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Old June 12th, 2006, 11:13 PM   #1
LEAFS FANATIC
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The Ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Didyma

The Ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Didyma

The fourth largest sanctuary in the Greek world after the Temple of Artemis (and the Heraion of Samos and the Olympieion at Sicily), the Didymaion was built to rival the Artemision, employing one of the same architects, who was completing his work there, and having the same approximate dimensions.

The Greeks built the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, Turkey (about 300 bc). The temple supposedly housed an oracle who foretold the future to those seeking knowledge. The predictions of the oracles, delivered in the form of riddles, often brought unexpected results to the seeker. With Ionic columns reaching 19.5 m (64 ft) high, these ruins suggest the former grandeur of the ancient temple.

Background:

In 334 BC, Alexander the Great liberated the cities of Ionia. Although the oracle pronounced him to be the son of Zeus in 331 BC, it probably was not until about 300 BC (the cult statue of Apollo had been returned in 301 BC) that the citizens of Miletus were able to begin rebuilding the earlier archaic temple that had been plundered (including treasures that had been dedicated by Croesus) and burned by the Persians in 494 BC. Betrayed by the Branchidae, the priestly caste who were guardians of the site, in exchange for their lives, their descendants later were said to have been massacred by a vengeful Alexander. But the project proved too ambitious and the magnificent structure never was completed. One hundred and twenty columns were planned, each over sixty-four feet high (the tallest of any Greek temple). Inscribed accounts of the construction indicate that each column cost approximately forty-thousand drachmas, at a time when a worker earned about two drachmas a day.

The temple is unusual in that it was hypaethral and had no roof. Raised on a high, stepped podium and surrounded on all four sides by a double row of columns (double peristyle or dipteral), twenty-one along the sides and ten across the front and rear façades (decastyle), the interior cella (naiskos) was exposed to the sky, providing a large open sanctuary (adyton) within this forest of columns. Behind an array of twelve more columns in the temple's deep porch (pronaos), there was a great doorway but with such a high threshold that it did not serve as an entrance but as an antechamber or stage, on either side of which were two vaulted passageways that descended in the dark, not to the traditional cella but out onto the sunlit inner court of the sanctuary, itself. There, at the far end, was a small tertastyle temple that housed the cult statue of Apollo and a spring. Turning around, one saw a broad flight of stairs leading up to doors on the other side of the antechamber.













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Old June 13th, 2006, 12:47 AM   #2
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Didyma, on the west coast of Turkey, was an important sacred site in the ancient Greek world. Its famous oracle and Temple of Apollo attracted crowds of pilgrims and was second in importance only to Delphi.

Today, the temple's magnificent ruins still attract thousands of visitors — Didyma is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey. The village's modern name is Yenihisar.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 01:00 AM   #3
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i hope more greek tourists travel didyma. its wonderful historical area
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Old June 13th, 2006, 03:41 AM   #4
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Medusa statue at the Temple of Apollo at Didyma...






Some details of the giant columns:

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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #5
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Some additions of Didim history and Temple of Apollo:

Didim History

Didim is shaped as a peninsula surrounding Mugla on the east coast with huge inlet of Akbuk town, Aegean sea on the west and east coast, Lake Bafa and the Menderes River on the northern coast. 106 km's to Aydin provenience, 53 km' to Söke town, 73 km's to Kusadasi, 110 km's to Bodrum. Spread to 300 km2. of area.

15 years ago, the people from large cities around Turkey such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir first came to Altinkum ("altin: gold" + "kum:sand") and started to build their own summer houses, holiday homes. when Turkey's economy started to decline those people found very hard to survive in the big cities most of the summer house owners who were mainly retired people have decided to move into the small resorts such as Altinkum.

The location of today's Didim used to take part around the Apollo temple at the ancient Didyma town. they called the area "Yoran" (name derives from Yeuwani) until the biggest earthquake in 1955-1956. which used to look like "castle". but just after the earthquake government supported locals and build them modern concrete houses down on the south west part of the old civilization later on called "Yenihisar", meaning "yeni: new" + "hisar: castle".

People of Yenihisar used to go to Söke for their weekly shopping and Akköy used to be the biggest town of those days. But just after tourism, the place itself have turned into a rapidly growing holiday resort for tourists. the unfertile tobacco fields derived ancient Didyma (meaning twins remarkable at the temple of Apollo Artemisia and Apollo twin sister and brothers) became very dear and poor owners of those fields are now businessmen (most of them) owner of their hotels, restaurants and bars, etc.. The name was changed into "Didim" which is one and only in Turkey including a large area in its borders with the towns and villages leading to it became the town centre.

Today's Didim as rapidly growing holiday resort completely different than what it used to be 10-15 years ago welcoming large population of tourists with its beautiful beaches, ancient towns, culture, climate from all over the world. but comparing to the big tourist resorts like Bodrum, Kusadasi it's not been spoiled we can say. most of the infrastructure work have done by last winter which we expect no more flooding of rain water in Altinkum and better main roads have finished including pedestrian walk paths by the beach.

Local market of Didim is held on Saturdays can be visit by local transport between Altinkum - town centre, runs in every 5 minutes or take a walk for 25 minutes. You can discover the beaches, natural coves and bays by boat trips better, organised daily from the harbour in summer season which starts beginning of May. water sports, diving courses, fishing tours also available. Didim itself very close to ancient towns and natural wonders comparing to most of the holiday resorts of Turkey. You can discover the area itself by local travel agents who have organised tours to Lake Bafa, Akköy village, Didyma - Miletos - Priene, Söke Market, Kusadasi Market, Bodrum, Ephesus - Virgin Mary's house, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Dalyan, etc...

Ancient Didyma

Didyma is located in the village of Yenihisar. 4 km Inland from the coast called Altinkum (Golden sand) and 15 kms south of Akköy, near Soke. Didyma was actually a sacred site and not a city, in whose centre was a great temple built in the name of the sun god Apollo.

However much Apollo may be considered as one of the twelve deities dwelling on Mount Olympus in Greek mythology, he is actually an Anatolian god, the counterpart of the Hittite god, Apulunas. The finding of records which show him racing with King Midas or the satyr shepherd Marsyas who gave his name to the river Cine, are evidences that he is a very ancient god of Anatolian origin. Apollo is the son, of Zeus and twin brother to Artemis, the Moon-goddess. According to the legend their mother, Leto, gave birth to the twins in the Ortega woods north of Kusadasi. The word "Didymaion" means "twins" and this is the reason why the place the Temple of Apollo stands was called so. The Greeks, believing in fate, looked upon Apollo as an oracle as well. The oracles received from the priests in the temple of Apollo at Delphoi influenced and changed the lives of people to a great extent. The Ionians built the temple in Didyma as the second oracle centre, and they constructed it with such care that it was one of the most magnificent temples of the times. The temple flourished under the guardianship of the city of Miletus. Pausanius, one of the writers of the first century informs us that the cult seen in this region existed long before the Ionians arrived in Anatolia.

The first temple we know of was built in the 8th century B.C. It was surrounded by columns at the beginning of the 6th century B.C. This temple which had all the characteristics of archaic art, was finally completed around 550 B.C. Those who built the temple and took its guardianship upon themselves, who acted as priests and oracles were people called "Brankhid. This word was derived from the name of a person Apollo loved, "Branchos"; The Brankhids ruled in this region for a very long and peaceful period and founded a theocratic administration.

The biggest classical temples were formed by surrounding an inner space with columns in two rows, and were called "dipteros". The dipteros of the archaic Didymaion measured 38.40 X 85.15 meters. The columns with Ionic capitals and fluting 8 in the short rows and 21 in the long rows. The idol statue in the inner space was made by the famous sculptor, Kanachos. Sacred goods and valuable gifts were kept hidden here. For example, Herodotus writes that the Egyptian King, Necho II, gave the outfit he had on in the battle against the Syrians to the temple as a gift to the oracle. In front of the temple, there was a round sacrifice altar. The walls surrounding the sacred room are the walls we see now. These were 3.5 meters high and were built in 550 B.C.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #6
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Kings Road - Sacred Road

A sacred road, paved with stones was built stretching from Didyma to Miletus and it was covered in four days of walking by those who wanted to visit the temple of Apollo or to appeal to the oracle. On both sides of this sacred road, there were marble statues of Brankhids sitting. Twelve statues of these very famous examples of archaic art, namely 8 men, two women and two lion statues were taken to the British Museum by C.N. Newton in 1858. Another group almost the same In numbers, found later, today decorate Louvre, Berlin and Istanbul Archaeological Museums. Four smaller samples are to be found in Miletus Museum. The archaic Didyma temple was completely destroyed during the Persian attacks to 494 B.C., Its treasures plundered, and the valuable Apollo statue, was taken to Ekbatan. The remains of the temple we see today are the remains of the building which was constructed on a larger scale during the reign of Alexander the great and during the Hellenistic period. Seleukos, one of the commanders of Alexander, had even returned the Apollo statue which was taken to Ekbatan to its original abode. The length of the new temple was 60 meters, its height 118 meters; it rises on a platform surrounded in all directions with seven steps. Around the temple were 124 Ionic columns 19.70 meters high, in two rows; 13 large steps lead to the front from where one enters the front hall with 12 octagonal columns whose bases are ornamented, 10 of which belong to the Hellenistic, and two to the Roman periods. Behind the front hall, there is the oracle room 1,5 meters higher than the front hall.

Architectural

The connection between these two halls Is by a very magnificent door 5,65 meters to length and 19 meters high. Because of the difference to levels of the two halls, the visitors who wanted to go to the oracle room could not enter it directly but had to go through the first hall and make their petitions form there. Two big columns supported the roof of the windowless oracle room. From three doors in the back, people used to descend to the inner courtyard called "adition". The single piece of marble block behind these doors with its weight of 70 tons is a phenomenon as the biggest architectural element. There are stairs on both sides of the oracle room leading to the rooms at the top and to the roof.

The connection of the adition with the outer world is by two slanting tunnels on each side of the front hall. The fact that the inner courtyard had no roof was due to Apollo being the sun god. The adition measured 21.70 X 45 meters, there were 11 facings on the side walls and three on the west wall over which there were friezes with griffon motifs. The crowns of the columns surrounding the temple were joined by slabs of marble called architraves ornamented by medusa and bull heads. Some of these ornaments made by the Aphrodian masters can be viewed in the museum area today. In 395 A.D. prophecies of all kinds were forbidden by order of Emperor Theodoles and thus the temple of Apollo lost its importance and its construction which had lasted for centuries remained unfinished.

There are local minibusses up to temple of apollo located in the heart of Ancient town Didyma in every 15 minutes from altinkum. If you like walking, you can prefer evenings or mornings the best.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #7
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Apollon Temple, Didyma:




Sacred Road on the right:
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #8
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What brilliant style.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #9
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More and more photos of this beauty:

The Temple:


Temple Interior:


The Sacred Road:


Medusa Relief:

This giant Medusa head at Didyma was formerly part of a frieze on the architrave, possibly sculpted by Aphrodisias in the 2nd century A.D.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #10
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Old June 14th, 2006, 01:34 AM   #11
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okay, all is dumped, although if by inadvertance I happened to delete a post with useful info, I can bring it back to life.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 01:57 AM   #12
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Why did you delete my post?

I've written: ''Meduse Statue is one of the symbols of Turkey'' like Tac Mahal to India(maybe not that important) which points out the importance of this historical site for Turkey.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #13
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I'm just curious as to how you think the Medousa can be a symbol of Turkey when clearly it isn't a Turkish symbol and I don't think anyone associates it as such!?! I think the terms Greek Mythology come into play here! And I've never heard of that perspective (yours) before btw! Is the ancient temple of Apollo located in Turkey? Yeah, sure, in that sense but historically it isn't considered as Turkish anything! Don't get all defensive btw!

Anyway great pics guys and thank you once again Leafs for posting accurate and intersting information about Ancient Greek culture and history!!!!
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Old June 14th, 2006, 04:42 AM   #14
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Guys stop it off already, this just happened and it had to be cleaned up.

And Cherry, as far as I can tell he is saying it's a symbol of Turkey, IE a tourist attraction, not that it's Turkish and not Greek literally. Because thats borderline insanity. Their are Ancient Greek structures in Turkey, they belong to Turkey and can be a symbol of Turkey, this doesn't mean they aren't Greek themselves, because they obviously are. I don't see what all the fuss is about. So lets just let the topic be.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 05:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christos7
Guys stop it off already, this just happened and it had to be cleaned up.

And Cherry, as far as I can tell he is saying it's a symbol of Turkey, IE a tourist attraction, not that it's Turkish and not Greek literally. Because thats borderline insanity. Their are Ancient Greek structures in Turkey, they belong to Turkey and can be a symbol of Turkey, this doesn't mean they aren't Greek themselves, because they obviously are. I don't see what all the fuss is about. So lets just let the topic be.

You're right Christos it isn't a big deal and I hadn't seen the deleted posts btw, I'm just responding to what he posted.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 05:56 AM   #16
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There are ancient Greek monuments in Turkey, Albania, France, Spain, Syria, Lybia, Egypt...... all of which are an important culturally to their country's identity. However, the fact remains that they are Greek.
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for the Pelasgians, too, were a Greek nation originally from the Peloponnesus
The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...assus/1B*.html

Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece". Strabo, VII, Frg. 9
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...ragments*.html

But north of the gulf, the first inhabitants are Greeks called Epirotes....
Procopius
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m6...page&q&f=false
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Old June 14th, 2006, 06:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherry
You're right Christos it isn't a big deal and I hadn't seen the deleted posts btw, I'm just responding to what he posted.

No problem.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 09:20 AM   #18
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off-topic on - only while our greek-friends think they are right...
it can be a symbol of turkey!
when the turks make it to its symbol, like other states at world who take symbols from other cultures!

when you where right, then how can be the palas-athene a symbol of austrias parliament?
thats so easy!!
while they take it and make it to our symbol!
so, when turkey want, they can take all of the culture of the ancient cities or alive cities at the world and make it to their culture or symbols!!
off-topic off!!!

the ruins look very beautiful, i only visit ephesos and i like the art very much of those ancient cities! perfect...
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Old June 14th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christos7
Guys stop it off already, this just happened and it had to be cleaned up.

And Cherry, as far as I can tell he is saying it's a symbol of Turkey, IE a tourist attraction, not that it's Turkish and not Greek literally. Because thats borderline insanity. Their are Ancient Greek structures in Turkey, they belong to Turkey and can be a symbol of Turkey, this doesn't mean they aren't Greek themselves, because they obviously are. I don't see what all the fuss is about. So lets just let the topic be.
Thank you for saving me from another explanation...
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Old June 16th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEAFS FANATIC
...
Where it is located?Where is Didyma?how to go there?...I think the people who open this thread will get confused where the structure is cause the title does not make sense...you forgot! to tell them to visit Turkey to see this structure?Interesting cause you dont hesitate to write Greece if the landscapes are in Greece at the end but somehow you did not want to write it is in TURKEY..Let me help you

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