Athens in the Hellenistic Period - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Athens in the Hellenistic Period

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  1. Athens in the Hellenistic Period 4th – 2nd century BCE

  2. "Hellenistic" • Defines the period of Macedonian rule • Lasts from 4th century BCE (when Philip II defeats Athens) until 2nd century BCE

  3. Philip II of Macedon • Leader of Macedonia • Wanted to expand Macedonian territory • 338 - Defeated Thebans and Athenians at Battle of Chaironeia in Boeotia • Respected Athen’s distinguished history

  4. Athenians were still hostile toward Macedonians • Posted a decree in 337 BCE: • “If anyone rise up against the Demos for tyranny or join • in establishing the tyranny or overthrow the Demos of Athenians or the democracy of Athens, whoever kills him who does any of these things shall be blameless. • Philip II was assassinated 336 BCE, but not in Athens

  5. Alexander the Great • Succeeded Philip • Was also inclined to treat Athens with respect • Busy with conquests in the east

  6. New Developments in Athens • Athenians were able to recover some lost fortunes • Mined silver at Laureion to the southeast • Able to build: • New Stadium for Panathenaic games • Theatre in Precinct of Dionysus • Some new structures at the Agora

  7. New Stadium • 330 - Lycurgus (important civic figure) had new stadium built • To the southeast of the city • Simple structure but was built over later • 2nd century AD by Herodes Atticus • 1896 for modern Olympic games

  8. Stadium today

  9. Theatre of Dionysus • On the southeast slope of acropolis • Originally built around 500 BCE • Lycurgus builds first permanent stone theatre in Athens • Skene (background building) was made of stone • Roof and columned façade • 46 m long • Auditorium could hold audience of 14,000 • Divided into wedges by stairways • Also constructed a new temple to the south of older, smaller temple to Dionysus Eleuthereus

  10. Theatre before and after

  11. New Building Endeavors at Agora Fountainhouse Klepsydra/Waterclock • Southwest corner of square • Major addition to Athenian water supply • Possibly marked period of drought • Against north face of old lawcourt • Flotation device measured water level as it drained • Kept time for trials, market opening and closing, etc.

  12. Waterclock

  13. Temple of Apollo Patroos • Along west side of Agora • Small plain structure • Ionic columns in antis • 10 x 16.5 m • Contained several statues of Apollo by various artists

  14. Alexander died 323 BCE • Successors war over territories • Lamian Wars • Athenians and other Greeks rebel • Short-lived • 317 – Cassander gains control of Athens • Aristocratic government • 307/6 – Demetrios Poliorcetes • Liberates Athens • Democracy is restored, new tribes

  15. Civil Wars • 3rd century BCE • 307 – 261 BCE – government changes hands 7 times • Disputes between pro-Macedonians and nationalists • Bouleuterion shows signs of damage • Almost no new buildings in city • Square Peristyle – never finished • Arsenal

  16. Philip V of Macedon: More War • New war between Philip V and Greeks toward end of 3rd century • First Macedonian War • Romans aided Athens against Macedonians • Philip attacked and damaged buildings/graves outside city walls • 2nd century: Rome defeats Philip • Ushered in period of relative stability and independence in Athens • With new stability, could undertake civic building projects

  17. Reorganization of Agora • Attempt to impose sense of order and regularity • Stoa of Attalos II • New South Stoa (South Stoa II) • Middle Stoa • East building • New area known as the south square

  18. 2nd century Changes in the Agora Before After

  19. Stoa of Attalos • Attalos II of Pergamon • Show of gratitude • Two-storey • Marble façade, walls of stone from Peiraeus, terra cotta roof • Rooms behind colonnades were probably shops • Stoa recreated in the 20th century

  20. Outer ground floor columns are Doric • Inner ground-floor and upstairs are Ionic

  21. Middle Stoa – constructed ca. 180 BCE • Built at right angle to Stoa of Attalos • Single-storey • Doric colonnades on all sides • Inner ionic colonnade divided stoa into two aisles • Middle Stoa, East building, and South Stoa II to form South Square

  22. East building • Connected to both South Stoa II and Middle Stoa • Divided in two length-wise • Eastern section faced Panathenaic way and consisted of one room • Western section faced the direction of the Agora and had five square rooms • Helped form a new area called the South Square

  23. South Stoa II • Parallel to the Middle Stoa • Doric single-aisled stoa • North side 30 columns • Walls on south, east, west sides • Replaced an earlier structure (South Stoa I) • Was angled differently than the earlier building • An attempt to regularize the area • Connected to old law court building at west end

  24. South Square • Area closed-off by Middle Stoa, South Stoa, and East building • What was function? • First labeled as a commercial agora • New buildings were erected here just as old law court enclosures were abandoned for Stoa of Attalos • In the middle there are two rectangular foundations for small temples dated to 100 BCE

  25. Closing thoughts… • When Athens was independent from foreign rule, civic architecture flourished • Conversely, during periods of war and instability there was little architectural development • Agora was a center of architectural development in Hellenistic period

  26. Bibliography • Camp, John M. – The Athenian Agora: Excavations in the Heart of Classical Athens • Tomlinson, Richard – From Mycenae to Constantinople • Wycherley, R.E. – The Stones of Athens • Perseus Building Catalogue: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu