Temple of Artemis, Jerash

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The Jerash Temple of Artemis of Jordan

The Jerash Temple of Artemis was a Roman temple in Jerash, Jordan. The temple was built on one of the highest points and dominated the whole city. Ruins of the temple are still one of the most remarkable monuments left of the ancient city of Gerasa (Jerash).

History[edit]

Artemis was the patron goddess of the city and was highly esteemed by the Hellenistic population of Gerasa, while the Semitic part of the population preferred Zeus. Construction of the temple was finished in CE 150, during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius.

The building had a hexastyle portico with twelve columns, of which eleven are still standing. Corinthian capitals decorating the columns are very well preserved. The temple walls had three entrances decorated with three Corinthian pilasters.

The Temple of Artemis supposedly was the most beautiful and important temple of ancient Gerasa, containing fine marble paneling and a richly decorated cult statue within the cella.

If still in use by the 4th-century, the temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. In the early 12th century the temple was converted into a fortress by a garrison stationed in the area by the Zahir ad-Din Toghtekin, atabeg of Damascus. Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem, captured and burned the fortress in CE 1121-1122. The inner faces of the temple walls still clearly show the effect of the great fire.

The temple, along with other ruins in the area of Gerasa, was excavated by Clarence Stanley Fisher and his expedition in 1930s.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Jerash - A brief history and some photographs". Jordan Distribution Agency, Almashriq.hiof.no. 1973. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
  • "Gerasa, Or Galasa (Now Jerash)". The American Cyclopaedia, Chestofbooks.com. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Gerasa" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  • Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations. Consortium of Collective Consciousness. pp. 156–158. ISBN 978-1-888729-11-5.
  • Kochneva, Ankhar. Jordan - a kingdom in the heart of the East. Alef Print. p. 112. ISBN 5-902799-01-5.