The Parthenon

Topics: Parthenon / Pages: 2 (479 words) / Published: Oct 4th, 2013
The Parthenon When work began on the Parthenon in 447 BC, the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. When it was finished in 432 BC, it symbolized Athenian’s imperial power and it symbolizes the power and influence of the Athenian politician, Perikles, who championed its construction. The Parthenon is a Doric peripteral temple, which means that it consists of a rectangular floor plan with a series of low steps on every side, and a colonnade of Doric columns extending around the periphery of the entire structure. Each entrance has an additional six columns in front of it. The larger of the two interior rooms, the Naos, housed the cult statue. The smaller room, the Opisthodomos, was used as a treasury. It was built to replace two earlier temples of Athena on the Acropolis. The architects were Iktinos and Kallikrates and also the sculptor Pheidias, who made the massive chryselephantine cult statue of the goddess. The metopes of the Parthenon all represented various instances of the struggle between the forces of order and justice, on the one hand, and criminal chaos on the other. On the west side, the mythical battle against the Amazons; on the south, the battle between the Lapiths and the Centaurs; on the east, the battle between the gods and the giants; on the north, the Greeks versus the Trojans. The Pedimental Sculptures were larger than those of the metopes, occupied the triangular space above the triglyphs and metopes. Those at the west end of the temple depicted the contest between Poseidon and Athena for the right to be the patron deity of Athens (Athena's gift of the olive tree was preferred over Poseidon's spring). The eastern pedimental group showed the birth of Athena from Zeus' head. The eastern pedimental sculpture suffered badly when the Parthenon was hit by a Venetian shell in 1687 and the powder magazine inside exploded. The Parthenon frieze runs around the upper edge of the temple wall. Unlike the metopes, the frieze has a single

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