incuse punches, each with raised intersecting lines.[13]

A rich foundation deposit from this era, also called the "Artemision deposit", yielded more than a thousand items, including what may be the earliest coins made from the silver-gold alloy electrum. The foundation deposit at the Temple of Artemis is the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.[13] The deposit contains some of the earliest inscribed coins, those of Phanes, dated to 625-600 BC from Ephesus, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ (or similar) (“I am the badge of Phanes”), or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ (“of Phanes”).[13]

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) were versions of this earlier feature. Pliny the Elder, 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 and later, by Heracles.


In 356 BC, the temple was destroyed in a vainglorious act of arson by a man, Herostratus, who set fire to the wooden roof-beams, seeking fame at any cost; thus the term herostratic fame.[14] For this outrage, the Ephesians sentenced the perpetrator to death and forbade anyone from mentioning his name; but Theopompus later noted it.[15] In Greek and Roman historical tradition, the temple's destruction coincided with the birth of Alexander the Great (around 20/21 July 356 BC). Plutarch remarked that Artemis was too preoccupied with Alexander's delivery to save her burning temple.[16]

Third phase

Alexander offered to pay for the temple's rebuilding; the Ephesians tactfully refused, 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; 137 m (450 ft) long by 69 m (225 ft) wide and 18 m (60 ft) high, with more than 127 columns. Athenagoras of Athens names Endoeus, a pupil of Daedalus, as sculptor of Artemis' main cult image.[17]

Column drum Ephesus
A drum from the base of a column from the 4th-century rebuilding, now in the British Museum.

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 (the primordial goddess of Night) by the sculptor Rhoecus (6th century BC). Pliny describes images of Amazons, the legendary founders of Ephesus and Ephesian Artemis' original protégés, carved by Scopas. Literary sources describe the temple's adornment by paintings, columns gilded with gold and silver, and religious works of renowned Greek sculptors Polyclitus, Pheidias, Cresilas, and Phradmon.[17]

This reconstruction survived for 600 years, and appears multiple times in early Christian accounts of Ephesus. According to the New Testament, the appearance of the first Christian missionary in Ephesus caused locals to fear for the temple's dishonor.[18] The 2nd-century Acts of John 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.[19]

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".[20]

In 268 AD, the Temple was destroyed or damaged in a raid by the Goths, an East Germanic tribe;[21] in the time of emperor Gallienus: "Respa, Veduc and Thuruar,[22] 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 in Getica.[23] It is, however, unknown to what extent the temple was damaged.

Whatever the extent of the injuries to the building, it appears to have been rebuilt or repaired, as the temple is noted to have been in use for worship during the rise of Christianity, and closed as a consequence of the Persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire.[24] However, the history of the temple between 268 and its closure by the Christian persecutions is not well known, and it is unconfirmed how big the damage of 268 was, and exactly which year it was closed by the Christians. Ammonius of Alexandria comments on the closure of the temple in his commentary of the Acts of the Apostles in the mid 5th-century, in which he gives the impression that the closure of the temple had occurred in his living memory.[24] The closure of the Temple of Artemis is assumed to have occurred sometime during the course of the early to mid 5th-century, with the year of 407 as an early date.[24] The closure of the temple was followed by the erasing of the name of Artemis from inscriptions around the city of Ephesus.[24]

Final destruction

It is unknown how long the building stood after the closure of the temple by the Christians. At least some of the stones from the temple were eventually used in construction of other buildings.[25] Some of the columns in Hagia Sophia originally belonged to the temple of Artemis,[26] and the Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai records the re-use of several statues and other decorative elements from the temple, throughout Constantinople.

The main primary sources for the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus are Pliny the Elder's Natural History,[27] Pomponius Mela i:17, and Plutarch's Life of Alexander [28] (referencing the burning of the Artemiseum).

Rediscovery of the temple

Reconstructive plan of Temple of Artemis at Ephesus according to John Turtle Wood (1877).

After six years of searching, the site of the temple was rediscovered in 1869 by an expedition led by John Turtle Wood and sponsored by the British Museum. These excavations continued until 1874.[29] A few further fragments of sculpture were found during the 1904–1906 excavations directed by David George Hogarth. 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.[30] In addition, the museum has part of possibly the oldest pot-hoard of coins in the world (600 BC) that had been buried in the foundations of the Archaic temple.[31]

Today the site of the temple, which lies just outside Selçuk, 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 splendor 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 honor to the goddess – brought further prosperity.[32] Large numbers of people came to Ephesus in March and in the beginning of May to attend the main Artemis Procession.[33]

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, the Ephesians played down his contribution to the Temple's restoration. On the whole, the Persians dealt fairly with Ephesus, but removed some religious artifacts from Artemis' Temple to Sardis and brought Persian priests into her Ephesian cult; this was not forgiven.[34] When Alexander conquered the Persians, his offer to finance the Temple's second rebuilding was politely but firmly refused.[35] 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's name, and Pliny describes her procession as a magnificent crowd-puller; it was shown in one of Apelles' best paintings, which depicted the goddess's image carried through the streets and surrounded by maidens.[36] In the Roman Imperial era, the emperor Commodus lent his name to the festival games, and might have sponsored them.[37]

Ephesian Artemis

Artemis Efes Museum
The Lady of Ephesus, 1st century AD, Ephesus Archaeological Museum
An 18th-century engraving of a Roman marble copy of a Greek replica of a lost Geometric period xoanon

From the Greek point of view, the Ephesian Artemis is a distinctive form of their goddess Artemis. In Greek cult and myth, Artemis is the twin of Apollo, a virgin huntress who supplanted the Titan Selene as goddess of the Moon. At Ephesus, a goddess whom the Greeks associated with Artemis was venerated in an archaic, pre-Hellenic cult image[38] that was carved of wood (a xoanon) and kept decorated with jewelry. The features are most similar to Near-Eastern and Egyptian deities, and least similar to Greek ones. The body and legs are enclosed within a tapering pillar-like term, from which the goddess' feet protrude. On the coins minted at Ephesus, the goddess wears a mural crown (like a city's walls), an attribute of Cybele as a protector of cities (see polos).[38]

Fontana di Diana Efesina-Tivoli, Villa d'Este
Traditional many-breasted interpretation in a 16th-century fountain of Diana Efesina, Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy

The traditional interpretation of the oval objects covering the upper part of the Ephesian Artemis is that they represent multiple breasts, symbolizing her fertility. This interpretation began in late antiquity and resulted in designations of the Ephesian goddess as Diana Efesia Multimammia and other related descriptions.[39] This interpretation was rooted in Minucius Felix and Jerome's Christian attacks on pagan popular religion, and modern scholarship has cast doubt on the traditionally interpretation that the statue depicts a many-breasted goddess. Evidence suggests that the oval objects were not intended to depict part of the goddess' anatomy at all. In some versions of the statue, the goddess' skin has been painted black (likely to emulate the aged wood of the original), while her clothes and regalia, including the so-called "breasts", were left unpainted or cast in different colors.[39] Robert Fleischer suggested that instead of breasts, the oval objects were decorations that would have been hung ceremonially on the original wood statue (possibly eggs or the scrotal sacs of sacrificed bulls[40]), and which were incorporated as carved features on later copies.[39] The "breasts" of the Lady of Ephesus, it now appears, were likely based on amber gourd-shaped drops, elliptical in cross-section and drilled for hanging, that were rediscovered in the archaeological excavations of 1987–1988. These objects remained in place where the ancient wooden statue of the goddess had been caught by an 8th century flood. This form of jewelry, then, had already been developed by the Geometric Period.[41][42]

On the coins she rests either arm on a staff formed of entwined serpents or of a stack of ouroboroi, the eternal serpent with its tail in its mouth. In some accounts, the Lady of Ephesus was attended by eunuch priests called "Megabyzoi"; this could have been a proper name or a title. The practise of ritual self-emasculation as qualification to serve a deity is usually identified with Cybele's eunuch mendicant priests, the Galli. The Megabyzoi of Ephesian Artemis were assisted by young, virgin girls (korai).[43][44]

A votive inscription mentioned by Florence Mary Bennett,[45] 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 assimilated all foreign gods under some form of the Olympian pantheon familiar to them—in interpretatio graeca—and it is clear that at Ephesus, the identification with Artemis that the Ionian settlers made of the "Lady of Ephesus" was slender. Nevertheless, later Greeks and Romans identified her with both Artemis and Diana, and there was a tradition in ancient Rome that identified her with the goddess Isis as well.[39]

The Christian approach was at variance with the tolerant syncretistic approach of pagans to gods who were not theirs. A Christian inscription at Ephesus[46] 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.[47]


A 360 degree panoramic view of the site of the temple
A 360 degree panoramic view of the site of the temple

See also


  1. ^ John Freely, The Western Shores of Turkey: Discovering the Aegean and Mediterranean Coasts 2004, p. 148; Clive Foss, Ephesus after antiquity: a late antique, Byzantine, and Turkish city, Cambridge University Press, 1979, pp. 86–89 & footnote 83.
  2. ^ Antipater, Greek Anthology IX.58.
  3. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 7.7–8.
  4. ^ Steinem, Gloria; Chesler, Phyllis; Feitler, Bea (1972). Wonder Woman. Hole, Rinehart and Winston and Warner Books. ISBN 0-03-005376-5.
  5. ^ D.G. Hogarth, editor, 1908. Excavations at Ephesus.
  6. ^ Bammer 1990, pp. 137–160
  7. ^ Bammer 1990, p. 142 noted some still earlier placements of stones, Mycenaean pottery and crude clay animal figurines, but warned "it is still to early to come to conclusions about a cult sequence."
  8. ^ The flood is dated by fragmentary ceramics: Bammer 1990, p. 141.
  9. ^ Bammer 1990, pp. 144,153.
  10. ^ see Kevin Leloux, "The Campaign Of Croesus Against Ephesus: Historical & Archaeological Considerations", in Polemos 21-2, 2018, p. 47-63 [1].
  11. ^ Herodotus' statement to this effect is confirmed by the conjectural reading of a fragmentary dedicatory inscription, conserved in the British Museum (A Guide to the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the British Museum 84).
  12. ^ Pliny's Natural History, 16.79.213-16; Pliny's source was the Roman Mucianus, who thought that the cult image by an "Endoios" was extremely ancient, however. Endoios' name appears in late sixth-century Attic inscriptions, and Pausanias notes works attributed to him. Most importantly, the Ephesians of Mucianus' time maintained the tradition that a particular sculptor had created the remade image (LiDonnici 1992, p. 398).
  13. ^ a b c CNG: IONIA, Ephesos. Phanes. Circa 625-600 BC. EL Trite (14mm, 4.67 g).
  14. ^ Valerius Maximus, Memorable deeds and sayings, 8. 14. 5: "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."Valerius Maximus, VIII.14.ext.5
  15. ^ Smith, William (1849). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 439. Archived from the original on February 2, 2007. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
  16. ^ Plutarch, Life of Alexander.
  17. ^ a b Pausanias, 10.38.6, trans Jones and Ormerod, 1918, from perseus.org. For Artemis Protothronia as a separate aspect of Ephesian cult to Artemis, see Strelan, R., Paul, Artemis, and the Jews in Ephesus, de Gruyter, 1996, p. 157.
  18. ^ Acts 19:27
  19. ^ Ramsay MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire A.D. 100-400 1984, p 26.
  20. ^ Rick Strelan, Paul, Artemis, and the Jews in Ephesus, 1996, 57–58 and footnote 83. The edict was made as a form of official apology and compensation; a senior Roman official had unwittingly offended the goddess by conducting business during one or more of her holy days. The political, economic and religious importance of Ephesian Artemis was undiminished, more than one hundred years after Paul's visit.
  21. ^ 268: Herwig Wolfram, Thomas J. Dunlap, tr., History of the Goths (1979) 1988 p.52f, correlating multiple sources, corrects the date of the Gothic advance into the Aegean against the Origo Gothica, which scrambles the events of several years, giving 267 for this event.
  22. ^ Respa, Veduco, Thurar: these names are otherwise unknown (Wolfram 1988, p.52 and note 84).
  23. ^ Jordanes, Getica xx.107.
  24. ^ a b c d Trombley, Frank R. (1 December 1995). Hellenic Religion and Christianization c. 370-529. 1. Brill. p. 145. ISBN 9789004276772.
  25. ^ Clive Foss, Ephesus after antiquity: a late antique, Byzantine, and Turkish city, Cambridge University Press, 1979, pp. 86–87 & footnote 83.
  26. ^ "Explore Turkey :: St. Sophia :: Construction for the Third Time". exploreturkey.com.
  27. ^ XXXVI.xxi.95
  28. ^ III.5
  29. ^ "Ephesos—An Ancient Metropolis: Exploration and History". Austrian Archaeological Institute. October 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
  30. ^ The sculptures were published in the British Museum Catalogue of Sculpture, vol. II, part VI.
  31. ^ "British Museum - The pot-hoard from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos". 5 February 2015. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015.
  32. ^ Stevenson, Gregory (2001). Power and place: Temple and identity in the Book of Revelation. de Gruyter. p. 77, citing Aelius Aristides, Concerning Concord, 25. For an exposition of the mechanisms involved in these social, religious and economic advantages, see Stevenson, 2001, pp. 70–80 ff.
  33. ^ Bohstrom, Philippe (11 August 2016). "Archaeologists Unveil Blazing Mosaics From Apostle Paul-era Ephesus". Haaretz.
  34. ^ LiDonnici 1992, p. 401.
  35. ^ The intended offering might have included a divine statue of Alexander himself, or simply an inscription commemorating his subsidy as a gift to the Goddess, with himself as her particular protege. The Ephesians protested with great diplomacy, it being "inappropriate for a god to dedicate offerings to a god". See Strabo, Geography, 14.1.22, variously interpreted in Strelan, p. 80, and Gregory Stevenson, Power and place: Temple and identity in the Book of Revelation, de Gruyter, 2001, p. 79.
  36. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 35–93.
  37. ^ Arnold 1972, p. 18, citing Xenophon for marriage-broking at the Ephesian Artemesia.
  38. ^ a b The iconic images have been most thoroughly assembled by Robert Fleischer, Artemis von Ephesos und der erwandte Kultstatue von Anatolien und Syrien EPRO 35 (Leiden: Brill) 1973.
  39. ^ a b c d Nielsen, M. (2009). Diana Efesia Multimammia: The metamorphosis of a pagan goddess from the Renaissance to the age of Neo-Classicism. In Tobias Fischer-Hansen & Birte Poulsen, eds. From Artemis to Diana: The Goddess of Man and Beast. Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 8763507889, 9788763507882.
  40. ^ Seiterle (1979). "Artemis: die Grosse Göttin von Ephesos". Antike Welt. 10: 3–16. accepted in the 1980s by Walter Burkert and Brita Alroth, among others, criticised and rejected by Robert Fleischer, but widely popularized.
  41. ^ Fleischer (1983). "Neues zur kleinasiatischen Kultstatue". Archäologischer Anzeiger. 98: 81–93.
  42. ^ Bammer 1990, p. 153.
  43. ^ Strabo, Geographica, 14.1.23; sometimes the existence of a college is disputed and rather, a succession of priests given the title of "Megabyzos" is preferred. They may have been few in number; their existence in any form is also disputed; see Roller, Lynn E., In Search of God the Mother: The Cult of Anatolian Cybele, University of California Press, 1999, p. 253, note 52 ISBN 9780520210240
  44. ^ Xenophon, Anabasis, 5.3.7
  45. ^ Florence Mary Bennett, Religious Cults Associated with the Amazons (1912): Chapter III: Ephesian Artemis (on-line text).
  46. ^ Quoted in Ramsay MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire AD 100–400 1984, ch. III "Christianity as presented" p. 18.
  47. ^ LiDonnici 1992.

Works cited

Further reading

  • Rodríguez Moya, Inmaculada, and Víctor Mínguez. 2017. The Seven Ancient Wonders In the Early Modern World. New York: Routledge.
  • Romer, John, and Elizabeth Romer. 1995. The Seven Wonders of the World: A History of the Modern Imagination. 1st American ed. New York: Henry Holt.

External links

Archaeological Museum of Corfu

The Archaeological Museum of Corfu (Greek: Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Κέρκυρας) in Corfu, Greece was built between 1962 and 1965. The museum land was donated by the city of Corfu. Its initial purpose was to house the archaeological finds from the Temple of Artemis in Corfu. In 1994 it was expanded with the addition of two more exhibit halls that display the more recent finds at the ancient citadel of Corfu. It is located on 1 Vraila Armeni St.

Astyra (Aeolis)

Astyra (Ancient Greek: Ἀστυρα), also known as Astyrum or Astyron (Ἄστυρον), and perhaps also Andeira (Ἀνδειρα), was a small town of ancient Aeolis and of Mysia, in the Plain of Thebe, between Antandrus and Adramyttium. It had a temple of Artemis, of which the Antandrii had the superintendence. Artemis had hence the name of Astyrene or Astirene. There was a lake Sapra near Astyra, which communicated with the sea. Pausanias, from his own observations, describes a spring of black water at Astyra; the water was hot. But he places Astyra in the territory of Atarneus. There was, then, either a place in Atarneus called Astyra, with warm springs, or Pausanias has made some mistake; for there is no doubt about the position of the Astyra of Strabo and Pomponius Mela. Astyra was a deserted place, according to Pliny's authorities; he calls it Astyre. There are said to be coins of Astyra.

Its site is tentatively located near Büyük Çal Tepe, Asiatic Turkey.


Bargylia (; Ancient Greek: Βαργυλία), was a city on the coast of ancient Caria in southwestern Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) between Iasos and Myndus. Bargylia's location corresponds to the modern Turkish town of Boğaziçi in Muğla Province.

The city was said to have been founded by Bellerophon in honour of his companion Bargylos (Greek: Βάργυλος), who had been killed by a kick from the winged horse Pegasus. Near Bargylia was the Temple of Artemis Cindyas. Strabo reports the local belief that rain would fall around the temple but never touch it. Artemis Cindyas and Pegasus appear on coinage of Bargylia.

In 201/200 BC during the Cretan War King Philip V of Macedon wintered his fleet in Bargylia when he was blockaded by the Pergamene and Rhodian fleets.Protarchus the Epicurean philosopher, the mentor of Demetrius Lacon, was a native of Bargylia.

On a headland next to the harbour at Bargylia there once stood a large tomb monument. Dating from the Hellenistic period (between 200-150 BC), the monument was dedicated to the sea monster Scylla. The over life-size figure of Scylla, along with a group of deferential and expectant hounds, was originally located at the apex of the building. The remains of this sculptural group, along with other parts of the stone structure, can be found in the British Museum's collection.There are currently reasonably extensive ruins at Bargylia, including the remnants of a temple, a theatre, a large defensive wall and a palaestra.


Brauron (Ancient Greek: Βραυρών) was one of the twelve cities of ancient Attica, but never mentioned as a deme, though it continued to exist down to the latest times. It was situated on or near the eastern coast of Attica, between Steiria and Halae Araphenides, near the river Erasinus. Brauron is celebrated on account of the worship of Artemis Brauronia, in whose honour a festival was celebrated in this place.The sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron (Modern Greek: Βραυρώνα - Vravrona) is an early sacred site on the eastern coast of Attica near the Aegean Sea in a small inlet. The inlet has silted up since ancient times, pushing the current shoreline farther from the site. A nearby hill, c. 24 m high and 220 m to the southeast, was inhabited during the Neolithic era, c. 2000 BCE, and flourished particularly from Middle Helladic to early Mycenaean times (2000–1600 BC) as a fortified site (acropolis). Occupation ceased in the LHIIIb period, and the acropolis was never significantly resettled after this time. This gap in the occupation of the site lasted from LHIIIb (13th century) until the 8th century BCE. Brauron was one of the twelve ancient settlements of Attica prior to the synoikismos of Theseus, who unified them with Athens.

The cult of Artemis Brauronia connected the coastal (rural) sanctuary at Brauron with another (urban) sanctuary on the acropolis in Athens, the Brauroneion, from which there was a procession every four years during the Arkteia festival. The tyrant Pisistratus was Brauronian by birth, and he is credited with transferring the cult to the Acropolis, thus establishing it on the statewide rather than local level. The sanctuary contained a small temple of Artemis, a unique stone bridge, cave shrines, a sacred spring, and a pi-shaped (Π) stoa that included dining rooms for ritual feasting. The unfortified site continued in use until tensions between the Athenians and the Macedonians the 3rd century BCE caused it to be abandoned. After that time, no archaeologically significant activity occurred at the site until the erection of a small church in the 6th century CE.

Votive dedications at the sanctuary include a number of statues of young children of both sexes, as well as many items pertaining to feminine life, such as jewelry boxes and mirrors. Large numbers of miniature kraters (krateriskoi) have been recovered from the site, many depicting young girls — either nude or clothed — racing or dancing. The Archaeological Museum of Brauron — located around a small hill 330 m to the ESE — contains an extensive and important collection of finds from the site throughout its period of use.


Dinocrates of Rhodes (also Deinocrates, Dimocrates, Cheirocrates and Stasicrates; Greek: Δεινοκράτης ὁ Ῥόδιος, fl. last quarter of the 4th century BC) was a Greek architect and technical adviser for Alexander the Great. He is known for his plan for the city of Alexandria, the monumental funeral pyre for Hephaestion and the reconstruction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, as well as other works.


Ephesus (; Ancient Greek: Ἔφεσος Ephesos; Turkish: Efes; may ultimately derive from Hittite Apasa) was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometres southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capital by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC.

The city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Among many other monumental buildings are the Library of Celsus, and a theatre capable of holding 25,000 spectators.Ephesos was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written here. The city was the site of several

5th-century Christian Councils (see Council of Ephesus).

The city was destroyed by the Goths in 263, and although rebuilt, the city's importance as a commercial centre declined as the harbour was slowly silted up by the Küçükmenderes River. It was partially destroyed by an earthquake in AD 614.

The ruins of Ephesus are a favourite international and local tourist attraction, partly owing to their easy access from Adnan Menderes Airport or from the cruise ship port of Kuşadası, some 30 km to the South.


Herostratus (Ancient Greek: Ἡρόστρατος) was a 4th-century BC Greek arsonist, who sought notoriety by destroying the second Temple of Artemis in Ephesus (on the outskirts of present-day Selçuk). His acts prompted the creation of a damnatio memoriae law forbidding anyone to mention his name, orally or in writing. The law was ultimately ineffective, as evidenced by mentions of his existence in modern works and parlance. Thus, Herostratus has become a metonym for someone who commits a criminal act in order to become famous.


Jerash (Arabic: جرش‎, Ancient Greek: Γέρασα) is the capital and the largest city of Jerash Governorate, Jordan, with a population of 50,745 as of 2015. It is located 48 kilometres (30 mi) north of the capital of Jordan, Amman.

The history of the city is a blend of the Greco-Roman world of the Mediterranean Basin and the ancient traditions of the Arab Orient. The name of the city reflects this interaction. The earliest Arab/Semitic inhabitants, who lived in the area during the pre-classical period of the 1st millennium BCE, named their village Garshu. The Romans later Hellenized the former name of Garshu into Gerasa. Later, the name transformed into the Arabic Jerash.The city flourished until the mid-eighth century CE, when the 749 Galilee earthquake destroyed large parts of it, while subsequent earthquakes (847 Damascus earthquake) contributed to additional destruction. However, In the early 12th century, by the year 1120, Zahir ad-Din Toghtekin, atabeg of Damascus ordered a garrison of forty men stationed in Jerash to convert the Temple of Artemis into a fortress. It was captured in 1121 by Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem, and utterly destroyed. Then, the Crusaders immediately abandoned Jerash and withdrew to Sakib (Seecip); the eastern border of the settlement.Jerash was then deserted until it reappeared by the beginning of the Ottoman rule in the early 16th century. In the census of 1596, it had a population of 12 Muslim households. However, the archaeologists have found a small Mamluk hamlet in the Northwest Quarter which indicates that Jerash was resettled before the Ottoman era. The excavations conducted since 2011 have shed light on the Middle Islamic period as recent discoveries have uncovered a large concentration of Middle Islamic/Mamluk structures and pottery.In 1806, the German traveler Ulrich Jasper Seetzen came across and wrote about the ruins he recognized. The ancient city has been gradually revealed through a series of excavations which commenced in 1925, and continue to this day.


Kangavar (Persian: كنگاور‎, Kangâvar; also Romanized as Kangāvar) is a city and capital of Kangavar County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 48,901, in 12,220 families.Kangavar is located in the easternmost part of Kermanshah Province, on the modern road from Hamadan to Kermanshah, identical with a trace of the Silk Road, located at the distance of about 75 km from Hamadan and 96 km from Kermanshah.Its name may be derived from the Avestan Kanha-vara, 'enclosure of Kanha'.Kangavar was mentioned by Isidore of Charax in the 1st century AD, by the name of "Konkobar" or "Concobar" (Greek: Κογκοβάρ) in the ancient province of Ecbatana (modern Hamedan). In antiquity, the city was in Media, with a temple of Artemis (Isidor. Char. p. 7; Tab. Pent.; Geogr. Rav.)The district, which lies in the Kangavar river valley, is very fertile and contains 30 villages. Kangavar township is 47 miles from Hamadan on the high road to Kermanshah.

In the early 20th century, Kangāvar was held in fief by the family of a deceased court official, forming a separate government.

Today, the town is best known for the archaeological remains of a mixed Sassanid and Achaemenid-style edifice. During the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the ruins were misused as a source for building material for the expanding town. Excavation first began in 1968, by which time the "large structure with its great columns set on a high stone platform" had been associated with a comment by Isidore of Charax, that refers to a "temple of Artemis" (Parthian Stations 6) at "Concobar" in Lower Medea, on the overland trade route between the Levant and India. References to Artemis in Iran are generally interpreted to be references to Anahita, and thus Isidore's "temple of Artemis" came to be understood as a reference to a temple of Anahita.

Although a general plan of the complex has been compiled, it is still not sufficient to learn about the function and shape of the terrace and the buildings that stood there. Given the lack of archaeological evidence for a temple-like building, "it is questionable whether the [temple noted by Isodore] is identical with the ruins of Kangāvar. Isidorus described obviously another temple of the first century AD, somewhere in the region of Congobar (Kangāvar) or at the place of the later platform, which, according to the results of the excavation, seems to be built up in Sasanian times."Despite the archaeological findings, the association with the divinity of fertility, healing, and wisdom has made the site a popular tourist attraction.


Karyes (Greek: Καρυές, before 1930: Αράχωβα - Arachova) is a village and a former community in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Sparti, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 64.426 km2. It is located roughly midway between Tripoli and Sparti. Population 729 (2011).

Magnesia on the Maeander

Magnesia or Magnesia on the Maeander (Ancient Greek: Μαγνησία ἡ πρὸς Μαιάνδρῳ or Μαγνησία ἡ ἐπὶ Μαιάνδρῳ; Latin: Magnḗsĭa ad Mæándrum) was an ancient Greek city in Ionia, considerable in size, at an important location commercially and strategically in the triangle of Priene, Ephesus and Tralles. The city was named Magnesia, after the Magnetes from Thessaly who settled the area along with some Cretans. It was later called "on the Meander" to distinguish it from the nearby Lydian city Magnesia ad Sipylum.

The territory around Magnesia was extremely fertile, and produced excellent wine, figs, and cucumbers. It was built on the slope of Mount Thorax, on the banks of the small river Lethacus, a tributary of the Maeander river upstream from Ephesus. It was 15 miles from the city of Miletus. The ruins of the city are located west of the modern village Tekin in the Germencik district of Aydın Province, Turkey.

Magnesia lay within Ionia, but because it had been settled by Aeolians from Greece, was not accepted into the Ionian League. Magnesia may have been ruled for a time by the Lydians, and was for some time under the control of the Persians, and subject to Cimmerian raids. In later years, Magnesia supported the Romans in the Second Mithridatic War.


In Greek mythology, Munichus (; Ancient Greek: Μούνιχος, Moúnikhos) may refer to:

Munichus or Munychus, son of Panteucles or Pantacles and a king of Athens. He was believed to have been the eponym of the Munichian harbor in Athens and founder of the temple of Artemis Munychia in Peiraeus which he had seized. It was also related that when Orchomenus was invaded by the Thracians, the inhabitants of Orchomenus fled to Munichos who welcomed them, and subsequently named the place where he let them dwell Munichia after the hospitable king. He also appeared in a vase painting alongside other allies of Theseus against the Amazons. A hero cult of him existed, as is evident from an inscription found in Peiraeus that reads: "[name missing], son of Epicharmus, has offered to Munichus".

Munichus, son of Dryas, king of the Molossians and a seer. He was husband of Lelante and by her father of three sons, Philaeus, Alcander and Megaletor, and of a daughter Hyperippe. Of them Alcander excelled his father in prophetic abilities. The family were just and righteous and therefore especially favored by the gods. One day, raiders attacked them in the fields; the family ran off to their house and began to throw various objects at them in self-defense, whereupon the offenders set fire to the house. Zeus would not let his favorites die such a miserable death and changed them all into birds: Munichus into a buzzard, Lelante into a green woodpecker, Alcander into a wren, Hyperippe into a loon, Megaletor into an "ichneumon" and Philaeus into a "dog-bird".


Pygela (Ancient Greek: Πύγελα) or Phygela (Φύγελα) was a small town of ancient Ionia, on the coast of the Caystrian Bay, a little to the south of Ephesus. According to Greek mythology, it was said to have been founded by Agamemnon, and to have been peopled with the remnants of his army; it contained a temple of Artemis Munychia. Dioscorides commends the wine of this town. It was a polis (city-state) and a member of the Delian League.Its site is located near Kuşadası, Asiatic Turkey.

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Seven Wonders of the World or the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is a list of remarkable constructions of classical antiquity given by various authors in guidebooks or poems popular among ancient Hellenic tourists. Although the list, in its current form, did not stabilise until the Renaissance, the first such lists of seven wonders date from the 1st-2nd century BC. The original list inspired innumerable versions through the ages, often listing seven entries. Of the original Seven Wonders, only one—the Great Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Khufu, after the pharaoh who built it), the oldest of the ancient wonders—remains relatively intact. The Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis and the Statue of Zeus were all destroyed. The location and ultimate fate of the Hanging Gardens are unknown, and there is speculation that they may not have existed at all.


Teleclus or Teleklos (Greek: Τήλεκλος) was the 8th Agiad dynasty king of Sparta during the eighth century BC. He was the son of King Archelaus and grandson of King Agesilaus I.

Pausanias reports that Teleclus' reign saw the conquest of Amyclae, Pharis and Geranthrae, towns of the Perioeci or "dwellers round about".Teleclus was killed during a skirmish with the Messanians during a festival at the temple of Artemis Limnatis, an event foreshadowing the First Messenian War.

He was succeeded by his son Alcmenes.

Temple of Artemis, Corfu

The Temple of Artemis is an Archaic Greek temple in Corfu, Greece, built in around 580 BC in the ancient city of Korkyra (or Corcyra). It is found on the property of the Saint Theodore monastery, which is located in the suburb of Garitsa. The temple was dedicated to Artemis. It is known as the first Doric temple exclusively built with stone. It is also considered the first building to have incorporated all of the elements of the Doric architectural style. Very few Greek temple reliefs from the Archaic period have survived, and the large fragments of the group from the pediment are the earliest significant survivals.

The temple was a peripteral–styled building with a pseudodipteral configuration. Its perimeter was rectangular, with width of 23.46 m (77.0 ft) and length 49 m (161 ft) with an eastward orientation so that light could enter the interior of the temple at sunrise. It was one of the largest temples of its time.The metope of the temple was probably decorated, since remnants of reliefs featuring Achilles and Memnon were found in the ancient ruins. The temple has been described as a milestone of Ancient Greek architecture and one of 150 masterpieces of Western architecture. The Corfu temple architecture may have influenced the design of an archaic sanctuary structure found at St. Omobono in Italy, near Tiber in Ancient Rome, at the time of the Etruscans, which incorporates similar design elements. Kaiser Wilhelm II, while vacationing at his summer palace of Achilleion in Corfu and while Europe was preparing for war, was involved in excavations at the site of the ancient temple. The Temple of Artemis is approximately 700 m. to the northwest of the Temple of Hera in the Palaiopolis of Corfu. The massive altar of the sanctuary is precisely rectangular and stood in front of the temple. It was 2.7 m. wide and 25 m. long. Only 8 m. of its northern section survive. The rest of the altar was built over, under the foundations of the Saint Theodore monastery.

Temple of Artemis, Jerash

The Jerash Temple of Artemis was a Roman temple in Jerash, Jordan. The temple was built on one of the highest points and dominated the whole city. Ruins of the temple are still one of the most remarkable monuments left of the ancient city of Gerasa (Jerash).

Temple of Artemis (disambiguation)

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Temple of Artemis may also refer to the following shrines dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis:

Temple of Artemis Amarynthia in Amarynthos in Euboea

Temple of Artemis at Brauron, Attica

Temple of Artemis in Corfu

Temple of Artemis in Jerash

Brauroneion on the Athenian Acropolis

Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia at Sparta

Term (architecture)

In Classical architecture a term or terminal figure (plural: terms or termini) is a human head and bust that continues as a square tapering pillar-like form.

The name derives from Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries and boundary markers. 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 called a herma or herm. The crime of Alcibiades and his drinking-mates, for which Socrates eventually indirectly paid with his life, was the desecration of herm figures through Athens in the dead of night.

At the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Lady of Ephesus, whom the Greeks identified with Artemis, was a many-breasted goddess encased in a tapering term, from which her feet protruded. (See illustration at Temple of Artemis).

In the architecture and the painted architectural decoration of the European Renaissance and the succeeding Classical styles, term figures are quite common. Often they represent minor deities associated with fields and vineyards and the edges of woodland, Pan and fauns and Bacchantes especially, and they may be draped with garlands of fruit and flowers.

Term figures were a particularly characteristic feature of the 16th-century style in furniture and carved interior decoration that is called Antwerp Mannerism. Engravings disseminated the style through Germany and England.

Term figures as table supports or employed as candlestands (French guéridon) were characteristic of the Late Baroque Louis XIV style in France, the Low Countries and England, revived in the neo-Palladian furniture designed by William Kent and employed again in the French Empire style of the early 19th century.

The Seven Wonders

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