Mystery Wonders
Temple of Artemis

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The temple of Artemis is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. It has been built in the areas of Ephesus on a flat area which has over the centuries turned into a swamp. If you visit Ephesus today, you can only see the ruins of the foundations of this marvelous construction of the Hellenistic Age, entirely made of marble and full of sculptured columns' capitals and shafts. The most beautiful remaining of this temple are today exhibited in the London British Museum. The oldest remaining found date back till the 6th century BC. It was surrounded by 36 huge columns, later enlarged upon the orders of the Lydia King, Kreisos, during the 6th century BC. Most of the exhibits in the London British Museum belong to this period. The new Artemis has been rebuilt in the 2nd century BC. Located on top of the previous one, it had tremendous dimensions: 127 columns of each 17,5 meters high. Unfortunately this one has also been destroyed by fire, reconstructed and again demolished by earthquakes, rebuilt and at last looted by Goths one year later. The statue of many-breasted Artemis was the symbol of the temple but also of abundance, hunting and wild life. The genuine statue of Artemis, removed during the fire, is today exhibited in the Selcuk Museum. Many copies of this statue found during the latest excavations date back from the Roman period. Mythological Info Artemis was also called Cynthia, from her birth place, Mount Cynthus in Delos. She was Apollo's twin sister, daughter of Zeus and Leto. She was one of the three maiden goddesses of Olympus: the pure maiden Vesta, gray-eyed Athena who cares but for war and the arts of the craftsmen, and Artemis, lover of woods and the wild chase over the mountain. She was the Lady of Wild Things, Huntsman-in-chief to the gods, an odd office for a woman. As a huntress her favorite animal was the stag, because its swiftness gave the best opportunity for her method of capture, which was by her silver bow and arrows and speed of foot. As Phoebus was the Sun, she was the Moon called Phoebe and Selene (Luna) representing the evening and night, carrying a torch, and clad in long heavy robes, with a veil covering the back of her head. Neither name originally belonged to her. Phoebe was a Titan, one of the older gods. So too was Selene, a moon-goddess, indeed, but not connected with Apollo. She was the sister of Helios, the sun-god with whom Apollo was confused. She was worshipped in Athens, Corinth, and Thebes as goddess of strict upbringing, of good fame, of upright mind, and of sensibility in the affairs of ordinary life. She chased and fired her arrows at all wild and unchecked creatures and actions. In the later poets, Artemis is identified with Hecate. She is "the goddess with three forms", Selene in the sky, Artemis on earth, Hecate in the lower world and in the world above when it is wrapped in darkness. Hecate was the Goddess of the dark of the Moon, the black nights when the moon is hidden. She was associated with deeds of darkness, the Goddess of the Crossways, which were held to be ghostly places of evil magic. Footnotes: At Ephesus, where her great temple was one of the seven wonders of the world, Artemis was represented with a mural crown, with a disc behind the crown; on her breast, a garland of flowers, as a sign of her influence in spring time. Lions cling to her arms; as mother of wild beasts, she has many breasts; her legs are closely bandaged and ornamented with figures of bulls, stags, lions, and griffins; at the sides are flowers and bees. This figures may have resembled the original image of the goddess which had fallen from heaven. Selene, (Luna) is represented as riding on a mule or a horse; on the pediment of the Parthenon it is a horse.


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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. The Artemesium was built to honor the Greek goddess Artemis, goddess of the moon and the hunt, by King Croesus of Lydia. The classic Ionic temple was designed and built by Cherisiphron, an architect from Crete, along with his son Metagenes. The location of the temple in Asia Minor was at a commercial crossroads, and therefore attracted a great variety of visitors, with varying religious beliefs. It is because of this that the cult of Artemis that was worshipped here also incorporated elements of worship of other deities, such as Cybele, an earth-mother goddess of the region around Turkey. In fact, the cult statue within the temple was likely reminiscent of this Near-Eastern goddess, featuring several breasts (a symbol of fertility), and portrayed in statuary with legs closed, tapering as a pillar or a sarcophagus (quite unlike Classical Greek statues). Model of the Temple of Artemis Model of the Temple of Artemis 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. There were also several paintings adorning the walls, and gilded columns of gold and silver. The cult statue housed within the temple was not huge, like the statue of Zeus at Olympia was, but rather more "life-sized", and stood upon a marble pedestal. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was set ablaze on July 21, 356 BC by Herostratus, who held nothing personally against Artemis or the temple, but saw its destruction as a path to personal fame. The temple was reconstructed after the death of Alexander the Great (who curiously had been born on July 21, 356 BC), and then it was destroyed again in 262 by the Goths. Remains of the temple were used in the construction of later buildings. Very little remains of the Artemesium. Its location was discovered in 1869, and excavations begun then. Several artifacts were excavated, and are housed today at the British Museum in London. As for the site at Ephesus, only a lonely reconstructed column stands today, a poignant reminder of the grandiose and gleaming temple whose religious and architectural significance made it one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.




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Parícutin
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Rio de Janeiro
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Ayers Rock
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Matterhorn Mountain
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Underwater Pyramids of Cuba
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Iron Pillar Delhi
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Pillars of weathering
Blue Neon Waves
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Stonehenge
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Wonder Rock
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Great Pyramid of Giza
Giant Stone Balls
Sigiriya Sri Lanka
Mount Nemrut
Easter Island Secrets
Waterfalls Rio Tulija
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Mount Rushmore
Valley of Love Ireland
Acropolis of Athens
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