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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - High Classical Period, Late Classical Period, and Greek Urbanism

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University of Toronto St. George
Christina Katsougiannopolou

FAH207 Lecture 3 MAY22/2012 The High Classical Period (450-400 BC) - The Rise of Athens as the most powerful Greek city-state: Athens leads the Delian League, an alliance of Greek city-states against the threat from the Persians.  454 BC – Athens transfers the treasury of the Delian League to Athens; the Delian League becomes an Athenian Empire - The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC): Athens vs. Sparta  “…was an unmitigated disaster…Athens’ evolution toward a unified Aegean state collapsed; Greece would never become a nation-state” - I. Morris, B. Powell, The Greeks. History, Culture and Society (Prentice Hall 2009) p. 337 - Athens: intellectual and artistic center of Greece  Later became the most powerful city-state, esp. after the Persian War  Victory over the Persians gave Greeks immense pride - Athens was a maritime city-state and gradually developed their navy  After the Persian War, the money they got from the allies meant for future expedition in defense against the Persians (Delian League money), ended up becoming tributes – funding for Athens’ building program - Under Perikles, the Athenians launched an unprecedented building program in order to restore the city’s religious center, the Acropolis, that had been destroyed during the Persian Wars Building Projects on the Acropolis under Perikles (1) Pathenon (447-432 BC) (2) Propylaea (437-432 BC) (3) Temple of Athena Nike (ca. 420-410 BC) (4) The Erechtheion (ca. 4303-406 BC) – named after a mythical King - These building projects were funded by the monies Athens’ allies were forced to supply. - According to Plutarch. , not everyone was pleased about the building project, mainly the rest of Greece and Perikles’ enemies. This was because Athens used the League’s money to fund the project - No other city-state had the ambition to go through a building project or had sufficient supply of money to fund such a huge project - The architects of the Parthenon were Iktinos and Kallikrates, while the sculptural decoration was supervised by Pheidias - Plan of the Parthenon has a strict proportional system – has the ratio 4 : 9  Opted for a wide façade – not elongated (?) – ratio of the colonnades became 8 : 17 rather than the usual 6 : 13  A more compact building - Parthenon: not a traditional temple – no altar at the front  Combines Ionic and Doric elements  Intentional – pride themselves for their Ionian heritage while living in a Doric territory  Back chamber has ionic columns  Jacques Carrey (1674): drawings of the Pathenon’s pediments  The metopes depicting Lapiths and Centaurs from the south side  92 metopes decorated the architrave, most of them lost forever; on the other sides, the themes of Gigantomachy (east), Amazonomachy (west), and Greeks vs. Trojans (north)  East Pediment: Birth of Athena  Zeus in the center, Hera and Hephaestus on the left, Athena and Poseidon on the right  Further to the left: Artemis, Demeter and Kore, Dionysus and Helios  Further to the right: Hermes, Amphitrite, Apollo, Hestia, Aphrodite, and Dione  West Pediment: Contest between Athena and Poseidon - None of Pheidias’ original works has been preserved. The sculptures on the pediments and the frieze of the Parthenon probably reflect Pheidias’ style that scholars have defined as “the Parthenon style”.  It is typical of Attic sculpture of the last 40 years of the 5th c. BCE.  This style shows a particular mastery in the rendition of flesh, garments and body movements. The sculpted surface shows immense variation. At the same time, the faces appear ideally beautiful and emotionless.  Details of the treatment of flesh and drapery parts on the figures of Dione and Aphrodite in the east pediment of the Parthenon - Religious History: Panathenaia – every summer; celebration dedicated to Athena  There were religious procession, theater performances, competitions, and etc.  Women were allowed to participate during this religious celebration - The Parthenon frieze surrounded the central block of the building and was 160m long and 1m high  The greatest depth carving was no more than 6
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