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Showing posts from May, 2023

Curetes Street

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         C uretes Street is always full of people. They come from all over rld to see the dug up, cleaned up, tastefully reconstructed metropolis of Ephesus. As you walk down this avenue of long-ago splendor, you hear snippets of all the languages you think you recognize and just as many that you don’t.      Each time I visited Ephesus, I liked to linger a while by the State Agora, where this picture was taken, to admire the panoramic view, past Hadrian’s Temple on the right and the on the Terrace Houses on the left, down to the elegant fa├žade of the Library of Celsus, and beyond the Library, beyond the colonnaded quadrangle of the Agora, what remains lay beneath the distant orange groves, the legendary academy for gladiators? The route of the Sacred Way?—(which features in my story about Herostratus).        The Curetes in Greek mythology were guardian spirits assigned by Rhea to protect the infant Zeus from Cronos, his infanticidal father. The Curetes banged their shields with their

The Temple of Artemis

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  The Temple Today       T his is one of my favorite photos of the ruins of Ephesus, although I think that for many tourists who take a picture from this same spot, it’s a picture of disappointment. They come to Ephesus knowing that the Temple of Artemis was one of the Wonders of the World, and if they hadn’t known in advance, they soon find out. The poet Antipater, writing in the 1st century BCE, is widely quoted. After listing six of the Wonders of the World, he added, “But when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliance, and I said, ‘Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand.’”          Instead of something worthy of awe, tourists see a teetering column of stones in a swampy field. When I took my picture, a gaggle of geese advanced from the pond and threatened to bite me. A pack of mean-looking dogs slumbered in the sun. Upon hearing the geese, they raised their heads to look, but found nothing worth ge