Richard Hodges soaks up the atmosphere at the Temple of Aphrodite, Knidos.
Knidos is a mariner's city, situated at the end of a long spindly Turkish peninsula jutting out towards the Dodecanese islands of Cos, Nicyros and Telos. It is renowned for its wine, vinegar and above all for Praxiteles' statue of Aphrodite. The statue has long since disappeared, but the elegantly proportioned podium of the round temple in which it stood was discovered twenty-five years ago. The temple was built in the fourth century BC to Aphrodite Euploiz, thc Aphrodite of fair voyages. It was a merchants' temple: the cathedral of a city whose rationale was commerce.