The Parthenon

Topics: Parthenon / Pages: 13 (3042 words) / Published: Feb 7th, 2011
The Parthenon
Work began on the Parthenon, built on the Acropolis, in 447 BC to replace an existing temple which was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC and cost 469 silver talents to build. The work began under the orders of Pericles to show the wealth and exuberance of Athenian power. The name of the building most likely came from a cult statue of Athena Parthenos housed in the eastern room of the building. This magnificent structure was built of ivory and gold and was sculptured by the renowned sculptor Phidias. As with most buildings on the Acropolis it was dedicated to Athena to thank the Goddess for their success. The Parthenon was finally finished in 432 BC and was to show the world the dominance and power of Athens. The vast majority of the money used in the construction came from the Delian League funds. The Delian League was a treaty between the Greek states in league against the Persian Empire. However two years before work started on the Parthenon, the Athenians had struck a peace treaty with the Persians ending the war, although the League continued to exist. It is believed that because of this the league stopped being a mutual defence against Persia but part of the Athenian Empire. This theory was reinforced when Athens moved the Leagues treasury from the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary at Delos to the Parthenon (Opisthodomos room). Not only was the Parthenon a magnificent structure to look at, but it also showed Athenian dominance over the rest of the Greek peninsula and that Athens was its Greek imperial master.
The five main instigators of the design and construction on the Parthenon were Pericles, Phidias, Kalamis, Ictinus and Calibrates. Pericles was the leading Athenian statesman at the time, Phidias and Kalamis were in charge of the design of the sculptures and decorations, and Ictinus and Calibrates were the main architects. The vast majority of the 469 silver talents spent on the Parthenon went on transporting the stone from Mount Pantelakos, which

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