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Lecture

November 14th.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLAS 1100X
Professor
Emily Varto
Semester
Fall

Description
November 14 th Parthenon: • Athens started to get great in the arts: tragedy, comedy • Philosophy: Socrates, etc • Arts expanded: Sculptures, paintings, pottery etc. • Athenian Golden Age! –time of the Parthenon • Wealth and power in Athens • Temple building is part of a competitive culture b/w city states- used to show off their stories, wealth, etc. • The temple of Zeus was the temple to beat! • The Parthenon built in middle of fifth century- Pericules was the general who said they had to beautify Athens • The acropolis was destroyed earlier by Persian battles- nothing there • Pericles building program- beautifying city by using Athenian goods to beautify the acropolis etc. • Need to redisplay their identity and battle Zeus’ temple • Most building is still there except the roof is gone- explosions in a battle blew the top off • Parthenon is the centre of the city • There was a grand entrance was up to acropolis- big sculpture of Athena • Nike= victory- smaller temple for this god • Yellows, blue and reds were the popular colours- bright and not too attractive colours used Why it was distinct: • the blueprint was different- there was a strict proportion- changed things slightly so that the pieces are actually crooked, and it arcs, but it looks visually perfect with straight lines- Parthenon tricks us- makes it look perfect to human eye • base is bigger the top of the column- enetass – makes it appear more perfect again • architectural refinements – more sculptures on this temple than any other- fit them anywhere they could! • Entire building was made out of marble that came from the local islands- very distinct feature- by bringing in marble from the islands with their great navy shows again their power and wealth • Athena’s temple’s pediment had more going on, busier, more active- not making it easy- taking complicated figures ex. Taking horse in rearing position, not just a standing horse • Story of pediment: east pediment: depicting the birth of Athena out of Zeus’ head- Hephiastus cuts a whole in his head and out pops Athena- everyone is centred around what is happening in the centre • The sides of the pediments have lasted much better than the centre • Horses on each side of pediment represent the rising and setting of the sun on each side- very well done- horses have extreme details- a lot of precision in sculpting • West wide of pediment: contest b/w Poseidon and Athena- duel over who gets to be god of Athens – how it was gonna be decided was by gifts- who gave Athens the best gift • Athena’s gift= olive tree- heart of their commercial enterprise- olives and olive products was their big trading part – basis of their wealth early on- didn’t have a lot of good soil • Poseidon hits a rock and out pours water- BUT it’s salt water! Useless for the Athenians- therefore the deity of Athens is Athena! • A t
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