Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
In ancient city of Ephesus, the goddess Artemis (Diana) was the goddess of fertility. Thus, its image has many breasts as interpreted in archaeology. The site and the few remaining ruins of the temple can now be seen in south of Izmir, Turkey. The location of the ruins of Temple of Artemis is now a swamp.
The temple of Artemis has many columns and they are fully made with marble, except for the wooden tile roof. It also housed many works of art made by famous ancient sculptors. Many fragments of the sculptures displayed in this temple were recovered and rebuilt and can now be seen in “Ephesus Room” in the British Museum.
The Temple of Artemis was built and rebuilt about three times in its history, until it was finally closed down and abandoned due to the rise of Christianity. First, it was built by an architect from Cretes; Chersiphron and his son, Metagenes. When it was finished, this temple attracted many worshippers from far off lands during that time. On the same night that Alexander the Great was born, Herostratus burned down the temple. Herostratus was determined to become famous at any cost. Surely, burning down one of the most precious temples of the time will make him well known all over the world. Herostratus was then put to death through torture by The Ephesians for committing the crime. Many years later, Alexander the Great offered to rebuild this temple but the Ephesians refused. It was later rebuilt after his death. After the second reconstruction, the Goths set this temple on fire together with many other cities they come across. For the third time, the Ephesians rebuilt this temple. Years after its reconstruction though, many Ephesians had converted to Christianity, and therefore was closed down along with other temples in Ephesus. It was later destroyed by a mob and some of its stones were used in construction of other buildings.