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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Temple of Artemis-Turkey

The Temple of Artemis also known as the Temple of Diana, was a Greek temple dedicated to Artemis completed around 550 BC.The Temple of Artemis was located in the ancient city of Ephesus, about 50 km south from the modern port city of Izmir, in Turkey. The temple was a 120-year project started by Croesus, king of Lydia. The Temple was designed and constructed by the Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes.
The temple was constructed of marble and considered the most beautiful of some thirty shrines built by the Greeks to honour their goddess of the hunt, the wild and childbirth. Four hundred and twenty-five feet long, and supported by columns sixty feet high, it was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This inspired a sense of mystery and awe for the Greeks, and emphasized Alexander the Great's vast empire.
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.
The temple of Artemis at Ephesus was destroyed on July 21, 356 BC in an act of arson committed by Herostratus a ordinary young man. According to the story, his motivation was fame at any cost, thus he planned to the burn 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, consigned Herostratus to torture and his name to oblivion. Theopompus, a Greek historian later noted the name, which is how it is known today.
That very same night, Alexander the Great was born. Plutarch, other Greek Historian remarked that Artemis was too preoccupied with Alexander's delivery to save her burning temple.
Alexander later offered to pay for the temple's rebuilding, but the Ephesians refused. Eventually, the temple was restored after Alexander's death, in 323 BC. This reconstruction was itself destroyed during a raid by the Goths, an East Germanic tribe, in 262, in the time of emperor Gallienus.
Over the next two centuries, the majority of Ephesians converted to Christianity, and the Temple of Artemis lost its religious appeal. Christians tore down the remenants of the temple, and the stones were used in construction of other buildings.

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