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The Temple of Artemis is one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. It was burnt down by a man who wanted his name to be remembered forever. The townspeople created a law that said anyone who mentioned his name would be put to death. Then, they rebuilt their temple.

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The Temple of Artemis was first built around 800 BCE in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, located on the coast of what is now modern day Turkey. It was destroyed several times. It was rebuilt several times, always on the same site, and always more impressively. The townspeople were very proud of their temple.

The temple was under construction (again) when Alexander the Great visited the town. In Alexander's time, the ornately decorated temple was 425 feet long, 225 feet wide, and 60 feet high. 127 columns supported the roof. A constant stream of visitors came to see the temple. The townspeople built shops around the temple. Some shops sold little replicas of the temple to take home. Alexander was so impressed with this famous temple that he offered to give the town enough money to finish rebuilding it if they would put his name on it. The townspeople did not want to do that, but they did thank Alexander very nicely for his offer. Since they were facing Alexander's army at the time, it was very brave of the town to stand up for themselves. Alexander respected that and did not insist.

The temple was destroyed again around 200 CE by the Goths. This time, it was not rebuilt. Construction costs had increased considerably. There was not enough money in the town treasury to rebuilt the temple to its former magnificence. The remaining pieces slowly sunk into the marshy land, until the temple disappeared entirely.

Many years passed. Hundreds of years later, in the 1800s, the British Museum sent a team to search for the fabled Temple of Artemis. By then, no one had any idea where the temple used to stand. Short of digging up the whole town and the surrounding countryside, the first team found themselves rather stuck. Another team, sent out a few years later, dug up the remains of five temples, one built on top of the other. They believed they had found the Temple of Artemis. Perhaps. And then again, perhaps not. The ancient Greeks built many temples, although few, if any, were as impressive as the Temple of Artemis.

Although little or nothing is left today of this magnificent temple, the Temple of Artemis still is and always will be one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, as selected by the ancient Greeks. 

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