The old Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was set on fire and reduced to ruins by an incendiary in 356 B.C., on the very night, it is said, in which Alexander the Great was born. The Ephesians rebuilt the temple on a much more magnificent scale, making of it the most extensive and sumptuous columnar edifice ever erected by a Greek architect. How promptly the work was begun we do not know, but it lasted into the reign of Alexander, so that its date may be given approximately as 350-30. Through the indefatigable perseverance of Mr J. T. Wood, who conducted excavations at Ephesus for the British Museum in 1863-74, the site of this temple, long unknown, was at last discovered and its remains unearthed. Following the example of the sixth century temple, it had the lowest drums of a number of its columns covered with relief sculpture. Of the half dozen recovered specimens Fig. 163 shows the finest. The subject is an unsolved riddle. The most prominent figure in the illustration is the god Hermes, as the herald's staff in his right hand shows. The female figures to right and left of him are good examples of that grace in pose and drapery which was characteristic of Greek sculpture in the age of Scopas and Praxiteles.
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