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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Seven Wonders of the World - Temple of Artemis


This was supposed to be one of the most beautiful structures on the Earth. No wonder it got recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world.This is located on the west coast of modern Turkey, south of Selcuk county about 50 km south of Smyrna.
This place was called as Ephesus during ancient times.
This temple was destroyed and rebuilt over several hundred years. This was first built during 800 BC near the river at Ephesus. The God Artemis in Ephesus is a goddess of fertility. In some instances Artemis is linked closely to the Roman and Italian goddess, Diana. She also is goddess of night, fruitfulness, childbirth, beasts, bull and is an eternal virgin. 
This earliest temple supposedly contained a sacred stone, probably fallen from Jupiter. By 600 BC, a Greek architect named Chersiphron (and his son, Metagenes) was engaged and the temple was built. The temple was decorated with beautiful bronze statues sculpted by artists Pheidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas and Phradmon. This was destroyed by the Lydian king Croesus when he conquered Ephesus. He later built a large temple at the same place with the help of Theodorus.
This temple was both a market place and a place of worship. For years this place was visited by lots of merchants, tourists, artisans, kings to pay their homage and share their profits with the Artemis goddess. Lots of scholars venerated to the extent that this came to be recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world.
On July 21, 356 BC, a man named HeroStratus burned the temple. He did this in order to gain a big name in the history. For an inquisitive info, Alexander was also born the same night. The reconstruction was commenced very shortly with an architect called Scopas of Paros. He was the best architect of those times. When Alexander conquered                                            Asia Minor, he offered to rebuild the temple. The reconstruction was in progress when he reached this place. Even then, it was restored only after his death. When he came into this place in 333 BC, the temple was still being rebuilt.
This Temple was the last of the Great Goddess Temples to remain open and was the site of Goddess worship well into the Christian era. When St. Paul visited Ephesus to preach Christianity, he was not at all accepted by the local Artemisians. But after the temple was destroyed by Goths in AD 262, most of the people had got themselves converted to Christianity. In AD 401 St. John Chrysostom torn the whole structure down. That was the end to this wonder of the world. This site got excavated only in 19th century.
This one of the seven wonders of world supposed to have contained 106 columns and each of them believed to be from 40 to 60 ft height. foundation was approximately 200 feet by 400 feet.

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