Greek Athena: temples and statues of the goddess. History, legends and description. Temple of Pallas Athena

Greek Athena: temples and statues of the goddess. History, legends and description. Temple of Pallas Athena
Greek Athena: temples and statues of the goddess. History, legends and description. Temple of Pallas Athena

Athena patronizes those striving for knowledge, cities and states, sciences and crafts, intelligence, dexterity, helps those who pray to her to increase their ingenuity in a particular matter. At one time, she was one of the most revered and beloved goddesses, competing with Zeus, since she was equal to him in strength and wisdom. She was very proud of being a virgin forever.

Birth of Athena

She was born in an unusual way, like most divine creatures. According to the most common version, the Almighty Zeus heeded the advice given by Uranus and Gaia, after which he absorbed his first wife Metis-Wisdom at the time of her pregnancy. A son could be born who would overthrow the thunderer as a result. After absorption from the head of Zeus, his heiress, Athena, was born.

athena temple


The warrior goddess differed from her companions in the pantheon in that she had an extremely unusual appearance. Other female deities were gentle and graceful, whileAthena did not hesitate to use the male attribute in doing business. So, she was remembered for wearing armor. She also had her spear with her.

Even the patroness of urban planning kept an animal near her, which was given a sacred role. She wore a Corinthian helmet, on top of which was a high crest. It is typical for her to wear an aegis that was covered with a goat skin. This shield was decorated with a head that Medusa (gorgon) lost in the past. The winged goddess Nike is the companion of Athena. The ancient Greeks considered the olive tree to be a sacred tree and associated it directly with this deity. The symbol of wisdom was the owl, which was not inferior to the snake in this responsible role.

According to legend Pallas had gray eyes and blond hair. Her eyes were large. In addition to beauty, she also had good military training. She carefully polished her armor, she was always ready for a fight: the spear is sharpened, and the chariot is ready to rush to the battle for justice. In preparation for the battle, she turned to the Cyclops blacksmiths for help.

greece temple of athena

Shrines erected in her honor

She came to us from antiquity, but the goddess is still worshiped today. Athena is widely revered. The temple is the place where everyone can come and turn to her. People are trying to save these places of worship.

One of the most significant buildings glorifying the goddess can be considered a temple created by Pisistratus. Archaeologists excavated two pediments and other details. Hekatompedon was built in the sixth century BC. The cella measured a hundred feet. He was found innineteenth century by German archaeologists.

On the walls of the building there were paintings from the mythology of the ancient Greeks. For example, there you can see Hercules in the fight against terrible monsters. An extremely picturesque place!

When the Battle of Marathon took place, the construction of the Opitodom, also dedicated to the warrior, began. The construction could not be completed, because the Persians soon attacked and sacked the city. Drums of columns from the northern walls of the Erechtheion have been discovered.

One of the most significant architectural monuments of Ancient Greece is the Parthenon. This is a unique building erected in honor of Athena the Virgin. The building dates from the middle of the fifth century BC. The architect is considered to be Kallikart.

The Old Parthenon left behind a few details that were used to build up the Acropolis. This was done by Phidias during the era of Pericles. In connection with the wide veneration of Athena, the temples in her honor were numerous and pompous. Most likely, many of them have not yet been found and will delight us in the future. Although even now there are a large number of buildings representing a rich historical heritage.

The Erechtheion Temple in Athens can be called an outstanding monument. It was built by Greek architects. The temple of Pallas Athena is located in the north - near the Parthenon on the Acropolis. It was built between 421 and 406 BC, according to archaeologists.

Athena inspired people to create a beautiful building. The temple is an example of the Ionic order. In addition to the goddess of war and knowledge, within these walls you can worship the lord of the seasPoseidon and even the Athenian king Erechtheus, whom we can learn about from legends.

Historical background

When Pericles died, Greece began to build the temple of Athena, whose construction was not such an easy task and was completed at the time when the city collapsed.

According to legend, at the point where the building was built, the warrior goddess and Poseidon once argued. Everyone wanted to become the ruler of Attica. Information about the temple of Athena includes references to the most important relics of the policy kept here. Previously, the archaic Hekatompedon, which was built during the reign of Peisistratus, was reserved for this.

temples and statues of athena

The temple was destroyed during the Greco-Persian confrontation. For this place, the goddess Athena also played a big role. The temple included her wooden idol, which was supposed to have fallen from the sky. Hermes was worshiped here too.

In the temple, great importance was attached to the flame of the golden lamp, which never went out. It was enough to pour oil into it only once a year. The temple was named in reference to the remains, which used to be the coffin of Erechtheus. In addition to all of the above, there were many other shrines, which, however, were not of such great importance.

Serving the Warrior Goddess

Temples and statues of Athena as one of the most important Greek deities are numerous and impressive. An olive tree was associated with the goddess, which was burned in 480, but it grew from the ashes and continued its life.

The tree grew near the temple-sanctuary dedicated to the nymph Pandrosa.Entering the holy place, one could look into the waters of the well, replenished from the s alty water spring. The god Poseidon himself was supposed to have knocked it out.

Temple of Pallas Athena

Temple ownership transfer

The goddess Athena did not always reign within these walls. The temple for some time belonged to Christians who held their services here during the existence of Byzantium.

Until the 17th century, the building was monitored, maintained and cared for. The damage was done when the year 1687 brought the troops of Venice to Athens. During the siege, the shrine was damaged. When Greek independence was restored, the fragments that had fallen were put back in their proper places. At the moment, nothing but the ruins, unfortunately, is left. You can still see the old features in the portico of Pandrosa, which is located on the north side.

Lord Elgin, who was sent by the British to Constantinople in 1802, received permission given by Sultan Selim III to export from the country all parts of the shrine found on which inscriptions or images could be found. One caryatid of the temple was transported to the territory of Britain. Now this relic, like the frieze of the Parthenon, is an exhibit of the British Museum.

erechtheion temple in athens

Architectural design

This shrine has an unusual asymmetrical layout. This is due to the fact that there was a difference between the heights of the soil on which the construction took place. From south to north, the level of the earth decreases. There are two cells. Each of them had to have an entrance. Plentifully fillbuilding relics of antiquity. Parishioners entered from two entrances: northern and eastern. Ionic porticos were their decoration.

In the eastern part of the Erechtheion, which was located higher, there was a space dedicated to the guardian of the city, which was Athena-Polyada. The image of the goddess made of wood was kept here. When the Panathenaic passed, they made an offering to him of a new peplos. There are six columns in the portico of this cella.

Internal view of the temple

In the western part of the temple one could see things and elements that glorified Poseidon and Erechtheus. On the front side, there is a restriction created by two ants. Between them - four semi-columns.

Two porticoes have been confirmed, north and south. The framing of the door entrance from the north included carvings that included rosettes. The south side is notable for the famous Portico of the Caryatids.

He was named after six statues just over two meters high. They support the architrave. The composition of the statues includes Pentelicon marble. Today they are replaced by copies. As for the originals, the British Museum became their repository. Lord Elgin imported one caryatid there.

information about the temple of athena

Also the Acropolis Museum contains the rest. Pandrozeion - this was the name of the portico of caryatids. Pandrosa was the daughter of Cecrops. The building is named after her. As a plot on the basis of which the frieze was built, they took the myths that tell about the Cecropids and Erechtheus. Some remains of the monument have survived to this day. statues,the material for which was Parian marble, were fixed in front of a dark background that formed the Eleusinian material.

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