The Parthenon in Athens is the most important and characteristic monument of ancient Greek civilization, it is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. It shows the finest point of Greek architecture, history and ancient Greek religious beliefs. The Parthenon is a temple dedicated to Athens patron goddess, Athena (Herbert, 2006:3). Athena was the goddess of civilization, wisdom, weaving, crafts and war. She never had a consort or lover, and so she was often known as Athena Parthenos ("Athena the virgin") which is were the Parthenon's name, derives from.
The Parthenon was an architectural masterpiece because of its great size and elaborate decoration. It was constructed between 447 and 438 BCE on the acropolis of
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On the north side of the Parthenon the metopes are poorly preserved but the subject seems to be the sack of Troy (wikipedia, 2006). The pediments however focused on Athena, whom the temple was dedicated to. The western pediment depicted the battle between Athena and Poseidon over the control of Athens. The story goes that they both wanted to be the patron of Athens and so Athena thought of the idea of coming up with a gift and making the citizens choose which is the better and the owner of the gift would be the patron of Athens (Herbert, 2006:3). Poseidon was first and he lifted his trident and struck the ground with it and a spring shot forth and began pouring out water, however when the people tasted it they were not impressed for the spring was as salty as the sea Poseidon ruled. Athena on the other hand knelt down and buried something in the ground, it was an olive tree. It was simple but it also gave the Athenians olives, oil and wood. And so Athena became patron of Athens and named the City after herself (Silverman, 2003). The other is the eastern pediment which depicts Athena's birth. This story starts with Zeus having an affair with Metis the goddess of prudence, however he was told by an oracle that she has fallen pregnant with a girl and that the next would be a boy and that he would overthrow Zeus, so while