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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Diana

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Diana (dî-â'nah, or dî-ăn'áh):Greek, Artemis. A heathen goddess of the Romans and Greeks, of great renown. The Diana of Ephesus was a different deity from the chaste huntress of the Greeks. She was like the Sidonian goddess Ashtoreth, and appears to have been worshipped with impure rites and magical mysteries. Acts 19:19. Her image, which was reputed to have fallen down from Jupiter, seems to have been a block of wood shaped into a female bust above covered with many breasts, the head crowned with turrets, and each hand resting on a staff. The temple of this goddess was the pride and glory of Ephesus, and one of the seven wonders of the world. It was 425 feet long, and 220 broad, and had 127 graceful Ionic columns of white marble, each 60 feet high, and the temple was 220 years in building. When Alexander the Great was born, b.c. 356, an earlier temple was burned down by one Herostratus, in order to immortalize his name: the splendid one above described had been rebuilt in its place. Compare 1 Corinthians 3:9-17, written in Ephesus; and Ephesians 2:19-22. The "silver shrines for Diana," made by Demetrius and others, were probably little models of the temple sold for amulets and household use. Ancient coins of Ephesus represent the shrine and statue of Diana, with a Greek inscription, "of the Ephesians." Acts 19:28; Acts 19:34-35. Others bear the words which Luke employs, translated "deputy" and "worshipper" of Diana. In her temple at Ephesus were stored immense treasures, and any preaching that tended to lower the shrine in the minds of the people, as Paul's did, would naturally arouse a great tumult.


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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Diana'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/rpd/d/diana.html. 1893.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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