Artemis of Ephesus

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by medoraman, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    The temple of Artemis at Ephesus was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Originally a structure built in the 7th century BC, (attributed by Callimachus to the Amazons), and destroyed by the flood. The second one was funded by Croesus, and took 10 years to complete. It was destroyed in 356BC by arson.

    The third temple, the one named one of the wonders of the ancient world, was funded by the Ephesians themselves. Here is a reconstruction:


    It suffered from invasions and somewhat by dereliction after the rise of Christianity, eventually closing permanently in 407AD.

    Inside was the statue of Artemis. Later copies said its a version of the "many breasted Artemis" but this is not true. The statue, (originally wooden), did not have many breasts. Every year as a fertility rite bulls were sacrificed and their testicles were hung from the statue as a symbol of abundance and fertility. Later, the statue was paraded around the city, then the statue taken into the river to be cleaned and relieved of such attachments. 800px-Efes_Müzesi,_2019_11.jpg

    In this copy, the arms are broken off, but on the original her arms rested on staffs of entwined serpents, (also convenient to support the weight of the arms of the statue). On her head sat a mural crown, a symbol of Cybele, (related), depicting city walls as an attribute of a protector of cities. At her feet were the hounds always associated with her and her hunt. She was given 7 as a gift from Pan, the God of Nature.

    I have always been fascinate with coins depicting actual wonders of the ancient world, (scarcer than you might think). I have some of Artemis of Ephesus, but when this one came up for sale recently I had to have it.

    Hadrian Artemis cistophoric tet.jpg

    Hadrian, 117-138 AD. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm (26mm, 9.16g). Ephesus mint. Struck AD 128-138. Bare headed and draped bust right; Rev. Cult statue of Diana (Artemis) Ephesia. Melcalf, Cistophori, type 19, 84b; RIC II 527; RSC 539. A little porous. Near Very Fine. Estimated Value $200 - UP
    Ex CNG Sale #218, Lot 436.

    This is one of the best depictions of the actual statue I have seen for sale in a while. The fact that its a cistophoric tet, (itself a fascinating discussion), makes it even better.

    Please correct any errors you see, or posts coins of Artemis, (Diana). :)
    savitale, Curtisimo, Limes and 11 others like this.
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  3. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I dislike that replica mini temple because it somehow willfully ignores the sculpted column bases that are fully attested to, and with physical evidence in the British museum.
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  5. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Fantastic coin and I agree to me actual wonders of the ancient world are a must have. ephesus__3_-removebg (1).png
    Claudius I (AD 41-54). AR cistophorus (10.8gm,26mm, 6h). NGC Fine. Ephesus, ca. AD 41-42. TI CLAVD-CAES AVG, bare head of Claudius I left / DIAN-EPHE, tetrastyle temple with three steps containing central standing figure of Diana Ephesia, polos on head and fillets hanging from wrists; shield, altars, two stags and figures in pediment. RIC I 118.
    Ex Heritage online auction Dec 2020, lot 61118.(10.8gm,26mm, 6h).
  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

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