a) The foundations of the Parthenon’s design were firmly rooted in the Greeks’ search for perfect proportionality and aesthetic and intellectual clarity - a concept discovered byPythagorus, “the Golden ratio”. The symmetry of its Doric columns emphasizes this. Optical refinements are found throughout to create the semblance of perfection. Such features include “entasis”, inwardsloping columns, outer columns being thicker and closer together than the inner columns (due to the silhouette created) and base curves down at the edges. The visual impact will be profound,irrespective of vantage point. The building was to be admired from every angle, with its clear lines and deceptive simplicity accentuating its beauty from nearby and from far. However, the Ionic columnssurrounding the treasury contrast to the Doric columns of the rest of the temple. This may have been Pericles’ way of suggesting he is the leader of all Greeks.
The post and Lintel techniques enabled aperipteral temple to be created. Having laid out the stepped platform, the Doric columns were erected (the fluting was carved after this stage in construction) with blocks of the entablature set ontop. Thereafter, the walls of the “cella” and ceiling were completed. Invisible metal joints were used to secure the marble structure rather than mortar.
The temple was constructed with locallysourced white Pentilec marble, which gives the building its intentional “sculpted” look. Such marble allowed for smoothness, sharp edges and most importantly, delicate sculpturing such as the fluting ofthe columns, the friezes and the pedimental sculptures.
b) The Parthenon was built in 447-433BC by Phidias and commissioned by Pericles, the great Athenian statesman. Built around the Gold and ivorystatue of Athena Parthenos representing Athena goddess of victory, wisdom and peace on the elevated hill-tops of the Acropolis, there is a strong theme of triumphalism projected from this centre-...