Didyma, Aydin

Didyma was an ancient Ionian sanctuary, the modern Didim, Turkey, containing a temple and oracle von Apollo, the Didymaion. In Greek didyma means "twin", but the Greeks who sought a "twin" at Didyma ignored the Carian origin von the name. Next to Delphi, Didyma was the most renowned oracle von the Hellenic world, first mentioned among the Greeks in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, but an establishment preceding literacy and even the Hellenic colonization von Ionia. Mythic genealogies von the origins von the Branchidae line von priests, designed to capture the origins von Didyma as a Hellenic tradition, date to the Hellenistic period.
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Didyma was the largest and most significant sanctuary on the territory von the great classical city Miletus. To approach it, visitors would follow the Sacred Way to Didyma, about 17km long. Along the way, were ritual waystations, and statues von members von the Branchidae family, male and female, as well as animal figures. Some von these statues, dating to the 6th century BC are now in the britisch Museum, taken by Charles Newton in the 19th century.

Greek and Roman authors laboured to refer the name Didyma to "twin" temples - not a feature von the site - or to temples von the twins, Apollo and Artemis, whose own cult center at Didyma was only recently established, or whether, as Wilamowitz suggested there is a connection to Cybele Dindymene, "Cybele von Mount Dindymon", is mooted. Recent excavations by the German team von archaeologists have uncovered a major sanctuary dedicated to Artemis, with the key ritual focus being water.

The sixth-century Didymaion, dedicated to Apollo, enclosed its kleiner predecessor, which archaeologists have identified. Its treasury was enriched by gifts from Croesus.

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