Constructed entirely of white marble in less than nine years, the Parthenon is widely regarded as the epitome of ancient Greek architecture. Built on a hill in the middle of Athens, known as the Acropolis, the Parthenon was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. Travel there with me, on a virtual field trip.
"The debate over the Parthenon Marbles has been going on for two centuries and seems to be coming to a head. The statues and reliefs that Lord Elgin had come to draw and make molds from and ended up taking back to England have been in the British Museum almost that long." Lord Elgin, a British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in the early nineteenth century, was given permission by the Turks to mold and sketch the sculpture in the Parthenon. With a few bribes, however, his workers found it more convenient to simply take the treasures back to Britain. Learn more about the Elgin Marbles at this site from travel writer Matt Barrett.
"The Athenian Acropolis is home to one of the most famous buildings in the world: the Parthenon. This temple was built for the goddess Athena. It was decorated with beautiful sculptures which represent the greatest achievement of Greek artists." For middle and high-school students, this interactive exhibit from the British Museum is part of their larger Ancient Greece site. It has lots to explore and concludes with a challenge to build your own Greek temple honoring Athena.
"Considering all the abuse it has taken over the two and a half millennia since it was built, it is remarkable that the Parthenon is still standing. Now a Greek-led team is working hard to ensure it does for centuries to come." Visit this PBS site to view the one-hour TV special (divided into five chapters) and to explore the three online interactives titled Restoring the Ruin, Scenes from a Quarry and The Parthenon's Many Lives (trace its life as a temple, church, mosque, ammunition store, and army barracks).
From the humanities department of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, these class notes are a must visit for those writing school reports. Notable sections include an introduction to the three main types of Greek columns: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Unfortunately some of the photo galleries are not available to the public, but only visible to those on the internal Reed College network.
Created by a team at USC, this computer-generated animation reunites the Parthenon with its many treasures now housed at the British Museum and elsewhere. The two and a half minute film is viewable in Windows and QuickTime formats. If you have a VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) plugin installed in your browser, you can also view the Sculpture Garden Gallery, a sampling of the 150 Parthenon sculptures scanned at the Basel Skulpturhalle in Switzerland, which has a collection of plaster casts of all known Parthenon sculptures.