|Summary:||Temple of Athena, in the sanctuary of Athena; built on a high terrace near the middle of the city|
|Date:||ca. 340 BC - ca. 150 BC|
The Ionic foot (0.295 m.) is used as a unit of measurement throughout. Length of stylobate 37.17 m.; width of stylobate 19.53 m.; est. column height 10.10 m.; est. capital height 0.48 m.; height of entablature 2.27 m. The total column height and entablature height equal 50 feet, corresponding to half the length of the cella. The cella, of 100 ft., is thus a hekatompedon, and corresponds closely with the length of the cella of the Parthenon.
attributed to, by
Hexastyle peripteral temple with eleven columns on the sides; distyle in antis, with pronaos, cella and opisthodomos. The Ionic foot (0.295 m.) is used as a unit of measurement throughout. The total column height and entablature height equal 50 feet, corresponding to half the length of the cella. The cella, of 100 feet, is thus a hekatompedon, and corresponds closely with the length of the cella of the Parthenon.
Dedicatory inscription of Alexander the Great carved on the north-east anta of the pronaos probably in ca. 334 B.C.; architectural treatise written by architect Pytheos concerning the temple; the sculptural style of the ceiling coffers carved with reliefs suggests that they were completed by the third quarter of the fourth century B.C.; details of the architectural ornament can be compared to elements of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the Temple of Zeus at Labraunda; coins with portrait of Cappadocian ruler Orophernes found in base of cult statue, ca. 158 B.C.
Begun ca. 340 B.C.; dedicated by Alexander the Great in 334 B.C., when the east end of the temple was completed at least up to the anta. The date of completion of the entire temple is uncertain - some have detected two distinct building phases, the latter falling in the mid-second century, while others maintain that the temple was substantially complete by the last quarter of the fourth century B.C. The cult statue, a version of the Athena Parthenos, was not installed until ca. 158 -156 B.C., and was probably dedicated by the Cappadocian ruler Orophernes. After 27 B.C., the sanctuary was rededicated to Athena Polias and Augustus, and continued as an important cult center throughout the Imperial period. The transformation of the opisthodomos into a closed space - perhaps a small treasury - may belong to this Roman phase; other scholars date the moldings of the new door of the opisthodomos to the second century B.C., that is, to a second phase of construction. The temple was used as a church in the Byzantine period.
Text of inscription on south anta:
"King Alexander dedicated the temple to Athena Polias." (Text in
Text of architrave inscription rededicating temple to Athena Polias and Augustus:
"The people dedicated it to Athena Polias and to the divine emperor Caesar Augustus, son of the god." (Text in
The entire temple was designed on a modular system based on 6 x 6 feet (Ionic foot = 0.295 m.) The overall dimensions of the temple platform equal 66 x 126 feet; the column bases measure 6 feet wide and are 6 feet apart. The temple may thus be regarded as an attempt at canonization of the Ionic order. A striking feature of the temple, thought to be an innovation of the architect, is the use of coffers carved in relief with mythological scenes (gigantomachy with participation of Amazons), located in the ceiling of the peristyle.