Student Stories on the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus - The Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus by Illiana Cutrupi and Coral Diaz

This illustration was created by Ferdinand Knab (1834-1902) around 1886. It is from Knab's series "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World." Online via Wikimedia Commons.


Have you ever wondered what the seven most wonderful ancient buildings of the world are? If you have, my partner and I are going to teach you about one of them.

The seven most ancient buildings are called the seven wonders and they are:

  • The temple of Artemis
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • The Statue of Zeus
  • The Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria
  • The Colossus of Rhodes
  • The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

First things first, the great and ancient temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus is located in modern day Turkey, but back then - when the great temple was first built - today’s Republic of Turkey did not exist in that form. In fact, “Turkey” didn’t become “Turkey” until the 20th century.

So, this means that when the temple was first built they did not call the country what we call it now. I always thought that what a place is called now is what it has always been called before I was born, but I was completely wrong.

Before Turkey became a republic, the country was home to lots of different people over the recorded history of time (and even before). It’s amazing to think about because what we know as Turkey has been inhabited by many different people since the Paleolithic age. Some of those people were:

  • Various ancient Anatolians
  • Assyrians
  • Greeks
  • Thracians
  • Phrygians
  • Urartians
  • Armenians

Then the whole area became the home of a very long-lasting empire called the Ottomans. Their big city was Istanbul, but that same city used to be called Constantinople.

I wonder how all of this could happen in the same place.

It’s kind of like the Temple of Artemis itself. It started off around 800 BC when a temple was built to honor the Ephesian goddess Artemis. She was a goddess of fertility. Over time, when that temple was destroyed, it was built again. It was still dedicated to Artemis, but she was the Greek Artemis, a goddess of hunting and the Moon.

A building can’t last forever, especially when it’s damaged by war or by earthquakes or by someone who sets it on fire. Around 356 BC, an arsonist torched Diana’s temple. The Ephesians were so upset with the criminal that they tortured him to death.

Another temple arose on the same site, but it took a long time to build. It was worth it, though, because it became one of the wonders of the world. It was made of marble so nobody could burn it. People say it was the first time any building in the world was made of marble.

This wonder lasted a long time until it was wrecked by the Goths in the third century AD. After that it was built again, but it wasn’t nearly so beautiful. Around 100 or so years later, the temple was closed. People didn’t worship Artemis anymore. Then a mob finished off the temple in 401, and people used the stones to build other things.

If you ever wondered about this amazing place, and you should if you didn’t before, now you know the main things about it.

Original Release: May 23, 2017

Updated Last Revision: Jun 14, 2017

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"The Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus by Illiana Cutrupi and Coral Diaz" AwesomeStories.com. May 23, 2017. Feb 26, 2020.
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