THEMES/ IDEAS OF THE PARTHENON (Building, Frieze, Sthn Metopes) THEME/ IDEA POWER SIZE ECONOMIC STATUS PHOENIX ORDER / BALANCE CHANGE: MYTHOS TO LOGOS RELIGION TECHNIQUES Doric and Ionic blend: Embellishment to Doric order through use of Ionic frieze Stories sculpted (stories of Greek victory over barbarism). Huge cost of the project. Positioning of the building pronaos facing away from the propylaia to force citizens to walk around the exterior and see the sculptures and the size of the building. Scale of building: more metopes than needed (92), more columns than needed (8X17), bigger than last temple to Athena, 160m long Ionic frieze. Army of workmen under Pheidias. Pentelic marble used throughout along with gold, bronze and ivory embellishments, painted sculptures. Cost of building huge to city-state. Stories depicted in sculpture Building larger in scale and size than last temple to Athena, also used old marble from last temple. Balance in sculptural stories Symmetry in floor plan use of columns at rear and front of temple. 4: 9 Ratio for symmetry. Mathematical symmetry: built to work with the flaws in our physical perception so that it is to our eye absolutely symmetrical and therefore comes to represent triumph over chaos. Myths portrayed in Parthenon still important to religious ritual, but not in actual running of state. Temple functions still used in Panathenaia. Housing great statue of Athena Parthenos. PEDIMENTS: East: Birth of Athena West: Athena vs Poseidon METOPES: SOCIO-HISTORICAL CONTEXT 454 League moved to Athens acropolis. League unable to stop funds being used to build acropolis site. Defeat of Persia, League hegemony, maritime superiority, democratic government, Dissent over use of League funds in Assembly “dressing Acropolis up like a whore” Focus of building not on individual glory, eg: Civic heroes like Theseus not seen in sculpture), but on group actions. More focus on glory of Athena and Athenian achievements. Use of League funds Link to Imperial Athenian attitude Philotimia and reciprosity. Built to glorify the city and also to reinforce the size of the Empire. Use of League funds to build temple. Dissent over use of League funds in Assembly “dressing Acropolis up like a whore” Rebuilding of the temple after Persian sacking of Athens. To remind Athenians of the loss of the original temple and not to let it be destroyed again. Man winning over monsters (Order vs. Chaos) Mathematical order important in 5th Century. Desire for beauty in buildings as part of the Empire, able to afford more elaborate designs. Metopes stories: Balance of civic and familial values: corrupted marriage (sack of troy), disrupted but honourable marriage (centauromachy). Shift from mythical understandings of the world to intellectual understandings. Desire to use mathematical, scientific, philosophical understandings of the world above that of religion. Devotion to patroness Athena Polias, Parthenos and Nike, with other gods, heroes and old leaders/kings of Athens also depicted on the building. Rebuilding a sign of religious reciprocity after Persian sacking of religious sites on Acropolis. East: Gigantomachy (Olympians vs Titans) West: Amazons vs. Greeks North: Ilioupersis (Sack of Troy) South: Centauromachy (Centaurs vs Lapiths) FRIEZE: Panathenaic Procession with gods watching enrobing of Athena. Chief religious centre of the city. Athena: Androgynous female goddess born of Zeus (little mention to her mother Metis goddess of wisdom). Goddess of wisdom and tactical warfare, patroness of Athens, heroes etc. Andronyous nature able to lend itself to patriarchal city-state like Athens.