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The Parthenon Essay

1721 words - 7 pages

The ancient Greek civilization contributed many great new ideas and aspects to everyday life that shaped and inspired the modern day society. The Greeks are well known for their construction of temples, acropolis’ and other grand architectural structures. Among these structures stood one of the most famous, the Parthenon. The Parthenon was a symbol of Greek society and culture as it stood as one of Greece’s most important architectural buildings.
Besides being the Athenians greatest architectural achievement, the Parthenon serves a basic purpose. The Parthenon is a temple devoted to Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and guardian of the city- state of Athens that got its name from her. The temple marked the zenith of ancient Greek architecture (Glancey 26). The structure was built to protect and shelter the statue of Athena, which was sculpted by Phidias. The enormous statue of Athena consisted of gold and ivory and stood up to be approximately nine to eleven meters. Unfortunately, this statue of Athena was thought to be lost in the future and was later replaced. Upon construction of the Athenian pride and symbol, the Parthenon successfully stood for 2,500 years. Later, the Parthenon was converted into a church for Virgin Mary of Athens in the sixth century AD. The condition and position of the building seemed well until the fait of the Parthenon changed in the future when two major collisions occurred.
Built in the fifth century BCE, the construction of the Parthenon was one of Greece’s most mathematically accurate structures. The Parthenon was built in the Doric order, with seventeen columns at the flanks and eight columns on the sides which formed a cella and a ratio of nine to four. “This ratio governed the vertical and horizontal proportions of the temple as well as many other relationships of the building like the spacing between the columns and their height”

(Sakoulas OL). As a cause of this relationship, the Parthenon plays a trick and strikes an illusion to the eye. Greek architects Ictinus and Callicrates erected the temple atop the southern flank of
the acropolis, the central hill of the Greek city –state which was used for defensive and religious purposes, then in seventeen years, Ictinus and Callicrates completed the decorations of the Parthenon (Harper OL). The Parthenon is made entirely of a marble from Mount Pentelicus called Pentelic marble and stands approximately eighteen meters high. The selections made for the material of the Parthenon were chosen with many points considered to ensure a strong and sturdy future.
“The Parthenon was commissioned by Pericles sometime after Greek victories over the Persians...

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