The Temple of Artemis was built in a swampy area of the city of Ephesus, and was dedicated to Artemis (Lady of Ephesus), a Greek Goddess. Artemis was the Goddess of nature, birth, virginity, and fertility.
The temple was destroyed as many times as it was built, but was rebuilt at the same place over and over again. The temple was destroyed by various invaders, such as Herostratus, Croesus, the Goths, and St. John Chrysostom. It was eventually constructed in a rectangular form.
Construction and Destruction
An architect by the name of Theodorus constructed the temple. It was 300 feet long and 150 feet wide. It was first destroyed in 550 BCE.
In 356 BCE, Herostratus, who was a native of Ephesus himself, burnt down the temple to earn fame. People were furious and decided not to speak to him; if any did, they were killed. Alexander the Great offered some financial help for the rebuilding of the temple, after he heard the news of its destruction. However, the Ephesians refused to accept the help from him.
Unfortunately, in 262 CE, the temple was attacked by the Goths, who destroyed it by fire. In 401 CE, the temple was again destroyed by St. John Chrysostom and his followers, and the stones of the temple were used to construct other buildings.
In 1869, the remains of the temple were discovered by John Turtle Wood and his team, in a campaign that ended in 1879, and was supported by the British Museum. Later, D.G. Hogarth, a British archaeologist also found some remains of the temple around 1905.
Some of the discovered remains of the sculptures are exhibited in the Ephesus Room in the British Museum.
The temple does not exist in its entirety today, but a pillar stands in the marshlands of Ephesus, and reminds visitors of a place where one of the seven wonders of the ancient world stood. Recent discoveries include gifts of the people that were offered to the Goddess when the temple existed.