History of Art
In what ways was the Parthenon an unusual example of a temple in Greece of the 5th century B.C. Relate its unusual features to the historical and political circumstances in 5th Century Athens.
When you look at the Parthenon and try to show what is different about it, and why this difference has occurred, you must look at it in the eyes of the Athenians in the 5th Century, and how they would have seen it. This is what I will try to do in this essay, with the help of what we know now about the political history in Greece of that time.
The first thing that you notice about the Parthenon as a temple, isn't the actual building itself, it is the rest of the acropolis, the surrounding buildings. Most Greek temples wouldn't have had this, and the fact that it is all surrounded by a wall, with only one entrance, means that there is something inside worth protecting.
Also the fact that it is on a hill firstly means it is closer to the gods, which makes it more holy in a sense, but also it is easier to defend from military invasion. The Acropolis and therefore the Parthenon being on a hill also made it the central landmark in Athens, or the most important thing in Athens that people could look up to and admire.
When you enter the Acropolis the Parthenon is the largest building inside of it, as we would expect a temple to be, but the first thing different about the Parthenon is what it is made of. The whole of the temple was made of marble. This was the only temple in ancient Greece to be entirely made of marble. Other temples may have had marble sculptures or other...