Greek Architecture.docx

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CLCV 1002 B March 20th
Greek Architecture
The Parthenon:
- Pheidias, the most famous sculptor of his day, was in charge of the building project
- No straight lines on building, every single block is unique
- Melding of architecture, sculpture and painting
- 3 elemants of decoration on Parthenon: The pediment filled with marble sculpture; the doric
frieze (marble sculpture done in high relief), and ionic frieze (low relief sculpture, no breaks
between different scenes unlike doric frieze)
- Themeof decoration= triumph of order and civilization over chaos and barbarism
- Can’t depict human events on temple, must depict Gods or Mythology.
- Message that Athens represents the highest form of Greek civilization
- Also a cult statue of Athena
The Pediments
- Show events from Athena’s mythology
- East pediment shows the birth of Athena myth
- Placed within a cosmic setting: Sun God on right, Moon Goddess on left
- West pediment shows Athena versus Poseidon. How they competed to be patron Deity of
Athens. Poseidon strikes rock and salt spring flows out, Athena strikes earth and out flows the
first olive tree. Athenians pick Athena.
- Style of sculpture is innovative: “wet t-shirt” style drapery. Drapery is more revealing their body
than hiding it. Drapery clinging to every curve of the body.
Doric Frieze:
- Triglyph: Panels between figural scenes, vertical lines
- Metope: Means “face”, high relief carved
- Alternate between the two
- Doric friezez runs all the way around Parthenon, each different side of Parthenon has different
theme of mythology
- South side was not seen much so didn’t matter. Now most preserved part.
- When Christians later took over the Parthenon
- South side: Depiction of Centaurs versus Lapiths. Lapiths win, order triumphs over chaos
- Other sides showed Greek conquering Amazons, Trojans and Gods battling over Giants
- Metopes were painted in deep, rich color. Extra details added by painters
Ionic Frieze: Low relief, also painted.
- Don’t see ionic frieze until get into the temple
- Carved so deeper at the top than the bottom
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CLCV 1002 B March 20th
- Over 160 m in length begins at one end on the west (back door) and runs simultaneously in both
directions and culminates on east façade
- Depicts a procession: Panathenaic procession, festival of all of Athens. Birthday celebration of
Athena and new years festival all in one.
- Gift being brought to Athena is a new robe to cover her cult statue.
- Show all members of community participating in the procession then show the Gods watching
the procession.
- Idealized procession
- Display of Athenian power.
Athena Parthenos statue:
- 12 m tall, gold and ivory statue (chryselephantine)
- Athena in her armor
- Economic message: Abundant in gold and ivory, a huge expense.
- Gold removable so if Athen’s needed cash, could remove and melt into money. Do this in 404 Bc
to continue fighting pelloponesian war.
- Not a cult statue but a statement of the power of Athen’s
Final military refuge of Athens
Acropolis is the heart and soul of the city religiously, economically and militarily
Agora: “Gathering place”
- Second most important place in Athens
- Partly a market place but also where gather for Athenian democracy, to participate in
- Economic, political and military, religious
- When gather army, troops gather in agora before heading out
- Also religious: procession ends with celebration and feast in Agora
- Also celebrate games in Agora
Civic Duties in a democracy:
- Demokratia= “rule by the demos”, demos hold brute force
- Don’t know how the demos understood(what it meant). Ancient authors prefer oligarchy.
- Does it mean rule of the people or rule of the mob?
Representational democracy: What we live in
- We vote t create a representative to participates in government on our half
Direct democracy: What the athenian’s had
If a citizen of Athens, will hold political office at soe point\
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