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Didyma Ground Plan

In writing on the architecture of the Hellenistic age (the period from the death of Alexander in 323 BC to the conquest of Greece and the East by Rome at the end of the first century BC), Pollitt speaks of the theatricality of its planning and design, especially in the creation of unexpected and mysterious interior space. This manipulation of space to evoke a sense of awe can be seen, most immediately, in the size of the Temple of Apollo at Didyma and its forest of decorated columns (on the model of the temples of Hera at Samos and Artemis at Ephesus). But it is the interior of the Didymaion that would have been so surprising to the worshipper: its vaulted tunnels leading to the sunken adyton and the small temple within the open courtyard surrounded by sacred laurel bushes. And, looking back, a broad flight of stairs leading back up to the room at the pronaos, itself supported by two huge Corinthian columns with another set of stairs mysteriously leading to the roof.


References: Art in the Hellenic Age (1986) by J. J. Pollitt; "The Construction Plans for the Temple of Apollo at Didyma" (1985) by Lothar Haselberger," Scientific American, 253(6), 126-132.

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