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The Parthenon

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					The Parthenon
   The Parthenon, a Doric
    temple dedicated to
    Athena, dominates the
    Acropolis. It was built in
    the period 447-432 BCE.
    The name Parthenon
    derives from “parthenos”
    (virgin). Athena was the
    virgin goddess who
    protected Athens.
The Parthenon is a Doric temple. There are three Greek architectural orders: the Doric, Ionic, and
Corinthian. Doric is the simplest or plainest of these three orders. You can identify these orders
by looking at the capital (i.e. the top of the column). A Doric capital is plain, an Ionic capital has

a curve or “volute”, and Corinthian capital has leaves
The Parthenon
   This is what the
    east pediment
    (i.e. triangular
    shape) of the
    Parthenon
    probably looked
    like. The figures
    in the middle
    are Athena and
    her father Zeus.
This is all that remains today. The figures of Athena and her father Zeus are missing. Notice the
horses’ heads at either end, representing the rising and the setting of the sun. The other figures
are various Greek gods and goddesses. The running figure, for instance, is probably Iris, the
messenger goddess, who is announcing the birth of Athena. These marble figures are called the

Elgin Marbles
These figures, still part of the Elgin Marbles, occupied the right-
hand side of the east pediment (triangle) of the Parthenon   .
Inside the Parthenon were a series of carvings or reliefs showing a procession of
Athenian citizens. This quadrennial (i.e. every four years) procession presented a new
dress or peplos to a statue of Athena. This part of the frieze shows Athenian horseman
taking part in procession.

				
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posted:2/17/2012
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