In this article we have collected interesting moments, myths and facts about the Parthenon – the temple of the great ancient Greek culture.
History of the Parthenon
In honor of the patron saint of the city of Athens in the 5th century it was erected on top of the cliff magnificent temple of marble. Athena Parthenos (meaning virgin) glorify the past, in the name of her temple was built in gratitude for the help of the goddess in a battle with the Persians, which was marked by the victory in the Battle of Marathon. In its place in the 447 – 437 years BC. It was erected a new even more magnificent temple. The massive sums were involved in the construction. And they were withdrawn from the funds originally planned to expand military affairs.
Politician Pericles praised immortal glory of Athens, did not stint on the costs. Repeatedly people accused him of squandering, but Pericles was unmoved. The temple was designed to perpetuate the glory of the city and himself for many centuries. All construction was spent huge amount of money, which amounted to a total number of 450 silver talents. In those days, for 1 talent could build a trireme, so called warship. That is, instead of the Temple of Athena could get a fleet of 450 warships. In the end, the people agreed to the construction costs were charged to the general account.
The architecture of the Parthenon
For such a monumental temple, and the sculptor was chosen appropriate. They became Phidias, which most of the work on the decorations are made personally. When completed, finally took the temple lighting, timed to the festival Panathenaea.
In the Byzantine period Christianity triumphed, and the Parthenon of Athens was turned into a temple of the Holy Mary. Central statue was taken to Constantinople. Still later, in 1460, the temple remake again, this time in the mosque. At this time, the Turks conquered Athens. But the greatest damage to the Parthenon brought the war with the Turks, Venetians. In 1687, a cannonball struck the roof and exploded inside the temple. Most jewelry structures were destroyed. The remaining sculptures were taken to England in the nineteenth century, where it is stored until now.
The magnificence of Doric style
Parthenon Temple was built in the classical Greek style – a colonnade around a rectangular building. There are certain standards by which calculated the number of columns in the building. The number of lateral facade Parthenon columns 8, respectively, on the front side must be twice plus 1. Total of exactly 17. Ancient architects have put all their skills in order to give the church elegance. To eliminate the illusion of concave lines of the architects did thickened middle part of columns and corner columns are slightly inclined.
Myths, frozen in the rocks of the Parthenon
The bas-reliefs with scenes Arts frieze decorated the facade of the temple. On the east side of the building was reproduced Lapiths Battle of the Centaurs, on the south side immortalized the battle of the Greeks and the Amazons, on the north side of the glorified the struggle of the gods and giants, and on the west sung Trojan War. According to legend the gods are born the most unusual way. Legend has it that the supreme god Zeus swallowed his pregnant wife. He feared his son was born, as it was predicted that it would overthrow his son to the throne. Felt a strong headache, Zeus turned for help to the blacksmith Hephaestus, and he hit him on the head. From the crack jumped Athena. The names of the painting depicted on the east pediment of the Parthenon.
On the west pediment of stone statues tell visitors about the dispute of Athena and Poseidon. Goddess of wisdom surpassed the god of the sea in the skill of the dispute for the possession of Attica. The olive tree grown Athena has become more valuable than the water source. Around the outer perimeter of the temple lasted Ionic frieze. With a height of 11 meters it Panathenaea reliefs depicting scenes of celebration. Here are images of riders, musicians, people with the gifts and sacrificial animals. During the completion of the festival the priest takes peplos, a new apparel for Athens. This picture shows the east end of the building.
Unfortunately, the greatest value of the temple of the goddess statue, created by the sculptor Phidias antiquity to the present day has not been preserved. In museums, shows only its copy.