Amazons, the legendary founders of Ephesus

amazons-ephesus

Amazons were the female warriors that lived in Anatolia (Anatolia is the name of the region of today’s Asian part of Turkey) around 2nd millennium BC. They are believed to be the daughters of god Ares (the god of war) and Harmonia. They disappear from the historical records from Anatolia after the 7th century BC.

Amazons first appear in around the foothills of Caucasus Mountains and then move to the Black Sea coast to Themiscyra which is accepted by historians as the lands of Amazons. Themiscyra of the ancient times is referring to today’s Terme River in the black sea region of Turkey between Sinop and Ordu cities.

There are different opinions about the origin of the name ‘Amazon’. According to the most popular theory, the word ‘Mazon’ means breast and a-mazons were the females without a breast. They were cutting one of their breasts to use their weapons more efficiently. According to another point of view, the prefix ‘a’ is used to strengthen the word mazon – breast to emphasize the female warriors fighting like a man. When we look at the sculptures of Amazons from different times and geographies, the Amazon ladies are depicted with two breasts generally which supports the second theory.

Amazons were living apart from men, and using men only to proliferate by sleeping with a man they liked once a year. If they had a son, they would leave him to the father, and they only accepted females to their society.

The Amazons are seen on history stage in several different myths and stories. Hercules, the son of Zeus, was born from an affair of Zeus with a human being named Alcmene. Hera, the official wife of Zeus tried to take revenge from Hercules all the time and gave Hercules 12 tasks to complete, wishing Hercules would be dead by the end. One of the missions was to get back the golden belt from the Amazon queen Hippolyte. Hercules and Theseus went to the land of Amazons and they were welcomed very friendly. Hercules took the golden belt from the queen as a gift. But this time Hera was frustrated, she changed herself into an Amazon and caused a massive disorder which ended by the killing of queen Hippolyte by Heracles. Theseus kidnapped the Antiope, the sister of the queen, to Athens and with the leadership of Orithtya, Amazons attacked Athens to get back Antiope which takes place as a historical fact in the writings of Socrates. Following this story, according to a powerful theory, on their way to Athens or back, Amazons established Ephesus as well as many other cities around the same location.

Amazons are taking place at the famous Troy war around 1200 BC. They are believed to help Hector against Achilles. Queen Penthesilea was shot to death from her breast just after she injured Achilles. On her last moments, Achilles took of her helmet and saw the beauty of Penthesilea and fell in love with this woman that he just killed.

In all around the world, at the famous museums, one can see the sculptures of these female warriors of Anatolia made by several artists at different times. One of the beautiful reliefs of Amazons that were carved on the Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus Ancient City is now displayed at the local museum of Ephesus in Selcuk, Turkey.

amazons-ephesus2

http://www.ephesus.us

Silver cistophorus of Mark Antony

Roman, around 40 BC Minted at Ephesos, modern TurkeyRoman, around 40 BC, Minted at Ephesos, modern Turkey.

Following the death of Julius Caesar a ‘triumvirate for setting public affairs in order’ was created. One member of the group of three, M. Aemilius Lepidus, soon became marginalised, but the other two, Octavian (Julius Caesar’s elected heir) and Mark Antony, grew in power and in animosity towards each other. In 40 BC, a temporary halt was brought to the breakdown in relations between the two men by a pact made at Brundisium (modern Brindisi). Under the terms of the pact Antony married Octavian’s sister, Octavia.

This silver cistophorus was produced at the mint of Ephesos, in part to celebrate the union. On the reverse appears the standard design of a cistophorus: a chest known as a cista surrounded by snakes. However, a bust of Octavia has been introduced above the cistophorus, which is flanked by Antony’s title, IIIVIR RPC. The front of the coin is also remarkable in its treatment of the portrait of Mark Antony: he is given the ivy leaf crown of Dionysos. This somewhat orientalizing tendency conflicts with the typically Roman series of titles given to Antony: M. ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, ‘Imperator and Consul designate for the second and third time’.

Source : British Museum

Temple of Hadrian

Temple-of-Hadrian-Ephesus

It is one of the best preserved and most beautiful structures on Curetes Street. It was built before 138 A.D by P. Quintilius and was dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian, who came to visit the city from Athens in 128 A.D The facade of the temple has four Corinthian columns supporting a curved arch, in the middle of which contains a relief of Tyche, goddess of victory. The side columns are square. The pedestal with inscriptions in front of the temple, are the bases for the statues of the emperors between 293-305 CE, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius I, and Galerius; the originals of the statues have not been found yet.

Inside the temple above the door, a human figure, probably Medusa stands with ornaments of acanthus leaves. On both sides there are friezes depicting the story of the foundation of Ephesus – Androklos shooting a boar, Dionysus in ceremonial procession and the Amazons. The fourth frieze portrays two male figures, one of which is Apollo; Athena, goddess of the moon; a female figure, Androkles, Herakles, the wife and son of Theodosius and the goddess Athena. The friezes that are seen today are copies, and the originals are displayed in Ephesus Museum.

Emperor Hadrian was one of the Five of Good Emperors. The Five Good Emperors is a term that refers to five consecutive emperors of the Roman Empire – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. The term is first coined by the political philosopher, Niccolò Machiavelli in 1532. Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born on 24 January AD 76, probably at Rome, though his family lived in Italica in Baetica. Emporor Trajan was his cousin. Hadrian was schooled in various subjects particular to young aristocrats of the day, and was so fond of learning Greek literature that he was nicknamed Graeculus (“Little Greek”).Hadrian was active in the wars against the Dacians and reputedly won awards from Trajan for his successes. Due to an absence of military action in his reign, Hadrian’s military skill is not well attested, however his keen interest and knowledge of the army and his demonstrated skill of administration show possible strategic talent.

Hadrian appears to have been a man of mixed sexual interests. The Historia Augusta criticizes both his liking of goodlooking young men as well as his adulteries with married women.It is belived that he tried to poison his wife. When it comes to Hadrian’s homosexuality, then the accounts remain vague and unclear. Most of the attention centres on the young Antinous, whom Hadrian grew very fond of. Statues of Antinous have survived, showing that imperial patronage of this youth extended to having sculptures made of him. In AD 130 Antinous accompanied Hadrian to Egypt. It was on a trip on the Nile when Antinous met with an early and somewhat mysterious death. Officially, he fell from the boat and drowned.

Hadrian died in 138 on the tenth day of July, in his villa at Baiae at age 62. However, the man who had spent so much of his life traveling had not yet reached his journey’s end. He was buried first at Puteoli, near Baiae, on an estate which had once belonged to Cicero. Soon after, his remains were transferred to Rome and buried in the Gardens of Domitia, close by the almost-complete mausoleum. Upon the completion of the Tomb of Hadrian in Rome in 139 by his successor Antoninus Pius, his body was cremated, and his ashes were placed there together with those of his wife Vibia Sabina and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, who also died in 138. Antoninus also had him deified in 139 and given a temple on the Campus Martius.

Poem by Hadrian
According to the Historia Augusta Hadrian wrote shortly before his death the following poem:

Animula, vagula, blandula
Hospes comesque corporis
Quae nunc abibis in loca
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis iocos…
P. Aelius Hadrianus Imp.
Little soul, roamer and charmer
Body’s guest and companion
Who soon will depart to places
Darkish, chilly and misty
An end to all your jokes…

Theodosius Arrives at Ephesus from a Scene from the Legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

ca. 1200–1205,Made in Rouen,  Pot-metal glass, vitreous paint, Overall: 25 x 28 1/8in. (63.5 x 71.5cm), Glass-Stained. (The Seven Sleepers, commonly called the "Seven Sleepers of Ephesus", refers to a group of Christian youths who hid inside a cave outside the city of Ephesus around 250 AD, to escape a persecution of Christians being conducted during the reign of the Roman emperor Decius.)
ca. 1200–1205,Made in Rouen, Pot-metal glass, vitreous paint, Overall: 25 x 28 1/8in. (63.5 x 71.5cm), Glass-Stained. (The Seven Sleepers, commonly called the “Seven Sleepers of Ephesus”, refers to a group of Christian youths who hid inside a cave outside the city of Ephesus around 250 AD, to escape a persecution of Christians being conducted during the reign of the Roman emperor Decius.)

According to their legend, seven noble retainers of the Roman emperor Decius were converted to Christianity and refused to perform pagan rites. To escape persecution, the seven hid in a cave and prayed for deliverance. God answered their prayers by putting them into a deep sleep just as imperial soldiers discovered the hiding place and sealed the cave with a huge stone. Two centuries later, during the reign of Theodosius II, a shepherd removed the stone to use it as building material, and one of the sleepers, Malchus, ventured forth to buy bread. After he tried to pay the baker with an ancient coin, he was brought before the prefect and the bishop, who, although skeptical at first, realized when they arrived at the cave that they were witnessing a miraculous resurrection. Hearing the news, Theodosius traveled to the cave to venerate the seven, but after talking to the emperor, they once again fell into a deep sleep. Despite the popularity of the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus during the Middle Ages, its appearance as a theme in French stained glass is highly unusual; no other extensive cycles predate the glass from the nave of the Cathedral of Rouen.

The attribution of the Seven Sleepers series to the Cathedral of Rouen is based on its similarity to a window devoted to Saint John the Evangelist still found in the cathedral’s nave. Both share a light, bright palette of unusual colors. The expressive, boldly silhouetted figures and the dramatic narrative make these windows among the finest of the period, rivaling the stained glass at the cathedrals of Chartres and Bourges.

Source : The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Judaism in Rome and Ephesus

judaism-in-ephesus

When St Paul visited Ephesus around 53 AD, there was a Jewish community at Ephesus for over three hundred years.

At 1st century AD, Jews had spread from their homeland to the Mediterranean and some other places. The oldest Jewish community in Europe is the one in Rome. They were practicing very different religion than their neighbors and as a result of this, Jews were mostly close-knit to protect their faiths and themselves. In Rome, Augustus and Julius Cesar supported Jews to help them to worship as they like and Julius Cesar allowed them to settle anywhere in the Roman Empire. Although they were generally treated with respect, trouble did occur and during the reign of Claudius, Jews had been exiled from Rome two times but than they were allowed to return and continue their independent existence. Each Jewish community worshipped at its own synagogue but the center of their worship is in Jerusalem.

It is known that there have been a substantial Jewish community in Asia Minor since at least the 5th century BC and when St Paul visited Ephesus around 53 AD there was a Jewish community at Ephesus for over three hundred years, but the exact date of the establishment of Jewish community in Ephesus is not known.

Unfortunately there is a little inscriptional evidence for the Jewish community in the ancient city but Ephesus is mentioned as having a synagogue in Acts 19:1 of New Testament. Synagogue hasn’t been found in and around Ephesus but there is a menorah carving on the step of Celsus library.

Source : Ephesus – History, information and pictures of Ephesus Ancient city

St John in Ephesus

st-john-ephesus

The first Christian community in Ephesus was established by St. John.

John was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and he was called “the Son of Thunder” by Jesus himself.

According to apostles big cities like Ephesus, Smyrna and Laodicea would help them to spread the new religion in the Western World. It is accepted that John came to Ephesus together with Virgin Mary who had been entrusted to him, for the first time. John’s Gospel says that “When on the cross, Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son’ then he said to the disciple, ‘here is your mother’. From that hour the disciple took her into his own home and never separated again. (John 19:26-27)

The first Christian community in Ephesus was established by St. John. In 64, after St Paul was decapitated outside the city wall of Rome, John again became the leader of the Ephesians church community.

In spite of his old age, St John went around Asia Minor together with St Peter to spread Christianity. He was tried to be killed two times; a glass of poisonous drink was given him but with a miracle poison came out in the form of a snake when St John was ready to drink it and also he was exiled to Island of Patmos where he wrote his Apocalypse. In 95 CE he returned to Ephesus and started writing his Gospel. St John died in Ephesus and according to his will, he was buried nearby Ephesus. His all words and Gospel still live today.

St Paul in Ephesus

“while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus “ Acts 19:1
“while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus “ Acts 19:1

The first Christian community in Ephesus was established by St John and developed by St Paul. Paul came in to the city to fulfill the promise that he had given on his brief visit when returning from Corinth and stayed for about three and a half years and also wrote his letters to Ephesians in captivity most probably here in Ephesus. When Paul came to Ephesus, first in the synagogues and then everywhere in the city, he preached the gospel and gained followers. The church of Ephesus which became the head of the Seven Churches in western Asia Minor was established by Paul.

St Paul had to struggle with magicians and soothsayers in Ephesus while struggling with state offices and pagans. In a short time, Ephesus became the third important city of Christianity after Jerusalem and Antioch. Christianity rapidly gained popularity in Ephesus and by the popularity of this new religion, the jeweler Demetrius and others who earned a living by selling and making silver statues of Mother Goddess Artemis, were quite distressed. Demetrius and his colleagues provoked thousands of people and met with them in the Ephesus theatre and started shouting “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.” St Paul wanted to face the crowd but disciples would not let him. Finally, the city clerk announced that the courts were open for people who had a complaint and dispersed the crowd. After this event St Paul left Ephesus and went to Macedonia.

It is seen that Ephesus had an important place in the lives of both apostles but both of them were not in Ephesus at the same time. John and Paul led different communities in Ephesus.

For travelers interested in biblical sites, Ephesus is especially noteworthy as being the place where St.Paul visited and preached early Christianity to the people.

Source : Ephesus! History, information and pictures of Ephesus Ancient city

Fountain of Pollio

 

The Pollio Fountain was located to the south of the State Agora, across the Odeion. It was built in 97 A.D by the rich Ephesian C.S.Pollio and his family.

The water was brought to the fountains of Ephesus from three main sources through aqueducts and distributed from fountains by a branching system of baked clay pipes. The sources were Kencherios (42km) at Kuşadası, Çamlık village stream of Marnas (15km), and the Cayster River (20km).Water was free of charge by the city in the public fountains. Also they provided refreshment in hot summer days for the streets.

It has a high arch facing the temple of Domitian. It is known to be decorated with a number of statues. One of these statues is the Head of Zeus which is on display in the Ephesus Museum today. Some of these statues were thought to be taken from the Isis Temple, probably after an earthquake, to repair the fountain. The statue group of Odysseus and Polyphemus , that once were on the basin, are now displayed also in Ephesus Museum.

The Mythology of Hermes

 

Hermes was the herald god for the Olympians. He was the son of Zeus and Maia. He was the safeguard of trade roads as a god of traders, merchants. He was well-known for his cunning and shrewdness. He stole the cattle of Apollo and offered his invention lyre in exchange for them. So Hermes used a heralds staff from Apollo as the god of shepherds.

One of his duty was to guide the souls of the dead down to the underworld. He was also closely connected with bringing dreams to mortals. Hermes was usually depicted with a broad-brimmed hat or a winged cap, winged sandals and the heralds staff (kerykeion in Greek, or Caduceus in Latin). The clothes he wore, were usually that of a traveler, or that of a workman or shepherd. Other symbols of Hermes are the cock, tortoise and purse or pouch.

Hermes was the patron of roads and boundaries. His name came from herma, was a square or rectangular pillar in either stone or bronze with the head of Hermes and usually with a beard, was used for roads as  boundary markers. Also in Athens they used hermas outside of the houses to keep themselves from evil.

It was Hermes who liberated Io, the lover of Zeus, from the hundred-eyed giant Argus, who had been ordered by Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus, to watch over her. Hermes charmed the giant with his flute, and while Argos slept Hermes cut off his head and released Io. Known for his swiftness and athleticism, Hermes was given credit for inventing foot-racing and boxing. At Olympia a statue of him stood at the entrance to the stadium and his statues where in every gymnasium throughout Greece. Apart from herms, Hermes was a popular subject for artists. Both painted pottery and statuary show him in various forms, but the most fashionable depicted him as a good-looking young man, with an athletic body, and winged sandals and his heralds staff. His Roman counterpart Mercury inherited his attributes, and there are many Roman copies of Greek artistic creations of Hermes. The Greek post office has Hermes as its symbol.

In Ephesus one of the herm, stood on the corner at Domitian Square, was depicted with his heralds staff and winged sandals.

http://www.ephesus.us

Fountain of Trajan

The Fountain of Trajan was built to the north side of Curetes Street. In the 2nd century A.D. (Built around 104). It is one of the finest monuments in Ephesus. It was constructed for the honor of Emperor Trajan, and the statue of Trajan stood in the central niche on the facade overlooking the pool.

The pool of the fountain of Trajan was 20×10 meters, surrounded by columns and statues. These statues were Dionysus, Satyr, Aphrodite and the family of the Emperor. They are now presented in Ephesus Museum. The restoration has not been finished yet .

Celsus Library

This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor, across the entrance and there was a statue of Athena over it. Because Athena was the goddess of the wisdom.

The scrolls of the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent the them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls. It was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandria and Pergamum.

The facade of the library has two-stories, with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There is three windows openings in the upper story. They used an optical trick that the columns at the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size.

The statues in the niches of the columns today are the copies of the originals. The statues symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete). These are the virtues of Celsus. The library was restored with the aid of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and  the originals of the statues were taken to Ephesus Museum in Vienna in 1910.

There was an auditorium ,which was for lectures or presentations between the library and the Marble Road, was built during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian.

http://www.ephesus.us

The Great Library of Alexandria

Ptolemy II Philadelphus is shown conversing with scholars in the library of Alexandria in this 1813 work by the Italian neo-classicist painter Vincenzo Camuccini (1771-1844). Camuccini was probably inviting paralleis with Napoleon, portraying him as a patron of the arts.

The most celebrated library of the ancient world was established in Alexandria, Egypt, in the first half of the third century BCE, during the reigns of Ptolemy I Soter and Ptolemy II Philadelphus, king of Egypt 322-246 BCE. The library was part o a museum, which included a garden, a common dining room, a reading room, lecture theatres and meeting rooms, creating a model for the modern university campus.

A Papyrus fragment with lines from Homer’s Odyssey, from the early Hellenistic period c. 285-50 BCE, found in Egypt. Papyrus was usually inscribed with a sharpened read using black ink. The library of Alexandria made a point of collecting Homeric texts.

Attempt were made to gather together all the knowledge of the known world. Messengers were sent to buy items at the book fairs of Rhodes and Athens. International scholars came on funded visits. According to Galen, all ships visiting Alexandria were obliged to surrender their books for immediate copying – the owners received a copy, but the pharaohs kept the originals in their museum. The Alexandria library collection included the best available texts of Greek authors and also of non-Greek works, such as the Hebrew Old Testament. In this way, the museum asserted the power of the Ptolemaic kings over both the Greek and non-Hellenic worlds.

At its height, the library of Alexandria was said to posses nearly half a million scrolls- In the mid-third century BCE, the poet Callimachus was employed there, and created the first ever alphabetically arranged library catalogue. Ptolemy II Philadelphus even set up an offshoot library, the Serapeum, which was more of a public library, whereas the main library was designed for scholars.

Collecting Greek books in imitation of Alexandria became a sign of cultural status, and the library at Pergamum was established in the second half of third century BCE. in direct competition with Alexandria. Greek scholarship enjoyed enormous prestige. The study of Homer, for example, was considered essential for an educated man. Many papyrus fragments of Homer were found in Egypt. Euripides (480-406 BCE.) and Demosthenes (384-322 BCE.) were also part of the curriculum in Hellenized Mediterranean cities such as Oxyrhynchus, Ephesus, Pergamum, and Corinth.

According to a spurious legend, the library of Alexandria burned down in 48 BCE. when Julius Caesar set fire to the Egyptian navy, and the flames accidentally spread to the onshore port installations. Althought Caesar’s fire may have destroyed a book depot, the library was not situated near the port. In fact, Greek scholars reported working in the library twenty years later. It was probably destroyed when Alexandria was captured by the Roman emperor Aurelianus in 273 CE. In 2002 the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a major library and museum complex supported by Alexandria University, UNESCO and the egyptian goverment, was established close to the site of the ancient library, with the aim of re-establishing Alexandria as one of the great intellectual and cultural centres of the twenty-first century.

In the new Biobliotheca Alexandrina, the main reading room is located beneath a 32-metre (104 foot) glass-panelled roof which is tilted out towards the sea like a sundial and measures 160 meters (524 feet) in diameter. The walls are made of grey Aswan granite and engraved with characters from 120 different scripts.

Source: Martyn Lyons, Books- A Living History, 2011

Theatre

This is the most magnificent structure in Ephesus ancient city. The Great Theatre is located on the slope of Panayir Hill, opposite the Harbor Street, and easily seen when entering from the south entrance to Ephesus. It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today.

It is the largest in Anatolia and has the capacity of 25,000 seats. The cavea has sixty six rows of seats, divided by two diazoma (walkway between seats) into three horizontal sections. There are three sections of seats. In the lower section, Marble pieces, used for restoration, and the Emperor’s Box were found. The seats with backs ,made of marble, were reserved for important people. The audience entered from the upper cavea.

The stage building is three-storied and 18 meters high. The facade facing the audience was ornamented with relieves, columns with niches, windows and statues. There are five doors opening to the orchestra area, the middle one of which is wider than the rest. This enhanced the appearance of the stage, giving it a bigger, monumental look.

The theatre was used not only for concerts and plays, but also for religious, political and philosophical discussions and for gladiator and animal fights.

Source: http://www.ephesus.us/

Hercules Gate

Hercules Gate, Ephesus.

Located towards the end of the Curetes Street, it was called the Hercules gate because of the relief of Hercules on it. It was brought from another place in the fourth century AD to its current place, but the relief on it dates back to the second century AD.

Only the two side of the columns remain today and the other parts of it have not been found. The relief of the flying Nike in the Domitian Square is thought to also be a part of this gate.

The Heracles Gate narrowed the access to the street, preventing the passage of vehicles.We can understand that from the Fourth Century, the street had become a pedestrian area. In these reliefs Heracles was depicting with the skin of the Nemean lion in mythology. The Nemean lion had been terrorizing the area around Nemea, and had a skin so thick that it was impossible to kill it. Finally he wrestled the lion to the ground, eventually killing it by thrusting his arm down its throat and choking it to death. Heracles was the god of power and strenght.

Hercules Strangling the Nemean Lion by Peter Paul Rubens,1620

http://www.ephesus.us

Temple of Artemis

The temple of Artemis is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. It has been built in the areas of Ephesus on a flat area which has over the centuries turned into a swamp. Today one can only see the ruins of the foundations of this marvelous construction of the Hellenistic Age, entirely made of marble and full of sculptured columns’ capitals and shafts. The most beautiful remaining of this temple are today exhibited in the London British Museum.

The oldest remaining found date back till the 6th century BC. It was surrounded by 36 huge columns, later enlarged upon the orders of the Lydia King, Kreisos, during the 6th century BC. Most of the exhibits in the London British Museum belong to this period.

The new Artemis has been rebuilt in the 2nd century BC. Located on top of the previous one, it had tremendous dimensions: 127 columns of each 17,5 meters high. Unfortunately this one has also been destroyed by fire, reconstructed and again demolished by earthquakes, rebuilt and at last looted by Goths one year later.

The statue of many-breasted Artemis was the symbol of the temple but also of abundance, hunting and wild life. The genuine statue of Artemis, removed during the fire, is today exhibited in the Selcuk Museum. Many copies of this statue found during the latest excavations date back from the Roman period.

Mythological Info

Artemis was also called Cynthia, from her birth place, Mount Cynthus in Delos. She was Apollo’s twin sister, daughter of Zeus and Leto. She was one of the three maiden goddesses of Olympus: the pure maiden Vesta, gray-eyed Athena who cares but for war and the arts of the craftsmen, and Artemis, lover of woods and the wild chase over the mountain. She was the Lady of Wild Things, Huntsman-in-chief to the gods, an odd office for a woman. As a huntress her favorite animal was the stag, because its swiftness gave the best opportunity for her method of capture, which was by her silver bow and arrows and speed of foot.

As Phoebus was the Sun, she was the Moon called Phoebe and Selene (Luna) representing the evening and night, carrying a torch, and clad in long heavy robes, with a veil covering the back of her head. Neither name originally belonged to her.

Phoebe was a Titan, one of the older gods. So too was Selene, a moon-goddess, indeed, but not connected with Apollo. She was the sister of Helios, the sun-god with whom Apollo was confused.

She was worshipped in Athens, Corinth, and Thebes as goddess of strict upbringing, of good fame, of upright mind, and of sensibility in the affairs of ordinary life. She chased and fired her arrows at all wild and unchecked creatures and actions.

In the later poets, Artemis is identified with Hecate. She is “the goddess with three forms”, Selene in the sky, Artemis on earth, Hecate in the lower world and in the world above when it is wrapped in darkness. Hecate was the Goddess of the dark of the Moon, the black nights when the moon is hidden. She was associated with deeds of darkness, the Goddess of the Crossways, which were held to be ghostly places of evil magic.

Footnotes:

At Ephesus, where her great temple was one of the seven wonders of the world, Artemis was represented with a mural crown, with a disc behind the crown; on her breast, a garland of flowers, as a sign of her influence in spring time. Lions cling to her arms; as mother of wild beasts, she has many breasts; her legs are closely bandaged and ornamented with figures of bulls, stags, lions, and griffins; at the sides are flowers and bees. This figures may have resembled the original image of the goddess which had fallen from heaven.

Selene, (Luna) is represented as riding on a mule or a horse; on the pediment of the Parthenon it is a horse.

http://www.ephesus.us