One of the most important oracles in the ancient World was located at Didyma (Didim). It was designed by Paionios, one of the architects of the temple of Artemis in Ephesus. The oracle at Diyma, that issued many fateful pronouncements, dates back to the worship of a local Anatolian god in prehistoric times. When the first Greeks migrated to Ionia they perceived the sacred nature of the place and gave it new life by dedicating it to their own god Apollo. In the 8th century BCE they built an open-air atlar there and in 7th century anclosed it within a small temple.
The dipteral design displayed two rows of columns around the cella, 21 on the long North and South sides, 9 columns on the west end and 8 on the west making a total of a hundred and twelve. This number included two rows of four columns in the pronaos.
According to myth, the spring in the temple gushed again, thus announcing that Alexander was a true son of Zeus and that he would be victorius at the battle of Gaugamela. After Alexander’s death, one of his succersors Seleucus began to built the temple which exists today.
Symbolic figures from the temple; A head of Medusa, signifying protection, a benign version of the terrifying mythical creature who turned anyone who looked at her into stone.
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