July 21, 2016

Today in History: Herostratus sets fire to Temple of Artemis in desire of “fame” (356 BC)

John RobsonResident Historian
 

On July 21 way back in 356 BC an idiot set fire to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus in order to become famous. 

And despite efforts to execute him anonymously, he did; his name was Herostratus and “herostratic fame” is the kind you get for being obnoxious or overtly evil to get noticed.

The Temple was rebuilt in its most glorious “Seven Wonders” fame and stood for centuries before the Goths trashed it once and for all thus becoming in their own way herostratically famous.

But when I contemplate the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World against whatever we might consider the wonders of our own time, from West Edmonton Mall to the glass pyramid at the Louvre, I fear our entire era is on its way to herostratic fame.

Comments
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commented 2016-07-22 00:19:11 -0400
I wonder if anyone is cataloging the other, lesser wonders of the ancient world that Islam is assiduously erasing from the present?
If not, someone should.
Is there a record of what else the Ottoman Empire erased?
Rape a goat. Rape a 7 year old boy. Cut some hands and feet off. Level an ancient ruin. Rape a sex slave. Cut some heads off. Burn some people alive. Destroy art and artifacts. Defenestrate some homosexuals. Rape whatever…Kill whatever…Destroy whatever…
Time to erase Islam!
commented 2016-07-21 16:11:42 -0400
Perhaps this is where young Adolph got the idea for the Reichstag fire and subsequent Hitlerian cult of personality coup.
commented 2016-07-21 15:36:08 -0400
Thanks for your posts John! Our society has a vast and mostly ignored wealth of the fruits of historical research, writings, artifacts, and yet most have at best only a casual passing interest in history.

Rarely will I come across anyone who actually takes the time to seek out and study the foundations of human culture, necessary indeed for an understanding of who we are today. I am always trying to help others to ignite and nurture that flame within themselves.

Correct in your astute observations of our modern architecture, and may I extrapolate that our minds are equally hobbled into short sound bytes and 140-character text posts.

Again, keep up the good work!