The Parthenon

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The Parthenon

There are some historians that believe before the Parthenon began, Athens concluded a peace treaty with Persia in 449 BC. The Athenian Empire was at the height of its power when the work on the Parthenon began in 447 BC and continued until 432 BC. The Delian League/Athenian Empire continued to exist even after the reason for its existence ceased to be valid. It is now openly acknowledged that Athens was not just the head of the Greek defense league but an imperial master over other Greek states. The Parthenon, chamber of the virgin goddess was built with League funds, which shows the confidence of the Athenians in their imperialism and represented the Greek ideals of humanism, idealism, and rationalism.

Human beings and their responsibilities are at the center of Greek art and their culture. Protagoras stated, “Man is the measure of all things.” (pg 52). “Many are the wonders of the world, and none as wonderful as man,” observed Sophocles (page 52). Humanism is greatly represented in the art of the Greek culture both in sculptures and in their architecture. Sculptures of gods and goddesses are presented as the idealized forms of human beings. Their architectural designs for temples reflect the ideal dwelling places of Greek gods. The Parthenon Cella Frieze runs around the upper edge of the temple wall. It has a single subject on all four sides. The Cella Frieze is in Ionic order and is in low relief. This means that the sculptures are not carved as deep into the stone. Also, the Cella Frieze represents, "The Greater Panathenaea". On the north, west, and south sides there is horsemen, musicians, sacrificial animals and some other figures with various meanings. On the east side, there are chil...

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...e modeled after the Greek people. The harmony of the Parthenon depends on the module from the Doric columns and so, Polyclitus models the proportions for the human body from the mathematical relationships of its parts. The Greek standard of living is well balanced and planned based upon primary reasoning both physical and intellectual. The Greek gods Athena, Dionysus and Apollo are all derived of myth, but they all have a place in the supreme rationalism of Socrates and Plato who state that philosophy is the highest music.

Works Cited

“Ancient Greece.” Architecture in Ancient Greece. University Press Incorporated, 2008. Web.


Fleming, William, Mary Warner Marien. Fleming’s Arts and Ideas. Tenth ed. New York:

Syracuse University P, 2005. Print

“The Parthenon.” Wikipedia Encyclopedia Online. March . Web. March 5 2010.

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