Beyond Gobbledigook

Athena Parthenos, c. 447-432 BC. Roman marble copy after the wood, gold and ivory original by Pheidias, height 104 cm, 41 in; National Archaeological Museum, Athens.

Posted in Sculptures by Jessica on March 10, 2009

Athena Parthenos, c. 447-432 BC. Roman marble copy after the wood, gold and ivory original by Pheidias, height 104 cm, 41 in; National Archaeological Museum, Athens.

There is something about Greek sculptures that I think fascinates everyone. I don’t think I’ve met anyone that genuinely dislikes them.

What I didn’t know though, was that several Greek sculptures are Roman copies because after Christianity was claimed the main religion, it was people’s duty to smash any artwork that did not reflect Christianity. So, in fact, this sculpture is a Roman copy. And many say that the Romans did not do justice to Greek copies, making them lifeless and not as grand as they were. However, this one, in the National Archaeological Museum, is supposed to be the most faithful portrayal.

Athena Parthenos stood in, of course, the Parthenon, the temple dedicated to Athena. It is 36 feet high, imposing, and powerful.

What attracts me to this sculpture is not necessarily its detail. Yes, all of that is beautiful. But it’s the enormity, the strength, the force. It’s what the goddess Athena stands for. I just view her as a strong woman, and it’s nice to know that an empire worshipped her.

J

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