Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze


A Trip to the Acropolis

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The Athenian agora was filled with stoas, colonnaded porticos to help provide shade, places to meet, offices for officials, and shops for businesses.
People approaching the Acropolis climbed a long ramp to the Propylaea up this hill.
The Propylaea was the monumental gateway to the Acropolis.
The Parthenon really means the temple dedicated to the Athena Parthenos, Athena in her role as young, unmarried woman.
The Parthenon was decorated with relief sculpture. Around the outside of the temple were decorated metopes alternating with triglyphs. Along the gutter were lion head spouts for water to run off the roof.
Parthenon metopes 3-4 In fifth century Athens, it was standard to paint sculpture, as we can see in this reconstruction of some triglyphs and metopes from the Parthenon on display in the Royal Ontario Museum.
The interior of the Parthenon was divided into two rooms, a storage room for offerings to the goddess (on the west side), and a large cult room called the cella (on the east side) housing the cult statue of Athena.
The cult statue of Athena was over 30 feet tall, and gilt in gold and ivory, as we can see in this reconstruction of the cult statue from the Royal Ontario Museum. The winged Nike figure in Athena's hand was six feet tall!
One can see the Theater of Dionysos, the performance location of great tragedies and comedies, from the top of the Acropolis on the south slope.

Explore plans and images of the Parthenon (Perseus)

Check out the virtual tour of the Parthenon (Nashville)

More reconstructions of the Parthenon (Royal Ontario Museum)