5 Jul 2013

The Pagan Sites of Europe Remembered (23): The Parthenon, Athens

The most prominent pagan monument in Europe is the still impressive ruins of the temple of the Parthenon. Its name means "the apartments of the virgin," a reference to the goddess Athena to whom it is dedicated.

The Athenian view of the goddess was expressed in the two pediments that used to crown the East and West faces of the temple. These no longer exist, but ancient reports and sketches made by the French artist Jacques Carrey before the building was severely damaged by an explosion in 1687, as well as some remnants, have allowed fairly detailed conjectures to be made.

The East Pediment is thought to have depicted the birth of Athena from the head of her father, Zeus, while the West Pediment depicted the contest between Athena and Poseidon for the honor of becoming the city's patron.

Jacques Carrey's drawing of the left side of the East Pediment, c. 1674


  1. Is there another website where I could find more information on the Parthenon? One of the classes I take in college is about history so, yeah, if you know any other website that preferable, please e-mail me at landongraf.chi88@gmail.com

  2. Sorry. This one is the best on the internet. You won't find anything to beat it.