CS 1000 – Week 6
Lecture 1 October 16, 2013
• When we talk about architecture, we usually focus on one kind of structure:
o Houses were typically very modest whereas Romans built a wider range of
public and private building. The monumental architecture projects of the
Greeks consisted mainly of temples.
• Temples were typically built in places where the Greeks felt there was something
special and somehow dear to the gods (ex. Cape Sounion at the southernmost
point ofAttica. The last and first thing sailors would see is this temple to
• When do gods get temples in certain places?
o Asacred place in the Classical Period was probably a place that was
sacred in pre-history and there was ongoing worship there.
o In theArchaic Period, temples began to be built around them. Often, these
places became sites of modern churches).
o There is Continuity of religion.
• The building of temples to the gods remained a priority for Greek communities.
• Greek temples take one form (even though they vary in size and decoration):
o There is a sacred centre with an altar and a representation of the god
surrounded by walls and then a colonnade of pillars/columns (these pillars
perform an important structural function to support the roof).
• The columns of temples were also decorated. There are three types of pillars,
called ‘orders’. These ‘orders’represent a lasting contribution to western
architecture and help define the classical style.
o (1) Doric
o (2) Ionic: top of the column has two scrolls
o (3) Corinthian: these have leaves at the top
• Slide:Acolumn has a capital (from Latin caput which means ‘head’), a shaft
which comes in two types: (a) made up of one piece; (b) or Drums (smaller units
that allow one to build a smaller column as the builder wants)
o On the top there is a roof structure there is often very elaborate sculpture
(called pedimental sculpture) and on the areas along the sides (metopes)
there is decoration as well
In the decoration you often see civic ideology expressed
• Slide: Ionic column with a capital. These capitals look like two scrolls.
o Slide: showing the capital of an Ionic column and the base (no drums
• Slide: Parthenon Gallery: here there are two Doric columns; this gallery houses
some of the decorations from the Parthenon on the acropolis. 2
o Pericles built the Parthenon after the victory against the Persians.
• Slide:Acropolis in Athens: pollution is destroying the temple; the acropolis itself
has been used for a variety of purposes. It was used as a Christian church and then
in the 15 century it was used as a place to store explosives which exploded and it
seriously damaged the Parthenon.
o Most of the sculpture, however, is in London and this has raised a great
dispute. Lord Elgin took these sculptures to London (hence why they are
sometimes called the ‘Elgin Marbles’) and he got them from the
permission of the occupying Turks and not the Greeks. The Greeks want
them back but the British resist this because they say that there is a good
place to see them in the British Museum and there isn’t a good place to
display them in Athens. The Greeks have recently built one of the best
museums beside the acropolis. The odd angle of the top floor makes it
exactly parallel to the Parthenon. They have some of the metopes and then
white copies of the ones that were taken (this is a political point).
• Slide: Parthenon. You can see the open colonnade around the center and the
places where the metopes should be and the pedimental sculptures once were.
Inside there would have been a gigantic image ofAthena made from gold and
ivory. This statue is long gone as it would have been melted down for its valuable
metal. This statue was a symbol of the god whose name is connected with the city
• Slide: sculpture on a metope with a man riding a horse. The metopes of the
Parthenon are taken up largely with elite youth riding horses (also showing a great
connection with the army).
• Slide: Metopes from a temple at Selinunte. We don’t know what god was
worshipped in this temple but we have the metopes still. The content of the
metopes have to do with myths (ex.Actaeon who was a hunter and devotee of
Artemis. He saw her bathing with her female followers. This was bad because
she was a virgin and she is connected with the maturation of young girls.Actaeon
is transformed into a stag byArtemis and he is torn apart by his own hunting
• Temple of Zeus at Olympia: this is where the Olympic Games were held. This is
the most famous temple outside of Athens. This temple (and all others) are part of
a larger context. There was always a precinct around the temple which was sacred
to the god and in order to approach it one must go through ritual purifications.
There would have been many people around the precinct doing various things
(similar to athletics and the Olympic games there would have been crowds of
o Slide: Remains of the temple today; raised base foundation is left and not
o Slide: Statue inside the temple: writers tell us about this site when they
visited. We know that the temple was standard (approach place, open
colonnade, sacred center with the representation of the god, and an altar
where sacrifices were performed). 3
Description of the statue tells us that it was very large, seated in a
kingly posture, holding Victory (Nike) in his hand probably
because the Olympic Games were here, he hold a scepter and an
eagle (a bird sacred to him).
The front of the temple was decorated with a series of sculptures
that evoke myths that concern his sons (ex. Heracles).
• Slide: The gods image would preside over sacrifices and the altar would be right
in front of the statue. Sacrifice was the central act of Greek religion. The animals
would be led in procession to the altar and this would have been a public event.
The Persian Wars
• The people in theArchaic Period were prospering and it was inevitable that there
would be threats.
• The Persian Empire – expanding their empire and subordinating others so that
they could grow. This empire was growing towards the Greek world. Most of the
Greeks didn’t think that they could withstand the Persian force.
o They eventually did and because they did the Greek sense of themselves
• We will look at Greek warfare, then the main participants (Athenians and Spartans
were the main resisters against the Persians) and then we will talk about the actual
• Slide: Heraclitus quote: War is shared and Conflict is Justice. This shows that war
was not regrettable to the Greeks but it was a reality of living.
o Conflict is Justice: Greek ideas about Justice were that Justice is a process
of exchange and things work out towards a kind of balance. Heraclitus
thought that war drives this exchange.
All things comes to pass in accordance with conflict war is not a
social phenomenon but an expression of a process that drives the
nature of reality.
o Heraclitus also said that “War is the father of all and king of all” the
language here suggests Zeus. Here War personified (Greek polemos). War
makes some people gods and some people slaves. This sentiment comes
from the Iliad where the strong survive and the weak are destroyed.
Gods vs. Men: He might be alluding to the tendency in Greek
society to worship heroes. In the fifth century, ‘hero’means a dead
person who is worshipped in his grave. The Greeks thought that 4
heroes had powers in their graves and they can affect people.
Perhaps ‘gods’here means ‘heroes’.
Free vs. Slave: War in the Greek world leaves people in two
distinct places. When one fights an enemy you must make sure you
won’t have to fight them again so you either kill everyone or
• War was a persistent feature of Greek society.
o War was a basic fact of life.
• As conflicts grew in scale, large power blocks emerged so the groups at war
became larger and the stakes became larger.
• Because war was such a basic fact of life, the needs of war shaped key aspects of
society, namely institutions, society, and economy.
• Military function and social and political status were very closely linked found
in Homer and Aristotle.
o Accounts in part for the exclusion of women in political and public life
public life and citizenship was about warfare. Women didn’t fight so they
were excluded from the public life because this is a world shaped by war.
• Victory in war was seen as indicative of divine favor connection to religion.