and not only is this department in danger for us of coming into disregard, but also, that of the great goddess Artemis the temple is to be reckoned for nothing, and also her greatness is about to be brought down, whom all Asia and the world doth worship.'
Acts 19:27 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The temple of the great goddess Diana - From a number of representations of the Ephesian goddess Diana, which still remain, we find that she was widely different from Diana the huntress. She is represented in some statues all covered over with breasts, from the shoulders down to the feet; in others she is thus represented, from the breast to the bottom of the abdomen, the thighs and legs being covered with the heads of different animals. From this it is evident that, under this name and form, nature, the nourisher and supporter of all things, was worshipped: the sun and moon, being grand agents, in all natural productions, were properly introduced as her attributes or symbols. Because she was the representative of universal nature, she was called, in opposition to Diana the huntress and goddess of chastity, the Great goddess Diana; not only worshipped in Asia, but throughout the whole world; both the Greeks and the Romans unanimously conjoining in her worship.
Several statues of this Ephesian Diana still remain; and some beautiful ones are represented by Montfaucon, in his Antig. Expliq. vol. i. book iii. cap. 15, plates 46, 47, 48. From this father of antiquaries, much information on this subject may be derived. He observes that the original statue of Diana of Ephesus, which was in that noble temple, esteemed one of the wonders of the world, was made of ivory, as Pliny says; but Vitruvius says it was made of cedar; and others, of the wood of the vine. The images of this goddess are divided into several bands, or compartments; so that they appear swathed from the breasts to the feet. On the head is generally represented a large tower, two stories high. A kind of festoon of flowers and fruit descends from her shoulders; in the void places of the festoon a crab is often represented, and sometimes crowned by two genii or victories. The arms are generally extended, or stretched a little out from the sides; and on each one or two lions. Below the festoon, between the two first bands, there are a great number of paps: hence she has been styled by some of the ancients, Multimammia, and πολυμαϚος, the goddess with the multitude of paps: on one figure I count nineteen. Between the second and third bands, birds are represented; between the third and fourth, a human head with tritons; between the fourth and fifth, heads of oxen. Most of the images of this goddess are represented as swathed nearly to the ancles, about which the folds of her robe appear. Though there is a general resemblance in all the images of the Ephesian Diana, yet some have more figures or symbols, some less: these symbols are generally paps, human figures, oxen, lions, stags, griffins, sphinxes, reptiles, bees, branches of trees, and roses.
That nature is intended by this goddess is evident from the inscription on two of those represented by Montfaucon: παναιολος φυσις παντων μητηρ, Nature, full of varied creatures, and mother of all things. It is evident that this Diana was a composition of several deities: her crown of turrets belongs to Cybele, the mother of the gods; the lions were sacred to her also; the fruits and oxen are symbols of Ceres; the griffins were sacred to Apollo; and the deer or stags to Diana. The crab being placed within the festoon of flowers evidently refers to the northern tropic Cancer; and the crab being crowned in that quarter may refer to the sun having accomplished his course, and begun to return with an increase of light, heat, etc: The paps, or breasts, as has already been observed, show her to be the nurse of all things; and the different animals and vegetables represented on those images point out nature as the supporter of the animal and vegetable world: the moon and tritons show her influence on the sea; and the sun her influence on the earth. All these things considered, it is no wonder that this goddess was called at Ephesus the Great Diana, and that she was worshipped, not only in that city, but in all the world. In the worship of this deity, and in the construction of her images, the heathens seem to have consulted common sense and reason in rather an unusual manner. But we must observe, also, that among the Greeks and Romans they had two classes of deities: the Dii Majores, and the Dii Minores: the great gods, and the minor gods. The latter were innumerable; but the former; among whom was Diana, were only twelve - Jupiter, Neptune, Apollo, Mars, Mercury, and Vulcan; Juno, Vesta, Ceres, Diana, Venus, and Minerva. These twelve were adored through the whole Gentile world, under a variety of names.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Acts 19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying...
Zephaniah 2:11 The LORD will be terrible to them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place...
Matthew 23:14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer...
1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself.
1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
Revelation 13:3,8 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast...
Acts 19:27 Parallel CommentariesAccount Actually Artemis Asia Counted Craft Danger Deposed Despised Destroyed Diana Disrepute Goddess Great Magnificence Majestic Majesty Nought Rank Temple Trade World Worshipped Worshippeth WorshipsAccount Actually Artemis Asia Counted Craft Danger Deposed Despised Destroyed Diana Disrepute Goddess Great Magnificence Majestic Majesty Nought Rank Temple Trade World Worshipped Worshippeth WorshipsTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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