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Didyma Turkey

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Also called DIDYMI, OR BRANCHIDAE, ancient sanctuary and seat of an oracle of Apollo, located south of Miletus in modern Turkey. Before being plundered and burned by the Persians (c. 494 BC), the sanctuary was in the charge of the Branchids, a priestly caste named after Branchus, a favourite youth of Apollo. After Alexander the Great conquered Miletus (334), the oracle was resanctified; the city administered the cult, annually electing a prophet. About 300 BC the Milesians began to build a new temple, intended to be the largest in the Greek world. The annual festival held there, the Didymeia, became Panhellenic in the beginning of the 2nd century BC. Excavations made between 1905 and 1930 revealed all of the uncompleted new temple and some carved pieces of the earlier temple and statues. (Enc. Britt.)

The construction of the gigantic Hellenistic temple was started after the victory of Alexander the Great over the Persians, but the ruins indicate that this Hellenistic temple also remained unfinished. A consequence of this, was the discovery (in the 1980s) of building diagrams engraved in some paving stones of the ‘adyton’ (inner court); this finding was very helpful to the archeologists working on the restoration of the Athens’s Parthenon, to understand how the antique Greeks were able to erect such an elaborate building (with a multitude of slightly curved lines to produce the optic illusion of perfect straightness) in only 15 years (the Parthenon, that is - not the Didim temple). Similar building plans must have been used in Athens too, but were polished away when the Parthenon was finished.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: Ecole Française d'Athènes & Website of ‘people.ku.edu’ (Greek Architecture: Building Temples).

I visited the temple again on a fine March 2007 day and with a digital camera could take many more pictures than formerly, when the cost of slide film was a limiting factor. They roughly show a walk around much of the perimeter, then entering the site proper, first showing some of the outlay, gradually entering the inner sanctum and then part of the outside again. I climbed the wall and took some pictures from up there, and swear I only later saw that climbing it was forbidden. I show the pictures anyway, because after all, what's the use of throwing them out. But you should not repeat my feat, sorry (it felt rock solid up there). I can imagine this series is photographic overkill to some viewers, but it is my experience that some viewers appreciate to see a fine complex like this from every angle, focussing on every detail (as I do). So I show almost all I have. To visit, I stayed in Söke, a city that has nothing special, but which turned out to be an excellent spot to get on busses to (at least) Priene, Miletus, Didyma, Aydın and probably Ephesus. I found travel times greatly reduced compared to when I visited places from Selçuk (which itself is a fine town).

DİDİM

Didymi ve Branhidae olarak da adlandırılan, modern Türkiye’de, Milet’in güneyinde yer alan tarihi bir tapınak ve Apollon’un kehanet merkezi. MÖ 494’te Persler tarafından yağmalanıp yakılmadan önce, tapınak Branhidler’in kontrolü altındaydı. Branhidler, isimlerini Apollon’un sevdiği gençlerden biri olan Branchus’tan almış bir kahinler sınıfıydı. Büyük İskender, Milet’i fethettikten sonra (334), tapınak yeniden kutsal bir mekana dönüştürüldü; şehir, her sene bir kahin seçerek kendi kültünü yönetti. MÖ 300 civarında, Miletliler, Yunan dünyasında en büyüğünü yapmak niyetiyle yeni bir tapınak inşa etmeye başladılar. Her sene olan festival orada yapıldı, Didymeia oyunları MÖ 2. yüzyılda Panhelenik hale geldi. 1905 ve 1930 yılları arasında yapılan kazılar, tamamlanmamış yeni tapınağın tümünü ve eski tapınağın ve heykellerin kimi oyma parçalarını ortaya çıkardı. (Brittannica Ansiklopedisi)

Türkçe çeviri: Melek Emir. Katkılarından dolayı teşekkür ederim.

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Dydima Apollo temple a reconstruction
Dydima Apollo temple a reconstruction
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