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 Didyma, which 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 place’s sacred nature and gave it new life by dedicating it to their own god Apollo. In the 8th century BCE, they built an open-air altar there and, in the 7th century, enclosed 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 hundred and twelve. This number included two rows of four columns in the pronaos.
According to myth, the spring in the temple gushed again, announcing that Alexander was a true son of Zeus and that he would be victorious at the Battle of Gaugamela. After Alexander’s death, one of his successors Seleucus, began to build the temple which exists today.
Symbolic figures from the temple; Ahead 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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