An Essay On The Parthenon

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Athens was just one of many Greek city states around 400 B.C.E, however at the time it was also the strongest. Each city-state had an Acropolis, from the Greek Root Akron or Akros meaning “highest” or “topmost”, which would serve as a kind of fortified hill at time of war. Athens being the most powerful of the city-states, constructed a beautiful temple to the patron goddess Athena instead of the typical citadel you would find in other cities. The Parthenon is not only significant as the symbolic birth of democracy (a limited democracy, but a democracy nonetheless), but also the level of architectural refinement is unsurpassed. This moment is really viewed as the high point in Greek classical culture[4]. This building will go on to influence centuries of future architecture and be the yardstick for western architecture. It is hard to ignore the similarities of modern day Washington DC structures and this is no coincidence as a historic symbol of democracy. From the Jefferson memorial to the US Supreme Court the Parthenon’s artistic sway. The Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, which was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon was used as a treasury. For a time, it also served as the treasury of the Dalian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the 5th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary [1]. We think that between 447 – 432 B.C.E. Athens had between 300,000 to 400,00 inhabitants. During the 5th century there was a series of reforms that allowed more people to be involved in the government. That being said, only about 50% of the inhabitant w... ... middle of paper ... ... William Richard, 1857-1931. "West pediment of the Parthenon." Journal Of Hellenic Studies 50, (January 1930): 4-19. Art Source, EBSCOhost (accessed March 27, 2014). 7. Spaeth, Barbette Stanley. 1991. "Athenians and Eleusinians in the west pediment of the Parthenon." Hesperia 60, 331-362. Art Source, EBSCOhost (accessed March 27, 2014). Two draped female figures seated on rectangular chests, perhaps Demeter and her daughter Persephone, beside them perhaps Hebe, East pediment, at British Museum. Reconstruction of the pediments of the Parthenon; top: west pediment; bottom: east pediment. Corner figures of the east pediment of the Parthenon, Phidias overseer, marble, over life size, c. 447-432 B.C. (British Museum, London) Dionysus, from the east pediment of the Parthenon, Phidias overseer, marble, over life-size, c.447-432 B.C. (British Museum, London)

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