temple is at the beginning of the
Selcuk-Kusadasi road. This temple,
one of the Seven Wonders of the
Ancient World, was first popular
around 334 to 250 BC. It was
destroyed and had to be rebuilt
seven times because of earthquakes,
looting and fire. Today there is
nothing left of the Ionic structure
surrounded by massive columns but
its altar area. The temple was made
with the world's best marble and was
a truly gigantic structure. Some of
the remains are in the British
Museum in London.
The present temple site was from the
Hellenistic period. It is thought
that similar to monotheistic
religions, the Ephesian Artemis
combined the strength of many gods.
The temple had 127 columns, on a
field 105 by 55 meters and was 17.65
m high. The altar was approached by
13 steps. Lydian king Croesus
donated the 36 columns on the front.
were a number of priests officiating
at the temple, along with a high
priest. It was considered an honor
to be the high priest.
was another class of priests serving
the temple who were called
"curates", who were named for
demi-gods in mythology. Mythology
said that when Dionysius was born
from Zeus' leg the curates were
instructed to make noise so Zeus'
wife Hera would not notice. In the
same way these curates made noise
when Artemis was born from Leto.