The Parthenon throughout the years
Athens, Greece | historical, family | golden
Athens’ signature landmark, the Parthenon, continues to fascinate visitors 2,453 years later. Discover stories from the Parthenon’s construction by Pheidias, Christian and Venetian times, to the removal of the Elgin marbles to London and Otto’s near conversion of the monument in his royal residence.
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The political message
The Parthenon sends a political message. Firstly, it suggests that Athens was the city favored by the gods. Secondly, it tries to highlight the origins of the Athenians, and, thirdly, to underline the role of Athens in the wars against mythical and historical enemies. In this way it strives to establish Athens’ hegemony in the Greek world.
THE PANATHENAIC PROCESSION
Preparing the Procession
The West Frieze depicts the preparations for the Panathenaic procession in Kerameikos. It is a mélange of calm and intense scenes; horsemen are depicted in conversation, tying their sandals or trying to tame their horses. Each scene is self-contained in one block, evidence that the blocks may have been sculpted prior to being placed on the frieze.
THE BATTLES OF THE METOPES
The Giants were a race of oversized and monstrous beings. According to legend, the Gods of Olympus felt threatened by the Giants and decided to kill them. However, it had been prophesized that the giants could not die at the hands of the gods unless the latter were aided by a human. So Zeus asked Hercules for his help. The Gigantomachy (“giant battle”) then began and the Giants finally fell to Hercules’ poisoned arrows.