The Walls Came Tumbling Down in Victory: A Comparison of the Greek Parthenon and the marble statue "Nike Adjusting Her Sandal"

Essay by jbfidmCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Ancient Greece was a magnificent civilization filled with many extravagant buildings and wondrous works of art. The Parthenon was one such building, and Nike Adjusting Her Sandal, is one such work of art. The Parthenon was a temple to Athena and her aspect as the virgin goddess. Built in 447 B.C. and designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, the Parthenon was constructed of marble and employed the use of Doric columns, which are distinct due to their visible drums and lack of base. Nike Adjusting Her Sandal is a marble sculpture in the round depicting Nike, the goddess of victory, adjusting her right sandal. Found at the Temple of Athena Nike (so named because Athena and Nike were one and the same) at the Acropolis in Athens, this work of art was forged in the Classical period around 427 B.C. Both of these works of art served as religious symbols for the Ancient Greeks, yet each of them served a very distinct purpose in the daily lives of the Ancient Greeks.

The Parthenon was at the center of the Acropolis in Ancient Athens. This placed it very high on the list of religious places to go to due to the fact that Athena was the patron goddess of Athens and the Athenians felt it their duty to pay her homage in the form of a grand and elaborate temple, or series of temples, as are located at the Acropolis. Whereas Nike Adjusting Her Sandal was meant as an image merely depicting the goddess in a somewhat unorthodox pose, the friezes at the Parthenon show various mythological stories as were often shown in Greek drama or told of in epics, as if placed there in an attempt to preserve the stories for future generations. The statue of Nike was found...