The Temple of Artemis
By: Brandon

Artwork by Brandon

    The Temple of Artemis was the largest temple of ancient times and was the first building made entirely of marble. It was built about 550 B.C., although the foundation of the building dates back to the 7th century B.C.  Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo, the god of t.ruth and love.

     The temple was decorated with bronze statues sculpted only by the most skilled artists of their time: Phidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas, and Phradmon. Built on a platform measuring 430 feet by 259 feet, the rectangular temple was larger than the Parthenon in Athens that measured 366 by 170 feet.  The huge roof was supported by over 120 elaborately carved columns. Each column consisted of about 12 cylindrical blocks of marble that were raised into place with pulleys and placed on top of one another to form a column.  There was also a room that sheltered a magnificent statue of Artemis.  She was the goddess of the forest and the goddess of fertility.

     On the night of 21 July, 356 B.C. , a man named Herostratus burned the temple to the ground in order to have his name immortalized in history.  He did indeed. That same night Alexander the Great was born. Eventually it was rebuilt by Alexander the Great who conquered Ephesus. The reconstructed temple lasted for many years but was looted by Goths and then flooded. By A.D. 262 the temple was destroyed beyond repair.  If you go to the site today you will find that one column is still standing and traces of the foundation and road can still be seen.