Ephesus was a wealthy Greek city on the west coast of Asia Minor. It benefited from its fine harbor and the rich hinterland of Lydia. Throughout antiquity, the sanctuary and great temple of Artemis made Ephesus a place of pilgrimage. Before the Greeks arrived, the locals worshipped an Anatolian mother-goddess; the Greeks worshipped her as Artemis, with Artemis' cult resembling her predecessor's in its emphasis on vegetation and fertility.
|The Basis Built||7th Cent BC||An early shrine later incorporated into the first large-scale temple.|
|First Temple Built||6th Cent BC||Croesus, the Lydian king renowned for his great wealth, contributed generously to the cost of the new building, which was among the most richly-ornamented of all Archaic Greek temples. It was on a grand scale with dimensions of 115m by 55m and with a double row of columns all around.|
|First Temple Destroyed||356 BC||The first temple was destroyed by fire. According to tradition, this was one the night that Alexander the Great was born in Macedon.|
|New Temple Built||A new temple was built on the same site.|