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Athens and the Panatheneia. The Parthenon, the Temple of Athena, in Athens. Geography. Athens. Athens and Athena. Athena (Minerva). Greek name: Athena Roman name: Minerva Epithets (other names): Pallas, owl-eyed Parentage: Zeus-Metis Origin: Aegean city goddess

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Athens and the Panatheneia

The Parthenon, the Temple of Athena, in Athens.



athena minerva
Athena (Minerva)
  • Greek name: Athena
  • Roman name: Minerva
  • Epithets (other names): Pallas, owl-eyed
  • Parentage: Zeus-Metis
  • Origin: Aegean city goddess
  • Concerns: defensive warfare, wisdom, arts and crafts
  • Attributes: goatskin, Gorgon's head, owl, olive, helmet

Greek Religion and the Nature of the Divine








Relief of the "Mourning Athena". The goddess is clad in an Attic peplos with a belt and slightly bends her head towards the stele depicted in front of her. Dated to ca. 460 B.C. Inv. no. 695. Acropolis Museum. Athens.


The Panathenaia and the Parthenon

Worship of Athena

City Festival (Panathenaia)

Glory of the Polis (Athens)

Athens as the School of Greece

acropolis timeline
Acropolis Timeline
  • 480-479B.C. Persians destroyed most of the buildings of the Acropolis in Athens.
  • 447-438 B.C. Construction of Parthenon under Pericles. Ictinus and Callicrates as architects and Pheidias as sculptor.
  • 391 A.D. The Emperor Theodosius closes all pagan temples. Parthenon becomes a Christian Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary
  • 1204 The Franks into a Catholic Church
  • 1458 The Turks into a Mosque
  • 1674 French artist Jacques Carrey sketches the Parthenon
  • 1687 Acropolis bombarded during Venetian siege. Parthenon receives a direct hit on Sept. 26
  • 1806 Thomas Bruce (Lord Elgin) removes sculptures from Parthenon
  • 1816 Elgin Marbles displayed at British Museum
  • 1821-1829 Greek War of Independence

For this reason are the works of Pericles all the more to be wondered at; they were created in a short time for all time. Each one of them, in its beauty, was even then and at once antique; but in the freshness of its vigor it is, even to the present day, recent and newly wrought. Such is the bloom of perpetual newness, as it were, upon these works of his, which makes them ever to look untouched by time, as though the unfaltering breath of an ageless spirit had been infused into them. Plutarch. Life of Pericles


1. Foundation

2. Krepidoma

3. Stylobat

4. Cella wall

5. Internal Pillars

6. Roof Tiles

7. External Pillars (Peristyle)

8. Epistyle

9. Triglyph

10. Metope

11. Pediment



Festival for Athena

Competitions for Rhapsodes and Athletes

Panathenaic Procession

A Good Website on Panathenaic Festival

history of the stadium
History of the Stadium
  • originally a small natural valley, between the two hills of Agra and Ardettos, over Ilissos river
  • transformed into a stadium by Lykourgos in 330-329 BC
  • north semicircular wall added in Roman times
  • Restored/rebuilt in late 19th century
  • Used for two modern Olympics (1896 and 2004)
panathenaic contests
Panathenaic Contests
  • musical and rhapsodic contests
  • athletic contests for boys and youths
  • athletic contests for men
  • equestrian contests
  • tribal contests
  • torch race and pannychos (nocturnal ritual): procession and sacrifice
  • apobatês and boat races
  • awarding of prizes: feasting and celebration
panathenaic procession1
Panathenaic Procession
  • four little girls carrying a peplos for the life-size statue of Athena Polias
  • priestesses of Athena and Athenian women carrying gifts
  • sacrificial animals (cows and sheep)
  • metics (resident aliens), wearing purple robes and carrying on trays cakes and honeycombs for offerings
  • musicians playing the aulos and the kithara.
  • a colossal peplos (for Athena Parthenos) hung on the mast of a ship on wheels
  • old men carrying olive branches9
  • four-horse chariots with a charioteer and fully armed man (apobatês)
  • craftswomen (ergastinai - weavers of peplos)
  • infantry and cavalry
  • victors in the games
  • ordinary Athenians arranged by deme

Preparing Athena’s peplos.

Hydria Bearers

Seated Gods: Poseidon, Apollo, and Artemis.

Athenian riders preparing to mount

keats on seeing the elgin marbles
Keats’ “On Seeing the Elgin Marbles”

On Seeing the Elgin Marbles for the First Time by John Keats (1817)

My spirit is too weak; mortality

Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,

And each imagined pinnacle and steep

Of godlike hardship tells me I must die

Like a sick eagle looking at the sky.

Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep,

That I have not the cloudy winds to keep

Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.

Such dim-conceived glories of the brain

Bring round the heart an indescribable feud;

So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,

That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude

Wasting of old Time -with a billowy main,

A sun, a shadow of a magnitude.

Dionysos (?) from the East Pediment


Parthenon’s East Pediment

"Three Fates" from the East Pediment of the Parthenon.

Dionysos (?) from the East Pediment