Herostratus (Ἡρόστρατος) was a 4th-century BC Greek, accused of seeking notoriety as an arsonist by destroying the second Temple of Artemis in Ephesus (on the outskirts of present-day Selçuk). The conclusion prompted the creation of a damnatio memoriae law forbidding anyone to mention his name, orally or in writing. The law was ultimately ineffective, as evidenced by surviving accounts of his crime. Thus, Herostratus has become an eponym for someone who commits a criminal act in order to become famous.
Archeological evidence indicates the site of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus had been of sacred use since the Bronze Age, and the original building was destroyed during a flood in the 7th century BC. A second temple was commissioned by King Croesus of Lydia around 560 BC and built by Cretan architects including Chersiphron, constructed largely of marble, and measuring long and wide with its pillars standing tall. The sculpted bases of the pillars contained life-