May 20, 2022 7 min read
Parthenon is an ornament of Athens in Greece that has survived for centuries. It was built in mid-5th Century BC and is recognized as one of the most evocative symbols of ancient Greece. As a result of the ongoing wars, each city had a fortified hill called ‘Acropolis’. Parthenon is Athenian Acropolis. As a result of attacks from Persians, the Acropolis of Athens was destroyed.Successful defense by Athenians from Persia’s foreign domination freed Greece thereby instilling substantial power and prestige in Athens. A united Greek league comprising coastal cities was formed. It was called the Delian League. Around the 450s, formal peace was established with Persia, and the treasury of the Delian League was transferred to Athens.
Parthenon is identified as a sacred Acropolis not just for practicing Greek religion but also for its practical use. In the ancient Greek religion, communication with the divine and practicing Greek religion did not require temples. A statue of Athena made of gold and ivory was erected inside the temple. It is large, expensive, and heavily ornamented. Athena was the Goddess of wisdom, war, and intelligence of creating things. An olive tree was gifted by Athena as a symbol of peace and prosperity.
Pericles reasoned the construction of the Parthenon by providing jobs and earning a place in history. The site of the Parthenon is a revival of the construction of a temple that was being constructed to mark the victory of Athens over the Marathon. The temple is defined by a ‘doric’ form of architecture comprising several columns. Architect Ictinus designed it to be made up of marble. It is the perfect display of the Greek intellect. They believed that human perception was flawed. Columns of the temple created an illusion of perfection. People in the time were wise and created highly reasoned Philosophy. It is a perfect display of their essence in art, mathematics, and architecture skills on a large scale.
The intriguing departure from horizontal and vertical is the result of astonishing craftsmanship. They remain difficult to perceive by people. The base of the structure is slightly domical to allow rainwater to flow. The columns lean slightly towards the center. In those times, it was a rare example of intricate architecture coming into form consistently.
Parthenon has a rich decoration formed of sculpture in Elgin marble. Parthenon Frieze is a popular sculpture amongst others. Battles scenes of God and evil, and Greeks and their enemies are portrayed. It evokes the heroism of the legends. There is a total of 92 metopes on the exterior colonnade. On these metopes, war scenes and instances from famous mythical stories are carved. Today, the temple is recognized as a symbol of the birthplace of democracy. It has inspired several modern architectures of politically important buildings.
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