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Reference: Diana


Or ARTEMIS, a celebrated goddess of the Romans and Greeks, and one of their twelve superior deities. In the heavens she was Luna, (the moon,) on earth Diana, in the unseen world Hectate. She was invoked by women in childbirth under the name of Lucina. She was usually represented with a crescent on her head, a bow in her hand, and dressed in a hunting-habit, because she was said to preside over forests and hunting. Diana was said to be the daughter of Jupiter by Latona, and twin sister of Apollo. As Hectate, she was regarded as sanguinary and pitiless; as goddess of hunting and the forests, she was chaste, but haughty and vindictive; as associated with the moon, she was capricious and wanton. The Diana of Ephesus was like the Syrian goddess Ashtoreth, and appears to have been worshipped with impure rites and magical mysteries, Ac 19:19. Her image, fabled to have fallen down from Jupiter in heaven, seems to have been a block of wood tapering to the foot, with a female bust above covered with many breasts, the head crowned with turrets, and each hand resting on a staff. It was of great antiquity, and highly venerated.

The temple of this goddess was the pride and glory of Ephesus. It was 425 feet long, and 220 broad, and had 127 columns of white marble, each 60 feet high. Its treasures were of immense value. It was 220 years in building, and was one of the seven wonders of the world. In the year when Alexander the Great was born, B. C. 356, it was burned down by one Herostratus, in order to immortalize his name, but was afterwards rebuilt with even greater splendor. The "silver shrines for Diana," made by Demetrius and others, were probably small models of the same for domestic use, and for sale to travellers and visitors. Ancient coins of Ephesus represent the shrine and statue of Diana, with a Greek inscription, meaning "of the Ephesians," Ac 19:28,34-35.

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so called by the Romans; called Artemis by the Greeks, the "great" goddess worshipped among heathen nations under various modifications. Her most noted temple was that at Ephesus. It was built outside the city walls, and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. "First and last it was the work of 220 years; built of shining marble; 342 feet long by 164 feet broad; supported by a forest of columns, each 56 feet high; a sacred museum of masterpieces of sculpture and painting. At the centre, hidden by curtains, within a gorgeous shrine, stood the very ancient image of the goddess, on wood or ebony reputed to have fallen from the sky. Behind the shrine was a treasury, where, as in 'the safest bank in Asia,' nations and kings stored their most precious things. The temple as St. Paul saw it subsisted till A.D. 262, when it was ruined by the Goths" (Ac 19:23-41)., Moule on Ephesians: Introd.

Illustration: Statue of Diana

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Greek ARTEMIS (Acts 19). Her original temple founded 580 B.C., finished 460, was burnt by Erostratus 356 B.C. The second temple, alluded to in Acts, was built in the reign of Alexander the Great. The Ephesian Diana in attributes resembled the Phoenician (See ASTARTE, (See ASHTORETH . She symbolized the generative and nutritive powers of nature, and so was represented with many breasts. On her head was a mural crown, each hand held a metal bar, the lower part was a rude block covered with mystic inscriptions and animals. The image was believed to have fallen from heaven, probably an aerolite. The bee was sacred to her, and her high priest was called by a corresponding name (essen), as also the hierarchy of women (Melissse) and eunuchs (Megabyzae). The temple was the public treasury and bank, and had the right of asylum.

No bloody sacrifices were allowed. As Ephesus was the capital of Asia in the limited sense, Diana of Ephesus was naturally the idol "whom all Asia and the world worshipped." (See ASIA.) Games were celebrated at Ephesus in her honor, and her worship was the He uniting politically Ephesus and other cities. In the great theater at Ephesus, on one of the walls of the entrance lobby, Mr. Wood found a letter from the emperor Hadrian to the Ephesians, dated Sept. 20th, A.D. 120, and an inscription referring to the temple of Diana, concerning its endowments and ritual, such as lists of votive statues of gold and silver with their weights and the regulations under which such objects were to be carried in procession. In the list mention occurs of many figures of Diana with two stags. This illustrates the Scripture mention of Demetrius the silversmith as the maker of silver portable models of Diana's shrine. (See DEMETRIUS.)

The inscription orders such votive objects to be carried in procession on certain days from the temple through the. Magnesian gate to the great theater, and thence through the Coressian gate back to the temple. This clause gave a clue to the discovery of the temple. First Mr. Wood found the Magnesian gate, and at a depth of 11 ft. a road with tombs on each side and the bases of piers. Secondly, near the stadium he found the Coressian gate. At the convergence of these two roads he found the enclosing wall of the temple and an inscription that Augustus built it; also a white marble pavement on a level bed of black marble and several drums of columns, 6 ft. 4 inches in diameter, including the sculptures in relief, and Ionic capitals, all now deposited in the British Museum, The intercolumniations are more than 19 ft. Gold was largely used in the decoration.

A fragment was found, composed of two astragals, between which a fold of lead enfolded a fillet strip of gold. Remains of brilliant colors too are found, blue, in the background, red and yellow, prominent. The bases of several of the columns are inscribed with their donors' names and the dedication to Artemis or Diana. The pro-naos was fenced off from the peristyle, as some of the mortises for the iron standards have been discovered. Remains of a wide portico surrounding the temple on three sides have been discovered. The base of one column remains in situ, of the outer row of columns, also one of the inner row. The temple was octastyle, eight columns in front. It has 18 on the sides, and the intercolumniations are three diameters. making the temple diastyle.

Pliny's statement is correct, the external and internal pillars being 120. The projection of the sculpture of "the 36 carved columns" is as much as 13 inches. The diameter of the columns them. selves is about 5 ft. 10 inches. The width of the platform measured at the lowest step was 238 ft. 3 1/2 inches, the length is 421 ft. 4 inches; Pliny gives the length 425 ft. The dimensions of the temple itself, "out to out," are 163 ft. 9 1/2 inches by 308 ft. 4 1/2 inches. The height of the platform was 9 ft. 5 3/8 inches. The interior was adorned with two tiers of elliptical columns, Ionic and Corinthian, fragments of which are found near the walls of the cella or inner shrine.



This is the Latin name of one of the principal goddesses of the Greeks and Romans: the Greek name is Artemis. An image of her was said to have fallen from heaven, or to have been formed of wood or ebony which fell from the clouds. It was worshipped by all Asia. Her temple was at Ephesus, built of choice marble. A Roman coin in the British Museum bears a representation of the temple with the image of the goddess in the centre. Ac 19:24-35. Though Ephesus was otherwise an enlightened city, it was dark as to religion, the excited people could shout for two hours "Great is Diana of the Ephesians."

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This Latin word, properly denoting a Roman divinity, is the representative of the Greek Artemus, the tutelary goddess of the Ephesians, who plays so important a part in the narrative of Acts 19. The Ephesian Diana was, however, regarded as invested with very different attributes, and is rather to be identified with Astarte and other female divinities of the East. The head wore a mural crown, each hand held a bar of metal, and the lower part ended in a rude block covered with figures of animals and mystic inscriptions. This idol was regarded as an object of peculiar sanctity, and was believed to have fallen down from heaven.

Ac 19:35

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DIANA, a celebrated goddess of the Heathens, who was honoured principally at Ephesus, Acts 19. She was one of the number of the twelve superior deities, and was called by the several names of Hebe, Trivia, and Hecate. In the Heavens she was the moon, upon earth she was called Diana, and in hell Hecate. She was worshipped in Palestine, Jer 7:18; 44:17-18.

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