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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