Click here for the Turkey Travelogue Index.After an exhausting trek up, down and around Ephesus, we set out along a nicely paved, Mulberry fruit-stained path to the modern city of Selçuk. About 45 minutes later, on the outskirts of the city, we stopped to see the ruins of the great Temple of Artemis:
(Click here for a bigger map.)Once one of the seven wonders of the world, all that now remains of the Artemision is a couple pillars (the one on the left had a stork's nest on top), and the foundation of a Hellenistic altar: According to Acts 19, Paul ran into trouble with one Demetrius, a
Two statues of Artemis were discovered in the Pyrtaneion of nearby Ephesus, the first is large (2.92m high) and dates from the first century A.D.:
The second is much smaller, and dates from the second century A.D.:
Both statues are now in the air-conditioned (!) Archaeological Museum in Selçuk, where there is also a reconstruction of the Temple:
Outside the museum you can still purchase statues of Artemis, though we didn't notice any silver shrines.
Suggestions about the round objects on her chest range from "bulls' testicles" (Blue Guide) to "egg-like breasts" (Lonely Planet Guide). Scholars believe that Artemis of the Ephesians was originally worshipped as Cybele, the Anatolian mother goddess. She reminded us of Ungit, the (imaginary) goddess in C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces. If you've read the book, you'll know what we mean. Greco-Roman religion was not the tame and neutered rational religion one might expect from studying "classics", where the literature of Greek mythology is kept separate from imagining the practice of daily life. N.B. This comment is directed at the "classics" not the Classics. No offense intended toward the latter.