History of the Temple

DIDYMA

History of the Temple

As Archaic Didymaion was destroyed, burned and plundered in 494 BC (the battle of Lade) the there is not many remains left to the present day. Besides, by the fact that the Hellenistic temple was built over the foundations of the archaic one, findings related to archaic temple are further limited. However, during the excavations, architectural and sculptural fragments found as well as the construction of the plan was possible and various examples of reconstruction were made through ancient authors.

In the first half of the 6th century BC Didymaion became really important. Ionian cities especially Miletus, reached their most flourishing era. In 560-550 BC the temple was rebuilt with larger proportions. The impact of the temples of Hera at Samos and Artemis at Ephesus are apparent in the Archaic Didymaion.

In the pronaos, the double row of columns indicates that it had a roof. In the corners are high reliefs of winged gorgons and behind these are figures of crouching lions. Besides the lions, it is believed that also were certain wild animals’ figures. In temple entablature this kind of decoration is quite unusual. These pieces of work were probably made during restoration which took place in the temple can be dated back to the end of the 6th century BC.

History of the Temple