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The Temple of Athena Nike

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The Temple of Athena Nike exemplifies the early Greek belief that the gods, specifically Athena, held divine providence over government and victory in war. It was built as part of the same project as the Parthenon, one of the greatest achievements of Mycenaean Greece. Lasting from 1300-1000 B.C.E, Mycenaean Greece bordered Epirus, Macedonia, Phrace, Phryapa, Mysia, Caria, and Lydia. Encompassing this time span, Ancient Greece lasted from 8000 to 50 B.C.E. The achievements of Athens in this time include the Pythagorean Theorem and the Socratic dialogues. The epic Trojan War was said to have occurred in Mycenaean times as well. So were the Ionic Greeks who built this ancient temple. (Ancient-Greece.org)(about ancient history.com)

In the style of Ancient Greece, the Temple of Athena Nike is filled with symbolism. Its wall is covered in a magnificent fresco, which is still of interest to artists today for its depiction of technique and culture. The central statue of Athena holds a pomegranate, which was an ancient symbol of good luck, righteousness, and bounty. Also, this incredible statue has been known as "wingless Athena," because her wings were taken out so that she wouldn't fly away. Even the contrast between the temple's slender Ionic pillars and their rocky surroundings was a representation of the contrast between Athena's gender and her violent domain. Such is the symbolism of the Temple of Athena Nike. (thinkquest.org)(Reidel, Brown.edu)

Architecture also held a strong connection to government and warfare. The Temple of Athena Nike was chiefly built and used during wartime as a base. Hence, the afore-mentioned statue was considered a good-luck charm. Athena was often presented with sacrifices for wisdom and ability ...

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Papers:

Norris, Michael. Greek Art: From Prehistoric to Classical. New York, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000
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