Notes On The Parthenon

Notes I made for Greek background last year on The Parthenon

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The Parthenon
About the Parthenon
-A largely Doric temple with some ionic elements such as the frieze and the ionic columns in the
interior
-Foundations were made of limestone but h temple itself was fully made out of Pentelic marble-very
expensive!
-Mounted on the Acropolis and arranged according to the sunlight-east front of temple-gods can be
seen on entrance to the harbour
-Temple is larger than other temples so has more columns, eight on the front and back and
seventeen on the sides
-Has a window in the wall of East Porch-unusual as there are normally no windows in a temple as the
sunlight enters through porch entrances
-Exceptionally lavish as commemorating Athena, the patron of Athens
Purpose of the Parthenon
-Dedication to Athena, patron goddess of Athens who needed a prominent building
House monumental statue of Athena, which was made by Pheidias
-Perikles, assigned to an elaborate building programme to glorify the city after the mass devastation
caused in the Persian wars victory over Persia shown
-Commemoration of people who died in wars e.g. 192 horsemen
-Rebirth of Athens-bigger and better and beginning to flourish as an empire
Interior of the Parthenon
-Has an unusually large cella split into two rooms, confining the front and back porches to a much
smaller size than usual
- Larger room contains the 18m high chryselephantine statue of Athena and a two tiered 23 column
colonnade which emphasised the width and space in the room and provided a dramatic linking
backdrop behind the statue
-Western room smaller and used for storage or as Athena's treasure. It also contains four Ionic
columns which supported its roof
-Doors leading to cella abundantly decorated with relief sculpture
Refinements made to temple
-Curved profile and no clear, straight lines in order to avoid optical illusion
-Parthenon prominent and stands out

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Parts Of the Parthenon
West End
-Back of temple but first side seen n ascending the Acropolis
-Devoted on all levels to the Athenians
West Pediment-shows Athena and Poseidon disputing which of them should become
patron
of the city
-significant as Athena wins and becomes patron of Athens
Detail
-Athena and Poseidon have arrived simultaneously on h Acropolis to claim patronage of the
city
In the centre of the pediment they are seen striding away from each other, but turning to
look back(as in the…read more

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North End
North Frieze
-Quickening of pace of the procession compared to the south side
-Massed cavalcades thunder along the frieze, hooves pounding
-Depth achieved by horses in serried ranks overlapping each other
Metopes
-Showed episode from the Fall of troy, the mighty city of the Persians, which had been defeated by
the
Greek armies
South End
South Frieze
The procession proceeds along the south side of the temple towards the East
Massed cavalcades thunder along the Parthenon frieze and chariots are shown as well…read more

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