The Parthenon: The Height of Greek Civilization (Wonders of the World Book)

The Parthenon: The Height of Greek Civilization (Wonders of the World Book)

Elizabeth Mann

Language: English

Pages: 48

ISBN: 1931414157

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The story of an inspired building and an inspirational civilization.

The Parthenon is more than a magnificent building. Every marble statue, every graceful column, is an expression of a civilization whose three great values still speak to us today:

  • Democracy. At a time of godlike rulers, ordinary citizens voted to build the Parthenon.
  • Humanism. The Parthenon's art honored Athens' water carriers as well as its gods.
  • Balance. The Parthenon's aesthetic brought lightness and grace to height and mass.

The Parthenon tells of the rise of Athens -- from the religion that nurtured it, through the wars that tested it, to the democracy that ennobled it -culminating in the construction of the great temple on the Acropolis. The book not only captures the human stories, but also vividly illustrates the technical details behind the construction, from quarrying of the marbles to carving of the exquisite frieze. To look at the Parthenon is to see Athens. To see Athens, is to see ourselves.

Wonders of the World series

The winner of numerous awards, this series is renowned for Elizabeth Mann's ability to convey adventure and excitement while revealing technical information in engaging and easily understood language. The illustrations are lavishly realistic and accurate in detail but do not ignore the human element. Outstanding in the genre, these books are sure to bring even the most indifferent young reader into the worlds of history, geography, and architecture.

"One of the ten best non-fiction series for young readers."
- Booklist

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(Greece)--History--Juvenile literature. 2. Parthenon (Athens, Greece)--Juvenile literature. I. Lee, Yuan. II. Title. III. Series: Mann, Elizabeth 1948Wonders of the world book. BY ELIZABETH MANN W I T H I L L U S T R AT I O N S BY YUAN LEE DF285. M37 2006 938’.5--dc22 2006044981 Printed in China M I K A Y A N e w P R E S S Y o r k The Greek gods occasionally enjoyed meddling in the affairs of humans, and Athena was no IGHTY ZEUS, LORD OF ALL THE GREEK GODS AND RULER OF THE UNIVERSE,

saving even more time and effort. Still, many more tons of marble were needed, and the quarries on Mount Pentelikon came to life. Stonemasons and laborers began the arduous work of cutting the marble and transporting the heavy blocks to the Acropolis. The architects ordered blocks of marble cut into the specific sizes and shapes they needed for the temple. Experienced quarrymen examined the bedrock and selected areas of high quality stone. Then workers cut the stone, block by block. They pounded

workers whose skills were in demand. It’s estimated that as many as 20,000 people worked on the Parthenon. 4 3 2 2 1 1 stereobate 3 2 column drum with bosses 3 capital 4 entablature Many metopes have disappeared, and most of those that remain have been damaged. Despite the damage, the fury and violence of the struggle between centaur and human can be seen on this surviving metope (left). The sculptors carved deeply into the marble blocks to create the “high relief” metope figures (above).

discovered to their delight that they were friendly giants. The flutes in the columns were just the right size and shape to cradle a weary back. This was another amazing invisible feature of Iktinus’ design. He made the Parthenon grand and imposing, and at the same time human-scale and welcoming. 40 It was a glorious moment, but it was not to last. In 431 BCE, an old rival, Sparta, attacked Athens, locking the two poleis in the Peloponnesian War. Sparta was a dangerous enough opponent, but a

Pericles, Phoenix Press: London, 2002. Published in French, 1959, translated 1965. Hurwitt, Jeffrey. M., The Athenian Acropolis: History, Mythology, and Archaeology from the Neolithic Era to the Present, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1999. Jenkins, Ian, The Parthenon Frieze, University of Texas Press: Austin, 1994. Kagan, Donald, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, Cornell University Press: Ithaca and London, 1969. Kagan, Donald, The Peloponnesian War, Viking: New York, 2003. Kagan,

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