"The Parthenon".

Essay by BrentMWHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2004

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The Parthenon is a marvel of Greek architecture and innovation and has the recognition of being one of the most perfect Doric temples ever built. Although now partly in ruins, it stands towering above Athens, a real and tangible item of their power and wealth for centuries.

The Parthenon was built under the rule of the Greek politician Pericles, who sought to restore Athens' temples, which were destroyed by the Persians. They Athenians used the money brought in from the arrangement with members of the Delian League to restore their city to its previous glory. This agreement basically was all of their allies paying Athens to defend them with their warships rather than building their own and having to man them. This made Athens very rich and therefore powerful, which enabling them to build some of the most spectacular temples and buildings in the Greek world. But Athens wealth and power caused jealousy among the other Greek city-states, especially Sparta, which eventually drew to the Peloponnesian War.

Construction on the Parthenon began in 447BC and completed nearly fifteen years later in 432BC. This temple was a dedication to the goddess Athena Parthenos or "Athena the Virgin," who the Athenians believed helped with there victory over the Persians. It was built by two main architects, Ictinus, who was the main designer, Callicrates, the master builder and also Phidias, who supervised the sculptures. The temple was built atop the acropolis, which is a fortified high ground which most Greek cities had. The Parthenon was not the only temple on the Athenian acropolis, it was accompanied by the Propylaia, the Erechtheum, the Temple of Athena Nike.

The temple was constructed on top of a previous one which the Persians had burned to the ground during the war. There were still...