The Temple of Artemis-Diana - Ancient Wonder

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Which was the greatest building created by our ancestors? One ancient writer is quite sure. "I have seen the walls and hanging gardens of old Babylon, the statue of Olympian Jove (Zeus), the Colossus of Rhodes, the great labour of the lofty Pyramids, and the ancient tomb of Mausolus," he writes "but when I beheld the temple at Ephesus towering to the clouds, all these other marvels were eclipsed." Another writer, declared that the temple "surpasses every structure raised by human hands." The Temple of Artemis Diana is one of the seven wonders of the ancienf world and one of the seven wonders of the world.

Five times the people of the city of Ephesus (in is now modern Turkey) built a temple on the site where, at the fifth attempt, they created this spectacular wonder of the world. They began the first attempt, it is thought, about 700 BC, the fifth, the masterpiece dedicated to Diana, goddess of hunting, was finished about 323 BC.

When the fourth temple was burned down there was real determination in Ephesus to build a spectacular replacement. The ladies of the city sold their jewels to provide funds, and kings in Asia Minor presented columns. Alexander the Great offered to pay for everything if the Ephesians would inscribe his name upon it as the dedicator. They refused, replying with great diplomacy that it was not correct for one god to make dedications to another.

The new wonder of the world became a hallowed shrine for many peoples. "All nations," said a writer, "deposit their riches in the Temple of Diana." ArKother said "The temple is a common treasury for all Asia."

One story told about this treasure house concerns a famous painting of Alexander the Great on a horse, which hung in the
temple. The painter, named Apelles, was paid twenty gold talents for it, although Alexander didn't seem to think it did him great justice. But his horse, coming up to the painting, began to neigh at the horse in the picture as if it were alive. "Yoy see, King," said Apelles, "your horse is a better judge ofa picture than you are!"

In the third century AD the Goths, who became the scourge of the decaying Roman Empire, plundered and burnt the temple, and it then appears that people just lost interest in it. The worship of Diana had gone out of fashion, and by the fourth century the temple's ruins were being quarried for building material. Its scanty remains were finally drowned by a river that changed course, and thus the temple that eclipsed all other marvels' was finally buried under a layer of mud.

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