48 Route 2. ATHENS. Acropolis.
near the old Hekatompedon, and a mass of ballast was piled up to
form a terrace on the S. side. These foundations, which may still
be recognized at the N.W. angle, were of poros stone, but after the
battle of Marathon it was decided to construct the rest of the edifice
in marble. The lower portions of the walls and columns were already
in place when the Persians reduced the citadel to ashes. Under
Perikles the Parthenon was once more taken in hand, and the struc¬
ture that we admire to-day was completed throughout in Pentelic
marble. Perikles not only directed the operations himself but pro¬
vided the necessary funds. The architects were Iktinos and Kalli-
krates. The plastic ornamentation of the exterior is universally
ascribed to Phidias, who not only supplied the designs and exercised
a general supervision, but also actually executed a part of it with
his own hand. Phidias, who was an intimate friend of Perikles,
acted as his right hand and counsellor in all his magnificent build¬
ing schemes. The erection of the Parthenon was begun, according
to the inscriptions on the stones and the records that have been
preserved of the buildings of the 5th cent., in the year 447. It
appears to have been opened for public worship in B.C. 438, when
the statue of Athena was erected during the Panathenaean Festival.
It is difficult to believe that this wonderful work of art, with
62 large and 36 small columns, about 50 lifesize statues for the
pediments, a frieze 524 ft. in length, 92 metopes, and a chrys¬
elephantine figure of the goddess 421,'-2 ft- high took barely ten years
Above the substructure lay the marble Krepidoma, or basis
proper, of the Parthenon, rising in three steps, each about l2/3 ft. in
height. These steps are not exactly horizontal but show a slight
convexity in the middle, a fact of which anyone can convince
himself by placing his eye on a level with the end of one of them.
The Stylobate, or platform on which the columns stand, is almost
on a level with the roof of the Propylaea; it is 228 ft. long and
100 ft. broad. On this rise 46 Doric columns, forming the outer
framework of the temple; 8 of these are at each end and 17 on each
side, the corner columns being counted twice. + The average height
of the columns, most of which are formed of 12 sections or drums,
is 34 ft.; the lower diameter is 6 ft. 3 in., the upper 4 ft. 10 in.
The columns taper gradually towards the top and show also a slight
swelling or convexity (Entasis) in the middle, which has the effect
of imparting to them an appearance of graceful and elastic strength.
The flutes, which are 20 in number, diminish in width, though not
in depth, as they approach the capital, an arrangement by which a
fine effect of shadow is produced. The transition from the shaft to
the capital is marked by four rings (Himantes or Annuli) cut in the
■j- Comp. the following details with the diagram of a Doric column
at the end of the book.