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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

luminous, perfect

Smith's Bible Dictionary

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. (Acts 19:35)

ATS Bible Dictionary

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, Acts 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," Acts 19:28,34,35.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
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" (Acts 19:23-41)., Moule on Ephesians: Introd.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) The daughter of Jupiter and Latona; a virgin goddess who presided over hunting, chastity, and marriage; -- identified with the Greek goddess Artemis.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

di-an'-a (Artemis "prompt," "safe"): A deity of Asiatic origin, the mother goddess of the earth, whose seat of worship was the temple in Ephesus, the capital of the Roman province of Asia. Diana is but the Latinized form of the Greek word Artemis, yet the Artemis of Ephesus should not be confused with the Greek goddess of that name.

She may, however, be identified with the Cybele of the Phrygians whose name she also bore, and with several other deities who were worshipped under different names in various parts of the Orient. In Cappadocia she was known as Ma; to the Syrians as Atargatis or Mylitta; among the Phoenicians as Astarte, a name which appears among the Assyrians as Ishtar; the modern name Esther is derived from it. The same goddess seems to have been worshipped by the Hittites, for a female deity is sculptured on the rocks at Yazili Kaya, near the Hittite city of Boghazkeui. It may be shown ultimately that the various goddesses of Syria and Asia Minor all owe their origin to the earlier Assyrian or Babylonian Ishtar, the goddess of love, whose chief attributes they possessed. The several forms and names under which she appears axe due to the varying developments in different regions.

Tradition says that Diana was born in the woods near Ephesus, where her temple was built, when her image of wood (possibly ebony; Pliny, NH, xvi. 40; Acts 19:35) fell from the sky (see also ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 8 (2)). Also according to tradition the city which was later called Ephesus was founded by the Amazons, and Diana or Cybele was the deity of those half-mythical people. Later when Ephesus fell into the possession of the Greeks, Greek civilization partly supplanted the Asiatic, and in that city the two civilizations were blended together. The Greek name of Artemis was given to the Asiatic goddess, and many of the Greek colonists represented her on their coins as Greek. Her images and forms of worship remained more Asiatic than Greek Her earliest statues were figures crudely carved in wood. Later when she was represented in stone and metals, she bore upon her head a mural headdress, representing a fortitled city wall; from it, drapery hung upon each side of her face to her shoulders. The upper part of her body was completely covered with rows of breasts to signify that she was the mother of all life. The lower arms were extended. The lower part of the body resembled a rough block, as if her legs had been wrapped up in cloth like those of an Egyptian mummy. In later times her Greek followers represented her with stags or lions standing at her sides. The most renowned of her statues stood on the platform before the entrance to her temple in Ephesus. As the statues indicate, she impersonated the reproductive powers of men and of animals and of all other life.

At the head of her cult was a chief priest, originally a eunuch who bore the name and later the title Megabyzos. Under him were priests known as Essenes, appointed. perhaps from the city officials, for but a single year; it was their duty to offer the sacrifices to the goddess in behalf of the city. Other subordinate classes of priests known as Kouretes, Krobatai and Hilroi performed duties which are now obscure. The priestesses were even more numerous, and, probably from their great numbers, they were called Melissai or bees; the Ephesian symbol therefore which appears commonly upon the coins struck in the city, is a bee. The Melissai, which in the early times were all virgins, were of three classes; it is no longer known just what the special duties of each class were. The ritual of the temple services consisted of sacrifices and of ceremonial prostitution, a practice which was common to many of the religions of the ancient Orient, and which still exists among some of the obscure tribes of Asia Minor.

The temple of Diana was not properly the home of the goddess; it was but a shrine, the chief one, devoted to her service. She lived in Nature; she was everywhere wherever there was life, the mother of all living things; all offerings of every possible nature were therefore acceptable to her; hence, the vast wealth which poured into her temple. Not only was she worshipped in her temple, but in the minute shrines or naoi which were sometimes modeled after the temple. More frequently the shrines were exceedingly crude objects, either of silver or stone or wood or clay. They were made at Ephesus by dependents of the temple, and carried by the pilgrims throughout the world. Before them Diana might also be worshipped anywhere, just as now from the soil of the sacred Mesopotamian city of Kerbela, where the sons of Ali were martyred, little blocks are formed and are carried away by the Shiah Moslems that they may pray upon sacred ground wherever they may be. The makers of the shrines of Diana formed an exceedingly large class among whom, in Paul's time, was Demetrius (Acts 19:24). None of the silver shrines have been discovered, but those of marble and of clay have appeared among the ruins of Ephesus. They are exceedingly crude; in a little shell-like bit of clay, a crude clay female figure sits, sometimes with a tambourine in one hand and a cup in the other, or with a lion at her side or beneath her foot. Though the shrines were sold as sacred dwelling-places of the goddess, that the pilgrims who carried them to their distant homes, or buried them in the graves with their dead, might be assured of her constant presence, their real purpose was to increase the temple revenues by their sale at a price which was many times their cost. With the shrines of Diana may be compared the household gods of clay found in abundance among the ruins of the earlier Babylonian cities, especially those cities in which temples to the goddess Ishtar stood.

E. J. Banks

735. Artemis -- Artemis, the name of the Gr. goddess of the hunt
... worshipped principally at Ephesus, typifying fertility (she had no relation with
the other Artemis, the maiden huntress, to whom corresponded the Latin Diana). ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/735.htm - 6k

Concerning Apollo and Diana, and the Other Select Gods whom they ...
... Book VII. Chapter 16."Concerning Apollo and Diana, and the Other Select Gods
Whom They Would Have to Be Parts of the World. Although ...
/.../augustine/city of god/chapter 16 concerning apollo and diana.htm

Days of Toil and Trial
... An event soon occurred, however, which hastened his departure. Once a year, special
ceremonies were held at Ephesus in honor of the goddess Diana. ...
/.../white/the acts of the apostles/lesson 28 days of toil.htm

Touching Next Upon the Training of a virgin, He Speaks of ...
... overthrown, bruised, torn, and injured. 6. And this is said to have happened
to a youth for his love of Diana. But the fable is coloured ...
/.../ambrose/works and letters of st ambrose/chapter ii touching next upon.htm

Some of Your Learned Men Men, Too, who do not Chatter Merely ...
... Some of your learned men [4021] "men, too, who do not chatter merely because their
humour leads them"maintain that Diana, Ceres, Luna, are but one deity in ...
/.../the seven books of arnobius against the heathen/34 some of your learned.htm

And, I Ask, what Reason is There, what Unavoidable Necessity...
... Are there on the mountains [3975] of the stars, forests, woods, groves, that
[3976] Diana may be esteemed very mighty in hunting expeditions? ...
/.../arnobius/the seven books of arnobius against the heathen/21 and i ask what.htm

The Fight with Wild Beasts at Ephesus
... For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines
for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; 25. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/the fight with wild beasts.htm

Acts xix. 21, 23
... "For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver temples
of Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen." (v.24.). ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on acts and romans/homily xlii acts xix 21.htm

... Ephesus was a popular center for the worship of Diana. The fame of the magnificent
temple of "Diana of the Ephesians" extended throughout ...
//christianbookshelf.org/white/the acts of the apostles/lesson 27 ephesus.htm

Paul's Journeys Acts 13:1-38:31
... Its religion was oriental. Its goddess called Artemis or Diana, had a Greek name
but was the representative of an old Phrygian nature worship. ...
/.../sell/bible studies in the life of paul/ii pauls journeys acts 13 1-38 31.htm

Epistles to the Seven Churches.
... Ephesus was a large, idolatrous city, "a worshipper of the great goddess Diana,
and of the image which," as they claimed, "fell down from Jupiter," Acts 19:35. ...
/.../bliss/a brief commentary on the apocalypse/epistles to the seven churches.htm

Diana (5 Occurrences)
... identified with the Greek goddess Artemis. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
DIANA; ARTEMIS. di-an'-a (Artemis "prompt," "safe"): A ...
/d/diana.htm - 15k

Artemis (5 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia DIANA; ARTEMIS. di-an'-a (Artemis "prompt,"
"safe"): A deity of Asiatic origin, the mother goddess ...
/a/artemis.htm - 14k

Ephesus (20 Occurrences)
... In the time of the Romans it bore the title of "the first and greatest metropolis
of Asia." It was distinguished for the Temple of Diana (qv), who there had ...
/e/ephesus.htm - 24k

Demetrius (3 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary. (1.) A silversmith at Ephesus, whose chief occupation
was to make "silver shrines for Diana" (qv), Acts 19:24,ie, models either of ...
/d/demetrius.htm - 17k

Worshipper (15 Occurrences)
... (Gr. neocoros = temple-sweeper (Acts 19:35) of the great goddess Diana). This
name neocoros appears on most of the extant Ephesian coins. Int. ...
/w/worshipper.htm - 11k

Diamond (5 Occurrences)

/d/diamond.htm - 9k

Crying (247 Occurrences)
... WBS RSV). Acts 19:28 And hearing this, they were very angry, crying out
and saying, Great is Diana of Ephesus. (BBE YLT NAS). Acts ...
/c/crying.htm - 44k

Knoweth (152 Occurrences)
... people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that
the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of ...
/k/knoweth.htm - 35k

Naomi (25 Occurrences)
... She was the Venus, but sometimes the Diana, of the Romans. There are many variants
of the name: Anaea (Strabo xvi.738), Aneitis (Plut. Artax. ...
/n/naomi.htm - 17k

Naught (40 Occurrences)
... Acts 19:27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at naught; but
also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her ...
/n/naught.htm - 19k

Bible Concordance
Diana (5 Occurrences)

Acts 19:24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;

Acts 19:27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

Acts 19:28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

Acts 19:34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

Acts 19:35 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?



Diana: Goddess of the Ephesians

Related Terms

Artemis (5 Occurrences)

Ephesus (20 Occurrences)

Demetrius (3 Occurrences)

Worshipper (15 Occurrences)

Diamond (5 Occurrences)

Crying (247 Occurrences)

Knoweth (152 Occurrences)

Naomi (25 Occurrences)

Naught (40 Occurrences)

Nay (92 Occurrences)

Nought (104 Occurrences)


Utter (111 Occurrences)

Ours (63 Occurrences)

Jupiter (3 Occurrences)

Lasting (40 Occurrences)

Lydia (5 Occurrences)

Length (135 Occurrences)

Goddess (6 Occurrences)

Guardian (5 Occurrences)

Workmen (52 Occurrences)

Worshippeth (7 Occurrences)

Worshipped (81 Occurrences)

Worshipeth (5 Occurrences)

Worker (36 Occurrences)

Worshiper (5 Occurrences)

Furiously (9 Occurrences)

Town-clerk (1 Occurrence)

Temple (614 Occurrences)

Townclerk (1 Occurrence)

Temple-keeper (1 Occurrence)

Temples (17 Occurrences)

Robbery (18 Occurrences)

Robbers (21 Occurrences)

Roar (53 Occurrences)

Recorder (10 Occurrences)

Ephesian (4 Occurrences)

Employ (6 Occurrences)

Damaged (44 Occurrences)

Deposed (5 Occurrences)


Despised (96 Occurrences)

Dianites (1 Occurrence)

Miniature (1 Occurrence)

Magnificence (9 Occurrences)

Mechanics (2 Occurrences)

Majestic (22 Occurrences)

Mankind (80 Occurrences)

Perga (3 Occurrences)

Profit (143 Occurrences)

Blasphemy (15 Occurrences)

Boxes (3 Occurrences)

Crescent (2 Occurrences)

Craft (14 Occurrences)

Actually (35 Occurrences)

Appeased (11 Occurrences)

Alexandria (4 Occurrences)

Artificers (15 Occurrences)

Silver-worker (2 Occurrences)

Shrine (34 Occurrences)

Space (98 Occurrences)

Sanctuaries (14 Occurrences)

Sooner (21 Occurrences)

Silver-smith (1 Occurrence)

Shrines (40 Occurrences)

Sardis (3 Occurrences)

Secretary (34 Occurrences)

Listening (47 Occurrences)

Shouting (83 Occurrences)

Rank (42 Occurrences)

Honoured (79 Occurrences)

Needs (85 Occurrences)

Position (189 Occurrences)

Opinion (91 Occurrences)

Angry (269 Occurrences)

Gain (142 Occurrences)

Ephesians (4 Occurrences)

Harangue (1 Occurrence)

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