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The Doric temple of Zeus, Nemea. c. 330 BCE.
The temple of Zeus at Nemea was constructed in c. 330 BCE and replaced an earlier temple which had stood from the 6th to 5th century BCE. Inside was a cult statue of the god. The temple was composed of an exterior Doric peristyle (6x12 unusually tall and slim columns) with an interior Corinthian colonade, topped by a second story of the Ionic order. There... [continue reading]
In ancient Greece the continued existence of the dead depended on their constant remembrance by the living. The after-life, for the ancient Greeks, consisted of a grey and dreary world in the time of Homer (8th century BCE) and, most famously, we have the scene from Homer's Odyssey in which Odysseus meets the spirit of the great warrior Achilles... [continue reading]
published on 05 March 2012
The fifth century BCE Greek historian Herodotus relates the importance of bees in ancient Greece, pointing out that the honey of neighboring countries was made using fruit, while the honey of the Greeks was produced by bees. The significance of this difference lies in that, to the Greeks of that time period, bees were considered to be divine insects... [continue reading]
What, exactly, this mystic ritual was, no one knows; but why the ancient Greeks participated in it can be understood by the testimonials of the initiated. The Eleusinian Mysteries, held each year at Eleusis, Greece, fourteen miles northwest of Athens, were so important to the Greeks that, until the arrival of the Romans, The Sacred Way (the road from Athens... [continue reading]
published on 25 October 2012
A view from Filoppappos Hill of the Parthenon in Athens (447-432 BCE) built to house the giant statue of the goddess Athena, patron of the city.
The imposing archaeological site of Delphi sits over 1800 feet up on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus, about 6 miles inland from the Corinthian Gulf, central Greece. The ancient temple complex of Delphi, which dates back at least 2700 years, was known throughout ancient Greece and beyond as the home of the celebrated oracle of Apollo, the Greek... [continue reading]
In the ancient world, there were many temples dedicated to Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. But there was only one temple to Zeus that housed one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Temple of Zeus at Olympia was home to one of greatest sculptural achievements of ancient history. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia represented the pinnacle of Classical sculptural... [continue reading]
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, also known as the Artemesium, was constructed in the mid 6th century BC. It was located in Ephesus (modern Turkey), and was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Antipater of Sidon included it on his definitive list of monuments, partly because of its size and grandeur, but also because of its location... [continue reading]
The Temple of Athena Nike is the smallest structure on the Athenian Acropolis, but holds no less importance than its neighboring shrines. Built to honor Athena Nike, the goddess of victory, the site upon which the temple was constructed has ceremonial roots that date back to the Bronze Age. When the newer, Classical temple was built in the fifth century... [continue reading]
In the ancient Greek world, religion was personal, direct, and present in all areas of life. With formal rituals which included animal sacrifices and libations, myths to explain the origins of mankind and give the gods a human face, temples which dominated the urban landscape, city festivals and national sporting and artistic competitions, religion... [continue reading]