Temple of Diana

Temple of Diana - Ephesus

Cayster River Temple of Diana Theater of Ephesus
Temple of Diana

Temple of Diana - Ephesus

Ephesus' Temple of Diana is commemorated by a rusty sign and some broken columns stacked on a crude cement base. During Ephesus' heyday, the Temple of Diana was supported by 127, sixty-foot tall ionic columns. The Temple of Diana covered an area 130 x 60 yards. Deemed one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Ephesus' Temple of Diana was 4 times larger than the Parthenon in Athens.

Ephesus' Temple of Diana was originally built in the 8th century BC as a temple dedicated to Artemis, the Greek goddess. By the 1st century AD, however, Romans ruled Ephesus and substituted their goddess Diana for the Greeks' Artemis. The substitution of Diana appears to have been okay with Ephesus' silversmiths as long as they could continue to peddle miniature copies of the Temple of Diana / Artemis. Their profit margin appears to have been squeezed, however, when the Apostle Paul came to Ephesus and preached against idolatry:

"And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.” Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions. And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him. Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater." (Acts 19:23-31)

What does that "theater" look like today? Please click here.

Cayster River Theater of Ephesus